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Online Articles

Questioning the Resurrection

We were recently asked to respond to this person who questions the eyewitness testimony of Jesus' resurrection:

"According to Matthew 27:51-53, at the moment Jesus died there was an earthquake that opened tombs and many people were raised from the dead … they went into Jerusalem and were seen by many people. Here Matthew gets too dramatic for his own good. If many people came back to life and were seen by many people, it must have created quite a stir (even if the corpses were in pretty good shape!). Yet Matthew seems to be the only person aware of this happening — historians of that time certainly know nothing of it — neither do the other gospel writers."

Here's our response:

This is a subjective argument. In other words, YOU think that historians would have mentioned it in their writings, and the fact that YOU can't find any who did indicates that it is a false narrative. But, how do you know for certain that none did? Have you read everything that was ever written from that era? Wouldn't it be possible that some did write about it but their accounts have been lost over time? The reality is that we have very few secular histories of that specific time — few were written and even fewer have survived to our day. The vast majority of historical events recorded in the Bible have no parallel account in secular history, but that is not proof that they didn't happen.

As to the fact that only Matthew mentioned the opened tombs: Again, this is not proof that it didn't happen. John acknowledges that many things happened in the life of Jesus (including many miraculous things) that were not recorded in his gospel record (John 20:30, 31).