This is one just one post that is part of a point by point discussion regarding whether the New Testament writers were lying or not. Each point being its own post. All the points that I’ve published so far are found in this post: Are The New Testament Writers Lying? : A Point By Point Discussion. This is an ongoing discussion, so please be patient and com back often
Robin Harrison comments in blue
Dan Muhlenkamp in black
Point 5: The writers would never have the risen Jesus appear to women first.
This proof alone would lead a knowledgeable investigator to eliminate the possibility that the authors are lying. At the time this was written women were not allowed to testify in a court proceeding because they were considered totally unreliable as witnesses. A common complaint against the Bible made by non-believers is that God is a chauvinist. God is not, but the writers certainly appear to be. When you read the entire text of the New Testament it is apparent that the writers do not hold any of the women mentioned in any high regard and none of them have any lasting power or influence. The risen Jesus and empty tomb are the absolute bedrock of the New Testament and all Christianity. No one at that time concocting a lie about something so important, that they hoped would be taken seriously, would ever have Jesus first appear to women and then never mention the women again. There is not one logical reason for them to come up with that lie, not one.
It’s interesting how often Christians and Atheists alike, say things like “God would have done this” or “Jesus would have done that.” In my mind it’s humors that we are so presumptuous to believe we know the characteristics of the power that created the universe. Wouldn’t a God make himself known to all? Wouldn’t God spread his word directly to all people not through a web of prophets that happened to all fight for the same country? Wouldn’t God get humanity right the first time? But since stories have God doing things that do not make sense, those stories must not be lies! …A majority of lies that humans put together, could have been put together a lot more logically – they could have been much better lies. Saying that if these fishermen were lying, they would have come up with a better lie doesn’t make much sense to me!
I must assume Robin did not read the point carefully. Most of his argument is about presuming we know what God would have done. He then gives several of his own presumptions, I assume as examples of humans presuming to know what God would do. I could not agree more that humans should follow the advice God gives in the Bible and realize that “my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways” Isaiah 55:8. The problem is, my point has nothing to do with what God would do. It is about what humans would do, and we, as humans ourselves, are very capable of making reasonable presumptions regarding human behavior. As a matter of fact, is entire argument is based on his observation of a common human behavior that he has observed and he states in his first sentence that such a behavior is often done by Christians and Atheists!
“Saying that if these fishermen were lying, they would have come up with a better lie” is extremely reasonable and I can only assume Robin hasn’t raised any children or been lied to much. I remember when I was dating my lovely wife I was at an outdoor party without her. While in a conversation with another young lady, the girl repeated took a flower she was carrying and struck me on the neck. Well, about an hour later, it looked as if during the throws of passion someone had claimed me by putting numerous “hickies” upon my neck. When my then girlfriend later came to the party she quickly asked for an explanation. I told her the truth and she laughed and immediately believed me because no sane person would come up with such a lie! Someone knowledgable about the culture of the time, and honest, would say the same thing about these fishermen. They didn’t come up with a poor lie. They told a story so outrageous that it’s only hope of being believable is for it to be true, and, I believe, backed up by a living, active, logical, and knowable God.
Lets take a modern courtroom criminal trial. If the best witness the prosecution brings forth is someone that the jurors believe is completely unreliable, would any defense attorney build his case around a police frame up? Get real. When someone is promoting a lie they generally look to make the case a strong as possible, not weaken it. Using the w0men as witnesses, at that time and in that society, would be like bringing a convicted and obviously high drug abuser to testify that he saw the Jetsons flying their car without a license. The New Testament writers have no reason to do that other than they want to tell the truth as they see it, even if it makes the story harder to believe. Using Robin’s own practice of observing human behavior, and having been lied to many times, I strongly and emphatically stand by my conviction that liars seek to strengthen, not weaken, their lies.
I wrote a post explaining why I believe the New Testament is NOT a lie. I received 2 thoughtful responses from Thomas Muhr and Robin Harrison. Thomas’ response was shorter and more general, but very good. Robin’s response is a point by point essay. I believe each point and his comments are worth considerable discussion and decided to make each point its own post by merging the two papers and adding my comments. Additional comments by Robin or anyone else is encouraged. Links to all related discussions are in the discussion center post below.
Other Posts In This Series
- If I Were God: I would have made it impossible to think the New Testament was a lie.
- God Made It Clear That The New Testament Is Not A Lie
- The New Testament Is A Lie Because…# 2
- The New Testament is a lie because…# 1
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 1 – You Can’t Prove Anything
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 2 – Whether It Is A Lie Or Not Is Irrelevent.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 3 – Just because it isn’t a lie, doesn’t make it true
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 4 – The conspiracy would have been immense and incredibly difficult to concoct and maintain.
- Are The New Testament Writers Lying? : A Point By Point Discussion
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 5 – No liar would have had Jesus appear to women first.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 6 – The writers would not have any discrepancies in their stories.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 7 – The writers would not have made themselves look so bad.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 8 – The writers would use "Jesus said…" to solve their problems.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 9 – Liars would never have created a religion that was so difficult to believe or follow.
- Is The New Testament A Lie: Point 10 – Liars would never imagine such a twist of belief.