This is a 2006 debate between Bart Ehrman and William Lane Craig on the the historical data for Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. It’s easily the best, highest level debate on the subject I’ve ever heard. It’s long–133 minutes–but worth listening to (very slowly). Part of the reason I think it’s so valuable is that Ehrman cogently raises legitimate historical problems with the resurrection in general (and Craig’s arguments in particular), and builds a compelling case against it; and that it offers about as informed a Christian response as one could ask for. The kind of argument that Ehrman makes is the same sort that is being taught to college students around the world and is (imperfectly) filtering into pop culture, and which regularly leads to the many Christians young and old to leave the faith. It’s the kind of argument that Christians need to become very intimate with if they’re hoping to seriously engage the modern skeptic, and of which the avoidance has irreparably weakened the applicability some recent treatments (I may offer a review of this book here at some point–I don’t like it). Ultimately, Craig fails to persuade, and I think his failure is emblematic of why so many folks leave: we haven’t come up with good responses to some valid(!) fundamental critiques of Christian faith, and often the responses we have either avoid the issues or equivocate. By response I don’t mean disproof, though in some cases that might be what we need; by response I mean a reasonable answer that makes sense of the faith-decisions we make over against objections.

As a historian, I’m more with Ehrman than I’m against him. At risk of spoiling the video, I think Christians need to, for instance, consider why we privilege one set of data over others, whether the resurrection is the “best” explanation, how trustworthy our documents are, and how literary/theological agendas in the biblical texts effect how we receive the information the purport to offer.

I have opinions on these matters, but I’ll hold my cards for the moment; I’m curious what you all think (that is, only after you’ve heard the debate–btw, don’t miss the Q&A, it’s prb the best part). But let me take the opportunity to recommend a great book: James D.G. Dunn’s _Jesus Remembered_, who doesn’t exactly answer the questions, but offers a model for handling the texts that I think ultimately does.

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