Instigator / Pro
7
1525
rating
4
debates
75.0%
won
Topic

The Resurrection of Jesus likely did not happen.

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
3
0
Sources points
2
2
Spelling and grammar points
1
1
Conduct points
1
1

With 1 vote and 3 points ahead, the winner is ...

croweupc
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two months
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Con
4
1641
rating
62
debates
66.13%
won
Description
~ 158 / 5,000

Round 1: Opening Statements
Round 2-4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Closing Statements (No new arguments introduced; any arguments presented in rounds 1-4 are allowed)

Round 1
Pro
I chose the word likely because it is impossible to prove for certain. How do we know about the resurrection story, and where does it come from? The Bible obviously. If the story of the resurrection comes from the Bible, is the Bible a reliable source of knowledge on this subject? If the claim being made was an ordinary claim the reliability would not be as important, but because this claim has real life implications for those who believe, it is vitally important.
 
Is the Bible reliable? Lets delve into the stories by the different Gospels.
 
The resurrection stories differ on some main points about the story. I will break down some of the differences the stories have and show they cannot be reconcilable.
 
Who visited the empty tomb?
Mark 16:1 Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome
Matt. 28:1 Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary
Luke 24:10 Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women
John 20:1 Mary Magdalene
 
I have heard some try to make the case they were all there, the writers were just leaving them out, but the number of women plays into the narrative of the story.
 
How many angels were there?
Mark 16:4-5 The stone was rolled away; They entered and saw a young man sitting on the right side.
Matt. 28:2 There was an earthquake; The angel descended from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it.
Luke 24:2-4 Stone rolled away; No body found; Two men stood.
John 20:2,11-12 Mary first told the disciples; Mary wept, stooped down, looked into the sepulcre, and saw two angels sitting.
 
There are many notable differences between these stories already. Were there two angels or one? Were they sitting or standing? Were they inside the tomb or on the stone? Did they see them before the disciples knew or after?
 
At what time of day?
Mark 16:2 Very early in the morning the first day of the week.
Matt. 28:1 As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.
Luke 24:1 Very early in the morning.
John 20:1 When it was yet dark.
 
The three Synoptic Gospels agree on this point for the most part, but John’s Gospel stands out in almost every way. It was still dark in his account. She came alone, she went and told the disciples before she saw the angels, and how she saw them was different from the other three accounts.
 
What happened at the tomb?
Mark 16:7-8 The women were told to go tell the disciples; They were afraid and told no man.
Matt. 28:7-8 The women were told to go tell the disciples; They had great joy and told the disciples as was commanded.
Luke 24:5-9 The angels talked to the women about what happened to Jesus; The women went and told the disciples.
John 20:1-14 Mary was talked to the angels, then told the disciples, then saw Jesus.
 
There was one angel in Mark and Matthew. There were two angels in Luke and John. Who spoke to whom, and said what, at what time, and in what order? The stories contradict each other. Is it possible to reconstruct what happened that morning?
 
The Bible is the only source of knowledge about the resurrection, and it does not paint a plain picture. If we had four eye witnesses, and their accounts of the events differed in the way the four Gospels differ, would it hold up in court?
 
The resurrection claim is an extraordinary claim with less than ordinary evidence to support it. Is there sufficient evidence to support such an extraordinary claim as the resurrection of Jesus from the dead?

Con
Jesus, as we all know, was an essential figure in history and was very influential; not only did he start the most famous religion in history, with over 2 billion followers, but our very dates revolve around him.
 
The Bible claims that Jesus rose from the dead. First, allow me to establish the reliability of the New Testament, where this claim is made.
To do this, scholars put together the interpretations we have now to establish what the originals were like. The more copies there are, the easier it is to reconstruct the originals. Another factor is how much time exists between the writing of the originals and the copies. Many documents that we’ve reconstructed with high certainty that they are accurate only have a few copies and can span over thousands of years. An example would be The Jewish War, which only has nine surviving manuscripts dating about four centuries after the originals. As you can see, historians are able to do a good job with this.
 
In comparison, the New Testament FAR outweighs any secular document. The one with the most is Homer’s Iliad with 647 copies. The New Testament has 5,366 separate Greek manuscripts. These were all written within a few hundred years of the originals. As you can see, we can have very high confidence that the New Testament is reliable. [1]
 
Now, having established the reliability of the New Testament, I will look at the various theories used to try to falsify the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I would like to say that the existence of Jesus as well as his crucifixion are facts and are not arguable. Unless my opponent asks me to, it is a waste of time to discuss that. I am focusing on what is debated over, which is the resurrection.
 
1.    The Swoon Theory
2.    The Hallucination Theory
3.    The Conspiracy Theory
 
The Swoon Theory
 
The swoon theory states that Jesus never died on the cross, but simply passed out. Let’s first examine the facts of the situation. We know that Jesus was severely beaten, stabbed, pierced with spikes and nails, was bleeding, and he even had a spear thrust into his side. The possibility that he could have survived this is ludicrous. However, besides that, he would’ve had to wake up, roll the GIANT STONE DOOR over the tomb, not a little bit, but all the way out, and he would have had to do all of that without alerting the guards who were posted outside.
Some people say that the guards fell asleep and that the disciples came and stole the body. However, in those times, a guard could lose their life if they did that, so that is simply not true. And even if they did, they would’ve been awoken by all of the noise.
 
The Hallucination Theory
 
This theory states that the people only hallucinated Jesus appearing to them after he had died. Hallucinations are individual events and cannot spread beyond just one person. Here is a list of all of Jesus’ appearances:
 
Luke 24:39 Jesus’ Own Testimony
Revelation 1:18 Jesus’ Own Testimony
John 20:14-16 Mary Magdalene
Matthew 28:9 The Virgin Mary
Luke 24:34 Peter
Luke 24:13-16 Two Disciples On a Road
John 20:19,20,24 The Disciples (except Thomas)
John 26-28 All of the Disciples
John 21:1,2 Seven Disciples
Matthew 28:16,17 Eleven Disciples
1 Corinthians 15:6 Over 500 people
1 Corinthians 15:7 James
Acts 9:3-5 Saul
Acts 1:3 Saul
 
That is over 10 appearances to over 500 people. Quite obviously, it is impossible for 500 people to hallucinate the same thing. The hallucination theory is false.
 
The Conspiracy Theory
 
This one states that the disciples stole the body themselves and fabricated the entire story. First of all, there are absolutely no records of this ever happening. Second, the accounts of Jesus appearing to over 500 people disprove this. Third, they had Jesus appear to women. Women were not considered reliable in Jewish culture, so if they were to fabricate it, they wouldn’t have included women. Fourth, a lot of the Bible is made up of personal letters that are clearly not meant for the public eye. If this theory were true, the personal letters would indicate the exchange between the people trying to determine the logistics of the whole ordeal, but this is not the case.
 
And, what is perhaps the biggest part of this, is that 10 out of 11 of the Apostles were martyred for their beliefs. Why do that unless they were telling the truth?
 
Finally, no written record has ever been shown to have found the body of Jesus Christ. Keep in mind, it was in the Romans interest to find the body and put down the Christian uprising instantly. However, that never happened.
 
So, as shown, none of the theories about the resurrection of Jesus holds up; except, of course, the fact that he did rise from the dead and appeared to people afterward. [2]

I will rebut my opponent’s points in the next round.
 
Thank you to voters and my opponent for reading this. Over to you! :)
 
Sources
 

Round 2
Pro
The BC/AD claim:
History is a tricky subject with lots of maybes in it. We have some understanding and knowledge about the past, but it has been tainted with biases and personal perspectives. At best history deals in probabilities and possibilities. Experts say the origin of BC/AD is uncertain. [1] It was most likely introduced by Christians, though it is more superior to other forms of dating. It most certainly was not introduced by Rome in the first century.
 
Reliability of the New Testament claim:
The 5,366+ manuscripts are mostly fragments, and over 94% of them came after the ninth century. [2] The Bible we have today is considered reliably passed down, at least mostly reliable in respects to the original content. [3] Even if we were certain the Bible was 100% accurate from the originals, it still does not tell us how reliable the information is written in the Bible. This is my mean argument for why the resurrection is likely not true. What would it take to believe in any other holy book? Has your holy book met that level of scrutiny? When we believe something is true, it is hard to think objectively about it. Also, the resurrection is not mentioned by historians during this time.
 
Theories to falsify the resurrection:
The resurrection claim itself is unfalsifiable which is considered a logical fallacy. When I was young one of my classmates told me that the inside of a watermelon was blue until you cut it open. There is no way to validate this claim, but you cannot prove it false either. All of the miracle claims made by Muhammad, Joseph Smith, and other spiritual leaders of various religious beliefs are unfalsifiable. These claims are irrefutable. The time to believe a claim is true is when it meets its burden of proof.
 
Three theories were mentioned by my opponent in the opening statement: the Swoon Theory, the Hallucination Theory, and the Conspiracy Theory. These theories prove there are alternative possibilities other than the accounts in the Bible that could explain an empty tomb better than a resurrection. None of these theories are particularly convincing to me, but I would like to make some observations about the arguments. I would completely agree with my opponent about the first theory if we were to assume the Bible is accurate, the second would be a stretch, and the third is a little unbelievable. Considering the differences between the four stories, it is entirely conceivable this is completely made up. I am not a mythicist, but I can see why people believe Jesus never really existed. He is mentioned no where else other than the Bible, and that was not written during the time of Jesus. I do not believe Jesus was the Son of God or that he did any of the miracles claimed in the Bible, so in that sense I am a mythicist.
 
I have found the 500 witnesses to be a strange argument to bring up, and I have read it before in some apologetics book. We do not have 500 witnesses. We have a story in a book about 500 witnesses. It strikes me as odd that the Son of God needed people other than himself to write down and pass on his words and deeds without even physically being there to see it through. It would have been more believable if he wrote a book himself and passed it on. All we have are copies of copies of translations of copies of books and letters written decades after the life of Jesus. Should this be a convincing way for a Deity to communicate his words to us?
 
Most of the arguments Con has made are presupposing the Bible is true: the stone rolled away; the 500 witnesses; the verses that support Jesus being witnessed; the guards sleeping; etc. My opponent says “no written record has ever been shown to have found the body of Jesus Christ.” Even if someone did find the body, how could anyone know it was Jesus? This is an unfalsifiable and irrefutable claim. Elvis was seen after his death, are we to believe this is true until the evidence says otherwise?
 
My opponent brought up martyrs. Islam has martyrs, and so do countless other religions. It is possible to be convinced of something untrue and be willing to die for it. Study the start of Mormonism and you will find martyrs. Joseph Smith Jr. himself was a martyr. Under this logic Mormonism would be true.
 
Back to you!
 
 
 

Con
I will now rebut my opponent's arguments. I will defend my own in the next round.

Contradictions

Firstly, these contradictions prove my point more, rather than disproving them. If the stories of the resurrection had been exactly the same, then we would know that it was likely that all four authors just sat around a table and said: "Ok, we'll say this, we'll say that, and make sure to add this." The differences in between them tell us that the stories are unique and that it was not a conspiracy.

Secondly, none of the stories are contradictions. Rather, some authors mention certain details while others mention other details. However, none of these supposed "contradictions" actually occur in the real substance of the story. The main details are what they all agree on.

I ask my opponent if you had a group of friends tell you that they had gone to the carnival, and one says they left at 12:30, and one says the left at 1:30, and one says they left at 12:00, would you suddenly not believe their story? I would still believe it. Now if one said they got in a car crash on the way and another says the trip was completely fine, THEN I would start doubting because the contradictions lie in the important parts.

With that said, I will show you how none of the things mentioned are actually contradictions.

Who Visited The Tomb?

This is just one of those details that I mentioned. Some authors mentioned some women while others mentioned other women. Notice that none said "only this certain group of women." They said a woman or women, but that they never said ONLY that woman or those women. Therefore it is not a contradiction.

How Many Angels Were There?

Again, notice that neither Mark nor Matthew says that ONLY 1 angel was there, they simply only mention one. For some reason, they didn't see it necessary to mention the second angel. Again, this simply shows that the authors were independent and not colluding. If you have two angels, you also have one angel, it just so happens that another one is there as well!

At What Time?

Matthew, Mark, and Luke all agree that it was early in the morning, and John says it was dark out. First of all, it can still be dark out early in the morning; it certainly is where I live! Secondly, John could be describing the departure of the women, when it was still dark, and then it became brighter when they got to the tomb. Either way, this, again, is hardly an important detail and is not a contradiction.

What Did They Do?

Both Matthew, Luke, and John says that women told the disciples, while Mark says they didn't. Firstly, my opponent says that Matthew said they had great joy while Mark says they were afraid. That isn't true. Matthew says they had fear AND THEN had great joy, while Mark only mentions the fear. That's not a contradiction; they're simply different people who choose certain details to mention. Secondly, look at the original Greek:

"As a further observation, it is perhaps worth noting that the Greek underlying neither said [they any thing] to any [man] (Mark 16:8) has "said" in the aorist aspect (οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπον), which does not qualify the duration or completion of the action. We might translate Mark 16:8b as "Neither did they say anything to anyone (at that moment)"." [1]

So we can say that they didn't tell the disciples at first, but later got the courage to tell them the account.

Final

Finally, I will challenge my opponent to answer the question: what happened to the body? Why was it never found?

Also, I will encourage my opponent and voters to look at the following link, which has a graphic that shows the complete resurrection story when all of the details are put together.


Conclusion

So, from the resurrection account, we can see that the stories differing shows a lack of collusion and bolsters their authenticity. Secondly, we see that nothing flatly contradicts each other; different people simply decide to mention certain things while other people mention other things. Because of this, we can be certain in the resurrection of Jesus.

Sources

Round 3
Pro
The Carnival Claim:
So imagine four friends at the carnival when all of a sudden something appears in the distance. Of course they broke away from the carnival for a few and went into the woods a little ways off until they reached a clearing when it happened. 
 
They saw something in the woods that night. They told some of their friends and word got out to a reporter who was interested in this encounter. They agree to be interviewed separately. The reporter asks, what happened that night? The first person said they saw a UFO hovering above them in plain sight. It was around sunset. It hovered there for a few minutes and then flew away out of sight. The reporter then questioned the second person. What happened that night? The second person said they saw two UFO’s hovering overhead. It was late evening when the event happened. The UFO’s flew around for a bit and then flew out of sight.
 
The reporter asks the third person to tell his side of the story. So what happened that night? The third person says they saw two UFO’s fly into view. They were spinning saucers with lights hovering around, back and forth they went. It looked as though they were interested in the friends. The person said they flew around for a little bit and then took off out of view. Finally the reporter interviews the last of the friends. So what did you see? The fourth friend said there were two UFO’s. It was dark outside by this point. They looked like flying saucers spinning around and around. One of them landed on the ground for a few seconds and then they took off.
 
This story has an extraordinary claim of seeing UFO’s and a close encounter. The stories of the friends differ in much the same way as the stories in the Bible. I can make them say the same thing by suggesting like you did that the others were just leaving out facts. Under most circumstances we would doubt what they saw was accurate if they could not agree on what exactly it was they saw. Plus the UFO part makes the claim a little bit more unbelievable. 
 
Law enforcement interrogates people separately to find out if their stories line up. If they do not, then they are lying. My opponent says “we can see that the stories differing shows a lack of collusion and bolsters their authenticity.” Why does this increase your confidence in the narrative? The resurrection is an extraordinary claim. Where is the proof that it really happened?
 
Anyone of any faith can use the method my opponent used to conclude their religion is correct. Religion often works backwards from their conclusions to the evidence they use to support it. For instance, the resurrection story is only believable if the Bible is presupposed to be true, accurate, and the inspired word of God. Without this presupposition, what evidence is there? Jesus could presumably end this debate by showing up in his own flesh and blood to the Earth, but he will not do that. Why not? (I am aware he has a glorified body, but he is God)
 
What is even more problematic, the Bible is full of extraordinary claims from the very first page all the way to the last. It has talking animals, people walking on water, healed by sneezing or filthy water from a river, floating iron axe head, world wide flood, the exodus story with the cloud by day and fire by night, manna, etc. I could go on and on about these unbelievable stories that supposedly happened in the Bible. Why are these stories believable? They do not seem to match the reality we live in. What other book with these types of claims would we even consider to be true?
 
The AnswersInGenesis Claim:
I can summarize this whole article in the final sentence of the conclusion, ”No matter how many objections unbelievers raise, Christians can be confident there are no contradictions in the Word of God.” [1] The author of this post just admits nothing will change his or her mind. It does not matter how many objections I bring up, the answer will always be the same. If I were to use this method, what world view would be falsified? If all we ever did was reassure ourselves every time we see red flags, we would never change our minds. This is closed minded thinking. I am open to new ideas if they can be substantiated.
 
The Questions at the End:
“What happened to the body? Why was it never found?”
 
Plurium Interrogationum (Logical Fallacy)
“Description: A question that has a presupposition built in, which implies something but protects the one asking the question from accusations of false claims.  It is a form of misleading discourse, and it is a fallacy when the audience does not detect the assumed information implicit in the question and accepts it as a fact.” [2]
 
Everything to this point presupposes the Bible is absolute truth. This is a sticky point to me, because I find many issues in the Bible. Presuppositionalism is an unreliable method to determine truth. All religions presuppose certain facts which leads them to believe. The problem with this method is the sheer number of religious beliefs. Presupposition can lead to any conclusion you want to believe. The questions above assumes the events happened as described in the Bible, and I am convinced there is no way to know for sure.
 
I believe the best method for determining truth is the Scientific Method. 
 
The Scientific Method: (Short Hand) [3]
1. Make an observation
2. Ask questions
3. Form a hypothesis
4. Test hypothesis
5. Analyze data
6. Reproduce experiment (Try to falsify the hypothesis)
 
This method is why we are able to have this debate online. When I was growing up we did not have smart phones, Youtube, Facebook, tablets, and all the realistic games kids do now. This innovation is due to the Scientific Method. We have trains, plains, automobiles, the Space Station, rovers, satellites, flat screen TV’s, electricity, etc. All of our understanding of the natural world is a testament to the quality of this method. Theoretical Science deals with the unknowns, but the bulk of science agrees unlike religious perspectives.
 
The problem with the Bible is even when you go back to the second and third centuries, there was still disagreement about the proper interpretation of it. There are thousands of sects of Christianity and almost every point in the Bible is debated. Not only can we not prove the Bible is factually accurate, we cannot determine the proper interpretation of it. 
 
[1] https://answersingenesis.org/jesus-christ/resurrection/christs-resurrection-four-accounts-one-reality/
[2] https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/69/Complex-Question-Fallacy
[3] https://www.livescience.com/20896-science-scientific-method.html

Con
The BC/AD Claim

My opponent seems to have taken me a little too seriously. When I said that our dates revolved around Jesus, that was not evidence towards my position. I was simply pointing it out.

Reliability

I've already established the reliability of the New Testament. We know it is reliable because it checks more of the boxes for reliability than almost literally any other document. That is simply how history is discovered and determined to be true. Please read my round one again for more elaboration.

Considering the differences between the four stories, it is entirely conceivable this is completely made up. I am not a mythicist, but I can see why people believe Jesus never really existed. He is mentioned no where else other than the Bible, and that was not written during the time of Jesus. I do not believe Jesus was the Son of God or that he did any of the miracles claimed in the Bible, so in that sense I am a mythicist.
I already debunked that theory. For example, women, who were not considered reliable testifiers, were used in the story. If they were making it up, they wouldn't have used women in their story. But they did! There are many other points that I mentioned in round one as well.

These claims are irrefutable. The time to believe a claim is true is when it meets its burden of proof.
Have I not? I've already established that Jesus' life and death are both commonly accepted among reputable historians, yet the body was never found, even though the Romans had every reason to find it and squash the Christian rebellion.

All we have are copies of copies of translations of copies of books and letters written decades after the life of Jesus. Should this be a convincing way for a Deity to communicate his words to us?
Why shouldn't it be? That is literally how all history is passed down. As I've shown, they are reliable, so there is no reason not to look at this.

Even if someone did find the body, how could anyone know it was Jesus?
Because they would've pulled back the bandages and looked a the face...
If Jesus really did die, they simply could have gone into the tomb and found him. As I said in round one, it was virtually impossible to steal the body, so that is not an option.

My opponent brought up martyrs. Islam has martyrs, and so do countless other religions. It is possible to be convinced of something untrue and be willing to die for it. Study the start of Mormonism and you will find martyrs. Joseph Smith Jr. himself was a martyr. Under this logic Mormonism would be true.
No, martyrs by themselves are not convincing enough. However, with the other things mentioned, they tremendously help the argument. That is why I did not mention ONLY martyrs, but other factors as well.

Elvis was seen after his death, are we to believe this is true until the evidence says otherwise?
How many people saw him? How many at one time? How reliable were they? The evidence points towards Jesus, but not towards Elvis, which is why we don't believe that.


Over to you! :)
Round 4
Pro
On Reliability:
As I have already mentioned, I do not have a problem with saying that the narrative of the stories in the Bible are probably reliable in the sense that it keeps the overall meaning the same as the original, even though there is no way to actually prove this to be the case. The best we can do with history is say something probably happened or it possibly happened. To say that Jesus probably resurrected is absurd because a resurrection by definition is naturally impossible and therefore improbable.
 
Was I Debunked?
Debunk means to “expose the falseness or hollowness of (an idea or belief)”. [1] In no way has Con demonstrated my position is false or hollow. History is best understood through unbiased sources. No first century historian mentions Jesus’ life, death, or resurrection accounts explicitly. The only source quoted in the past was Josephus Flavius, Antiquities of the Jews, which is now known to be a forgery, even by Christians. “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” [2] This is known to be a forgery, and if Christians can add this to a famous historians work, how much more would they be willing to change other books. I have heard somewhere Bart Ehrman say there are more variations in the different manuscripts than words in the New Testament. I could not find that quote, but I am confident in saying there are a lot of variations within the manuscripts themselves. The forgery of Josephus is thought to have happened in the fourth century AD, because prior to that there is no mention of the quote above by any of the early church Fathers. The earliest full manuscripts we have also come from the fourth century. This is most certainly problematic for the reliability of the New Testament.
 
There was a historian in the early first century who also wrote about the history of the Jews. His work has been lost, only leaving a critics fragment about him the only remaining fragment left. “I have read (says Photius) the chronology of Justus of Tiberias, whose title is this, [The Chronology of] the Kings of Judah which succeeded one another. This [Justus] came out of the city of Tiberias in Galilee. He begins his history from Moses, and ends it not till the death of Agrippa, the seventh [ruler] of the family of Herod, and the last king of the Jews; who took the government under Claudius, had it augmented under Nero, and still more augmented by Vespasian. He died in the third year of Trajan, where also his history ends. He is very concise in his language, and slightly passes over those affairs that were most necessary to be insisted on; and being under the Jewish prejudices, as indeed he was himself also a Jew by birth, he makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, or what things happened to him, or of the wonderful works that he did.” [3] This statement coming from a critic is undoubtedly presenting a case against the resurrection. If the resurrection happened, why not mention it, or at the very least his miracles? This event, or any event of Jesus’ life, was not even worth a mention by a contemporary historian.
 
The only place we have the life, death by crucifixion, and the resurrection of Jesus is in the New Testament written by believers. We also know there have been additions and changes made to the New Testament since they have been in circulation. So we have bias accounts written decades after the fact, by unknown authors, [4] with unknown sources, with the intent to convince the reader of the truth of the claims without a shred of evidence outside of these accounts which disagree with each other about certain events, locations, and order of events along with the fact that they have been changed by scribes over the centuries. Again, even if I conceded the reliability of the information written in the Bible, it still does not prove the reliability of the claims in the Bible.
 
Miracles:
Hume said “A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.” [5] Miracle means “an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.” [6] Miracles always lacks evidence and is unexplainable by science. As I explained in Round 3, method is important if we wish to know truth. If we suggest everything we do not understand is a miracle, it is meaningless and stifles enquiry. Progress is made by asking questions and looking for the truth. Accepting it is just a miracle stops one from having to look deeper into the claims.
 
Reliability should yield consistent results. If the New Testament accounts were reliable, they should be consistent, but they are not. If Christianity were reliable, it should be consistent in practice, but it is not. There are thousands of sects of Christianity. A reliable method will yield consistent results just as the Scientific Method does. My issue with miracles stems from this understanding. When I pray, I get inconsistent results. People of all faiths, even outside of Christianity, get answered prays and unanswered prayers. It is as if it is random chance, which is exactly what I would expect if the phenomenon were naturally occurring. Our knowledge of the Universe shows us that things happen for a reason. Every time humans have attributed the unknown to a Deity, we have found the answers from natural laws. If God created the Universe as Christians claim, miracles would be inconsistent with creation. Take an artist of a painting, for instance, how do we authenticate it? The strokes of an artist are consistent and will tell us who is responsible. The Universe is predictable when we know what we are looking for. This is how we have created plains, satellites, rockets, and the Space Station. The laws of nature work the same way every day. Miracles on the other hand are hit and miss. More often than not a miss. Why? Miracles are just unexplained natural events without proper evidence to determine causality. If miracles did happen, it would prove multiple gods because the artists strokes would not match the original creation.
 
Logic should explain what happened. William Lane Craig shows a sample argument in his book, On Guard. “All men are mortal. Biological evidence shows that human organisms eventually die. Socrates is a man. Both Plato and Aristotle refer to Socrates as a real person. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.” [7] If we apply this same logic to Jesus of Nazareth, we end up with Jesus being mortal, and all mortals die. On the other hand, use this type of logic to talk about the resurrection. All men are mortal, once mortals die (fully) they never come back to life. Biological evidence shows that once the bodily fluids have drained, you remain dead indefinitely. Jesus was a mortal. Therefore Jesus remains dead indefinitely. If I am to proportion my beliefs to the evidence, this argument is true. There is no evidence to the contrary, yet this is a claim made by the Gospel writers about the man Jesus.

Untrue:
In Round 2, I was accused of saying something untrue under the question “What Did They Do?” I want to clarify my reasons now. I omitted fear from Matthews account in my opening because it was in both accounts and was not relevant to my point. I only targeted discrepancies within the text to highlight the issues I had. I included the chapter and verse so it can be verified by anyone who wishes to take the time to examine the claims I was making. It was not an attempt to hide that fact.
 
The Women at the Tomb:
This is another bizarre claim apologists make about the authenticity of the accounts. It fits the narrative of the story. If the women were not involved in the telling of the story, what reasons would they have had of going to the tomb? “Tending to the dead was the women’s work in this culture.” [8] The men did verify, so ultimately we have the testimony of men, not women. To repeat my opening remarks, the amount of women, the names of the women, and what they did change depending who’s account you read. John has a very unique telling of the story of events. Even the events on the cross change from Gospel to Gospel. Who do we believe? Should we try to make it read the same regardless of how different the stories are? How can we falsify our beliefs if all we ever do is tamper with the evidence until it matches our conclusions? If we examine these events with an open mind, the contradictions between the stories will become more clear.
 
[3] The works of Flavius Josephus, William Whiston, (Translator) Location 30574 of 32269
[7] On Guard, William Lane Craig, Page 27

Con
The Carnival Claim
 
Allow me to organize my opponent's points of views.
 
Friend 1: Hovering UFO around sunset, hovered for a few seconds then flew away
Friend 2: 2 UFO's, late evening, flew around for a bit,
Friend 3: Two UFO's, went back and forth
Friend 4: Dark outside, two UFO's, one landed
 
First of all, this is only four people. As I said in my 4th round, over 500 people saw Jesus. There is a huge difference there. Secondly, many of these differences are not as reconcilable as the ones that my opponent pointed out in round 1. 
 
The AnswersInGenesis Claim
 
Here, my opponent is simply referring to a link that I provided. Please note that I never said that that link was a source, nor did I use it as justification for any of my claims. I just thought that the graphic was nice and might help voters and/or my opponent, but it was in no way evidence. Because of that, everything my opponent said is irrelevant.

Everything to this point presupposes the Bible is absolute truth. This is a sticky point to me, because I find many issues in the Bible. 
I've already established the reliability of the New Testament. I don't understand why that keeps coming into question.

Presuppositionalism is an unreliable method to determine truth. All religions presuppose certain facts which leads them to believe. The problem with this method is the sheer number of religious beliefs. Presupposition can lead to any conclusion you want to believe. The questions above assumes the events happened as described in the Bible, and I am convinced there is no way to know for sure.
I am not "presupposing" anything. I've clearly outlined the evidence in the New Testament for my position multiple times, as well as established that the New Testament is more reliable than almost any other historical document. Of course we cannot 100% know that it is true because no one was there, but likewise, we cannot know anything was 100% true because no one was in history (that is still alive). However, that is certainly not a reason to dismiss the evidence that we DO have that points quite a bit to Jesus being resurrected.

The problem with the Bible is even when you go back to the second and third centuries, there was still disagreement about the proper interpretation of it. There are thousands of sects of Christianity and almost every point in the Bible is debated.
A VERY large majority of these disagreements are over Jesus' words and God's words and what they mean in accordance to us. However, those disagreements aren't present when it comes to the resurrection account, and I've already shown how it is reliable. Simply saying that people disagree over other parts of the Bible does nothing to disprove the fact that Jesus was resurrected, and it does not rebut my claims at all.

And notice, that even with those disagreements, all of those sects (or at least an overwhelming majority) agree that Jesus was resurrected.

Conclusion

I've conclusively shown the evidence for Jesus' resurrection and my opponent has yet to cats reasonable doubt onto that. Until he does, please vote Con.
Round 5
Pro
Outline of main points

A、I outlined in the first round the discrepancies in the resurrection accounts.
  a) Some are minor discrepancies while others are unreconcilable.
  b) John’s account seems completely different from the other accounts.
  c) The Bible is our only source for the resurrection of Jesus.
    i. The Bible has errors in it.
    ii. The Bible is inconsistent about the events of the resurrection story.
    iii. The Bible has been tampered with throughout history.
      1. Ending of Mark differs from manuscript to manuscript.
      2. There are numerous scribal errors and some intentional changes.
B、I provided reasonable doubt for the reliability of the NT.
  a) The manuscripts we have are...
    i. Copies of copies of translations of copies passed down.
    ii. Over 94% written after ninth century.
    iii. The bulk of them are fragments, and many are really small fragments.
  b) The witnesses of Jesus
    i. We have no written testimony of any of the witnesses.
    ii. We have no idea who these 500 witnesses are.
    iii. All witnesses mention in the Bible are believers.
      1. Believers have conformation bias.
    iv. The only place to find these witnesses of Jesus is in the Bible.
      1. You have to presuppose the Bible is true.
      2. The Bible has been tampered with, can it be trusted?
C、Presuppositions can lead to any belief.
  a) All religions use this approach.
    i. Muslims
    ii. Christians
    iii. Mormons
    iv. Hindus
    v. Buddhists
  b) Presuppositions require no actual evidence.
    i. Instead of actual evidence, people will use their presuppositions.
      1. Proof
        a) The Bible.
        b) The Quran.
        c) Tao Te Ching.
        d) The Vedas.
      2. All religious followers will point to their respective texts.
        a) Notice none will give good evidence for the claims they make.
      3. The only presupposition Christians need is the Bible.
      4. All beliefs can be found in the Bible only.
        a) The resurrection
        b) Feeding of the 5000
        c) Moses parting of the waters
        d) Walking on water
        e) Talking serpent and donkey
      5. The Bible has not met its burden of proof
        a) Hume
          i. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.
D、Miracles
  i. Miracles are unexplainable.
    1. Every time we explain something, it ceases to be supernatural.
      a) Lightning
      b) Earthquakes
      c) Famine
    2. We should wait for evidence before assuming it is supernatural.
  ii. The resurrection would be a miracle.
    1. We have never witnessed a resurrection.
      a) All men are mortals.
      b) Once mortals die (fully) they never come back to life.
      c) Biological evidence shows that once the bodily fluids have drained, you remain dead indefinitely.
      d) Jesus was a mortal.
      e) Therefore Jesus remains dead indefinitely.
        i. Unless there is proof of the contrary, we should except this conclusion.
          a) Method
            i. What method should we use to determine truth?
              1. Presuppositions
                a) Can lead to any conclusion.
                b) All religions use this method with wildly different results.
              2. Scientific Method
                a) What is it?
                  i. Make an observation
                  ii. Ask questions
                  iii. Form a hypothesis
                  iv. Test hypothesis
                  v. Analyze data
                  vi. Reproduce experiment (Try to falsify the hypothesis)
                b) This method is consistent.
                  i. Proof
                    1. Planes
                    2. Trains
                    3. Automobiles
                    4. Space Station
                    5. Rockets
                    6. Satellites
                    7. TV’s
                      a) All of these are a result of this method.
                c) This method will only lead to a single conclusion.
                  i. If you cannot prove the hypothesis, it remains unknown.
                    1. Remain agnostic until the evidence is found.
                d) This method is by far the best approach to finding truth.
                  i. If a method yields consistent results, it should be trusted.
 
My opponent has referenced the reliability claim made in his opening statement a few times throughout this debate. I reject this claim. I have demonstrated that the work of Josephus was tampered with by Christians, and if a prominent late first century historians work was changed, what else might have been changed? We know manuscripts have been changed because the manuscripts we found have differences. Not only do we not know what the originals said exactly, we have no evidence to support the claims made by the NT writers. My opponent has made no attempt to show the claims have merit and should therefore be taken seriously.

Con
As I have already mentioned, I do not have a problem with saying that the narrative of the stories in the Bible are probably reliable in the sense that it keeps the overall meaning the same as the original, even though there is no way to actually prove this to be the case. The best we can do with history is say something probably happened or it possibly happened. To say that Jesus probably resurrected is absurd because a resurrection by definition is naturally impossible and therefore improbable.
Nobody has made the claim that Jesus was resurrected by natural means. It was a supernatural miracle.

Debunk means to “expose the falseness or hollowness of (an idea or belief)”. [1] In no way has Con demonstrated my position is false or hollow. 
It is not my job to prove that Con's position is false and/or hollow. I am making the positive claim, so the opposite is true. He must prove that my position is false or hollow, and he has so far failed to do so.

History is best understood through unbiased sources. No first century historian mentions Jesus’ life, death, or resurrection accounts explicitly. 
There are plenty of reasons for this. Firstly, not many sources from that time have survived.

Secondly, why would anyone write about Jesus? They had no way to know how big Christianity would become and how much influence Jesus would have. 

Thirdly, Jesus lived in Judea, which was a very remote area, so they weren't recording every random Jew who died.

The New Testament is still sufficient is still enough to make this case. [1]

This is known to be a forgery, and if Christians can add this to a famous historians work, how much more would they be willing to change other books
If we could determine that that was a forgery, that means we could see that other things are forgeries as well. But since we see that the things I was talked about weren't mentioned as forgeries, they likely are not.

I have heard somewhere Bart Ehrman say there are more variations in the different manuscripts than words in the New Testament. I could not find that quote, but I am confident in saying there are a lot of variations within the manuscripts themselves.
That's an unfounded claim.

This statement coming from a critic is undoubtedly presenting a case against the resurrection. If the resurrection happened, why not mention it, or at the very least his miracles? This event, or any event of Jesus’ life, was not even worth a mention by a contemporary historian.
I addressed this above. 

The only place we have the life, death by crucifixion, and the resurrection of Jesus is in the New Testament written by believers. We also know there have been additions and changes made to the New Testament since they have been in circulation. So we have bias accounts written decades after the fact, by unknown authors, [4] with unknown sources, with the intent to convince the reader of the truth of the claims without a shred of evidence outside of these accounts which disagree with each other about certain events, locations, and order of events along with the fact that they have been changed by scribes over the centuries. Again, even if I conceded the reliability of the information written in the Bible, it still does not prove the reliability of the claims in the Bible.
If that was true, the integrity of the writers would have been challenged by my opponent. However, they were not, and any such challenges that were presented by me were easily fended off. Secondly, we still have the original manuscripts. We literally compare what we have today to those earlier manuscripts. That's how the reliability of the documents are determined.

Reliability should yield consistent results. If the New Testament accounts were reliable, they should be consistent, but they are not. If Christianity were reliable, it should be consistent in practice, but it is not. There are thousands of sects of Christianity.
This is irrelevant. The debates are over interpretations of Jesus' and God's words. That has nothing to do with the established facts laid out in the New Testament about the resurrection.

When I pray, I get inconsistent results.
Prayer has nothing to do with the resurrection.

If we apply this same logic to Jesus of Nazareth, we end up with Jesus being mortal, and all mortals die. On the other hand, use this type of logic to talk about the resurrection. All men are mortal, once mortals die (fully) they never come back to life. Biological evidence shows that once the bodily fluids have drained, you remain dead indefinitely. Jesus was a mortal. Therefore Jesus remains dead indefinitely. If I am to proportion my beliefs to the evidence, this argument is true. There is no evidence to the contrary, yet this is a claim made by the Gospel writers about the man Jesus.
The resurrection account VERY strongly points towards Jesus being God and being raised up by divine power. Again, no one made the claim that this happened naturally.

The Women At The Tomb

This is something I addressed in the first round. Women were not considered to be reliable testifiers, so had the story been faked, men would have been the people in the story, not women. This is just another factor that shows the truth of the story.

Conclusion

The evidence in my first round has remained stable from my opponent's attacks, and I believe that I have sufficiently defended it. I've shown how the New Testament is reliable, and how the accounts in it cannot be made up or fake, and how the supposed "contradictions" in it are not really there. The only remaining logical conclusion is that Jesus was resurrected. Thank you to my opponent and to voters!

Sources