Books of Bible
By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
A. The resurrection of Jesus is decisive.
1. Jesus either rose from the dead or he did not.
a. If he rose from the dead, he is all he claimed to be.
(1) "Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the
seed of David according to the flesh; And
declared to be the Son of God with power,
according to the spirit of holiness, by the
resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:3-4).
(2) The resurrection proves or disproves his claims.
b. If he did not "present himself to be alive by many
infallible proofs" after he was dead, then he is an
2. The Christian system turns on the question of the
B. The resurrection of Jesus can be tested.
1. If it passes the test, it is true.
2. If it does not pass the test, it is false.
II. Claims For and Against the Resurrection of Jesus From the dead.
A. Items of agreement.
1. Jesus lived.
a. A few misguided souls claim that no such person as
Jesus ever lived, but the vast majority of credible
witnesses say he did live.
(1) The gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and
John, are the most credible witnesses of Jesus'
(2) Philo and Josephus are the second most credible
witnesses of Jesus life.
(3) All history records the fact that Jesus lived at
about the time ascribed to him in the Bible. No
first century historian denies that he lived.
b. The evidence that Jesus lived is overwhelming and
2. Jesus was crucified.
a. The fact of the death of Jesus is well attested by
both secular and sacred writers.
b. The claim of his crucifixion was made by Matthew,
Mark, Luke, and John within 40 years of the event and
during the lifetime of many who would have had
firsthand (eyewitness) knowledge of his execution by
Roman authorities, but at Jewish insistence.
c. No person of the time disputed the reported
3. The body of Jesus was buried.
a. Information about the burial was given by friends of
Jesus as they wrote his biography.
b. The burial is confirmed by writers in the second
century. Many of these writers were personally
acquainted with the apostles and would have had the
report of eyewitnesses to the burial.
c. Again, this was not disputed.
4. On the morning of the third day the body was missing.
a. The friends of Jesus said that he rose from the dead.
b. The enemies of Jesus said the body was stolen.
(1) The witnesses of the theft of the body were the
Roman soldiers on guard at the tomb where the
body was placed after the crucifixion.
(2) The soldiers claim to have been asleep when the
body was stolen.
(3) If true, how could they have known what happened
to the body?
(4) Such testimony would be laughed out of any
court, including the court of public opinion.
B. Position of the friends of Jesus.
1. Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I
preached unto you, which also ye have received, and
wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep
in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have
believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all
that which I also received, how that Christ died for our
sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried,
and that he rose again the third day according to the
scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the
twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred
brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto
this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he
was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of
all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due
time" (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
2. The witnesses could not have been mistaken
a. They knew him well before his death.
(1) They ate and drank with him, walked and talked
with him prior to his death.
(2) The disciples were slow to believe in the
b. They were intimately associated with him after his
(1) They ate and drank with him, walked and talked
with him, and examined his crucifixion wounds
after the alleged resurrection.
(2) Their slowness to believe he was risen denies a
conspiracy to deceive.
c. If the witnesses lied, they knew they lied. They
could not have been mistaken as to the
3. The witnesses did not bear false witness to the world
about the resurrection of Jesus.
a. Hundreds of people were involved as witnesses
(above 500 at once on one occasion). Not one
b. Their testimony was not impeached by their
(1) They did not wait many years before claiming a
(2) They began immediately to say that Jesus was
risen from he dead.
(3) The claim of the resurrection was first made
in Jerusalem, the place of the crucifixion and
it was made to the very people who could have
repudiated the claim if it had been false.
c. Every earthly interest they had was jeopardized by
their claim of a resurrection.
d. They were persecuted for their claim, but sealed
their testimony of the resurrection with their
(1) "Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they
Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of
Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of
Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in
labors more abundant, in stripes above
measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths
oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty
stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with
rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered
shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in
the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of
waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by
mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen,
in perils in the city, in perils in the
wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils
among false brethren; In weariness and
painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and
thirst, in fastings often, in cold and
nakedness" (2 Corinthians 11:23-27).
(2) Similar sufferings to those of Paul were
endured by all the apostles.
e. Countless thousands boldly and confidently endured
indescribable agony, torture, and death because of
their belief that Jesus rose from the dead.
4. Would a sane person endure such things for something he
knew to be wrong?
a. Millions have died for a false cause, but few have
died for a cause they knew to be false.
b. When so large a number suffer so completely and so
grandly, it must be conceded they were possessed of
a powerful conviction. They believed fully in the
truth of the resurrection of Jesus, otherwise so
many would not have paid so great a price for their
c. If they lied, they knew they lied; but they could
not have lied in view of the price they paid for
their claim that Jesus rose from the dead.
d. We are compelled to the conclusion that Jesus,
after he was dead, "showed himself to be alive"
again, "by many infallible proofs."
C. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the best and most
fully established fact in all of history.
1. "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an
apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, which he
promised afore through his prophets in the holy
scriptures, concerning his Son, who was born of the seed
of David according to the flesh, who was declared to be
the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of
holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus
Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:1-4).
2. "But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning
them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the
rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus
died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen
asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say
unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive,
that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no
wise precede them that are fallen asleep. For the Lord
himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the
voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and
the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are
alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught
up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so
shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one
another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).