The Beginnings of Christianity

By George P. Fisher | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVI.

THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE APOSTOLIC AGE.

AT the outset of the history of the spread of Christianity by the labors of the Apostles, stands the event which forms at once the principal warrant and the principal element of their preaching,--the Resurrection of the Lord. The mode of this event, an event that passes the bounds of ordinary human experience, and is concerned with the mystery of life and death, can never be comprehended. The fact is attested on grounds equally strong with those which support the testimony of the Apostles respecting the whole life of Jesus. There are considerations which corroborate in a remarkable manner this part of their testimony. That they, with one accord, proclaimed the fact of the Resurrection, and this from the very date of its alleged occurrence, is beyond doubt. Here, in agreement with the Gospels, Paul comes forward as an independent witness. In the year 58, he wrote from Ephesus his First Epistle to the Church at Corinth. It appears from this Letter that some Christians had called in question the doctrine of the resurrection, not the fact of the resurrection of Jesus, but the resurrection of believers generally. They may have been offended by a materialistic representation, which Paul makes it a part of his business to controvert, that the same flesh and blood that belongs to us on earth is to be revived and restored. However this may have been, Paul lays at the foundation of his reasoning the fact of the Resurrection

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