Two or Three (.net)

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. - Jesus

3.28.2005

Theories of the Empty Tomb

by Aaron Earls [+/-] show/hide

Seeing how Christians just celebrated Easter and the empty tomb of Christ, I thought I would look at the evidences for the resurrection. I use the word "evidences" because I believe it is impossible to use the word "proof." What I intend to present is not rock solid, not other choice left proof. We cannot have that kind of proof almost 2,000 years later. The apostles didn't even have solid proof when they told their stories, since we know many did not believe them.

In this post I want to present the possibilities or circumstances that have been used to explain the resurrection stories. My next post will deal with the viability of each one.

1) Jesus did not actually die on the cross.
Many have expounded on this theory and voiced many different variations. Some Muslims teach that Jesus and Judas actually switched places somehow before the actually crucifixtion and Judas was executed. Others have said that Pilate was paid to let Jesus off the cross alive. The most popular variation of this theory appears to be the "swoon theory," which says that Jesus actually passed out on the cross and the cold rock of the tomb woke him up.

2) The women went to the wrong tomb on the first Easter Sunday.
This has not been seen as credible in recent years, but was presented as an explanation in the early 1900's.

3) The disciples (or others) came and stole the body from the tomb.
The stolen body theory has been around since the beginning. It is recorded in the Gospels that the Jewish authority told the tomb guards to use this story. This has also been used in recent years.

4) Nothing extraordinary happened immediately after his death, but years later a resurrection legend was added the accounts of Jesus.
This is also a very popular explanation today.

5) Jesus died on the cross, but was resurrected and is alive today. The Biblical accounts are true.
We have to examine the evidence for taking the Gospels at face value. Is there any evidence? What are the implications, if this is true or false?

If you know of any other theory, please list those in the comments section and I will address all that I can.

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