Reasons to Believe: Eyewitness Experiences

By Scott J Shifferd

For all that believers do, Christians believe that Jesus gives new life because He rose from the dead. Those who listen to Jesus find that Jesus’s miracles are reasonable to believe. They especially believe the eyewitnesses of Jesus’s resurrection.

In the beginning of the Christian movement, opponents converted claiming to have witnessed Jesus risen from the dead. Historians recognize that Paul converted having been a persecutor of the church, seen Jesus alive, and became a preacher and apostle (Gal 1:13–16). Early Christians attributed Paul as the author of 13 of the 27 writings of the New Testament of the Bible. Likewise, historians also note that Jesus’s brothers especially James who had not believed came to convert because of Jesus’s resurrection. They became preachers and leaders in the church too (1 Cor 9:5; Gal 1:18–20). For secular historians, these events are unexplained phenomena.

In AD 54, Paul reported the gospel message that dates to his conversion two or three years after Jesus’s crucifixion. That first Christian message is the gospel that Jesus died, was buried, and resurrected (1 Cor 15:3–4). Paul listed numerous eyewitnesses seeing Jesus alive from the dead even 500 at one time (1 Cor 15:5–8). Secular historians admit that the Christian faith began because of the belief that Jesus rose from the dead. According to history, various people experienced Jesus bodily alive from the dead. In other words, their experience was that they saw, heard, touched, and ate with Jesus alive and bodily restored after three days having been crucified and confirmed dead (Luke 23:36–42).

What is the best explanation for various people experiencing Jesus risen bodily from the dead? To secular scholars, the experiences of Jesus’s resurrection are phenomena — events for which they cannot explain the cause…
 

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Reasons to Believe: Eyewitness Experiences