What Really Happened on Easter? The Resurrection Unravelled In Free Inquiry

Free Inquiry magazine presents a fascinating, scholarly look at whether the defining event of Easter, the Resurrection, could possibly have happened, and unravels it in such a way that even nonbelievers will be surprised.

“Betting on Jesus to save us is a clear mistake,” writes philosopher David K. Clark. Using the scriptures themselves as his scholarly basis, Clark attempts to prove that the resurrection of Jesus, allegedly three days after his death by crucifixion, could not possibly have occurred. His reasoning has nothing to do with whether God exists but rests on the simple facts of the events as reported in the gospels. Despite the excitement and furor over the execution of the professed Messiah, no one bothered to be present for the big moment of resurrection itself, a moment that Clark describes as “a dream come true for ticket scalpers.” But why was no one there?

“The answer is that the very idea of the resurrection of Jesus had not occurred to anyone,” writes Clark. “No one, absolutely no one, anticipated any such event … If it had been, Resurrection Day would have been well attended. The very writings that were designed to legitimate the idea of a resurrected Jesus are an obvious hoax.” Clark goes on to illustrate how proponents of the Christ myth were forced “to market a Messiah through the back door.”

Also in this issue, Free Inquiry editor Tom Flynn reviews and rebuts the premise of Jennifer Michael Hecht’s new anti-suicide book Stay. Calling it “marvelously written,” Flynn criticizes the author’s staunch moral opposition to suicide because it “excludes individuals who make clear-eyed decisions to end their lives in response to calamities whose aftermath they prefer not to experience.”

Free Inquiry also continues its deeply moving and illuminating series on the transition from faith to atheism, with reader-submitted essays from the perspectives of ex-Catholics, a former fundamentalist Christian, and one tale of a conversion to Islam avoided.

The April/May 2014 issue of Free Inquiry is available on newsstands now, with full web access available to print subscribers. Visit www.secularhumanism.org/fi/ for more.

Free Inquiry is a bimonthly magazine, published by the Council for Secular Humanism, featuring thoughtful and provocative commentary from such leading political and social commentators as Arthur Caplan, Greta Christina, Nat Hentoff, and Russell Blackford. Launched in 1980, Free Inquiry has a paid circulation of approximately 34,000 worldwide.