This is a WordPress repost of an outstanding article originally authored by Michael Licona and published by the
In this outstanding article Michael Licona identifies the historical primary sources of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In the study of history, primary sources are the documents and artifacts closest to the matter being investigated. They are dated very close to the events they describe. In contrast, secondary sources use primary sources when writing about a historical matter be investigated. Sometimes the primary sources have all perished. For example, the earliest accounts we have describing the origins of Rome and Greece were written hundreds of years later. In these cases, all historians have to work with are secondary and tertiary sources. Eyewitness sources are primary sources. However, if no eyewitness sources have survived, a second-hand source (not to be confused with a secondary source) writing close to the event can be a primary source. So, all eyewitness sources are primary sources, but not all primary sources are eyewitnesses.
Let us consider the question pertaining to whether Jesus’ resurrection was a historical event. One of the first tasks of the historian is to gather a pool of sources reporting an event and assess them. Let’s begin with those written later and work ourselves backward in time.
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