Jesus story 'gets it 97% right'
It is 97% certain that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead - based on sheer logic and mathematics, not faith - according to Oxford professor Richard Swinburne.
"New Testament scholars say the only evidence is witnesses in the four gospels. That's only 5% of the evidence," Professor Swinburne, one of the world's leading philosophers of religion, said last night in a lecture at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne.
"We can't judge the question of the resurrection unless we ask first whether there's reason to suppose there is a God, second if we have reason to suppose he would become incarnate and third, if he did, whether he would live the sort of life Jesus did."
The Age reports that Professor Swinburne, in Melbourne to give several seminars, said the mathematics showed a probability of 97%.
This conclusion was reached after a complex series of calculations. In simplified terms, it began with a single proposition: the probability was one in two that God exists.
He argued that any evidence for the existence of God was an argument for the resurrection, and any evidence against the existence of God was an argument against the resurrection.
"Does he have reason to become incarnate? Yes, to make atonement, identify with our suffering and to teach us things, " Professor Swinburne said.
Even Jesus' life is not enough proof, he said. God's signature was needed, which the resurrection was, showing his approval of Jesus' teaching.
The mathematical equations appear in his book, The Resurrection of God Incarnate (OUP, 2003).
Jesus story 'gets it 97% right' (The Age 19/7/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The Resurrection of God Incarnate (Google Print)
Exploring the resurrection in public lecture at ACU National (Australian Catholic University 15/7/05)
Free lecture on Moral Clarity, at ACU National (Australian Catholic University 18/7/05)
ACU National hosts forum on John Paul II Sydney (Australian Catholic University 13/7/05)
National midwifery student prepares to teach in Solomon Islands (Australian Catholic University 12/7/05)
19 Jul 2005