Monthly Archives: August 2015

Defending the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus: Inference to the Best Explanation (Part 8 of 8)

8.0 Inference to the Best Explanation As was set out in Chapter 1, the central argument of this series contains two primary steps: Establish the facts which will serve as the historical data that will need to be explained. Argue that the Resurrection hypothesis is the best explanation of those facts. The aim of the previous five chapters was to accomplish (1). Chapter 1 also described the objective criterion upon which Chapters 3-7 relied in their establishing the historical data to be explained. To reiterate, that data was as follows: Empty tomb Postmortem appearances Postmortem conversion and subsequent martyrdom of James Conversion of Saul of Tarsus Relentlessness of the apostles Accordingly, the aim …

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Posted in Historiography, Resurrection.

Defending the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus: The Relentlessness of the Apostles (Part 7 of 8)

7.0 The Relentlessness of the Apostles There is a virtual consensus among scholars that, subsequent to Jesus’ death by crucifixion, his disciples sincerely believed that he appeared to them risen from the dead. What’s more, these appearances radically transformed them from fearful, cowering individuals—who denied and abandoned Jesus at his arrest and execution—into bold proclaimers of the gospel of the risen Lord. They remained steadfast in the face of imprisonment, torture, and martyrdom; these men took the world by storm, so that within three hundred years the mighty Roman empire would be transformed by Christianity. But the obvious question arises: How could this handful of obscure people turn the world upside down? 7.1 Simon …

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Posted in Historiography, Resurrection.

Defending the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth: The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus (Part 6 of 8)

6.0 The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus In contemporary critical studies, the apostle Paul is almost always thought to be the best witness among the New Testament writers. A former opponent of this message, Paul clearly points out that the risen Jesus appeared personally to him. He was a zealous Pharisee who had surpassed many of his Jewish contemporaries in his efforts to keep the Jewish traditions of his fathers (Gal 1.13-14). He was educated by Gamaliel, one of the most respected Jewish rabbis of his day. In his zeal for keeping the Jewish tradition, Saul made it his mission to crush Christianity. Thousands of Jews who heard the message …

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Posted in Historiography, Resurrection.

Defending the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus: The Postmortem Conversion and Subsequent Martyrdom of James (Part 5 of 8)

5.0 The Postmortem Conversion and Subsequent Martyrdom of James It is seldom questioned by critical scholars that James, Jesus’ brother, was an unbeliever and a skeptic during his brother’s public ministry (Mk 3.21-35; Jn 7.5). Then, just a few years later, James is the pastor of the Jerusalem church, where Paul finds him when he went for his two visits (Gal 1.18-19; 2.1-10; cf. Acts 15.13-21). What’s more, we learn from Josephus—a first century Jewish historian—that James was martyred for his belief that Jesus was in fact the Messiah. Josephus wrote the following in his Antiquities of the Jews, Book 20, chapter 9: Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon …

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Posted in Historiography, Resurrection.
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