Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
I've read a number of times (including a rather nasty email) that the apostles probably faked the resurrection? It always makes me laugh.
The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said, "The 'wise' do not believe in the resurrection of the dead. It is really quite absurd [to them]. The Ascension had to be made up by groveling enthusiasts as part of their plan to get themselves martyred."
On the day, that Christ was crucified, the Bible states that the apostles were scattered and on the run. Their leader had just been arrested, tortured, and crucified. Running kinda' made sense. But you know what doesn't make sense though? Everything that happened next if you don't believe in the resurrection.
The apostles, filled with zeal, all ran around the globe evangelizing about Jesus to the point where 11 of the 12 of them were martyred themselves. John, alone died of old age. I think the residents of Pompeii had a better survival rate. (Not really.)
Simon-Peter was martyred in Rome. Peter, it is believed, asked to be crucified upside down, because he didn't feel himself worthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus.
Does that sound like someone who made up a story? If so, he was really sticking to it, huh?
Andrew went to Greece where he debated a Roman proconsul about Christ. Andrew knew that if he didn't recant his faith he would be tortured and executed. Yet he won the debate. #winning! But for #winning the debate, he didn't just go through the regular ol' torture and killing. He was scourged, tied to a cross, and hung up on a cross for two days. And guess what he did for those two days. He preached about Christ until he died an agonizing death.
Does that sound like someone who made up a story? Don't you think after a long day of scourging and being hung from a cross, you'd say, "Alright guys, it was just a joke. Yup. Made the whole thing up. OK? Let me down now. Joke's over guys. Untie me." But that didn't happen.
James the Greater was killed with a sword. One of his accusers was reportedly so moved by his bravery that he switched sides, converted, and was executed right next to James. Sheesh. That James must have put on a heckuva performance to pull that off, huh?
Philip was scourged, imprisoned, and crucified. You'd think that sometimes between the scouring and prison, he might have mentioned that this resurrection business was something akin to a college prank he made up with some of his buddies.
What exactly happened to Bartholomew is still debated. But all can agree he ended up dead in a not very pleasant way. Some say he was beaten and crucified. Other say he was skinned alive and then beheaded. Really no good options here.
Thomas may have been run through with a spear.
Matthew, the former tax collector, was stabbed to death by a swordsman sent by the King of Ethiopia who was angered that Matthew criticized his morals.
Thaddeus was crucified.
James the Less (who let's face it, had to deal with constantly being called "the less" his whole life) was stoned and beaten at 94 years young. And just for good measure, because you know how resilient 94 year olds are after being stoned and beaten, he was hit on the head with a club.
And Simon the Canaanite was crucified.
Now, can you realistically argue that it's even remotely possible that the apostles invented the resurrection?