The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

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The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

No other event in history has been the object of as much scrutiny and criticism as the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Christ is the basis upon which all Christianity stands. If the resurrection never happened, then there would be no Christianity, as the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:14, "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." This is why opponents of the Christian faith have tried to attempt to discredit the Biblical account of the resurrection. Of the many theories of the resurrection, the Biblical account is the only historically reliable and possible explanation of the resurrection.

The historical reliability of the Bible is the first matter that needs to be discussed. There are three criteria that the military historian C. Sanders lists as principles for documentary historical proof: the bibliographical test, internal evidence test, and the external evidence test (McDowell 43). The bibliographical test is the examination of text by the documents that have reached us. The reliability of the copies of the New Testament is tested by the number of manuscripts (MSS) and the time intervals between the time in which the piece of literature was written and our earliest copy. There are more than 5,300 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament and 10,000 Latin vulgate manuscripts, not to mention the other various translations. Totally there are around 24,000 total MSS for the New Testament. The next closest document in respect to MSS is the "Illiad" by Homer, with 643 manuscripts(McDowell 43).

The textual reliability then continues with respect to the time interval between the original and the first known manuscript. The shorter the interval, the more reliable the text is. Homer's "Illiad" was written in 900 BC and the earliest copy was found in 400 BC. This is compared to the New Testament that was written from 40-100 AD. The first known...
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