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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