Review of “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus” by Habermas and Licona, Chapter 12: Comparing Jesus’ Appearances to the Appearances of the Angel Moroni in Mormonism

“What’s the difference between Mormonism’s founder Joseph Smith and his eleven witnesses to the golden plates and Jesus’ disciples experiencing the appearances [of Jesus]?  …While all the apostles were willing to suffer and die for their beliefs, six of the eleven witnesses to the gold plates left the Mormon Church.  Imagine what we would think about the credibility of the testimonies of Jesus’ resurrection if Peter, Paul, James, John and two other disciples had left Christianity within a few years.  However, they clung to their faith to the very end of their lives.”  —Habermas and Licona, p. 185

Gary:  We have very little information about what eventually happened to the original Eleven disciples of Jesus.  The stories of their martyrdom are very questionably historical.  Most scholars believe these stories are simply Church tradition.  We know much more about the Mormon witnesses than we do about the Christian disciples.  And even though some of the Mormon witnesses did leave the Mormon Church, none of them ever recanted seeing the Golden Plates or seeing the angel Moroni.  Does this prove they did?  No.  But neither does the fact that we have no record of any Christian apostle recanting seeing a resurrected Jesus prove that any of them really had seen a walking, talking corpse!

“There is evidence, however, that the Mormon documents are not true, including the lack of archaeological evidence where it should be and problems with the Book of Abraham.”  —Habermas and Licona, p. 186

Gary:  I believe that both of these Abrahamic religions have something very important in common:  leaders prone to delusions and adept at promoting religious hysteria in very gullible people.

 

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