The Resurrection of Jesus (2): The Empty Tomb

In “The Historicity of the Empty Tomb of Jesus”, Dr. William Lane Craig puts forward the following apologetic in favour of the fact of the empty tomb: “An examination of both Pauline and gospel material leads to eight lines of evidence in support of the conclusion that Jesus’s tomb was discovered empty: (1) Paul’s testimony [1 Cor 15. 3b-5] implies the historicity of the empty tomb, (2) the presence of the empty tomb pericope in the pre-Markan passion story supports its historicity, (3) the use of ‘on the first day of the week’ instead of ‘on the third day’ points to the primitiveness of the tradition, (4) the narrative is theologically unadorned and non-apologetic, (5) the discovery of the tomb by women is highly probable, (6) the investigation of the empty tomb by the disciples is historically probable, (7) it would have been impossible for the disciples to proclaim the resurrection in Jerusalem had the tomb not been empty, (8) the Jewish polemic presupposes the empty tomb. (Source: “The Historicity of the Empty Tomb of Jesus.” New Testament Studies 31 (1985): 39-67). 

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