Category Archives: Historical Jesus

Believing Thomas

‘Stop doubting and believe’ was Jesus’ command to Thomas as recorded in John’s gospel. Thomas had been absent when Jesus previously appeared to the disciples and he wasn’t going to believe without proof, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ Many people have seen in this account an elevation of blind faith over faith based on evidence, especially when Jesus says ‘blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ Thomas was a rationally minded sceptic asking for proof; Jesus expected blind faith.

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Contradictions in the Resurrection Accounts?

Frequently sceptics argue that the resurrection accounts found in the New Testament cannot be taken seriously because they are full of contradictions. Reading the accounts again recently, it struck me how overstated this claim is. From the outset, it has to be said that even if differences between the accounts could not be reconciled, it still wouldn’t be a good objection to the historical case for the resurrection in any case[i].

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Are the Gospels Reliable? 10 Quick Points

1) The first Christians had the motivation to keep their memories of Jesus intact, they had the means for accessing good information about Jesus, and the evidence is that they were trying to faithfully preserve a reliable history of his life and teachings.

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What is the Case for the Resurrection?

To begin, we must be entirely clear on what the case for the resurrection is not. No one is arguing that some historically reliable documents report a resurrection, and that we should therefore believe that a resurrection occurred. Rather, the historical method is used to establish certain facts, and a miracle is inferred as the best explanation of those facts.

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The Fact of the Resurrection and the Faith of Historians

Ehrman, Crossley and the Resurrection

Recently I’ve been reading some material on the resurrection of Jesus by two biblical scholars, James Crossley and Bart Ehrman.[i] Both are sceptics and make many similar points in their attempts to argue that there are no good grounds for belief in the resurrection.

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