No one outside Christians claim that Jesus rose from the dead. A few
mention he had been crucified- and they admit Christians believe he rose
from the dead, but no one outside Christian writers say he rose from the
dead. And there’s no writings from the actual existence of Jesus that say
he was crucified or rose from the dead, that’s where a lot of the doubt
comes from. I don’t necessarily doubt he existed, just that he truly rose
from the dead. That’s the problem with the prophecies- Christian writers
could study the Old Testament scriptures and make sure what they wrote was
a fulfillment of the prophecies. I grew up being raised to believe in God
and Christianity and all that, and I even wrote my senior thesis in high
school on christianity (supporting the validity of it) but I just can’t do
it anymore. It’s not like i haven’t tried, i tried my whole life, the
faith isn’t in me anymore.

Yes, it certainly is hard to find people who believe in the
resurrection who are not Christians. In fact, I have not yet met a single
person who believed that Jesus was raised from the dead who does not also
accept that he is the son of God. Naturally, you will not find people in
the historical record who believe in the resurrection and who are not
Christians. That would be like finding people who believe in gravity who
nevertheless jump off of cliffs. Those people will always be hard to
find. I see no possible cause for doubt of the gospel when it is pointed
out that non-believers do not believe in the resurrection. Of course they
do not. Acceptance of the fact of the resurrection demands belief in
Jesus. That is why it makes no sense for the lack of believers in the
resurrection who did not follow Jesus to cause one to doubt the case for

By the way, more than one non-Christian author in the first
and second century does mention the crucifixion of Jesus. Josephus,
Tacitus and the writers of the Jewish Talmud all report the crucifixion of
Jesus in their histories, and none of these were believers.

Your next point is that, perhaps, the writers of the New
Testament made up things to make it appear as if Jesus Christ fulfilled
the prophecies of the Old Testament. That is an irrational claim for a
number of reasons. I assume that you have not read my book Reasons for
Belief: A Handbook of Christian Evidences This book goes into quite a
bit of detail in answer to this question. In short:

1. Many of the prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus and are a matter of
historical record. Psalms 22:16 predicts that the messiah will be
crucified, which is historical record, Daniel 9:20-25 predicts that the
messiah will come to Jerusalem, bringing salvation in around 33 AD, which
is a matter of historical record, Isaiah 9 predicts that the messiah would
be from Galilee, a matter of historical record, Micah 5:2 predicts that
the messiah would be born in Bethlehem, a matter of historical record and
so forth.

2. If the gospel writers are fakers and liars, that would be
inconsistent with the fact that not a single one of them ever denied the
faith or admitted that they had falsified any of their claims. In fact,
it is historical fact that many, if not most of them were killed for their
faith. In view of this fact, the idea that they would have made up facts
to support a belief which resulted in their own death is logically

3. If the apostles were trying to put over a lie on people, then they
would have provided less detail, not more, because this would have opened
them to less criticism from eye witnesses. The fact is that history
records no record of contemporary people–even the Jews who were enemies
of Jesus, who denied the essential facts of Jesus? life.

I agree with you that there is way too much human philosophy
in religion. That is why I choose to be part of a church which takes the
Bible as its only standard for truth. If one simply follows the Bible as
the sole interpreter of truth, almost all the hypocrisy, arrogance,
blatant immorality, etc you may have experienced in your “Christian”
background will disappear. Not that true Christians are perfect–far from
that, but much of the confusion you experience may come from your
observation of counterfeit Christianity.

John Oakes

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