Defending the Resurrection: It’s Easy if You Lie!

Posted: December 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith (1 Cor. 15:14).

Famed apologist Lee Strobel said it best on his televised series, Faith Under Fire: “For Christianity, everything hinges on the resurrection.” It’s the one non-negotiable in all of Christendom. Even Catholics, who shrug off the fanciful tales of the Old Testament as mere “parables,” cannot dispense of the resurrection of Christ. Christians just gotta have it. And there’s no comforting them with liberal interpretations of the resurrection as having deeper, allegorical meaning, a la John Shelby Spong or John Dominic Crossan. That would be like trying to placate the Cookie Monster with bullshit sugarless cookies.

xxx

Sugarless cookies? There IS no God!

Given the obvious importance of the resurrection, Christian apologists (for whom I have such “high regard”) defend its historicity to the hilt. By hook or by crook, they just have to give it an air of legitimacy. Do they come up short? Oh, heavens no. At least not in a world where midgets win slam dunk contests.

xxx

Along with PBA trophies.

Following are my 6 favorite arguments for the resurrection of Jesus. And why they suck balls.

1. Who Would Die For a Lie, Man?
This one just seems all manner of dumb on its face. Why would early Christians have died for what they knew wasn’t true? I wonder, then, if they would lend credence to Islam and Mormonism, since their early followers, too, faced ridicule and persecution. Would they view the martyrdom of Muslims such as Sumayyah bint Khabbab as a validation of the Koran? What about the 9/11 hijackers?

xxx

Just “dying” to drill some new holes.

Oh, but Christian apologists are all too aware of this little flaw. So they up the ante. Christ’s early apostles, you see, were close enough to the “historical events” to know whether or not they were truly dying for a lie. Ipso facto, they must have known it was true!

Getting a great stretch before xxx

Getting a great stretch before the maim.

But there’s one itty-bitty problem with appealing to the martyrdom of Christ’s apostles. Okay, it’s a major problem. We have no earthly clue what actually happened to any of the so-called early apostles. The traditions passed down to us stem from 2nd and 3rd century apocryphal works like the dubious Acts of Paulin which St. Paul baptizes a talking lion. YES. A talking fucking lion. And if that doesn’t activate your funny bone and/or get your nipples hard, how about the part of the story where, upon being beheaded, Paul spurts milk from his severed head?

Got Milk?

And Peter being crucified upside-down? Yeah. Comes from the Acts of Peter, in which the apostle in question resurrects a kettle of smoked fish and teaches a fucking dog to talk. At this point you’re surely asking, “What is the deal with all the talking animals?” Welp. It was already part of Biblical tradition. Obviously, there’s the talking snake in Genesis. And, then, there’s a talking donkey in Numbers 22:28. Can you even begin to imagine how chit-chatty things must have been on the Ark?

And then I says, “To whom do I owe this weather?” GET IT? Cuz… oh, fuck off, bird.

So, that’ll just about do it for the “Who would die for a lie?” gambit. If this argument were a car, it’d have the trade-in value of a 1984 Ford Tempo with no seats and a flux capacitor that only takes you to the Dark Ages.

It's your kids, Marty! Their body parts are being used as slingshots!

It’s your kids, Marty! Their toes have been removed to serve as King Henry’s anal beads!

2. Not Enough Time Had Elapsed For Legendary Embellishment to Accrue, Man!
Riiiight. We’re talking about documents that were written decades after the supposed events. Not enough time for legendary embellishment? That’s funny. The 17th century messiah figure Sabbatai Zevi ignited all manner of fantastic tales within mere weeks of his public appearances. Supposedly, he “commanded fire to appear and walked through [it] unaffected … raised the dead and killed highwaymen with his words.

Abracadabra Alaka Fuckyourhorse!

Abracadabra Alaka Fuckyourhorse!

Similarly, miracle tales were told about Jehudah the Hasid, Simon Kimbangu, and William Marrion Branham within their own lifetimes. Alexander the Great spawned such stories within only a couple decades after his death. Faced with these facts, the poor apologist must finally resort to this: “Oh, yeah?!! Well, the difference is that the stories about Jesus stuck around!” And there you have it. If the story endures, then it must be true. And you know what that means. Area 51 is just bustling with killer spacecraft.

xxx

You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a Marxist! And a Muslim. From Alderaan. Or something weird.

3. If Jesus Hadn’t Been Raised, The Movement Should Have Died With Him, Man!
The crucifixion of Jesus, it is said, should have halted the movement in its tracks if not for the resurrection. Yet consider the growth, despite early setbacks, of Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. The latter two completely botched Armageddon, predicting that it would arrive on such-and-such date, only to have it blow up in their faces when Jesus stood them up. Via cognitive dissonance reduction, they simply rationalized some two-bit piece of theological monkey-shit and carried right the fuck on. Regarding Mormonism, the death of Joseph Smith only made him a martyr for the faith. Lo and behold, the thriving Church of Latter Day Saints.

Now eating my words for scoffing at spacecraft.

Now eating my words for scoffing at spacecraft.

The execution of Jesus (granting its historicity) would have been just the kind of setback that often, counterintuitively, ignites such movements. Though such passages as Isaiah 53 were certainly no prophecy of Christ, they would’ve been awfully handy in retrospect, providing a powerful rationalization for the otherwise unexpected death of the messiah. The mystery cult accoutrements that later became attached to the movement in Hellenistic circles would have further reinforced its popularity among Gentiles. When it comes to religion, there simply is no greater formula for success than getting your face blown off for a cause.

Remington 37 "Prophet-Maker"

Remington 37 “Prophet Maker”

4. But Look at the Turnaround in the Lives of the Disciples, Man!
This is basically a variant of #1. We’re told that the post-crucifixion dejectedness of the disciples, followed by their enthusiastic missionary work, is proof of the resurrection. In reality, the “dismay” of the disciples as presented in the gospels is a literary device, intended to heighten the narrative tension prior to the climactic and victorious ending. You see it in movies all the time.

Oh, no! Bane broke my back! I'm finished. Lolz.

Bane broke my face, and my Visa One is maxed! I’m finished! Lolz.

Truth is, we don’t actually know what the experiences of the first disciples were. All we have are anonymously written gospels from decades after the supposed events, and letters from Paul who was no eyewitness to anything. Unless you count his “vision” on the road to Damascus, which, if we accept that, we might as well credit every other supposed “vision” ever claimed: UFO’s, Lochness, Bigfoot, and Oral Roberts’ vision of a King Kong-sized Jesus outside of his hospital room.

You guys almost done in there? I’ve gotta drop a super deuce.

Besides, as the Bible tells it, it wasn’t the resurrection that spurred the disciples into action. It was the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost some seven weeks later (Acts 2). Read the Bible much, apologists?

xxx

I can beat my slave to the brink of death with no repercussions? Sweet shit!

5. But They Relied On Women’s Testimony, Man!
We are told that, in the ancient world, women’s testimony counted for shit. Thus, the story about the women at the tomb must be true, since no gospel writer in their right mind would think to invent something so preposterous. Really, now? As Matthew Ferguson aptly notes, “We are not talking about a Palestinian legal document, but a Hellenistic prose novel influenced by previous Hellenistic literary motifs.

THIS shit’s legally binding, though! Now who’s up for Papa John’s? And some gay-hating!   

Women were commonly associated with burial and lamentation rites in antiquity, especially where it concerned dying and rising godmen. Such was the case with Anat and Baal, Isis and Osiris, Cybele and Attis, etc. In fact, Ezekiel 8:14 records a group of women bewailing the slain god Tammuz at the Temple entrance, though Tammuz would return from the dead six months later. The Gospels simply feature more of the same.

Get up, bitch, I was faking.

Get up, bitch, I was faking.

6. But the Tomb Was Found Empty, Man!
Well, gaw-lee. What could explain that apart from a resurrection? Not that we are by any means obligated to explain its historicity. Despite an apparent “consensus” among biblical scholars (who certainly aren’t biased or anything), there is no good reason to think that the empty tomb is a historical fact. The earliest Christian “testimony,” Paul’s letters, never makes mention of it. It is introduced in the Gospel of Mark, and the Gospels that follow are verifiably dependent upon his story.

xxx

Plagiarism is rife among human-giraffe hybrids.

So, where was Mark getting this stuff? Likely from two separate literary sources which were creatively woven together. The first being Isaiah 53:9: “His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death.” From which we get Jesus’ burial in a rich man’s tomb. As was discussed in a previous blog, early Christians loved to prooftext the Old Testament for passages that would lend prophetic credence to their new story. These weren’t actually fulfilled prophecies; rather, they were scriptural snippets that had been ripped out of context, entirely. Isaiah 53 and its waxing theological about the quintessential Israelite captive to Babylon (i.e., Suffering Servant) was the prophetic crockery par excellence for early Christian authors.

xxx

Even this cut-and-paste job is more convincing.

The other source would’ve been the rich tradition of apotheosis narratives that thickly foliated the Hellenistic world. When the bodies of e.g. Hercules, Romulus, and Aeneas went missing, the stories assumed that they had been raptured up to heaven to be among the gods. Thus, missing body = miraculous occurrence or exaltation. Once again, the Gospels simply mirror the religious and literary trends of the environment in which they were produced. Basically, they were about as original as Fast and the Furious 19 oughta be.

xxx

Fast & Furious 19: The Vin Diesel Code

Alas, there are no good arguments, nor is there any evidence, for the resurrection of our Lord & Savior. But that’s not going to keep me from believing. No, sir. Because, you see, I have faith. Which, with my imagination, is just gads of fun. If you don’t need evidence to believe something, then you can believe anything for which there is no evidence!

He's totally real. And totally horny.

He’s totally real. And totally horny.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s