Below is a very brief interaction with historian and New Testament scholar Gary Habermas (Distinguished Research Professor, Liberty University) concerning the historical reliability of Jesus Christ’s being raised from the dead. The is a topic which he has invested his professional career to through extensive research as well as public debates. Enjoy!
Why do you believe in a literal Resurrection?
I believe in Jesus Christ’s literal resurrection because the supporting data/evidence is basically incontestable.
In interactions with people of various faiths and non-faiths, what do you find the biggest objection to belief in the literal resurrection of Christ to be?
Probably either that it involves the supernatural realm, or because they are simply not interested on going in that direction.
What is at stake in this conversation? What’s the big deal?
The argument for Jesus’ resurrection and then from the resurrection on to the truth of Jesus’ teachings are just incredibly strong. So what’s at stake here is the truth of the Kingdom of God and eternal life, to which Jesus taught that He was the only path. Why risk missing that path?
What is your initial reaction to Christians who are fine with not believing in the resurrection? Can you be a Christian and yet be unsure of if Jesus was raised?
Of course, all these matters are ultimately up to God, but I do not see from the New Testament how one can be a believer without believing in Jesus’ resurrection. But simply having questions/doubts about it may be very normal and emotional, for example.
Thank you for your time!
Habermas apologizes for his brief responses due to time constraints. He is the author of many books, some of which are The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, The Case for the Resurection of Jesus (co-authored with Michael Licona) as well as a book he is the co-contributor to, Did the Resurrection Happen? A Conversation with Gary Habermas and Anthony Flew which presents the debate between Habermas and Flew concerning Jesus’ resurrection.
August 24, 2017 at 3:35 am
To Prof Habermas, hello
In a youtube interview with Jacob Daniel in 2013, you mentioned the existence of evidence of the resurrection dating to within two years of the actual event. Where can I read further on this evidence, including where (in what material form) it appears, etc ?
all the best
(an orthodox Jew)
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August 26, 2017 at 8:39 am
Hi Natan – here is a link to a talk by Dr Habermas where he talks about this https://youtu.be/ay_Db4RwZ_M
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August 28, 2017 at 4:41 am
Thanks, Greg 🙂
February 2, 2018 at 2:44 pm
Dr. Gary Habermas asserts that his research demonstrates that the majority of scholars believe in the historicity of the Empty Tomb of Jesus. I recently discussed this claim with NT critical scholar, Bart Ehrman:
Bart Ehrman: To my knowledge non-conservative scholars do not generally read the work of Habermas. They tend to stick to the writings of critical New Testament scholars.
Gary: So when Christian apologists tell me that the majority of New Testament scholars believe in the historicity of the Empty Tomb based on Habermas’ research, I can tell them they are wrong?
Bart Ehrman: You can tell them that the majority of NT scholars have never *read* Habermas (and may not even know about him).
April 6, 2018 at 4:25 am
Gary, what has this got to do with anything? Habermas is reporting what scholars believe about the historicity of the empty tomb. It is irrelevant whether they have ever read his work, we are not discussing whether they know about Habermas. It is interesting to note that Habermas clearly reads non-conservative scholars, but according to Ehrman they may not have the breadth of reading to include conservative scholars.
In summary – in your reported conversation, Bart Erhman nowhere says that you can tell Christian apologists that they are wrong.