Resurrection Debunked

The “Evidence” for Jesus’ Resurrection, Debunked in One Page

by Chris Hallquist

Among Evangelical Christians, it’s become popular to claim that Jesus’ resurrection can be proved with historical evidence. This is nonsense. Here’s why:

1. There is no evidence for the resurrection outside the Bible. Non-Christian historical references to Jesus don’t occur until about six decades after the time when Biblical scholars think he probably died. When these non-Christian sources refer to Jesus’ miracles, there’s no reason to see them as anything more than a report of what Christians of the time believed.

2. There is little evidence that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, or based directly on eyewitness accounts. Most of what the Bible says about Jesus’ life and supposed resurrection is in the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, (a.k.a. the Gospels). But Biblical scholars now agree these books were originally anonymous, their names added later. The traditional Christian claims about who wrote them is now widely doubted by scholars.

3. This means that the Gospels can’t be trusted as evidence for miracles. Imagine someone trying to convert you to another religion based on the “proof” of the miracles worked by the religion’s founder... in the form of a handful of anonymous tracts recounting his life. Would you accept that “proof”? Of course not. Among other things, the stories could just be legends.

4.One of Paul’s letters provides evidence that a number of people claimed Jesus had appeared to them after his death. But this isn’t proof of a miracle. The passage is 1st Corinthians 15:3-9, and most Biblical scholars agree it was really written by Paul. But again, would you accept similar evidence in favor of another religion’s miracles? The Mormon church has statements signed by several people attesting to miracles that are supposed to confirm the truth of the Book of the Mormon, but you probably won’t convert to Mormonism based on that. Also, Paul doesn’t tell us how he knows about all these appearances, so we can’t be confident his report is accurate.

5. Reports that Jesus’ disciples were martyred prove nothing. Reports of the martyrdom of Jesus' disciples do not occur in this historical record until long after their deaths would have occurred, and accounts sometimes conflict with one another. It could be that most, even all, of these stories are legends. In any case, not only do people sometimes give up their lives for delusions, even outright charlatans have been killed for their claims. Joseph Smith was probably a charlatan, but he died at the hands of a lynch mob. So we can’t rule out deception among Jesus’ followers.

6. Claims that this or that individual couldn’t possibly have hallucinated are nonsense. Even apparently sane people hallucinate for a wide variety of reasons and under a wide variety of circumstances. We can’t rule this out for people who claimed to have seen the risen Jesus.

7. Even if there were several people in Paul’s day who would have claimed to have all seen the risen Jesus at the same time, their testimony might not have stood up to scrutiny. There have been cases where a group of children have claimed to see the Virgin Mary, and been taken seriously by adults who should have known better. In many of these cases, the children were questioned individually and their descriptions of what they saw didn’t match, suggesting deception or delusion.

8. That’s it. Part of me thinks that what I’ve said in this one page is all that needs to be said on the subject. But if you want to know how I back up these claims, you can get my book UFOs, Ghosts, and a Rising God: Debunking the Resurrection of Jesus. The book also includes a crash course in New Testament scholarship, discussions of faith healing and Biblical prophecy, and plenty of tidbits about the strange beliefs people have had throughout history. It’s available on Amazon, and there’s more information, including links to reviews, on my website,


  1. These are all just excuses to live your life the way you want to,... nothing more... still doesn't mean that there is no God... there is a God... just because you reject him doesn't mean you have to bring down the people who do believe....

    God Bless

  2. Dove, you may think that it is just excuses but you can't know that. In fact, it's just not true.

    Prove there is a god.

  3. These are not "excuses to live your life any way you want", just logical arguments proposed by those too sane and intelligent to be suckered by ancient fairy tales. If these events had transpired as Christians vehemently claim, then where is the evidence?

  4. Bad News for you all, John Thomas was NOT wrong. You all forgot that his days when he require to use typewriter to make a book. Not like us with computer, if mistake, no problem, can use backspace or change or whatever. He can't do that on typewriter. So he need sources like books to help him to use typewriter easier and time saving. Remember The bible said, God gives and takes away. I am sure others who wrote the books but did nothing!! John Thomas was the only one shouted and preached as he passed from town to town. And even more, John Thomas wrote several magazines before Elips Israel and Eureka. He already said the same thing with the same interpretation! Clearly he understood the bible. Stop whining! Go ahead try to use typewriter. you will understand it is not easy! Angel will deal with you at the Judgement soon for criticizing John Thomas! Good Luck.

    1. Another comment that I'm having difficulty knowing if it's satire or serious. I hope it's a joke, but if it's serious I don't think it worth a response.

    2. The only comment I would make, Jon, is that it is a pity that believers` only believe, following what they were taught, without examining (thinking seriously about) what they were taught to believe.

    3. Anon, (28/1/24), You forgot that John Thomas only wrote books "by subscription", which means that his eager customers had to pay him before he wrote a thing, so he could write for them just whatever they wanted to hear. He lacked the confidence in what he was writing to risk his own money so rounded up suckers to take the risk for him.
      What will the Angels do with Christadelphians who stole money from each other? Pat them on the back and reward their craftiness?
      The CBM have clearly been very active in whichever African country you are from :)

    4. Mancott, easier said than done, as I suspect you well know. Being christened into, and growing up in an Anglican church, belligerent attitudes to those with slightly different beliefs were not a thing, neither were pioneer texts that had to be agreed with or else, and hence growing up in this environment it was very much a thing that the underlying beliefs were just accepted, but limitations on thoughts and reading material were not there, allowing a very positive "agree to disagree" situation to develop. Being in a flexible environment such as that perhaps re-enforced my belief because it didn't come with threats of expulsion, hell fire, punishment by angels, eternal oblivion etc.
      The African poster neatly sums up what my Ecclesia was, and is, like. You agree with the pioneers, in every word, and you agree with the "elders", or you will be dismissed/ talked down to, etc. It is a policy that has lost them many members over the years, even close family members of the AB's, because few intelligent educated adults will put up with that crap for a long period of time.

  5. Obviously a Third World recruit, whose enthusiasm and protectiveness will probably run out once the missionary freebies get scarce.

    1. Gail, Here in the UK, in the last couple of days, we have been reminded once again what a risky business it is recruiting membership to Christian groups from third world countries who do not share our underlying religion and culture.
      Given that this is now the primary source of recruits to Christadelphianism, I cannot help but agree with you, that when the "benefits" of signing up either waver, or things otherwise go wrong, and an association with the Christadelphians becomes apparent, that the reputational cost to themselves my be very high indeed.

  6. General comment here: Given I was just last week talking about personal attacks and how I don't think they have a place here, I'm concerned by comments about nationality (and I don't even see the nationality in the original comment...).

    No, I haven't blocked any comments, and I don't have any plans to. But I think arguments should be debated on their merits (or lack thereof), not on the nationality or former religion or anything else of the arguer.

    [In this case it also looked to me like a drive by comment which would never be followed up, hence why I responded briefly - the argument didn't seem likely worth the time].

  7. Jon, a good number of my work colleagues (some are friends as well as colleagues) are from Africa, (Nigeria and Kenya) and both their spoken and written "accent" is very discernable. I also have a close friend who is a British Pakistani Muslim, born in London but now local to me, and the same is true. It is much like you using the words "tradie" , "Ute", or "Bogan"- it would tell the reader exactly where in the world you are from, even if we didn't know. I used the term "African poster" for that reason, along with the fact that we have so many anons that we cannot keep track of them.
    A couple of other things, I learnt my German mostly from people in Leipzig, in the east of the country, and whilst east Germans are easy to follow, west Germans less so. I originate from the British midlands, and have that accent, which is notorious here for being mocked, and ridiculed, and well known for excluding the user from many jobs. Although I only lived there full time until I was 19 (I am now in my 60's), I still get comments ( I work as a part time delivery driver in a different part of the country) as to where I am from.
    What I am saying, is to try not to read into things, things that are not there.
    Also, a podcast recommendation. Kevin Stroud's excellent "History of the the English language", very informative and entertaining.

  8. Joseph, you may also be one, as am I, who can discern the difference between the accents of Birmingham people, and those from very close nearby, the "Black Country", Dudley, Wolverhampton, Netherton. And is there anyone who would fail to identify the origin of a speaker from Australia? The "High-rising Terminal (HRT), commonly referred to as "Australian Question Intonation (AQI), with the rising of the voice at the end of a sentence that makes the statement sound like a question. Take this into Stylometry. I agree with you, that it is possible to determine variations in literary style between one writer or genre of another. It is by using Stylometry which has enabled scholars to determine the various authors of the Hebrew Pentateuch, exposing the error of believing what originally was thought to be written solely by Moses. Also, determining that the Apostle Paul didn`t write some of the letters which bear his name. And so much more, throughout the Bible that Christadelphians maintain is the inerrant Word of God. Something -- Stylometry that is -- that Doctor Thomas didn`t employ or have at his fingertips.

  9. My argument is that CDs pretend to be intelligent bible scholars (with a level of scholarship allowing them to discern CDism's supposed "truths"), yet they are obviously taken in, like many other churches, and accept what are obviously "conversions of convenience." As Third World migrations into Western nations continue to explode in size, it is hardly coincidental that countless millions across the globe will grab onto any lifeline that connects them to a Western economy. At one UK congregation I visited, fully half of the attendees were Middle Easterners, and I absolutely doubt these folks came to some collective epiphany directing them to CDism's "truth." The very notion is a laughable absurdity. Most are, instead, people struggling to get a toehold in yet another country being invaded by foreigners -- and, if that's not true, why weren't any of these conversions occurring previously?

    I'll tell you. It's because the "refugees'" level of desperation has increased, not their religious fervor.

    Not to worry, CDs will be useful idiots for them.

  10. Gail, along with other Christian groups, the Christadelphians are careful NOT to claim that they have converted these people, most likely I think through fear of how the local Muslims may react. It also allows them to handwave away any negative accusations if/when things go wrong. This is a typical Christadelphians sob story spinning that line:

    Here is one from the Baptists:

    Elsewhere, the Christadelphians have stated that they do not expect Iranians to learn English, or to integrate into British life, they expect ecclesias to produce material in Farsi, which is of course a dreadful idea, If they truly have left Iran behind, and are seeking citizenship here, then learning the language as quickly and effectively as possible is most important ( I have not done so myself, but have been told by someone who has, that around a year is needed to be able to pick up and use a different language if one is fully immersed in the situation).
    Since the Christadelphians have no loyalty to the state (and by implication, to other non Christadelphian members of society), they are happy to overlook the financial and social costs to those people, and also the multiple acts of criminality and deceit that their new members have committed to arrive here.
    Personal thoughts only, not website policy.

  11. What struck me the most in what I encountered was the extent to which no one was willing to discuss the fraudulent nature of the "conversions of convenience." I tried to carefully and diplomatically sound out both the newcomers and the original members of the ecclesia in question. "We don't deeply explore motivations," the old timers said. "It would be unwelcoming and rude."

    All of this made me think of the Marrano Jews, during the Spanish Inquisition, who converted to Christianity under duress, but actually continued to practice Judaism and were Christians in name only.


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