|The testimony of the Bible is not the testimony of just
one book since each book of the Bible was written by different authors. Rather, it is the
testimony of many different authors recording events of many more different people.
Between 518 and 641 people are recorded to have seen the risen Christ.
Mary MagdaleneJohn 20:14, Mark 16:9
Women returning from the tombMatthew 28:9-10
PeterLuke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5
Two disciples (not the 11 Apostles) on the road to EmmausLuke 24:13:33
Ten Apostles without ThomasLuke 24:36-43, John 20:19-24
Eleven Apostles with Thomas presentJohn 20:26-29
Seven disciples by the Lake of TiberiasJohn 21:1-23
A multitude of more than 500 on a Gallilean mountain1 Corinthians 15:6
James1 Corinthians 15:7
The eleven ApostlesMatthew 28:16-20
120 (?) at the AscensionActs 1:3-12
PaulActs 9:3-6, 1 Corinthians 15:8
Paul in the templeActs 22:17-21, 23:11
John on the Isle of PatmosRevelation 1:10-19
Early non-biblical Christian writers all affirmed the fact of the resurrection
Clement of Rome95 A.D.
Josephus, who was born in 37 A.D. wrote a famous history of the Jewish Nation. He was a devoted Jew and a Roman military commander. He was not a Christian. When he wrote the following words, both the Jews and the Romans were heavily persecuting the Christians. Nevertheless, he wrote,
"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man.... He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. ...when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day."
Reasons the Resurrection is True
Many people dont believe that Jesus rose from the dead, but they do believe that he was a good man and a prophet sent from God. Jesus often spoke about his own resurrection. If he were sent from God and a prophet, he would only speak the truth. So either you must believe he was a liar and a fraud, or you must believe he did rise from the dead.
We have the ancient writings of the Jews who attempted to discredit Jesus after his death. None of them contain any statements trying to disprove the claim of a resurrection. None of them claim to have found any body to refute the disciplesstory. In fact they claim that Jesus did many things by "sorcery." If the resurrection were not true, all they would have to do is produce the body of Christ, which they were unable to do.
The claim that the soldiers fell asleep while the disciples stole the body is preposterous. We only read this claim as a rumor recorded in the Bible. None of the early Jewish writers wrote this. They realized it would be considered a ridiculous claim. The reason is that the stone was sealed with a Roman seal. Once this was done, highly trained Roman soldiers were stationed to guard the body under penalty of death. If they had really fallen asleep, they would have been put to death. Roman military discipline was notoriously harsh. And yet we read that these soldiers were not put to death. How could this happen? It is obvious that in the minds of their superior officers, and perhaps Pilate himself (who commissioned the guard), that the soldiers conduct was exemplary and something miraculous had occurred. This is the only possible explanation for sparing their lives.
The change in behavior of the disciples is a true sign that something miraculous happened. In Matthew 26:56 we see that they all fled Jesus when he was arrested, and John 20:19 tells us after Jesus death they were hiding "for fear of the Jews." Seven weeks later we find them boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. What changed them? It was the Resurrection seeing Jesus alive again.
Some people claim that the early disciples made up the story of Jesus resurrection. And yet we find them all willing to suffer beatings, endure imprisonment, and suffer martyrdom. Would they have been willing to die for a lie?
This study on the Resurrection © 1997 by David Humpal. All Rights Reserved.