It may come to the surprise of many readers that current scholarship holds that the disciples, James (Christ’s skeptical brother), Paul (the former Pharisee and early church persecutor), and Peter were convinced that the risen Christ had appeared to them, convincing them that he had been raised from the dead.
That this constitutes a historical reality is not in dispute. This understanding is informed by the work of historian Gary Habermas and his minimal facts concept (1). Habermas, having examined 3400 academic articles written by critical scholars over the last half century on the historical Jesus, writes that the resurrection appearances are one of several facts that “are so strongly attested historically that they are granted by nearly every scholar who studies the subject, even the rather skeptical ones” (2). Habermas discovered that the resurrection appearances were accepted by the majority of scholars across the worldview divide. It is therefore not the conclusion drawn from conservative Christian scholars but that of all scholars. Some are well worth mentioning. For example, secular historian Gerd Ludemann claims that on the basis of historical evidence,
“It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’s death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ” (3).
According to James Crossley “the resurrection appearances are some of the hardest, best evidence we have” (4). Rudolph Bultmann, remembered for his radical views concedes that “All that historical criticism can establish is that the first disciples came to believe the resurrection” (5). The agnostic the well-known ideological opponent of traditional Christianity Bart Ehrman states that,
“Historians, of course, have no difficulty whatsoever speaking about the belief in Jesus’ resurrection, since this is a matter of public record. For it is a historical fact that some of Jesus’ followers came to believe that he had been raised from the dead soon after his execution” (6).
Scholarly consensus is never an argument in of itself, but it is always an important consideration. It is often the case that if the vast majority of scholars accept a fact then there are good reasons for accepting it. What are these reasons?
The Resurrection’s Early and Independent Attestation
One of the criterion used by historians to determine what’s likely historical as opposed to not is early and independent attestation. As a criterion, this considers those sources which are early (dated to within a close proximity of the events they describe) and independent (that the narratives described come from the author himself and were not borrowed or derived from other earlier sources).
Historians discover that the resurrection appearance narratives of Christ, concerning his post-death appearances to his disciples, are recorded in sources speaking of early events such as the sermon summaries of Acts. The resurrection was the central message proclaimed by the early church as narrated by the author of Acts (1:21-22; 2:22, 24, 32; 10:39-41, 43a; 13:30-31, 34a, 37; 17:2-3, 30-31; 24:21; 26:22-23).
There are also early source materials themselves, one of which is found within the Apostle Paul’s creed he received within five years of Christ’s death. According to Ludemann this creed can be dated to just three years of Christ’s crucifixion,
“…the elements in the tradition are to be dated to the first two years after the crucifixion of Jesus…not later than three years…the formation of the appearance traditions mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:3-8 falls into the time between 30 and 33 C.E.” (7)
This creed is possibly the earliest material in the entire New Testament and can be found in 1 Cor. 15:3-7. It’s not only its early date that is important but the content of its message that records that a number of people including Peter, the disciples, 500 witnesses, James, and lastly Paul had real experiences where the risen Christ appeared to them, convincing them that he had been raised from the dead.
Paul also made at least two trips to Jerusalem during his ministry after his conversion. According to Galatians 1-2 he interviews the disciples about the gospel, and later he writes that they preach the same message (1 Cor. 15:11). This suggests that the disciples, Paul, and possibly other anonymous Christians were preaching the resurrection from the earliest of times.
It is clear then that the resurrection was a very early teaching of the church. It was taught at the earliest times by Paul, the disciples, and by the church in Acts. Thus, two independent sources attest to this earliness: Paul and Acts. This poses a strong challenge to those who argued that the resurrection teachings were a product of later Christian theology or that it is explainable by mythological or legendary embellishment.
Multiple and Independent Attestation
The New Testament provides several historical sources that independently attest to the resurrection appearances. All four canonical gospels independently attest to the resurrection. The appearance to Peter is independently attested by Luke, and the appearance to the Twelve by Luke and John. We also have independent witness to Galilean appearances in Mark, Matthew, and John, as well as to the women in Matthew and John (8).
Paul himself attests to the resurrection throughout his authentic epistles, one of which epistles contains a very early creed (as we noted above). Likewise early sermons are reported in Acts that confirms that the resurrection message was central to early preaching.
There is also independent attestation from extra-biblical Christian writings. Clement of Rome says that Christian have “complete certainty caused by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ… (9)” Clement was writing quite early, likely at the same time of the book of Revelation (the New Testament penned at around 95 AD). Likewise Polycarp, around 110 AD, refers to the resurrection and the beliefs of the disciples (10).
Clement and Polycarp are particularly significant for they were contemporaries of the disciples, and were reported to have known them. Irenaeus says that Clement “had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them,” and that “Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna… (11)” Likewise, Tertullian informs that “Polycarp was placed therein by John; as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter” (12). As such, Clement and Polycarp affirm that the resurrection was taught by the disciples themselves.
Historians are dealing with a fairy significant number of source materials that reference the resurrection appearances of Christ. There are eight of these in the form of Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, Paul, Clement of Rome, and Polycarp. Of these, several are early: Mark’s gospel and Paul’s creed (1 Cor. 15:3-8), and the message was evidently at the heart of the earliest Christian teachings and ministry efforts (Acts 2 and the Apostle Paul.
James, Christ’s Skeptical Brother, Experiences Resurrection Appearances
James was the skeptical brother of Christ who, which history seems to suggest, converted after witnessing the risen Christ. What is quite surprising about this is that James was presented as skeptic who rejected his brother as attested to in Mark (3:21; 6:2-4, 6) and John (7:5; 19:25-27). According to Ludemann, “James had no religious link with his brother during Jesus’ lifetime” (19). In what is a rather striking turn of events, James is later seen with the disciples, and as a leader in the early church, for which he is martyred. Of a peripheral note, in Acts 1:14 James is recorded as being among the disciples after Christ had appeared to him. James is also an important figure in the early church given that he is mentioned first in the list of disciples by Paul (Gal. 2:9). Following these strands, James went from a skeptic, to a disciple, and then to a leader.
But why accept his conversion as a historical fact?
It would seem to satisfy the criterion of embarrassment. This criterion is tool historians use, and it says that the early New Testament writers would not have made up an embarrassing detail or story that would have made them look foolish if it had not actually occurred. As a rule of thumb, when writers invested in a historical figure, movement, or cause mentions narrates details that are of an embarrassment to themselves, their leader, and their movement, it is likely to be historical, and suggestive of them attempting to be honest in reporting events as they happened. One discovers this within the context of James’ conversion. According to theologian Chris Price:
“Remarkably, James didn’t believe in his brother during Jesus’ earthly ministry, an embarrassing detail the Gospel writers wouldn’t have made up. In fact, John 7:5 just states, “For even his own brothers didn’t believe in him.” But we also know as a matter of history that James becomes a leader in the early church (Galatians 1, Acts 15), worshiping his brother as messiah and Lord to the point of eventually dying for that belief” (20).
That James rejected his brother, of whom he learned actually turned out to be God incarnate, would have been an embarrassment for him. He would likely have felt foolish, and embarrassed in the eyes of the early Christians and God himself. However, he was able to somehow put this behind him and become an important figure in the early church. It is also good to note that James’ rejection of Christ wasn’t trivial, as Habermas writes that “For it to be remembered over many decades, James’ unbelief was probably rather staunch” (21).
Of further importance is that Christ’s appearance to Jesus is attested in Paul’s creed of 1 Cor. 15: 3-7, which, as we noted, is accepted to be within three to five years of Christ’s crucifixion. Ludemann finds the creed important evidentially, saying that “Because of 1 Cor. 15:7 it is certain that James ‘saw’ his brother” (22). One also finds that Paul had direct access to James and spoke with him regarding the gospel on at least two occasions (Galatians 1-2).
James was also willing to suffer and even die for his faith in the risen Christ. It is likely that he did in fact die, as recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius. According to Flavius, James “the brother of Jesus, who was called the Christ… was delivered to be stoned” (23). This passage (which constitutes the second reference to Christ in Josephus’ writing) is “universally acknowledged” (24). There is also further corroboration of James’ death by Hegesippus, a church historian writing around 165 – 175 AD, who also confirms that James was stoned (25). The church historian Eusebius quotes Josephus, Hegesippus, and Clement of Alexandria regarding the martyrdom of James (26).
This considered, it would suggest James’ sincerity, which would pose a challenge to those who attach ulterior motives to him. For example, one might argue that James only claimed to see the risen Christ so as to become a leader in the early church. However, if that was so, he would have likely recanted in the face of being stoned to death. Being part of the early church wasn’t particularly desirable for those within it when you consider the materialistic and its reputation. No-one in the early church was going to become rich or famous. But they were persecuted, threatened, and often fearful. It would take a sincere person or group of people to become involved with the church, and as such one can reasonably believe that James was sincere that he witnessed the risen Christ. The late biblical scholar Reginald Fuller penned that,
“It might be said that if there were no record of an appearance to James the Lord’s brother in the New Testament we should have to invent one in order to account for his post-resurrection conversion and rapid advance” (27).
Paul, the Early Church Persecutor, Experiences a Resurrection Appearance
Saul’s testimony (Saul being the Apostle Paul’s name prior to his conversion) is similarly striking to that of James’. Weighing the historical evidences it appears that Paul, despite playing a role in the early persecution of the church (which involved some killings of Christians), gave his allegiance to Christ after a resurrection experience of Christ. Paul, with in evident shame and embarrassment, speaks of the role he played in the persecution of the early Christians and their movement, “I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Cor. 15:9). This is a striking statement for Paul, as he himself knew, was a pivotal, formative figure in the early Christian church. However, evidently so ashamed for his persecution of it, he goes to the length of saying he doesn’t deserve to be called an apostle, a very follower of Christ.
There is an important distinction between the testimonies of James and Paul. One learns that James was skeptical and an unbeliever in Christ. Paul was also skeptical but unlike James he was an active persecutor of the early church. Paul witnessed the murdering and persecution of early Christians, as well as approved of such activity. The author of Acts, in his attempt to provide a historical account of the early events of the Christian church, informed his readers that “Saul [Paul] began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison” (8:3). Paul also approved of the stoning to death of Stephen, probably the first martyr in Christian history (Acts 8:1-2). As such, Paul’s opposition to the church was deep and radical, to the point of wishing to obliterate its blasphemy from the historical record. The reasons why Paul opposed the early Christian movement and its teachings are interesting but peripheral to the question of the historicity of his conversion, to which we now turn.
That Paul persecuted the early church is well attested historically. Paul himself admits to this in several of his authentic epistles (1 Cor. 15:9-10; Gal. 1:12-16, 22-23; Phil. 3:6-7), and is confirmed by Luke’s attestation in the book of Acts. Paul’s persecution of the early church is therefore independently attested.
The persecution also passes the criterion of embarrassment. As noted in the words of 1 Corinthians 15:9 above, Paul felt shame and embarrassment for the role he played in this, only to become a leader in the church at a later point. It is highly unlikely that he would have invented and attributed to himself such a narrative that could potentially damage his reputation and credibility.
Paul’s authentic epistles constitute the strongest historical evidence for his conversion. Scholarship divides Paul’s letters into two main categories: those of which are authentic and those which are disputed. The authentic letters are those legitimately penned by Paul himself, from his own hand or dictation. Those that are disputed are not disputed for any historical-narrative purpose but rather in terms of the authorship. The disputed letters are attributed to Paul but most scholars (with consensus differing depending on the letter in question) believe they weren’t actually penned by Paul himself, but rather a follower of Paul’s. This considered, Paul’s authentic letters are therefore clearly of importance for historians wishing to understand his theology, ministry, and purposes.
The story of his conversion is detailed most vividly in the book of Acts. According to the story, Paul was journeying with a company to Damascus to persecute Christians there. Christ appears to him in a vision while on the road, and asks Paul why he is persecuting him (by which Christ meant his church): Paul “fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (9:4). Paul was subsequently blinded for three days and had to be led into Damascus by the hand where, after being prayed for by someone claiming to be sent by God, he received his vision once again (9:1-22). This was the seed of Paul’s conversion. According to Bart Ehrman, “Paul was undoubtedly the most important convert in the history of the Christian religion” (3).
But one need not only rely on Acts. Paul speaks of how God “was pleased to reveal his son to me” (Gal. 1:16), and includes himself on the list of people Christ had appeared to in his resurrection body (the early creed of 1 Cor. 15:8).
Similarly to James, Paul lived new life as a Christ follower with a willingness to suffer and be persecuted. This was a striking turn in his life considering that as a pharisee Paul was persecuting Christians, and therefore the one with the power. However, after his conversion, history says that Paul not only experienced a variety of abuses and persecutions but that he was also martyred for his faith. One discovers that on several occasions Paul was incarcerated and endured beatings (2 Cor. 11:24-27). The Jews with whom Paul spoke tried to kill him (Acts 9:29), he was persecuted (Acts 13:50, 1 Cor. 4:12, 2 Cor. 4:9, 2 Tim. 3:11, Phil. 1:12-30), he was stoned and dragged out of the city (Acts 14:9), beaten with rods (Acts 16:22), endured trial (Acts 18:12), verbally abused by crowds (Acts 21:36, 22:22), and incarcerated (2 Tim. 2:9). These narratives suggest that Paul was clearly willing to suffer hardship and pain for his faith. This is independently and multiply attested in three sources. From the New Testament, Paul’s suffering is attested by his authentic letters, disputed letters (2 Tim. for example.) and by Acts.
Paul’s suffering and eventual martyrdom receives some attention beyond the New Testament too. According to Clement of Rome, “[Paul] after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned… and suffered martyrdom under the prefects” (32). Clement was writing this around the mid 90’s AD, therefore making it a fairly valuable source. Polycarp also attests to Paul’s martyrdom (33), as does Tertullian (who tells us that “Paul was beheaded”) (34). and Eusebius who quotes Dionysius of Corinth and Origin concerning Paul’s martyrdom (35).
Multiple and independent attestation via several important historical sources suggests a high probability of Paul’s willingness to suffer for the resurrection message. Several source, some of which are from Paul’s own hand, affirm that it was the resurrection appearance of Christ himself to Paul that prompted his conversion.
The Appearance to the 500
We have noted As already the early creed that Paul picked up and relayed to his readers in Corinth. We noted that scholars have dated the creed to within a few years of Christ’s crucifixion. According to scholar Dan Wallace, in this creed Paul “defends physical resurrection as part of the passed-on tradition he received when he became a Christian, beliefs he reports in the AD 50s but that reach back to his conversion in the 30s” (36).
As noted above, not only is the early date of the creed important but so is its content. It turns out that part of its content is that the risen Christ appeared to a group of 500 people. For many accepting this as an actual historical event would depend on the reliability and trustworthiness of the Apostle Paul, for it is through him that one learns of this. However, we noted above that Paul was sincere in his conversion and honest in his painful reflections concerning it. If one, in respect to the reasons for believing in his sincerity, can trust Paul’s testimony then there is little reason to doubt his claim that 500 people witnessed the risen Christ. There are some other good reasons for accepting this to be the case.
Perhaps most persuasive is that for Paul to make such a grand claim, which he did, would open him up to scrutiny. If it turned out that he was lying (Christ never had appeared to the 500 or any of the others Paul lists in the creed) it would likely have been discovered, and thus severely hurt his reputation. But Paul goes to great lengths to build his reputation, particularly as a teacher and carer for the early churches. It is also clear that Paul was already ashamed of his reputation as once being a persecutor of the church, and it is therefore unlikely that he would further risk damaging his reputation by fabricating lies concerning Christ’s resurrection. Wallace has the following to say:
“It is agreed upon by all teaching scholars in the western world (6000+) that Paul believed that Jesus appeared to these more than 500 eyewitnesses… Paul’s credibility was on the line with many false teachers in Corinth and so if these more than 500 could not be corroborated it would have greatly hurt Paul’s reputation” (39).
With all this considered it would seem safe on Paul’s testimony to accept that 500 people believed that they had witnessed a resurrection appearance of Christ.
The Disciples & Peter’s willingness to suffer for the risen Jesus:
Having looked at James & Paul we shall now turn to have a look at some of the evidence that suggests that the other disciples & Peter were convinced that Jesus had appeared to them after his death. This evidence will show that they were willing to suffer, face persecution, and never once recant their faith.
Firstly, we ought to note Peter’s denial of Jesus during his ministry. For instance, Jesus foresaw Peter’s denial before it would even happen (Mark 14:29-31; Mathew 26: 33-35, Luke 22:33-34, John 13:36-38). Later, after Jesus is captured, Peter denies him (Luke 22:54-57, Mark 14:69-70; Matthew 26:73-75; John 18:13-27). This event passes the criterion of multiple & independent attestation by being reported in at least two or more sources, thus it has a high probability. Peter’s denial also passes the criterion of embarrassment as he would later become a leader in the early church after Jesus’ death. It is hard fathom that one would make a pivotal leader of the church deny the very person behind its existence if it did not actually happen. Peter would have been ashamed, however, he undergoes a dramatic change from fearing for his life to becoming a bold proclaimer and willing to suffer and die.
We ought to note the prior state of the disciples before Jesus’ appearance to them. We are told that they went into hiding behind locked doors following the crucifixion (John 20:19), they were also afraid to publicly talk about Jesus (John 7:13), and during Jesus’ arrest they fled (Mark 14:50; Matthew 26:56). However, they had a radical transformation. Firstly, we have the apostles proclaiming the risen Jesus within the book of Acts and the resurrection was their central message. Both Jesus’ apostles Peter and John are imprisoned for this (Acts 4), and in Acts 5 we see that apostles are arrested, imprisoned, and flogged. Acts 12 informs us about the martyrdom of James, the brother of John, and another imprisonment of Peter. Stephen was stoned to death after his witness before the Sanhedrin (Acts 6–8). The first statewide persecution of Christians is reported as being under Nero in 64 AD as reported by Tacitus (Annals 15.44:2–5) and Suetonius (Nero 16.2). Although persecution was sporadic and local, from this point forward Christians could be arrested and killed for proclaiming the name of Jesus. According to Revelation John is said to be in Patmos where he was possibly exiled to (1:9). As we saw above in the context of Paul, Clement of Rome (writing around 95 AD) attests to the persecution and martyrdom of both Peter and Paul. Clement writes that “Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labors and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him” (41). Further, Ignatius writing around 110 AD says that “on this account [of experiencing the risen Jesus] also did they [the disciples] despise death” (42). Sometime later Origen argues that the disciples would not have despised death if they did not in fact experience the risen Jesus (43). According to scholar Sanders “Many of the people in these lists [of witnesses] were to spend the rest of their lives proclaiming that they had seen the risen Lord, and several of them would die for their cause” (44). Exegete Gary Habermas articulates that: “Virtually no one, friend or foe, believer or critic, denies that it was their convictions that they had seen the resurrected Jesus that caused the disciples’ radical transformations. They were willing to die specifically for their resurrection belief” (45).
As a total 11 early sources testify to the willingness of the apostles to suffer and willingly risk death for their belief in the resurrection: Luke, Paul, Josephus, Clement of Rome, Clement of Alexandria, Polycarp, Ignatius, Dionysius of Corinth, Tertullian, Origen, and Hegesippus. According to Professor Keener: “These disciples plainly believed that Jesus had risen; and not only that, but that they had seen him alive” (46).
On top of that nine early and independent sources testify to the disciples’ proclamation that Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them: Paul, Creeds (1 Cor. 15:3-8), Sermon Summaries (Acts 2), Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Clement of Rome, Polycarp. We can thus be confident in a high historical probability that these events certainly happened: “Further, it has to acknowledge that none of the disciples defected, even when faced with suffering and horrible deaths, including stoning and crucifixion.”
Christianity’s Uniqueness Based on the Resurrection of Jesus:
It is worth noting that when we compare Christianity to other earlier movements it stands out. Other movements had hit a brick wall when the leaders were killed, for example, Gamaliel in Acts 5 makes exact mention of this trend of ending revolts by killing the leaders (Acts 5:34-40). Other failed movements after the death of their leaders include Judas the Galilean (AD 6), Simon bar-Giora (AD 70) and Bar Kochbar (AD 135). However, this was not the case with Jesus, but instead we find the proclamation of his resurrection by his earliest followers (48). We soon see this movement overtake an empire and subsequently become the world’s largest religion. Scholar Johnson writes that: “Some sort of powerful, transformative experience is required to generate the sort of movement earliest Christianity was” (50).
The Unlikely Conception of a Resurrected Messiah.
The ability for the disciples to conceive of a resurrected Messiah is problematic, and is an issue for the skeptic who tries to explain the early Christian movement without referring to a real resurrected Jesus. The Jewish idea of a resurrection was an event that was expected to happen sometime in the future. It was expected that there would be a general resurrection of everyone at the same time and not that one person would be resurrected before others. For instance, Jewish scholar Vermes writes that “But above all…neither they [the disciples] nor anyone else expected a resurrection” (51).
According to exegete Craig: “The disciples would have been completely un-Jewish to adopt language of resurrection from the dead to express their experience, and there were other categories of Jewish thought and vocabulary that could have been used to express their experience, and resurrection – which had reference solely to the raising up of the dead body in the tomb to new life – was not one of them” (52).
Likewise scholar Wright articulates: “Nobody was expecting this kind of thing; no kind of conversion-experience would have generated such ideas; nobody would have invented it, no matter how guilty (or how forgiven) they felt, no matter how many hours they pored over the scriptures. To suggest otherwise is to stop doing history and to enter into a fantasy world of our own” (53).
Jewish beliefs about the afterlife precluded anyone’s rising from the dead to glory and immortality before the general resurrection at the end of the world (54). With that in mind it is rather odd that this is what they end up proclaiming after Jesus appeared to them and convinced them that he had been raised from the dead.
In finishing we can draw several well founded conclusions. Firstly we saw that the vast majority of critical scholars agree to the very basic fact that the disciples, Peter, Paul & James were convinced that the risen Jesus had appeared to them. We then went through the historical evidence that has convinced scholars of this. We saw that the evidence reviewed passes several criterion such as multiple & independent attestation, early attestation, and the criterion of embarrassment. We saw that the resurrection proclamation was preached very early as suggested in early creeds, Paul’s authentic & disputed epistles, and our record of early Christian preaching in the book of Acts. This negates any challenge that the resurrection proclamation, and high Christology of Jesus as saviour, is a late legendary embellishment. We also reviewed the critical difference between the martyrdoms of Jesus’ earliest followers and contemporary cases. Historically, James, Paul, Peter & the disciples willingly suffered and were persecuted for their proclamation of the risen Jesus. Paul, James, and Peter, alongside other early Christians (Stephen & John), are historically certain to have died as martyrs. The best explanation is that Jesus had appeared to them convincing them that he had been raised from the dead. This passes the criteria of multiple and independent attestation as the disciples’ willingness to suffer while proclaiming the risen Jesus is attested to in 11 sources: Luke, Paul, Josephus, Clement of Rome, Clement of Alexandria, Polycarp, Ignatius, Dionysius of Corinth, Tertullian, Origen, and Hegesippus, while nine early sources attest to their proclamation of the risen Jesus: Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, Paul, Clement of Rome, Polycarp, and Josephus Flavius. We also looked at Paul’s mentioning of Jesus’ resurrection appearance to the 500 in his early creed, and thus concluded that he was sincere. Our last two points reviewed Christianity’s uniqueness in the context of the resurrection, and how it was extremely unlikely that Jesus’ earliest followers would have come up with the conception of a resurrected Messiah. In concluding I think we can now feel the power behind Wright’s own conclusion:
“That is why, as an historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him” (55).
1. Habermas, G. The Minimal Facts Approach to the Resurrection of Jesus: The Role of Methodology as a Crucial Component in Establishing Historicity. Available.
2. Habermas, G. & Licona, M. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. p. 44.
3. Ludemann, G. 1995. What Really Happened? p. 80.
4. Crossley, J. 2015. Unbelievable? New Testament listener Q&A – Gary Habermas & James Crossley
5. Bultmann, R. quoted in Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Myth (p. 42) by Robert Segal.
6. Ehrman, B. 1999. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. p. 231.
7. Ludemann, G. 1994. The Resurrection of Jesus: History, Experience, Theology. p. 38.
8. Craig, W. The Resurrection of Jesus. Available.
9. Clement, 1 Clement, 42.
10. Polycarp, To the Philippians, 1,2,9, and 12.
11. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.3.3
12. Tertullian, The Prescription Against Heretics, 32.
13. Antiquities, 18:3.3.
14. Feldman, L. 1997. Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. p. 55–57.
15. Craig, W. 2009. Independent Sources for Jesus’ Burial and Empty Tomb. Available.
16. Howell, M & Prevenier, W. 2001. From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods.
17. Habermas, G. & Licona, M. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. p. 59.
18. Sanders, E quoted in A Serious Way of Wondering (p. 44) by Reynolds Price.
19. Ludemann, G. 1994. ibid. p. 109.
20. Price, C. 2015. Making Sense of Resurrection Data. Available.
21. Habermas, G. 2003. The Risen Jesus and Future Hope. p. 22.
22. Ludemann, G. 1994. Ibid. p. 109.
23. Josephus, F. 95 AD. Antiquities, 20.9.1.
24. Feldman, L. quoted in A Rabbi Looks at Jesus of Nazareth (p. 129) by Jonathan Bernis.
25. Hegesippus, fragments from His Five Books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church, 1.
26. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 2.23.
27. Fuller, R. 1980. The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives. p. 37.
28. Hengel, M. 1977. Crucifixion.
29. Ehrman, B. 2006. Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend. p. 101.
30. Collated by Stegmann, R. 2015. New Testament Foundations. p. 85.
31. Price, C. 2015. Ibid. Available.
32. Clement, 1 Clement, 5.
33. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians, 9.
34. Tertullian, Scorpiace, 15.
35. Eusebius quotes Dionysius of Corinth in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 2.25.8 writing that “I have quoted these things in order that the truth of the history might be still more confirmed.” Eusebius also quotes Origin regarding both Peter and Paul’s martyrdom in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3.1.1-2
36. Bock, D. & Wallace, D. 2010. Dethroning Jesus: Exposing Popular Culture’s Quest to Unseat the Biblical Christ.
37. Moreland, J. 1987. Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity. Chapter 6.
38. Price, C. 2015. Ibid. Available.
39. Wallace, D. 2015. Fact Checking Dan Barker From our Recent Debate. Available.
40. Craig, W. Visions of Jesus: A Critical Assessment of Gerd Lüdemann’s Hallucination Hypothesis. Available.
41. Clement, 1 Clement, 5.
42. Ignatius, To the Smyrnaeans, 3.
43. Origen, Contra Celsum, 2:56; 2:77.
44. Sanders, E. 1995. The Historical Figure of Jesus. p. 279-280.
45. Habermas, G. The Resurrection Appearances of Jesus. Available.
46. Keener, C. 2009. The Historical Jesus of the Gospels. p. 342.
47. Craig, W. 2012. Stephen Law on the Non-existence of Jesus of Nazareth. Available.
48. Wright, N. Jesus Resurrection and Christian Origins. p. 615–635.
49. Bock, D & Wallace, D. 2010. Ibid.
50. Johnson, L. 1997. The Real Jesus. p. 136.
51. Vermes, G. 2011. Jesus the Jew: A Historians Reading of the Gospels. p. 40.
52. Craig, W. Doctrine of Christ (part 18). Available.
53. Wright, N. 2003. Christian Origins and the Question of God, III: The Resurrection of the Son of God. p. 707.
54. Craig, W. The Resurrection of Jesus. Available.
55. Wright, N. 1993. The New Unimproved Jesus. p. 26.