Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Resurrection of Jesus and the Witness of Paul

Greetings to you, readers all across cyberspace. My truth detector has uncovered another excellent article on the gospel that is well worth reading! The article is from bethinking.org and is titled "The Resurrection of Jesus and the Witness of Paul". In the article, resurrection expert Dr. Gary Habermas affirms the fourfold content and continuity of the gospel - truths sadly denied by groundless gospel advocates. Here's an excerpt from the article: 

"In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul starts the chapter by saying that he wants to remind them and make clear for them the gospel he had preached to them and on which they had taken their stand. He then states that he had delivered to them what he had also received (verse 3). These verbs are the equivalent Greek words for the technical rabbinic terms, which were used to describe the handing on of a formal, word of mouth, memorised [sic], formulaic teaching. This is what he had delivered to them and he said it was a matter 'of first importance'. He then recites the credal statement, which is usually said to consist of two parallel sentences structured rhythmically as an aide memoire. It reads: 

Christ died / for our sins / according to the scriptures / and was buried 
He was raised / on the third day / according to the scriptures / and appeared 
To Peter / and to the twelve.
(1 Corinthians 15:3-5)

....While [Paul] does not refer to the tomb being empty, it is implicit in the creed. Firstly, the creed describes the progression 'died...buried...raised...appeared'. Whilst modern people might be tempted to separate these meanings, a first century Jew would only have believed that the sentence implied a continuity. What was dead was buried, what was dead and buried was raised, and what was dead, buried and raised also appeared. The clear implication of this creed is that Jesus underwent a bodily resurrection."1

Friends, this is the gospel preached by the apostle Paul. It doesn't need to be changed, altered, or amended. But it does need to be preached and believed.2




ENDNOTES:

1 Habermas, Peter May, Editor, "The Resurrection of Jesus and the Witness of Paul," http://www.bethinking.org/bible-jesus/intermediate/the-resurrection-of-jesus-and-the-witness-of-paul.htm.

2 For further discussion see "Getting the Gospel Right," pp. 11-12. 

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