Well, It’s nearly Easter. I can tell because of the candy sales — that and the library is closed tomorrow. At any rate, around this time, christians like to claim that their original leader is “resurrected” and still alive. For some reason, they are never able to produce him. Surely someone that famous, if still alive, should be making television appearances. Is he that reclusive?
Now, a lot of these christians will insist that the fact that we cannot produce an identifiable corpse is proof that this guy rose from the dead. Well, no it’s not. I can’t produce an identifiable corpse of any prisoner executed and dumped into a mass grave thousands of years after the fact. It is not reasonable to expect me to be able to do so. And it is not evidence that any such person rose from the dead.
I know some christians are going to ask “wouldn’t it be easier for the authorities to produce a corpse in the few months following the death?” And it would. But it would serve no purpose. This man was (supposedly) executed around 785 AVC. The early christians claimed a spiritual resurrection. That is, it wouldn’t matter if the Romans produced a corpse. The corpse was just an empty shell. The spiritual body was “much more glorious” and he had no use for the earthly body. The christians were similarly convinced that they would have no need for their earthly bodies. It was not until around 825 AVC that the claim of a bodily resurrection was made, with the attendant challenge that the Romans produce a corpse. By this point, no one would be able to pick the right body out of the mass grave and almost no one would recognize the right body if they could. The challenge was a sham and deliberately so.
Some people might wonder if my challenge to produce the living person is equally a sham. It is not. While I would certainly not recognize this person by face (I have never seen him) I would recognize someone displaying the talents attributed to him. Someone miraculously curing the sick would be very impressive. Alas, we still need doctors and technology.