That even though the Apostle Paul was the only NT author to claim he saw the risen Jesus, Paul said he merely saw a vision of Jesus on the Damascus Road rather than Jesus himself. Yep, just see Acts 26:9: "So then, King Agrippa, I (Paul) was not disobedient to the vision (i.e. ὀπτασίᾳ) from heaven." That's called evidence? I hardly think so at all.
- What's the significance of "NT authors"? If a historical source tells us that somebody saw the risen Jesus, what's the significance of the fact that the resurrection witness in question didn't leave us a New Testament document in which he made the claim that he saw Jesus risen from the dead? If Josephus tells us that Herod the Great made claim X, do we dismiss Josephus' report just because we don't have a document from Herod in which he affirms X?
- If Matthew wrote the gospel attributed to him, then he claims to have seen the risen Jesus (Matthew 26:32, 28:7, 28:10, 28:16-17). John 21:24 most naturally suggests that the author of the fourth gospel claimed to be the beloved disciple, and that gospel refers to the beloved disciple as a witness of the resurrected Christ (John 21:1-23). Given the widespread early Christian belief that seeing the risen Jesus was required for apostleship (Acts 1:21-22, 1 Corinthians 9:1), the Petrine documents indirectly affirm Peter's status as an eyewitness of the resurrected Christ by affirming his apostleship (1 Peter 1:1, 2 Peter 1:1).
- Surely Loftus doesn't think Paul wrote Acts. If he's going to include the author of Acts' report about what Paul said concerning the resurrection in Acts 26:19, then why not include similar reports about what other individuals said (Luke 24:35, John 20:25, Acts 10:40-41, etc.)? Then we wouldn't be limiting ourselves to "NT authors", and Paul wouldn't be the "only" witness.
- Why doesn't Loftus interact with the arguments for a traditional Christian understanding of Acts 26:19, such as the references to the physical and objective nature of Jesus' appearance to Paul elsewhere in Acts (9:3-4, 9:7-9, 22:9, 22:11, 26:14)?
- Loftus' claim that Paul "merely saw a vision of Jesus on the Damascus Road rather than Jesus himself" is contradicted by Acts 22:14 and 1 Corinthians 9:1.
- Does Loftus think Acts' report of what Paul said in Acts 26:19 is historically reliable? If so, why? And what does that view suggest about common skeptical claims regarding the alleged unreliability of Acts? If he doesn't consider Acts 26:19 reliable, then what's the significance of his citation of it? If he's claiming that the passage is problematic for Christianity under Christian assumptions, like the assumption of a high view of Acts, then Christian assumptions also include the sort of qualifications I've outlined above (Acts' references to the physical and objective nature of Jesus' appearance to Paul, etc.). How would Acts 26:19 be problematic for Christianity when those qualifications are included?
- What Christian has ever argued for the resurrection only on the basis of Acts 26:19? That one passage isn't the full extent of what we "call evidence". Even the testimony of Paul taken as a whole is just a portion of the evidence Christians have traditionally cited. Loftus hasn't even given us good reason to reject Paul's testimony, much less all of the evidence considered collectively.
- Loftus often mentions his Christian education. And how old is he now? How long has he been arguing against Christianity, publishing books against it, etc.? Why is he still overlooking evidence like what I've outlined above? Why would he include such a bad argument against Christianity in a "Top Ten List of Christian Delusions"?