Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead? A Historian, an Atheist, a Skeptic, a Theologian, and an Ex-Con Weigh In

by Alisa Childers

​It’s that time of year again—the time when Christians come together to celebrate the pinnacle of our faith, the resurrection of Jesus. It’s also the time when news outlets like Time, the Discovery Channel, and Newsweek unleash their skepticism about Christianity, the Bible, and the resurrection. It can be confusing to wade through the various historical evidences, personal beliefs, and opinions floating around in scholarship and the blogosphere. Here are quotes from several sources who all have unique qualifications and an interesting take on the evidence: 

1. The Historian
Gary Habermas is an American historian, and the Distinguished Research Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy at Liberty University. He is considered to be one of the foremost scholars on the resurrection of Jesus. While researching the resurrection, he combed through the works of both secular and Christian scholars. He wrote:

 
          I recently completed an overview of more than 1,400 sources on the resurrection of Jesus
          published since 1975. I studied and catalogued about 650 of these texts in English, German,
          and French. Some of the results of this study are certainly intriguing. For example, perhaps
          no fact is more widely recognized than that early Christian believers had real experiences
          that
they thought were appearances of the risen Jesus. A critic may claim that what they
          saw were hallucinations or visions, but he does not deny that they actually experienced
          something. (1)

          There is a virtual consensus among scholars who study Jesus’ resurrection that, subsequent
          to Jesus’ death by crucifixion, his disciples really believed that he appeared to them risen
          from the dead.
(2)

2. The Atheist
Gerd Ludemann is a German New Testament scholar, historian, and atheist. He was once a professing Christian, but walked away from his faith when he became convinced that very little of what is contained in the New Testament is historically reliable. Even so, he wrote…

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Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead? A Historian, an Atheist, a Skeptic, a Theologian, and an Ex-Con Weigh In