Jordan Peterson tweets an article about the minimal facts approach to the resurrection

Jordan Peterson is aware of the best case for the resurrection of Jesus - are you?
Dr. Jordan Peterson is aware of the best case for the resurrection – are you?


Jordan Peterson is now known to be aware of the strongest case for the resurrection, because he’s tweeted about it. Let’s see what he tweeted and what’s in the article.

It’s this article, written by Dr. Gary Habermas, which was published at The Stream:

Not too long ago I listed six of these events in a dialogue with an agnostic New Testament scholar. I used the historical facts that 1) Jesus died by crucifixion, 2) his early followers had experiences a short time later that they thought were appearances of Jesus, 3) and as a result, they were transformed to the point of being willing to die for this message. Further, two former unbelievers 4) James the brother of Jesus and 5) Saul of Tarsus (later the apostle Paul) both similarly thought that they had seen the risen Jesus, as well; and 6) This Gospel message of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ began to be taught very soon after these events.

Some might be surprised to hear that the agnostic scholar with whom I was dialoguing not only agreed with the historical nature of these six events, without exceptions, but he even added that each one was very well-recognized.

How come?

Perhaps the chief reason for the widespread agreement comes from recent critical recognition that the New Testament contains dozens of brief snippets of information from the earliest church teaching — preserved from the first 20 years before the first canonical books were written. Scholars call these “creedal texts” or traditions. The best known of them is 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 which scholars agree originated no later than the early to mid-30s AD, or within just five years of the life of Christ. There is also 1 Corinthians 8:6 and 11:23-25Romans 1:3-410:9, and Philippians 2:6-11. That’s not all of them. Among the many others are Luke 24:34 and the Acts sermon summaries. These texts actually predate by many years the works in which they appear.

Another avenue comes from the regular use of different tools and rules used by historians and others to recognize the occurrence of past historical facts. These are often called the criteria of authenticity. Here are six of these that help explain how scholars come to this kind of agreement:

  1. Some events are established by the reliable testimonies from people who were close to or who even participated in the events.
  2. Sometimes the witnesses reported these things very soon afterwards, rather than waiting years to do so.
  3. On other occasions, these events are attested by two or even more independent sources.
  4. Sometimes, enemies who actually oppose the occurrences and would have preferred that they had not happened, might agree that they nonetheless did so.
  5. Or the accounts may be told in a way that is so embarrassing to those telling it, or to their loved ones or their cause, that the best explanation for them saying it is simply that it’s the truth.
  6. Another test preferred by some scholars is the result of an event fitting well with or exhibiting similarities to other occurrences that are known to have occurred (coherence).

There are other historical tools and rules as well, but these are among the best-known ones. Often, two or even several of these additional reasons are present and endorse the same event from different angles. Once in a while, the list of confirmatory reasons can get quite lengthy. In such cases, it becomes more and more difficult to deny the factual nature of the reports. So actually, agreement among dissimilar scholars can be fairly common.

If you’ve ever seen debates with atheist scholars like James Crossley, Bart Ehrman, Gerd Ludemann, etc., you know that they agree with some or all of these “minimal facts”.

Now, this post is about Jordan Peterson. How come he is tweeting this argument? Well, I think part of the reason is that Peterson is a brilliant scholar, and he’s going to find out about pretty much everything that he sets out to investigate. I have been told that the New Testament is an area of interest for him. I can’t help but believe that his recent dialog with the venerable Christian scholar William Lane Craig might have put him on the right track.

Here is that dialog, in case you missed it:

I would like all my readers to pray for Jordan Peterson. Ask God to do what God does best – putting people into a time and place where they can find out something about him that leads to a relationship with himself.

If you want a place to start, read Acts 17:24-26 and then ask God to engineer Jordan Peterson’s life in such a way that he finds the answers to his questions from the people he meets and situations he finds himself in. God is a master architect and a brilliant general.  Looking back on my life, I can clearly see how carefully he led me to know things about him, and then to know him. We just have to ask God to do what he does for Jordan Peterson. Asking is free. It might be a good idea to pray for wisdom for Dr. Peterson, as well.

9 thoughts on “Jordan Peterson tweets an article about the minimal facts approach to the resurrection”

  1. I saw his tweet, and noticed his disclaimer that tweeting something doesn’t necessarily mean that he agrees with it, but thought, how helpful to the Gospel it would be if Peterson came to faith in Christ. I’ve been praying that for Lawrence Krauss off and on for a few years. Let’s put him on the prayer list too. In fact, how about we start a prayer movement for God to bring multiple and specific unbelieving popular figures to himself? 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Amen, Caroline! I suspect that Dr. Peterson is being spiritually drawn. And has been for some time now. It’s been very interesting following his work. I believe that he will find what he’s ultimately seeking.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jordan Peterson is brilliant and has a backbone. He has a series going through the Old Testament from a societal and psychological perspective, noting how brilliant the message and design are (very much worth watching on YouTube, maybe 20 hours long in toto; any single two hour presentation is worth the time).

    He does so with an evolution bent, so loses it there, but an interesting view on how evolutionists are addressing the issue of morality in societies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jordan Peterson is my favorite non/post Christian. The man clearly cares about people’s well being especially the issues men face in the onslaught of political correctness and so-called toxic masculinity. I’ve watched dozens of his videos on YouTube. I will pray he come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. I also hope he runs for prime minister for Canada against Trudeau. Canada needs a leader like Dr. Peterson.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree, Canada needs a leader like Dr. Peterson. However, I seriously doubt that he would quit what he’s doing now to get tied down into the political rat-race/combat with postmodernist leftists.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. From the Peterson videos I’ve viewed over the past 20+ months and a few media articles on him I get the impression that he is very smart and articulate, thinks on his feet, is primarily a clinical psychologist, a great admirer of Carl Jung, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, etc. Peterson is an outspoken defender of objective truth and morality (against postmodernism), personal responsibility, religion (especially archetypes), neo-Darwinian evolution (an unquestioned given), free speech (against SJWs and political correctness), etc. As to his personal worldview he seems to be most heavily influenced by the liberal Christian perspectives of the United Church of Canada, especially its 1960s New Curriculum that he was taught in his youth. That may be the root of his reluctance to embrace clear biblical Christian perspectives on God, the Bible, and Christ, especially Christ’s resurrection. I wish Peterson would engage further with biblical Christian philosopher William Lane Craig with whom Peterson shared in a U of Toronto panel Jan 26, 2018.
    Let’s all pray for him and his millions of followers round our globe.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Dr. Peterson is a Jungian advocate,so he colors his perception of Christianity with Jung’s occult leanings. I pray that the Holy Spirit open his eyes to the truth and he fully embrace Christianity without the influence of Jung or evolution.

    Liked by 3 people

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