The Apostle Paul, A Witness For The Resurrection Of Jesus -- By: George P. Fisher

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 017:67 (Jul 1860)
Article: The Apostle Paul, A Witness For The Resurrection Of Jesus
Author: George P. Fisher

The Apostle Paul, A Witness For The Resurrection Of Jesus

Prof. George P. Fisher

We propose to prove by the testimony of the Apostle Paul — by testimony which all admit to be his — that the apostles who attended Jesus daring his life, bore witness to his resurrection very soon after that event is alleged to have occurred. The resurrection of Christ is the great miracle of Christianity, by which the divine mission of its founder is demonstrated.1 Once establish this fact by irrefragable proof, and the other miracles of scripture are easy of credence; nay, they seem to be demanded. Such a transaction cannot stand by itself. There must go before it supernatural preparations. It is not a stray and solitary boulder cast upon the earth, but the key-stone of a mighty arch. Grant the Saviour’s resurrection, and the Old Testament dispensation, with its series of divine interpositions, can be easily defended. Christianity, as a historical religion, is placed high above the reach of successful assault.

The attacks which have been made upon the genuineness of the books which compose the New Testament canon, have imposed the necessity of a new line of defence. Pantheism leaves no room for a miracle. Under that scheme of philosophy there is no personal Being whose will can interrupt the uniform course of nature; and hence the miracle is utterly precluded. The devotee of pantheism, when he comes on the ground of historical inquiry, is obliged by his creed to deny the supernatural, in the proper sense of that term, wherever it appears; and to find a naturalistic solution of the phenomena on which belief in the supernatural has been founded. Strauss, starting with his Hegelian premises,

endeavored to eliminate the supernatural from the gospel histories, by turning the miracles into myths emanating by degrees from the imagination of the early church, as it brooded over the Master’s life and tragic fate, and unconsciously wove into his career events to correspond with the Old Testament description of the Messiah. Strauss had little to say of the book of Acts, which purports to be the production of a contemporary; and still less of the apostolic epistles. Even on the authorship of the gospels, and of the fourth gospel in particular, he was vacillating. He, therefore, left the greater part of his destructive work to be done by others. A systematic theory concerning the origin of Christianity and the New Testament writings, was imperatively required in order to carry out and support the speculations of Strauss. This has been attempted by the abler and more thoroughly learned men of the Tubingen school, of whom Baur stands at the head. It is no part of our present plan,...

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