Just as we test the historicity of any event, not through emotional conviction, but with historical evidence, I would like to devote some time to laying out a brief historical case for the Resurrection of Christ, the central issue of the Christian faith.

Here is what we need:

1. Internal Evidence: Evidence coming from within the primary witness documents, the New Testament.

2. External Evidence: Collaborative evidence coming from outside the primary witness documents.

Internal Evidence:

  • Honesty
  • Irrelevant Details
  • Harmony
  • Public Extraordinary Claims
  • Lack of Motivation for Fabrication

The entire Bible records both successes and failures of the heroes. I have always been impressed by this. It never paints the glorious picture that you would expect from legendary material, but shows them in all their worst moments. The Israelites whined, David murdered, Peter denied, the apostles abandoned Christ in fear, Moses became angry, Jacob deceived, Noah got drunk, Adam and Eve disobeyed, Paul persecuted, Solomon worshiped idols, Abraham was a bigamist, Lot committed incest, John the Baptist doubted, Abraham doubted, Sarah doubted, Nicodemus doubted, Thomas doubted, Jonah ran, Samson self-served, and John, at the very end of the story, when he should have had it all figured out, worshiped an angel (Rev 22:8). I love it! (ahem).

And these are the Jews who wrote the Bible!

In addition, the most faithful are seen as suffering the most (Joseph, Job, and Lazarus), while the wicked are seen as prospering (the rich man). In the case of the Gospels, the disciples who recorded it claimed to have abandoned Christ and did not believe in His resurrection when told. Even after the resurrection, they still present themselves as completely ignorant of God’s plan (Acts 1:6-7). Women are the first to witness the resurrection which has an element of self-incrimination since a woman’s testimony was not worth anything in the first century. If someone were making this up, why include such an incriminating detail? (I am glad they did—what an Easter message this is for us today!)

Irrelevant Details:
The Gospel writers (especially John) contain many elements to their story that are really irrelevant to the big picture. Normally, when someone is making a story up, they include only the details that contribute to the fabrication. Irrelevant details are a mark of genuineness in all situations.

Notice this small segment of the Gospel of John 20:1-8 (HT: Gregory Boyd, but modified):

“Early on the first day of the week (when? does it matter?), while it was still dark (who cares?), Mary Magdalene (an incriminating detail) went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one who Jesus loved (John’s modest way of referring to himself—another mark of genuineness) and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have taken him!” (note her self-incriminating lack of faith here). So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. They were running, but the other disciple out ran Peter and reached the tomb first (who cares who won the race? a completely irrelevant detail). He bent over (irrelevant, but the tomb entrance was low—a detail which is historically accurate of wealthy people of the time—the kind we know Jesus was buried in) and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in (why not? irrelevant detail). Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb (Peter’s boldness stands out in all the Gospel accounts). He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head (irrelevant and unexpected detail—what was Jesus wearing?). The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen (somewhat irrelevant and unusual. Jesus folded one part of his wrapping before he left!). Finally the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went inside (who cares about what exact order they went in?)

The four Gospel writers claim to have witnessed the resurrected Christ. The same is the case for most of the other writers of the NT. The four Gospel writers all write of the same event from differing perspectives. Although they differ in details, they are completely harmonious to the main events surrounding the resurrection, and all claim that it is an historical event. Many people are disturbed by the seeming disharmony among the Gospels since the Gospel writers do not include all the same details. However, this is actually a mark of historicity since if they all said exactly the same thing, it would be a sign that they made it up. However, the Gospel writers contain just enough disharmony to give it a mark of genuine historicity.

Public Extraordinary Claims:
The Bible records that the resurrection of Christ happened and gives the time, place, people involved, and it names many of the witnesses. In other words, the extraordinary claims were not done in secret as would be the case if it were fabricated. Look to all the ancient myths and you will see how obscure the mythology has to be in order to claim historicity. Why? Because if you give too many details of times, people, and places it can be easily disproven. If it was a fabrication, the author should have said only one person knew about it. He should have said it happened in a cave or a place no one has ever heard of. We have those type of stories that start religions.

Lack of Motive for Fabrication:
There is no reasonable explanation as to why the Apostles (or anyone for that matter) would have made up such a story. They had no popularity, power, or riches to gain from it if it was a lie. They were in constant persecution because of their confession, and finally, most met a terrible death, sealing their testimony in blood.

Beyond this, it was culturally unacceptable at all levels to have a crucified and resurrected Messiah. The Jews certainly were not expecting their Messiah to be crucified. The Greek world would have nothing but disdain for the idea of a bodily resurrection. Therefore, for this idea to arise as a fabrication at this time in history would have been about the most counterproductive story anyone could have made up.

It could not have been an illusion, for illusions do not happen in mass over time. It could not have been a case of mistaken identity (i.e., they merely thought they saw Christ), since it is impossible to explain how this many witnesses could be mistaken about seeing someone dead and buried, and then seeing the same person alive three days later. It could not be that Christ did not really die, since the Romans were expert executioners, and many people helped in the burial process, wrapping Christ in burial cloths as was their custom. It could not have been made up since all the objectors (and there were plenty of them) had to do was to produce a body.

In the end, all other alternatives for the resurrection, while possible, are completely improbable and take a greater leap of faith than believing that Christ rose from the grave.

Next I will cover the external evidence.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    148 replies to "Evidence of the Resurrection: Part 1 – Internal Evidence"

    • Alockslee

      Lets move onto two dates of major importance to followers of christianity:

      1. Date of birth for jesus;

      See the following: http://www.revneal.org/Writings/jesusbirth.htm

      2. What is the date of jesus’s alleged death;

      See the following: http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com/2005/12/21/when-did-jesus-die-year/

      So if this alleged person lived and died then how old was he?

      Most christians claim and these are evangelicals who also claim the bible is the infallible word of god and that is said to be 33 years old when he was allegedly crucified but the NT is quite vague and doesn’t corroborate the exact date, nor does it support in any of the gospels between the 4 fictionalized accounts enough data to prove it was true in the first place.

      Was he 33, 36, 50 or any age since the books were not written until years later and those stories can’t be even proven to be by anyone especially an alleged disciple or even a person alive at the time of these so-called events.


    • Michael T.

      I have no idea about this book or it’s contents. Never even heard of it to be honest. Getting the Bible admitted into court under the Federal Rules of Evidence would be an interesting thought experiment. I could think of a few ways to get it in, but it would be difficult to say the least, especially considering you’d have to have a case that it was relevant to in the first place.

    • Alockslee

      cherylu, #96 & Michael T # 97, well now hows it feel when you finally get some of exactly what you expect everyone to swallow hook, line and sinker.

      I gave you several sources and you still haven’t discussed the issues contained in anyone of them. all you have done is dismissed them or complained without any detailed discussion to present any facts to defend your position.

      This is an open forum and the discussion was already underway, so if you can’t handle real discussion and just want to run off then do so, Michael already bailed and we all know exactly why that was, he knew right off he couldn’t win the argument so he just left you all to falter on your own.

      So where is your arguments? All you present is more of the same stuff, NT and the stuff based on it and nothing of substance beyond it. I on th4 other hand have logically discussed and proved each point otherwise you wouldn’t have become so defensive and now are trying to change the subject or complain about some simple challenges to your beliefs. If you can’t even defend your basic beliefs then you certainly can’t handle the finer points such as specifics about dates and the person involved.

      Too bad, but it is so typical with evangelicals and fundamentalists they are always trying to force their beliefs down on everyone else but they can’t hang when challenged to actually discuss it and then have such a problem when they finally look at what they have, little to nothing.

    • cherylu

      Michael T,

      Thanks. I had never heard of it before either. Just something I came across this a.m.

    • Michael T.


      With regards to dates. We have no idea the exact birth and death dates for most historical figures. For instance we have no idea the exact date of the historian Josephus’ death. Most scholars put it in the year 100, but we don’t know. I’m not sure what your point is.

      As to double standards. What is our double standard??? I pointed out a number of the flaws in your so called “source” in 79, 95, and 97. There is nothing in there to discuss. It is nothing more then a set of assertions from a non-expert without citations or anythings. I could write a essay right now on why the Sun revolves around the Earth if you like – it would be hard to refute, but still absurd in light of accepted facts. I can’t refute something that doesn’t provide the method or basis for it’s assertions. There is nothing to refute.

      Now if you don’t mind please prove to me that the naturalistic atheist worldview is true using only NON-Atheist sources.

    • Michael T.

      CMP bailed because he never takes part in these discussions after the first day. That is his policy and it always has been, for this post and every other one. He’s too busy with other things (family, running Credo House, teaching etc.) to be in the forums here 24/7.

    • Alockslee

      #97, Michael T and you aren’t doing exactly the same thing, no citations to back up the fiction you hold as true and yet can’t give any real historical proof as to support your beliefs, now have you.

      So the question of proof rests upon you to prove the following:

      1. That jesus existed at all;

      2. That the NT was written by any of the people claiming to be disciples and prove it;

      3. That if jesus existed that anything claimed to have been done by him actually happened and produce any source material that has no stake in your belief system that would be independent proof of these so-called “miracles” ever taking place at all;

      4. That you can discuss the subject with anyone where you have to back up your position with facts instead of having accept it blindly and not ask for proof in order to believe it;

      5. You cannot set aside your unproven beliefs in order to discuss the subject without bias and simply convince a person who doesn’t blindly agree with you and therefore not challenge you in the first place.

      This demonstrates that you aren’t able to back up your claims, nor are you capable of even doing so and that proves just how little belief and how fragile your certainty is in the whole ideology.

      So lets see you meet those simple conditions which the majority of you claim to hold to on a daily basis.


    • Kyle

      Michael T.,
      As you can see, there’s little purpose in using reason and argument with these types. I prefer the tact that they often use for ID and YEC, “When you have an argument that is published in a peer-reviewed journal or by an academic publisher, come back and then we’ll talk about it.”

      I recently heard Robert Price (who argues for the Christ myth, but personally isn’t confident of the position), say that he is the only scholar in the guild (that he knows) who thinks this is a live question. He was arguing that he doesn’t care how minority his position is, and that he personally enjoys the difficult challenge of arguing for the position whether or not it’s true. Of course, he has academic credentials, but isn’t currently a professor, hasn’t published academically on the topic and when his non-academic publications have been reviewed by peers they have been received negatively.

      If Robert Price admits to being the only biblical scholar arguing this position, and there are some 10,000 members of the Society of Biblical Literature, then “Some of the ablest scholars of the world deny that he ever lived at all” is manifestly false. Even if 75% of the scholars in the SBL are Christian (most actually aren’t), then that leaves 2499 non-Christian scholars who believe the evidence supports Jesus’ existence.

      If mythers want serious recognition, then they should go out, earn the credentials and then put them on the line to make their case in an academic form (journal or academically published book). Unfortunately, almost all of Doherty’s arguments were considered by academia over a century ago and found wanting…nothing has happened to change that view among scholars.

      To quote James Dunn (a serious scholar in response to Price), “Gosh! So there are still serious scholars who put forward the view that [Jesus is] a later myth foisted on an unknown, obscure historical figure” I’d recommend his entire response in “The…

    • Alockslee

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Sea_Scrolls Since folks here like this as a “source for quoting or supporting their posts, notice the Dead Sea Scrolls were written in several languages.

      Notice the scrolls were about the HEBREW bible and not some other books. Notice that the works were in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. the Greek were the translations from the earlier works and meant for distribution to areas outside of sect’s settlement.

      It doesn’t the Greek bible, but the HEBREW bible and that was recorded in Hebrew and Aramaic the major written languages of the time and area.

      Greek was used as well but not the language used by those of Qumran who were jews (Essenes) of whom some claim jesus was a member.

      There you go Michael T, Cherylu and other here, refute the facts and then try to argue the earliest existing copies of the NT were written by disciples who would have stuck to the language of the time and they were jews who learned Hebrew at their temple and during their studies in learning it. If it was another language it would have been Aramaic, not Greek since they would have wanted it available to their people first and then translate them to spread it later. Paul never met jesus and never claimed to in person, only to have been converted later AFTER the alleged death.

      The works attributed to him have been proved to be by other in the majority so the works used here are suspect in part to begin with and therefore are easily disregarded due to the fact of forgeries attributed to him.


    • Michael T.

      Re: 104
      See post 95. I told you where you can find this information. It’s common knowledge stuff. As to your assertions.

      1. To prove Jesus actually existed as a historical figure I offer the collective work of every single Bible Scholar, Christian and Secular, alive today save Robert Price. That’s thousands of scholars against one.

      2. Depends on what you mean by “prove”. No one can “prove” in the mathematical sense of the word that any historical document is factual or who it was written by. We can’t say for certain that Josephus wrote “The Antiquities of the Jews, Herodotus wrote “The Histories”, or that Homer wrote “The Odyssey”. It’s completely impossible to prove any of this in a mathematical sense. We can only apply certain criteria to ancient documents and draw inferences from that as to who wrote them, when they were written, and if they are accurate.

      3. What you ask for here is logically impossible. Please just think a moment about what you are asking for. You are asking for someone who believes that Jesus performed miracles, rose from the dead, etc. and yet didn’t believe. What is the likelihood of that?? Absolute zero. If you believed Jesus did these things you would believe and as a result you would have a stake in the system. You are asking for something that is a logical absurdity.

      4. You ask for the same thing. Blind belief that there is nothing science cannot inquire into and nothing which exists beyond the natural. No belief could ask for more blind faith then that.

      5. ROFL!! Back at ya man. Your beliefs are just as “unproven” as mine (and of course more so in my mind – but that’s just me).

    • Michael T.

      Hebrew Bibles used in Jewish Temples even today are written in, are you prepared for this, HEBREW!!!!. Hebrew was today and was at the time of Jesus the liturgical language for the Jews in the same way Latin is for the Roman Catholic Church. They were written in that language because that is the language it was originally written in. Catholic Mass was held in Latin up until the mid-20th Century in another parallel.

      What actually supports my case though is the Septuagint (of which portions existed among the dead sea scrolls) which shows the amazing impact of the Greek language of the area. The Hebrew texts were actually translated into Greek. This was completed in 132 BC. It is simply a accepted historic fact that at the time of Jesus Koine Greek was the lingua franca in the Eastern Mediterranean. I can’t believe you want to dispute this. If you were writing something in 1st Century Palestine designed for everyone to read you would write it in Greek.

      Webster’s Online Dictionary has this entry for “Koine”

      “the Greek language commonly spoken and written in eastern Mediterranean countries in the Hellenistic and Roman periods”

    • cherylu


      The term “Hebrew Bible” generally refers to the Old Testament. The New Testament was what was written in Greek and in question by you here.

      Google the term “Hebrew Bible” and you will find that it means the Old Testament.

      As I understand it, there were quotes from the New Testament found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, the Hebrew Bible spoken of was the Old Testament, not the New.

    • Michael T.

      No New Testament documents were found with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Most of the documents were written before Christ with even the newest document being in 70AD.

    • Alockslee

      Here is a quick response to viability of the speculation presented by those who continue to deal with the resurrection time line and the issues covered on rook Hawkins essay.

      One can always speculate as to viability of your beliefs, that in and of itself doesn’t support, prove or in any way produce a shred of evidence to bolster your beliefs, all it doesn’t is suggest a possibility at best but in no way does it give any factual basis for your religious beliefs, now does it.

      So you are back at square one and actually lost ground since you can’t even admit to known facts that Michael asserts to back him up and by doing so only reinforces my arguments.

      All you have is speculation and the NT is no different in asserting it to be truth of something than the Iliad does to prove the existence of the Greek Pantheon as none here would agree those deities exist or have ever existed as viable but under Michael’s offer of proof it is just as viable due to the age of the story and the historical fact of Plato living and being accepted as such.

      Not one scholar has even suggested Plato being a fictional being, however not one person here can prove the existence of the construct of jesus or prove your religious beliefs are based upon a single solid foundation and only are speculation on the part of the believer at the extreme.

      If you want to rely upon pure speculation then you are just being foolish and please engage in real discussion and stop this speculation and ridiculous attempts at arguing from a strawman position. either put forth facts that prove your position from a true fact based position or just admit you have nothing and then you must accept the reality not the fantasy of your religious ideology.

    • Michael T.

      Only one scholar out of thousands questions the existence of Jesus. You seem to think that scholars think in all or nothing terms. Either the Gospel’s are 100% true or 100% false. The fact of the matter is that most secular scholars believe the Gospel’s to be both true and false. The position of Secular scholars with regards to the Gospels is that they contain a accurate depiction of a Jewish teacher interspersed with legendary material. Only one of them believes the Gospels to be pure fabrication and he isn’t a professor at any accredited school and hasn’t been published.

      I mean really what more proof do you want then the unanimous opinion of thousands of Bible scholars who have read all the relevant material Biblical and Non-Biblical and spoken with one voice that Jesus was a historical figure. Are you claiming to be an expert on the same level as these?? If your are then please publish some work. Don’t sit in a forum like this wasting your time on us. What you have to share is too important. Get working on your paper right now and then present it in a peer-reviewed journal so that everyone can see your work and comment on it. In the meantime since I am not an expert I think I’m safe sticking with the the consensus of 99.999% of scholars who agree that Jesus existed.

    • cherylu

      Well, Alockslee, I guess that you know better then all of those Biblical scholars that have delved into this subject. Presumably in depth since they are Biblical scholars. If only one of them is known to currently believe that Jesus was possibly a myth and thousands of them, even non Christian ones, believe He existed, I would say that the great burden of proof is on YOU to show otherwise.

      For starters, you might give us your academic credentials that will make us feel inclined to believe that you know more about all of this then all of the scholars spoken of above.

      (See Kyle’s recent comment.)

    • cherylu

      Michael T,

      I have been wanting to thank you for all of the work you have done on this thread. I have really appreciated it.

    • Alockslee

      Kyle on 08 Apr 2010 at 11:19 pm # Michael T.,
      As you can see, there’s little purpose in using reason and argument with these types.”
      In Response: I simply love this typical response which is exactly the action taken by those among the f&e squad who realizes that discussing the subject logically leaves them in a position of having to carefully examine what they fear to do the most.

      To examine their religious ideology means one thing they can’t because if they do their entire belief structure falls completely apart and must refrain and more likely refuse to engage in a civil discussion whereby a legitimate discussion based upon sound principles of logic and facts preclude their side from producing anything of substance and the very sources tat are relied upon by them is so contradictory in and of itself that even examining the NT too closely destroys the religion by itself.

      So the fall back plan is to pretend to disengage and now that failing tries to eliminate the discussion entirely so that they may escape the reality of their beliefs have no basis in reality nor can in any way be supported in the normal sense of balanced human thought process and/or any valid structured psychological rational basis.

      In conclusion those of the f&e squad simply run away because they know they haven’t a real belief and only pretend faith and belief.m If any of them did have something to offer it would have been given instead of retreating into a fantasy world of denial and projection of hatred toward anyone who broaches the subject in honest debate. the fear of being proved wrong is too much to endure since it shows the silliness of their ideology and forces them to be responsible for their own actions and that is far to much for them to face since reality is the one thing they can’t accept or deal with as adults.

    • Michael T.

      “Today, nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed and that the gospels contain plenty of valuable evidence which has to be weighed and assessed critically. There is general agreement that, with the possible exception of Paul, we know far more about Jesus of Nazareth than about any first or second century Jewish or pagan religious teacher.”

      Stanton, Graham (2002), The Gospels and Jesus (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press p. 145

    • Alockslee

      Michael T. on 09 Apr 2010 at 12:35 am #
      Cheryl, No New Testament documents were found with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Most of the documents were written before Christ with even the newest document being in 70AD.
      In Response: the example was provided to prove the language in use by the religious jews in the time period. Many claim jesus was an Essene and therefore it is logically reasonable, in fact it is more than likely that he probably was either a member or at least familiar with them and that is easy to believer if he did exist to have followed the writing of work in direct compliance as they did,

      Meaning Hebrew, Aramaic as the primary languages which is exactly what you find when you examine the scrolls today, with a small amount being translated into Greek in the latter period of the community before the collapse of it. The Essenes were a strict orthodox sect of jews so using Greek would be only to insure the scrolls would survive and not simply because Greek was used by people who migrated to the area.


    • cherylu


      Regarding Michael T’s last comment:

      Please tell us who is failing to accept evidence given by secular scholars? It is pretty obvious to me that if you can not and will not accept a concensus like that of historians, both Christian and non Christian, then there is nothing short of a miracle, an act of the very God you don’t believe in that will in any way convince you!

      By the way, where have we projected hatred toward you? We have seen plenty of hostility coming from you to us however.

    • Michael T.

      I think we have all been very reasonable here. We simply have different burdens of proof. You expect something to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt in order to believe. I don’t. You just can’t live that way. To me one does not have to have certainty in order to believe something is true. If I had to have certainty that a girl loved me in order to get married for instance I could never get married.

      I have seen all the arguments for a late dating of the Gospels and find the arguments for a Early dating more convincing. You act like it’s a settled issue when it isn’t. In the past 20 years even some liberal scholars such as John A.T. Robinson have been arguing for earlier datings then the 70-100 typically given.

      I have seen the arguments regarding lack of secondary attestation and find the fact that we even have the few we do have shocking. Most ancient sources don’t have any at all. You mention Josephus’ writing for instance. As you correctly note the so called Testimonium Flavianum is determined to be a forgery by Christian and Secular scholars alike. What you don’t note is that most secular scholars today using textual criticism believe that this was a genuine reference to Jesus that had been modified later to further incorporate Christian ideas. In other words most scholars consider it both genuine and a fraud, but that it does mention Jesus. You also fail to mention Josephus’ mention of “James, the Brother of Jesus, which most secular scholars also consider to be a genuine reference.

      Ultimately your presuppositions are going to determine how you interpret the evidence. The problem with presuppositions is that you can’t prove that your naturalistic presuppositions are superior to mine which allow for non-natural phenomenon (and I can’t do the reverse).

    • Michael T.

      The theory about Jesus being a Essene is advanced by one person, Alvar Ellegård, who is no longer living. This person was not a Bible Scholar or a Historian. He was rather a professor of English. His views, like all Christ-myth views are not considered viable positions by the very secular scholars you claim to esteem.

      Really though, if you have some new evidence write a paper and publish it.

    • Kyle

      I’ve read Doherty and Wells. Neither seem familiar with basic Second Temple culture. As for me, I’ve never been afraid to question my personal beliefs (evangelical) or change them, but they’ve often held up to the challenge.

      But we’re talking about academic discussions, not our personal faiths. If your argument were academically credible, surely there would be empirical evidence like a journal article…but there’s not. Nobody questions Jesus’ history outside of internet infidels and one or two academics with irrelevant credentials to the pertinent fields (like Carrier for instance). Of course, Robert Price goes back and forth, but he’s the only one with relevant credentials who argues your position…out of tens of thousands of Ph.D.’s in all sorts of universities with all sorts of faith perspectives. There’s also a Ph.D. or two who argues for a flat earth…I’m not kidding either.

      1. Bart Ehrman – agnostic/atheist – agrees that much of the gospel narrative is historical
      2. E.P. Sanders – agnostic/liberal Protestant – agrees that the basic narrative is historical fact
      3. Maurice Casey – atheist – believes the general outline to be historical and will argue against the silliness of mythicism in his new book on Jesus
      4. Craig Keener – adult convert from atheism – trusts the gospel narrative
      5. Nick Perrin – adult convert from atheism – trusts the gospel narrative
      6. James Crossley – atheist – argues that much of the narrative is authentic
      7. Amy Jill-Levine – secular Jew – holds to the historicity of the basic narrative
      8. Geza Vermes – Jew – holds to the historicity of the basic narrative
      9. Gerd Ludemann – former Christian, now atheist – basic narrative is factual
      10. John Dominic Crossan – secular Christian (agnostic on God) – historical

      I could go on for hours, but I think you get the point. Religious perspective isn’t the deciding factor. My suggestion? Get off the web, get the degrees and get published…

    • Kyle

      Michael T,
      You said, “We simply have different burdens of proof. You expect something to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt in order to believe. I don’t. You just can’t live that way. To me one does not have to have certainty in order to believe something is true.”

      This is a great point. I recently heard Robert Price admit that he’s skeptical whether people can know anything at all with sufficient justification to make any truth claims. He’s very consistent in his skepticism. Most internet infidels are more than willing to accept his statements concerning his skepticism on the historical Jesus, but unwilling to follow him on matters of science, non-biblical history and the like. Few skeptics are consistent to the level of skepticism they demand from Christianity.

    • Alockslee

      To cherylu, #118 You are, along with Michael T and Kyle.

      Simple stuff, and you still haven’t produced a timeline of the resurrection according to the challenge nor the others here either.

      Not one here has gone through and refuted Rook Hawkins Essay nor posted much beyond simple comments about how they are ignoring the subject.

      I have tried to discuss this and only find the host running away, you unable to read a simple web page and take a simple challenge and then produce the results and conclude in accordance with the result in an honest truthful fashion.

      As for Michael T, he has yet to go beyond denials and hasn’t overcome any of the material posted, only decrying it to be non religious as an excuse.

      So look at the material, refute it according to the challenges on the various sites and then make an honest conclusion based solely upon the results you have from the tasks.

      Hows that for laying it out? Try for a change of just blind obedience and acceptance of unproved fiction of the religion you subscribe to and allow the true real facts to be understood without rejection as I have looked at yours and made the unbiased determination your ideology is not valid.

      Fairly easy if you aren’t afraid of being completely honest with yourself and being open to facts instead of living in fantasy.


    • Alockslee

      Kyle # 121, No Kyle we are discussing the truth verse fictionalize creation of a religious ideology and the unwillingness of people like you to honestly examine and allow without your religious programming to see clearly the facts of what you hold to. Once you do it without being controlled by your conditioning you will have to conclude that nothing tangible exists to rely upon to continue in a fantasy based life style and then be able to accept personal responsibility for yourself instead of pretending to hand it over to some mythical controlling entity which was created via a collection of stories patterned after previous religious icons.

      Can you do that honestly and conclude solely upon facts and leave all the speculation aside in order to do it? If you are an evangelical it is a big risk to allow yourself to think without the programming and constant crutch of your fellow group members. whenever this is discussed there is always another who rushes in to return the conditioning so you don’t break from the cult. Those who do the examination properly and are honest always find they see the facts and are then able to break the conditioning to escape the hive mentality.

      So can you accomplish it? No one needs to be published to question or argue the truth of historical fact verses this fantasy/ fiction you live by. Don’t be upset, prove it to yourself you can do it and stop preventing what you fear the most and that is being freed from mental bondage of that very allegiance you only think you have. No one can stick to the rules and overcome it. So if you think you can try it all you to do is comply and follow some very simple rules. I don’t think you will nor do I doubt you will fail when if you do try.

    • Michael T.

      1. Only if one is a hard inerrantist do the discrepancies in Resurrection accounts create an issue. Since I am not one I will leave that to someone else to answer who is one.

      2. I did go beyond basic denials. I gave sources of common knowledge (Webster’s and the Israeli Antiquities Authority even) which directly contradict your source.

      3. You cite non-scholarly sources and then expect us to cite scholarly sources to refute you. How isn’t this a double standard? New Rule – I’m not responding to any non-scholarly documents. The reason is simple – you aren’t going to find any responses to documents no scholar considers credible. No one is going to waste their time refuting the claims of non-credentialed nobodies. Think of how many scientists today spend time refuting people who assert the Earth is flat?? NONE!!! If you want to advance your position give me something scholarly so that I can see the academic discussion that’s been going on. The fact of the matter is you continually link to internet sources containing bare assertions that only link to other internet sources for their content.

      So please give me a scholarly document written by a reputable scholar to back you up. This is what you expect of me to refute you and it is what I expect of you to attack me. It’s only fair that the rules are the same for both of us.

    • Michael T.

      You are just as conditioned as the rest of us. You just don’t realize it. But then again maybe I just need to get rid of my disillusions and start believing in government coverups, UFO, Aliens, Bigfoot, etc. After all it’s only my conditioning which keeps me from believing in these things. I just need to open my mind and escape the Matrix….

      The truth is you have presuppositions and biases just like the rest of us. You are as much a prisoner to them as anyone else. There is no such thing as an objective person and if you think there is you are fooling only yourself. The very fact that you are willing to accept the word of a bunch of people considered to be nutjobs by the entire academic world shows this painfully well. It’s almost worse then the 9-11 conspiracy theorists. So much for free thinking….

    • Kyle

      You and I are both culturally conditioned, and you are ignorant to suggest that a secular worldview is any less conditioned than a religious one.

      You argue that you will not accept biased sources such as the NT, or secular writings that may have been skewed by a political agenda, etc. yet you will gladly argue from a blog post by someone who is a self-proclaimed evangelical atheist blatantly skewed toward a particular ideology. Yet you expect non-biased sources from everyone else.

      I gave you a list of atheists, agnostics, Jews and former atheists who all agree with me against your position. I could list 100 names more and refer you to their work. I’ve read much of it, yet your discussion thus far shows that you have yet to engage any real scholarship even if it is from an atheist perspective! Who’s the close-minded one? Pot, let me introduce you to your new friend Kettle.

      I’m arguing from scholars outside of my worldview, alongside scholars within my worldview. I’ve read and am discussing the majority views (nay the only academically published view) regardless of religious belief…yet you respond that I’m the one working under a bias, while you present “evidence” and “sources” that are laughed out of academia and only appealing to internet infidels? I believe you should read up on something called “confirmation bias,” because you’re clearly displaying a severe case of it.

      And amidst this you accuse me of not being able “to honestly examine and allow without [my] religious programming.” Yeah. You say that if I look at it without my Christian worldview that I will see that no tangible evidence exists, yet I’ve suggested the work of 10 non-Christian or adult converts from atheism who do not have a Christian worldview yet believe tangible evidence exists.

      Circular arguments and question begging layered in ad hominem aren’t my thing, so I’ll leave you to discuss with Michael and Cheryl. Peace.

    • cherylu


      You have kept demanding “proof” from secular scholars that what we believe is not a myth and that Jesus ever existed, and then when you are given what the vast percentage of those scholars (minus one or two) say you still continue to tell us He is a mythical entity and to demand that we jump through your hoops so that we can become just like you.

      And you insist you are not baised but we are?? LOL

      Me thinks you protest too much.

    • Alockslee

      In response to #107 (Michael T)
      1.It would be very easy to prove the existence of jesus by outside sources simply produce the records of the authorities trial of him, other records of lesser criminals exist, so why doesn’t the records of jesus such a high profile figure, especially something from the religious authorities many claims were involved as well. Since nothing exists and would exist you haven’t any evidence toshow he even existed.

      2. Well now you claim thousands of authorities believe something and by publishing their theories makes it valid in someway. Historical proof of the existence of those items listed prove they exist, and not one historian has questioned the authorship of their written work. The NT however is riddled with holes, contradictions and is written in a language different than that in other religious documents of the jews at the time. It contains reports of events that came after the alleged period you believe to be the time of crucifixion and has not any reliable outside evidence to support the claims of jesus and/or of the claimed authorship being a disciple.

      Continued in next post…

    • Alockslee

      Cont. for #107 response:

      2. The complete lack of corroborating evidence to prove the existence of such a miracle worker, thousands of followers, fantastic feats of accomplishments and not one person reports seeing anything that even resembles the claims in the NT. Even if the events were not credited to jesus, had any of them occurred someone somewhere would have would have reported it even if they didn’t credit jesus or his followers with it.

      3.I am asking for the typical response that is required of any other historical claim and the application of the same standards of scholarship as with any other valid historical claim. You simply want to give this area an excuse not to be subjected to it simply because when it is under the widest and loosest scrutiny it fails completely and that little effort refutes the entire religious ideology.

      4. Now you decry science as the testing method used to prove historical fact from fantasy. Sounds like another intelligent design believer denying fact and relying upon fantasy. Your IT methods were already struck down in Federal Court and kicked to the curb, so don’t even bring up that stupid ignorant claim again since it is nothing but religious doctrine labeled something else.

      When you can disprove the scientific approach let see it and again stick to tangible evidence not claims that require absolute adherence to smoke and mirror tricks and provide not one shred of tangible proof to back up your claims. The leading proponents of your IT are considered jokes in their respective fields and should be removed after undergoing the necessary medical treatment to treat their mental illnesses.

      5. Glad to see you like to laugh! Now that I have completely refuted everything you claim to believe in and have not seen even a basic argument in response to my challenges, you must be close to hysterics due to the facts vs. your fantasy being shown to be nothing of substance and invalid at each and every point.

    • cherylu


      Why on earth would your fellow atheists be convinced that Jesus actually existed if they did not have very good historical reasons to do so? Remember, we are speaking of historians and scholars here. Not just your every day Joe off of the street.

      As I asked before, why don’t you accept what they have to say? Do you know way more about the history involved and the reasearch done then they do? In other words, are you the expert to end all experts on this subject? If so, show us your credentials and all of the proofs you have that tops the works of all of these known scholars.

      Or else, maybe just maybe, do you think you need to admit that you have a very heavy bias here and that having to admit the very existence of a historical Jesus would rock your very being to the core?

    • cherylu

      Oh Alockslee,

      You are the only one reading here as far as I can tell that thinks you have come anywhere close to refuting our claims. Like we have said repeatedly, you certainly haven’t convinced the scholars in the field, have you? Again, how is it that you know so much more about it then any of them do?

    • Alockslee

      cont… Part 3 responding to #107

      Michael T would act as if he has said anything of substance and after very little substance, listing a few authors, personal attacks of the character of the authors thus proving that he has nothing to offer to argue the facts so he employs the standard fascist fundie scenario of attack the messenger because they aren’t able to provide a shred of proof to back up their claims.

      It is such an easy thing to do with the f&e squads simply challenge any of them on the merits of their religious beliefs and they will do anything but discuss the facts vs fantasy of it. At no point do any of them produce even a single piece of evidence to prove their deity existed. What they do produce is a collection of fantasy tales put together from unknown sources that aren’t even close to the time of the alleged events.

      Not one bit of evidence from outside sources that would exist had any of the nonsensical claims happened is ever brought forward. No they continue to bring up a fantasy existence, fraught with holes and contradictions, then attempts to excuse the problems with further and more fantastic nonsense that can’t possibly be considered to be anything else but.

      Take care MT, you serious need to learn how to discuss a point and focus on reliable sources instead of the fellow misguided fools who simply parrot back the same tired fictions that created the myth in the first place but never prove their position in any credible sense. So much for publishing makes the point and lends credibility to the author since fiction writers (your religious heroes) don’t prove their theories only advance the same old doctrine and dogma. They can’t prove what never existed.

    • Alockslee

      In response to his failure in #126 MT now tries to compare the loonies among his ilk to this discussion of the lack of factual evidence to support his position.

      Are you wearing the tri cornered or another design of your tin foil hat while typing?

      Whenever a logical discussion is attempted by people on this subject nothing no matter how far fetched an idea, the f&e crowd will try it in the hopes that they can drive the discussion of topic and thereby prevent the other here from realizing just how ridiculous their beliefs really are when seen for what they are.

      No MT, you don’t get to change the subject or cause it to be derailed, I will simply put it back on topic and you will have to see it for the fiction and fantasy it truly is, a complete fabrication of what really happened and what more importantly did not happened but only was created by fellow deluded followers who won’t accept the facts over their delusions that is the major cause of suffering, war, death and repression over the past 2,000 years in this world.

      Wake up and smell the coffee MT, once you free yourself from the mental enslavement you term religion you will recover from the damage caused by it.

      Best wishes in that effort since no one else here is offering any help towards your recovery and please remember that until you do you will never be free and able to face responsibility of your own life as millions already have and no longer a slaves to this fiction you continue to promote.

    • cherylu


      Resorting to name calling and personal attacks does not go over very well on this site. As a matter of fact, if you read the blog rules, these things are strictly forbidden. People have been banned for this type of behavior in the past.

      Just letting you know so that you are aware in case you didn’t read them before you started commenting here.

    • Alockslee

      In response to #127. MT suggest that large numbers of people who believe as he does serves as some kind of proof to bolster his position, which certainly doesn’t prove a thing beyond the level and spread of indoctrination on the populace brought about by years of forced adherence in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary and the efforts to prevent the discussion of that evidence with those afflicted by this mental controlled oppression under the guise of so-called religious belief.

      So MT, if a large number of your fellow believers were to cal form armed revolt against the Federal government and had a group of fellow believers being constantly bombarded with calls for it from say a major news channel 24/7 would you follow along even though it is a serious criminal act?

      Whoa, wait a minute that sounds quite familiar with the recent arrest of believers spouting the same things you already did and Fox sounds just like that major news channel.

      So since you proclaim the same beliefs as those under arrest does that mean you support them and agree with them as you already have said in prior posts? Good thing not everyone is so blind to your group’s beliefs and aren’t programmed to believe such nonsense as you do. Only a person under mental control wouldn’t be able to set aside their beliefs long enough to discuss an opposing viewpoint without struggling with the concepts in such conflict as to produce nonsensical responses such as you have generated in past posts.

      Thanks for proving my points so well and illustrating the reason for having to continue to help in the recovery of the minions among your fellow sufferers!!

    • Alockslee

      In response to cherylu #135, I did no such thing to anyone here. I simply commented on the general labeling applied to those among the religious right and what they are considered to be.

      Remember the Fascists in Germany under the Hitler regime did exactly the same things in taking over and then forcing compliance under the original identity notions of a population under this same said “blood identity” constructs.

      It lead to the extermination of 6 million Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, and other Eastern Europeans, so don’t try to play the name calling card with me since it never happened. In fact look at Michael T’s comments about me in which he refers to me as a conspiracy theorist, and other such references, so don’t even bring up name calling unless you go after him with even more effort than me since he is a member of your religious beliefs and that is standard tactics among your type, ilk or chose the term that properly describes your fellow minions that are so conditioned that they can’t get through the day without their beliefs, nor can they deal with normal everyday events without attaching some nonsensical religious significance to them not shared by other outside of your cult.

      So, you practice what you are preaching and stop trying to limit my Freedom of Speech on this issue and take heed to what is being discussed since you still fail and continue to refuse to post the answers requested from the challenges and then conclude using only the facts from the results of doing it according to the rules. Of course you won’t since it only proves that you can’t do so as it would require honesty and setting aside your conditioning long enough to accomplish looking as the factual truth instead of the fantasy you subscribe to.


    • cherylu


      When speaking to Michael T you told him to stop relying on his “fellow misguided fools.” That is not name calling???

    • Alockslee

      Here is another point of interest I keep hearing form the f&e crowd that America was a christian nation at it’s founding.


      Read this page and then show me from the facts of history where you can further that nonsense any longer.

      The president, Congress and others quite frankly covered this under the Treaty with Tripoli.

      Read it, then lets see if you can admit to the factual history that states like Texas are trying to change and revise to indoctrinate the children of America into a f&e crowd member.

      Take care and the truth is out there if you are willing to stop ignoring the proof that your beliefs are merely fantasy and reality is still there when you are ready to accept responsibility for your own actions.


    • Alockslee

      cherylu on 09 Apr 2010 at 10:08 am # Alockslee,

      Resorting to name calling and personal attacks does not go over very well on this site. As a matter of fact, if you read the blog rules, these things are strictly forbidden. People have been banned for this type of behavior in the past.
      In Response: Michael T resorted to it first and you let it go without calling him on it, so don’t jump on me for simply reporting the labeling attached by FOX news.

      I haven’t called any person here a name. So don’t claim I did, this is nothing more than another ploy to remove my Freedom of Speech on this discussion just because you can’t collectively or individually overcome the truth and factual data I post and have been bested at every point leaving you to realize that your religious beliefs are nothing but a fantasy based upon a fiction.

      Don’t fret you will recover from the programming and survive to become non dependent upon the ideology that has been inflicted on so many people called evangelicalism and fundamental christianity.


    • Alockslee

      Michael T wrote in #127 the following:

      Circular arguments and question begging layered in ad hominem aren’t my thing, so I’ll leave you to discuss with Michael and Cheryl. Peace.

      In Response: He should be familiar with such things since he used them throughout his responses to my posts. Practically each reply form him engaged in such practices and to further his goals also resorted to implying or even outright claims of what his fellow believers hold as part of their worldview and recently have examples of such outlandish acts with the arrest of fellow f&e members in attempting the killing of police officers and planned attacks at funerals of anyone attending.

      This is now the norm for his ilk now that they have exhausted every opportunity at forcing conversion on Americans, they now plan armed insurrection and intend to follow the Fascist agenda of the Third Reich which also used religion as the basis for it’s rise to complete control of Germany.

      One only has to look at Fox News to see this is the case and the personalities on Fox only employ these tactics to help stave off the masses from recognizing them as the perpetrators of the acts they project upon other who warn against this type of conduct.

      Bye MT, your departure means you accept defeat and acknowledge you have nothing to offer to prove your claims.


    • Ed Kratz

      Folks, I am not able to moderate here, but I can see, at least that this has turned into a “forum”, and there are posts coming one after the other without following the rules. Although, more often than not, I let this type of thing go (being the gracious person I am :)), this subject seems to have turned in such a way that it needs a moderator and none is present right now. Therefore, I am closing. Thanks for participating.

    • Ed Kratz

      One thing that everyone should know about Alockslee:


      While this might now discredit his arguments, it does show you where he is coming from and what he IS willing to accept.

    • […] Evidence of the Resurrection: Part 1—Internal Evidence […]

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