A Fifteen Point Christian Response to Richard Carrier
by SJ Thomason
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32
The following blog is in response to a rebuttal of one of my blogs by an historian called Richard Carrier. The blog is entitled “Resolving controversies surrounding Joseph of Arimathea and the women who discovered Jesus’ empty tomb.” While reading Carrier’s rebuttal, I came upon a number of assertions, which I have numbered and italicized in bold print in the following list. After each of his assertions, I have offered a response. Carrier’s blog can be accessed here: https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/12786
- Paul does not mention the empty tomb, Jesus’ burial, or a missing body.
Paul does not need to mention the empty tomb, Jesus’ burial, or a missing body for his account of his encounter with the risen Jesus to be true. As examples, a mother does not need to detail a hospital room in order to prove she gave birth to a baby; a widow does not need to detail the burial site to prove her husband died and was buried; a lunch date does not need to detail the house she left to prove she left her house when meeting for lunch. These are parts of the account of Jesus’ resurrection, which is valid with or without their inclusion.
Jesus’ resurrection itself is of the utmost importance to Christianity. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Paul quotes a Creed that the earliest Christians memorized. “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all He appeared to me, as to one abnormally born.”
In 1 Corinthians 15:20, Paul states “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
In other words, Paul stated that he witnessed the risen Jesus, as did the early Christians he referenced in his letter to the Corinthians…
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