April 13, 2009

Zalmoxis, Jesus, and James McGrath

Posted in Atheism, The Bible tagged , , , , , at 5:05 pm by Andrew

In the comment section of a previous thread, there’s a bit of a discussion about the parallels (or lack thereof) between the Zalmoxis religion in ancient Thrace and the Jesus story.

Nathaniel argues, in part, that:

According to Herodotus, when Zalmoxis reappeared, nobody thought he had risen from the dead, since it was explained that he had just been hiding. According to the gospels, everyone who came to believe that Jesus was alive realized that this meant he had risen from the dead.

In a coincidence of timing, religion professor (and Christian) James McGrath has an excellent post up at his blog entitled “Celebrating Easter with the Doubting Disciples, detailing just who “came to believe that Jesus was alive,” even assuming that the Biblical accounts record actual events. The money quote:

Be that as it may, the point remains that Easter is not about historical certainty. In Matthew, it even explicitly includes doubt. And by making the day a day for celebrating certainty, we risk losing one of the most important steps that may help us to experience the “resurrection power” that drove early Christianity and has continued to transform lives down the ages.

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March 5, 2009

Why The “Minimal Facts” Model is Unpersuasive

Posted in Answering Apologists, Atheism tagged , , , , , , , , at 3:35 pm by Andrew

This post continues a thread over at Victor Reppert’s Dangerous Idea on what seems to be an increasingly common apologetic tactic designed to assert the historicity of Jesus Christ’s resurrection (and from there, assert the truth of Christianity).

As far as I can tell, this argument originates with Gary Habermas’ book Historical Jesus; what appears to be a straightforward summary from a Christian source can be found here. (UPDATE: epologetics seems to be down at the moment; here’s another site. You can also download a podcast of Gary Habermas explaining his argument on the Infidel Guy show.)
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