M-M-M-Miiiiike Licona

Question from Violeta:
I am wondering if you have heard about Mike Licona? He is a Bible scholar who claims he has absolute proof that Jesus rose from the dead. He claims thousands of people saw him, and that group hallucinations of thousands is impossible. He debated Matt Dillahunty a few years ago and used those arguments. He is very highly respected in the Christian world. He also has rebuttals to all these atheist articles saying “Jesus never existed”. He claims there is tons of proof of his existence, and that he had to rise from the dead. What are your thoughts on this?

Answer by SmartLX:
I wasn’t familiar with Licona before your question, but that debate with Dillahunty is online. From it we can tell a few things:

– Licona has poor standards of evidence. Unsupported anecdotes count for him, for instance, while not convincing anyone new.
– Licona is perfectly content with a blatant argument from ignorance as his central theme: if there is no current natural explanation for an event (even a supposed event), he’s happy to not only posit but assert a supernatural cause.
– Licona only wants the idea that Jesus’ appearance to the large crowd after his death was real to be measured against the idea that it was an impossible mass hallucination. Two responses to this from me. Firstly, since I’ve been covering the “Miracle of the Sun” at Fátima a great deal in the last several months, I know that a phenomenon that only some people present even claimed to see can be claimed as a more universal experience after the fact. Secondly, we do not have accounts by the hundreds of people claimed to have seen Jesus, only one account that says they were there, and that account is subject to suspicion.

This is all very familiar, to me at least. If you search this site by keywords for any of Licona’s major arguments I think you’ll find they’re already covered. He has redefined “absolute proof” in order to claim he has it, when by the standards of others he has nothing of the sort.