In Weymouth’s translation of Acts 25:19 we find “They quarreled with him about … one Jesus who had died, but—so Paul persistently maintained—is now alive.” Christians even before Paul’s day “persistently maintained” that Jesus is alive. The Christian church would not have begun had it not been for this assurance. Kenneth S. Latourette, a first rank historian, says, “It was the conviction of the resurrection of Jesus which lifted his followers out of the despair into which his death had cast them and which led to the perpetuation of the movement begun by him. But for their profound belief that the crucified had risen from the dead and that they had seen him and talked with him, the death of Jesus and even Jesus himself would probably have been all but forgotten (History of Expansion of Christianity, Harper, New York, 1937, Vol. I, p. 59).

Person And Event

The New Testament scholar C. H. Dodd writes, “The resurrection remains an event within history, though we may not be able to state precisely what happened.… The assumption that the whole course of Christian history is a massive pyramid balanced upon the apex of some trivial occurrence is surely a less probable one than that the whole event, the occurrence plus the meaning inherent in it, did actually occupy a place in history at least comparable with that which the New Testament assigns to it” (History and the Gospels, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1938, pp. 108 f.).

But to consider, what sort of person is this testimony to the Resurrection about? In the first century there were those who believed that Nero would return to life and resume his demonic activities. In the Middle Ages it was thought that Frederick Barbarossa would awaken in a cave to lead his people in time ...

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