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Resurection at Nain (III of III)

June 21st, 2009 No comments

A Resurrection at Nain

(An Excerpt from Chapter V)

Part III of III

…So our argument really reduces to the question of whether Luke’s witnesses were telling the truth, or premise (2):

(2)  Nether Luke, nor his eyewitnesses, are embellishing the account, (i.e. lying,) for some unknown motive.

Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, discredited as a common criminal. But his

Alessandro Magnasco - 'The Raising of Lazarus'

Alessandro Magnasco - 'The Raising of Lazarus'

disciples continued his message. Within months of his crucifixion, Jesus’ Apostles were threatened and beaten by the prevailing Jewish Authorities, and yet they would not cease preaching in public:

15So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. 17But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”

18Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

-Acts 4:15-18

27Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

-Acts 5:27-28

Although the ruling Jews made it clear that adherence to this outlawed creed was forbidden, and that the persecution would end when this threat to the existing order was renounced, Jesus’ followers committed ever more to their cause. These men have left us their own explanations for their actions: Read more…

Resurrection at Nain (II of III)

June 14th, 2009 No comments

A Resurrection at Nain

(An Excerpt from Chapter V)

Part II of III

With this understanding, let us proceed to premise (1):

(1)  a. Luke either personally witnessed the event or;

b. Luke personally and exhaustively interviewed all available eyewitnesses and      accurately reported a compilation of their testimony, or;

c. both a. and b. above.

Codex Alexandrinus - End of Luke's Gospel

Codex Alexandrinus - Last Page of Luke's Gospel

We have established Luke and Paul as trustworthy witnesses, but we are pretty certain that neither was present at Nain. So who were Luke’s witnesses for this particular resurrection? Luke, who was sincere, respected as an authority by his peers, and accurate as to factual details, assures us that he interviewed sufficient eyewitnesses to establish his narrative as completely dependable:

1 SINCE [as is well known] many have undertaken to put in order and draw up a [thorough] narrative of the surely established deeds which have been accomplished and fulfilled in and among us,

2 Exactly as they were handed down to us by those who from the [official] beginning [of Jesus’ ministry] were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word [that is, of the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God],

3 It seemed good and desirable to me, [and so I have determined] also after having searched out diligently and followed all things closely and traced accurately the course from the highest to the minutest detail from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,

4 [My purpose is] that you may know the full truth and understand with certainty and security against error the accounts (histories) and doctrines of the faith of which you have been informed and in which you have been orally instructed.

-Luke 1:1-4 (Amplified) Read more…

Resurrection at Nain (Part I)

June 7th, 2009 No comments

A Resurrection at Nain

(An Excerpt from Chapter V)

Part I of III

This excerpt contains the first full treatment of a resurrection account from the book, How to Live Forever. The authorship and reliability of source texts have been examined and verified in the first four chapters. For purposes of this essay, assume that Paul’s companion, Luke, authored the third gospel in the late 50’s AD based upon interviews with eyewitnesses indigenous to Judea; and particularly those residing in Jerusalem, the center of the earliest church. The occasion for this opportunity was provided by Luke’s role as intermediary between the elders of the Jerusalem church and the apostle Paul, during the latter’s two year incarceration at Caesarea Maritima. This essay will be provided in three parts, each demonstrating a necessary facet of authenticity. Beginning with part I:

Jean Jouvenet: The Resurrection of Lazarus

Jean Jouvenet: The Resurrection of Lazarus

And to any thoughtful person would anything appear more incredible, than, if we were not in the body, and some one were to say that it was possible that from a small drop of human seed bones and sinews and flesh be formed into a shape such as we see? For let this now be said hypothetically: if you yourselves were not such as you now are, and born of such parents [and causes], and one were to show you human seed and a picture of a man, and were to say with confidence that from such a substance such a being could be produced, would you believe before you saw the actual production? No one will dare to deny [that such a statement would surpass belief]. In the same way, then, you are now incredulous because you have never seen a dead man rise again. But as at first you would not have believed it possible that such persons could be produced from the small drop, and yet now you see them thus produced, so also judge ye that it is not impossible that the bodies of men, after they have been dissolved, and like seeds resolved into earth, should in God’s appointed time rise again and put on incorruption. -Justin’s First Apology to the Romans, xix

Read more…