Chapter

Rival Theories of What Happened

Richard Swinburne

in The Resurrection of God Incarnate

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780199257461
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598616 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199257469.003.0012
 Rival Theories of What Happened

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If Jesus was not raised bodily, some rival theory of what happened to his body must be true. The only possible theories are that Jesus was not dead when taken down from the cross, the body remained in the tomb but the disciples misidentified the tomb, enemies stole the body, grave robbers stole the body, friends of Jesus (probably the ‘women at the tomb’ on the Sunday morning) stole the body. The latter is the least improbable of these alternatives to the traditional account. But it involves great deceit, which would probably have been recognized by the Christian leaders, and it involves those friends giving the body an improper burial. And it would still not account for the large number of appearances, some of them to many disciples together. The traditional account is certainly the simplest.

Keywords: empty tomb; Jesus

Chapter.  5519 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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