Two additional major facts arguing for the historicity of the resurrection are that two skeptics, (8) James, the brother of Jesus, and (9) Paul, became believers after having experiences which they also believed were appearances of the risen Jesus. Fuller concludes that even if the appearance to James had not been recorded by Paul (1 Cor. 15:7), such an occurrence would still have to be postulated anyway in order to account for both James’ conversion and his subsequent promotion to a position of authority in the early church.^69 The same could be said even more emphatically concerning Paul.^70
When combined with the failure of the naturalistic theories, this minimum of nine evidences provides a strong case for the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. This is especially so in that each of these evidences was based on a known historical fact.^71 In particular, when the early and eyewitness experiences of the disciples, James and Paul, are considered along with their corresponding transformations,^72 the historical resurrection becomes the best explanation for the facts, especially since the naturalistic theories failed. Four Key Historical Facts
Earlier, twelve facts were enumerated as knowable history, accepted as such by almost all scholars. It is this writer’s conviction that even by utilizing only four of these accepted facts, a sufficient case can be made for the historicity of the resurrection, which will strengthen the earlier apologetic.^73
69 Fuller, Resurrection Narratives, p. 37. See also Wilckens, Resurrection, p. 113.
70 Fuller, ibid., pp. 37, 46–47.
71 As mentioned above, some would not include the empty tomb as a known fact, but it is accepted by many scholars as historical. For an excellent defense of this fact, see Edward Lynn Bode, The First Easter Morning, Analecta Biblica45 (Rome: Biblical Institute, 1970), pp. 155–175; William Lane Craig, “The Empty Tomb of Jesus,” pp. 173–200; Robert H. Stein, “Was the Tomb Really Empty?” in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society20 (1977), pp. 23–29.