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Old 08-04-2001, 05:28 AM   #1
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Post Wondering

I wonder about the resurrection story related in the NT.

Crucifixion was supposedly a slow drawn out
nasty death. It was common to leave the bodies hanging to be picked to pieces.

Everyone was rather shocked to find that Jesus had died so quickly.

Then, everyone was in disbelief upon seeing him as the walking dead.
Why were the members of the faith suprised
by the resurrection?(or at least they seem to be)

I (maybe mistakenly so) was under the impression that the disciples all were aware
of the rising up from the dead.

Does this story indicate a lack of faith on the part of those who saw (supossedly) the risen Jesus?

Did they not believe Jesus when he said he would rise from the dead?

And if they had doubts, what exactly does that indicate about the disciples with respect to the divinity of Jesus?

A question to be answered is why were the disciples suprised by the resurrection, if Jesus had told them that this was going to happen?

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Old 08-04-2001, 07:47 AM   #2
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I believe that the example you point out Wolf is one of many reasons we should properly read the Gospels as examples of
literary narrative rather than
historical narrative. The disciples’ reaction is meant not to mirror any supposed reality but instead to elicit a reaction from the reader: Wow! Isn’t this unbelievable!

The same technique is used throughout. There’s one episode, the loaves and the fishes, where the disciples run around wondering how they’re going to feed everyone with so little, but Jesus “gestures hypnotically” and it all works out. At least one of the Gospels includes two nearly identical versions of the story, as if nearly the exact same event happened to occur twice, and we’re supposed to believe that each time the disciples were completely at a loss until Jesus saved the day. You or I might have remembered that yesterday we had witnessed an unbelievable miracle, but not these cretins!

In other words, the disciples are exactly as thunderingly stupid, amazingly perceptive, ravenously hungry, catatonically sleepy, or whatever they need to be at exactly that moment to make the plot work, and the plot is to show Jesus performing miracles and uttering wisdom. You have to have a straight man, and that’s the role of the disciples.

You can go even further than that and speculate that different schools of early Christianity are being attacked through their “representative” disciples. The non-canonical Gospel of Thomas shows Matthew to be kind of a clod (according to Burton Mack). Perhaps the “doubting Thomas” stories of the canonical Gospels are a counter attack aimed at the non-transcendent qualities of the Gospel of Thomas. All speculation! My point is, the Gospels are not, in my opinion, any more “history” or “realism” than “Pilgrim’s Progress”.
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