Placing it all together


Let’s remind ourselves of the five facts that we have discovered and start to think about what could have happened to give rise to each of these. What is the explanation that will fill the hole in history in a satisfactory way? Remember, these facts are all independently demonstrated and consequently they are accepted by the vast majority of scholars and historians who have studied this. Any explanation which contradicts one or more of these five facts would be outside of scholarly consensus and therefore would have the greater burden of proof[1]. Indeed, these five facts have been established with more certainty than many other historical events that we don’t ever question. With that in mind, what have we discovered?

Fact #1: Jesus died and his body was placed in a cave tomb.

Fact #2: The tomb was empty.

Fact #3: The disciples were transformed in the face of persecution.

Fact #4: The disciples genuinely believed that they saw Jesus alive again.

Fact #5: People once enemies to the Christian movement completely changed.

Any explanation for what happened must account for each of these five facts. A theory that only makes sense of four of these, but actually contradicts the fifth, cannot be correct. Let me show you some examples[2].

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[1] This means that any explanation which contradicts any one of the five facts would need to come with especially good reasons as to why that fact should be overturned, in order for it to be considered as a likely theory.

[2] These details, and more, are summarised in the table in Appendix A.