CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

Stephen T. Davis, author of Risen Indeed (reviewed by me here) has written a lengthy review of the latest skeptical assault on Jesus' Resurrection, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. You can read excerpts from Davis' review over at Triablogue.

Just a reminder that the CADRE has its own online response to The Empty Tomb, here.


None of the early police investigations of the assassination of JFK mention any Mafia involvenment. Of course , this is just an argument from silence.

And what is Davis response to Carrier's demonstration that Paul never talks as though the flesh and blood corpse of Jesus rose from the grave? 'An argument from silence' he calls it.

Sure. And the fact that it took 30 years for Oliver Stone to make his documentary about the death of JFK can be met with retorts that the earliest sources are silent about Stone's theories, because that is just an argument from silence. Just as the silence of Paul on the flesh and blood corpse of Jesus rising can be dismissed as silence.

I liked Davis comment about the seed and the plant ' But they are numerically the same because there is material continuity between them…'

Gosh, perhaps Adam and Eve were the same person, because the material of the rib of Adam was turned into Eve. There was material continuity between them :-)

Perhaps though, we should not take claims of material continity too literally (unlike Davis), especially bearing in mind the words of Davis's Lord and Saviour who seemed to doubt the assertions of Davis that there is a numerical similarity betweeen the seed and a plant.

John 12:24 'I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.'

And , rather more importantly, Paul uses the analogy to tell his converted Jesus-worshippers in Corinth, who still scoffed at the idea that a corpse could rise, that they were idiots for thinking that the resurrection of mortals involved the raising of a corpse. Paul tells them that the corpse is just a seed which dies. Paul tells the Corinthians that the seed is dead.

1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

This is the same Peter who tells people that 'all flesh is grass', presumably to persuade them that flesh will be made eternal.

All ignored by Davis, of course, who cannot bear to think that people are idiots for imagining that resurrection is about a decayed corpse being restored into something amazing.


With all due respect, your comments are pretty rambling and therefore difficult to get a handle on. Yet, I certainly think that the idea that because Paul didn't specifically say that he saw "the flesh and blood corpse" of Jesus means that the resurrection he was referencing is merely spiritual is a case that the Jesus Myth people have yet to make in any type of convincing way.

Paul said that the 'last Adam' became a 'life-giving spirit', implying that we too shall become spirits when we are resurrected.

Paul seems to be quite silent about the idea that Jesus did not become a spirit when he was resurrected, doesn't he? How much more silent can you be about the idea of Jesus not becoming a spirit can you get than saying that Jesus became a spirit?

Of course, I am sure that Davis in his review trotted out all the proofs of the resurrected Jesus that there are, including those that proved that Jesus was seen to ascend into Heaven by first travelling into the sky?

Or was Davis silent about evidence that a corpse rose from the grave? I think he may have been as silent as the silence of Muslim Imams when asked for real evidence that Muhammad saw the Angel Gabriel.

Maybe Carr is really just an internet bot, spitting out borderline random tirades against any post on the resurrection. That would explain a lot, actually.

John 12:24 'I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.'

It seems rather obvious what is being discussed here. A seed falls to the ground. I transformed into a plant or tree. The plant or tree bears fruit, thus producing many seeds. How does this count against a bodily resurrection when that is exactly what John was discussing? Jesus' death and resurrection birthing the "fruit" of many believers.

"perhaps Adam and Eve were the same person, because the material of the rib of Adam was turned into Eve."

Where does one even begin to show what is wrong with this analogy?

First of all, it assumes that "personhood" is entirely determined by our flesh/body (it is not). Eve's soul does not have material continuity with Adam's soul.

Second, are you unaware that the Bible describes the unity of man and woman "one flesh"?

Carr, could you please stop haunting Christian apologetics blog like some kind of wounded wraith out for revenge? Seriously, your efforts to dumb down the Internet have not gone un-noticed.

Paul argues that the resurrected body will be a “spiritual body” (v. 44). “There are heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies” (v. 40). “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (v. 50). Our new bodies will be as different as a wheat plant differs from its seed (vs. 36-37). And while there is some continuity between the seed and the plant, David Edwards reminds us “in the ancient world it was believed that a seed dies in the ground (cf. John 12:24). The continuity pictured by Paul is continuity through death, which is why Paul dwells on the contrast. He compares it with the difference between human flesh and the flesh of fish, or between the sun and the moon.” [Evangelical Essentials p. 207]. Elsewhere Paul wrote that “if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands (II Cor. 5:1-8). In Philippians (3:20-21) Paul tells us that someday Christ will “transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

This is somewhat vague, what exactly are you arguing here?

"Transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body"

Definitely sounds like Paul is saying the old body is needed for the new body. Our bodies will be changed/converted/transformed into glorious bodies. This would leave an empty grave in Paul's mind.

Also all of Paul's talk about the perishable(our earthly bodies) will put on the imperishable definitely implies our earthly bodies are what is putting on immortality. Our bodies here and now are required for the resurrection, which glorifies and covers our old bodies.


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