Original Research

The adjudication of miracles: Rethinking the criteria of historicity

Michael R. Licona, Jan G. Van der Watt
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 65, No 1 | a130 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v65i1.130 | © 2009 Michael R. Licona, Jan G. Van der Watt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 March 2009 | Published: 08 July 2009

About the author(s)

Michael R. Licona, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Jan G. Van der Watt, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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This is the second article in a series of two that discusses whether historians are within their professional rights to investigate miracle claims. In the first, I made a positive case that they are and then proceeded to examine two major arguments in support of a negative verdict to the issue: the principle of analogy and antecedent probability. I argued that neither should deter historians from issuing a positive verdict on miracle claims when certain criteria are met and the event is the best explanation of the relevant historical bedrock. In this second article, I examine three additional objections commonly appealed to by biblical scholars: the theological objection, lack of consensus and miracle claims in multiple religions. The resurrection of Jesus is occasionally cited as an example.


miracles; principle of analogy; antecedent probability; historicity of miracle stories; Biblical hermeneutics


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Crossref Citations

1. The Miraculous in the New Testament: Current Research and Issues
Graham H. Twelftree
Currents in Biblical Research  vol: 12  issue: 3  first page: 321  year: 2014  
doi: 10.1177/1476993X13501578