Frank Morison's Fraudulent Book, "Who Moved the Stone?"


Frank Morison wrote a bestseller defending the gospel account of how Jesus died and how nobody stole him from the tomb and how he really appeared risen from the dead.  For a man so obsessed about the stone at Jesus' tomb, you would think he would be interested in the exploding stones we read about in Matthew 27.  They would have put Jesus in the ground not in a tomb if rocks were that unstable.


Who Moved the Stone? Frank Morison, OM Publishing Cumbria, 1997




The arch-defender of the position that the gospels are plausible is Frank Morison. Frank Morison in his famous Who Moved the Stone? wrote that the trial of Jesus was perfectly plausible but nevertheless made admissions which undermine this.


On page 16, Morison says that the Temple Guard arrested Jesus which was illegal for they didn’t have the backing of the witnesses against Jesus. But maybe they did.


Morison said it was illegal to put anybody on trial for their life at night - only trials relating to money could happen then. It was illegal for a person to be cross-examined after the witnesses made a shambles of the testimony. The witnesses were to be stoned to death by law if they were proven false. The Torah said that if you tell lies to get somebody killed you should undergo what you tried to put the other person through yourself if found out.


All of this makes the gospel version of events improbable.


Would Jesus have been sent to Pilate when he could have blabbed about the illegal trial he had just got and got the Sanhedrin and the witnesses into a lot of trouble and perhaps charged with perjury?


The gospels say the Sanhedrin got Jesus to commit the capital crime of blasphemy by claiming to be the Son of God at his trial. And if all the Sanhedrin wanted was for Jesus to claim to be God’s Son and Messiah they had no need of false witnesses for that and would have made the disciples testify. Why weren’t they questioned? Incidentally, if they could not prove it, it is likely that Jesus never claimed to be these things and that the gospels are lying in saying that he did.


There was no need to try Jesus at night and break the law against night trials. The Jews waited long enough before so they could have waited a bit longer and tried him some day. Morison thinks they justified this breach of the law by saying it was necessary for political reasons to stop Jesus and to do it before the feast so that it would be done fast in case there would be trouble (page 20). Unbiased he isn’t! It would have been safer to wait a few days until the feast was over and the crowds had gone home. And if Jesus was so dangerous why did they think they could dispose of him at that time of all time when most of his supporters would have been in Jerusalem? They wouldn’t have thought that.


If it was illegal to question the accused after the testimony against him broke down then Jesus was never questioned at all. The Sanhedrin knew it would be best to get new witnesses and try again soon and they could not send Jesus to Pilate if their own trial had been a shambles. It had to have been illegal for it was a sensible law.




Morison said that only witnesses could do the accusing and that was the way the Law said it had to be (page 17).


Would what the gospels call the “false” witnesses at the trial, have been so stupid and daring as to go in with an unplanned testimony especially when the penalties for perjury were so severe? Stupid witnesses would not have been chosen by the Sanhedrin who supposedly wanted to find Jesus guilty one way or another according to the gospels. If the trial were a set-up, each witness would just have had to say what his experience of Jesus was and would not have been asked too much. There was no need for them to squabble and argue against each other. That could have been avoided by talking about individual events that were unrelated to the things the others planned to say and if the lawyer guided them by asking questions to prevent contradiction. The witnesses would have been too terrified of Jesus’ supporters to make mistakes and expose themselves. False witnesses have to endure the penalty they tried to bring on their victim according to the Law of Moses. If you tell a lie to get somebody stoned to death you get stoned to death yourself. And here we are asked by the gospels and Christian nuts like Morison to think that people would risk their lives to tell obvious lies to have Jesus executed! And Morison would expect us to believe that these people were bad and not martyrs or would-be martyrs who would do anything to get rid of a man they knew to be an evil and fake prophet.


The witnesses accused Jesus of being unable to do miracles for they said he could not demolish the Temple and rebuild it in three days like he said. Witnesses who slammed Jesus’ miracles as hoaxes meriting death at the risk of their own lives must have been telling the truth. There is no blasphemy in saying God will enable you to return from the dead or permit you to raze and rebuild the Temple unless you really cannot do it and God does not authorise it for he has given you no magic power to do it. So, they were accusing him of blasphemously pretending to have miracle power. Yet Morison would rather believe the apostles that Jesus could work miracles even though they died years after Jesus. The people who are as good as martyrs in Jesus’ time come first because their memories are clearest and they risked their lives to say he was a fake. If one martyr says Jesus did no miracle and another says he did believe the former if one is as honest as the other. It is simplest to deny miracles. 


Morison abused his own experience and credentials and logic to produce his book.  It is over-rated even in the eyes of most Christian scholars.




What were the women doing so early at the tomb on the Sunday morning?


"It was widely accepted in the East", writes Morison, "that decomposition of a dead person set in on or about the third day after death. It was necessary, therefore, to perform the rites which the women had in view at the earliest possible moment consistent with the observance of the Sabbath. That moment was undoubtedly at sunrise on Sunday morning."


This is rubbish for Jesus having died violently was an exception to the decomposition rule.  And it was the hot time of the year.


Some features of the story make no sense.  The women are wondering who will open the tomb for them?  They have nobody with them to help.  They are carrying spices and oils as if John's gospel which says this part of burial was done on Friday.  Were the women deliberately going to an empty tomb to get a myth started?

Who Moved the Stone? Review by Steven Carr,


Morison claims that Peter’s clever and unbiased mind was behind the first Gospel, that of Mark. But Morison only assumes this for there is no evidence that the gospel is clever and unbiased or that Peter had much if anything at all to do with it.


Morison then tries to make out that the claim of Luke that the apostles waited seven weeks before saying Jesus had risen from the dead is too detrimental to the evidence for the resurrection to be true. In other words, the evidence for the resurrection is right and any evidence against it is wrong! That is bias if I ever seen it. He then makes out that these things which undermine the pro-resurrection evidence prove it happened. So the evidence against the resurrection makes the evidence for it stronger! How ridiculous.

Did a Rolling Stone Close Jesus’ Tomb by Amos Kloner


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