“After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.” 1 Cor. 15:6
I carry an old newspaper clipping in my Bible that has this title:
Seminar Scholars’ Lastest Conclusion:
Jesus Didn’t Really Rise From the Dead
Here’s how the article starts out:
“The Jesus Seminar, a controversial group of scholars who look at the New Testament in the harsh light of historical review, has concluded that there is no evidence that the Easter resurrection was a physical reality.” Evidently, it took 40 “scholars” only five days to come up with this major finding. They deduced that Jesus’ body actually decayed after being disposed of by His crucifiers and there was no tomb.
Trying to discount the resurrection of Jesus Christ is nothing new. If He didn’t really rise from the dead, then He’s not really God. And that gets 40 scholars off the hook from submitting to the Lordship of Jesus and bowing their knee to Him.
All kinds of theories have cropped up over the years.
There’s the “Swoon Theory,” a speculation that denies the resurrection, saying that Jesus never really died, but “swooned” on the cross, and then somehow wonderfully revived in the tomb.
A woman wrote to Bible teacher J. Vernon McGee, “Our preacher said that on Easter Jesus just swooned on the cross, and the disciples nursed him back to health. What do you think?”
McGee replied, “Dear Sister, beat your preacher with a leather whip for thirty-nine heavy strokes. Nail him to a cross. Hang him in the sun for six hours. Run a spear through his heart. Embalm him. Put him in an airless tomb for three days. Then see what happens.”
Then there’s the “Hallucination Theory”, which claims that the disciple’s report of seeing Jesus was simply wishful thinking. They so wanted Him back that they actually imagined they saw Him.
I’m so glad Paul included this verse in his letter to the Corinthians. Five hundred people, many of whom were still alive and well at the time of this writing, knew what they saw with their own eyes.
As Pastor Ray Stedman noted, “It is hard enough to get one person to hallucinate, but to get five hundred people from various backgrounds and attitudes, etc., to do so all at once is simply incredible.”
We believe it to be quite impossible that so many rogues should have agreed for ever. They were men who had nothing to gain by it; they subjected themselves to persecution by affirming the very fact; they were ready to die for it, and did die for it.Spurgeon
Which goes to show,
you can’t believe everything you read in the newspaper.
But you can believe everything you read in God’s Word.