Did the AD 30 Jerusalem church fall for a “Jesus' body is missing” lie?

  • About this question

    In c. AD 30, the body of believers in Jerusalem were proclaiming that Jesus's body was missing; it was gone. Is this simply because the Jerusalem church heard and also believed some liar (or liars) who falsly testified to seeing/knowing that Jesus's body was missing?

“Yes, after all…
  • They'd see no reason to believe it

    They would have had no persuasive reason to accept a lie that Jesus's body was gone/missing.1

    1. This should be granted for two reasons:
      They would see/have-seen with their own eyes that it was not gone.
      • They knew bodies normally did not go missing and the lie would be unacceptably late (For example, “Oh, come on. this is our city; if that were true we'd have heard about it long ago! Also, who are you and/or your source to teach us?”)
  • No plausible liar existed

    No plausible candidate liar(s) existed. After all…

    1. Note: It is even more obvious that no plausible non-Christian candidate existed, insofar as the proliferation of such a lie would be even more useless to a non-Christian, and the Jerusalem church would be more wary of the liar.
  • They got it from Mary herself

    The Jerusalem church's belief was actually grounded in Mary's testimony.1 This is relevant because Mary's autobiographical report that she discovered Jesus's tomb empty was not a lie.

    1. We know it was grounded in Mary's testimony, because • The Mk 16:1-8 report that “Mary saw Jesus's tomb empty” already was originated/formed from within the Jerusalem church, and t was formed by c. AD 30. This helps us because we know Mary was a member of the Jerusalem church and no one could have formed it independently of her. • Mk 16 cites her as its accessible eyewitness source.
      • Likely no one other than Mary could convince the Jerusalem church.
      • And in virtue of the above fact, it is even unlikely that anyone would even try.