Did the resurrection of Jesus happen?

The evidence for the life and crucifixion of Jesus is held to be conclusive by most historians. The evidence for His resurrection is as follows:

  1. Numerous eyewitness testimonies, acting seemingly against their own best interests in identifying themselves with a condemned criminal and a persecuted sect.
  2. The reaction to the witnesses. Instead of the following of Jesus fading away after his death, as happened to the following of other charismatic prophets, there were thousands of new converts who made major life changes such as worshipping on Sunday rather than Saturday.
  3. As with the Gospels generally, textual analysis of the passages around resurrection shows they read more like eyewitness accounts than fiction.

If we used the same evidence to demonstrate some everyday occurrence, say that Jesus visited some city on a given date, most people would conclude that on the balance of probability that that did indeed occur. Does it follow that we should believe in miraculous occurrences such as the resurrection based on the same criteria or should they be subject to a different standard? That is a difficult philosophical question.

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