The resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of the Christian faith and is a belief every Christian should be able to give a defence for.
The physical resurrection of Jesus has a wide ranging collection of facts supporting it’s historicity. The role of the Christian is to present such evidence in the face of opposition both internally and externally.
There are a range of methods for defending the resurrection like the minimal facts argument (see argument to the right) since it uses data agreed by majority scholars Christian, agnostic and atheist. It is logically airtight and does well against alternative theories for the resurrection. But just because this argument uses data agreed by all scholars, that doesn’t make the Bible untrue, this is an “argument using sceptical data” so we can say to the non-Christian “Even without assuming an inerrant Bible, God raising Jesus from the dead is the best explanation”. For more on the reliability of the Bible, a broader case, see Trustworthiness of the Bible section.
1 There are five essential established Facts about Jesus:
a. Jesus died by crucifixion
b. The disciples belief in Jesus’ post-mortem appearances
c. Paul’s belief in seeing the glorified Jesus
d. James’ belief in Jesus’ post-mortem appearances
e. The empty tomb
2 The hypothesis “God raised Jesus from the dead” is the best explanation of these facts.
3 The hypothesis “God raised Jesus from the dead” entails that God exists
I’ve written and a structured learning of the minimal facts argument for the resurrection. This will take you through methodology, evidence and the opposing theories and how to deal with them.
One of the most popular books introducing Christians into apologetics and should be treated as an introduction. This book talks the Bible, Resurrection and the historical Jesus and is a great first read to get you into the field of Apologetics. This gives you a great introduction before moving onto more in-depth books.
Probably the best book you could read on the resurrection. This book takes you through the method, evidence and responses to the ‘Minimal Facts’ version of the argument.
Level: Beginner (Recommended)
A great overview book particularly on it’s contents on the Resurrection, New and Old Testament from how Bible manuscripts were made. to thorough defences of it’s reliability. A wonderful companion for the new Christian Apologist, a necessity I would say. This is a great book to have in your library generally.
Level: Beginner (Reference)
NT Wrights massive work on his exploration of the origins of Christianity, looking at other worldviews and proving that Christianity is not based on pagan, nor other belief systems of the early period. This is a brilliant contribution on the resurrection.
Licona’s work in this looks into the weighing of evidence with regards to the resurrection. He investigates the evidence for the resurrection from the best sources and weighs up the multiple hypothesis presented using a new historical method.
Being a philosopher, Swinburne’s approach to the resurrection focuses first on weighing the evidence, looking at prior and post historical evidence for Jesus and his resurrection before forming a conclusion on how to use the argument.
Habermas, PhD, gives a defence for the resurrection using only widely agreed upon data. The argument is called the Minimal Facts argument.
Wright, PhD gives a defence for early Christian origins and the uniqueness of the Christian Resurrection challenging the old comparison to pagan religions.
McGrew, PhD applies evidential facts like Habermas and compares them with other hypothesis to see if the resurrection hypothesis is the strongest.
See more articles in the article section here