Monday, October 04, 2010
A New Explanation for the Resurrection
I"m reading Charles Freeman's book A New History of Early Christianity which includes a rather innovative explanation for the resurrection.
Freeman grants the reality of the empty tomb, but then proposes that Caiaphas solved the problem of Jesus’ disciples who might become trouble makers. He writes: “Removing the body, making sure that the tomb was left open and leaving a message with ‘a young man’ that Jesus would reappear in Galilee would solve the problem without further brutality” (p. 32). Thus Caiaphas is the origin of the resurrection story! He substantiates this by appeal to the Gospel of Peter and he suggests that the story of the two men carrying the cross out of the tomb is in fact based on an actual story of two men removing the body while the guards were awake. He also chastizes Tom Wright for failing to consider this possibility in RSG. Freeman calls his theory “pure speculation” and “circumstantial evidence” (pp. 33-34), but I am more inclined to say that he has understated his caveats and his proposal is little more than imaginative fiction masquerading as a historical study.