Evidence of the Resurrection Accepted Even by Atheist New Testament Scholars
This blog post is based on the Minimal Facts argument for the Resurrection of Jesus by Dr. Gary Habermas, and it one of the strongest arguments that I have seen for the resurrection.
Dr. Habermas is an American historian, New Testament scholar, and philosopher of religion , and he has been studying the resurrection for around 40 years now. During this time he has been cataloguing the accepted facts of the resurrection by every New Testament scholar he can find, regardless of their belief.
He says this about his Minimal Facts argument:
My Minimal Facts Argument in favor of Jesus’ resurrection was developed many years ago while writing my PhD dissertation. It has two requirements for the historical facts that are used: each must be confirmed by several strong and independent arguments, plus the vast majority of even critical scholars must recognize the occurrence’s historical nature. The critical scholars can be liberal, skeptical, agnostic, or even atheist, as long as they are specialists in a relevant field of study, such as New Testament. Of these two requirements, it is important to recognize that the initial standard concerning strong evidential back-up is by far the most crucial.
So why do even critical scholars admit or allow these individual historical facts? The answer is that each one is virtually undeniable. Most of the half-dozen Minimal Facts typically used are confirmed by ten or more historical considerations each. That is simply an amazing foundation, especially for events that occurred in the First Century AD!
If a physicist was writing on the resurrection, then they didn’t qualify because their doctorate wasn’t relevant. But if even an atheist New Testament scholar was writing on the resurrection, then he counted what they accepted. He has compiled over 3000 references in English, French, and German, and note the lowest common denominator of accepted facts. The following are accepted by virtually all historians, skeptic and believer…
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