Matthew Ferguson: History, Probability, and Miracles (2013)

Historian Matthew Ferguson uses Bayes' Theorem to analyze the historicity of miracle claims. Among other things, Ferguson compares the historical evidence for a purported miracle by Vespasian to the historical evidence for the purported resurrection of Jesus.LINKNote: as always, links do not constitute endorsement. … [Read more...]

Matthew Ferguson: Knocking Out the Pillars of the “Minimal Facts” Apologetic (2013)

I have only skimmed this article, but it appears to be a very comprehensive rebuttal to the "minimal facts" apologetics favored by several Christian apologists, including Licona, Habermas, and Craig.LINKNote: as always, links do not necessarily constitute endorsement.We'd love to know what you think of the article. Please feel free to debate in the combox below. … [Read more...]

Norman Geisler’s Case for the Death of Jesus – Part 4

Part of Geisler's case for the claim that "Jesus actually died on the cross" is based on the spear-wound story, which is found only in the historically unreliable Fourth gospel.One general reason for doubting the historicity and reliability of the spear-wound story is this:GR3. The Passion narratives of the gospels are historically unreliable(GR3) is supported by various cautions and doubts expressed by Raymond Brown (a leading N.T. scholar who is an expert on the Passion Narratives) … [Read more...]

Why I am Not Concerned about Christian Theist Philosophers of Religion

One reason I am not concerned about the prevalence of Christian theists in the field of philosophy of religion is that they do a nice job of arguing against each other.William Lane Craig's favorite argument for the existence of God is the Kalam cosmological argument. I'm happy that there are some atheist philosophers who challenge this argument, but there are good objections raised against this argument by Christian theist philosophers.For example, Richard Swinburne rejects this … [Read more...]

Norman Geisler’s Case for the Death of Jesus – Part 3

In previous posts I have argued that only two of Geisler's eight reasons for the claim that "Jesus actually died on the cross" are worthy of serious consideration. One of those two reasons is based on the spear-wound story, which is found ONLY in the historically unreliable Fourth gospel (John 19:31-37).There are many reasons to doubt the historicity and reliability of the spear-wound story, but I have started with four general reasons:GR1. The gospels are historically … [Read more...]

Norman Geisler’s Case for the Death of Jesus – Part 2

In When Skeptics Ask, Norman Geisler presents eight reasons in support of the claim that Jesus actually died on the cross. In my previous post on this subject I argued that six of those reasons should be quickly set aside as weak or defective reasons. In my view, only two reasons out of the eight reasons are worthy of serious consideration.Both of the remaining two reasons are related to various alleged wounds and injuries of Jesus that supposedly occurred just prior to or during the … [Read more...]

The Case for the Death of Jesus – Part 2

John Probability Tree

A challenge (or two) to my previous post "The Case for the Death of Jesus" came from a reader "hardindr". Another reader, Tom Hanson, commented "Personally I'm with hardindr." So in this post I will respond to comments from hardindr, with the intention of also responding to Tom Hanson's concerns.Here is the first comment by hardindr:All of these lengthy blog entries on this subject have confused me. Does the author of them seriously believe that it isn't a historical fact that Jesus of … [Read more...]

Norman Geisler’s Case for the Death of Jesus

Let me cut to the chase: Geisler's case for the claim that "Jesus actually died on the cross" is crap. It might be marginally better than William Craig's case, but it is most definitely a hot steaming pile of crap. As with Craig's case, part of the reason Geisler's case fails is that he tries to make his case in just a few pages. (This appears to be a common form of mental illness among Christian apologists.)I'm tempted to work my way slowly through Geisler's case, as I did with Craig's … [Read more...]


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