These known historical facts have a twofold part in our case for the resurrection which is developed in this section. First, they answer the various theories which have been proposed in order to account for Jesus’ resurrection on naturalistic grounds. These hypotheses, chiefly popularized by liberal scholars in the nineteenth century, are rarely held today by critics, especially since they failed to account for the historical facts surrounding this event (such as those just mentioned above). Several reasons for this rejection could be enumerated.
Each naturalistic theory is beset by many major objections that invalidate it as a viable hypothesis. Combinations of these improbable theories likewise fail, again on factual grounds.^65 Three other historical reasons also illustrate this initial major point. David Hume’s essay against miracles, as well as more recent updates, are invalid rejections of the possibility of miraculous events, thereby eliminating such reasoning as the traditional backdrop for these alternative theses.^66 Nineteenth century liberal scholars themselves destroyed each alternative theory individually,^67 while twentieth century critical scholars of various schools of thought have rejected these theories wholesale.^68 In conclusion, naturalistic alternative hypotheses have thereby been shown to be unable to account for these facts concerning Jesus’ resurrection.
This leads to the second major argument for the resurrection based on the known historical facts. Not only do the naturalistic theories fail due to these historical facts, but these same facts also establish numerous positive evidences that corroborate the historical and literal nature of this event. Nine such evidences will be listed here, all of which have been taken from our list of accepted historical facts listed above. Thus, the factual basis for these nine evidences is admitted by virtually all scholars. However, because of the limitations of this chapter, these nine will simply be stated with very little elaboration.