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Jesus, The Empty Tomb, and other MythsDate:
May 10, 2006
The Sweet House
254 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
Phone: (616) 892-9300
Since Jesus was not supposed to be merely a teacher or example for others, but the virgin-born prophesied Messiah and Savior of all humankind, the story of him returning to the realm of the living after a brief foray into corpsehood, provides the engine that drives Christianity. It has been said that if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. The power of Christianity absolutely hinges on the concept of Jesus cheating death. This is what gives cogency to Jesus’ claim of being the son of God, and his assertions that an afterlife awaits his followers, that there will be a Second Coming, and his preaching that he is truly the way to Salvation and eternal life with the Creator.
About Robert Price, PhD
Professor of Theology and Scriptural Studies, Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary
Robert M. Price (born July 7, 1954) is a Mississippian by birth, lived in New Jersey for most of his life, and has recently resettled in North Carolina. After early involvement in a fundamentalist Baptist church, he went on to become a leader in the Montclair State College chapter of the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. Having developed a keen interest in apologetics (the defense of the faith on intellectual grounds), Bob went on to enroll at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he received an MTS degree in New Testament. Billy Graham was the commencement speaker. It was during this period, 1977-78, however, that Bob began to reassess his faith, deciding at length that traditional Christianity simply did not have either the historical credentials or the intellectual cogency its defenders claimed for it. Embarking on a wide program of reading religious thinkers and theologians from other traditions, as well as the sociology, anthropology, and psychology of religion, he soon considered himself a theological liberal in the camp of Paul Tillich. He received the Ph.D. degree in systematic theology from Drew University in 1981. After some years teaching in the religious studies department of Mount Olive College in North Carolina, Price returned to New Jersey to pastor First Baptist Church of Montclair, the first pastorate, many years before, of liberal preacher Harry Emerson Fosdick. Price soon enrolled in a second doctoral program at Drew, receiving the Ph.D. in New Testament in 1993. These studies, together with his encounter with the writings of Don Cupitt, Jacques Derrida, and the New Testament critics of the Nineteenth Century, rapidly eroded his liberal Christian stance, and Price resigned his pastorate in 1994. A brief flirtation with Unitarian Universalism disenchanted him even with this liberal extreme of institutional religion. For six years Bob and Carol led a living room church called The Grail. Now, back in North Carolina, he attends the Episcopal Church and keeps his mouth shut. Robert M. Price is Professor of Biblical Criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute as well as the editor of The Journal of Higher Criticism. His books include Beyond Born Again, The Widow Traditions in Luke-Acts: A Feminist-Critical Scrutiny, Deconstructing Jesus, and The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man. Forthcoming titles are The Crisis of Biblical Authority, Jesus Christ Superstar: A Redactional Study of a Modern Gospel, The Da Vinci Controversy and The Amazing Colossal Apostle.