The problem is that Bultmann made his decision against the historicity of the resurrection apart from factual observation. Again it is Macquarrie who comments: But Bultmann does not take the trouble to examine what evidence could be adduced to show that the resurrection was an objective-historical event. He assumes that it is myth.^13
This is a crucial critique, because it just might be the case that the historical facts are enough to demonstrate the resurrection, but that Bultmann simply ignores what could provide an excellent basis for the Christian faith. Interestingly enough, we will argue below that the methodology of form criticism, which he popularized, even backfired into an argument formiracle-claims.
The third problem with Bultmann’s methodology is that even contemporary historians oppose the form and redaction criticism that he popularized as the proper approach to New Testament studies. Whereas Bultmann’s use of these methods
9 For details, see “The New Quest for the Historical Jesus” in Chapter 1.
10 For an excellent treatment of this issue, see Carl F.H. Henry, Frontiers in Modern Theology(Chicago: Moody, 1965), pp. 15–24.
11 See Ibid., pp. 21–22 for an interview with Bultmann, where he lists some of these historical facts.
12 Macquarrie, Existentialist Theology, pp. 185–186.
13 Ibid., p. 186.
revealed the minimal historical results noted above, ancient historians have employed their normal patterns of investigation and found an adequate basis for history in the New Testament. Oxford ancient historian A.N. Sherwin-White leveled the following indictment at form critics: So, it is astonishing that while Graeco-Roman historians have been growing in confidence, the twentieth-century study of the Gospel narratives, starting from no less promising material, has taken so gloomy a turn in the development of form-criticism . . . that the historical Christ is unknowable and the history of his mission cannot be written. This seems very curious.^14