“Surely the disciples did have some kind of experience. The prevalent reaction among scholars today who reject Jesus’ resurrection is to agree that something happened, but to add that we will never know exactly what transpired.” —Habermas and Licona, p. 128
Gary: Excluding mythicists, most skeptics believe that something did happen which caused the disciples to believe that the dead Jesus had appeared to them. Most skeptics do not believe that the disciples invented this story. However, we also believe that cumulative human experience and good ol’ common sense should tell you that a literal appearance by a walking, talking corpse is the least probable cause of this belief.
“The facts are pieces of a puzzle that when assembled looks only like a resurrection. …Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the only plausible explanation for the known facts.” —Habermas and Licona, p. 128
Gary: Are you guys insane??? This is absolutely silly. It is just as silly as if the Mormons were to claim that the facts for the appearance of the angel Moroni to the first Mormons “are pieces of a puzzle that when assembled looks only like a revelation directly from God himself.” Both the early Christian and Mormon claims can be explained by one of the most common of human phenomena: religious hysteria. Both Christians and Mormons will vehemently deny such a possible explanation but anyone willing to look at the evidence with an open mind will see it staring them in the face.
“The context in which the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection appears increases the likelihood that it occurred. This context includes Jesus’ claims of divinity, that he was known as a powerful miracle-worker, and other data that support God’s existence.” —Habermas and Licona, pp. 128-129
Gary: There it is!!! The Mother of all Christian assumptions: Evidence for the Creator God is evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus. Wrong! Evidence for a Creator does not necessarily translate to evidence for the ancient Canaanite god, Yahweh. Christians must provide evidence for the existence of Yahweh to prove the existence of the Christian god, not of a generic Creator god. And so what if Jesus claimed to be divine! That does not in any way prove that he was. So what if the Bible claims that Jesus performed great miracles! Where is the proof that he did?