The Argument from Silence, Part 6: Uta Ranke-Heinemann on Paul’s Silence about the Empty Tomb

In this post, I want to revisit an argument from silence used by Uta Ranke-Heinemann against the historicity of the empty tomb of Jesus.The empty tomb on Easter Sunday morning is a legend. This is shown by the simple fact that the apostle Paul, the most crucial preacher of Christ's resurrection, and the earliest New Testament writer besides, says nothing about it. As far as Paul is concerned, it doesn't exist. Thus it means nothing to him, that is, an empty tomb has no significance for the … [Read more...]

Migration to Disqus Complete

It appears the site's migration to the Disqus commenting system is complete. What this means to you:1. You now have the ability to edit a comment after posting it, a feature which is sorely lacking in Blogger's built-in comment functionality.2. Disqus provides a much more visually intuitive way of grouping comments with their replies, by displaying them in a nested tree hierarchy. Comments migrated from the old Blogger system will not be displayed in a hierarchy, but any new replies to … [Read more...]

Migrating Secular Outpost to Disqus for Comments

I'm going to be migrating The Secular Outpost over to Disqus tonight for comments on posts. This will cause all old comments to temporarily disappear from the site, possibly for more than 24 hours, until Disqus successfully imports the old comments from Blogger. Once the migration is complete, the end result should be a vastly improved experience for anyone who leaves comments on the site. In the meantime, thanks for your patience. … [Read more...]

Argument from the History of Science (AHS): Randal Rauser’s Objection and My Reply

I'm flattered to have received a reply to AHS by Randal Rauser. His reply may be found here.I've  updated my original post on AHS with a reply to Rauser. My reply may be found here. … [Read more...]

LINK: Existence of Atheists Offends Christians

LINKI find it difficult to find fault with the logic in the second paragraph at that link: "Since there is absolutely nothing even remotely offensive about this billboard, the inevitable conclusion is that many Christians are offended by the fact that there are atheists. If that isn't bigotry and hatred, I'm not sure what would be." … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 5: W.L. Craig on the Absence of Competing Burial Traditions as Evidence for the pre-Markan Burial Tradition

In this post, I want to revisit an argument from silence used by William Lane Craig in his case for the historicity of the empty tomb. According to Craig, the absence of competing burial traditions (to the pre-Markan burial story) is evidence for the historicity of the pre-Markan burial story. Craig then argues that the historicity of the pre-Markan burial story is, in turn, evidence for the historicity of the empty tomb of Jesus.For the record, Craig does not present his argument as a … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence, Part 4: Absence of Denials of Jesus’ Historicity as Evidence for Jesus’ Historicity

When one thinks about the historicity of Jesus and arguments from silence, one usually thinks of various arguments from silence against the historicity of Jesus. In this post, I want to sketch an argument from silence for the historicity of Jesus.The Argument Formulated B: The Relevant Background EvidenceB1.Both Christian and non-Christian sources in the first and second centuries refer to Jesus.E: The Evidence to be ExplainedE1. There is an absence of evidence that the historicity of Jesus was … [Read more...]

The Argument from Silence: Related Resources

(Note: this section will be updated over time.) Academic PublicationsBrooks, E. Bruce. "Arguments from Silence." Warring States Papers 4 (2013).Carrier, Richard C. "Did Jesus Exist? Earl Doherty and the Argument to Ahistoricity" The Secular Web (2002).---. Proving History. Buffalo: Prometheus, 2012, 117-19. Garraghan, G.J., S.J. A Guide to Historical Method. J. Delanglez, S.J. (Ed.). New York: Fordham University Press, 1946.Duncan, Mike. "The Curious Silence of the Dog and Paul of Tarsus: … [Read more...]


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