Lee Strobel, evangelical Christian apologist:
Where would this encounter [of the resurrected Jesus] with five hundred people have taken place?
Gary Habermas, evangelical Christian theologian:
The Galilean hillside. …Matthew does say Jesus appeared on a hillside; maybe more than just the eleven disciples were there.
Wouldn’t it be likely that the historian Josephus would have mentioned something of that magnitude?
No. I don’t think that is necessarily true. Josephus was writing sixty years afterward. How long do local stories circulate before they start to die out? So either Joseph didn’t know about it, which is possible, or he chose not to mention it, which would make sense because we know that Josephus was not a follower of Jesus. You can’t expect Josephus to start building the case for him.
The Case for Christ, p. 253
Gary: Good grief!
Earlier in the book Strobel quoted another evangelical expert who said that oral stories in Antiquity remained intact for five hundred years, therefore we can trust the Gospels who even liberals will agree were written within 40-70 years of the alleged events.
Now another evangelical expert tells us that stories in Antiquity started dying out around sixty years after the event in question, and this is probably why Josephus doesn’t mention that five hundred people in first century Galilee claimed that a dead corpse appeared to them in a superhero-like body at one time and place!
Which is it, Christians?