Sunday, April 1, 2018

Examining the Witnesses of the Resurrection

Using science, psychology, and years of refinement, investigators have developed some rather impressive systems at determining the truth of "Who did it" and "How it happened". This can apply to horrendous criminal cases, reasoning to a conclusion, and other applications.

From a legal perspective, the witnesses of the Resurrection are entirely reliable.
Credit: RGBStock / Robert Linder
Circumstantial evidence can only get you so far. Forensic (historical) science involves determining past events with evidence that exists in the present, so it gets mighty difficult when a significant amount of time passes. Eyewitness accounts are extremely important, and when hitched to a team with circumstantial and forensic materials, you are likely to reach a logical conclusion.

People who have watched courtroom dramas (on the screen or in person) may have encountered attorneys putting some hard questions to witnesses. This is to establish credibility or discredit the witnesses. In police matters, never let witnesses sit together. Separate them. Why? So there's less chance of them "getting their story straight", because it will take longer for legal folks to get to the truth. They can tell this when there are too many details that match exactly. Small discrepancies or disagreements actually help validate the truthfulness of the witnesses.

I have had furious atheists that have lied, misrepresented biblical creation science and people, tried to defame us with other Christians, had their logic refuted, pretended to be experts in theology, and more. They have no credibility, and thinking people do not take them (or their claims) seriously.

We have the ultimate eyewitness, because God is the guiding hand behind the men who penned Scripture (1 Peter 1:19-21, 2 Timothy 3:16). Although Adam was not there for the first days of creation, he probably wrote a manuscript that Moses used later. God directed men to write the rest of Scripture as well — including those eyewitnesses who wrote the four Gospels.

Are there discrepancies in the Gospels? Yes. People have their own minds and perceptions, and they were not always standing at the same corral gate, so to speak. This, too, lends to their credibility, and the main points that they discuss are still supported.

Let's take a look at a discussion of the Gospel witnesses from a legal perspective in more detail.
The truth of the Resurrection stands or falls on the truth of the witnesses. Are they reliable? Of the New Testament writers, there are six witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, if we include the apostles Peter and Paul. These people have left us writings in the form of historical documents which give us their testimony concerning the resurrection.

The question is—are these historical documents reliable? Can we trust them? One way of determining whether the documents are reliable is to put the people who wrote them through the test a good magistrate or judge would put them through. The accuracy of these witnesses depends on five things: their honesty, ability, their number and consistency of their evidence, the conformity of their testimony with our own personal experience, and lastly, the coincidence of their testimony with other circumstances and facts.
To read the rest of this very interesting article, click on " Can we believe the Gospels? — A former chief magistrate examines the witnesses to the resurrection".