Bradley Bowen, the author of “Argument Against the Resurrection of Jesus “, states that he doubts he could ever be persuaded by New Testament evidence that Christ was seen alive after his crucifixion.Theologian and Cold Case Investigator J. Warner Wallace points out that
If New Testament accounts are not proof enough of the resurrection it is un-likely that extra-biblical evidence would convince Mr.Bowen. However, testimony from non-biblical sources does help affirm the reliability of scripture. The earliest of the non-biblical accounts of Jesus would be from the writings of Josephus. The following is from his writing in 93-94 A.D. called “Antiquities” this segment is called the “Testimonium Flavianum”.
“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; ……He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold”
I’m certain that Mr. Bowen is among the skeptics that would discount this evidence by claiming this segment was added to the document. It is probable but unlikely that this was a later insertion for it is found in every known copy of “Antiquities”. Notably, this is the only one of Josephus writings of biblical relevance that is in dispute.
Bowen then asserts that he has no proof that Christ was dead when He was placed in the tomb. Choosing to ignore testimony from scripture he must rely on the extra-biblical testimony. Josephus and writings from Thaylus 52 A.D.and Tacitus 56-120 A.D. and Pliny the Younger and others testify to the historical accuracy of the Gospel in their description of Jesus, His life, death and resurrection. But if Bowen is looking for a local non-biased coroners report, there are none.
Mr. Bowens conclusion that God did not raise Jesus from the dead is false, because he relies upon one of these three statements being false.
“JNR3. At least one of the following beliefs is false: (a) Moses was a prophet of God, (b) the Old Testament was inspired by God, or (c) Jehovah is God “ – Bradley Bowen
The author fails to prove any of the above false and bases his conclusive statement on these words.
“I am confident that JNR3 is true”.
If the non-biblical sources referred to above are sufficient to prove the reliability of scripture, then it would be logical to conclude that Jesus is who He claims to be. If Jesus is God as He claims and God does not lie, then the words of the Old Testament and the prophets such as Moses whom Jesus refers to and quotes from are true.
Without presenting any evidence at all Bowen merely concludes he is confident these statements are false. He ignores the testimony of Jesus, the fulfillment of prophecy, and the testimony of the Apostles, who died as martyrs for their belief in the resurrection.
Not only does he refuse to acknowledge the validity of the claims of the New Testament writers, several of which write within 30 years of Jesus’ death and resurrection, he ignores the extra-biblical testimonies of the same as well. Mr. Bowen will not be persuaded by reason for he has no reason to be persuaded.
Bradley Bowen -“Argument Against The Resurrection of Jesus”
J. W. Wallace – “What Does Christianity Say About the Nature of Jesus”
J. W. Wallace – “Why the Ancient Christian Record About Jesus Is the Most Reliable”