The resurrection of the son of God: A reduction of the naturalistic alternatives

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In The Resurrection of the Son of God, N. T. Wright argues for the resurrection being the most probable explanation for the facts of the empty tomb and post-mortem appearances. Nevertheless, many sceptics remain unpersuaded because of Wright's inadequate handling of the naturalistic hypotheses. This essay analyses the structure of the dialectic between the apologist and sceptic concerning these facts syllogistically. It is demonstrated that all possible hypotheses concerning the post-mortem appearances can be reduced to seven, and all possible hypotheses concerning the empty tomb can be reduced to eleven. This reduction helps to ensure that all possible hypotheses had been considered before a conclusion concerning whether the resurrection is the most probable hypothesis is made. Based on this reduction, it is argued that all possible naturalistic hypotheses are improbable once the credibility of certain details in the New Testament accounts is established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570–584
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Theological Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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