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GrowCastle Deluxe Noob Guide
Hello all, and welcome to the Grow Castle Deluxe Noob Guide. I posted an old guide about a week and a half ago that was typed up by an old friend of mine, SY_Matt (you can look him up in game to see how far along he was before retiring), and I realized as I read through it that there were parts of it that either no longer apply due to the plethora of updates that have taken place since he made it, or were debunked and deemed incorrect via extraneous testing. This guide is a repost of that, but revised to accommodate all of the new content now in the game, with outdated strategies omitted.
- Free autobattle treasures: worthless coin, whip, pick axe, wheel
- Timed autobattle: worthless coin, bronze piece, gold heart, gold bar
- Earth Colonies: Flame Bow, Ruby, Devil Heart Skull Ring, Power Glove
- Hell Colonies: Flame Bow, Ruby, Skull Ring, Power Glove, Web
- Orc Colonies: Flame Bow, Unicorn Shield, Web, Power Glove, Bottomless Red Potion
- Dark Assassin/deep Assassin: level until 101 for max skill effectiveness. Don't level further unless you wish to equip him with an orb (applies to all support heroes that can be leveled up beyond 21 or 99).
- Dark Hunter: level until 31 for max skill effectiveness and 2nd promotion.
- Ice Wizard: level until 31.
- Angels: level 31.
- Flying Orcs: level 31.
- Zeus: Use only for no skill play. Do not use for autobattle.
- Flame Ogre: Top damage hero. Can be leveled up as much as you like, damage is effective up to and beyond wave 1 million.
- Dark Lightning Sorcerer: The best hero of them all. Damage is effective up to and beyond wave 2 million. Level up frequently.
- Dark Ranger: Top damage hero. Damage is effective up to and beyond wave 1 million.
- Dark Elf: Doesn't do a ton of damage, but her HP/MP steal is invaluable. Level up similar to Dark Ranger and Flame Ogre.
- Fire Windy: not recommended.
- Giants: Great for summon and colony builds. Not so great otherwise.
- Spear Slingers: Same as Giants.
- Voodoo: Please don't use this hero. Further explanation elsewhere in the guide.
- Paladin: Same as Giants and Slingers.
- Architect: A must have for Town Archer builds. His Great promotion adds 2 Town Archers to his wall, effectively increasing Town Archer damage by 10%.
- Elizabeth: Enticing abilities, but mediocre performance over long term use.
- Goblin: Don't use him. Only possible ise is no skill play.
- Alchemist: Excellent for gold builds, but don't prioritize over Military Band M or Orc Band.
- Rogue: Unfortunately useless. Even if you power level him, his gold promotion takes 70K+ waves to pay itself off, and the gold from there is negligible compared to wave gold anyway. His damage promotion could've been good, but is crippled by its target limit instead of being an Area of Effect skill like Flame Ogre.
- Chrono: Never do waves without him. He boosts the speed of everything, including workers and colonies. And since autobattle is counted in real time, you'll use 10% less timed autobattle or better with him in your build.
- Dark Skeleton: Fantastic for Town Archer builds because of his critical damage boost. Works well for no skill builds too, if he's set to his left promotion and you use sealed soul.
- Stone: Noob trap alert. Having more units sounds nice, but Towers are very difficult to rely on for damage. Use for fun if you want, but don't base your build around him or his extra towers.
- Fire Wizard: Level 31. Main role is to buff Dark Lightning Sorcerer.
- Stos: Use if mana is an issue, very handy promotion for completing Earth Colonies.
- Smith: Use if HP is an issue, essential for beating upper hell colonies and orc colonies.
- Bishop: Use if summons are prominent in your build.
- Cleric: Use if your build relies mostly on Town Archers.
- Pure wizard: Always place in a middle slot. His passive ability reduces cooldown of heroes on his left and right. 13th hero slot does not receive the buff.
- Dark Necromancer: Place on Pure Wizard's left or right.
- Druid: Level 31. Only useful for his defense buff.
- Golem master: Middle promotion, can level up to 5000 for effective damage scaling, should not level further. Succubus- Middle promotion, Level 31.
- Mechanic Rambo: Great for colonies when given 2 or more Knockback stats. Level 31.
- Military band (M): Huge gold buff. Use when running timed autobattle or playing waves manually. Useless if running Worthless Coin. No need to promote.
- Orc Band: spawns extra monsters. Huge gold buff when running timed autobattle or playing waves manually. Accelerates Golden Tree with the extra monsters, so useful for Worthless Coin autobattle as well.
- Military Band (F): Not worth using if you sacrifice a gold buff hero. Fine to use if you don't need another hero for extra damage or crowd control.
- Zero with Frozen Tower
- Solar for all colonies
- Edward for summons
- Tony for +19 gem cap (more handy if you have to walk away from the game for more than an hour, i.e. sleeping)
- Town workers and Orc workers max at 1k Town workers can be set to gold and/or Dark Crystals.
- Buildings behind the castle:
- Archer Guild is a must have for Town Archer builds
- Hero Guild is a must have for Hero or Summon builds Bar is a must have if using mostly human summons (Giants count as human)
- Spring Water is important for all builds
- Gold Mine is a must have if not using Worthless Coin autobattle.
- Castle Upgrades: Unlocked at Castle level 110. They help a lot early on but lose damage effectiveness fairly quickly.
- Gold Castle when not using Worthless Coin autobattle. Only heroes lined up on its bottom half gain the bonus.
- Shield Castle is a good choice for late game prep, since it maxes at 99, letting you pump more crystals into other offensive castles that you may be using.
- Cannon and Lightning Castle are the best of the bunch for anti-air and anti-ground damage. Minigun and Ballista lack the multi-hit effects that Cannon and Lightning have.
- Bottom Castle doesn't matter, pick whichever one you think looks the coolest. Would not recommend Poison though, as its thorn animation can instigate lag.
- Front Towers: Always use Crystal/Golden Tree. It is the only gold source involved in waves that remains active under Worthless Coin's effect.
- Use Trophy when gaining wave gold.
- Frozen Tower and Defensive Barracks for crowd control.
- Mirror to gain an extra random tower.
- Death Worm can now be used as mana sustenance if needed.
- Developer has confirmed that Flame Tower only buffs its own critical damage (which is very dumb in my opinion).
- Heroes, Towers, Castle Upgrades, and Leaders prestige at level 9999, and go back to one with a star above their level, and the text turned to purple from green. Each time they prestige, they will get exponentially more expensive to level up. This is the main reason hero builds don't fare well in late game.
- Lv1 to Lv9999: 284 billion gold
- LvP1 to LvP9999: 6 trillion gold and 20K crystals
- LvPP1 to LvPP9999: 47 trillion gold and 30K crystals
- LvPPP1 to LvPPP9999: 160 trillion gold and 40K crystals
- Gold costs are doubled for leaders.
- Castle Upgrades go from 1 crystal to 2 at level 5000, then from 9999 to P1 is 4, then 4 from P1 to P9999. PP1 to PP5000 is 5. PP5000 to PP9999 is 6. PPP1 to PPP5000 is 7. PPP5000 to PPP9999 is 8.
- Keep your castle 3x higher than your highest hero to avoid mana problems.
- Keep your Town Archers 2.5x higher than castle minimum. 3x higher is optimal.
- Cursed Knife and Sharp Arrow are the strongest combination for Town Archer DPS.
- Use town cannons for colonies.
- Dragons: Archer trio, Wizard trio, Pure Wizard, Dark Necromancer, Stos or Smith if needed, Cleric, Dark Assassin and Dark Skeleton. Use Strange Key for best chances at premium items.
- Treasures: Cursed Knife, Sharp Arrow, Frozen Heart, Power Glove, Strange Key.
- For Legendary Dragon: 8K Castle, 25K TA
- For Bone Dragon: 275K TA, 100K Castle
- These are rough estimations, better items may allow lower levels to be gotten away with, but for fast farming them, you'll need higher than these.
- Gold autobattle will last you till wave 2000. Strongly consider using Worthless Coin from there.
- Open your daily rewards at max crystals so your Crystals get put into an overflow that you can continue to grow, commonly referred to as orange crystals.
- Crystal tree if you're around.
- Gold tree if you're not.
- Monster lab:
- air = lightning
- Ground = fire
- For anything that doesn't fall into that = critical damage
- Heroes can be reset by clicking on the original hero at the top of the promotion branches.
- Heroes have 3 inventory decks so you dont need to switch hero items for different modes.
- To leave a guild, Click your name where you see everyone else's names in the guild.
- Benefits of a guild: Boosts, people, rewards. The people is the best part if you're in a good one.
- Benefits of hell mode: Weekly Gold and Crystals.
- Fastest way for crafting? Beat orc colonies and keep the waves flowing. Workers move twice as fast while you're waving.
- Wave seasons last 5 days
- Seasonal colonies last 10 days
- Hell mode lasts 7 days
- Why do you use crystals in seasonal colonies? Because the population you see is the number of spots that would be free no gems needed. It's the dev way of doing it who knows why but thats what he did. Regardless, 1,440 carts of gold is well worth a handful of crystals. They were updated in February of 2020, the update changed their scaling so that they always give a good amount of gold no matter what wave you're on. Always do them.
- Replay waves for when you're stuck on a wave.
- Hell mode can no longer be farmed, but practicing is crucial to getting better at it.
- You can set the game up on a computer with an emulator. NoxPlayer, Memu, and BlueStacks are the most popular emulators.
- No you can't get gold offline. Active play is enforced this way.
- No your waves wont count offline. Cheating would be too easy if this were so.
- Dark crystal maxes at 20k
- L stones max at 20k
- Contracts max at 20k
- S stones max at 20k
- B stones max at 20k
- A stones max at 20k
- Inventory maxes at 100, including stones chests, boxes and contracts.
- Hearts in market just means you can sell stuff at a higher price. It's not worth using.
- Voodoo battle report is greatly skewed. Dot heroes get credit for the entire HP bar of every mob they touch, even if they did minimal damage to those mobs.
- You should manual save your game every single time you close the app.
- Leveling items is bullshit. You will lose alot of gold and dark crystals. Only do it for items that you'll use for a long, long time.
- Gather a set of basic B and A items from the first couple dragons early on to get a quick leg up. Work on replacing them with S, L, and E items as you progress.
- 2x Cooldown is what you seek on a lot of your heroes. Pure wizard, dark hunter, bishop, stos, ice wizard, dark necromancer, architect, succubus are heroes that would be 4x cooldown.
- Knockback items are good in colonies.
- Damage % damage % +1 arrow for your dark elf.
- Flat damage items will be better than % damage at first but it will only be that way for a couple thousand levels.
- Wave skips: Skip 5 unlocks skip 10. Skip 10 unlocks skip 20
- Too many variations to give a build set up without an actual build and levels to go off of.
- Yes, skipping counts towards guild waves.
- Crystals max at 60.
- Tony will bring that max to 79
- Crystal bundle will bring that max to 99.
- Devil Horn: Mainly use for pushing higher than 12k waves a season. It could be used to farm contracts but waves are substantially harder.
- Upgrade town workers before orc workers.
- Gold doesn't scale from workers so you will reach a point where worker gold is meaningless.
- Infinite Colony adds an alright amount of gold to your colony income. Well worth doing +10 skips on if you're a free to play player.
- Most of your towers should be set to near.
- Dark Ranger set to near or boss.
- Set Dark Elf to auto, she will often miss if set to near due to front mobs dying quickly.
- Always set your dark ranger and dark elf to boss when playing dragons if you're running them near the rest of the time.
- Summons set to near.
- Wizards set to near and l sorcerer set to flying.
- Aim for 2000 castle, 5000 Town Archers and level 1000 heroes to finish Earth Colonies. It's higher than I use to say because they're harder now then they used to be.
- Alice set to fire
- Dorothy set to fire
- Lisa set to either fire or poison. Level 31 if poison.
- Dark Hunter, Dark Elf and Dark Ranger in that order. Dark Elf gets the additional speed boost that way.
- +1 arrow doesn't work on Dark Ranger's skill so you want something like %damage %damage boss damage.
- Wizards: If you use the trio have them on the bottom row Fire Wizard Lightning Sorcerer Ice Wizard in that order.
- Ice wizard if he has attack speed items. Ice Sorcerer if he has cooldown items.
- Leaders only need to be leveled high enough to survive each wave.
- Best in game purchase for anyone playing for a long time is golden horn.
- Blue defender is a great little hero to add in if you're losing because of HP issues.
- All hero and tower damages will fall off. By a million or so waves you'll be lucky if even a fraction of your shit does any damage anymore. Dark Ranger, Flame Ogre, and Lightning Sorcerer are the only three that can still hit hard that far in.
- Worthless coin can be bought on the 3rd page of treasures for 30 million gold.
- Orc workers are on a little island on the orc map. Orc colonies are retardedly hard. A rough base for final orc colony would be 14K castle and 30K Town Archers. Those numbers may be higher now then when I beat them but it's a reference point to see how hard they really are.
- Tauren is a bitch and gets progressively harder to kill.
- Grim archers are flying cancer.
- The rest of the enemies are relatively easy in comparison.
- You will get enough skill points to unlock everything. Once you're past level 401 you'll start earning xp. The xp builds up fairly quickly at the start but then slows down substantially after a couple hundred points. Best options for xp would be into Heroes or into Town Archers. You can no longer reset xp skills, but there is no need.
- The most efficient (and boring) method would be save a few weeks of your timed autobattle up from daily rewards. Do a timed autobattle wave and watch the ad. Wait 3 minutes then do it again. Doing that on a full gold timed autobattle build will net you a decent amount of gold over the course of your farming. 100 ads per day is the limit, resets each day at reset time.
- Using Worthless Coin with reckless abandon will lead you to a wall. Make sure you're making enough colony gold to keep bearing waves on it.
- While you're new your best bet is to play as often as you can on manual with a full gold build and watch ads.
- Hell Mode builds: Irrelevant for low players. Just keep throwing combinations together to see what's best for you.
I wanted to add specific builds for autobattle modes, but I feel it's important to leave that open for each player to decide themselves. If you're min-maxing and wish to compete in seasons, go for Town Archer buff and support heroes. Otherwise feel free to tinker with everything, and mess around however you like. There's lots to be experimented with, and any build can last forever. The only limit is time.
I hope this helps anyone that might be feeling like they were dropped into the deep end when they started playing the game, and aren't sure what to do next to progress further. I will keep a copy of this in my phone to be edited when more major updates are released that are in the best interests of anyone using this guide. Take care and happy waving everyone!
Argument for Jesus Resurrection
The argument for the ressurection is mounted, please read all., my stance is that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead and I’ll give my arguments for this proposition...
The disciples claim they had experiences of meeting the risen Christ with full conviction..... the disciples definitely believed they seen and touched the risen Christ.... even Bart Ehrman who is an atheist-agnostic quotes...... "I dont doubt at all that some disciples claimed this,... Paul, writing about twenty five years later, indicates that this is what they claimed, and i don't think he is making it up. The new Testament: A Historical Introduction to the early Christian Writings Page 301
and another christian scholar quotes "It is an equally secure fact that the disiples of Jesus saw him (in what sense is not certain) after his death...... thereafter his followers saw him. The Historical Figure of Jesus Page 13
The reason for this is many attestations, such as Paul's Epistles, Mark, John, Matthew, Luke and Acts, and even Josephus,
And there is no way to explain the rise of Christianity if this didn't happen, something had to happen which compelled the disciples of Jesus to begin preaching this..
So.. the disciples claimed they seen and touched the Risen Christ...... but i'm sure you would say why take their claims seriously? ......
When testimonies are unreliable is when the event happens quickly coz its hard to retain memory of the event... (the disciples of Jesus report Jesus eating and drinking with them and with them for a long period of time and even engaging in conversation with them , Acts10:41, Luke 24:26-49, John 21:1-4)... when someone is really expecting it such as people actually looking for big-foot or aliens ufos or if they are stranded and actually look for any near helicopters and start tricking their minds into seeing such things .. (the disciples were never expecting a dying messiah as the messiah would live forever, and never expecting a dying and rising God, this is so foreign to them, when their messiah died, it was like end game for them, especially dying on a cross, this is like end game for them....... and all the accounts embarrassingly report that the disciples had miss-understood the scriptures and what Jesus had claimed Mark 8:31-32 , Matt 16:21-23 , Luke 24:10-11 , Acts 1:6 , John 20:9) so they defs weren't expecting Jesus to rise from death, as even Thomas is reported not believing........ Plus the disciples all knew each-other and they knew Jesus so this event didn't happen with strangers...
But even if you write off the gospels as later myths.... we still have early creeds and oral sermons handed down which report these as-well (1 Corinthians 15:3-7 , Acts 2:32 , Acts 10:41 )
All the evidence really points to the disciples had to experience something...
Paul also passes down a creed as he received and passes down to others as-well...
1 Corinthians 15:3-7 New International Version (NIV)
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,
Plus the disciples all claim that they seen Jesus together, so if you want to claim it was a hallucination... group hallucinations don't happen.... even if you take the gospels as later myths.... there is still the early creed reporting that Jesus appeared to the group, and early sermons in Acts which report Jesus eating and sitting with the disciples (Acts 10:34-43).... As Bart Ehrman also says "I dont doubt at all that some disciples claimed this,... Paul, writing about twenty five years later, indicates that this is what they claimed, and i don't think he is making it up...
So group hallucinations are improbable as they definitely did report that Jesus appeared in group settings (1 Corinthians 15:3-7 , Acts 2:32 ; 13:30-32) and multi sensory over a period of time (Acts 10:34-43 ; 22:7-9 ; 26:12-18)
Also the narratives embarrassingly portray the disciples as cowardly running away for their lives when Jesus was going to be crucified.... (Matthew 26:31-35, 56 ; Mark 15:50 ; John 20:19 ) they even doubted the reports of the women (Luke 24:11, John 20:24-28) and when they first saw Jesus they were frightened (Luke 24:37-38)..... What this shows is that it cant be an hallucination, as hallucinations happen when someone really expects it but they weren't expecting a dying and rising Messiah God, that was foreign to them, and they definitely didn't expect Jesus to rise again and reported to be frightened when they apparently seen the Risen Christ...
Plus, all independent sources all claim the same thing about Jesus, is that He was in a bodily resurrected body, where he looks sort of like himself but slightly different and his body has new powers that they didn't have before (1 Corinth 15, luke 24, john 20-21 , Matthew 28)
The hallucination theory just doesn't fit, and even if you discount the gospels as unreliable, you still have to account for the early christians and the disciples all reporting a bodily resurrection and not a spiritual appearance...... the first christians are familiar with visions and claimed to have some... yet... they never said the appearances of Christ as mere visions... they firmly believe it was a bodily physical appearance... and that is what they preached from the beginning... ... as even sceptical scholar Gerd Ludemann quotes - we have no sound way to place the symbolic interpretation of Jesus' resurrection within the context of earliest christian resurrection beleif - Gird Ludemann
so since the appearances were in group settings, multi-sensory, do not vary, were not interpreted to be spiritual early on, weren't expecting it and weren't exited when seeing Jesus.... its pretty easy to dismiss hallucination theory
Plus Jesus appearances to skeptics.... James and the brothers (like Jude) of Jesus were not his followers before his crucifixion (John 7:5; Mark 3:31-35)
Examples of scholars who Accept this: Betz, Conzelmann, Craig, Derret, Ehrman, Funk, Hoover, Kee, Koester, Ladd, Lorenzen, Ludemann, Meier, Oden, Osborne, Pannenperg, Sanders, Spong, Struhlmacher, Wedderburn Source: The Risen Jesus and the Future Hope, Page 22, 24
And almost unanimously accepted is that Paul was an enemy of the church originally and a later convert... the reason for this is even Paul admits it himself and cites an early creed (Galatians 1:22-23 New International Version (NIV) 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”) and even another attestation from Luke the historian in the book of Acts..... it also meets the criteria of embarrassment that he says himself that he was a former persecutor and was in the wrong.........
The same goes for the conversion of James the brother of Jesus.,.. it is clear in the early material of Paul is that the early leader of the church was none other than James the brother of Jesus, (Gal 1:19; 2:9-12; 1 Corinth 15:7) and even Josephus who is outside the christian sources attests this in (Josephus Jewish Antiquities 20.9.1)....... however, all the sources suggests that James didn't believe his brother was the Christ during his early ministry (John 7:5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him., Mark 3:31-35) ........ No early christian would dare to attack a prominent leader in the church by claiming he was once Jesus' enemy.....
James wasnt even mentioned as one of them at the cross present with Jesus... and Jesus also surrendered his own mother to one of the disciples and why not to one of his own brothers if they were in the christian ranks?
(John 19:25-27 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.) this can also explain why most scholars including Bart Ehrman who is an atheist-agnostic accept James and his brothers were early skeptics and only converted after the crucifixion.
So the real question is what happened that turned these apposed to Christianity into believers?
Would they lie? why on earth would they do that?? the early church was a persecuted and hated minority with a messiah who was shamefully crucified as a criminal and they were to poor to afford their own tomb... Jesus has dishonoured the family and James was already opposed to his ministry, why would he lie when there is nothing to gain but shame and dishonour to suddenly reverse and proclaim his brother is Lord after he has already mocked him openly (John 7:1-9)........... Paul also had no reason to try this.. he was on top of his game, a prominent leader on the rise and making a name for himself while he persecuted the church (Philipians 3:4-6)... he had all going for him and suddenly he wants to leave all that and join the small persecuted minority that already hate him?
would you say it was an hallucination? neither of them were grieving especially Paul wasn't, James might have been but certainly wasn't expecting a dying and rising messiah to be his own brother who was just killed, a dying and rising messiah God isn't part of second temple judaism beliefs... in-fact Jesus' death would have supported James and his brothers conviction and supported their belief that Jesus isn't the messiah............. and the possibility that Paul had an hallucination is far more lower than James because usually people have hallucinations when they are grieving the death and expecting it not to be so...
What i'm doing is looking at the surrounding facts that accompany these claimed appearances and see which theory is the most plausible with them,... the theories such as the conspiracy, mythic and hallucination theory just doesn't add up with all the facts... what you would have to do is come up with your explanation of the facts and show which plausible theory accounts for the data..
Another thing that supports the preaching of the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the expectation of the gospel to the surrounding world.. the message of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins may sound warm and loving to us.... but in the ancient world, a culture which thrived on honour and status, such a message would be disgusting and horrendous...... Walter Bauer quotes "The enemies of Christianity always referred to the disgracefulness of the death of Jesus with great emphasis and malicious pleasure. A God or a Son of God dying on a cross! that was enough to put paid on the new religion." Crucifixion page 19)
David De-Silva notes the same thing in his work...'Unlocking New Testament Culture Page 51' "christianity was founded on a premise that should have failed the moment it began"
in such a culture, the christians preached to the gentiles to worship a man that was shamefully executed on a cross... a jewish man..... and romans looked down on jews... a jewish carpenter...... Cicero (A roman statesmen who served as consul in the year 63 BC called carpeting vulgar and compared it to slavery 'De Officiis Liber I XI.II'... on-top of that they preached a physical resurrection to the roman world which was opposed to most pagans...... Even more, the christians placed such high ethical demands on new converts that would of shocked most pagans (no temple prostitutions or extra marital affairs affairs).... morality was radically challenged by christians that flew in the face of most pagans....... the message about Christ was incompatible with the most deeply rooted religious ideology within the gentile world and the roman world....
this is also seen by the christian opponents and how they attacked christianity....
Celcus 177AD ... but if Jesus was really so great, he ought, in order to display his greatness, to have suddenly dissapeared from the cross. Origen: Contra Celsum 68
Even the Jews thought that this message of a crucified messiah was disgraceful.... a messiah who was shamefully crucified and murdered by the roman enemy.... their messiah was to be a conquerer, a king, who would restore an earthly kingdom of Israel and defeat Rome..... Jesus was shamed and disgraced,
So this really does cut the conspiracy theory, Knowing the expectation of the gospel would have no group of conspirators would ever have made it their core doctrine..If you'r going to make a message to gain a following, then make something that is appealing and not something that was expected to fail.....
Also taking into consideration the low status of women in the ancient world, it is unanimously accepted in the ancient world that the testimony of women were not to be accepted...
sources such as : But let not the testimony of women be admitted, on account of the levity and boldness of their sex - Josephus, Antiquities, 4.8.15 ..
.... Any evidence which a women gives is not valid to offer -Talmud, Rosh Hashana 1.8c ..
. Let the words of the law be burned rather than committed to women - Rabbi Eleazar ....
But the disciples preached this in their 4 sources Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, that women were the first and primary witnesses to the empty tomb....... this fact would be embarrassing for the early church and just couldn't be made up, ..... first they admitted they didn't even trust the testimonies of the women..
10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
Also, all the early sermons in Acts and the Epistles always skip over the fact that women were the first to discover the tomb.,.. (1 Corinth 15, Acts2:22-36 , Acts 19:28-47, Acts 17:22-35, Acts 26:2-23) .... That doesn't contradict the gospels, but they tend to stay silent in this matter in order to make their early case because women aren't deemed to be credible witnesses.. but in the gospels they cant leave the fact out as they are the ones that play a key role in discovering the empty tomb and the first key eye witnesses to the resurrection therefore making their testimony necessary....... and for an ancient writer, this isn't something you would just make up...
Celsus even uses this to try discredit christianity... Celsus (177 AD).. That while alive he was of no assistance to himself, but that when dead he rose again, and showed the marks of his punishment, and how his hands were pierced with nails: who beheld this? a half-frantic woman, as you state, and some other one, perhaps, of those who were engaged in the same system of delusion." Origen: Contra Celsum 2.55
NT wright also says "As historians we are obliged to comment that if these stories had been made up five years later, let alone thirty, forty, or fifty years later, they would never had had Mary Magdalene in this role. To put Mary there is, from the point of view of Christian apologists wanting to explain to a skeptical audience that Jesus really did rise from the dead, like shooting themselves in the foot. But to us as historians this kind of thing is gold dust. The early Christians would never, never have made this up." There is a God Page 207
This fact about the women can only be explained if there really was an empty tomb and the early christians just wouldn't lie about women finding it, if they wanted to lie, men would be better candidates..
Another key evidence is the immediate proclamation in Jerusalem...
Paul mentions this as-well as Tacitus also mentions "Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome," Tacitus Analls 15.44
Paul also mentions in his early epistles that the apostles were still preaching in Jerusalem in Galations 2:1,9
IF the evidence wasn't in their favour, then it would of made sense that the early church should of gone elsewhere, as cults often do, cult leaders often round up their followers and take them away from civilisation or take them elsewhere from a place you can be disproven, just like mormonism when Joseph Smith led his people away from new york...
But the Disciples of Jesus went straight to the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem and told them that they crucified their messiah and he has been raised.... if your an imposter then you would go somewhere else to proclaim your miracle, not in Jerusalem where they have the evidence, motives and the means to debunk it...
Could you say its a really really strong group hallucination that convinced the disciples so much that they know theres an empty tomb in the Jerusalem area and they believed they seen and touched the Risen Christ that they preach in Jerusalem?..... you could... but way more improbable .... as if Jesus is truly resurrected, of-course the disciples had the boldness to proclaim it there as God would have been on their side and all the evidence in their favour...
Going to the voluntary suffering of the disciples, coz this is a big part supporting the resurrection of Jesus... and you say "Lots of people willing to die for their convictions."... but you need to understand that their conviction was seeing, touching, talking with the risen Christ...
Multiple attestations of christian and non christian sources attest that early witnesses were persecuted and even martyred for their faith,......Tacitus analls 15.44 (nero persecution), Suetonius 2.51(jews expelled from Rome because of Christus), Josephus antiquities 20.9.1 (James the brother of Jesus was martyred)...
Paul admits intense persecution ... Colossians 1:24, 2 Corinth 11:16-33, Phil 4:12..
Clement of Rome also indicated that Paul and Peter were martyred (1 Clement 5:3-6)
and Paul even boasts about all his sufferings in (2 Corinthians 11:16-33).. and multiple attestations as-well as in Acts and the Epistles that many imprisonments and sufferings the early witnesses endured...
But of-course you would say why are the christians any different? people die for what they believe in all the time... thats true, people do die for some things that are false but they don't die for something they know to be false.... i'm not talking about christians who were martyred, but the disciples and witnesses of Jesus resurrection who died for believing they seen and touched the risen Christ......
The Disciples didn't just die for their beliefs, but for events they claimed had happened and knew very well if they were true or made up, liars make lousy martyrs, when you have nothing to gain, it doesn't make sense to make up and hold on to something that is going to get you nothing....
And the disciples weren't getting much for their new religion..
they were constantly facing persecution: Colossians 1:24; 2 corinthians 11:16-33, Phillipians 4:12; Book of Acts; 1Clement 5:3-6; Annals 15.44; Antiquities 20.9.1 ....
they didn't gain wealth .. 1 Corinth 8; 9,6; 2 Thessalonians 3:8, Acts 24:17
If they were doing it because they were insane and wanting a cult following, then they did some things that did not make any sense... like establishing churches in different regions they didn't have total control over, ... Paul moved from city to city establishing believers and then moving on, ... if your trying to establish a cult in a controlled group of people then you do what cult leaders do, you gather your followers,... remove them from society where there is a threat they will be pulled away by reality, and you keep them very close to keep them brain washed........... the apostles didn't do that, they stayed in populated cities and left their new churches to establish more churches in other cities which leaves your followers vulnerable for corruption...... and if you read the epistles that is what happened, the apostles had to revisit these churches and even write letters to correct them constantly........
it just seems there is nothing to gain in starting christianity unless its a elaborate plan to get martyred... if you say they hallucinated then it must be such a vivid hallucination to convince them that... but as i stated above, that the start of christianity, the preaching of a dying and rising messiah not being made up, and the disciples not expecting Jesus to rise from death .....plus its attested they were frightened when they seen him and not exited as usually hallucinations are when your expecting it so much and get excited when you see what your expecting.... so i doubt it could be such a vivid group hallucination.... but something that convinced them to the point they suffered and died for that belief, could only be attested is if they truly seen and touched the risen Christ.............
FINAL fact.... the existence of the empty tomb..
Skeptical scholar Jacob Kremer says "By far most exegetes hold firmly to the reliability of the biblical statements concerning the empty tomb." Die Osterevangelien Page 49-50
The evidence for the empty tomb is also strong......
Some people think that Jesus wasn't buried in a tomb as John Dominic Crossan thinks that and says the Romans would not allow a proper burial for criminals........... This is simply wrong, as we have a source from Josephus in Jewish War 4.317 that says crucified victims were buried .... and 2 independent early sources that say Jesus was buried in a tomb (Mark 15:42, - 16:8 ; Paul in 1 Corinth 15:3-8)
Also we have archaeological evidence of a crucified victim who received a proper burial (Search on google Yohanan Ben Ha'galgo)....
Jesus burial also meets the criteria of embarrassment since they say he was buried in a tomb of a Sanhedrin member which would have been dishonouring for the followers...... such a group had just murdered their Lord, and now they need to bum a tomb for him from one of the members of those who murdered their Lord?..........
Also the fact that the gospels attest the name of the person who buried Jesus.. Joseph of Arimathea means the tomb was public knowledge and its whereabouts was known, ..... so the public at any time would know about it and readily debunk it if the tomb wasn't empty......... and the account of the empty tomb is also embarrassing as its discovered by women, and as mentioned earlier, this isnt something you would make up...
Matthew also mentions the competing theory when he mentions 'the jews claim the disciples stole the body" (Matt 28)........
Justin Martyr writing later, had to respond to this theory, because it was the official story that the jews were telling people...
"*his disciples stole him by night from the tomb, where he was laid when unfastened from the cross, and now deceive men by asserting that he has risen from the dead and ascended to heaven." -*said by Trypho ..Justin Martyr Dialogue with Trypho Chapter 108
So Justin Martyr writing later, had to respond to this theory, because it was the official story that the jews were telling people... which is an interesting admission, because it says the body cannot be found, if the Sanhedrin still had the body, they could of had the gentiles bring it out for them and show the tomb was never empty..... but the christians never had to respond to this charge (so both sides agree the tomb was empty)...
Also we have the Nazareth Inscription, a stone found in the area and has written on it an Imperial Decree from around 41 AD.. it says...
"EDICT OF CAESAR: It is my decision [concerning] graves and tombs*—whoever has made them for the religious observances of parents, or children, or household members—that these remain undisturbed forever. But if anyone legally charges that another person has destroyed, or has in any manner extracted those who have been buried, or has moved with wicked intent those who have been buried to other places, committing a crime against them, or has moved sepulcher-sealing stones, against such a person I order that a judicial tribunal be created, just as [is done] concerning the gods in human religious observances, even more so will it be obligatory to treat with honor those who have been entombed. You are absolutely not to allow anyone to move [those who have been entombed].* But if [someone does], I wish that [violator] to suffer capital punishment under the title of tomb-breaker."
So it says the penalty for grave robbing is death, which is interesting because its very severe of how romans punished thieving, the romans wouldn't give such a high penalty for stealing something... normally they would need to pay for the damages 2 or 4 fold, and possibly face a flogging.... ......
But this would all make sense with the rise of Christianity and what Suetonius tells us..
Life of claudius 25.4 Since the jews constantly made riots at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from rome
So 1.Some jews in Rome were preaching about Christs resurrection and riots resulted from it.
2 If Jesus tomb was not empty.
- There would be no need for this imperial decree about grave robbing because Rome could just produce the body to dispel the riots.
So it appears to be that from all sides, the body was missing (Jews, Romans, Christians).... either way, theres no evidence the empty tomb was just a fabrication and this is why most scholars today accept the empty tomb
The only theory that accounts for all this data is that Jesus indeed died and resurrected after 3 days....... the conspiracy theory doesn't account for the quality of the testimony of the disciples,...... the empty tomb,.... and why skeptics would join a small persecuted minority.......
the hallucination theory would only work if you posit some pretty miraculous hallucinations that causes the disciples to change their idea, skeptics to convert and posit crazy ideas of a dying and rising messiah no one was expecting or looking for... and a crazy hallucination that the tomb was empty as-well..
The resurrection theory that God raised Jesus from the dead accounts for all the data, it has
1.explanatory scope because it explains all the facts, it has
2.explanatory power as it explains all the facts with the least amount of effort, and
- Illumination, as it offers other areas in history as it offers how christianity truly did start.
"This Christian hypothesis is of greater explanatory scope and power than other hypothesis which try to account for the relevant evidence, but is less plausaible and more ad hoc than they are." C Behan Mccullagh in his book Justifying Historical Descriptions Page 21.
Ofcourse there has been replies and arguments about if it really is less plausible and more ad hoc.... because it makes one more supposition..... (That God exists)....
I believe the hallucination theory cant account for multiple sensory hallucinations and group hallucinations and that they were so powerful that the disciples took it to their death and suffered for it.... plus a mass city hallucination of an empty tomb....
The conspiracy theory wants us to believe a bunch of frightened followers of Jesus , stole the body in secret in an over crowded city, to make up a story they weren't expecting and wasn't inline with jewish messianic expectations in order to get themselves martyred, and some of the skeptics decided to join this persecuted minority for no reason at all..
The resurrection theory only allows us to add the assumption that God exists, so it isn't more ad hoc than the other theories, and there are many arguments for the existence of God,...
If one insists on a naturalistic world view, and leaves no reason for theism being a possibility, then they can say the resurrection theory is improbable, but that also argues from a presupposition and not being open to evidence regardless of how one feels about it....
So the resurrection theory is more plausible and less ad hoc than the rest of the theories.... the evidence is mounted and that is why the non christian Anthony Flew was bold enough to say
"The evidence for the ressurection is better than for claimed miracles in any other religion. Its outstandingly different in quality and quantity - Anthony Flew "
The resurrection theory is the only theory that accounts for all the data and being less ad hoc and more plausible than the rest, its evidence is mounted, as Paulo Frederickson admitted "They must have seen something", and all the evidence favours that what they saw was the risen Christ.
A lot of credit for this writing comes from this video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A0iDNLxmWVM