Chapter 13 is about the post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus, and there’s a lot here we’ll cover more in Defending the Resurrection, with some earlier versions of DTR material we can link to here. From the start, Price raises the bar of evidence to stratospheric heights, claiming there just isn’t enough and there needs to be more. But Price doesn’t make the rules of evidence, and he also doesn’t use them. But more than that, most of the first part of the chapter is just a repeat of arguments Price used in his claim that the creed of 1 Cor. 15 is an interpolation. My response to this is no longer online, but is found in Trusting the New Testament; I’ll just summarize my answers here.

First, Price objected that the 500 were not mentioned in the Gospels. Why not?

I answered this ages ago, but Price still hums along with it as one of his arguments for 1 Cor. 15 as an interpolation. The chapter on TNT offers multiple-angle debunking of this fringe idea, and we need say no more. Price closes the section asking how many of the Corinthians had the chance to sail off and check such things, and the answer, contrary to him, is more than enough: apparently Price has forgotten about Diaspora Jews who frequently went off to Palestine, and would have ample chance to look up witnesses and check facts. To those we can also add the occasional wealthy Gentile, of the sort that composed an unusual number of Christianity’s earliest converts.

Regarding the conversion of James: I myself make little use of the argument that James was convinced as a Skeptic, though it is something that needs to be explained. Price has apparently realized the absurdity of his earlier answer to this argument, positing James as some sort of “in it for the money” televangelist, but still uses Luke 8:19-21 and Acts 1:14, which he says implies that “all the Holy Family embraced Jesus’ word from the start.” The full answer is again in TNT, as this was also in Price’s “interpolation” piece, but in sum: Acts 1:14 is from a time after the ascension, and so would have to be after the appearance to James as well, and therefore cannot be used; as for Luke 8:19-21, this is not at all a justifiable reading of the text., and note that Jesus' mother and brothers are notably absent from the listing of Jesus' supporters in Luke 8:1-3. Bottom line: Price's interpretation is naught but an exaggerated and tortuous act of eisegesis.

Likewise, I tend not to make much of Paul’s conversion from enemy to friend, though it is stronger than that of James, given the nature of ancient personality, which was highly resistant to change compared to the modern individualist. Price, however, deals with the matter by simply waving off the story of Paul’s conversion in Acts as ahistorical, and denies that it has any relationship to what Paul records in Galatians. Arguments for why this is the case – none, really:

So now, what about arguments derived from O’Neill, trying to dispense with Gal. 1:13-14 and 22-24?

That’s all the specifics Price offers. He plunks down for a summary claim that the Pastorals are bogus (see here, and also makes vague reference to reasons why Philippians is inauthentic, which actually, no one credible today believes; that’s why he has to reach back to Baur’s badly dated ideas to support it. (Only a dinosaur like Baur could think that the hymn of Phil. 2:6-11has anything to do with “Gnosticizing kabbalism” – it’s got roots, rather, in the Jewish Wisdom tradition).

Price also refers to the idea that Philippians “bishops and deacons” are anachronistic. He notes the answer that such offices are comparable to the “overseer” in Qumran. To this he replies that “apologists fail to see” that “such an ecclesiastical structure evolves again and again when new religious movements evolve from sect to church, and that this development is too late for Paul.” Sorry, no: This whole argument is plain goofy. New sects and such do SOMETIMES reinvent themselves compared to the parent movement, but they hardly engage a thorough revamping at all times; just look at how much Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses kept from mainstream Christendom. Those movements also make it clear that it just doesn’t take that long for such structure to “develop” – especially when other models are so readily at hand. (See more on this in Trusting the New Testament, in the chapter on the Pastorals.) Price is simply pulling the idea of repeated reinvention out of the air because he has no answer to the argument otherwise.

The rest of the chapter is a confused pastiche of objections and rewritings of history, most of which depend on the logic of the Helms-MacDonald sort (see links above), so we’ll just draw out what’s left.

And that’s all that is unique. Price is still riding dinosaurs while the rest of the world has moved on to speedboats.

To return to the hub page, click here.