Investigating Easter: Is The Resurrection A Late Legend?
by J Warner Wallace
I didn’t become a Christian until the age of thirty-five. For most of my life, I rejected the Resurrection of Jesus as a mythological fairy-tale. Of the many ways unbelievers sometimes try to explain the gospel accounts of the Resurrection, believed they were little more than late legends. I didn’t deny the existence of Jesus, and I accepted the fact he was crucified as the gospel authors reported. But I believed the resurrection passages were absent in the earliest versions of the Jesus story. I suspected the resurrection narrative was added later by those who wanted to recast Jesus of Nazareth as Christ the Son of God. In essence, I believed the original observations of the disciples were amplified and distorted as the legend of Jesus grew over time.
But, while this explanation may account for the empty tomb (if we assume the body was removed), it fails to explain the early claims of the apostles related to the resurrection. As I’ve demonstrated in Cold-Case Christianity (Chapters 11 and 13), the earliest accounts of the apostles, as recorded by their own students, include all the miraculous deeds attributed to Jesus, including the Resurrection. Cold-case detectives have to deal with the issue of legend more than other types of detectives. So much time has passed from the point of the original crime that it seems possible that witnesses may now amplify their original observations in one way or another…
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