Even the Bible contains stories of falsehoods. We can find one in the gospel of Matthew against the truth of the resurrection. Accordingly, the guards of the sepulcher where the body of Jesus was laid reported to the chief priests who assembled with the elders and took counsel.
Then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’ And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy [him] and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers took the money and did as instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present” (28:12-15).
What a perfect lie. I have the impression that if the gospel narrative about the empty tomb were just a script of a play, I should say it is very well written by someone knowledgeable on how to debunk the credibility of witnesses.
How can the soldiers testify to the veracity of an alleged fact when they were asleep? In the words of St. Remigius: “But if the guards were asleep, how could they see the theft?”
When one should argue his case, care should be taken that the evidence and proof put forward are substantiated and credible. The more irrefutable the proof is, the better it would be to win a case. Under the procedural rules in the Code of Canon Law, to establish the credibility of the witness requires the good reputation and uprightness of the witness and that the knowledge was acquired at first hand, particularly if it was something seen or heard personally, or whether it was just an opinion, rumor, or hearsay.
Of course, the witness should also be consistent, not vacillating but instead corroborated (canon 1572). Procedural provisions in different legal systems regarding the credibility of evidence may vary but, at least, the principles and standards expressed in the canon should be prevalent.
There are obvious gaps in the false rhetoric against the truth of the resurrection.
The argument that the disciples of Jesus stole his body from the tomb cannot stand as true. The resurrection narrative itself contains arguments to demolish this lie. I would like to use here some classic arguments from the saints as compiled by St. Thomas Aquinas in Catena Aurea. Saint John Chrysostom would ask: “How were the disciples to remove the door of the sepulcher?”
Lies spreading darkness against the resurrection will always fade away at the imposing light of the truth of the resurrection. The moment of the resurrection was probably not witnessed by any human being. Hence no human being would have the firsthand knowledge. Therefore, on the contrary, there can also be no human to be able to witness that such did not happen. All attempts to dismantle the truth of the resurrection can only be cold sophistry, empty rhetoric, and desperate alibis.
St. Hillary can have the final say: “The concealment of the Resurrection, and the false allegation of theft, is purchased by money, because by the honor of this world, which consists in money and desire, Christ’s glory is denied.”
Msgr. Achacoso is the author of “Due Process in Church Administration” (2018), recipient of Arcangelo Ranaudo Award (Vatican), and pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Woodside