Hello and welcome back to this blog, in my most recent youtube video upload (which you can find here), I discuss the first of the two conspiracy hypotheses on the Resurrection of Christ, this is the idea that the disciples made the gospels up.
Today, I would be providing four reasons why this hypothesis fails to explain the eight facts and is unsubstantiated by historical fact.
Reason 1: There are two criterions which work against this hypothesis
When we judge historical texts, a few criterions are commonly raised to judge whether a text is trust worthy or not. When we judge the gospels by these criterion, it is clear that it passes the requirement and appears historically accurate.
The first criteria that we can turn to is the criteria of embarrassment, this is the idea that writers would change facts to make their accounts support their side of the story more. If a source records something which is embarrassing or something which may weaken their account, it is more likely to be true. When we turn to the gospel accounts we can see clearly that the writers were unafraid to write “embarrassing accounts”, these include the women finding the tomb.
While this may appear sexist in modern society, when we take into account the climate of Jewish culture, it is clear that it was a patriarchal society. Women were not allowed to speak in court (Josephus, The Works of Flavius Josephus) and were not seen as trust worthy sources. Therefore, it would be inexplicable why the disciples would make these “untrustworthy” (in the eyes of the people at the time) women their predominant source for the empty tomb.
The second criteria is the criterion of multiple attestation, this is the idea that the more accounts or sources on an advent, the more trust worthy it would be. When we turn the the gospels alone, we see at least five sources at play, Mark, Luke+ Matthew, Matthew, Luke, John.
Reason 2: The resurrection account given by the disciples are strange
The reason why I suggest this is due to the difference between the resurrection seen in the gospels and the resurrection concept of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, resurrection was meant to be seen as this glorious and angelic process (David 12:3). However, when we turn to the New Testament account, we can see that Jesus appears as a normal person, there is no divine look about Him. Therefore, if the disciples did make it up, the story would have been different from the account seen in the Bible.
Reason 3: There are extra-Biblical sources which record similar events.
The reason why the disciples must not have made the accounts in the Bible up is that there are sources in Tacitus and Josephus which point towards the core facts of the Gospels. While it isn’t in as much depth, they provide sufficient detail to describe the eight facts established on my youtube channel. So if you are interested in that, make sure u check it out here).
Reason 4: Christianity was spread really close to the life of Christ
When we look at how Christianity was started, we realise that it was a movement which was growing even during Jesus’ lifetime. People knew about Him and there are many accounts in the gospels which depict Jesus preaching to large crowds. Since the gospel was spread immediately after the death of Christ, there were people alive during the time of Christ that would have been able to refute these claims. They could have easily said that these events didn’t happen and Christianity would have been stopped in its tracks.
Due to these four significant rebuttals, we can see that the “the disciples made up the gospels” hypothesis is very weak. You may be wondering why some rebuttals have not been raised in this video, like “why would the disciples willingly get martyred for Christianity”. Well I would be discussing the stolen body hypothesis there so if you are interested in that make sure you like and subscribe to this blog, you will get updates whenever I upload, and it would help this blog grow.