By Paul Badham
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Extra info for Christian Beliefs About Life After Death
It is certain that we have the testimony of the The Significance of Jesus' Resurrection 37 earliest Gospel and of cross-reference in a Lucan tradition. '104 These are powerful arguments from very distinguished scholars. On the other hand, no one claims that the Gospel stories are earlier than St Paul's testimony, and as I have argued, Paul does not seem to have known of the doctrine, and therefore it cannot have been part of the very earliest tradition. Further, I am impressed by Professor Lampe's argument that the stories of the Empty Tomb 'have, like the infancy narratives, the characteristics of myth.
A. Baker states, 'The event may be unique, 34 Christian Beliefs about Life after Death mysterious, supernatural; but every principle of historical argumentation demands that it be true. ' (1 Corinthians 15/4). It seems most unlikely that the Old Testament texts hinted at here (Hosea 6}2, or Jonah 1/17) would of themselves have given rise to such a belief, so Lillie argues that 'it is much more likely that the reappearance of Jesus on the third day was a historical fact and that later Christian preachers ...
I suggest that Paul used the word 'resurrection' to indicate that it was Jesus' total person which had conquered death not just his intellectual life, but his whole personaltity. ' 129 And this, I believe, is what Paul was trying to communicate. I think this because St Paul regarded it as axiomatic that Christ's resurrection is the primary grounds for supposing that we too may live beyond the grave, 130 and hence we are false to Paul's most basic belief if we interpret the resurrection of Jesus in such a way as to make it radically different from what we may expect to be our own destiny.