Summary: An exposition of the Resurrection based on 1 Cor. 15 with a view toward seeing how Paul defends the Resurrection.
Unbelieving Explanations (skeptical theories of the resurrection)
Believing Expositions (the Pauline apologetic for the resurrection)
Evangelically Defended (15:1-2),
Scripturally Defended (15:3-4),
Evidentially Defended (15:5-7),
Experientially Defended (15:9-11),
Logically Defended (15:12-19),
Theologically Defended (15:20-22),
Eschatologically Defended (15:23-27, 51-54),
Somatologically Defended (15:35-49),
And Practically Defended (15:58)
1) Unbelieving Explanations (skeptical theories of the resurrection)
The Theft Theory
Instead of being raised form the dead, Jesus’ body was stolen form the tomb. This explains why the tomb was empty. After the body was stolen, then the apostles began to preach the lie that He had been raised form the dead.
The Swoon Theory
Another theory asserts that instead of being killed by crucifixion, Jesus fainted on the cross. After being taken from the cross and placed in the tomb, He revived and escaped from the tomb. Then, He appeared to the apostles and they spread the lie that He had been raised from the dead.
The Hallucination Theory
This theory says that the apostles, rather than actually seeing the risen Lord, simply imagined that they saw Him. They wanted so much to believe the He was raised from the dead, they allowed their imaginations to control their reason until they believed the deceptive vision of the resurrected Jesus.
The Wrong Tomb Theory
The throe says that Jesus" body was placed in the wrong tomb. Instead of being put in Joseph’s tomb, they put the body in another tomb. Therefore, when they came to Joseph’s tomb, they found it empty because Jesus’ body had never been placed there to begin with. Then, they went about teaching that He had been raised from the dead.
My favorite is - The Dave Theory - The Impersonation Theory
How did this skepticism all start:
In his essay "Of Miracles" in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hume argues against the identification of miracles. He actually develops his argument in two phases. In the first section he argues in principle and the second section he argues from experience or practice. There is not enough space to elaborate on all the details of his arguments, but the kernel of his argument is as follows38: 1) A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; 2) Firm and unalterable (i.e. uniform) experience has established these laws; 3) A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence and 4) Therefore the proof against miracles is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined. Hume’s argument can be interpreted so as to preclude miracles a priori.
The Jefferson Bible: I have a copy in a box on Martha - the last words are: Luke 23: 55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Rudolf Bultmann began with the claim that "the New Testament is essentially mythical in character." "(W)hat a primitive mythology it is, that a divine being should become incarnate and atone for the sins of men through his own blood!" "Gnostic influence" that introduced the idea that "this Christ, who died and rose again, was not a mere human being but a God-man" (KaM, 7-8).
In his commentary on the book of Romans (1919), the early Barth declared, "The resurrection touches history as a tangent touches a circle-that is, without really touching it."
The Jesus Seminar
The contemporary religious controversy, epitomized in the Scopes trial and the continuing clamor of creationism as a viable alternative to the theory of evolution, turns on whether the worldview reflected in the Bible can be carried forward into this scientific age and retained as an article of faith. Jesus figures prominently in this debate. The Christ of creed and dogma, who had been firmly in place in the Middle Ages, can no longer command the assent of those who have seen the heavens through Galileo’s telescope. The old demons are swept form the skies by that remarkable glass. Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo have dismantled the mythological abodes of the gods and Satan, and bequeathed us secular heavens. (The Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus; New York: MacMillan Publishing, 1993, p. 4).
2) Believing Expositions (Paul’s apologetic in 1 Co 15)
Why is there dispute about this in Corinth?
The Greek Worldview
Acts 17: 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, "We will hear you again on this matter."
Euminides said, "When the dust hath drained the blood of a man, once he is slain, there is no resurrection" (Loeb, p. 35)
An inscription in Phrygia said "Wretched are all those who look for resurrection".
Remember Socrates, about to drink the cup of hemlock, desiring that his soul be set free from the prison house of the body.