The question I want to explore, more particularly, are the biblical accounts about Jesus. The reason is because first, the Christian faith is about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus- things if they did not really occur would entail that Christians are wasting our time (1 cr 15:19). If Jesus was resurrected from the dead Christianity is almost certainly true, if He was not it is certainly false.The second reason is, when the basic historicity of these events is established then authority is given to the rest of the Bible insofar as Jesus implicitly took it as authoritative in His ministry (the OT anyway), and that the rest attests to the gospel. And the third and possibly most important factor is that when someone accepts the gospel then the Holy Spirit starts to help them out on these questions also. Jhn 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Which is gained by believing in the gospel: eph 1:13: In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit
So I think there is a real question here- why would anybody believe what the Bible says about Jesus, or specifically, about His death and resurrection? I think it should be obvious that just because it's written down doesn't lend the account credibility. Lots of incredible things are written down, that we all know to be untrue. There are many things in the Bible which seem quite incredible.
What I suggest is this. A pretty good case can be made for these basic events of Jesus' life, death and resurrection using ordinary historical criteria, the same which would be applied to any ancient writing to try to tease out historical facts: Jesus' existence, Jesus' basic message and understanding of Himself as sent by God, Jesus' crucifixion and death at the hands of the Romans, the disciples believing Jesus' tomb to be empty, the disciples believing to have seen and heard Jesus physically resurrected and the disciples convinced enough of that to commit their lives to a dangerous and unpopular cause. Please note my wording here. At this point in the case I am presenting I am not claiming to be able to establish that Jesus was in fact resurrected using ordinary historical criteria, merely that the disciples believed He was, and believed strongly enough to commit themselves fully to the cause.
The second part to this is that this body of facts is enough to give rational reason to suspect the resurrection is a historical event. The resurrection certainly explains a lot. I have come to believe that fully accepting this in part involves interaction with God,but even if you do not believe in God, could give interesting pause for thought!
Edited by alphaparticle, 09 September 2013 - 08:18 PM.