A Roundtable Discussion with Michael Licona on The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Southeastern Theological Review
Volume: STR 03:1 (Summer 2012)
Article: A Roundtable Discussion with Michael Licona on The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach
Author: Anonymous


A Roundtable Discussion with Michael Licona on The Resurrection of Jesus:
A New Historiographical Approach

Danny Akin, Craig Blomberg, Paul Copan, Michael Kruger, Michael Licona, and Charles Quarles

Southeastern Theological Review, Moderator

STR: Dr. Licona, thank you for joining Southeastern Theological Review in this roundtable discussion. Your work has been praised by a number of scholars from a variety of quarters: evangelical to atheist and agnostic. But it remains to ask a really simple question: why did you write The Resurrection of Jesus? And secondly, for whom did you write it?

Licona: By nature, I’m a second-guesser. I don’t like it but that’s the way I’m wired. I question everything from whether I should have purchased a different bottle of cologne, bought a different car, married a different woman, or chosen a different worldview. Of course, the last is most important because if I make a mistake on that option, it may cost me eternity. This book is my journey. It’s an investigation of the data as honestly as I was able in order to determine whether the historical evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is actually strong enough to conclude that it occurred using the same method properly employed by many professional historians outside the community of biblical scholars. I wanted to investigate the subject of Jesus’ resurrection this way because I realized that in previous books I had made my case in order to prove the truth of Christianity rather than engage in an authentic examination of the data. I do not at all regard the former as inappropriate. But, as a second-guesser, it did not help me to know that was my motive for writing previous books. I embarked on my journey with the hopes of satisfying my questions and doubts. The book is a slightly revised version of my doctoral research and took a little over six years of research. I wrote it primarily for myself. I published it in order to strengthen the faith of believers, challenge non-believers to take an honest look at the data, and challenge the prevailing paradigm in the academy that miracle claims are beyond the purview of historical investigation.

STR: In your book, you demonstrate the plausibility of the resurrection of Jesus by virtue of a unique historiographical approach. Why did you do this, and what benefits emerge from this method?

Licona: I was unaware of any scholar who had subjected their hypothesis to a careful comparison with competing hypotheses using controlled historical method. Such a practice is foreign to the disciplines of biblical studies and theology and scholars in those disciplines rarely receive ...

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