This humorous cartoon, I think, makes an important point. Apologists often maintain that certain "minimal historical facts" cannot be explained apart from a literal resurrection. But, this begs the question because the "historical facts" are part of the story in which the resurrection is reported. As one commenter named Garen said on Luke's blog:
I’m often amazed how even skeptics accept the non-miraculous elements of the Gospels as unbiased history. It comes as a package. If you take the miracles out of the Gospel accounts, of course you will get miracle shaped holes.-- Garren October 18, 2010 at 11:17 amAnother commenter, ShaneSteinhauser, using biting sarcasm, explains how the apologists arguments work:
Luke, don’t you understand?
1. Anything that is reported by at least three ancient non-anonymous scources, and has enemy attestation is fact. This is true because random New Testament historian X says so, and he is not biased at all in anyway whatsoever.
2. The three gospels report the empty tomb. And we know that the gospel writers are not baised at all because they are Jesus’ disciples who died for their belief, and we know this because early church fathers say so and they are not biased either. Also we know that the gospels are totally reliable even though they were written at least 20 years after Jesus died. We know this because studies in africa have shown that Oral Transmission is extremely accurate. And obviously studies of african traditions have merit on middle eastern traditions.
3. The three gospels were written by Jesus’ followers and we know this because the early church fathers who are not biased at all said so.
4. The jews admit that there was an empty tomb and we know this because one of the gospels says so. And that is all we need for enemy attestation. No, we do not actually need a word from an actual jew of the time we just need a gospel saying that he said so. That is good enough.
So now that I have proven that there was an empty tomb how do you explain it Luke? Obviously since you don’t have a good explaination Jesus coming back from the grave wins by default. Also since nobody can explain what made that bumping noise in my closet last night it must be the boogeyman--ShaneSteinhauser October 18, 2010 at 2:21 pm