Friday, March 16, 2018

Much Of The Resurrection Evidence Comes From Former Critics Of Christianity

A helpful way to think about the evidence for Jesus' resurrection and Christianity more broadly is to notice how much of the New Testament was written by former opponents of the Christian movement. Even under a very liberal view of New Testament authorship, more than a quarter of the documents were written by a former enemy of Christ. Under more moderate or conservative views of New Testament authorship, as much as 55% of the documents were written by people who had been opponents of the religion (Paul, James, Jude).

Note, too, that even under a highly liberal view in which only seven letters were written by an opponent of Christianity, and only one opponent (Paul), the fact remains that other prominent church leaders and resurrection witnesses were former enemies of the religion (the brothers of Jesus). That includes two of the most prominent leaders, Paul and James (as reflected in Acts 15 and Galatians 1-2, for example). Whether you look at this issue from the perspective of New Testament authorship, early church leadership, or both, much of the testimony we have for Jesus' resurrection comes from people who had previously been opposed to Jesus and his movement.

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