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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Are There Secret Writings About Jesus?

In 1945 a discovery was made in Upper Egypt, near the town of Nag Hammadi. Fifty-two copies of ancient writings, called the Gnostic gospels were found in 13 leather-bound papyrus codices (handwritten books). They were written in Coptic and belonged to a library in a monastery.

A few Gnostic scholars have gone so far as to assert that these recently discovered writings are the authentic history of Jesus instead of the New Testament. But does their faith in these documents square with the historical evidence? Let’s take a deeper look to see if we can separate truth from fiction. (read more)