Resurrection Claims Bear No Witnesses

Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim

Reader: Didn’t Matthew witness Jesus being resurrected?

Rabbi: No Gospel personality—or any person—claims to have eye-witnessed Jesus being resurrected. No Gospel writer claims to be who they are ascribed as. Meaning, Matthew never claimed to have written the book of Matthew. From even the Christian vantage point, this claim fails. 

No one witnessed Paul making such a claim. But even had Paul made such a claim, obviously damaging to this purported claim is that the very people Paul claims as witnesses, fail to transmit the claim of resurrection. This is akin to a person reading a story of “a wizard who performed in front of many,” and claiming it is historical truth, based solely on the story. But you can’t prove a story, from that very story! That’s circular reasoning. And without those purported witnesses transmitting the story, the story goes unproven. Paul too was repeating a belief, not recording what he or others witnessed. Paul adopted a “faith.” Resurrection is a belief; it’s not a “witnessed event” of a dead body undergoing resurrection. In fact, nothing was witnessed. To suggest an empty tomb proves resurrection, is irrational. Therefore, it is possible that a [mere] belief in Jesus’ resurrection emerged first, and that the empty tomb story was fabricated only when early critics of Christianity doubted the veracity of this claim. Thus, resurrection is conjecture.

Proof is based on events or reasoning. But an empty grave offers neither and therefore cannot prove resurrection. Christianity also fails to offer prophetic validation for any of its personalities, for no one performed miracles, and worse, they rejected God’s command not to alter Torah.