Dear Professor Law,
You have debated William Lane Craig on the topic of the existence of God, with a subsequent discussion of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ at your blog. This discussion has spilled over to the blog of David Marshall, here: http://christthetao.blogspot.com/2012/09/marshall-vs-law-is-resurrection.html
This prompts me to ask you the following questions, to help clarify matters. Your response would be welcome.
The New Testament is a collection of human testimony. Do you accept this? Yes or no?
The analysis of human testimony is the domain of the science of jurisprudence. Do you accept this? Yes or no?
The rules of legal evidence should apply to all human testimony. Do you agree? Yes or no?
What law, court decision or legal precedent accepts the principle, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"?
Do you accept the legal maxim, "Innocent until proven guilty"? Yes or no?
Do you understand the legal principle, "means, motive and opportunity"? Yes or no?
Do you accept the legal principle, "means, motive and opportunity"? Yes or no?
What first century testimony counters the testimony of the evangelists?
What legal reason do you give for disregarding the claims to eyewitness testimony in
1 Corinthians 15:3-9, John 8:13-18, John 12:17, John 19:35, John 20:27-28, John 21:24, Luke 1:1-3, Luke 24:44-48, Acts 1:8, Acts 1:21-23, Acts 2:22-32, Acts 3:12-15, Acts 4:33, Acts 5:27-32, Acts 10:34-45, Acts 13:31, Acts 14:3, 1 John 1:1-4 and 2 Peter 1:16?
Should 21st century hearsay opinion supersede first century eyewitness testimony, unrefuted by those with the means, motive and opportunity to do so? Yes or no?
Do you believe the New Testament accounts be given the same legal acceptance as the Domesday Book, the Ancient Statutes of Wales, or any ancient document published under the British Record Commission? Yes or no? If not, for what legal reason?
You stated, "In a court of law, the judge will rightly look much less favourably on testimony provided only decades after the alleged event." This is an unsubstantiated opinion. What legal fact supports your assertion? Does argument by unsupported assertion demonstrate rational thinking? Yes or no?
Do you accept the Ancient Documents Rule? Yes or no?
"In matters of public and general interest, all persons must be presumed to be conversant, on the principle that individuals are presumed to be conversant with their own affairs." Morewood v Wood, 14 East, 329, n., per Lord Kenyon; Weeks v Sparke, 1 M. & S. 686; Berkeley Peerage Case, 4 Campb. 416, per Mansfield, Ch. J.; see 1 Greenl. on Ev. § 128. Do you accept this legal principle? Yes or no?
In Dillon v Dillon, 3 Curteis, Eccl. Rep. pp. 96, 102, the following legal principle was established: "When you examine the testimony of witnesses nearly connected with the parties, and there is nothing very peculiar tending to destroy their credit, when they depose to mere facts, their testimony is to be believed; when they depose as to matter of opinion, it is to be received with suspicion." Do you accept this? Yes or no?
The Oxford English Dictionary, Second edition, 1989; online version June 2012, defines "anonymous" as
1. a. Nameless, having no name; of unknown name.
b. Hence subst. A person whose name is not given, or is unknown.
2. transf. Bearing no author's name; of unknown or unavowed authorship.
Do you accept this definition? Yes or no?
Merriam-Webster defines "anonymous" as
1 : of unknown authorship or origin <an anonymous tip>
2 : not named or identified <an anonymous author> <they wish to remain anonymous>
Do you accept this definition? Yes or no?
Do you have any epistemology for deciding the authorship of documents? Yes or no?
Do you understand the legal principle, "res gestae"? Yes or no?
Do you accept the legal principle, "res gestae"? Yes or no?
Do you believe your opinion supersedes the law? Yes or no?
Do you believe a double standard demonstrates rational thinking? Yes or no?
Do you believe argument from ignorance demonstrates rational thinking? Yes or no?
To what extent have you applied the rules of legal evidence to the New Testament accounts?
Simon Greenleaf, Royall Professor of Law, Harvard University, A Discourse pronounced at the Inauguration of the author as Royall Professor of Law in Harvard University, August 29, 1834:
"Christianity founds its claim to our belief upon the weight of the evidence by which it is supported. This evidence is not peculiar to the department of theology; its rules are precisely those by which the law scans the conduct and language of men on all other subjects, even in their daily transactions. This branch of the law is one of our particular study. It is our constant employment to explore the mazes of falsehood, to detect its doublings, to pierce its thickest veils; to follow and expose its sophistries; to compare, with scrupulous exactness, the testimony of different witnesses to examine their motives and their interests; to discover truth and separate it from error. Our fellow-men know this to be our province; and perhaps this knowledge may have its influence to a greater extent than we or even they imagine. We are therefore required by the strongest motives,-- by personal interest, by the ties of kindred and friendship, by the claims of patriotism and philanthropy, to examine, and that not lightly, the evidences on which Christianity challenges our belief; and the degree of credit to which they are entitled."
Do you understand this, Professor Law? Yes or no?
This is a joint effort by myself and a frequent contributor to Tekton. We don't expect Law to actually answer any of these questions, because he pretty clearly makes up the rules as he goes along.