84 Expansions of these critiques and many additional refutations gathered from the larger list of known historical facts above cannot be presented here. For a more complete treatment of these and other such alternative theories, see Habermas, The Resurrection of Jesus: A Rational Inquiry, pp. 114–171.
85 The additional known facts also provide other significant arguments for this event, such as the other evidences listed there. Perhaps an illustration utilizing a court case will be helpful. We will postulate that more than a dozen eyewitnesses clearly observed some events that involved seeing a person perform a series of acts on various occasions. This testimony both came immediately after the occurrences themselves and the eyewitnesses were firm in their claims, as evidenced at numerous points. Further, the opposing lawyer and his assistants could not disprove the testimony even after literally years of research, in spite of their interest in doing so. No lying, collusion or other fraud, hallucinations, or any other means of fakery or misconception could be established. Admittedly, quite a strong case would be made that this person in question was, in fact, seen by these persons at those places and times. But even more revealing, a limited but demonstrable case could be built based only on the facts that their opponents admitted to be true. Thus the argument could be based on the antagonistic testimony alone. Theoretically, would the jury be satisfied if the opposing lawyer pleaded that “Maybe the witnesses did not really see the person for some unknown reason in spite of the evidence” or “It’s not really important whether they saw him or not”? Clearly these would be inappropriate responses because the testimony reveals that the eyewitnesses did, in fact, literally see the person. However, evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is actually superior to this. To be sure, as with the court case, people must make a decision about this event, but unlike the court case, their decision does not determine the issue. The historical fact is established on the evidence alone and not by any decision. And it is here that the evidence for the resurrection reveals that the earliest eyewitnesses did see the risen Jesus, as well as the literal nature of these appearances. Critical attempts fail at this point.