Theories of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a story that has been disputed over millennia. The followers of Christ claim that Christ indeed was buried, and resurrected three days later. However, many other people do not believe that the Resurrection of Christ truly happened. Their claims include but are not limited to conspiracies, hallucinations, and mistaken identity.

For many people who don’t believe in God, it is difficult for them to believe that a man actually rose from the dead after he reportedly died. If the resurrection did truly happen, then it would be considered a miracle. By definition, a miracle is “From the human vantage point, an unusual event that conveys and confirms an unusual message by means of unusual power.”

The resurrection, being an unusual event brought about by an unusual power, if true, certainly qualifies as a miracle. However, what proof is there that the resurrection actually happened? The available evidence is that Jesus was crucified and buried in a known tomb which was later found empty, many people from much diversity claimed to see Jesus, and his disciples were completely transformed. If Jesus truly rose from the dead, then that explanation sufficiently explains the evidence. However, those who deny the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead have their own alternate claims to the idea that Jesus rose from the dead.

One theory is the fraud theory which states that Jesus’ body was taken out of the tomb by his disciples. However, this is not a better view than the orthodox view of Jesus, for if this truly happened then Jesus’ disciples would have not faced death for what they knew to be a falsehood. This, and the fact that this theory has not been postulated by a major advocate since the 18th century, shows a major flaw in the fraud theory. Another theory is the swoon theory, which suggests that Jesus did not actually die, but only became unconscious and seemed dead.

However, with the beating that Jesus received during the Roman whipping, and the excruciating pain inflicted upon Jesus on the cross, it is impossible to have died. Another idea presented by those who do not believe in the resurrection is that the appearance of Jesus was a mere hallucination by those who saw them. The flaw with this problem is that although one person hallucinating about Jesus is likely, 500 people all having the same hallucination is virtually impossible.

Furthermore, in a hallucination, the person would have immediately recognized Jesus for who he is. However, in the specific recorded instances of the people who saw Jesus, none of them immediately recognized Jesus for who he is, thereby disproving that it was a hallucination. Therefore, the most likely answer is that Jesus truly was risen from the dead.

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Follow Caleb Casto on Twitter @Caleb_Casto.

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