More Objections to the Swoon Theory – Part 1: Objections by William Craig
In the last decade of the 20th Century, two Christian philosophers named Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli published their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (1994; hereafter: HCA). In Chapter 8, they make a case for the resurrection of Jesus. That case involves an attempt to refute four skeptical theories about the alleged resurrection of Jesus. One of those skeptical theories is called the Swoon Theory. Here are the basic elements of the Swoon Theory: Jesus was crucified by the Romans. Jesus fainted (or went into a coma) but did not die while he was on the cross. When Jesus was removed from the cross, he was still alive. Jesus later came back to consciousness (without any divine intervention), and he met with some of his disciples who sincerely, but mistakenly, inferred that Jesus had died on the cross and that God raised Jesus from the dead. This belief of some of Jesus' disciples was the primary reason why belief in the resurrection of Jesus became a widespread belief among first-cen ... Read Article
Kreeft’s Case Against the Swoon Theory – Part 43: McDowell’s Argument for Premise (B)
WHERE WE ARE Objection #8 against the Swoon Theory as presented by Kreeft and Tacelli FAILS, even if we repair their embarrassing blunder of asserting a key premise that is obviously false by replacing their premise (1) with the much more plausible premise (1b). The argument for Objection #8 still FAILS, because it requires premise (B), and premise (B) is DUBIOUS, because the sub-argument they give for premise (B) is too UNCLEAR to provide any significant support for (B). Nevertheless, we can give Objection #8 a second chance by substituting a better sub-argument for (B) from the Christian apologist Josh McDowell. In Evidence that Demands a Verdict (revised edition, published 1979) McDowell quotes from The Resurrection of Our Lord (1927), a book by William Milligan. As I indicated in Part 42 of this series, the quote from Milligan suggests an argument in support of premise (B): 3. IF the Swoon Theory is true, THEN either (a) after surviving his crucifixion Jesus continued for the rest ... Read Article
Kreeft’s Case Against the Swoon Theory – Part 42: Premise (B) of Objection #8
WHERE WE ARE Although Objection #8 (Where Did Jesus Go?) as presented by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli in their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (hereafter: HCA) was DEAD ON ARRIVAL because of the embarrassing blunder that a key premise of their argument was obviously FALSE, we have revised and improved that premise so that it is now plausible and NOT obviously false. Here is the revised and improved key premise: 1b. There is absolutely no legitimate and credible historical data about Jesus’ life after his crucifixion, other than some stories in the New Testament about alleged appearances of a living Jesus to some of his disciples that took place for a few weeks after Jesus was crucified. I understand this key premise to be part of a reduction-to-absurdity argument against the Swoon Theory: B. IF the Swoon Theory is true, THEN there would be some legitimate and credible historical data about Jesus’ life after his crucifixion, other than some stories in the New Testament about alleged ... Read Article
Kreeft’s Case Against the Swoon Theory – Part 41: Repairing a Key Premise of Objection #8
WHERE WE ARE We are in the process of analyzing and evaluating Objection #8 (Where Did Jesus Go?) by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli against the Swoon Theory, from their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (hereafter: HCA). This is the final objection against the Swoon Theory by Kreeft and Tacelli that I will be critically examining. I have shown that all the other objections in HCA against the Swoon Theory have FAILED, so if Objection #8 also FAILS, then their attempt to refute the Swoon Theory will be a complete FAILURE. In Part 40 of this series, I showed that a key premise of Objection #8 is clearly and obviously FALSE: 1. There is absolutely no data, not even any false, fantastic, imagined data, about Jesus’ life after his crucifixion, in any sources, friend or foe, at any time, early or late. This claim is FALSE because there are more than a dozen passages in the New Testament that describe alleged things that Jesus said and did after he was crucified and taken down from the cross. A ... Read Article
Kreeft’s Case Against the Swoon Theory – Part 40: A Key Premise of Objection #8
OBJECTION #8 (WHERE DID JESUS GO?) Here is Objection #8 (Where Did Jesus Go?) against the Swoon Theory as presented by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli in their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (HCA): If Jesus awoke from a swoon, where did he go? Think this through: you have a living body to deal with now, not a dead one. Why did it disappear? There is absolutely no data, not even any false, fantastic, imagined data, about Jesus’ life after his crucifixion, in any sources, friend or foe, at any time, early or late. A man like that, with a past like that, would have left traces.  (HCA, p. 184) I take it that the heart of this argument is contained in the fourth sentence of the above passage: 1. There is absolutely no data, not even any false, fantastic, imagined data, about Jesus’ life after his crucifixion, in any sources, friend or foe, at any time, early or late. EVALUATION OF A KEY PREMISE OF OBJECTION #8 One obvious problem with Objection #8, is that a key pr ... Read Article
Christian Apologists are UNCLEAR about the Swoon Theory – Part 3: William Craig’s Definition
WHERE WE ARE In Part 1 of this series, I showed that the very simple and very broad definition of the "Swoon Theory" implied by Kreeft and Tacelli in their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (1994) was WRONG, and that the very complex and very detailed definition of the "Swoon Theory" by the McDowells from their books Evidence for the Resurrection (2009) and Evidence that Demands a Verdict (2017) was WRONG and committed the STRAWMAN FALLACY. In Part 2 of this series, I showed that the two different definitions of the "Swoon Theory" by Geisler are BOTH WRONG. The definition in Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (1999) is still too simple and too broad, applying to scenarios where the Swoon Theory would clearly be FALSE. The definition in I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist (2004) is too complex and too narrow because it includes claims that are NOT essential to the Swoon Theory and thus commits the STRAWMAN FALLACY against supporters of the Swoon Theory. We have now considered four d ... Read Article
21st Century Christian Apologists on the Swoon Theory – Part 5: Conclusions
WHERE WE ARE In this series, I have been reviewing objections to the Swoon Theory found in four books published by Christian apologists in the 21st century. I am trying to determine how many of these objections correspond to the nine objections against the Swoon Theory raised by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli in their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (published in 1994, hereafter: HCA) from the last decade of the 20th Century, and how many of them are different objections than the objections presented in HCA. In Part 1 of this series, I showed that almost all of the objections to the Swoon Theory by William Craig in Reasonable Faith (3rd edition, published in 2008) correspond to objections to the Swoon Theory raised by Kreeft and Tacelli in HCA. There was one objection made by Craig that was not also presented in HCA. In Part 2 of this series, I showed that most of the objections to the Swoon Theory by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek in I Don't Have Enough Faith to b ... Read Article
Is God Just?
The author @hamderkasper gives permission to share this comic if he is credited: https://www.instagram.com/hamderkasper/?hl=en ... Read Article
The Passing of Toby Keith
July 8,1961-Feb 5, 2024 I just wanted to share the sad news that Country singer Toby Keith has died from cancer at the age of 62. It goes to show how precious life is. Just as bees, butterflies, roses, fungi, chickens, sparrows, and penguins don't magically re-animate in a spiritual form after they die, neither do we. Death is a full stop. Such reflection makes us think of how precious each moment is. Please enjoy these two videos from Toby about appreciating and enjoying life! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Fulz4ytZ54 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldQrapQ4d0Y ... Read Article
Christian Apologists are UNCLEAR about the Swoon Theory – Part 2: More Definitions
WHERE WE ARE In the first post of this series, I showed that the definition of "swoon theory" implied by the Christian apologists Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli in their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (1994) was WRONG because it was too simple and too broad. I also showed that the definition of "swoon theory" implied by the Christian apologists Sean and Josh McDowell in their books Evidence for the Resurrection (2009) and Evidence that Demands a Verdict (2017) was WRONG because it was too complex and too narrow, so it included specifications that are not essential to the Swoon Theory, thus committing the STRAWMAN FALLACY against those who support this skeptical theory. In this current post, I will consider some definitions that fall between the overly simple and broad definition of Kreeft and Tacelli and the overly complex and narrow definition of the McDowells. NORMAN GEISLER'S DEFINITIONS OF THE "SWOON THEORY" In his book, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (1999), the Christi ... Read Article
Atonement: The Insight Of Edouard Tahmizian 
It is well known that the God of the bible wants a contrite heart, not sacrifice. We read, for instance, God says in Hosea: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6). Jesus reiterates this. He says: “Go and learn what this means:: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’” (Matthew 9:13). In what sense, then, is Jesus a sacrifice? In Yom Kippur, there are two goats that are killed: a pure goat's death that addresses the unintentional sin of Israel whereby the blood purifies and sanctifies the holy place so God can dwell there. The other much worse intentional sins are "magically" put on the other goat, and that scapegoat is released into the wilderness where it suffers a horrific death (unlike the humane death of the pure goat - Jewish sacrifice usually being humane). The vicious death of the scapegoat is probably meant to figuratively make people aware of the excessive impact of their bad behavior, and thus create a metanoia or change of ... Read Article
The Christ Myth Theory in Question (Part 4): My Second Richard Carrier Interview
Last time I blogged about my second time interviewing Richard Carrier, and I'd like to reflect on that a little because a friend wanted to know what it was like. Carrier is a proponent of the Christ Myth Theory, the idea that Jesus was originally not thought to have existed on earth, but lived and was crucified in outer space. On top of his reading of the texts he offers support that it was common in the ancient world for such celestial deities to be re-imagined in history, and if we take the figures who were as heavily mythologized as Jesus and put their names in a hat, the likelihood of pulling the name of an historical figure out of the hat is no greater than 1/3. Now, as far as I'm aware no New Testament specialist teaching at an accredited secular university teaches that the Christ Myth theory is a plausible interpretation of the evidence, which is odd in and of itself because there are so many reconstructions of the portrait of the historical Jesus. One of the questions I raised yesterday w ... Read Article
The Christ Myth Theory In Question (Part 3)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPF9SeVFlPo&t Ed and I interviewed Carrier today. I think he did well on the question of the Nazareth Inscription, but not how missing body apotheosis tropes are problematic for his theory of a resurrected body that left behind the old body. This certainly fits with Paul saying Jesus was buried and raised. I thought he did well on the post pauline interpolation of the anti-Jewish passage in the letters, but stumbled in trying to account for the disciples fleeing and getting violent at the arrest. While fictionalized, there does seem to be a hint of truth here: We have stories that keep hidden the crucifixion and resurrection as key to salvation, such of that of the sheep/goats and the rich young man.   The man leaves Jesus only knowing he is to keep the commandments and give everything to the poor. There seems to be an interpretive issue that Mark solves with the messianic secret/confusion literary theme that Wrede first suggested.  Why would the disciples ... Read Article
Edouard Tahmizian & Dr. Jason Thibodeau | Is Bill Gaede’s Take on Physics Rational?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PU1fuFiXO4g ... Read Article
The Christ Myth Theory In Question (Part 2)
Carrier's cosmic sperm bank hypothesis to deal with Paul's claim that Jesus was made from the sperm of David, usually just meaning that he came from David's bloodline (the old testament talks about God forming people in the womb).  How would Paul's readers have been able to understand Paul's claim in a mythicist way?  Carrier tries to resolve the difficulty by saying there is a vaguely similar case of preserved sperm in Zoroastrianism. Interestingly, Price does something very similar.  Regarding Jesus' baptism, Price writes: The scene in broad outline may derive from Zoroastrian traditions of the inauguration of Zoroaster’s ministry. Son of a Vedic priest, Zoroaster immerses himself in the river for purification, and as he comes up from the water, the archangel Vohu Mana appears to him, proffering a cup and commissions him to bear the tidings of the one God Ahura Mazda, whereupon the evil one Ahriman tempts him to abandon this call. (Price, New Testament Narrative As Old Testament Midrash) ... Read Article
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