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Full Access Did Jesus Predict his Death and Vindication/Resurrection?

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Did Jesus Predict his Death and Vindication/Resurrection?

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image of Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

Scholars continue to debate the historicity of Jesus' predictions pertaining to his violent death and subsequent vindication by God via resurrection. No consensus position has emerged to date. In this essay I continue the discussion by presenting six arguments that constitute a rather strong cumulative case for the historicity of Jesus' predictions pertaining not only to his violent death but also his subsequent resurrection: they are early, multiply attested, fulfil the criteria of embarrassment, dissimilarity and plausibility, and lack theologizing. I then consider three general arguments against affirming the historicity of the predictions: supernatural knowledge is beyond the purview of historians, the predictions are inventions of the early Church, and Jesus' disciples act as though he never made the passion predictions. Upon examination, I conclude that only the third carries weight. I then consider six explanations for the strange behaviour of the disciples if Jesus had made the predictions and conclude that the verdict that Jesus predicted his violent death and resurrection stands, since the only cogent argument to the contrary can be answered without strain.


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