Friday, January 29, 2016

No Other Explanation

Tree: Cedric took the "Vampires Walk Among Us" speech pretty well, I think.
Nick: Might not have been the best time to drop your "Jesus Was A Vampire" theory on him.
Tree: A guy shows up alive three days after being crucified. There is no other explanation.
-Blood Brothers #2
by Mike Gagerman, Andrew Waller, Etan Cohen, and Evan Shaner

People can provide a lot of arguments for and against the Resurrection of Jesus.  On both sides, many theories have been presented either to prove or disprove the event.  Maybe Jesus wasn't really, fully, dead, and was just resuscitated after the crucifixion.  Maybe there was a mix-up and a doppelganger was actually the one executed, so it was perfectly easy for Jesus to pop up in public safe and sound three days later.

On the other hand, Roman soldiers knew what they were doing, and executing insurgents was one of their specialties.  They would have made sure Jesus, the real Jesus, was good and dead.  Plus, the post-crucified Jesus was seen alive and well by hundreds of eyewitnesses.  Or so the story goes.

Theories debunking the Resurrection are nothing new, however.  One is even preemptively debunked itself in Matthew.  In Matthew 27, the Pharisees are worried Jesus' followers will steal the body and then claim that he came back to life.  So, they implore Pilate to station soldiers to guard the tomb.  In the very next chapter, though, the Resurrection story plays out and those soldiers relay what they have seen to the chief priests.  The priests stick to their earlier fears and instruct the guards to say that while they were asleep the disciples still came and stole the body.

At least, that's how the author of Matthew records the event.  Bear in mind, the gospel account was probably written a good fifty years or so after these events, so if the chief priests really did spread the theory that the body was stolen, this would have been a convenient way to inject a dismissal of that theory into the very story itself.  But like a half century after the fact.

Does that sound cynical?  Sorry, I don't mean it to be.  The gospels were each written with a specific story, a specific version of that story, even, to tell, but having such an agenda doesn't mean it's not true.  But sometimes it helps to try to remove myself from the role of believer and attempt a more analytical approach.  Plus, such approaches helps me think of these writers as real people and not just mindless vessels of some divine dictation.

I think I might have strayed from my train of thought there.

Anyway, if you were a vampire or knew vampires existed thousands of years ago, a man "dying" and being seen again perfectly okay sounds like something a vampire would do.  No, I'm not saying Jesus was a vampire, I'm just saying that if we lived in a world where vampires existed, it would be a theory that would be worth considering.

Of course, that's assuming we live in a world where vampires do not exist.

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