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Ep. 295 Christian Hubbs Presents the Historical Evidence for Jesus’ Resurrection

Christian Hubbs has a PhD in machine learning from Carnegie Mellon, and a Masters in Christian philosophy and apologetics from Biola. He makes a secular case for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.


  1. Dave H on 11/02/2023 at 5:43 PM

    So, before even listening to the episode, I would like to point out that it is impossible for an ancient text to ever be satisfactory evidence that somebody rose from the dead. That is just not how evidence works. Ask yourself, if whatever arguments the guests presents here applied to some other supernatural event that you admittedly do not believe in, would you start believing in that supernatural event?

    Every single piece of evidence for a historical resurrection (or any other supernatural event in the distant past) is hearsay. Every single one. Hearsay is never admissible. I will report back after listening if anything in the episode presents anything other than hearsay.

    • Lawrence M. Ludlow on 11/16/2023 at 2:59 PM

      Your argument — that proof of a historical event based on an ancient text is unsatisfactory –applies equally to events that are supernatural and natural. Consequently, you are — in effect — denying the possibility of establishing fact based on written evidence. The discussion in this episode was designed to establish — by examining cultural, antagonistic, and consequential factors (among other methods of establishing credible testimony) — that the surviving written evidence for the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are worthy of consideration as evidence, just as other well-attested written documents are. Basically, you are exempting supernatural events from historical attestation only because you wish not to consider supernatural events as possible. This is an epistemological problem — one based on a materialist-reductionist approach to evidence that limits all knowledge to the limited set of facts to which only the scientific method applies, which is itself not subject to verification by its own standard. This “scientistic” approach creates its own echo chamber of limited application.

      • Dave H on 11/19/2023 at 8:35 PM

        And then we come back to the fact that YOU refuse to accept the reality of supernatural events apart from the ones in your own religion? Why? Well, for precisely the same reason I do. I am consistent. You are not. You have no real explanation as to why.

        And yes, I am excluding “supernatural” events a priori, because they are by definition beyond what is possible. Whatever happens, IS natural. And the burden of proof for historical natural events that we all see happen every day is far lower than the burden of proof for historical events that no living person or camera has ever seen happen.

        Even Bob seems to acknowledge that all of Jesus’ alleged miracles could be explained naturally, and that it is merely our current knowledge of the laws of nature that make them seem supernatural. That’s all well and good, but the burden of proof for these events is still far higher than mundane events such as “Caesar ate an apple in 3AD.” But again, this can be applied to the claims of all religions. Why do you not grant them the same benefit of doubt?

  2. Dave H on 11/02/2023 at 8:27 PM

    Ok I’ve listened up to the first break and I’d like to get some thoughts out on the arguments presented about the empty tomb.

    First off, they are indeed all hearsay as I suspected. A gospel author said somebody else said something, therefore the tomb was empty.

    Let’s take the three specific arguments in order of most egregiously bad to least.

    One – enemy attestation. This one is so bad that quite frankly, anyone pushing this idea should be considered to be engaging in academic fraud, and anything they say should be suspect. We DO NOT have enemy attestation about an empty tomb. There are zero Roman or Jewish sources saying “yes the tomb was empty but it’s because the body was stolen.” That entire story comes from the very source making the original empty tomb statement in the first place. To take it back to the “Matt punched Bob” example, you would need a statement FROM MATT HIMSELF saying this. Not a statement from Bob saying “Matt even admitted to punching me.” Sorry Bob but this is completely awful and people should not be letting stuff like this go.

    But since I’m such a masochist, let’s take the next argument – multiple independent sources. We don’t have this at all. Matt himself says that in church tradition, the gospel authors were followers of either Peter, Paul, or both. This would mean the ultimate sources are Peter and Paul. Which means at best you have two sources, both of whom collaborated with each other. There are, again, no Roman,Jewish, or other sources that didn’t ultimately have access to the gospel accounts and therefore Peter and/or Paul’s original retellings.

    Lastly, the least weak of the arguments would be the embarrassing details. All four accounts do agree that women were the ones to find and report the empty tomb, but they disagree on which women and what specifically they saw and reported. So while one could say a report from women in a historical source lends credibility due to its embarrassing nature, one must also acknowledge that credibility is lost when different accounts of the report say completely different things. It must also be acknowledged that people KNOW that including embarrassing details in a story makes it sound more credible, and people have ALWAYS known this. So we shouldn’t be surprised when embarrassing details pop up in accounts meant to convince somebody of something rather than to just inform a neutral observer. Just read through some known false police reports and you can see this in droves.

    If I have time I’ll be back for more after some more listening.

  3. Dave H on 11/06/2023 at 12:31 AM

    Ok here’s my comments on the rest of the episode.

    Bob points out that the vast majority of biblical historians accept the historicity of Jesus the man, even the atheist ones. It’s a little strange to me how receptive Bob was of a guy expressing skepticism about modern math, where anybody can point out contradictions or counter-examples to immediately disprove a popular theorem, but then tells us that we should care what a bunch of historians think about the subject of their study. I haven’t done or seen a poll on it, but I would bet that most historians who specialize in Arthurian lore also believe King Arthur was a real guy, even though he probably didn’t have a magic sword or slay any dragons. I would strongly urge Bob to at least read some of the work by the minority biblical historians mentioned on the show like Richard Carrier or Robert Price.

    There was also some discussion over whether we should accept the idea that people would die over something they know is a lie. While most people won’t, we have actual examples of people who do. Jim Jones and Marshall Applewhite are two of them. These men surely knew that they made up the ideas forming their own cults, and yet they so fervently believed anyway that they took part in the mass suicides they called for.

    The last major point was about the conversions of Paul and the apostles. Surely *something* caused a change in all these men, and even an atheist would have to acknowledge that it was most likely a very convincing preacher named Jesus. But again, we don’t have 13 different conversion stories. We just have accounts that ultimately come from Paul and Peter. For example – people just take it for granted that Paul used to persecute Christians and had a miraculous vision on the road to Damascus. But how do we know Paul used to persecute Christians? Because Paul tells us he did! There’s no outside records of who Paul was or what he did before converting to Christianity. We only have his own autobiographical works about it. Joseph Smith had some wild stories about his life prior to being visited by an angel and finding some golden tablets, but fortunately Smith lived in a time with preserved records. We *know* Smith was a liar about who he was and things he did. How about Paul? Well, we just don’t know.

    A better argument for the historicity of Jesus would be the existence of the epistles at all, regardless of their content. Paul and Peter wrote these things to churches, churches full of people, scattered about the Roman Empire. It would be very unlikely for these two guys to have traveled so far and wide, and to have successfully started self-sustaining cults in so many places, within the span of 15-20 years, like some kind of Tyler Durden. For this many churches to be around that quickly, they almost certainly would have to have been started and maintained by different individuals who all had the same story in mind. And without that story being a written work (think: L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics), those individuals would have to have been operating from memory of events they were a part of.

    • Tyler Folger on 11/10/2023 at 4:47 PM

      “t would be very unlikely for these two guys to have traveled so far and wide…like some kind of Tyler Durden”

      But what if Peter and Paul are actually the same person with 2 personalities?

      • Dave H on 11/10/2023 at 8:01 PM

        Mind…. BLOWN

  4. Adam Haman on 11/07/2023 at 3:33 PM

    The arguments presented in this episode are useful to those who want to buttress their faith, I suppose, but I found them totally unpersuasive. Speculation, piled upon conjecture, piled upon hearsay. Gossamer and fluff. Nothing solid.

    But maybe that’s just my bias showing.

    Bob, do you think you would have found any of these arguments persuasive back when you were an atheist? Would these arguments have convinced you that Jesus rose from the dead back when you were predisposed to not believe such things?

    • Robert Murphy on 12/13/2023 at 6:27 PM

      Adam, I remember being very surprised (as an atheist) when I read that HL Mencken thought Jesus had just had dumb luck and fulfilled his prophecy about seeming to come back from the dead. So, that would have made me receptive to these claims. I wouldn’t have thought Jesus was the Son of God etc. but I would have been open to the idea that there was some guy whom his followers genuinely believed came back from the dead.

    • Robert Murphy on 12/13/2023 at 6:28 PM

      But in fairness Adam you believe in the moon landing!

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