I have recently taken it upon myself to respond to a challenge here for Christians.
“What reason is there to believe in the authenticity of the Bible, its message, and/or Christianity?”
My post will be focusing on the Resurrection of Jesus as a historical event.
Before I actually address this issue I will explain what I will not be doing and what I will attempt to do and what responses I will not accept lest I be misunderstood.
What I will be doing
- I will be using facts accepted by the majority of historians (at least 75%) and that are multiply attested.
- I will be using historical criteria like the criterion of embarrassment , earlyness and multiple attestation to lend credence to these facts
What I will not be doing
- I am not “using the bible to prove the bible” or appealing to the inerrancy of scripture. I do not argue,” the bible says so -so it was true.”I just appeal to the gospels and epistles of Paul as normal ancient documents and biographies.
- I am not using just “the bible as a source”. The New testament documents were a group of ancient documents by different writers.They can be used as multiple attestation.The epistles of Paul and Gospels are different sources
Responses I will not accept
- “The resurrection is false and can never happen because resurrections don’t happen”- Don’t question-beg naturalism in your answers.
- “Jesus never existed”-This is a fringe and outdated position held by a group of German philosophers in the 18th century and popularised by uncredentialed popular writers like Earl Doherty and Acharya S. No serious historian takes these writers and their Jesus myth thesis seriously.
- “The accounts are contradictory so they cannot be used”-Wrong. Even if the accounts of the resurrection were contradictory- historians use cntradictory sources all the time. A good example would be the usage of Polybius and Livy’s accounts of Hannibal’s crossing .
Expect a post on the resurrection soon.