William Lane Craig: “That Different Individuals and Groups saw Appearances of Jesus is Virtually Indisputable”

More exaggeration from William Lane Craig, I say!

Let’s see his comment in context.

“…the early believers did have experiences that they called appearances of Jesus.  We may try to dismiss those experiences as hallucinations if we choose, but we cannot deny that they occurred.  I think we sometimes fail to appreciate exactly what we have in terms of historical evidence in Paul’s letters.  For think of it:  here is an indisputably authentic letter from a man who knew personally Jesus’ own younger brother and chief disciple as well as many other early disciples, all of whom, he says, saw Jesus alive from the dead.  Why, that is astounding!  We may try to explain away those experiences, but it would be futile to say they never happened.  Paul’s list of witnesses makes it certain that on separate occasions different individuals and groups saw appearances of Jesus.  This fact is virtually indisputable.”  —William Lane Craig, The Son Rises, p. 100

Gary:  Charismatic Christians can give long lists of persons whom they believe God has given the gift of speaking in tongues, the gift of healing the sick, and even the gift of raising the dead…today…in our modern era.  Roman Catholic Christians can give lists of persons who have seen the Virgin Mary.  Most Protestant Christians hand-wave away such claims as hysterical nonsense.  So why should skeptics take Paul’s list any more seriously?


3 thoughts on “William Lane Craig: “That Different Individuals and Groups saw Appearances of Jesus is Virtually Indisputable”

  1. No such exaggeration seems to be apparent in Craig’s work. It’s definitely the case that the consensus of scholars is that multiple of Jesus’ followers came to the belief that they had seen Jesus risen from the dead.

    You try to respond by contrasting these appearances with views of the Virgin Mary, which is entirely a false equivocation for countless reasons. For example, the followers of Jesus saw Him shortly thereafter His death, which is consistent with an actual resurrection, whereas Mary seems to be getting cited hundreds, if not mostly thousands of years after her death. Furthermore, no one claims Mary rose from the dead, making the comparison equally useless. Our sources for the sightings of Jesus are very early and reliable ancient tradition (the creed in 1 Corinthians 15), however sightings of Mary usually are sporadic, and have little documentation (especially valid documentation) to back it up.


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