Jesus' Twin Brother and the Truth About Easter

By Robin Schumacher

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Over two thousand years ago, a Jewish carpenter found himself on the short end of the stick with both the Jewish teaching elite and Roman government, was put to death by crucifixion, and then placed in a tomb. His followers were crushed and fearful that the same thing would happen to them, and so for the next few days they did their best to stay out of the way of anyone who might link them with their now dead rabbi.

But something happened that changed everything.

Without warning, the Jewish carpenter's unknown twin brother appeared on the scene, stole and then disposed of his dead sibling's body. With the tomb now empty, the twin claimed to be his dead brother resurrected from the dead. So convincing was the twin that he was able to win over his dead brother's disciples and even some others who thought his brother was a fake. These individuals immediately began to publicly proclaim that their teacher had been raised from the dead by God and started a religious movement that continues to this day.

This is the true story and history behind Easter.

At least it is according to Dr. Robert Greg Cavin who holds a Master's in theology from Fuller and Ph.D. from U.C. Irvine. His doctoral dissertation entitled, "Miracles, Probability, and the Resurrection of Jesus" [1] spells out his arguments and his "Twin Theory" for the first Easter. [2]

Just the Facts Ma'am

As many historians — both Christian and secular — have pointed out numerous times, there are a number of undeniable facts concerning the resurrection account of Jesus. While a person may deny one or all of these facts, they do so only out of a lack of formal education on the subject.

The facts are these:

1. Jesus of Nazareth was murdered by crucifixion and buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.
2. Three days afterward, His body went missing.
3. There were reported appearances of Jesus over the course of many days to various people, including both believers and skeptics.
4. Christ's reported appearances transformed both His followers and some skeptics into becoming bold proclaimers of his teaching and resurrection.

Again, no one who has studied the subject of Jesus' resurrection disputes these facts. What is disputed, however, is the best explanation for the data.

By far, the most-used hypothesis by skeptics and atheists to explain Christ's resurrection has been the hallucination theory. [3] For example, atheist Richard Carrier writes, "I believe the best explanation, consistent with both scientific findings and the surviving that the first Christians experienced hallucinations of the risen Christ, of one form or another. [4]

Other lesser used skeptical arguments put forward to explain the resurrection facts include the legend/myth, theft, wrong tomb, apparent death, and spiritual-only hypotheses.

But a twin brother of Jesus that suddenly appears out of nowhere and pulls off the biggest deception in human history? How is such an explanation even remotely possible?

What Are The Odds?

Cavin's nearly 400-page doctoral dissertation defends the twin theory of the resurrection primarily by asserting that the probability of Jesus having a twin brother who set all the resurrection events into motion is higher than that of God raising Jesus from the dead. Cavin, who says he believes in God and the supernatural, dismisses the hallucination hypothesis as not being credible and instead argues that for every element of his twin brother theory that seems implausible, the supernatural act of God raising Jesus from the dead contains a corresponding element that is more improbable. [5]

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Published 4-18-14