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Friday, December 22, 2006

The Supernaturalization of Scripture

My wife, Julie, has recently alerted me to an interesting article at the Freedom From Religion Foundation website, extracted from an earlier book, Abuse Your Illusions. The article is called, "Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?" by Dan Barker. In the article he point out several discrepancies in detail between the gospels. More interesting is his data showing the rise of extraordinary (usually interpreted as 'supernatural') events in the scriptures as time went by. One would tend to think that if these extraordinary events actually took place, they would be the first events reported, with the mundane details being elaborated upon later, rather than the reverse.

Astoundingly, former preacher Barker reports:

"Many bible scholars and ministers--including one third of the clergy in the Church of England--reject the idea that Jesus bodily came back to life. So do 30% of born-again American Christians!"

The references to these claims can be found in the notes of the article. He also reports:

"Bible scholars conclude: 'On the basis of a close analysis of all the resurrection reports, [we] decided that the resurrection of Jesus was not perceived initially to depend on what happened to his body. The body of Jesus probably decayed as do all corpses. The resurrection of Jesus was not an event that happened on the first Easter Sunday; it was not an event that could have been captured by a video camera. . . . [We] conclude that it does not seem necessary for Christians to believe the literal veracity of any of the later appearance narratives.'"

The article can be read by clicking this link:

Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?

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