Taking the Resurrection Challenge
My issues with the Bible were not the contradictions (and there are many) but with content. I could not reconcile my belief in a loving, merciful, compassionate God with the true God of the Bible who committed genocide, killed, sanctioned violence, discriminated, sanctioned slavery, committed evil acts, and created unjust or strange laws.
However, there are many individuals who focus on the contradictions of the Bible. HeIsSailing posted a great blog on Dan Barker’s Resurrection Challenge and the dramatic impact it had on his faith. As a result of taking this challenge he went from celebrating last Easter as a committed believer to celebrating his first Easter as a non-believer.
Here is the challenge:
The conditions of the challenge are simple and reasonable. In each of the four Gospels, begin at Easter morning and read to the end of the book: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20-21. Also read Acts 1:3-12 and Paul’s tiny version of the story in I Corinthians 15:3-8. These 165 verses can be read in a few moments. Then, without omitting a single detail from these separate accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension: what happened first, second, and so on; who said what, when; and where these things happened.
Here are the questions Dan Barker posed to help you in your response to the Resurrection Challenge:
- What time did the women visit the tomb?
- Who were the women?
- What was their purpose?
- Was the tomb open when they arrived?
- Who was at the tomb when they arrived?
- Where were these messengers situated?
- What did the messenger(s) say?
- Did the women tell what happened?
- When Mary returned from the tomb, did she know Jesus had been resurrected?
- When did Mary first see Jesus?
- Could Jesus be touched after the resurrection
- After the women, to whom did Jesus first appear?
- Where did Jesus first appear to the disciples?
- Did the disciples believe the two men?
- What happened at the appearance?
- Did Jesus stay on earth for a while?
- Where did the ascension take place?
If you are a student of the Word, please feel free to answer these questions by cross referencing the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament or you could save yourself the work and view the answers here.
Happy Easter to all especially to Christians who are celebrating this myth.
- The de-Convert