Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Resurrection Challenge, in summary

The reaction to the Resurrection Challenge from all sides was very interesting to watch. The challenge itself was to take every single detail and try to organize them in a sensible fashion.

This is what I noticed from those who said that the accounts could be harmonized: many addressed the list of discrepancies and explained how everything could be accounted for, or linked to some sort of answer. But that wasn't the challenge, and when trying to organize the questions themselves, discrepancies popped up. For example, the Gospels kind of give four different 'times' in the appearances, which can be harmonized by saying it was within fifteen minutes of each other. The Gospels had different people first showing up, which was harmonized by saying that they could've shown up at different times. Individually, this works. According to the Gospels, this doesn't, because if the four different times given all occur within fifteen minutes of each other, then the women couldn't have shown up at different times.

I also noticed that very, very few people who claimed inerrancy actually attempted to organize every detail themselves. There were either links posted, or the attempts given that didn't have all the details. But these were from the same people that said answering the challenge was easy or had been done before -- but very few actually attempted to do so on his/her own. As far as I've seen, one person actually posted the answer to the challenge in full, and another said that s/he is working on it.

Overall, I don't think the Gospels can be harmonized, and I think it does them a disservice to try to. There are accounts where people have posted harmonizations. But when I go back and read each Gospel while taking that harmonization into account, the individual Gospels lose something in terms of the flow or the emotional impact, or what's being inserted doesn't make sense within the Gospel itself.

But that's only my two cents. :)

7 comments:

HeIsSailing said...

Heather, you are certainly tenacious to say the least. I have worked for weeks on a good mathematical proof, so I understand how an English Lit expert finds this a fun challenge.

From what I have tried, harmonizing the first appearances of Jesus by the disciples is the hardest thing for me to do. Having the disciples and Jesus running around to all these different locations really makes the narrative lose flow. I keep thinking about my idea to dramatize this. If they can be harmonized, that is one thing. But does a harmonization even make sense, or will a dramitization look like a patchwork of ill-fitting jigsaw pieces?

Just for the record, this is a pretty big blow for my belief in a literal resurrection.

Now that you are finished with the Challenge, I hope you continue to write articles here. You have very interesting insights and I will enjoy reading more of them.

HeIsSailing said...

Heather, just so you know, your link to JumpingfromConclusions is wrong.

Heather said...

**If they can be harmonized, that is one thing. But does a harmonization even make sense, or will a dramitization look like a patchwork of ill-fitting jigsaw pieces?** The thing I wonder with those that do accept the harmonizations attempts ... if this were another religious text, such as the Koran or the Book of Mormon, would they still accept the harmonization account?

**I hope you continue to write articles here. You have very interesting insights and I will enjoy reading more of them. ** I shall. :) I have thoughts, and am interested in other opinions.

**just so you know, your link to JumpingfromConclusions is wrong. ** It just was not my night. I fixed that, too.

AgnosticAtheist said...

Heather,

Great idea for a blog.

I blogged on the Resurrection Challenge this Easter:

Taking the Resurrection Challenge this Easter and it's one of the most popular blogs (according to the stats).

I'll be keeping up with your blog.

aA

AgnosticAtheist said...

BTW,

There are some links to PDFs on the Resurrection Challenge that's posted in the comment section of the blogged linked above (right mouse click and click 'Open in a New Window' to see normal size browser of the link).

I've been meaning to analyze them but that may something fun to do for your blog.

aA

Heather said...

Hi, aA.

Welcome. I've read your website a few times, and now have an incentive to comment.

I think the PDF file at your site is the same as the one located on my first post, from a Matt. I will analyze it soon, but must take a break from looking at the Resurrection accounts. My eyes are still glazed over. :)

SocietyVs said...

"But when I go back and read each Gospel while taking that harmonization into account, the individual Gospels lose something in terms of the flow or the emotional impact, or what's being inserted doesn't make sense within the Gospel itself." (Heather)

I totally agree 100%. Great overview Heather and I appreciate your work on the subject.