Since these core historical facts (and the earlier accepted facts in general) have been established by critical and historical procedures, contemporary scholars cannot reject the evidence simply by referring to “discrepancies” in the New Testament texts or to its general “unreliability.” Not only are such critical claims refuted by evidence discussed in other chapters, but it has been concluded that the resurrection can be historically demonstrated even when the minimum amount of historical facts are utilized. Neither can it be concluded merely that “something” occurred which is indescribable due to naturalistic premises, or to the character of history or because of the “cloudiness” or “legendary character” of the New Testament texts. Neither can it be said that Jesus rose spiritually, but not literally. Again, these and other such views are refuted in that the facts admitted by virtually all scholars as knowable history are adequateto historically demonstrate the literal resurrection of Jesus according to probability.

In short, instead of stating what they believe we cannotknow concerning the gospel accounts, critical scholars would do well to concentrate on what even they admit canbe known about the texts at this point. Although Jesus was not photographed in his resurrection body for the benefit of the disciples, the factual basis is enough to show that Jesus’ resurrection is by far the best historical explanation. While critical doubts may be present with regard to other issues in the New Testament, the accepted facts are sufficient in themselves to show that Jesus rose from the dead in a new, spiritual body. As detailed in Appendix I, historical inquiry can yield certainty. The resurrection has remained established in the face of criticism for almost 2000 years. The various types of evidence for this event are outstanding, surpassing that of the great majority of ancient events. Sidestepping or rejecting the evidence a prioriis invalid, as we have seen. There is, indeed, historical proof for this event.^86 Jesus did rise from the dead in real history.