Master of Arts (MA)
Edward L Smither
Primary Subject Area
History, Church; Religion, General; Religion, History of
Early Eywitnesses to the Risen Jesus, Ehrman, Habermas, Historiography, Minimal Facts Approach, Miracle
Shaw, Benjamin C., "Jesus' Resurrection: A Historical Investigation" (2010). Masters Theses. 150.
This thesis will investigate Jesus' resurrection from a historical perspective. This investigation will begin by evaluating historical criteria that help historians determine the authenticity of past events. The historical approach to this investigation will be the minimal facts approach as pioneered by Gary Habermas. Using this approach, twelve historical facts relevant to the resurrection will be explored. We will evaluate why these twelve facts are agreed upon by a large variety of critical scholars. Next, an argument will be made demonstrating that the earliest reporting of eyewitnesses who experienced the resurrection can be traced to within three years of Jesus' death on the cross. Lastly, a chapter will be devoted to Bart Ehrman and his various objections regarding the historian's ability to determine whether or not a miracle has occurred and other limitations of historical inquiry related to the resurrection of Jesus.