Saturday, July 30, 2016

Why the Apostles were not liars

There seems to be a lot of denial when it comes to Christ and Christianity these days and more often than not the Apostles and their accounts are portrayed as unreliable and fanciful tales of magic. If one did not stop and think critically this would seem to be the case. How could someone be brutally tortured, crucified and then raise themselves from the dead? Where is the evidence for such a claim? I will tell you, it is in the lives of the Apostles and disciples of Christ. If anyone knew that the resurrection, and other claims in scripture, were false, it would be them. So why is this important and how does it prove anything? Generally speaking when some religious person makes outrageous claims they do it for a purpose and that purpose is power, money, women, fame, or any of the trappings that come with the ability to manipulate people. But this is not the case when it comes to the Apostles nor the disciples. Many of them were martyred for their faith and all of them lived very poor and meager lives, hardly reminiscent of cult leaders.

If anyone had a reason to steal the body of Christ it would have been the Apostles, this would have given weight to their claims and the claims of Christ. So that means they would have been living a lie, but for what reason? They gained nothing. Every Apostles, aside from St John, was either tortured then martyred or just martyred. I could see maybe one Apostle doing this and being so delusional to think that his lie was real and being martyred for it, but 11 of them? Surely one of them would have broke and admitted this to save his own skin. What of St John the Apostle? Why wouldn't he admit that this was a lie to save himself from being exiled an old man to the obscure island of Patmos? St Peter, who seemed to have been a weak in faith at times, was crucified upside down at his own request. Now why didn't he break and admit this was a lie? After all it was him who denied Christ three times out of fear for his life, if anyone were to break it would have been him, but he didn't.

It makes little to no sense for a group of people to maintain a lie like this for no reason. None of them gained anything. They were constantly persecuted and ridiculed. They were poor and ended up dying miserable deaths. Unless all of them were totally insane I see no purpose for them to lie. The probability of all of them being insane has to be off the charts, and then you would have to explain how these insane and unstable people were convincing educated and uneducated, rich and poor of their claims. The only logical conclusion is that the Apostles were not lying about the things they saw, that these things were not some fanciful musings of an insane person, but reality.

One also has to understand that Christ did these things in full view of the public, for all to see and hear. If the Gospel writers were lying surely someone would have come forward to discredit them, but even the jews did not deny that Christ did something, calling Him a "sorcerer" (Sanhedrin 43a). They aren't denying the existence of Christ or that He indeed did miracles or some kind. If Christ did not exist certainly the jews would not admit to His existence. If Christ and or his followers were lying about His "miracles" certainly the jews would have made no reference to it, but they instead try to explain it as being sorcery.

We know from several sources outside scripture that Christ existed historically, I don't even think people cognizant of the facts would deny this. What is in question is, was He who He and His followers claimed? There is enough evidence to suggest that Christ was who He and His followers claimed He was. This is not indisputable evidence, it is inferential evidence that one could base their conclusions upon.

It defies logic that the Apostles would have knowingly upheld a lie and not buckled under the pressure of persecution and a life of poverty. It also defies logic to say Christ did not exist at all and that all the stories are made up. If Christ did not exist surely the jews wouldn't admit to it and if Christ did nothing that could be considered a miracle then why would the jews attempt to explain it away as sorcery. To say there is no evidence is to state a falsehood, there is evidence. It is inferential evidence, not undeniable truth. But one could easily take these facts and base their faith on it as the foundation of their faith. There is truth there. It is not as if there is nothing to base faith on, there clearly is, this however is the choice one must make based on what we know.

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