Dialogue With A Skeptic Concerning The Resurrection of Christ -- By: Jared Compton

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 25:4 (Fall 2012)
Article: Dialogue With A Skeptic Concerning The Resurrection of Christ
Author: Jared Compton

Dialogue With A Skeptic Concerning The Resurrection of Christ

Jared Compton


The ministry of ABR believes in the importance of engaging skeptical minds concerning the truths of Scripture. The apologetic task is incumbent upon all believers, and although we do not always see fruit, our faithful witness to the Gospel is of utmost importance, a mandate given to us by God.

Author Jared Compton published an article in the Fall 2009 issue of Bible and Spade, “Is The Resurrection Historically Reliable?,” which was subsequently published on the ABR website. (We recommend readers review that article before delving into this one). A skeptic who occasionally visits the ABR site posted a series of criticisms of the article, which were subsequently answered by Mr. Compton. We are republishing that dialogue in this issue of Bible and Spade because of its apologetic and educational value.

For ease of reading, the article is structured as follows:

1. The skeptic provides quotes from the original article (designated QOA #).

2. The skeptic responds to the quote.

3. Mr. Compton summarizes or restates the basic thrust of the skeptic’s criticism, and then provides a response, often citing additional sources for further study.

The Dialogue

Quote from Original Article (hereafter QOA) #1: “Is the Resurrection historically reliable? It depends on whom you ask. The human writers of Scripture, particularly Paul and the gospel writers, seem to have thought so. In fact, Paul went so far as to suggest that if Jesus did not rise, Christianity is nothing but a blind alley—a fool’s hope (1Co 15:14).”

Skeptic: Even assuming that the conclusions of Robert Price’s 1995 article “Apocryphal Apparitions: 1Co 15:3-11 as a Post-Pauline Interpolation” are baseless, it should be remembered that Paul was not an actual witness to the Resurrection, but was converted by what could have been a mere hallucination caused by fatigue or a sudden transition from a harsh desert environment to a lush Damascan one.

Compton: Summary of criticism: “We shouldn’t rely on Paul as an eyewitness of Jesus’ Resurrection since he was not one of the original witnesses and what he experienced was most likely a hallucination.”

A. To begin with, very little of my argument depends on Paul’s encounter with the risen Christ. I mention it here and once below when I ask for a sufficient explanation to explain his conversion. So, if I grant your point about the extraordinary n...

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