Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Great Omission - What is being dead like?

One thing that always struck me as being a bit odd about the resurrection and post-resurrection stories in the New Testament is that nobody - not the disciples, not Jesus, not anyone else - raises the issue of what Jesus experienced during his three days of being dead.

If somebody I knew had spent some time dead, and then come back to life, the very first things I'd ask would be "So, what was being dead like?", "Tell me about heaven?", and so on.

The fact that none of the characters in the NT stories do this simply does not ring true, at least if the Acts or John chronology is accurate. (Matthew and Luke's accounts don't really give any time for conversation between resurrection and 'ascension', Mark's account, of course, doesn't go anywhere after the empty tomb.)

If there was time for conversation after the resurrection, but before the ascension, then Jesus must have discussed what being dead was like. But this conversation is not recorded in any of the writings of the new testament, whether in the gospels or the other writings. This suggests to me that nobody had a conversation with Jesus about what being dead was like. And the only conceivable reasons for this are either Jesus didn't come back from the dead, or that he did but didn't speak to any of his disciples (or anyone else for that matter) after he did.

But if either of those are the case, then the accounts of Acts and John report fictional stories.

Sigh. Here we are again. Yet another chain or reasoning that leads me to conclude that some, at least, of the biblical stories are fiction...

1 comment:

Mike Blyth said...

Interesting observation. I'm not sure it means a whole lot in isolation, but it does contribute to the odd, unreal atmosphere of the post-resurrection narrative.