MJ_s_Evidence_for_the_Resurrection

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Evidence for the Resurrection
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Evidence for the Resurrection
Prepared by
Mary Jo Sharp
for
Confident
Christianity
Apologetics
Ministry
“There’s actually no historical
evidence that isn’t a hotly
disputed item within the field of
history to prove that he ever was
even a man, much less the Son
of God.”
– Kelly, Rational Response Squad
ABC’s Nightline Face-Off
Is belief in Jesus Christ comparable
to the belief in:
Not Even Close!
Resurrection …
Foundation
of
Christianity
Resurrection …
If Christ was not
raised than your
faith is useless
I Cor. 15:14
Resurrection …
If Christ was not
raised we are
false witnesses
I Cor. 15:15
Resurrection …
The resurrection is
the best
explanation for the
available facts
The Minimal
F
A
C
T
S
Using the Bible as a
historical document
F
A
C
T
S
Definition:
They must be strongly
evidenced.
F
A
C
T
S
They must be strongly
evidenced:
1) multiple, independent sources
2) enemy testimony
3) principle of embarrassment
4) eyewitness testimony
5) early testimony
The Minimal
F
A
C
T
S
Definition:
They must be acknowledged by
the vast majority of scholars.
F
A
C
T
S
They must be
acknowledged by the vast
majority of scholars.
Dr. Gary Habermas, Liberty University
Complied 1400* scholarly sources of
resurrection writings from 1975 to
the present, whether the scholar was
atheist, skeptic, liberal, or
conservative.
F
The Minimal
A
C
T
S
Not saying:
these facts prove historically
the resurrection.
F
A
C
T
S
I am saying:
the best explanation of these
historical facts, when combined,
is a resurrection.
F
A
C
T
S
The Minimal
F
A
C
T
S
Minimal Fact #1
Jesus died by Roman Crucifixion
1) Recorded in all four Gospels
2) Non-Christian sources
- Josephus, Jewish Historian
- Tacitus, Roman Historian
- Lucian of Samosata, Greek Satirist
- Mara Bar-Serapion, Syrian prisoner
- the Jewish Talmud
Minimal Fact #1
Jesus died by Roman Crucifixion
3) Jesus’ death is one of the most well-attested
events of ancient history
“That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical
can ever be.”
- John Dominic Crossan, “Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography” pg.145
Minimal Facts Approach
Review: The Facts
1) Jesus died by Roman Crucifixion
Gary Habermas, Mike Licona. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Kregel Publications. pgs. 70-74
Minimal Fact #2
Jesus’ tomb was empty
1) Jerusalem factor
2) Enemy testimony
3) Testimony of women
Gary Habermas, Mike Licona. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Kregel Publications. pgs. 70-74
Minimal Fact #2
Jesus’ tomb was empty
1) Jerusalem factor
- Why not go get the body, drag it through the streets,
and shut down the Christian movement?
- No defense of a body in the tomb by the early church
fathers
- It would have been impossible for Christianity to begin
in Jerusalem if the body were still in the grave
Minimal Fact #2
Jesus’ tomb was empty
2) Enemy Testimony
- If testimony about an event or person is given
by a source who does not sympathize with the
person, message, or cause then there is reason
to believe the testimony is true
Minimal Fact #2
Jesus’ tomb was empty
2) Enemy Testimony
Sources:
•
•
•
•
Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho 108
Tertullian’s Spectacles 30
Jewish Toledoth – “he was not in his grave”
Matthew 28: 11-15 "You are to say, 'His disciples came during
the night and stole him away while we were asleep.‘”
Minimal Fact #2
Jesus’ tomb was empty
3) Testimony of women
- Principle of embarrassment
- Testimony of a woman not as highly regarded as a
man, especially the more serious the issue
- Odd invention for the writers of the New Testament
to make women the first witnesses
Minimal Facts Approach
Review: The Facts
1) Jesus died by Roman Crucifixion
2) Jesus’ tomb was empty
Gary Habermas, Mike Licona. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Kregel Publications. pgs. 70-74
Minimal Fact #3
Jesus appeared to the disciples
1) Jesus’ disciples sincerely believed he rose and
appeared to them
2) The disciples transformed from frightened,
hiding individuals to bold witnesses of the
resurrection
Minimal Fact #3
Jesus appeared to the disciples
1) Jesus’ disciples sincerely believed he rose and
appeared to them
- Established by primary evidence: Peter, Paul, and John
wrote what they personally witnessed
- Established by Paul who wrote about the appearances
to the disciples: 1 Cor. 15:10-11 (some of the earliest material)
• Established by the written tradition, including the
Gospels and works of the apostolic and early church
fathers (Origen, Polycarp, Tertullian)
Minimal Fact #3
“Written Tradition”
Are there any writings that follow the Gospels,
and the writings of Peter, John, and Paul?
Yes...
And these writings help confirm our facts!
Didache, Clement of Rome, The Shepherd of
Hermas, Ignatius, Polycarp, Diognetus
Papias, Quadratus of Athens, Aristides, Justin
Martyr, Claudius Apollinaris, Minucius Felix,
Melito of Sardis, Hegesippus, Dionysius of
Corinth, Athenagoras of Athens, Irenaeus of
Lyons, Rhodon, Theophilus of Caesarea,
Theophilus of Antioch, Maximus of Jerusalem,
Polycrates of Ephesus, Pantaenus, Clement of
Alexandria, Tertullian, Serapion of Antioch,
Apollonius, Caius, Hippolytus of Rome, Origen
Minimal Fact #3
Jesus appeared to the disciples
2) The disciples transformed from frightened,
hiding individuals to bold witnesses of the
resurrection
- Willingness to endure suffering, persecution, martyrdom
- Jim Jones, David Koresh, Muslims versus the disciples’
post-resurrection proclamation of Jesus as God
• Nearly all scholarship agree that the disciples had
experiences of the risen Jesus that transformed their
life….now we have to explain why
Minimal Facts Approach
Review: The Facts
1) Jesus died by Roman Crucifixion
2) Jesus’ tomb was empty
3) Jesus appeared to the disciples
Gary Habermas, Mike Licona. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Kregel Publications. pgs. 70-74
Minimal Fact #4
Jesus appeared to skeptics and foes
1) Paul - Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee
2) James - Jesus’ brother
- Both were unbelievers before the resurrection of Jesus
• Both became believers after an experience of the risen
Jesus, following Jesus’ crucifixion
- Neither
had good reason to convert!
Minimal Facts Approach
Review: The Facts
1) Jesus died by Roman Crucifixion
2) Jesus’ tomb was empty
3) Jesus appeared to the disciples
4) Jesus appeared to skeptics/foes
Gary Habermas, Mike Licona. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Kregel Publications. pgs. 70-74
Historians look for the
hypotheses that best fit
the available facts.
The hypothesis that fits
all the facts is the best
explanation.
Once all the hypotheses have
been weighed against the
facts, we have confidence in
the explanation that
outweighs the rest.
The resurrection of
Jesus is the best
explanation of the facts!
Gary Habermas: Skeptics must provide
more than alternative theories to the
Resurrection; they must provide first-century
evidence for those theories.
Norman Geisler, Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist.
Crossway Books. Wheaton: 2004. pg. 299.
May I suggest for further reading:
I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an The Case for the Resurrection of
Jesus
Atheist
Gary Habermas, Mike Licona
Norman Geisler, Frank Turek
May I suggest for getting started:
The Case for Christ
Lee Strobel
Mary Jo Sharp
Seek and
proclaim
Truth

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