Did Jesus rise from the dead? Is resurrection even possible?
There are numerous historical and philosophical challenges to belief in Jesus’ resurrection. For many, these questions are insurmountable.
Raised on the Third Day approaches these questions with critical and believing eyes. Edited by W. David Beck and Michael R. Licona, Raised on the Third Day collects essays from prominent contributors in the fields of philosophy, history, and apologetics. Contributors—including J. P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, Craig A. Evans, Beth M. Sheppard, and Sean McDowell—evaluate scriptural, historical, moral, and apologetic issues related to Christ’s death and resurrection. Essays on the Shroud of Turin and near-death experiences round out the volume. Inspired by the foundational work of Gary Habermas—arguably the greatest contemporary Christian thinker on the resurrection—these essays build upon his work and move the discussion forward.
Readers will better appreciate how Habermas has shaped scholarship on Christ’s resurrection and further areas for exploration and discussion.
“When we consider the historian’s epistemic access to the past, we find that there do not appear to be any reasons a priori that a historian could not, in principle, investigate the actions of divine agents. Moreover, given the nature of the discipline as an open inquiry into the past, examining the alleged actions of divine agents is similar to historical investigation into human or non-human agents. This also means that claims of miracles, like other claims about past events, should be critically assessed.104 Historians should not shy away from these investigations. In fact, given their training, investigating such claims can be incredibly helpful in the discussion.” (Page 287)
“Now, when it comes to morality, it is hard to make sense of moral obligation and responsibility if determinism is true. They seem to presuppose libertarian freedom.” (Page 24)
“Because of their sincere belief that Jesus had risen and appeared to them after his death, the apostles willingly suffered and were prepared to die for their public proclamation of the risen Christ. They did not invent the stories but willingly suffered because of the depth of their sincerity. As Gary Habermas has noted, virtually all scholars who research in this area accept that the apostles had experiences they believed were actual appearances of the risen Jesus, which transformed their lives, and for which they were willing to die.” (Page 180)
“the New Testament writers did not create the resurrection—the resurrection created the New Testament writers.” (Page 337)
“These two facts—I am the owner of my experiences, and I am an enduring self—show that I am not identical to my experiences. I am the conscious thing that has them. I am also aware of myself as a simple, uncomposed and spatially nonextended center of consciousness (e.g. the range of objects in my visual field is spatially extended, but my visual field itself is not, nor is the entity—I—that possesses it). In short, I am a mental substance. Moreover, I am fully present throughout my body; if my arm is cut off, I do not become four fifths of a self. My body and brain are divisible and can be present in percentages (there could be 80 percent of a brain present after an operation). But I am an all-or-nothing kind of thing. I am not divisible; I cannot be present in percentages.” (Pages 19–20)
W. David Beck is professor of philosophy at Liberty University. His focus in research and teaching has been in the philosophy of religion, specifically the existence of God and the cosmological argument.
Michael R. Licona is a New Testament scholar, apologist, and historian. He is associate professor in theology at Houston Baptist University and director at Risen Jesus, Inc. He is the author of numerous books, including The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach and Paul Meets Muhammad.