People do not die for what they know to be a lie, unless they can find some tremendous prudential advantage in so doing. It therefore makes no sense to think that Jesus’ first disciples went to their deaths for their belief in Jesus as the resurrected Messiah if they in fact knew He was moldering in a tomb. One might argue that they created the idea of the resurrection in order to benefit themselves in some way, but this does not hold water. There is no evidence that they would have bettered themselves in any earthly way by this tactic. Nor is there any reason to think that they should believe themselves to be in that advantageous position even if they were not. Preaching a dead messianic pretender as the Lord of Life had no sales potential whatsoever. Even if the disciples were benighted religious opportunists who thought that the scheme might work, they surely would have recanted in the face of the sword; yet, there is no evidence that they did.  —Douglas Groothuis  (From, Apologetic Nonstarters: Arguments to Avoid in Defending Christianity)


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