Interview With Apologist and New Testament Scholar Michael Licona
Mike Licona has a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies and is Associate Professor in Theology at Houston Baptist University. He was interviewed by Lee Strobel in his book The Case for the Real Jesus (Zondervan, 2007) and appeared in Strobel’s The Case for Christ (DVD, 2007). He is the author of numerous books, including The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach (IVP Academic, 2010). Mike is a member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Institute for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Literature. He has spoken on more than 50 university campuses and has appeared on dozens of radio and television programs. Mike’s website is www.risenjesus.com.
TheBestSchools: Thank you for allowing us to interview you for TheBestSchools.org. You are the author of The Resurrection of Jesus (IVP Academic, 2010). Though recently published, that book is already one of the standard works on the historicity of the Resurrection. You are also the author, co-author, or editor of several other widely read books of Christian apologetics. And you are a highly skilled public debater.
But before we get into your accomplishments, let’s start with some personal background. Could you please tell our readers about your early life? Where and when were you born? What were your most significant formative influences growing up? What religious upbringing did you have? How did you first get interested in Christian ministry, theology, New Testament studies, and apologetics?
Michael Licona: I was born in Baltimore in 1961 and raised in a Christian family. I became a Christian at age 10 and my parents have told me I was an easy kid to raise, though by no means perfect. I’ve always had an interest in religious matters and ended up going to a Christian university. The first semester of my freshman year I decided I wanted to go into Christian ministry. But I thought it would be a music ministry, since I played the saxophone. As my education progressed, so did my desire to understand the Bible. That led me to do a master’s degree in religious studies with a concentration in Koine Greek, the Greek in which the New Testament literature was written. As I neared the end of my coursework, I began to have doubts about the truth of the Christian faith. How could I know if Christianity is really true, especially since many who are a lot smarter than I believe differently? Would I be of the same opinion had my parents been Muslims, Hindus, Jews, or atheists? This led me to search for answers and that’s how I became acquainted with the field of Christian apologetics…
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