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empty tomb, resurrection of Jesus, early eyewitnesses, 1 Corinthians 15, bodily resurrection, naturalistic theories


While several historical facts surrounding Jesus’ bodily resurrection find agreement among virtually all critical scholars, the fact of the empty tomb finds far less critical agreement. Despite this attempt to “leave the door open” for naturalistic explanations of the early Christian resurrection claim, the overwhelming evidence renders the empty tomb tradition historically reliable and Jesus’ bodily resurrection, the most plausible explanation of the historical facts. This paper will examine the evidence for the empty tomb, including the early eyewitness nature of the core tradition and the necessity of the empty tomb to explain the more widely accepted facts surrounding Jesus’ resurrection.



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