Soon after Jesus’s crucifixion, were traditional witnesses testifying that Jesus appeared to them alive from the dead?

“Yes, after all…
  • * E.g. “He visited us!” says Mary & women

    A woman kneels grabbing on to the robe of Jesus who is facing her. Another woman is in check behind them.

    A group of women followers of Jesus—with Mary Magdalene among them—were testifying that Jesus had group-appeared to them alive from the dead.

    This page analyzes 2 evidences:

    This helps show that the traditional witnesses were testing to Jesus's appearing to them for the obvious reason: it's a straightforward example of a traditional witness—in fact a group of witnesses—testifying to experiencing it first hand.

    So what? Plausibly…

    • Mary’s group was lying.
    • Mary’s group just saw a hallucination of Jesus.

    Or in general…

  • * E.g. “He visited us!” says Cleopas & co

    Cleopas and his traveling companion (on the road to Emmaus) were testifying that Jesus appeared to them along the way.

    See this page to explore 5 arguments:

    • In general, Luke inherits his accounts from eyewitnesses, so we can feel similarly confident—by default—that this account ultimamtely came from the relevant eyewitness/eyewitnesses.
    • In AD 30, the Jerusalem church said so, and the early Church's teachings echoed the authentic testimony of the relevantly involved witnesses (in this case, Cleopas and co) who controlled and regulated the popular stories spread about themselves.
    • 1st church strove to reject Jesus-bio not vetted by witnesses,[Forthcoming], and if this story did not really come from Cleopas then the lie would have been exposed quickly and easily enough.
    • The account is not ultimately a lie/legend, and if it is not a lie nor legend, then the only viable alternative left for its existence is that it is authentic witness testimony from Cleopas and co.
    • Ps. Mk 16:12-13 approved “Cleopas thinks he did!”[Forthcoming], and this source is not entirely devoid of merit; it was obviously considered a credible story for him or his independent sources/community.

    That Cleopas and his companion were testifying to seeing Jesus appear to them helps establish our big claim that witnesses were saying Jesus appeared to them. Why? Because it's a straightforward example of it.

    So what? Perhaps…

    • Cleopas and co were lying.
    • Cleopas and co hallucinated.

    Or in general…

  • * E.g. “He visited me!” says Peter

    Peter was claiming that Jesus individually appeared to him.

    This page considers these 4 arguments:

    • The A.D. 30 Jerusalem church said so.
    • The Corinthian church said so.
    • Paul said so.
    • Luke 24 “appeared to Peter” is early.

    But so what? Plausibly… (All forthcoming)

  • * E.g. “He visited us!” say ‘the 12’ apostles

    Jesus’s apostles (“the 12”) claimed Jesus appeared to them as a group.

    One upcoming page will debate these 14 examples/evidences:

    • E.g. To 10+ after Emmaus.
    • E.g. To 11 (now with Thomas).
    • E.g. To 7 @ Lake Tiberius.
    • E.g. To many @ Mt Galilee.
    • E.g. To many for 40 days.
    • Jerusalem church: “They say He visited”.
    • Paul knew Peter etc.
    • Mk's author knew Peter etc.
    • Lk's author knew Peter etc.
    • Mt's author knew Peter etc.
    • Jn's author knew Peter etc.
    • Clement knew Peter
    • The Corinthians knew Peter
    • No trace of dispute

    This is relevant because it's a straightforward example of a traditional group of witnesses testifying that Jesus appeared to them alive from the dead.

    But no… (all forthcoming)

    • Mark narrates no appearance to them.

    So what? Plausibly…

    • The apostles lying.
    • The apostles just saw a hallucination of Jesus.

    Or in general…

  • * E.g. “He group-visited us!” say 100-500 “brethren”

    A known group of hundreds of brethren (e.g. 500) were publicly maintaining that Jesus visited them collectively as a group after his crucifixion.

    One upcoming page will debate these 3 arguments:

    • E.g. 1 Cor 15:6 creed's “to 500” relays witness testimony.
    • 1st church: “Jesus visited the 500!”.
    • “The 500” = the Galilee witnesses (Mt 28)

    But no...

    • It is not mentioned elsewhere. (forthcoming)

    But so what? Plausibly… (all forthcoming)

    • The 500 were lying.
    • The 500 hallucinated.
    • The 500 collectively suffered a delusion.

    Or in general…

  • * E.g. “He visited me!” says James

    James was testifying that Jesus appeared to him shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion.

    A full page will discuss these 5 arguments:

    • 1 Cor 15 is was formed by the AD 30 Jerusalem church.
    • The 1st church affirmed 1 Cor 15:7 “appeared to James.”
    • Paul says Jesus appeared to James.
    • James was willing to die for his faith in Christ.
    • James soon became the leader of the church.

    But so what? Plausibly… (all forthcoming)

    • James was lying.
    • James hallucinated.
    • James suffered a delusion.

    Or in general…

  • * E.g. “He visited us!” say Acts 1 apostle-competitors

    The competitors for being the 12th apostle, referred to in Acts 1, consists of a large pool of well-known witnesses to the risen Jesus, including the finalists: “Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias”.1 , 2

    But so what? Plausibly… (all forthcoming)

    1. Acts 1:21-26Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— 22 beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 23 So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias.... And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.
    2. Importantly, this group consisted of men. But women and children would've also been witnesses who were simply left out of the competition due to their age and gender.
      Timothy and Lydia McGrew: “In passing we should note that the election of Matthias supports Paul’s contention (1 Corinthians 15:1–8) that Jesus after his resurrection appeared to a larger number of people than the eleven. The account in Acts shows that despite some fairly specific requirements, Peter has his pick among candidates for Judas’s replacement: … The disciples appoint Matthias and Joseph called Justus to be the finalists, and they draw lots for Judas’s vacant position. Not only does this account give us the name of another putative witness (Joseph), it also can plausibly be taken to imply that there were more to choose from originally who met the requirements (cf. Trites 2004, p. 137).” [“The Argument from Miracles” in The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (Blackwell, 2009), 610-611.]
  • * E.g. “He visited me!” says Paul

    Jesus appears with arms raised, a halo over his head, with beams radiating out. Falling down in front of Jesus is a surprised man.

    Paul (Saul of Tarsus) was publicly proclaiming, “Jesus appeared to me alive from the dead!”

    This page analyzes these 5 arguments:

    • The Jerusalem church taught “Paul says this.”
    • In 1 Cor 9:1, Paul says “Have I not seen”?
    • In 1 Cor 15:8f, Paul says “He appeared to me”
    • Acts 9, 22, 26 etc. say so
    • In Gal 1:16, Paul says “revealed his son to me”

    But so what? Plausibly…

    • Paul was lying, deceptively claiming to have seen Jesus appear to while while being quite aware that he saw no such thing.
    • Paul hallucinated, seeing a subjective vision of Jesus produced by his own mind.
    • Paul suffered a delusion or false memory, thinking he saw Jesus despite having no experience at all (not even a misleading one!).

    Or in general…

  • 1st church’s Jesus-bio matched witness testimony

    The 1st church was saying Jesus visited the traditional witnesses.

    This page discusses these 6 examples:

    • E.g. 1st church said: “Jesus visited Mary.”
    • E.g. 1st church said: “Jesus visited cleopas & co.”
    • E.g. 1st church said: “Jesus appeared to Peter.”
    • E.g. 1st church said: “Jesus visited the 12.”
    • E.g. 1st church says, “Jesus appeared to James.”
    • E.g. 1st church says, “Jesus appeared to the 500.”

    This is relevant if the 1st church started and kept preaching that Jesus appeared to witnesses (e.g. Mary and the apostles).

    But so what? Plausibly...

    • The 1st church wasn’t saying Jesus appeared to named persons. (Forthcoming)
  • The gospels relayed witness testimony

    In writing about Jesus's life and deeds, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John adeptly relayed information only from eyewitness testimony (directly or indirectly).

    This page evaluates these 7 arguments:

    • Justin Maryr oft calls the gospels apostolic “memoirs.”
    • The gospels claimed to be witness based.
    • 60+ year old events didn't elude ancient historians.
    • In AD 70, witness-based Jesus facts perfected.
    • The gospel authors didn't lie-invent Jesus-bio.
    • AD 70 historiographers got witness-approval or close.
    • Gospel content is a subset of what witnesses say.

    This helps show the traditional witnesses were in fact testifying to having seen Jesus appear to them because the Gospels relayed that “Jesus visited named persons x,y,z” (filled in by the traditional witnesses: Mary, Peter, etc.).

    But no… (Forthcoming)

    • 1st hand info can’t be stylized.
    • Mt and Lk relayed info from Mk and Q, not witnesses.
    • Gospels are full of lies/invention.