It is surprising to be in a debate where your opponent cannot answer your points and just ignores them.
In my first post, I wrote the following :-
'Even when trying to talk about the nature of a resurrected body, Paul never draws on any alleged personal experience anybody ever had. The Gospels give a wealth of alleged facts about the nature of a resurrected body, but Paul never uses any, even when trying to refute the claims of people he calls 'idiots'. Why doesn't Paul simply rub their noses in the fact that their own Lord and Saviour, the very person they worship, had allegedly claimed that a resurrected body was made out of 'flesh and bones', and yet they still were asking with what sort of body a corpse comes back with?'
On this, and many other of the points I have raised in the debate, John has been unable to come up with any answer, not even an unconvincing one.
I see that John has pretty much abandoned any attempt to show there is evidence for the Gospel stories of a corpse rising, and is now resorting to attacks on me , with statements like ' I sense even if he had been sitting by the tomb of Jesus as it burst open, he would question.'
I remind him that early converts to Christianity scoffed at the idea of God choosing to raise a corpse.
They , and Paul, were in a much better position to judge than John is.
Paul can produce nothing better than vague 'appearances' to Christians. Early Christians believed that what happened in dreams, visions and trances was real. The New Testament is full of passages which assume that what happened in dreams, visions and trances was real. Even if the New Testament stories about Peter having a vision of foods being declared clean is unhistorical, clearly the writer thought the story was credible.
Paul believed he had gone to Heaven. He also believed Jesus had appeared to him. If you think that what happens in trances and visions is real, then he really would have believed that Jesus appeared to him. Paul might even have had a vision of Jesus appearing to 500 people, just in the same way as stories I have heard of modern Christians who have had visions of the walls of Jericho being destroyed.
Paul produces no more than claims of 'appearances'. That is it. Paul literally cannot flesh out those stories of 'appearances'.
This is not evidence, no more than claims that spirits appeared to Red Indian medicine men is evidence of spirits.
And Paul simply trashes the idea that corpses rise. Corpses dissolve into dust, and this is what Paul thought of the idea of resurrected beings made of dust. 'The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God...'
Paul thought that bodies were destroyed. 'For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands'
Paul thought of resurrection as changing clothes, or moving from one building to another.
To Paul, Jesus had left his earthly body behind, to be destroyed, and moved into a heavenly body.
That is why Paul attacks the converts in Corinth whose model of a resurrection was that of a corpse rising from the grave. As they had never heard of a corpse rising from the grave, they scoffed at the idea of a resurrection. Paul regarded this as idiocy, because in his view, resurrection did not involve a corpse rising from the grave.
John claims that 200 years of critical scholarship have not dented the reliability of the Gospels.
He should get out more.
This claim of his is simply an empty claim, which not even John tries to back up with any actual evidence.
The earlies Gospel is anonymous. It is written by somebody who never attempted to state his sources, never gives any indication of who, why or when he was writing. The author never gives any attempt at chronology, or use any of the standard literary conventions that indicated to ancient readers that the work was even meant to be taken as history.
The third Gospel at least attempts to be taken as history, However it too gives no indication of authorship or date. The anonymous author of 'Luke' also used Mark as his main source, and simply changed whatever in Mark did not suit his own private agenda.
Using anonymous sources, without telling anybody, and rewriting bits of them to suit yourself, are not the hallmarks of a good historian.
These are elementary facts, yet John can state that the Gospels survive critical scholarship. This is a totally empty claim, without any substance.
John claims that doubting vague reports of 'appearances' by somebody who claimed to have gone to Heaven is on a par with doubting the crossing of the Rubicon.
This illustrates the remarkably low level of knowledge of historical method by Christians.
There is nothing wrong with not knowing how real history is done, provided you do not say that your beliefs are based on historical events.
Let us look at some of the evidence for Caesar crossing the Rubicon, and see if we can do better than somebody claiming he had a revelation of Caesar crossing the Rubicon, or that he saw Ceasar crossing the Rubicon in an 'appearance'.
First of all, do we have followers of Julius Caeasr scoffing at the whole idea that Caesar had an army which crossed the Rubicon?
No we do not.
Do we have a book by Julius himself. claiming that he got from Ravenna to Ariminum, a journey only possible by crossing the Rubicon? (Unless Caesar ascended into the sky, like Jesus allegedly did)
Yes we do.
Do we have 3 letters by somebody dated in the same year as this Rubicon crossing, pointing out that Ceasar was preparing to invade Italy, and then had invaded Italy?
Yes we do.
And this source is Cicero. He is a named source, and somebody who was in a good position to know, and somebody whose reliability can be investigated.
And he doesn't claim that Caesar 'appeared' to cross the Rubicon.
Other people also recorded the event. Livy and Pollio , for example.
Do we have letters by Pilate or Joseph of Arimathea , from the same year as this alleged resurrection, claiming that something bizarre was happening,even if they doubted it was true?
No we don't. There might be good reasons why such evidence is missing, but the fact remains that there is just no such evidence.
John just has no evidence for a resurrection, other than some anonymous books which also record that Jesus travelled into the sky, and some letters by somebody who claimed that Jesus became a spirit, and that he himself had gone to Heaven.
John has less evidence for the resurrection than there is for the miracles of Glycon, the snake-god.
John seems to be reduced to claiming that the Shroud of Turin is evidence, when all the historical and scientific evidence is that it is yet another hoax produced by Christians.
There is so little evidence for Christianity that evidence has had to be forged.