Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection (Harvest House, 1996) p. 43-44
Is there additional surprising testimony or evidence—and what are the stakes?
Even committed members of different religions will occasionally acknowledge the historical truth of the resurrection of Jesus. For example, noted Jewish theologian Pinchas Lapide is one of only four Jewish New Testament scholars in the world. In The Resurrection of Jesus: A Jewish Perspective, he argues that a critical examination of the documentary evidence leads one to conclude in favor of the historical factuality of Jesus’ resurrection: “according to my opinion, the resurrection. . . [is] a fact of history….”* He also acknowledges, “Without the resurrection of Jesus, after Golgotha, there would not have been any Christianity….”*
That a non-Christian—let alone a leading theologian of the Jewish faith who denies Jesus’ Messiahship—should accept Christ’s resurrection as a historical fact only bears witness to the strength of the evidence for it. If space permitted, we could quote a great deal more examples of great historians, philosophers, and theologians, all with impeccable academic credentials, who have accepted the resurrection….
Michael Murphy correctly observes, “We ourselves—and not merely the truth claims—are at stake in the investigation.”*
Indeed, we ourselves are at stake. And the stakes are high because rejection of the resurrected Christ is the ultimate personal tragedy. If the resurrection of Christ balances the scales of both heaven and hell, it would be a terrible waste to eventually be wrong about what so many great minds of history acknowledge as an indisputable fact.
*For documentation, see Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection.