Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


WERE THERE WOMEN AT THE TOMB OF JESUS?

The gospels say that a miracle man called Jesus Christ lived. They say he died by crucifixion and three days later he rose again. The tomb he was placed in was found wide open on Sunday morning, by women, with the stone that had been across the entrance moved back and the tomb was mysteriously empty. His body was gone. The gospels never say that anybody saw the body rising or coming out of the tomb. No evidence is given that he wasnít stolen. Women were the first that we know of who were at the tomb.

The women at the tomb is a complete fiction. If there were no women at the tomb then it is more likely that somebody could have opened the tomb and stole the body of Jesus or let him out. For it would be untrue that the Marys saw an angel open the tomb which was empty. Then it would be untrue that some of the apostles went to the tomb because of the women. And the women certainly were not there to anoint the body. The soldiers would be no argument against theft for Matthew never says that his belief that they knew Jesus had supernaturally vanished was verifiable and anyway it was unlikely to be. If there were no women then the angels and the visions and the apostlesí arrival at the tomb were invented.

If the women had really found the tomb empty they would have been blamed for taking the body and dealt with accordingly. And Mark and Luke state that they were inside the tomb which would increase the danger of their getting into trouble and being blackmailed by the bent authorities.

Female friends of Jesus would not have been near the tomb to anoint Jesus on Sunday morning especially if there were soldiers there. They could have been tortured to find out where the apostles were. The apostles were hiding in case what would happen to Jesus would happen to them for he was accused of crimes against the empire thus implicating them as well.

When the disciples had went into hiding would the women have been likely to visit the tomb and risk being captured and forced to tell where they were hiding?


The women supposedly went to the tomb on Sunday to put spices on the body of Jesus.  This unnecessary effort suggests that there was concern about Jesus smelling.  It is almost as if there were others about to use the tomb.  And if Jesus had rotted fast.  The women carted expensive spices around at unearthly hours alone and as if robbery was not a threat.  Nothing about the story makes sense.  The women by trespassing on the tomb could have got into grave trouble for they were not relations of Jesus.  The women are just a lie made up explain where the empty tomb tale came from and to explain how the tomb was found to be empty.

 

The Luke Gospel has the women getting the spices on the day Jesus died before the sun had set. But Mark places it on the next day.  The lie is very suspicious as is how the women were so sure they could put the spices on Jesus and get to the tomb! It makes sense if they were getting the tomb robbed or going to another one and going to pretend it was Jesus' and that the body had vanished.  It is too neat - the women must have been clairvoyants.
 
There was no need for the women to come and anoint the body for Joseph of Arimathea had anointed and prepared the body for Jesus was buried according to the Jewish custom (John 19:39,40) and would have told them that for they were there. He would not have wanted anybody dragged back to the tomb when it was dangerous. To bury a body without oils and spices would have been scandalous (The Womb and the Tomb, page 115). Joseph could have had it done quickly for he had helpers so saying it was omitted because the Sabbath was near is silly. Would these followers of Jesus who detested Jewish scruples about the Sabbath rest have paid heed to them? If it was not done right perhaps somebody came to do it and discovered that Jesus was alive having survived the crucifixion and took him away. But it could have been done rapidly and still done correctly and several pairs of hands could have had it completed in five minutes. The bodies of criminals were usually dumped so Jesus might have been removed from the tomb to avoid this. Whoever did it could not admit it.

The gospel disagreement about the number of women at the tomb shows that they could have been lying about the women being there at all. At best, this observation commands us to be undecided and not to include the women in any argument for supernaturalism.

Jesus would have understood if they could not get to the tomb to finish the anointing. The women running to the apostles after what happened to the tomb could have blown the apostlesí cover. The whole thing is incredible and shows that much of the resurrection story is legendary. The fact that the stories donít try to resolve the absurdities shows that they were kept secret until they were published and secrecy means embarrassment. Christians say that when the women were at the burial there was no need for them to hide. There was when they knew where the apostles were and the apostles believed themselves to be wanted men.

The women are not mentioned in Paulís list of witnesses to the resurrection though the list was spelled out for those who accepted the testimony of women. This implies that the women were either incoherent and useless witnesses or their testimony was cooked up later for it would have been put in the list when the list was made to close up those Christians who had come to deny the resurrection of Jesus. Only the women could verify the reason for the tomb being empty for the apostles only saw the tomb after the tomb had been left with nobody about when anything could have happened. Had Paul believed in the empty tomb he would have had to give us the testimony of the women.
 


FURTHER READING

Christianity for the Tough-Minded, Ed John Warwick Montgomery, Bethany Fellowship Inc, Minneapolis, 1973
Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
He Walked Among Us, Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson, Alpha, Cumbria, 2000
Jesus: The Evidence, Ian Wilson, Pan, London, 1985
The First Easter, What Really Happened? HJ Richards, Collins/Fount Glasgow, 1980
The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, Corgi, London, 1982
The Jesus Event, Martin R Tripole SJ, Alba House, New York, 1980
The Jesus Inquest, Charles Foster, Monarch Books, Oxford, 2006
The Passover Plot, Hugh Schonfield, Element, Dorset, 1996
The Resurrection Factor, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1993
The Resurrection of Jesus, Pinchas Lapide, SPCK, London, 1984
The Unauthorised Version, Robin Lane Fox, Penguin, Middlesex, 1992
The Second Messiah, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, Arrow, London, 1998
The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1973
The Womb and the Tomb, Hugh Montifiore, Fount Ė HarperCollins, London, 1992
Verdict on the Empty Tomb, Val Grieve Falcon, London, 1976
Who Moved the Stone? Frank Morison, OM Publishing, Cumbria, 1997
 
THE WWW

Still Standing on Sinking Sand, Farrell Till,
www.infidels.org/library/magazines/tsr/1997/1/1sink97.html

Why I Donít Buy the Resurrection Story by Richard Carrier
www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/index.shtml

A Naturalistic Account of the Resurrection, Brian Marston
http://www.phlab.missouri.edu/~c570529/PhilosoStop/resurrection.html
This site argues that somebody unknown stole the body to stop the apostles stealing it or venerating it and lost it and argues that the witnesses of the risen Jesus were lying because no effort was made by them to preserve first hand reports of what was seen and how and when. It supposes that the apostles had followed Jesus at great personal sacrifice and argues that since he was dead, they invented the resurrection to save face. Also the inclination of people at the time to believe in dying and rising gods may have overwhelmed them and made them lie to themselves that Jesus had risen. He answers the objection that a lie like that would need a large-scale conspiracy for lots of lies start off with a small group of people and if the lies are attractive other people will believe them. Plus he says that Jesus could have rigged events to make sure he would fulfil Old Testament prophecy so the Christians should not be saying the gospel story is true for it fits old prophecy. I would add that owing to the total absence of evidence that Jesus was nailed to the cross and the fact that the gospels never say any of his friends were close to the cross that Jesus might have been tied to it and the Christians later assumed he was nailed because the psalm seemed to say so.
 
The Case For Christianity Examined: Truth or Lies?
www.askwhy.co.uk/awstruth/ChristianCase.html

Historical Evidence and the Empty Tomb Story, A Reply to William Lane Craig by Jeffrey Jay Lowder
www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/empty.html

The Resurrection, Steven Carr
www.bowness.demon/co.uk/resr.htm

Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? Dan Barker versus Mike Horner
www.ffrf.org/debates/barker_horner.html
 
Craigís Empty Tomb and Habermas on the Post-Resurrection Appearances of Jesus
www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/indef/4e.html

Did a Rolling Stone Close Jesusí Tomb by Amos Kloner
www.bib-arch.org/barso99/roll1.html

Who Moved the Stone? Review by Steven Carr,
www.bowness.demon.co.uk/stone.htm This tells us that if you assume that two contradictory books are true in all they say and try to make them fit you will manage it but the result will be contrived. You are really still assuming they are true and have no proof for it. This observation should be a warning to the fundamentalist Christians who say there are no contradictions in the Bible. They have no faith in the Bible at all for they are only assuming it is right. If they really believed, they would not need to work out and produce laughable far-fetched ways of reconciling Bible contradictions. They wouldnít do that with anything else but the Bible.


Morison claims that Peterís clever and unbiased mind was behind the first Gospel, that of Mark. But Morison only assumes this for there is no evidence that the gospel is clever and unbiased or that Peter had much if anything at all to do with it. Morison then tries to make out that the claim of Luke that the apostles waited seven weeks before saying Jesus had risen from the dead is too detrimental to the evidence for the resurrection to be true. In other words, the evidence for the resurrection is right and any evidence against it is wrong! That is bias if I ever seen it. He then makes out that these things which undermine the pro-resurrection evidence prove it happened. So the evidence against the resurrection makes the evidence for it stronger! How ridiculous.