I think that Jesus should be put on trial and tried with a crime against the natural order of things. Mother Nature charges that Jesus has violated the certainty that is inherent in death and taxes – well death anyway [1]. If Jesus was resurrected, if Jesus literally rose from the dead, from a state of death, thus living to tell the tale of being dead, that really violates the natural order of things and that’s a no-no crime according to Mother Nature. According to atheist Matt Dillahunty from “The Atheist Experience” TV show, at least when Elvis died for our sins, he stayed dead!

Now some problems are going to come to the fore and arise in bringing Jesus to trial and asked to “please explain” your transgression. Firstly, Who is Jesus to you the accused is nowhere to be found. Secondly we have no idea who most of the witnesses [2] even were – they are unnamed / anonymous. Even when we do there is no way to actually verify their historicity. Thirdly, well point two is irrelevant since all of the alleged witnesses are irreversibly dead (no resurrection for them) and one cannot travel back in time to interview them, get their statements officially recorded and be cross-examined on the witness stand. Bummer. That doesn’t leave us a great deal to work with.

So let’s start with the premise that Jesus existed but wasn’t supernatural. Jesus was just one of thousands of delusional individuals – up through and including the present day – who have claimed some form of divine status. Just because Jesus was a more-likely-as-not historical figure, does that mean of necessity that all of the supernatural events associated with Jesus are equally historical? You need to take into consideration the relative unreliability of human witness testimony, the tendency for humans to exaggerate especially when witnessing the relatively uncommon, the tendency for humans to actually lie, and oh, especially the tendency for the human species to tell tall stories.

So why reject the supernatural Jesus out of hand? Because there is no independent (i.e. – non-Biblical) original to that era source(s) that I can verify by myself for myself that attests to the actual existence of a supernatural and super-worldly Jesus. You just have to take whatever the Bible says on faith but as we all realise, faith in and of itself is not a pathway to the truth. The supernatural can also be ruled out on the grounds that there is no possible or even plausible explanation that theists can offer up for Jesus having supernatural powers, including being able to rise from the dead, other than God done it which in itself is not an actual explanation, just an attempt to explain one mystery by resorting to an even bigger mystery.

Natural Explanation

Now apparently Jesus died on the cross abnormally early, way before the other two common criminals that were being executed alongside of Jesus. Although declared dead by the Roman soldiers, what if Jesus was only clinically dead and not irreversibly dead? Jesus was placed in the tomb belonging to and by Joseph of Arimathea pretty quick-smart after the death of Jesus, and Joseph with some apparent super-strength rolled a huge rock [3] over the tomb’s entrance thus sealing the apparently Jesus in. Alas, three days later there was no Jesus in the tomb.

So, explanation one is that the story is only a story and never happened (see below). Explanation two is that Jesus was supernaturally resurrected from a state of being dead which I’ve rejected (see above). Explanation three is that Jesus wasn’t really irreversibly dead, just clinically dead. In other words, Jesus just had a Near Death Experience (NDE).

What if Jesus just woke up in the tomb and somehow rolled back the huge stone or otherwise managed to flee the scene. If I were Jesus who awoke from a state of clinical deadness at the hands of the Romans I’d of wanted to get out of Dodge really fast. The upshot is that coming back to life is not supernatural as thousands of NDE people can testify – along with their medical practitioners.

The NDE in and of itself might have given Jesus the impression that he had actually risen from the dead and therefore that he was really dead. Back in those days NDE’s would have been extremely uncommon and not the everyday term / phenomena we’re acquainted with today is resuscitation back from a clinically dead state is no longer rare.

That aside, post-NDE sightings of Jesus were actually of an alive Jesus but it would have been in his own best interests to perpetuate the myth that he was actually dead and people were just viewing his spirit or ghost.

Mythological Explanation

Okay, what if the whole Jesus story was just pure human invention. I said above that you just have to take the Bible on faith, but the Bible was written over hundreds of years by unknown authors, chapters included and excluded according to the whims of later church officials, the product of numerous copies of copies of copies and all manner of translations (subject always to human error) and obtainable in dozens upon dozens of versions to which no actual originals exist. You’re really going to put your faith in such texts, especially when such texts detail events which are about as actually impossible as the word impossible allows for.

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