Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reflective Review: Mike Licona's "The Resurrection of Jesus," Part 3

Section 4 of ROJ treats the NT evidence for the Resurrection, and begins with a primer of sorts on what are considered “bedrock” facts about Jesus and his life, such as that he viewed himself as God’s eschatological agent, and was crucified. Some depth is devoted to the historicity of Jesus’ Passion predictions. While some may wonder what all this might have to do with the Resurrection, the answer is that many arguments against the Resurrection are based on such things as eg, the denial of Jesus’ Passion predictions as historical. That’s why my own volume on the Resurrection included chapters on these accessory subjects as well.

It is also here where Licona and I cover much the same ground in some places. I have said that readers will find both books profitable, and this is why: Licona covers many issues I do not cover at all (eg, historical method, what texts of Paul refer to his conversion experience), while DTR offers more depth on certain specific arguments (eg, whether Jesus could have merely swooned on the cross rather than died, although Licona answers arguments from different sources than I do).

Probably much of the depth I have had to do with the fact that unlike Licona, I was having to answer criticisms of earlier versions of DTR chapters that had been posted on Tekton’s website. In other places, such as the arguments about how Paul perceives the resurrection body as physical, we have the same conclusions, but differing sets of information that complement one another.

In any event, you’ll find discussion here of all the standard arguments, such as explaining the “silence” of the women returning from the tomb in Mark and the “doubts” of the disciples in Matt. 28:17. This is a thorough treatment of these issues, and what differences I have with it are mainly a matter of coverage rather than matters of fact and argument, which leaves me with not much to say otherwise.

Part 5 is the big one, the weighing of hypotheses – and we’ll cover that one tomorrow.


  1. Excellent blog posts!

    On another blog I read recently, an atheist stated that Licona's work couldn't be trusted. Pure rubbish. Licona is a fine scholar and person -- atheists with no arguments often defer to slander.

    Great work JP!!

  2. Two more entries to come! Thanks!

    And I know that about atheists as well as anyone, eh? ;)

  3. Of course Licona can't be trusted! He's a Christian! Duh! You need to trust the impartial and nonbiased atheists instead.

  4. Shaddup! You're his son in law so you can't be trusted either. Nyaaah! ;)

  5. It's so true Nick -- a Christian can never be credible due to his bias; the atheist said so, so it must be true!

    If ever there was a self-refuting statement, it's that one. What's unbelievably arrogant is how atheists think they have no bias whatsoever.