Once again this old argument has raised it’s ugly head. It was trotted out during a #bbctbq debate on “Is God the problem?” As usual the debate became one of God’s existence. And given the lack of
any real evidence a contributor used the argument…. The diciples changed in the period of 40 days from being cowardly wimps afraid of their own shadows, to heroes willing to die for their beliefs. And the only possible explanation for this is a zombie Jesus.
Now leaving aside the fact that even today people are willing to lay down their lives for an ideal without the intervention of the walking dead, we still have some problems with this interpretation of scriptures.
Exibit no 1 Matthew 26 Jesus is arrested by a group of armed guards.
50 Jesus replied,
“Do what you came for, friend.”
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.
51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
So starting a fight and endangering your own life, hardly the actions of a coward. And yes I know that Peter was afraid and denied knowledge of Jesus and later he became emboldened, but surely peer pressure and the death of a close friend would be a better explanation of his transformation than a Zombie?
The burden of proof for my simple explanation is much less than that for the claim that hundreds of people rose from the dead and roamed the streets.
Exibit no 2 Matthew 23. Jesus threatens the phraisees and gives them a warning.
33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.
35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.
All of the diciples were present and could be under no illusion as to their fate should they follow Jesus.
“Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.”
That is pretty clear. To follow him after this announcement was to accept that your life was in danger. Are these the actions of cowards?
“you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me”
The nail in the coffin. Matthew 26. Jesus anounces his intention to commit suicide by cop
1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples,
2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
He gave the diciples two days notice to get away from a wanted criminal. They chose to stay and help him. I submit that given all of the evidence that the diciples may have been foolish, but they were far from being cowards.
So where does this leave those who claim the transformation of the diciples as the only evidence for the resurrection? I’ll leave the reader to decide.