Harvard Law Professor Puts Jesus’ Resurrection on Trial

Legal scholar, Dr. Simon Greenleaf (1783–1853), decided to put Jesus’ resurrection on trial by examining the evidence. Greenleaf helped to put the Harvard Law School on the map. He also wrote the three-volume legal masterpiece, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, which has been called “the greatest single authority in the entire literature of legal procedure.”[1] The U.S. judicial system today still relies on rules of evidence established by Greenleaf.

As a legal scholar, Greenleaf wondered if Jesus’ resurrection would meet his stringent tests for evidence.  He wondered whether or not the evidence for it would hold up in a court of law. Focusing his brilliant legal mind on the facts of history, Greenleaf began applying his rules of evidence to the case of Jesus’ resurrection.

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The Lost Gospel: Truth or Fiction?

Did Jesus and Mary Magdalene marry and have two children?

According to a widely publicized new book, The Lost Gospel, he did! Authors Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson begin their book with this sensational claim:

What the Vatican feared—and what Dan Brown only suspected—has come true![1]

How could that be? Such a sensational claim totally contradicts the four gospel accounts of Jesus in the New Testament, which portray Jesus ascending to heaven forty days after his resurrection.

So is this just another non-factual conspiracy about Jesus like Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code, or is there really evidence to support it? This latest attack on the truth of the Christian message has become a major news story—just in time for Christmas!

The British tabloid, The Daily Mail, reports,

If true, this would make it the greatest revelation into the life of Jesus in nearly 2,000 years.[2]

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Jesus’ Death and Resurrection. Copied from Other Ancient Deities?

Was Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Copied?

Zeitgeist claims that Christianity copied the death and resurrection of Jesus from the ancient deities Horus, Osiris, Attis, Adonis and Mithras. But are these mythological accounts really similar to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Furthermore, are they before or after Jesus’ death and resurrection?

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Why Should I Believe Jesus Is the Only Answer to Life?

What gives Jesus the credibility and authority to speak to us about eternal things? What makes him the key to all of life’s questions?

There are five basic ways we know Jesus alone is the answer to our quest for truth and purpose in life. [Read more…]

Was the Supposed Resurrection Actually a Stolen Body?

The tomb was indeed empty. But it wasn’t the mere absence of a body that could have galvanized Jesus’ followers (especially if they had been the ones who had stolen it). Something extraordinary must have happened, for the followers of Jesus ceased mourning, ceased hiding, and began fearlessly proclaiming that they had seen Jesus alive. [Read more…]

The Matter of an Empty Tomb

No serious historian really doubts Jesus was dead when he was taken down from the cross. However, many have questioned how Jesus’ body disappeared from the tomb. English journalist Dr. Frank Morison initially thought the resurrection was either a myth or a hoax, and he began research to write a book refuting it.¹ The book became famous–but for reasons other than its original intent! [Read more…]

Was Jesus Actually Dead?

“Marley was deader than a doornail, of that there was no doubt.” So begins Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, the author not wanting anyone to be mistaken as to the supernatural character of what is soon to take place. In the same way, before we take on the role of CSI (crime scene investigator) and piece together evidence for a resurrection, we must first establish that there was, in fact, a corpse. After all, occasionally the newspapers will report on some “corpse” in a morgue who was found stirring and recovered. Could something like that have happened with Jesus? [Read more…]

Would You Die for a Lie?

A fact of history that has stumped historians, psychologists, and skeptics alike is the disciples’ behavior after Jesus’ death.  That these eleven former cowards were suddenly willing to suffer humiliation, torture, and death is a dramatic turnaround. All but one of Jesus’ disciples were slain as martyrs. Would they have done so much for a lie, knowing they had taken the body? [Read more…]

Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?

The greatest question of our time is “Who is the real Jesus Christ?” Was he just an exceptional man, or was he God in the flesh, as Paul, John, and his other disciples believed? (See “Is Jesus God?“)

The eyewitnesses to Jesus Christ actually spoke and acted like they believed he physically rose from the dead after his crucifixion. If they were wrong then Christianity has been founded upon a lie. But if they were right, such a miracle would substantiate all Jesus said about God, himself, and us.

But must we take the resurrection of Jesus Christ by faith alone, or is there solid historical evidence? Several skeptics began investigations into the historical record to prove the resurrection account false. What did they discover?

Click here to take a look at the evidence for the most fantastic claim ever made—the resurrection of Jesus Christ!