A Look at a Rabbi’s Objection to the Resurrection of Jesus
Dan Cohn-Sherbock, a well-known rabbi of Reform Judaism and Jewish theologian provides his own reasons for rejecting the resurrection of Jesus. He says:
"As a Jew and a rabbi, I could be convinced of Jesus’ resurrection, but I would set very high standards of what is required. It would not be enough to have a subjective experience of Jesus. If I heard voices or had a visionary experience of Jesus, this would not be enough. Let me sketch the kind of experience that would be necessary. If Jesus appeared by hosts of angels trailing clouds of glory and announcing all for His Messiah ship to see, this would be compelling. But it would have to take place in
The comments by Rabbi Cohn-Sherbock demonstrate the attitude among many in the modern world today. He also raises some objections based on another traditional role of the Messiah in Judaism. However, there isn’t one
Thus, while Jewish people like to boast of the thousands of witnesses that were at the Sinai event, both Christians and Messianic Jews can discuss the witnesses to the resurrection. However, in both cases, the testimony of the witnesses is imbedded in a written text. This means we must differentiate between direct and circumstantial evidence.
Almost all historical inquiries, as well as cold case investigations are built on indirect or what is called “circumstantial evidence.” When we rely on circumstantial evidence, we can imagine a court scene where a series of coincidental circumstances are
The demand for direct evidence is misguided from the start, because when it comes to antiquity, no one can interview or cross-examine eyewitnesses. Since we can’t obtain direct evidence about the resurrection of Jesus nor for the giving of the Torah, we must build a circumstantial case for both events. Therefore, both Judaism and Christianity/Messianic Judaism are supported by circumstantial evidence.
1. G. D’ Costa, Resurrection Reconsidered (London:
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