Did Jesus' Resurrection Really Happen?
There is a distinction between the resurrection, which no one saw happen, and the things seen: the empty tomb, the appearances of the risen Jesus. The Catechism distingue accurately: the resurrection of Jesus is a real, but transcendent event, which has immanent manifestations, therefore historically provable. Those who met the resurrected Jesus gave testimony of what they saw. This testimony is all the more credible because in Greek and Jewish culture the concept of resurrection of the body was not contemplated. The Apostles' statements regarding the resurrection of Jesus are supported by the fact that they had witnessed something they would never have imagined and that they felt obliged to testify. In fact, in the cultural context in which they found themselves, the theft of the body for the purpose of demonstrating his physical Resurrection, as proof that he was the Messiah, would have been completely unthinkable. To know more click here.
What are the canonical and apocryphal Gospels?
The Gospels are books that narrate the life of Jesus. Although there are more than fifty of them, the New Testament includes only four, called "canonical", written by the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and Giovanni. The first Christian communities chose these, since they faithfully transmitted the apostolic tradition and were considered as inspired by God: this choice was expressly proposed by Saint Irenaeus of Lyons at the end of the 1545nd century and was formalized as a dogma of faith during the Council of Trent ( 1563-). The gospels called "apocryphal" are all those that the Church did not accept as an authentic apostolic tradition: "apocrypha" means "secret", since these writings were kept by a special group of initiates who had exclusive access to them; subsequently the term took on the meaning of “not authentic”. To know more click here.
With what criterion were the four Gospels chosen?
The main reason for this choice, verifiable by historical science, is that the canonical Gospels were written in the apostolic or sub-apostolic era, by someone who had witnessed the resurrection that had taken place (cf. Saint Paul) or had been able to know and listen to the witnesses (cf. Luke 1,1:4-2). This can be deduced from the quotations made by the Christian writers of the following generations: the oldest writings are already known from the more recent ones (16,9 Pt and Mk 20-21 know Jn 2; Pt knows Judas and an entire Pauline epistolary) ; the more recent ones, from the following generations. On the other hand, references are made to the apocrypha only later, starting from the end of the second century. Alongside the dating of the texts, the selection was also made on the basis of the literary form and content: in fact, the apocryphal gospels mostly narrate in detail episodes from the childhood of Jesus or the life of Mary in the form of legends devoid of any rigor historic. In addition to these, there are other writings in the form of a collection of revelations made by Jesus on various topics, which often have a purely Gnostic doctrinal content. In particular, the so-called Coptic Gospel of Thomas is not really a Gospel, because it does not announce any saving event. It contains only sayings of Jesus. Salvation is here expected only from a hidden doctrine, known to a few close friends. In the canonical Gospels, however, Jesus openly announces the Kingdom of God to all the disciples, so that the people of Israel may know it: in this sense, the Gospel is public. Furthermore, he does not limit himself to speaking, but acts: he heals, forgives sins, listens, answers, consoles, and above all he lets himself be led to death on the Cross and is resurrected on the third day. To know more click here.
What is the Christian message essentially about?
It consists in the announcement of Jesus Christ. He is the Gospel, the good news that the apostles proclaimed from the beginning, as St. Paul writes: "I remind you, brothers, of the gospel which I preached to you, which you received, in which you abide, and by which you are saved (. ..) Because I transmitted to you in the first place the same that I received: that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; that he was buried and that he rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures; and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve ”(1 Cor 15, 1-5). Jesus proclaims faith in one God, creator of the world and of man, who reveals himself as his Father, going so far as to say: "The Father and I are one" (Jn 10,30:15,13). Furthermore, Jesus fulfills this announcement of salvation by giving his life for his friends (cf. Jn 1:15) and by overcoming death in his paschal mystery. The Christian message transmits what Jesus proclaimed: the Kingdom of God (Mk , ), symbol of the presence of God in human history and of the union of God with man. To know more click here.