What is the best explanation of the facts
- Writers lied about the resurrection
A Discovery channel special, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” asserted the tomb was empty because the disciples stole the body and placed Jesus in a hidden tomb. What this means is that after the body was stolen, the Biblical writers formed a conspiracy and made up the stories of the resurrection. How much evidence do they have for these claims? None! The program only speculated the disciples stole the body without any evidential support. To make matters worse they never addressed any of the resurrection appearances or any positive evidences for the resurrection. This program was pure propaganda.
Historical scholars believe an ancient writer to be truthful unless they have good reasons otherwise. No motivation for a conspiracy has ever been found and everything we know about the writers is they were all men of character. We have no reason to doubt the truthfulness of their writings. Plus we have two enemies of Jesus, Paul and James, who were dramatically transformed by the appearance of the resurrected Jesus. Why would enemies lie about an experience that dramatically changed their life? And why would Paul write about the experience?
What did the disciples, plus Paul and James receive for proclaiming Jesus was raised from the dead? It was not fame and fortune but poverty, persecution, torture, and death. Scholars strongly believe, “Liars make bad martyrs.” Why would followers of Jesus die for what they knew was a lie? Some religious zealots die for their beliefs. Yet, they all die for what they believe is true. The disciples would have suffered torture and brutal deaths for a story they knew was a fabrication. And none of them ever changed their story. The idea the writers made up the account of the resurrection is not a very credible explanation.