Michael Alter: The Man and His Argument Against the Resurrection



Hi Michael, thanks to your mention I have just ordered Essential Figures in the Bible from this same publisher. It will be interesting to see if they are treated as historical figures. Another example that comes to mind is Noah because of his importance for gentiles as captured in the Noahide Laws.

Appreciate the conversation.

(Michael J. Alter) #62

I will be glad if the text that you ordered furthers your knowledge.

Essential Figures in the Bible

Take care


(Michael J. Alter) #63

Hello S Joshua:

I hope that all is well…

Below, are a few questions [I promised] that, time permitting, you would perhaps answer:

  1. Do you believe that Jesus is fully God?

  2. Do you believe that Jesus’s mother experienced a virgin conception?

  3. Do you believe that Jesus led a sinless life [never sinned even once]?

  4. Do you believe that the NT is true?

  5. Do you believe that Jesus literally met and had a conversation with Elijah and Moses?

  6. Do you believe that literally the entire world turned dark during the crucifixion?

  7. Do you literally believe the piercing episode as recorded in John 19?

  8. Do you literally believe that many resurrected saints visited Jerusalem (Matt 27)?

  9. Do you believe that Jesus literally ascended to heaven as recorded in Acts 1?

  10. Do you literally believe that Jesus died for the sins of humankind and those who believe in his resurrection are assured eternal life?

Take care



I did a study once on that text and if you mean did Jesus levitate up into the sky I don’t believe the text demands that interpretation. Did Jesus “ascend” into heaven? Yes. Is heaven up above our heads? No. Was the cloud that received him the kind of cloud we see up in the sky? No.

(Michael J. Alter) #65

Thank you for your reply.

Take care


(Michael J. Alter) #66

Hello Mung:

Please forgive…I did NOT fully respond to your reply.
You wrote: The first letter in PaRDeS, the ‘P’, stand for the literal interpretation
Response: Respectful, what you wrote (and others, including Jewish sources) is somewhat inaccurate. Actually, as I have ben taught and learned, it refers to the “plain meaning of the text” or “literal meaning of the text.” There is a real difference [nuance] between “meaning” versus “interpretation”.

Wikipedia adds:

“surface” (“straight”) or the literal (direct) meaning…

(Gen. 1,2) And the earth was empty (tohu) and formless (bohu).
Rashi - The Hebrew word ‘tohu’ means astonishment in English and the word ‘bohu’ means emptiness and next to emptiness. Thus the phrase is ‘amazement and desolation’. This means that a person would be amazed and astonished at anything that was there.

Chabad [Orthodox organization] writes: 1) Peshat is the simple interpretation of the Torah.https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/819698/jewish/How-Is-the-Torah-Interpreted.htm

The Jewish Encyclopedia 1906: Term denoting simple Scriptural exegesis, and derived from the verb “pashaṭ.” [But please read the entire article online]

Take care