Sunday, November 12, 2006

The harrowing of hell

"The Gospel according to Matthew says (27:52-54) 'the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints who slept rose up and came out of their graves after His resurrection, and went into the Holy City and appeared to many'. Do you believe this happened? If Yes: How could this amazing event have escaped everyone else's notice, even the other evangelists? If No: How could the author of Matthew get away with such a lie?"

—Richard Carrier

At 1:33 PM, November 12, 2006, Anonymous said...
I wanted to add a comment about points #3 & #4 - as stated, there is a presumption that only those who reported the sightings were the only ones who saw. In fact, I am not acquainted with all the people who are buried in the local graveyard. If one were to be resurrected and walking about my neighborhood, my perspective would not be one of a miraculous event but one of just an ordinary person walking about - in order to report such a miracle, I would have to have been an acquaintance of the resurrected person. I am certain that even though many may have witnessed these events their testimonies no doubt came under scrutiny and were dismissed as delusional, just as it is in these current times.


  1. Steve and I have discussed Matthew 27 and other arguments similar to Richard Carrier's in previous articles. See, for example:

  2. This objection of his is patently frivolous. He readily admits that different writers have differing target audiences in mind. Matthew's audience is not the audience of Mark, Luke, or John. Matthew is reporting to Jews about persons who had risen from the dead and about which event it is likely they heard or knew. We're not a party to every conversation going on in the background to these gospels. They are not just "gospels" they are, after all, letters to particular persons or groups, so there is a presumption that his is discussing some details because his audience is in some way familar with them. It's as if Carrier said to me, "I heard you grandmother has cancer." To which I reply, "Yes, she does." However, if my Dad was to write a separate letter to another person and not mention it, it does not logically follow my grandmother does not or did not have cancer.

  3. If every Evangel had mentioned the event, the debunkers would still cast their gaze upon it and deem it suspicious. If non-Christians had mentioned the event, the debunkers would say it was a Christian redaction of the text.

    I get tired of all the doubting for doubting sake.