Review: The Resurrection of Jesus-Part 3

The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach

Author: Michael R. Licona

Paperback: 718 pages

Publisher: InterVarsity press

ISBN: 978-0-8308-2719-0

InterVarsity Press

Westminster Bookstore


Review: Part 1

Review: Part 2

In Part 3 of the review of The Resurrection of Jesus by Michael R.Licona, I will look at Chapter 4.

4. The Historical Bedrock Pertaining to the Fate of Jesus

This chapter was the longest chapter in the book, coming in at just under 200 pages.  There’s a lot in this chapter.  Historians use “historical facts that are regarded as virtually indisputable” (ie the historical bedrock) as the foundation of their hypotheses. (277)  According to Licona, historical bedrock is identified one of two ways: “the facts are strongly evidenced and contemporary scholars nearly unanimously regard them as facts.” (278)

Licona begins this chapter by looking at the historical bedrock of Jesus’ life, but this discussion is only to understand the “context of Jesus’ life.”  (281)

Concerning the historical bedrock pertaining to the fate of Jesus, Licona lists three “facts that are regarded as indisputable by almost all scholars on the subject:

  1. Jesus died by crucifixion.
  2. Very shortly after Jesus’ death, the disciples had experiences that led them to believe and proclaim that Jesus had been resurrected and had appeared to them.
  3. Within a few years after Jesus’ death, Paul converted after experiencing what he interpreted as a postresurrection appearance of Jesus to him.” (302-303)

The one thing that really stuck out to me here was these facts do assume a historical Jesus.  I only mention this because some atheists are skeptical concerning the historical Jesus.

The rest of the chapter is spent looking at each of these three facts in great detail.  And, in the end, all three facts are warranted in being included in the historical bedrock.  This conclusion did not surprise me one bit.

I found this chapter to be tedious.  There is a lot of information to work through and take in.  This includes discussion on translation and looking at sources pertaining to the resurrection.  There wasn’t one discussion that stood out in this chapter.  They all seemed to blend together for me.  There is a lot of Greek and a lot of references to specific verses in this chapter.  One could spend a lot of time cross-referencing those verses or doing their own translations and easily get lost or frustrated with this chapter.

Looking at the chapter as a whole is overwhelming and it helped me to break the chapter down into its sections to help keep me focused and on track.


I received this book free from InterVarsity Press. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


2 thoughts on “Review: The Resurrection of Jesus-Part 3

  1. Pingback: Review: The Resurrection of Jesus-Part 4 | Simul Iustus et Peccator

  2. Pingback: Book Review: The Resurrection of Jesus by Michael R. Licona | Pastoral Musings

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