Tough Questions Answered

A Christian Apologetics Blog

Do Historical Scholars Think Jesus Existed? #2 Post of 2012

| December 31, 2012

Post Author: Bill Pratt Every once in a while, you may hear from hyper-skeptics that Jesus probably never existed, or that if he did exist, we cannot know anything about him because the historical evidence is so poor.  Mike Licona, in his book The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, provides a sampling of […]

Why Is Paul So Important to Historians Studying the Resurrection of Jesus? #5 Post of 2012

| December 21, 2012

Post Author: Bill Pratt Historical scholar Mike Licona, in his book The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, asks just this question.  His answer is important to understand. A priority must be assigned to Paul because he is the earliest known author to mention the resurrection of Jesus, and there are numerous extant texts he […]

How Do We Overcome Our Horizons (Biases)? Part 2

| October 29, 2012

Post Author: Bill Pratt In part 1 of the post series, we looked at three guidelines for historians who are attempting to limit the undue influence of their horizons. These guidelines are taken from Mike Licona’s book The Resurrection of Jesus. In part 2, we will review Licona’s next three guidelines. 4. Submitting ideas to unsympathetic […]

How Do We Overcome Our Horizons (Biases)? Part 1

| October 26, 2012

Post Author: Bill Pratt Those who take on the task of interpreting the ancient accounts of Jesus’s life are faced with a difficult task.  As we’ve seen from previous posts, the horizon of each individual must be faced and addressed before investigation begins. But does the horizon of an individual render objective study of history […]

What Are Some Examples of Bias Affecting Historical Scholarship on Jesus?

| October 24, 2012

Post Author: Bill Pratt In the previous blog post, I cited Mike Licona’s analysis of horizons and their impact on historical interpretation.  In this post, I will go back to Licona and review just a handful of the numerous examples he gives of horizons affecting particular scholars’ historical analysis. The scholars who Licona quotes are […]

What Role Do Worldviews Play in Historical Research?

| October 22, 2012

Post Author: Bill Pratt When it comes to a person interpreting historical texts, particularly where ultimate issues (e.g., heaven, hell, God, sin) are at stake, that person’s worldview (or horizon) often plays a critical role.  What is involved in a person’s horizon? Historical scholar, Mike Licona, provides a useful explanation of horizon in his book […]

Should We Calculate Prior Probabilities to Determine if Jesus Was Resurrected?

| August 1, 2012

Post Author: Bill Pratt I am aware that there are philosophers who employ Bayesian analysis to determine probabilities that historical events occurred, but I am becoming skeptical of the value of these analyses.  A Bayesian analysis requires a calculation of the prior probability that a historical event occurred, without considering any of the evidence we […]

Can Historians Use Anonymous Sources?

| July 11, 2012

Post Author: Bill Pratt A common complaint about the reliability of the letters and books contained in the New Testament is that we don’t know, for sure, who wrote all of these documents.  In particular, the four Gospels are singled out as being anonymous since there is nothing in the text of the four Gospels […]

Will There Ever Be a Historical Consensus that Jesus Was Resurrected? Part 2

| July 9, 2012

Post Author: Bill Pratt If you are a Christian who is waiting for the day when most historical scholars, both Christian and non-Christian, affirm that the evidence does indeed indicate that Jesus was resurrected, I’m afraid you’ll be waiting until the Second Coming, when there will be no doubt.  Why is that?  If, as we […]

Will There Ever Be a Historical Consensus that Jesus Was Resurrected? Part 1

| July 6, 2012

Post Author: Bill Pratt If you are a Christian who is waiting for the day when most historical scholars, both Christian and non-Christian, affirm that the evidence does indeed indicate that Jesus was resurrected, I’m afraid you’ll be waiting until the Second Coming, when there will be no doubt.  Why is that?  If, as we […]

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