The Post Resurrection Behavior of Jesus Eliminates the Possibility of an Imposter

by J Warner Wallace

Of the many skeptical, alternative theories of the Resurrection, the imposter theory is sometimes offered in an effort explain the apparent confusion of the disciples. There are a number of places in the Gospels where followers of Jesus seem to be slow to recognize Him. Mary mistakes Jesus for a gardener, the disciples on the road to Emmaus fail to recognize Jesus altogether. Couldn’t an imposter have stepped in and fooled the disciples into thinking he was Jesus?

I’ve learned something important from the fraud investigators who have joined our homicide team over the years. Con artists are successful if, and only if, they know more about the focus of their lie, than the people to whom they are lying. If you’re trying to con someone out of money in a phony investment scheme, you better know more about investment businesses than your victims. You’ll need to sound like you know what you’re doing if you want to convince someone to give you their money, and they better not be able to detect your deception. So if someone wanted to con those closest to Jesus into believing that Jesus had actually risen from the dead, he would need to know Jesus (his mannerisms, figures of speech and behaviors) better than the disciples themselves. Who could know Jesus this well? I think it would have to be someone in the inner circle, and this person would have to begin by stealing the body; a difficult feat for a single person. It’s not long before imposter theories turn into theories that Involve co-conspirators, and I’ve written an entire chapter of Cold-Case Christianity to explain why conspiracies are so difficult to execute successfully.

But I think there’s an even better reason to reject the Resurrection imposter theory…


The Post Resurrection Behavior of Jesus Eliminates the Possibility of an Imposter