Saturday, 10 December 2011

Mike Licona

OK so this guy Mike Licona has written a book about the resurrection, I haven't read it yet but it sounds great (edit: I read it. It's great. But it is a little heavy going). It is called The Resurrection of Jesus. I have been reading around the issue, because he apparently has been getting heaps of flac from some evangelicals. Here is an article about it for you to read. If you don't want to read it, the upshot is that this guy Licona is basically being called on to recant by a couple of other Christians because although he has written a 700 page tome about the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he suggested that the part in Matthew where a bunch of other dead people rise and appear in Jerusalem may not be true. They say he is denying inerrancy by saying this.

Here are my ranty thoughts on this controversy that I posted on another blog in the comments section. It is pretty ranty, but hopefully it makes some sort of sense, because to me, if the presence of some error or myth in the bible, still doesn't detract from the good evidence of Jesus' resurrection, then that is some pretty damn good evidence we've got.

It seems like Licona is saying that *even though* there is a possibility that the gospels contain myth, *even though* they are written in the style of greco-roman biographies, and so it is hard to tell where fact ends and myth starts, the available evidence *still* points very strongly to the fact that Jesus lived, died, and rose again! How ridiculously compelling is that? That is so incredibly heartening to me.

What is more convincing, someone saying to you, “There were angels at the tomb, many rose when Jesus did, and the resurrection of Jesus is true. I know all this things because the bible says them.”
OR, someone saying “I’ve looked at the evidence for these three things. The first two seem like they *may* have elements of mythology and may not have really happened. But from what I can see, the third one pretty much definitely happened.”

That’s incredible! That kind of biblical scholarship should have people jumping up and down in excitement: though they may deny the presence of angels, though they may deny many biblical events, *even skeptics* cannot deny the strong probability that Jesus *actually* rose from the dead.
I just can’t stop ranting about how incredible that is. I can’t believe any Christian would tear someone down for saying that. If that isn’t a compelling argument for Christianity, nothing is. It’s certainly better than saying “the bible is inerrant so everything in it is true. How do we know it’s inerrant? Oh, because it says in there that it’s inerrant. Since it’s inerrant, we must believe what it says about itself being inerrant.”


  1. Thanks Saskia - really fantastic to have someone of a scientific mind investigate something so close to the heart of each Christian and supply some support to what we believe, isn't it? I would really like to read the book sometime.

    The article is a bit saddening - sometimes we treat each other with so little grace, don't we? Jesus said people would know we were his disciples because we love one another, so it's terrible when we fail to do that.

  2. ok this is months late - but I have only just got here. I love the fact that the Gospels are not facts - they are love stories written from at least four people's point of view (probably more) translated at least three times - Aramaic or Hebrew to Greek to Latin to English - to English and in need of being translated - to English - get again.
    The errors and changes in points of reference are what make the Gospels true - they are people talking about a loved one - someone beyond their understanding and yet desired by them - someone who did return to life explained in words that were inadequate then. They knew it; I know it and I assume you know it . That's enough - Jesus is big enough to take care of himself.

    1. Absolutely! you said it in a nutshell. :) Thanks