The two books you should read for a response to Craig et al on the resurrection

After long resisting the idea, I’m now considering republishing my first book (a response to evangelical apologists who claim the resurrection can be proven with historical evidence) as an ebook. However, it will take some work to set up, so what should you read in the mean time?

I’m going to recommend two books: Bart Ehrman’s Jesus, Interrupted and Kris D. Komarnitsky’s Doubting Jesus’ Resurrection: What Happened in the Black Box? Ehrman doesn’t do much in the way of directly confronting the evangelical apologists, but he gives you the basics of Biblical scholarship. Komarnitsky’s book is the other way around. I think both are important, which is why I think my book will be the best sing book out there in this niche once it’s out again… but you won’t go wrong with those two.

  • Jeffery Jay Lowder

    Hey, what about my book? :)

  • MNb

    I won’t read them. It’s too obvious that the so called historical evidence for the resurrection (scer) is self-referential, ie results in a circular argument (the Bible is true, hence the resurrection happened, hence the Bible is true). Related: scer contradicts everything we know of natural sciences (hence a miracle, hence the aformentioned circular argument); moreover scer neglects that resurrections were quite common in Antiquity.
    Of course I’m a biased European. Jesus’ resurrection is not a hot item, not even among European christians.

    • eric

      As Chris says, Jesus, Interrupted is not about the ressurrection per se. Its more of an overview of how mainstream biblical scholars do higher criticism (on the bible). It does point out several major inconsistencies that make the bible an historically untrustworthy document, but those are given more as examples of the method rather than arguments for atheism.
      One of the more interesting points Ehrman makes is that the vast, vast majority of priests who lead services already know this, because higher criticism is mainstream christian theology and is taught in most every seminary across the U.S. (some evangelical ones excepted). He questions why they “dumb down” what they have been taught about the bible in seminary, why they largely refuse to discuss the theology they’ve learned in seminary with their own parishoners.
      Its a pretty good book, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

  • Garren

    Seconding the recommendation for Komarnitsky.

    My only complaint about that book is that his explanation of the soldiers-and-tomb story’s development is more complex than it needs to be. If early Christians had claimed an empty tomb and some detractors had responded with “Even if that’s true, it doesn’t prove anything: you guys probably just stole the body yourself”…then Matthew could have made up the guards entirely. The thing circulating among the Jews “to this day” might have just been the counter-apologetic about the possibility of body stealing.

  • Chris Wild

    Ehrman is good for beginners and Komarnitsky is OK. But for the real deal go with Lowder and Price’s The Empty Tomb and Allison’s Resurrecting Jesus.

    • Chris Hallquist

      To be honest, I thought Lowder and Price’s anthology had some good individual essays, but didn’t make for much of a cohesive whole. Allison’s book is excellent, but not necessarily what someone new to these issues looking for a response to Craig et al. is going to want.

      • Chris Wild

        Now that I think about it, you’re right about The Empty Tomb; some of the essays are really good(Lowder’s, Parson’s, Carrier’s Plausibility of Theft) but quite a few are meh. As for Allison’s book, I agree it’s not for true beginners. But are people who’ve already read Craig et al. really beginners? By all means read Ehrman first but Allison should be accessible if you know the gist of basic resurrection apologetics.

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