Richard Carrier's Five Questions Concerning “The Resurrection”

Five questions Richard Carrier prepared for a radio discussion with Gary Habermas and Mike Licona on “the resurrection”):

Richard Carrier - Five Questions
  1. “In the Book of Acts the Apostles are having vivid and powerful visions and dream communications from God all the time. We hear of similar experiences reported in that era from Jews and pagans, who were also having vivid and powerful visions and dream communications from a variety of gods and angels. Why isnʼt this happening now? And why was that happening back then, even to pagans and Jews, who werenʼt seeing or hearing what the Christians were seeing and hearing?”

  2. “This might sound like a frivolous question, but it really isnʼt. I mean it quite seriously. Why does God give me more evidence that smoking cigarettes is harmful than he gives me that Jesus lives?”

  3. “The Gospel according to Matthew says (27:52-54) ‘the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints who slept rose up and came out of their graves after His resurrection, and went into the Holy City and appeared to many’. Do you believe this happened? If Yes: How could this amazing event have escaped everyone elseʼs notice, even the other evangelists? If No: How could the author of Matthew get away with such a lie?”

  4. “The following three questions are all closely related and really amount to one question. Why did the risen Jesus only appear to his followers, and to only one previously obscure enemy among the thousands opposing his Gospel? Why didnʼt he appear to Pilate or Herod or Caiaphas or the Roman Senate? Why didnʼt he also appear to deliver the Gospel to China—or to the Americas, as the Mormons claim he did?”

    Or… “Why was the death of Jesus so public, but his resurrection so private?”

  5. You seem to trust what the Gospels say is what actually happened. I want to understand why. I have an analogy that I think might help. Suppose I hauled you into court on a murder charge, and the only evidence I had against you was a bunch of letters that described you murdering the victim in vivid detail. Of course you would ask who wrote those letters. I answer, “Joe, Mike, Bob, and Dan.” You then ask, “Who are they?” And I answer, “I donʼt know for sure.” Thatʼs a dead end, so you would ask, “How do they know any of the things they claim in those letters?” And I answer, “I donʼt know. They never say exactly where they are getting any of their information.” Okay. Imagine that happened to you. Would you conclude that I had a convincing case against you? Do you believe the jury should conclude that you committed the murder those letters describe you committing?”

Richard Carrierʼs Five Questions Concerning “The Resurrection”

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