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Alternate Theories of the Resurrection
As you can see from the plain facts as well as the circumstantial evidence, the case for the resurrection of Christ is very compelling. Nonetheless, many have difficulty believing in the power of God and go to great lengths to explain it away. Through my research I have collected at least eleven alternate stories. As it turns out, all of them can be grouped into two categories. Either the body was still in the tomb, or it was not.
In all theories where the tomb is still occupied, one must reconcile the fact that Jesus appeared to over 500 eyewitnesses over a period of forty days (1 Corinthians 15:6). All of this happened in many different environments, locations, and events. Additionally, if the tomb was occupied the Jews would have produced the body promptly in order to squelch the rampant growth of Christianity. Instead, many of them became disciples (e.g. Acts 2). Finally, if the tomb were still occupied, there would have been no need to bribe the guards (Matthew 28:12-13). The alibi that was fabricated by the Jews on behalf of the guards was only necessary if the body was missing.
Aside from these problems, there are other issues present with each surrogate endeavor to explain the resurrection. Below are several attempted explanations, along with the related inconsistencies.