For many years, I have had a fascination for the reasons why people deconvert from the Christian faith. I was therefore interested to pick up The Anatomy of Deconversion: Keys to a Lifelong Faith in a Culture Abandoning Christianity, by John Marriott, a professor of philosophy at Biola University.
Since the resurrection is intended, in Christian theology, to function as an authenticating sign, it is highly predicted that Jesus’ resurrection will deviate from the normal course of nature. That the resurrection does, in fact, deviate from the normal course of nature should not be taken as a cause for concern.
John Walvoord (1910-2002) was a past president of Dallas Theological Seminary (1952-1986) and a prolific author. He was probably best known for his advocacy of dispensational theology and of pre-tribulation ‘rapture’ theology with respect to eschatology. In his book, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Walvoord offers a systematic presentation of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Black argues that the testimony of the patristics (which supports Matthean priority) is often not factored in to the scholarly assessment of the synoptic problem. Indeed, he observes, “Today the academic guild, both in Europe and North America, assumes that the patristic evidence is basically legendary and unreliable,” (p. 32).
Since it is a fair assumption that Ehrman has chosen his best and, to his mind, most convincing examples of alleged contradictions in the gospels and Acts, the abject failure of Ehrman’s proposed contradictions should give us renewed confidence in the substantial trustworthiness of the Biblical accounts.