[Taken from the program handed out at the debate]

I.) The claim of a literal resurrection from the dead is so extraordinary that it requires extraordinary proof.

A.) The evidence offered as proof of the resurrection of Jesus is very ordinary.

1.) No apostles or disciples or non-disciples of Jesus ever claimed to have actually seen his resurrection.

2.) The alleged witnesses of his post-resurrection appearances have been soundly rejected even by much of the Christian community.

3.) The rest of the evidence of post-resurrection appearances is only hearsay testimony.

4.) This leaves only the testimony of the Apostle Paul, which can hardly be considered convincing testimony.

II.) Rational people cannot accept such evidence as this as reliable proof of an extraordinary claim.

A.) The rule of Occam's Razor offers three possible explanations for the resurrection claim.

B.) A literal resurrection is the least likely of the possible explanations.

C.) The reaction of the apostle Thomas to the resurrection claims demonstrates the principle of Occam's Razor.

III.) The silence of contemporary records casts serious doubts on the reliability of the NT accounts of Jesus' resurrection.

A.) The NT alleges that great multitudes followed Jesus during his personal ministry and saw him perform many miracles (MT 4:24-25; MK 3:7-8; LK 6:1-7).

B.) Yet no contemporary records recorded anything about this man.

C.) Two events were so remarkable and would have had such far-reaching effects that other societies would have heard about them had they really happened.

1.) The three hours of darkness that fell "over all the land" during the crucifixion (MT 28:45; MK 15:33; LK 23:44).

2.) The resurrection of the saints (MT 27:52-53).

IV.) The widespread pre-Christian beliefs in pagan, virgin-born, miracle-working, resurrected saviors is sufficient reason to suspect that the tales of Jesus are simply copy-cat accounts.

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