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Aug 13, 2011

57 A rumor the Baptist had come back from the dead

In the first century AD the notion that the dead could return from the grave wasn't exactly unheard of. 

In the Gospels the king executed John the Baptist, but soon the people began rumoring that the Baptist had returned as Jesus. For example, the Gospel of Matthew says that Herod the Ruler believed that Jesus was the risen Baptist 

Matthew 14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” 

The Gospel of Mark says that Jesus' disciples also heard rumors of the Baptist’s return from the dead 

Mark 8:27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

Recap: The Gospels say the people rumored that John the Baptist had risen from the grave and reappeared as Jesus. So a yarn was spun about the Baptist's return from the dead. I say that the followers of Jesus spread similar rumors about the executed Jesus. In other words, they believed there was a resurrection of the Baptist, but they were wrong. And later they believed there was also a resurrection of Jesus. But they were wrong again.

Related post on my other blog:
07 Was the resurrection hoaxed

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