The resurrection of Jesus Christ our Saviour is the absolute Corner Stone of our faith in Him, and Christianity as a whole.
Without the resurrection, there would be no real hope for anyone of us. Life would have just gone on as usual.
Yet, something very dramatic occured just over 2000 year ago that changed the course of history and the lives of millions of people over the subsequent years. The question has been asked many times over of whether Jesus really rose from the dead?
A year or two ago I came across the following article. It is presented here by permission of the publishers.

Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?
We all wonder what will happen to us after we die. When a loved one dies, we long to see him or her again after
our turn comes. Will we have a glorious reunion with those we love or is death the end of all consciousness?
Jesus taught that life does not end after our bodies die. He made this startling claim: “I am the resurrection and
the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again.” According to the
eyewitnesses closest to him, Jesus then demonstrated his power over death by rising from the dead after being
crucified and buried for three days. It is this belief that has given hope to Christians for nearly 2000 years.
But some people have no hope of life after death. The atheistic philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote, “I believe that
when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my own ego will survive.”[1] Russell obviously didn’t believe Jesus’ words.
Jesus’ followers wrote that he appeared alive to them after his crucifixion and burial. They claim not only to have
seen him but also to have eaten with him, touched him, and spent 40 days with him.
So could this have been simply a story that grew over time, or is it based upon solid evidence? The answer to this
question is foundational to Christianity. For if Jesus did rise from the dead, it would validate everything he said
about himself, about the meaning of life, and about our destiny after death.
If Jesus did rise from the dead then he alone would have the answers to what life is about and what is facing us
after we die. On the other hand, if the resurrection account of Jesus is not true, then Christianity would be founded
upon a lie. Theologian R. C. Sproul puts it this way:
The claim of resurrection is vital to Christianity. If Christ has been raised from the dead by God, then He
has the credentials and certification that no other religious leader possesses. Buddha is dead. Mohammad
is dead. Moses is dead. Confucius is dead. But, according to…Christianity, Christ is alive.[2]
Many skeptics have attempted to disprove the resurrection. Josh McDowell was one such skeptic who spent more
than seven hundred hours researching the evidence for the resurrection. McDowell stated this regarding the
importance of the resurrection:
I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most wicked, vicious,
heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men, OR it is the most fantastic fact of history.[3]
McDowell later wrote his classic work,
The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict, documenting what he discovered.
So, is Jesus’ resurrection a fantastic fact or a vicious myth? To find out, we need to look at the evidence of
history and draw our own conclusions. Let’s see what skeptics who investigated the resurrection discovered for
themselves.
Cynics And Skeptics
Sadly, not everyone is willing to fairly examine the evidence. Bertrand Russell admits his take on Jesus was “not
concerned” with historical facts.[4] Historian Joseph Campbell, without citing evidence, calmly told his PBS
television audience that the resurrection of Jesus is not a factual event.[5] Other scholars, such as John Dominic
Crossan of the Jesus Seminar, agree with him.[6] None of these skeptics present any evidence for their views.
True skeptics, as opposed to cynics, are interested in evidence. In a Skeptic magazine editorial entitled “What Is
a Skeptic?” the following definition is given: “Skepticism is … the application of reason to any and all ideas – no
sacred cows allowed. In other words … skeptics do not go into an investigation closed to the possibility that a
phenomenon might be real or that a claim might be true. When we say we are “skeptical,” we mean that we must
see compelling evidence before we believe.”[7]
Unlike Russell and Crossan, many true skeptics have investigated the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. we will
hear from some of them and see how they analyzed the evidence for what is perhaps the most important question
in the history of the human race: Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
Self-Prophecy
In advance of his death, Jesus told his disciples that he would be betrayed, arrested, and crucified and that he
would come back to life three days later. That’s a strange plan! What was behind it? Jesus was no entertainer
willing to perform for others on demand; instead, he promised that his death and resurrection would prove to
people (if their minds and hearts were open) that he was indeed the Messiah.
Bible scholar Wilbur Smith remarked about Jesus:
When he said that He himself would rise again from the dead, the third day after He was crucified, He said
something that only a fool would dare say, if He expected longer the devotion of any disciples – unless He
was sure He was going to rise. No founder of any world religion known to men ever dared say a thing like
that.[8]
In other words, since Jesus had clearly told his disciples that he would rise again after his death, failure to keep
that promise would expose him as a fraud. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. How did Jesus die before he (if
he really did die) rose again?
A Horrific Death And Then . . . ?
You know what Jesus’ last hours of earthly life were like if you watched the movie by road warrior/braveheart Mel
Gibson. If you missed parts of The Passion of the Christ because you were shielding your eyes (it would have
been easier to simply shoot the movie with a red filter on the camera), just flip to the back pages of any Gospel in
your New Testament to find out what you missed.
As Jesus predicted, he was betrayed by one of his own disciples, Judas Iscariot, and was arrested. In a mock trial
under the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, he was convicted of treason and condemned to die on a wooden
cross. Prior to being nailed to the cross, Jesus was brutally beaten with a Roman cat-o’-nine-tails, a whip with bits
of bone and metal that would rip flesh. He was punched repeatedly, kicked, and spat upon.
Then, using mallets, the Roman executioners pounded the heavy wrought-iron nails into Jesus’ wrists and feet.
Finally they dropped the cross in a hole in the ground between two other crosses bearing convicted thieves.
Jesus hung there for approximately six hours. Then, at 3:00 in the afternoon – that is, at exactly the same time the
Passover lamb was being sacrificed as a sin offering (a little symbolism there, you think?) – Jesus cried out, “It is
finished” (in Aramaic), and died.[9] Suddenly the sky went dark and an earthquake shook the land.[10]
An even greater darkness of depression annihilated the dreams of those who had become infatuated with his
charisma and joyful vitality. Former Lord High Chancellor of Britain, Lord Hailsham, notes, “The tragedy of the
Cross was not that they crucified a melancholy figure, full of moral precepts, ascetic and gloomy … What they
crucified was a young man, vital, full of life and the joy of it, the Lord of life itself … someone so utterly attractive
that people followed him for the sheer fun of it.”[11]
Pilate wanted verification that Jesus was dead before allowing his crucified body to be buried. So a Roman guard
thrust a spear into Jesus’ side. The mixture of blood and water that flowed out was a clear indication that Jesus
was dead. “The dead do not bleed, ordinarily, but the right auricle of the human heart holds liquid blood after
death, and the outer sac hold a serum called hydropericardium.”[12] Once his death was certified by the guards,
Jesus’ body was then taken down from the cross and buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb. Roman guards next
sealed the tomb, and secured it with a 24-hour watch.
Meanwhile, Jesus’ disciples were in shock. Dr. J. P. Moreland explains how devastated and confused they were
after Jesus’ death on the cross. “They no longer had confidence that Jesus had been sent by God. They also
had been taught that God would not let his Messiah suffer death. So they dispersed. The Jesus movement was all
but stopped in its tracks.”[13]
All hope was vanquished. Rome and the Jewish leaders had prevailed – or so it seemed.
Something Happened
But it wasn’t the end. The Jesus movement did not disappear (obviously), and in fact Christianity exists today as
the world’s largest religion. Therefore, we’ve got to know what happened after Jesus’ body was taken down
from the cross and laid in the tomb.
In a New York Times article, Peter Steinfels cites the startling events that occurred three days after Jesus’ death:
“Shortly after Jesus was executed, his followers were suddenly galvanized from a baffled and cowering group into
people whose message about a living Jesus and a coming kingdom, preached at the risk of their lives, eventually
changed an empire. Something happened … But exactly what?”[14] That’s the question we have to answer with
an investigation into the facts.
There are only five plausible explanations for Jesus’ alleged resurrection, as portrayed in the New Testament:
Jesus didn’t really die on the cross.
The “resurrection” was a conspiracy.
The disciples were hallucinating.
The account is legendary.
It really happened.
Let’s work our way through these options and see which one best fits the facts.
Was Jesus Dead?
“Marley was deader than a doornail, of that there was no doubt.” So begins Charles Dickens’s A Christmas
Carol, the author not wanting anyone to be mistaken as to the supernatural character of what is soon to take
place. In the same way, before we take on the role of CSI and piece together evidence for a resurrection, we must
first establish that there was, in fact, a corpse. After all, occasionally the newspapers will report on some “corpse”
in a morgue who was found stirring and recovered. Could something like that have happened with Jesus?
Some have proposed that Jesus lived through the crucifixion and was revived by the cool, damp air in the tomb.
But that theory doesn’t square with the medical evidence. An article in the Journal of the American Medical
Association explains why this so-called “swoon theory” is untenable: “Clearly, the weight of historical and medical
evidence indicated that Jesus was dead. The spear, thrust between His right ribs, probably perforated not only the
right lung, but also the pericardium and heart and thereby ensured His death.”[15] But skepticism of this verdict
may be in order, as this case has been cold for 2,000 years. At the very least, we need a second opinion.
One place to find that is in the reports of non-Christian historians from around the time when Jesus lived. Three of
these historians mentioned the death of Jesus.
Lucian (c.120 – after c.180 ) referred to Jesus as a crucified sophist (philosopher).[16]
Josephus (c.37 – c.100 ) wrote, “At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man, for he was a doer of amazing
deeds. When Pilate condemned him to the cross, the leading men among us, having accused him, those who
loved him did not cease to do so.”[17]
Tacitus (c. 56 – c.120) wrote, “Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty … at the
hands of our procurator, Pontius Pilate.”[18]
This is a bit like going into the archives and finding that on one spring day in the first century, The Jerusalem Post
ran a front-page story saying that Jesus was crucified and dead. Not bad detective work, and fairly conclusive.
In fact, there is no historical account from Christians, Romans, or Jews that disputes either Jesus’ death or his
burial. Even skeptical scholars who deny the resurrection agree Jesus was dead. Noted skeptic James Tabor
stated, “I think we need have no doubt that given Jesus’ execution by Roman crucifixion he was truly dead.”[19]
John Dominic Crossan, co-founder of the notoriously skeptical Jesus Seminar, agrees that Jesus really lived and
died. He states, “That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be.”[20]
In light of such historical and medical evidence, we seem to be on good grounds for dismissing the first of our five
options. Jesus was clearly dead, “of that there was no doubt.”
The Matter Of An Empty Tomb
No serious historian really doubts Jesus was dead when he was taken down from the cross. However, many have
questioned how Jesus’ body disappeared from the tomb. English journalist Dr. Frank Morison initially thought the
resurrection was either a myth or a hoax, and he began research to write a book refuting it.[21] The book became
famous but for reasons other than its original intent.
Morison began by attempting to solve the case of the empty tomb. The tomb belonged to a member of the
Sanhedrin Council, Joseph of Arimathea. In Israel at that time, to be on the council was to be a rock star.
Everyone knew who was on the council. Joseph must have been a real person. Otherwise, the Jewish leaders
would have exposed the story as a fraud in their attempt to disprove the resurrection. Also, Joseph’s tomb would
have been at a well-known location and easily identifiable, so any thoughts of Jesus being “lost in the graveyard”
would need to be dismissed.
Morison wondered why Jesus’ enemies would have allowed the “empty tomb myth” to persist if it weren’t true.
The discovery of Jesus’ body would have instantly killed the entire plot.
And what is known historically of Jesus’ enemies is that they accused Jesus’ disciples of stealing the body, an
accusation clearly predicated on a shared belief that the tomb was empty.
Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, similarly stated, “If all the evidence
is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable … to conclude that the tomb in which Jesus was buried was
actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no shred of evidence has yet been discovered … that would
disprove this statement.”[22]
The Jewish leaders were stunned. They accused the disciples of stealing Jesus’ body. But the Romans had
assigned a 24-hour watch at the tomb with a trained guard unit (from four to 16 soldiers). Josh McDowell notes
that these were not ordinary soldiers. “When that guard unit failed in its duty – if they fell asleep, left their position,
or failed in any way – there are a number of historical sources that go back and describe what happens. Many of
them are stripped of their own clothes, they are burned alive in a fire started with their own garments or they are
crucified upside down. The Roman Guard unit was committed to discipline and they feared failure in any
way.”[23]
It would have been impossible for anyone to have slipped by the Roman guards and to have moved a two-ton
stone. Yet the stone was moved away and the body of Jesus was missing.
If Jesus’ body was anywhere to be found, his enemies would have quickly exposed the resurrection as a fraud.
Tom Anderson, former president of the California Trial Lawyers Association, summarizes the strength of this
argument:
With an event so well publicized, don’t you think that it’s reasonable that one historian, one eye witness,
one antagonist would record for all time that he had seen Christ’s body? … The silence of history is
deafening when it comes to the testimony against the resurrection.[24]
So, with no body of evidence, and with a known tomb clearly empty, Morison accepted the evidence as solid that
Jesus’ body had somehow disappeared from the tomb.
Grave Robbing?
As Morison continued his investigation, he began to examine the motives of Jesus’ followers. Maybe the
supposed resurrection was actually a stolen body. But if so, how does one account for all the reported
appearances of a resurrected Jesus? Historian Paul Johnson, in A History of the Jews, wrote, “What mattered
was not the circumstances of his death but the fact that he was widely and obstinately believed, by an expanding
circle of people, to have risen again.”[25]
The tomb was indeed empty. But it wasn’t the mere absence of a body that could have galvanized Jesus’
followers (especially if they had been the ones who had stolen it). Something extraordinary must have happened,
for the followers of Jesus ceased mourning, ceased hiding, and began fearlessly proclaiming that they had seen
Jesus alive.
Each eyewitness account reports that Jesus suddenly appeared bodily to his followers, the women first. Morison
wondered why conspirators would make women central to its plot. In the first century, women had virtually no
rights, personhood, or status. If the plot were to succeed, Morison reasoned, the conspirators would have
portrayed men, not women, as the first to see Jesus alive. And yet we hear that women touched him, spoke with
him, and were the first to find the empty tomb.
Later, according to the eyewitness accounts, all the disciples saw Jesus on more than ten separate occasions.
They wrote that he showed them his hands and feet and told them to touch him. And he reportedly ate with them
and later appeared alive to more than 500 followers on one occasion.
Legal scholar John Warwick Montgomery stated, “In 56 A.D. [the Apostle Paul wrote that over 500 people had
seen the risen Jesus and that most of them were still alive. (1 Corinthians 15:6ff.) It passes the bounds of
credibility that the early Christians could have manufactured such a tale and then preached it among those who
might easily have refuted it simply by producing the body of Jesus.”[26]
Bible scholars Geisler and Turek agree. “If the Resurrection had not occurred, why would the Apostle Paul give
such a list of supposed eyewitnesses? He would immediately lose all credibility with his Corinthian readers by
lying so blatantly.”[27]
Peter told a crowd in Caesarea why he and the other disciples were so convinced Jesus was alive.
We apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Israel and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by crucifying
him, but God raised him to life three days later … We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from
the dead. (Acts 10:39-41)
British Bible scholar Michael Green remarked, “The appearances of Jesus are as well authenticated as anything
in antiquity … There can be no rational doubt that they occurred.”[28]
Consistent to the End
As if the eyewitness reports were not enough to challenge Morison’s skepticism, he was also baffled by the
disciples’ behavior. A fact of history that has stumped historians, psychologists, and skeptics alike is that these
eleven former cowards were suddenly willing to suffer humiliation, torture, and death. All but one of Jesus’
disciples were slain as martyrs. Would they have done so much for a lie, knowing they had taken the body?
The Islamic terrorists on September 11 proved that some will die for a false cause they believe in. Yet to be a
willing martyr for a known lie is insanity. As Paul Little wrote, “Men will die for what they believe to be true, though
it may actually be false. They do not, however, die for what they know is a lie.”[29] Jesus’ disciples behaved in a
manner consistent with a genuine belief that their leader was alive.
No one has adequately explained why the disciples would have been willing to die for a known lie. But even if they
all conspired to lie about Jesus’ resurrection, how could they have kept the conspiracy going for decades without
at least one of them selling out for money or position? Moreland wrote, “Those who lie for personal gain do not
stick together very long, especially when hardship decreases the benefits.”[30]
Chuck Colson, implicated in the Watergate scandal during President Nixon’s administration, pointed out the
difficulty of several people maintaining a lie for an extended period of time.
“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had
seen Jesus raised from the dead, and then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it.
Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t
true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world – and they couldn’t keep a lie for
three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”[31]
Something happened that changed everything for these men and women. Morison acknowledged, “Whoever
comes to this problem has sooner or later to confront a fact that cannot be explained away … This fact is that … a
profound conviction came to the little group of people – a change that attests to the fact that Jesus had risen from
the grave.”[32]
Were The Disciples Hallucinating?
People still think they see a fat, gray-haired Elvis darting into Dunkin Donuts. And then there are those who
believe they spent last night with aliens in the mother ship being subjected to unspeakable testing. Sometimes
certain people can “see” things they want to, things that aren’t really there. And that’s why some have claimed
that the disciples were so distraught over the crucifixion that their desire to see Jesus alive caused mass
hallucination. Plausible?
Psychologist Gary Collins, former president of the American Association of Christian Counselors, was asked
about the possibility that hallucinations were behind the disciples’ radically changed behavior. Collins remarked,
“Hallucinations are individual occurrences. By their very nature, only one person can see a given hallucination at
a time. They certainly aren’t something which can be seen by a group of people.”[33]
Hallucination is not even a remote possibility, according to psychologist Thomas J. Thorburn. “It is absolutely
inconceivable that … five hundred persons, of average soundness of mind … should experience all kinds of
sensuous impressions – visual, auditory, tactual – and that all these … experiences should rest entirely upon …
hallucination.”[34]
Furthermore, in the psychology of hallucinations, the person would need to be in a frame of mind where they so
wished to see that person that their mind contrives it. Two major leaders of the early church, James and Paul,
both state forcefully that they encountered a resurrected Jesus, neither expecting, or hoping for the pleasure. The
apostle Paul, in fact, led the earliest persecutions of Christians, and his conversion remains inexplicable except
for his own testimony that Jesus appeared to him, resurrected.
The hallucination theory, then, appears to be another dead end. What else could explain away the resurrection?
From Lie To Legend
Some unconvinced skeptics attribute the resurrection story to a legend that began with one or more persons lying
or thinking they saw the resurrected Jesus. Over time, the legend would have grown and been embellished as it
was passed around.
On the surface this seems like a plausible scenario. But there are three major problems with that theory.
First, legends simply don’t develop while multiple eyewitnesses are alive to refute them. One historian of
ancient Rome and Greece, A. N. Sherwin-White, argued that the resurrection news spread too soon and
too quickly for it to have been a legend.[35]
Second, legends develop by oral tradition and don’t come with contemporary historical documents that
can be verified. Yet the Gospels were written within three decades of the resurrection.[36]
Third, the legend theory doesn’t adequately explain either the fact of the empty tomb or the historically
verified conviction of the apostles that Jesus was alive.[37]
Therefore, the legend theory doesn’t seem to hold up any better than other attempts to explain away this
amazing claim. Furthermore, the resurrection account of Jesus Christ actually altered history, beginning with the
Roman Empire. How could a legend make such an enormous historical impact within such a short time period?
Why Did Christianity Win?
Morison was bewildered by the fact that “a tiny insignificant movement was able to prevail over the cunning grip
of the Jewish establishment, as well as the might of Rome.” Why did it win, in the face of all those odds against
it?
He wrote, “Within twenty years, the claim of these Galilean peasants had disrupted the Jewish church … In less
than fifty years it had begun to threaten the peace of the Roman Empire. When we have said everything that can
be said … we stand confronted with the greatest mystery of all. Why did it win?”[38]
By all rights, if there were no resurrection, Christianity should have died out at the cross when the disciples fled for
their lives. But the apostles went on to establish a growing Christian movement.
J. N. D. Anderson wrote, “Think of the psychological absurdity of picturing a little band of defeated cowards
cowering in an upper room one day and a few days later transformed into a company that no persecution could
silence – and then attempting to attribute this dramatic change to nothing more convincing than a miserable
fabrication … That simply wouldn’t make sense.”[39]
A Surprise Conclusion
With myth, hallucination, and a flawed autopsy ruled out, with incontrovertible evidence for an empty tomb, with a
substantial body of eyewitnesses to his reappearance, and with the inexplicable transformation and impact upon
the world of those who claimed to have seen him, Morison became convinced that his preconceived bias against
Jesus Christ’s resurrection had been wrong. He began writing a different book – entitled
Who Moved the Stone? – to detail his new conclusions. Morison simply followed the trail of evidence, clue by clue,
until the truth of the case seemed clear to him. His surprise was that the evidence led to a belief in the resurrection.
In his first chapter, “The Book That Refused to Be Written,” this former skeptic explained how the evidence
convinced him that Jesus’ resurrection was an actual historical event. “It was as though a man set out to cross a
forest by a familiar and well-beaten track and came out suddenly where he did not expect to come out.”[40]
Morison is not alone. Countless other skeptics have examined the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, and accepted
it as the most astounding fact in all of human history. C. S. Lewis, who once had even doubted Jesus’ existence,
was also persuaded by the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. He writes, “Something perfectly new in the history of
the Universe had happened. Christ had defeated death. The door which had always been locked had for the very
first time been forced open.” [41]
Let’s consider just one more skeptic who was persuaded by the evidence.
A Stunned Professor
One of those who originally thought the resurrection was simply a myth, only to reverse his position like Morison,
was one of the world’s leading legal scholars, Dr. Simon Greenleaf. Greenleaf helped to put the Harvard Law
School on the map. He wrote the three-volume legal masterpiece, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, which has
been called the “greatest single authority in the entire literature of
legal procedure.”[42] The U.S. judicial system today still relies on rules of evidence established by Greenleaf.
While teaching law at Harvard, Professor Greenleaf stated to his class that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was
simply a legend. As an atheist, he thought miracles to be impossible. In a rebuttal, three of his law students
challenged him to apply his acclaimed rules of evidence to the resurrection account.
After much prodding, Greenleaf accepted his students’ challenge and began an investigation into the evidence.
Focusing his brilliant legal mind on the facts of history, Greenleaf attempted to prove the resurrection account was
false.
Yet the more Greenleaf investigated the record of history, the more stunned he was at the powerful evidence
supporting the claim that Jesus had indeed risen from the tomb. Greenleaf’s skepticism was being challenged by
an event that had changed the course of human history.
Greenleaf was unable to explain several dramatic changes that took place shortly after Jesus died, the most
baffling being the behavior of the disciples. It wasn’t just one or two disciples who insisted Jesus had risen; it was
all of them. Applying his own rules of evidence to the facts, Greenleaf arrived at his verdict.
In a shocking reversal of his position, Greenleaf accepted Jesus’ resurrection as the best explanation for the
events that took place immediately after his crucifixion. To this brilliant legal scholar and former atheist, it would
have been impossible for the disciples to persist with their conviction that Jesus had risen if they hadn’t actually
seen the risen Christ.[43]
In his book The Testimony of the Evangelists, Greenleaf documents the evidence that caused him to change his
mind. In his conclusion he challenges those who seek the truth about the resurrection to fairly examine the
evidence.
Greenleaf was so persuaded by the evidence that he became a committed Christian. He believed that any
unbiased person who honestly examines the evidence as in a court of law will conclude what he did – that Jesus
Christ has truly risen.[44]
But the resurrection of Jesus Christ raises the question: What does the fact that Jesus defeated death have to do
with my life? The answer to that question is what New Testament Christianity is all about.
Did Jesus Say What Happens After We Die?
If Jesus really did rise from the dead, then he alone must know what is on the other side. What did Jesus say
about the meaning of life and our future? Are there many ways to God or did Jesus claim to be the only
way? Read the startling answers in “Why Jesus.” [http://y-jesus.com/wwrj/7-jesus-relevant-today]
Read “Why Jesus” and discover what Jesus said about life after death.
[http://y-jesus.com/wwrj/7-jesus-relevant-today]
Click here to order reprints of this article. [http://JesusOnlineMinistries.org/resources/products/]
Can Jesus Bring Meaning To Life?
Discover how Jesus answers the following big questions about life’s meaning:
“Who am I?”
“Why am I here?”
“Where am I going after I die?
[http://y-jesus.com/wwrj/7-jesus-relevant-today]
Endnotes
1.
Paul Edwards, “Great Minds: Bertrand Russell,”
Free Inquiry,
December 2004/January 2005, 46.
2.
R. C. Sproul,
Reason to Believe
(Grand Rapids, MI: Lamplighter, 1982), 44.
3.
Josh McDowell,
The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict
(San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life, 1999),
203.
4.
Bertrand Russell,
Why I Am Not a Christian
(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1957), 16.
5.
Joseph Campbell, an interview with Bill Moyers, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, PBS TV
special, 1988.
6.
Michael J. Wilkins and J. P. Moreland, eds,
Jesus Under Fire
(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995), 2.
7.
“What Is a Skeptic?” editorial in
Skeptic,
vol 11, no. 2), 5.
8.
Wilbur M. Smith,
A Great Certainty in This Hour of World Crises
(Wheaton, ILL: Van Kampen Press,
1951), 10, 11
9.
The Aramaic word Jesus uttered, tetelestai, is an accounting term meaning “debt paid in full,” referring to
the debt of our sins.
10.
Historian Will Durant reported, “About the middle of this first century a pagan named Thallus … argued that
the abnormal darkness alleged to have accompanied the death of Christ was a purely natural
phenomenon and coincidence; the argument took the existence of Christ for granted. The denial of that
existence never seems to have occurred even to the bitterest gentile or Jewish opponents of nascent
Christianity.” Will Durant, “Caesar and Christ,” vol. 3 of
The Story of Civilization
(New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1972), 555.
11.
Lord Hailsham,
The Door Wherein I Went
(London: Collins, 1975), 54.
12.
Jim Bishop,
The Day Jesus Died
(New York: Harper Collins, 1977), 257.
13.
Quoted in J. P. Moreland interview, Lee Strobel,
The Case for Christ
(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998),
246.
14.
Peter Steinfels, “Jesus Died – And Then What Happened?”
New York Times,
April 3, 1988, E9.
15.
William D. Edwards, M.D., et al., “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ,”
Journal of the American Medical
Association
255:11, March 21, 1986.
16.
Lucian,
Peregrinus
Proteus.
17.
Josephus, Flavius,
Antiquities of the Jews,
18. 63, 64. [Although portions of Josephus’ comments about
Jesus have been disputed, this reference to Pilate condemning him to the cross is deemed authentic by
most scholars.]
18.
Tacitus,
Annals,
15, 44. In Great Books of the Western World, ed. By Robert Maynard Hutchins, Vol.
15,
The Annals and The Histories
by Cornelius Tacitus (Chicago: William Benton, 1952).
19.
James D. Tabor,
The Jesus Dynasty
(New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006), 230.
20.
Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona,
The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus
(Grand Rapids, MI:
Kregel, 2004), 49.
21.
Frank Morison,
Who Moved the Stone?
(Grand Rapids, MI: Lamplighter, 1958), 9.
22.
Paul L. Maier,
Independent Press Telegram,
Long Beach, CA: April 21, 1973.
23.
Josh McDowell,
The Resurrection Factor Part 3,
Josh McDowell Ministries, 2009,
http://www.bethinking.org/bible-jesus/intermediate/the-resurrection-factor-part-3.htm.
24.
Quoted in Josh McDowell,
The Resurrection Factor
(San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life, 1981), 66.
25.
Paul Johnson,
A History of the Jews
(New York: Harper & Row, 1988), 130.
26.
John W. Montgomery,
History and Christianity
(Downers Grove, ILL: InterVarsity Press, 1971), 78.
27.
Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek,
I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist
(Wheaton, IL: Crossway,
2004), 243.
28.
Michael Green,
The Empty Cross of Jesus
(Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1984), 97, quoted in John
Ankerberg and John Weldon,
Knowing the Truth about the Resurrection
(Eugene, OR: Harvest House), 22.
29.
Paul Little,
Know Why You Believe
(Wheaton, IL: Victor, 1967), 44.
30.
J. P. Moreland,
Scaling the Secular City,
(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2000), 172.
31.
Charles Colson, “The Paradox of Power,”
Power to
Change,
www.powertochange.ie/changed/index_Leaders.
32.
Morison, 104.
33.
Gary Collins quoted in Strobel, 238.
34.
Thomas James Thorburn,
The Resurrection Narratives and Modern Criticism
(London: Kegan Paul,
Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., 1910.), 158, 159.
35.
Sherwin-White,
Roman Society,
190.
36.
Habermas and Licona, 85.
37.
Habermas and Licona, 87.
38.
Morison, 115.
39.
J. N. D. Anderson, “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ,”
Christianity Today,
12. April, 1968.
40.
Morison, 9.
41.
41. C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000 ), 159.
42.
Simon Greenleaf,
The Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in
Courts of Justice
(1874; reprint, Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 1995), back cover.
43.
Ibid., 32.
44.
Ibid., back cover.
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