According to the New Testament, God raised Jesus from the dead, he ascended to heaven, to the right hand of God and hr will return again to fulfill the Messianic prophecy, such as the resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgrment and establishment of the Kingdom of God.

The writings in the New Testament do not contain any descriptions of the moment of resurrection itself, but in fact two types of eyewitness descriptions:

1. appearances of Jesus to various people
2. accounts of seeing the tomb empty

The earliest surviving Christian writings are the letters of Paul, written between 50-57 AD. The First Epistle to the Corinthians contains one of the earliest reporting of post-mortem appearances of Jesus, and expressing the belief that he was raised from the dead.

These are the teachings of the Christian church and whatwe have been led to believe. But did they happen as described? Contemporary accounts differ, and if you study and compare these to the orthodox Christian litany, the historic truth might seem apparent.

Contemporary accounts

Gospel and Acts

All four gospels climax with appearances of Jesus after his crucifixion, preparing the reader for his resurrection by having Jesus predict it (Mark 8:31-32, 9:31, 10:33-34), or through allusions that only the reader will understand (Mark 2:20, John 2:19-22 and elsewhere). The moment of resurrection is not described.

First ekklēsia

The belief of Jesus' first followers in the resurrection formed the proclamation of the first ekklēsia. According to Thorwald Lorenzen, the first Easter led to a shift in emphasis from faith "in God" to faith "in Christ". The resurrection appearances gave the impetus to the exaltation of Jesus. They gave Peter the first leader-role in the first ekklēsia, forming the basis for the Apostolic succession, and also stimulated the resumation of the missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

Divergent resurrection appearances

There is a great difference between Paul's resurrection appearance, which is a spiritual resurrection, and the experiences described in the Gospels, which are material. Stories of a bodily resurrection did not appear until as much as half a century following the crucifixion, and most scholars explain this as a development from visionary experiences to legendary narratives. Yet, it may also be possible that there were different kinds of visionary appearances, and both "a tendency away from the physical [...] and a reverse tendency towards the physical." The tendency towards the material is most clear, but there are also signs for the tendency away from the physical.


Christianity split from Judaism in the 1st century AD, and the two faiths have differed in their theology since. According to the Toledot Yeshu, the body of Jesus was removed in the same night by a gardener named Juda, after hearing the disciples planned to steal the body of Jesus. However, Toledot Yeshu is not considered either canonical or normative within rabbinic literature. Though Toledot Yeshu is a medieval document set without a fixed form which is "most unlikely" to have reliable information about Jesus. The Blackwell Companion to Jesus states that the Toledot Yeshu has no historical facts as such, and was perhaps created as a tool for warding off conversions to Christianity.


Some Gnostics did not believe in a literal physical resurrection. "For the gnostic any resurrection of the dead was excluded from the outset; the flesh or substance is destined to perish. 'There is no resurrection of the flesh, but only of the soul', say the so-called Archontics, a late gnostic group in Palestine".


Muslims believe that ʿĪsā (Jesus) son of Mariam (Mary) was a holy prophet with a divine message. The Islamic perspective is that Jesus was not crucified and will return to the world at the end of times. "But Allāh raised him up to Himself. And Allāh is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise". The Quran says in Surah An-Nisa [Ch004:Verse157] "And because of their saying, "We killed Messiah ʿĪsā, son of Mariam, the Messenger of Allāh",—but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts".

What do you believe?

Not sure how to explain it because I am afraid of CarrieB attacks... so here are the links
As I pointed out in my original post on this thread, Daisy, the gospels were written many years after the events and open to misinterpretation :)
Nicely done, "Posis." A very good layout.

As far as a physical resurrection of Yeshua goes - I do believe it. Won't go into the "why" of my belief here, as it isn't the place; not my job nor my desire to proselytize the boards.

I will leave a thought from a former pastor, however, in regards to the Apostles' belief in and fervor for spreading The Way, the Word, and the Resurrection: "Why die for a lie?"

Eleven of the Twleve went willing to excruciating deaths for the crime of preaching the Resurrection; only John escaped such a fate.

Long story short: IMO, those men witnessed something, Someone, they were more than willing to suffer mightily for. I'll close by quoting the apostle Paul: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."