95 See chapter 7 for a further treatment of these two theories and the critically attested historical facts that refute them.
96 See Eusebius, I:IX; II:XXIII; II:XXV for accounts of the martyrdoms of several of the disciples.
This charge fails to address the two unbelieving skeptics who saw the risen Jesus, Paul and James the brother of Jesus, who would hardly have been convinced by such fraud. These and several other considerations such as the quality of the disciples’ ethical teachings account for the dismissal of this view even by critical scholars. As far as the author knows, it has not been held by a reputable scholar for over 200 years.^97
Equally faulty is the hypothesis that the body of Jesus was taken or moved by someone other than the disciples. The major problem, among others, is that it does not account for the strongest, critically ascertained fact in favor of the resurrection— the disciples’ belief that the risen Jesus had literally appeared to them. Since one must search elsewhere to account for this major fact, this view cannot disprove the resurrection. Not only is this the case for the disciples, but even more so with Paul and James, who pose additional refutations.
Additionally, such views fail to provide a plausible person(s) to perform such an act, viable motives, a place for Jesus’ final burial, or for the fact that the act was never admitted, discovered, or otherwise reported. But again, the appearances of Jesus are not even dealt with by these theses, and this constitutes the primary refutation.
Also, it should be remembered that the Toledoth Jesu, which purports the view that Jesus’ body was dragged down Jerusalem’s streets, is a much later source, and it is disdained as nonhistorical even by Jewish scholars. Its thesis fails because such an act would have killed Christianity centuries ago, but such an act obviously did not occur. Neither does it explain Jesus’ appearances. It is no wonder that these fraud hypotheses have also had no reputable supporters in the last two centuries.^98