Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Holtz's Resurrection Theory

Here is Brian Holtz's theory of the resurrection:
1. As a longtime disciple of Jesus [Lk 8:2], Mary Magdalene was especially crushed by Jesus' humiliating defeat, so she arranged to steal Jesus' body, possibly through Joseph of Arimathea.
2. Unlike any apostle, she attended both the crucifixion and entombment. She was the first to visit the tomb on Easter [Mt 28:1; Jn 20:1] and she thought Jesus' body may have been removed [Jn 20:2,14-15]. Meanwhile, Jesus' body was discreetly reburied. The Jewish slander reported by Tertullian saying that the empty tomb was faked is credible.
3. The apostles left the empty tomb, but Mary Magdalene weepingly lingered [Jn 20:11]. She was mentally unstable, since Jesus had driven seven demons out of her [Mk 16:9; Lk 8:2], and she began to have a mystically intense, ecstatic vision or hallucination of a triumphant Jesus as an unconscious way of coping for Jesus' humiliating defeat on the cross. That these appearances were only visions and not physical manifestations is corroborated by the apocryphal Gospel of Mary.
4. The other apostles didn't believe her at first [Lk 24:11], but they too began to have visions. The other apostles weren't aware of any theft of the body. Then Mary was suspiciously expunged from Paul's list of appearances [1 Cor 15] and not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament. The Gospels simply report the woman witness Mary Magdalene because there was no choice, since she was the instigator of the plot.

Holtz's theory has several fatal problems. The appearances are not plausibly explainable as projected visions [1] or hallucinations [2]. Removal (theft or discreet reburial) was not possible [3]. Pious deceit is not a viable explanation [4]. Demonic possession is not the same as mental illness [5]. Overwhelming evidence indicates that the empty tomb was genuine [6].

[1] http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12789a.htm
[2]
a. http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/visions.html
b. http://www.tektonics.org/guest/wildvis.html
[3] http://www.tektonics.org/tomb/carrier10.html
[4] http://www.tektonics.org/tomb/carrier10.html
[5]
a. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/11/demonic-possession.html
b. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/02/satan-exists.html
[6] http://www.tektonics.org/tomb/kirby01.html

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