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Mobile Ed: CS151 Philosophy of History (8 hour course)

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Philosophy of History (CS151) establishes a theory of history and then applies it to a historical investigation of the resurrection of Jesus. It provides an extensive and detailed consideration of the many issues related to historical investigation—including the uncertainty of historical knowledge, the influence of one’s worldview in historiography, the historian’s right to investigate miracle claims, burden of proof, and arguments to the best explanation.

The course then walks through this strictly-controlled historical method to investigate the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. You’ll learn the relevant biblical and non-biblical sources which are identified and evaluated according to their historical reliability. Finally, the course weighs two prominent hypotheses that account for the historical bedrock according to the historical method set forth above. The bodily resurrection of Jesus is shown to be a near-certain historical probability, and thus, a solid basis for one’s faith in God—a faith that produces an eternal hope in the resurrection life.

For focused teaching on how Christian epistemology addresses objections to the gospels, see Mobile Ed: AP113 Objections to the Gospels (6 hour course)

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Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

  • Define the terms history, historiography, and historical knowledge, and discuss some of the challenges of knowing the past
  • Articulate how one’s worldview, or horizon, influences one’s view of history, and explain how best to overcome these biases when doing historical investigation
  • Discuss and defend the historian’s right to investigate miracle claims
  • Evaluate the relevance of historical sources pertaining to the resurrection of Jesus according to the criteria for authenticity
  • Identify the historical bedrock pertaining to the resurrection of Jesus
  • Apply arguments to the best explanation—explanatory scope, explanatory power, plausibility, and less ad hoc—to identify the most probable historical hypothesis pertaining to Jesus’ fate
  • Defend the probability of Jesus’ bodily resurrection from a historical perspective
  • Discuss some of the implications that Jesus’ resurrection has for people today

Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: Theory of History

  • Second-Guessing and the Challenge of History
  • Defining Terms and Challenges to Knowing the Past: Part 1
  • Challenges to Knowing the Past: Part 2
  • Transcending Horizons
  • The Role of a Consensus
  • The Uncertainty of Historical Knowledge
  • Postmodernist History
  • Problems with Postmodernist History
  • Three Views of History, Historical Facts, and Burden of Proof
  • Theory and Historians
  • What Historians Do

Unit 2: Method to History

  • Arguments to the Best Explanation
  • Arguments from Statistical Inferences
  • Criteria of Authenticity
  • Application of the Criteria of Authenticity to the Historical Jesus

Unit 3: Miracles and the Historian

  • Defining Miracles
  • David Hume and the Impossibility of Miracles
  • The Principle of Analogy and Philosophical Assumptions
  • Bart Ehrman and the Reliability of the Gospels
  • Contradictions
  • Most Probable Explanation
  • James D. G. Dunn, the Interpretation of Data, and Burden of Proof
  • Preponderance of Evidence and a Turning Point for Historians

Unit 4: Historical Sources and the Resurrection of Jesus

  • Relevant Sources
  • Canonical Gospels
  • Matthew’s and Luke’s Use of Mark
  • Reliability of the Gospels and the Letters of Paul
  • Q and Speeches in Antiquity
  • Speeches in Acts and Oral Formulas in Paul
  • Origin and Reliability of the Oral Tradition in 1 Corinthians 15:3–7
  • Josephus
  • Tacitus, Mara bar Serapion, and Thallus
  • Lucian, Celsus, Babylonian Talmud, and the Apostolic Fathers
  • Gospel of Thomas
  • Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Judas, Revelation Dialogues, and Pseudo Mark

Unit 5: Historical Bedrock Pertaining to Jesus’ Fate

  • Jesus’ Life and Death
  • Jesus’ Death by Crucifixion
  • Appearances to the Disciples
  • Three-Day Motif and the Nature of the Appearances: Part 1
  • Legitimization of Authority and Nature of the Appearances: Part 2
  • Gospel of Mark and Resurrection Appearances
  • Appearances to Women, the Emmaus Disciples, and the Doubters
  • The Apostles’ Testimony and Appearance to Paul: Part 1
  • The Fate of Paul and Appearance to Paul: Part 2
  • Paul’s View of the Resurrection: Part 1
  • Paul’s View of the Resurrection: Part 2
  • Paul’s View of the Resurrection: Part 3
  • Appearance to James
  • The Empty Tomb and Historical Bedrock
  • B-Grade Facts

Unit 6: Weighing Hypotheses

  • Michael Goulder’s Hallucination Hypothesis
  • Analysis and Concerns of Goulder’s Hypothesis
  • Marian Apparitions and Weighing Goulder’s Hypothesis
  • Resurrection Hypothesis
  • Evidence for a Supernatural Element in Reality
  • Concluding Thoughts


  • Summary of the Course

Product Details

  • Title: CS151 Philosophy of History
  • Instructor: Mike R. Licona
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Product Type: Logos Mobile Education
  • Resource Type: Courseware, including transcripts, audio, and video resources
  • Courses: 1
  • Video Hours: 8
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About Mike Licona

Dr. Mike Licona is associate professor of theology at Houston Baptist University. He holds a PhD in New Testament Studies from the University of Pretoria, which he earned with distinction and the highest marks.

Dr. Licona was interviewed for Lee Strobel’s book The Case for the Real Jesus and he appeared in Strobel’s video The Case for Christ. He is the author of numerous books, including The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach and Paul Meets Muhammad: A Christian-Muslim Debate on the Resurrection, coauthor with Gary Habermas of the award-winning book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, and coeditor of Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science. His next book will concern ancient compositional devices resulting in discrepancies in the Gospels and Plutarch’s Lives. Dr. Licona is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Institute for Biblical Research, the Evangelical Theological Society, and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. He has spoken on more than seventy university campuses and has appeared on dozens of radio and television programs.


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Logos Mobile Education is a highly effective cross-platform learning environment that integrates world class teaching with the powerful study tools and theological libraries available in Logos Bible Software. Every course provides links to additional resources and suggested readings that supplement the lecture material at the end of every transcript segment.

This course was produced with screencast videos. These videos provide tutorials showing you how to use Logos Bible Software in ways that are tied directly into the content of the course. We are now producing Activities resources as a replacement for screencast videos. We plan on updating this course to include this additional Activities resource in the future for no extra charge.



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    Save extra on academic resources through June 7


    Regular price: $299.99
    Save $210.00 (70%)