Return From the Dead Day Returns

Although that sounds like something produced by the Department of Redundancy Department, for many people it’s a dead serious celebration of a Jewish peasant apocalyptic prophet’s return from death. For those of you who have read The Q Fragments, you will be aware that the thesis of that story is that Jesus died, and remained dead, and how this could have really happened. To believe otherwise is exactly that: a matter of belief, not of rational understanding and evidence to the contrary.

The Q Fragments offers a plausible, although obviously fictional, account of how this might have been possible. There are many story lines that I could have concocted to illustrate this point, but I settled on one that does not require supernatural intervention and the testimony of “eye” witnesses. We, and the court system, know how reliable these are. And, I can back up the main history and underpinnings of those events with some very good historical and critical documentation.

Even if we restrict ourselves to the accounts that have ended up in the approved stories, the canonical Gospels (disregarding for now the many other stories that were deemed heretical by the old males who ran the Christian church and didn’t make it into the canon), there is nothing but contradiction and confusion in the resurrection accounts. Who went to the tomb? Who got there first? What did they see? What did they say afterwards? Who did and didn’t say what to whom? How many individuals did they see at the tomb? One? Two? Three? None? Why didn’t those who did see some individuals not recognize Jesus when they allegedly saw him? To whom did the formerly dead Jesus appear? How many? When? Where? How often?

All of these questions have different answers and they all can’t be correct. So, what does this indicate? Confusion, uncertainty, fiction, appeals to prior expectations, retrojected ‘evidence’ for later beliefs? Certainly, those and more. But, they are all aimed at proving a point that can’t be proved without evidence, and I don’t accept stories with agendas written by people who were not there, spoke different languages and lived in completely different parts of the world and have no rational evidence to support them.

So how could we know that this event, an alleged return from the dead, could have derived from actual events that don’t depend on a supernatural, magical intervention by a Bronze Age diety? That’s what The Q Fragments is all about.

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