If Jesus did not really rise from the dead who started the Resurrection myth and why? What profit did the liars get out of their lie?
I will tell you what they got out of it. They got mocked, hated, sneered and jeered at, exiled, deprived of property and reputation and rights, imprisoned, whipped, tortured, clubbed to a pulp, beheaded, crucified, boiled in oil, sawed in pieces, fed to lions, and cut to ribbons by gladiators.
If the miracle of the Resurrection did not really happen, then an even more incredible miracle happened: twelve Jewish fishermen invented the world's biggest lie for no reason at all and died for it with joy, as did millions of others.
This myth, this lie, this elaborate practical joke transformed lives, gave despairing souls a reason to live and selfish souls a reason to die, gave cynics joy and libertines conscience, put martyrs in the hymns and hymns in the martyrs — all for no reason. A fantastic con job, a myth, a joke.
A myth indeed. That idea is the myth. The miracle is the sober fact.
Peter Kreeft. "Miracles." Chapter 9 in Fundamentals of the Faith. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988): 68.
Reprinted by permission of Ignatius Press. All rights reserved. Fundamentals of the Faith - ISBN 0-89870-202-X.
Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at Boston College. He is the author of many books (over forty and counting) including: Ask Peter Kreeft: The 100 Most Interesting Questions He's Ever Been Asked, Ancient Philosophers, Medieval Philosophers, Modern Philosophers, Contemporary Philosophers, Forty Reasons I Am a Catholic, Doors in the Walls of the World: Signs of Transcendence in the Human Story, Forty Reasons I Am a Catholic, You Can Understand the Bible, Fundamentals of the Faith, The Journey: A Spiritual Roadmap for Modern Pilgrims, Prayer: The Great Conversation: Straight Answers to Tough Questions About Prayer, Love Is Stronger Than Death, Philosophy 101 by Socrates: An Introduction to Philosophy Via Plato's Apology, A Pocket Guide to the Meaning of Life, Prayer for Beginners, and Before I Go: Letters to Our Children About What Really Matters. Peter Kreeft in on the Advisory Board of the Catholic Education Resource Center.Copyright © 1988 Peter Kreeft
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