Πόσο θεμελιώδες ήταν το δόγμα της Ανάστασης για τον απ. Παύλο; / How fundamental is the belief in Resurrection for apostle Paul?

In the Athenian address, as we have previously noticed, two great schools of philosophy are particularly noted, the Stoic and the Epicurean. Now the Stoics were fatalists, and also pantheists; they believed that all the troubles in life came from the body, and that the chief end of life was to subdue every bodily appetite and desire, to live as reasonably and sanely as possible, until the hour of death should arrive, when the troubles of this life would be over, because the body had been left behind Some of the Stoics even went so far as to recommend suicide, so that the soul might escape the body. The Epicureans, on the other hand, “with their thorough-going atomistic materialism would not allow that the soul had any existence apart from the body; on the contrary, they held that the soul came into being at the moment of conception, grew with the body, and at the body’s death was once more dissolved into the atoms from which it first was formed.”

All the best thought of the Greeks and Romans then, agreed in this, that a resurrection of the body was never to be expected and not to be desired. Recognizing then that the resurrection of men would be ridiculous, illogical, and unbelievable to the Greeks of Athens, one might well ask, “Why then should Paul refer to it as he addressed these philosophers concerning the Lord Jesus Christ?” I think that Canon Sparrow-Simpson has given the one true, acceptable answer: “The introduction of such a doctrine into circumstances eminently unfavourable, might seem to be a failure of that insight and versatility with which we know the apostle was usually endowed to a most exceptional degree. His deliberate selection in this instance of a theme unfavourable to his design surely illustrates remarkably his sense of its fundamental character. It could not, consistently with faithfulness to his message, be possibly left out. Bearing in mind what he said about the Resurrection of Christ in 1 Cor. 15, we can well understand why he taught it even in Athens. The fact was that S. Paul had no message without it. He had nothing else to teach. He founded Christianity upon it.”

Wilbur Smith, Therefore Stand, σελ. 417, 418.

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Το στοιχείο που συνηγορεί υπέρ της πραγματικότητας της εμφάνισης του Κυρίου Ιησού Χριστού στο Σαύλο / About the actuality of Christ’s appearance to Saul

The late Professor Doremus A. Hayes, in a volume which is exceptionally helpful, The Resurrection Fact, well reminds us of a number of important details concerning the actuality of this appearance: “It was a veritable appearance of the Resurrected One, but it was different in one respect at least from all which had preceded it. Those appearances had been to believers, disciples, and friends only. This appearance was to the most active enemy the Christian church had. Stephen saw the Risen One when he was filled with the Spirit. Saul had been filled with nothing but hate for this impostor and His cause. He was in no psychological condition for apocalyptical revelation. He was at the farthest remove from the possibility of an ecstatic vision. Nothing but a sudden, unexpected, objective, irresistible revelation of the Resurrected One Himself in the majesty of His divine power could convince and convert a man like Saul. It was such an appearance which was given him.

Wilbur Smith, Therefore Stand, σελ.413.