Top Lawyer Concludes that Christ's Resurrection Was a Fact


Dr. Simon Greenleaf was a key founder of Harvard’s School of Law. He is regarded as one of the principal figures responsible for Harvard’s eminent position among law schools in the United States,[1] and he produced possibly the greatest single authority on evidence in the entire literature of legal procedure.[2]

After a challenge by one of his students to disprove the claims of Jesus and the Bible, Greenleaf was certain that a careful examination of the internal witness of the Gospels would dispel all the myths at the heart of Christianity. He determined, once and for all, to expose the myth of the resurrection of Jesus. After thoroughly examining the evidence, however, he came to an extraordinary conclusion.

With a lawyer’s skill, Greenleaf put his principles to work as he examined the historical evidence surrounding the resurrection of Jesus Christ as recorded in the ancient writings of the biblical text. After careful study, he wrote The Testimony of the Evangelists, in which he stated that it was “impossible that the Apostles could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus Christ actually risen from the dead.”

What caused Greenleaf, as one of the most prestigious lawyers of all time, to come to such a dramatic conclusion? In spite of the sensationalist nature of such a suggestion, this chapter briefly examines some of the arguments both for and against the idea that Jesus Christ could have actually risen from the dead two millennia ago.

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The chapter ends with this amazing summary:

Concluded Tom Anderson, former president of the California Trial Lawyers Association and one of today’s top ten trial lawyers, “You see, my four-month study was motivated to find a loophole, any loophole, in the truths of Christ. Finding none frightened me."[47] Similarly, Simon Greenleaf, who produced possibly the greatest single authority on evidence in the entire literature of legal procedure, concluded that it is “impossible that the Apostles could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus Christ actually risen from the dead.”[48] And Sir Lionel Luckhoo, whose 245 consecutive murder trial victories earned him a place in The Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most successful lawyer,[49] concluded that “the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”[50]