William Lane Craig debates James Crossley on the resurrection of Jesus

Here is Wintery Knight’s summary of the debate:

There is not much snark in this summary, because Crossley is a solid scholar, and very fair with the evidence.


William Lane Craig’s opening speech

Two contentions:
◦There are four minimal facts that are accepted by most historians
◦The best explanation of the four minimal facts is that God raised Jesus from the dead

Contention 1 of 2:

Fact 1: The burial
◦The burial is multiply attested ◦The burial is based on the early source material that Mark used for his gospel
◦Scholars date this Markan source to within 10 years of the crucifixion
◦The burial is also in the early passage in 1 Cor 15:3-8
◦So you have 5 sources, some of which are very early

◦The burial is credited to a member of the Sanhedrin ◦the burial is probable because shows an enemy of the church doing right
◦this makes it unlikely to to be an invention

Fact 2: The empty tomb
◦The burial story supports the empty tomb ◦the site of Jesus’ grave was known
◦the disciples could not proclaim a resurrection if the body were still in it
◦the antagonists to the early Christians could have produced the body

◦The empty tomb is multiple attested ◦it’s mentioned explicitly in Mark
◦it’s in the separate sources used by Matthew and John
◦it’s in the early sermons documented in Acts
◦it’s implied by 1 Cor 15:3-8, because resurrection requires that the body is missing

◦The empty tomb was discovered by women ◦the testimony of women of women was not normally allowed in courts of law
◦if this story was being made up, they would have chosen male disciples

◦The empty tomb discover lacks legendary embellishment ◦there is no theological or apologetical reflection on the meaning of the tomb

◦The early Jewish response implies that the tomb was empty ◦the response was that the disciples stole the body
◦that requires that the tomb was found empty

Fact 3: The appearances to individuals and groups, some of the them hostile
◦The list of appearances is in 1 Cor 15:3-8 ◦this material is extremely early, withing 1-3 years after the cross
◦James, the brother of Jesus, was not a believer when he got his appearance
◦Paul was hostile to the early church when he got his appearance

◦Specific appearances are multiply attested ◦Peter: attested by Luke and Paul
◦The twelve: attested by Luke, John and Paul
◦The women: attested by Matthew and John

To read on, click here:


One thought on “William Lane Craig debates James Crossley on the resurrection of Jesus

  1. Jay April 5, 2013 / 3:11 am

    Dr Craig gave well reasoned argument based on historical evidence for why he holds the resurrection to be true. His opponent was always alluding to ancient genres that were like the bible yet he never cited a particular instance given his generalization I would have expected several since according to him they are everywhere. I mainly heard assertions with no evidence to back them up

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s