Q: Dr. Craig,
I appreciate the work you do a great deal and it has been personally beneficial to my faith and my ministry. I do have a question, however, concerning the 1st century Jewish expectations of resurrection. You write, and I agree that the evidence points to a Jewish belief in a general resurrection at the end of the age (John 11:24), as opposed to that of a dying and rising Messiah during their own lifetime. This would seem to work as evidence against certain theories that would deny the resurrection, such as it being a hoax, or the resurrection appearances being hallucinations, etc.
My question is about events like Jesus raising people from the dead (John 11:43-44; Matthew 9:25; Luke 7:13-15), and Jesus' predictions about His own death and resurrection (Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31, etc.). Would not these event's and predictions have created an expectation in His disciples that He would die and rise again? It seems difficult to argue both that there was no expectation of a dying and rising Messiah and that Jesus vindicated His radical personal claims to be a dying and rising Messiah. Did the disciples simply ignore what He said and taught? Did they fail to understand what He meant? I am curious to hear your thoughts on these questions.
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