Craig’s “Historical Evidence” for the Death of Jesus – Part 2

Although Christian apologists bear the burden of proof to show that 'Jesus actually died on the cross', William Craig usually ignores this issue in his books, articles, and debates defending the resurrection of Jesus. In my previous post, I pointed out that there is at least one book in which Craig does make a case for the claim that 'Jesus actually died on the cross.' Craig makes a very brief attempt at this in The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus (hereafter: … [Read more...]

Craig’s “Historical Evidence” for the Death of Jesus

Anyone who asserts that ‘Jesus rose from the dead’ takes on a burden of proof, and because this is an extraordinary claim, the proof required is extraordinary proof. Make a miracle claim and you take on a heavy burden of proof. So, when William Craig asserts that ‘Jesus rose from the dead’, he takes upon himself a heavy burden of proof, and part of that burden of proof is to provide powerful historical evidence for the claim that ‘Jesus actually died on the cross.’It should go without sa … [Read more...]

The Failure of William Craig’s Case for the Resurrection

According to the Christian apologist Norman Geisler:Before we can show that Jesus rose from the dead, we need to show that He really did die. (When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences, p.120)After making this common-sense point, Geisler then proceeds to lay out eight points in support of the claim that “Jesus actually died on the cross”(the title of this sub-section of the Chapter “Questions about Jesus”).Geisler’s case for this claim is made on pages 120, 121, 122, and … [Read more...]

An Evidence Puzzle: Radio Shack Apologetics

Let's assume that the Radio Shack catalog is perfectly factually correct about items for sale and their prices. Now assume it reports a miracle occurred, say, Adobe Acrobat Reader doesn't require annoying security updates every few days. (Sorry, that was an IT industry insider joke.) Or assume it reports that someone rose from the dead. Does the catalog's general reliability give us a good reason to believe the miracle it reports? … [Read more...]

Some Skeptical Thoughts on the Resurrection

I met a fellow skeptic at a Starbucks a month or two ago. We recently bumped into each other, had a brief chat, and I found out that he was also interested in questions about the historical Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the historicity of Jesus. He was especially interested in my thoughts about the resurrection, so I did a quick brain dump of some of my skeptical thoughts about the resurrection.Here is what I jotted down as a quick summary of some of my thinking on this … [Read more...]

God and Massive Deception about the Resurrection – Part2

The key question at issue is whether (S2) is true or false:(S2) But God would neither perpetrate nor permit grand deception regarding the Incarnation and Resurrection.I have raised two objections against one reason that Cavin and Colombetti give for their conclusion that "(S2) is patently false". One reason they gave was a passage from the gospel of Mark which they think shows that the author of Mark, and probably Jesus too, had a concept of God which was such that God could (and would) … [Read more...]

God and Massive Deception about the Resurrection

Robert Cavin and Carlos Colombetti have written an article raising some significant objections to Richard Swinburne's case for the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus: "Swinburne on the Resurrection" (Philosophia Christi, Vol. 15, No. 2; hereafter: SOR). LINKI'm fully on-board with their overall conclusion that "...Swinburne's argument for the Incarnation and seriously undermined by the failure to satisfy the requirement of total evidence." (SOR, p.37) As with other … [Read more...]

Evidential Asymmetry, Scientific Confirmation of Prayer, and Horrific Evils

1. The General CaseOne of the most important (and equally most often forgotten) lessons that Bayes's Theorem can teach us about evidence is that the strength of evidence is a ratio. To be precise, let H1 and H2 be rival explanatory hypotheses, B be the relevant background information, and E be the evidence to be explained. Now consider the following ratio: Pr(E | B & H1) ----------------- Pr(E | B & H2) If Pr(E | B & H1) > Pr(E | B & H2), then this ratio is greater … [Read more...]