Lord, Liar, Lunatic, Literal 3: Let’s Make a Resurrection Legend

Part 1: The gospels, Synoptics, and Birth

Part 2: Josephus and the Talmud

Part 3: The Resurrection Legend

I’ve explained elsewhere (part 1) why I don’t accept the gospels as eyewitness documentation, as well as why extra-biblical sources (Part 2) do nothing to add credibility to their corroboration.  What I am learning is that the most basic facts about Christianity are rarely discussed in detail.  Therefore, today I’d like to look at the account of the resurrection given by the gospels.

Apologists often throw the Red Herring of textual attestation found in antiquity as somehow making the gospels acceptable from a historical perspective.  The best documentation of historical events comes from eyewitness testimony near the time of the event, with multiple independent corroborating stories that agree in details.  Such is the standard historians use to evaluate ancient history’s attestation in consult with archaeology.

In contrast to historical reality, legends are expected to grow in extraneous detail over time,  embellished as oral tradition invents new details.  As the gospels are neither eyewitness documents, nor are the authors known, it provides a beautiful picture of a fabrication developing over time.

Keep in mind this does not explicitly disprove the resurrection; it merely shows that it is far more likely to be an orally-inspired legend rather than historical fact.  It is impossible to prove something didn’t happen, but history is about reconstructing the most plausible explanation from the available data, and if you’re not willing to dismiss the resurrection as legend, it certainly displays belief despite evidence to the contrary.

The Resurrection According to Mark (~60 AD)

Never made it to the disciples, at least in the earliest manuscripts we have, the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.  In most bibles, a small bracket appears at 16:9 stating that the earliest witnesses do not contain 9-20, since the Sinaiticus ends at 16:8.  The account ends in 8:

8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Of course the fact that the author of Mark (note that this book is anonymous, as Papias guessed at the authorship in the 2nd century.  I will refer to the author henceforth as Mark) tells us a story that could not be known if it were true, it is clear that the author is neither an eyewitness nor has any method for knowing the truth.  An alternate ending is posed in a handful of Greek manuscripts,

And they reported all the instructions briefly to Peter’s companions. Afterwards Jesus himself, through them, sent forth from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. Amen

However, this is not the discussion at hand; we are trying to compare the 60 AD version of Mark to the other accounts.  We will return to verses 9-20 later. Mark’s account is extremely terse, only 8 verses:

Mary Magdeline, Mary the mother of James, and a woman named Salome (a mostly apocryphal character of unclear origins) go to an empty tomb on Sunday morning, with the stone rolled away and a single man sitting inside.  The man tells them to tell the disciples that he was risen, but they didn’t tell anyone because they were afraid.

The end.

According to Matthew (70-75 AD)

10 years later, Matthew (again, anonymous, attributed by Papias) wrote down what he had heard.  The story grew from Mark’s account from 8 to 20 verses, and includes quite a few more spectacular occurrences.  Firstly, there is a great earthquake (an event that probably would have been recorded in historical records, or at least in the other gospels), and has only the two Marys running to the tomb to see the stone rolled away by an angel, who was then sitting on the stone (not inside, the man got powered-up to angel!).  The women went to the disciples, “afraid but filled with joy” (see the contrast to Mark?), then tell the disciples.  Jesus then suddenly appears and tells them to go to the disciples.

There is an interlude from the omniscient Matthew about conversations between the guards and the chief priests, and the “fabrication” of the stolen body story.  Matthew was not an eyewitness.

The story ends with the disciples going to Galilee, to a mountain that Jesus told the Marys to tell them to go, where Jesus appears.  Some doubt.  Jesus tells them to go baptize everyone, and he will be with them always even until the end of the age (implying he will not ascend again).  The end.

Growing pains

Man inside tomb: upgraded to angel on the stone

Several elements in the Matthew account embellish the earlier Mark account:

  • A(n) man angel inside sitting on the stone
  • The Marys were afraid and told no one but told the disciples.
  • There was an uncorroborated earthquake.
  • A story was concocted by the chief priests to explain the body away
  • Jesus appears to the disciples together on a mountain
  • Some doubt
  • Jesus tells them to go forth and preach
  • Jesus says that he will always be there.

The makings of an orally-embellished legend are in the making.

Luke (75-80 AD), “The Historian”

Jesus deceived them for about 12 hours.

Fast forward 5 years and double-and-then-some the verses from 20 to 52, and you have the significantly more embellished account of Luke (anonymous,  Irenaeus made up these guesses).  Some basics are fundamentally (not) the same: The women (2 Marys, Joanna, and “the others with them”) went, found a rolled away stone, when BAM! two men appear gleaming like lightning.  The women were scared and told to tell the disciples, so they went back to the disciples, who did not believe them. Then Peter (alone) went to the tomb to double check the story.

Then two disciples are walking and talking about everything, when Jesus appears but hides his identify from them (God commonly uses deception for some odd reason).  They talk about how awesome Jesus is, then invited him in to eat.  Finally after being with them all day, Jesus was revealed, and then disappeared! They then reconvened with the 11 and told these stories, when BAM! Jesus appears again.

This time they are all freaking out, instead of worshiping as in Matthew’s account.  Some of them doubt, and he shows them the holes in his hands and feet, then broke bread, gave some encouraging words, opened their minds so “they could understand the Scriptures” (45), then they all went to Bethany, and he ascended into heaven. The End.

More Growing Pains

  • 1 angel 2 glowing men
  • 2 women Tons of women
  • Disciples doubted
  • Peter returns to tomb (alone)
  • Uncorroborated story with fake-out jesus and 2 disciples
  • Jesus disappears
  • chief priests
  • Jesus reappears at eating time
  • Disciples freak out
  • Worship Jesus on Mountain
  • Some doubt Jesus shows hands and feet to doubters
  • Jesus explains everything in scriptures to them
  • Jesus will always be there ascends into heaven.

Fairly fantastical, but we’re not over yet.  The gospel of John gets even bigger and better.

Super Epic Legendary John (90 AD)

What happens when you play telephone for 15-20 years? You get the totally embellished gospel of John’s (Iraneus’ guess) account of the resurrection and post-resurrection story.  It grows from 52 verses in Luke to a whopping 2 chapters, of 30 verses (chapter 20) and 25 verses (chapter 21).   The word count (in the NIV) is increased by 393, a 138% increase from the word count in Luke.  Lets go straight to bullets.  There’s simply too much otherwise.

  • Lots of Women Mary Magdeline alone
  • Peter (alone) and John
  • Peter returns to tomb (alone)  gets beat to tomb by John
  • Simon Peter goes inside first
  • Mary has 2 men 2 angels appear to her
  • fake-out jesus and 2 disciples Jesus appears to Mary
  • Mary freaks out and tells no one runs and tells the disciples, and they doubted believed
  • Jesus reappears at eating time
  • Disciples were freaked out were overjoyed when they saw the Lord
  • Jesus shows hands and feet
  • Gave encouraging wordswas doubted by Thomas
  • Jesus comes back a week later and shows Thomas his wounds
  • Jesus encourages irrational belief
  • Jesus ascended into heaven does 5 bajilionty other signs and wonders

Aand that’s the end of John 20. John 21 picks up where Luke had Jesus ascending into heaven (which doesn’t occur in other gospels).  Jesus catches a lot of fish, calls Peter an idiot, and instates him as the first pope, makes eerie prophecies about John (who would be exiled around the time of writing), says “I’m not lying, I promise!” and did other things that would fill all the books of the world.

Mark’s Interpolated Crazyfest Party Time

Almost done.  Let’s return to the Markian addition, which was interpolated sometime after John’s gospel, as late as 160, 100 years after the original, and 130 years after the events.  The events follow Luke’s tradition most closely, but err on key details.

  • Mary Magdeline tells no one Gets 7 demons cast out of her!
  • Simon Peter goes inside first
  • Mary freaks out and tells no one runs and tells the disciples, and they doubted believed doubted
  • fake-out jesus appears 2 disciples, who told the others and they believed them doubted as well
  • Jesus appeared to the 11 and showed them his wounds rebuked them for their stubbornness in not accepting sketchy testimony
  • Jesus reappears at eating time
  • Gave encouraging words was doubted by Thomas
  • Jesus says that you can cast out demons, pick up snakes, drink poison and not die, touch sick people and they get well
  • Jesus ascended into heaven does 5 bajilionty other signs and wonders ascended into heaven and sat at the right hand of God
  • Disciples went out and preached and confirmed the demon cast-out, snake pickup, poison drink touch healing shebang.

Telephone in a Legend

In the first century, people were storytellers.  There was no scholarly criticism, no skepticism.  The truth of a story was evaluated on the excitement of the teller.  It was the perfect setting for a legend.  When you get a group of people together and their leader is killed, it’s not at all implausible that they would begin circulating stories about how he rose from the dead.  Rising from the dead wasn’t a big deal in first-century Palestine.  It was in vogue.

The gospel’s account of the resurrection of Jesus are a beautiful example of a legend whose details grow and weave with the passing of time.  The man in Mark becomes an angel in Matthew, becomes 2 glowing men in Luke, and becomes 2 angels in John.  The disciples didn’t hear in Mark, doubted in Matthew, saw the hands and feet in Luke, and doubted despite the evidence and suffered correction in John.

Attempts to reconcile the irreconcilable differences generally fail, and end up being implausible up to ridicule.  This is where the faith to believe comes in, to attempt to square the circle away, but then if these irreconcilable accounts are so plausible, why are those of Sathya Sai Baba unbelievable? Why do you change your standards?

People believe in superstition because they want to, not because it is true.  I simply value truth and integrity over believing a legend.

I can’t make the steps of rationality for you.  I can only show you the way.  And it is nothing more than mental gymnastics and special pleading to believe the gospels are anything more than the legendary recorded oral tradition of first century superstition story-peddlers.  Good luck in your journeys towards the truth.

Further Reading

Richard Carrier’s article, “Why I Don’t Buy the Resurrection Story” is extremely informative.

A handy reference with parallels between each of the stories in the gospel accounts, including Paul’s account (which differs)

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  • agnostic666

    nah.. this isn’t something new…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Juan-Carlo-Saliba/100001214499714 Juan Carlo Saliba

    There are proofs that Jesus truly rose from the dead:

    1. Jesus was crucified on the Month of Nisan, the month of April, the soldiers witnessed that Jesus was indeed crucified. They even pierced His side to make sure He is dead.

    2. A heavy guard is being kept in the tomb. The disciples could not go out of the upper room because they feared that the Pharisees could kill them next.

    3. The testimony of the women. They went to the tomb and angels told them He was alive. They were about to go into the tomb and suddenly, they found an empty tomb.

    4. The number of witnesses. The Scripture says that after Christ’s resurrection, He appeared to Peter and the Twelve, then to 500 people and then to James and all the rest and last of all, to Paul, the apostle of Christ.

    5. The changed lives of the apostles. After their Master’s death, they hid in fear like frightened children, but now, they emerged from the upper room, facing the Pharisees and the Jews boldly and testifying to the Resurrection of Christ.

    6. They were willing to die for the faith. Many Christians died for the story of the Resurrection. Who would even die for a lie? If the Resurrection of Christ is untrue, then the apostles would have been disbanded in the first place. Stephen was the first martyr who died for Christ.

    My challenge for you atheists-skeptics, “If you can provide the physical body of Christ, I will believe you”

    • http://CoffeeShopAtheist.com/blog Patrick

      You don’t quite understand “circular logic” do you?

      What proof do you have besides the bible for any of these claims?

      1. No Roman record of this crucifixion exists from this time period.

      2. According to the bible, with no extrabiblical sources

      3. Bible.

      4. and 0 of these 500 witnesses wrote down what they saw. None. Zero. Zilch. There are zero eyewitness testimonies for the Resurrection. Furthermore Paul’s recollection of Jesus (that I did not mention in the article) is such that he never encountered a bodily Jesus. He never uses the word “resurrected” but the word for “arose” (as in waking up from sleep).

      5. Bible.

      6. Heaven’s gate cult leader Marshall Applewhite convinced 38 of his followers to commit suicide to join the comet passing through the solar system. Furthermore, there is less evidence of the claim that the disciples died for a lie than that Jesus rose from the dead. http://coffeeshopatheist.com/blog/2011/09/patricks-wager-updated/

      My challenge to you is read 1 Peter 3:15 in earnest, and tell me that using scraps of legend and forgery is an acceptable means of trying to convince someone of the truth of your position.

      Or produce the body of Hercules to prove that he is not with Zeus.

      • anon

        You don’t quite understand “circular logic” do you?

        What proof do you have for global warming besides science for any of these claims?

        EVERYTHING uses circular logic.

        Godel’s theorem. End of story.

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  • lordliarorlunatic

    visit this blog, it answers all.

    http://lordliarorlunatic.wordpress.com

    • Patrick

      I’m not sure exactly what the intention of this website was, but I could not find anything of merit. If you would like to challenge my points, please do so here.

  • SharpShoota9092

    In the fifteenth year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, Philip his brother tetrarch of the region Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene…
    Luke 3:1

    Some people claim that Jesus Christ never existed. Allegedly the life of Jesus and the Gospel are merely myths fabricated by the Church. This claim rests mainly upon their belief that there is no historical record of Jesus.

    This lack of secular reports should not be too surprising for modern Christians. First, only a small fraction of the written records survived those twenty centuries. Secondly, there were few, if any, journalists in Palestine during the time of Jesus. Thirdly, the Romans saw the Jewish people as merely one of many ethnic groups that needed to be tolerated. The Romans held the Jewish people in low regard. Finally the Jewish leaders were also eager to forget about Jesus. Secular writers only took notice after Christianity became popular and began to disturb their lifestyle.

    Even though early secular reports on Jesus may have been rare, there are still a few surviving references to Him. Not too surprisingly, the earliest non-Christian reports were made by the Jews. Flavius Josephus, who lived until 98 A.D., was a romanized Jewish historian. He wrote books on Jewish history for the Roman people. In his book, Jewish Antiquities, he made references to Jesus. In one reference he wrote:

    About this time arose Jesus, a wise man, who did good deeds and whose virtues were recognized. And many Jews and people of other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. However, those who became his disciples preached his doctrine. They related that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive. Perhaps he was the Messiah in connection with whom the prophets foretold wonders. [Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, XVIII 3.2]

    Even though several different forms of this particular text have survived through the twenty centuries, they all agree with the above cited version. This version is considered to be the closest to the original – the least suspected of Christian text-tampering. Elsewhere in this book, Josephus also reported the execution of St. John the Baptist [XVIII 5.2] and St. James the Just [XX 9.1], even referring to James as “the brother of Jesus who was called Christ.” It should be noted that the past tense in the clause, “Jesus who was called Christ,” argues against Christian text-tampering since a Christian would prefer to write instead, “Jesus who is called Christ.”

    Another Jewish source, the Talmud, makes several historical references to Jesus. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the Talmud is “the collection of ancient Rabbinic writings consisting of the Mishnah and the Gemara, constituting the basis of religious authority for traditional Judaism.” Although not explicitly referred to by name, later rabbis identify the person as Jesus. These references to Jesus are neither sympathetic to Him or His Church. Also these writings were preserved through the centuries by Jews, so Christians cannot be accused of tampering with the text.

    The Talmud makes note of Jesus’ miracles. No attempt is made to deny them, but it ascribes them to magical arts from Egypt. Also His crucifixion is dated as “on the eve of the Feast of the Passover” in agreement with the Gospel (Luke 22:1ff; John 19:31ff). Similar again to the Gospel (Matt. 27:51), the Talmud records the earthquake and the tearing in two of the Temple curtain during the time of Jesus’ death. Josephus in his book, The Jewish War, also confirmed these events.

    By the beginning of the 2nd century, Romans were writing about Christians and Jesus. Pliny the Younger, proconsul in Asia Minor, in 111 A.D. wrote to Emperor Trajan in a letter:

    …it was their habit on a fixed day to assemble before daylight and recite by turns a form of words to Christ as a god; and that they bound themselves with an oath, not for any crime, but not to commit theft or robbery, or adultery, not to break their word, and not to deny a deposit when demanded. After this was done, their custom was to depart, and meet again to take food… [Pliny, Epistle 97]

    Special attention should be made to the phrase, “to Christ as a god,” an early secular witness to the belief in Christ’s divinity (John 20:28; Phil. 2:6). Also it is interesting to compare this passage with Acts 20:7-11, a biblical account of an early Christian Sunday celebration.

    Next the Roman historian, Tacitus, who is respected by modern scholars for historical accuracy, wrote in 115 A.D. about Christ and His Church:

    The author of the denomination was Christ[us] who had been executed in Tiberius time by the Procurator Pontius Pilate. The pestilent superstition, checked for a while, burst out again, not only throughout Judea…but throughout the city of Rome also… [Tacitus, Annals, XV 44]

    Even with disdain for the Christian faith, Tacitus still treated the execution of Christ as historical fact, drawing connections to Roman events and leaders. (cf. Luke 3:1ff)

    Other secular witnesses to the historical Jesus include Suetonius in his biography of Claudius, Phlegan recording the eclipse of the sun during Jesus’ death and even Celsus, a pagan philosopher. It must be kept in mind that most of these sources were not only secular but anti-Christian. These secular authors, including the Jewish writers, had no desire or intention to promote Christianity. They had no motivation to distort their reports in favor of Christianity. Pliny actually punished Christians for their faith. If Jesus were a myth or His execution a hoax, Tacitus would have reported it as such. He certainly would not have connected Jesus’ execution to Roman leaders. These writers presented Jesus as a real historical person. Denying the reliability of these sources in connection to Jesus would cast serious suspicion on the rest of ancient history.

    Now these ancient secular writings do not prove that Jesus is the Son of God or even the Christ, but that is not the goal of this tract. These reports show that a virtuous person named Jesus did live in the early first century A.D. and authored a religious movement (which still exists today). This Person was at least called Christ – the Messiah. Christians in the first century also appeared to consider Him God. Finally these writings support other facts found in the Bible surrounding His life. The claim that Jesus never existed and His life is a myth compromises the reliability of ancient history.

    • http://CoffeeShopAtheist.com/blog Patrick

      Sharpshoota,

      While I appreciate your writing here, I have treated both Josephus and the Talmudic sources at length in a different post, which was linked at the beginning of this one (it was the 2nd in the series): http://coffeeshopatheist.com/blog/2011/10/jesus-lord-liar-lunatic-literal-part-2-josephus-and-the-talmud/

      You addressed nothing I posited in the actual article, and thus I suppose you concede the resurrection story was a legend invented by disheveled pious zealots and not worth following at all. Nowhere in this article did I address the mythicist theory of Jesus, or suggest he was not a real person. I am actually a historist, and believe that a man named Jesus likely existed, but your argument here has quite a few problems, and suffers from confirmation bias along with a horde of other faulty conclusions from the available evidence, and does nothing to consider alternate points of view (as I did in my treatment of Josephus and the Talmud).

      Firstly, your quotation of the Josephus passage seems to be off. I used the version put forth by Bart Ehrman, who edits out the interpolations that were added later on. I’m wondering where you got your version, since you provide no sources, and the critical scholars I’ve read do not include calling him the messiah. Furthermore, it isn’t the texts that agree, it is the scholars who use textual criticism who agree. All of the manuscripts we have date to the 4th century, and include all the interpolations. In your comment, you show that you don’t understand how we have what we have, so I am reluctant to trust any of your unsourced claims.

      Secondly, you point out that Josephus died in 98, but did not point out that Josephus wrote the passage in 94 AD, nor that he was born in 37 AD (years after Jesus’ supposed crucifixion). To that end, Josephus can be nothing more than a second-hand source.

      I also pointed out that some scholars hold that the entire paragraph is an unwarranted insertion after the fact, as evidenced by the surrounding paragraphs. At any rate, Josephus’ mention of Jesus must have been second-hand, and can be nothing more than a reporting of what Christians believed at the time of writing or before (37-94 AD).

      On the Talmud (again, I wish you’d taken the time to read what I’ve already written instead of me having to repeat myself), Which Jesus? There were 5 Yeshuas, and none of them bear any resemblance to the one you mention about having recorded ‘miracles’ attributed to him. Yeshua ben-Stada, the sorcerer was hanged, not crucified, had 5 disciples, and was hung on the Eve of passover (in contradiction with 3/4 gospels). Again, which Jesus are you trying to cherry pick your evidence to support?

      On the earthquake, I’ve never seen this claim leveled before. Where exactly does it say that there was an earthquake in the Talmud around the time of Jesus’ death? You have provided no source for your erroneous claim.

      Oh.. It doesn’t. There is, in shabbat 15, the fact that the Sanhedrin moved from the temple, also in Yoma 39b that a certain temple miracle stopped (a misunderstanding according to Jewish Interpretation http://www.yashanet.com/library/temple/yoma39.htm). No evidence (besides saying IT MUST BE THE EARTHQUAKE) for the earthquake in 30. Furthermore, the agreed-upon date of the crucifixion was 33 AD, not 30, so it is irrelevant anyways.

      Tacitus obviously received his information several sources removed, and incorrectly labels Pilate as Procurator, rather than Prefect (his official title). He is treated well by (biblical) scholars because he is unsympathetic, but his account comes nearly 100 years after the events in questions, and are merely insight into the state of the Christian cult at 60 AD. (this is, of course, an appeal to pity)

      Suetonius makes a passing mention, and misspells Christ’s name (decades after the fact).

      ” If Jesus were a myth or His execution a hoax, Tacitus would have reported it as such.”

      Speculation: appeal to probability

      “These writers presented Jesus as a real historical person.”

      In the middle ages, Robin Hood, King Arthur, and Witches were presented as real. In Antiquities, Josephus reports on Hercules as if he was a real historical person. appeal to tradition

      “Denying the reliability of these sources in connection to Jesus would cast serious suspicion on the rest of ancient history.”

      Red Herring/Slippery slope/confirmation bias/false dilemma. There were plenty of events that were reported that we needn’t believe all claims on. The execution (or historicity) of Socrates, Nero’s Godhood, etc. None of these claims impede my eternal salvation status, either. It is ignorant and biased to start talking about ancient history and the legend of Jesus as though they are the same thing.

      “Now these ancient secular writings do not prove that Jesus is the Son of God or even the Christ, but that is not the goal of this tract”

      Nor was it the goal of this post. Perhaps you should read more by an author, especially parts 1 and 2 of a 3-piece post before you show your shortsightedness. I probably would’ve enjoyed your commentary on my article discussing Josephus and the Talmud.

      The rest of your post is simply unfounded speculation rooted in a faith-based rehearsed script, not in reality. And again, are you willing to concede things like the Greek Gods acting, the Odyssey, or Nero’s godhood just because it’s written down? You might as well believe Hogwarts is real.

      Here is a list of Rhetorical Fallacies: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/rhetological-fallacies/ You should familiarize yourself with them, since you repeatedly throw red herrings, beg the question, affirm the consequent, appeal to probability, Appeal to tradition, use post hoc, anecdotal evidence, jump to conclusions, appeal to incredulity (“they were negative sources!”), and display severe confirmation bias.

  • Eliorja

    All very interesting, and taken to note. The only thing you did not cover in great detail was the fact that many of the Old Testament prophecies seemed to culminate in Christ. I wonder, especially, what one does with the one in Psalms that gives a graphic description of crucifixion? We also, one might argue, base much of our modern principles on biblical principals and morals on biblical thought (neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, etc. can be likened to “all men are created equal,” although I do know that this idea stemmed from John Locke), ironic as it may be (given that there are many biblical principles that have been shirked.)

    • http://CoffeeShopAtheist.com/blog Patrick

      Eliorja,

      That’s a great point, and possibly a good place to go for part 4. In brief, there are many failed prophecies and still other instances where bizarre claims are made to fit a square peg into a round circle. For example, when Jesus returns to jerusalem, due to either mistranslation or misinterpretation by the author of the gospel of Matthew, Jesus rides two different pack animals into town. It is the same case with the Virgin Birth, as explained in part 1; In no instance of any Jewish though does the birthright pass through adoption, so both the geneologies of Joseph in Matthew and Luke are irrelevant to Jesus’ davidic heritige. If we read ‘adoption’ back into it (as you are doing with the ‘all men are created equal’ portion), we will get a different meaning than if we properly evaluate the text in the context of writing; Jews understood that if jesus was born of a virgin, he could not receive the birthright through the father. This makes no sense, and is especially ironic as the ‘virgin’ part is a mistranslation in the Greek translation of the Old Testament that the authors of Matthew and Luke were reading.

      Finally it is pretty clear to imagine that the writers of the gospels could invent or create mythologized stories about Jesus to have distinct theological parallels. The story of the ascention, where Jesus is with Moses, or the stories about Lazarus, for example. Meanwhile looking at a Psalm and writing something down 50-70 years after the event was supposed to have transpired doesn’t give much credibility for the story.

      Keep in mind Paul wrote about 20-30 years after the “Crucifixion,” while the gospels were at the earliest 40 (mark) 50 (matthew), 55 (Luke) and 70 (John) years after the events, and were not written by Jerusalem natives, nor by the authors traditionally claimed.

      I’ve spent far too long on this response, but I hope this gets you started! Thank you for the response!

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