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.