FAQ: Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?

Warm Up Questions:

How important is the resurrection to Christianity?
Does Jesus’ Resurrection have to be a ‘Bodily’ Resurrection?

Questions for Christians:

Which best describes your belief in the resurrection?

  • You ask me how I know He Lives? He lives within my heart.
  • The Bible says it; I believe it.
  • Who moved the stone?

How would you explain the resurrection to a Non-Christian?
What would it take for someone to convince you that the resurrection never happened?

Questions for Non-Christians:

What do you find unbelievable about the resurrection?
What do you think really happened?
Do you believe in miracles?
If God exists, is the resurrection more likely?
What would it take to convince you that the resurrection really happened?

Four Historical Facts Supporting the Resurrection

  1. Jesus was crucified and buried in a tomb.
  2. The Sunday after his crucifixion, his tomb was found empty.
  3. At various times and places different individuals and groups believed they saw Jesus alive from the dead.
  4. Shortly after his death, his disciples came to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead.

Based on William Lane Craig’s: www.reasonablefaith.org/the-resurrection-of-jesus

Some Writings on Jesus’ Death and/or Resurrection before 150 A.D.

Creeds in Scriptures: 1 Cor 15:3–8; 2 Tim 2:11–13; Phil 2:5–11; 1 Pet 3:18
Other Scriptures: Ps 16:10; Isa 53:10–12; Matt 28:1–10; Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–53; John 20:26–28; Acts 1:3; 2:24–32; 4:33; 10:40–41; 17:2–3; Rom 1:4; 1 Thess 4:14; 1 Pet 1:3
Church Fathers: 1 Clem 42; Ignatius Tral 9, Smyr 1-3; Barn 5:6
Jewish & Pagan: Josephus Antiquities 18.3.3, 20.9.1*; Tacitus Annals 15:44, Pliny the Younger Letters 10.96 (To Trajan XCVII)**

*There is a historical debate around Josephus Antiq. 18.3.3. Many believe the text was added later by Christian scribes. According to Dr. James Tabor, the discovery of an Arabic version by Shlomo Pines reads differently, but still testifies that the Christians believed “he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive. Accordingly they believed that he was the Messiah” Antiq. 18.3.3 (Arabic version). http://religiousstudies.uncc.edu/people/jtabor/josephus-jesus.html

**Pliny’s letter does not refer to Christ death but to his followers praying to him “as to a divinity.” This begs the question “Why pray to a dead man?”

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