Monday, May 19, 2014

Video: Investigating the Resurrection of Jesus by Chad A. Gross

This video features a talk I gave on May 4, 2014 at Faith Christian Fellowship in Williamsport, MD. Patterned after Alive by J. Warner Wallace and The Case for the Resurrection by Gary Habermas and Mike Licona, I argue that the best explanation of the established facts in regard to Jesus's resurrection is that God rose Jesus from the dead.

The facts I defend are:

1. Jesus died by Roman crucifixion.
2. The disciples believed that Jesus rose and appeared to them.
3. The church persecutor Paul was suddenly changed.
4. The skeptic James, brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed.

The explanations I consider are:

1. Apparent Death
2. The Disciples were Lying
3. Hallucinations
4. Copycat Savior

I want to personally thank J. Warner Wallace of Stand to Reason, Brian Auten of Apologetics315 and the Truthbomb team for their continued encouragement, support and friendship.


Courage and Godspeed,

1. 1 Peter 3:15
2. Acts 17:2
3. My testimony is given here in brief form.  I hope to write it out in detail one day.
4. 1 Cor. 15:12-17
5. You can view a brief video here where Craig Hazen explains how Christianity is testable.
6. John 10:30
7. John 14:9
8. Romans 1:4- "...who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,"
9. Sura 2:23-24, Qur'an:

"An if ye are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad), then produce a surah of the like thereof, and call your witnesses beside Allah if ye are truthful. And if ye do it not-and ye can never do it- then guard yourselves against the fire prepared for disbelievers, whose fuel is of men and stones" 

10. Moroni 10:4-5, The Book of Mormon:

"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” 

11. For more on how Jesus's resurrection confirms the truth claims of Jesus Christ, see The Case for the Resurrection by Habermas and Licona, p. 26-20. 
12. You can order your own copy of Alive here.  These are great for handing out!
13. To read Wallace's testimony, checkout his book Cold-Case Christianity.  Our review is here.
14. Jim being attracted to the idea of Jesus being intelligent further demonstrates the need for Christians to exalt the genius of Jesus Christ.  As demonstrated here and here, Jesus was very comfortable using logic and evidence in discussion.
15. The "dead-body" scene used here is found in both Alive and Cold-Case Christianity.  For my purposes here, I tried to keep everything as basic as possible so that the audience could see the power of reasoning abductively.  
16. The 3,400 number is given by Mike Licona in his massive study of the resurrection The Resurrection of Jesus, p. 19.
17. You can find an excellent online article presenting some of the evidence for these facts here.
18. Some of the facts I use in my talk are different from the ones Jim uses in his work.  This is simply because the facts I present here are the ones I am comfortable defending.  The reality of the empty tomb is also an excellent fact to add to one's case.  My goal here was to keep the case as concise as possible. However, as Habermas and Licona note in The Case for the Resurrection (p. 48), there are a total of 12.
19. To see the 17 non-Christian sources mentioned, go here.  Habermas's work in The Historical Jesus can also be seen online for free here.
20. Here is a great article by Greg Koukl on the reliability of the New Testament.
21. In TrueU 3: Who is Jesus? Habermas states that if scholars have more than one source for a given event from antiquity they consider that to be acceptable.
22.  John Dominic Crossan, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, p. 145.
23. Gerd Ludemann, What Really Happened to Jesus? A Historical Approach to the Resurrection, 80.
William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, 3rd Edition, p. 380.

25. As quoted by Gary Habermas, The Risen Jesus and Future Hope, p. 22.
26. For a very readable account of the medical evidence mentioned I recommend Lee Strobel's interview with physician Alexander Metherell in Chapter 11 of The Case for Christ.
William D. Edwards et al., "On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ," Journal of the American Medical Associiation (March 21, 1986), 1455-63; as quoted by Strobel in The Case for Christ, p. 273.

28. One of the most helpful treatments of conspiracy theories ("The disciples were lying.") can be found in Chapter 7 of J. Warner Wallace's excellent book Cold Case Christianity
29. My definition of hallucinations comes from philosopher Kenneth Samples in his book Without a Doubt, p. 144.
30. Gary Habermas and Mike Licona, The Case for the Resurrection, p. 107.
31. Dr. William Lane Craig stated in his recent series of talks with Dr. Lawrence Krauss that the "copycat savior" hypothesis is approximately 100 years out of date.  The 3rd talk can be found here and includes links to the other two.
32. For more on Osiris, see The Case for the Resurrection by Habermas and Licona, p. 91 or J. Warner Wallace's excellent article here.

33. Gregory Boyd in his interview with Lee Strobel:

"...the mystery religions were do-your-own-thing religions that freely borrowed ideas from various places.  However, the Jews carefully guarded their beliefs from outside influences.  They saw themselves as a seperate people and strongly resisted pagan ideas and rituals" [p. 161].

34. I meant to say "antidote," not "anecdote."  My apologies.
35. John 14:6
36. C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970), 101.  

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