Continuing on with the theme of Skeptic Month, here’s a hard one for even the most die-hard fundamentalist to defend.
According to Matthew 27:51-53, upon Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection graves around Jerusalem were, ". . . opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised."
And this wasn’t just some secretive act of necromancy carried out in the dark of night. Verse 53 tells us that these disinterred patriarchs then took their party into the holy city and appeared to many. Wow.
Now, this is hard to believe. But even if you chalk it up to an incredible miracle, don’t you think there’d be some extra-biblical source out there to corroborate this? Wouldn’t the Christian’s favorite historian Josephus have something to say about it? But, no, there is nothing outside of these three verses to verify this extraordinary event. Not even another mention anywhere else in the Bible!
This is not to say that Jesus didn’t exist, or that he wasn’t an influential figure in human history. The point is that the biblical account of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is suspect at best. And while it may contain some historical facts, the story (along with all of Scripture) is vitiated by mythology and human bias.