Christian apologists, like Willian Lane Craig and Stephen T. Davis, argue
that belief in Jesus’ resurrection is reasonable because it provides the best explanation
of the available evidence. In this article, I refute that thesis. To do so, I lay out how the
logic of inference to the best explanation (IBE) operates, including what good
explanations must be and do by definition, and then apply IBE to the issue at hand.
Multiple explanations—including (what I will call) The Resurrection Hypothesis, The
Lie Hypothesis, The Coma Hypothesis, The Imposter Hypothesis, and The Legend
Hypothesis—will be considered. While I will not attempt to rank them all from worst to
best, what I will reveal is how and why The Legend Hypothesis is unquestionably the
best explanation, and The Resurrection Hypothesis is undeniably the worst.
Consequently, not only is Craig and Davis’ conclusion mistaken, but belief in the literal
resurrection of Jesus is irrational. In presenting this argument, I do not take myself to
be breaking new ground; Robert Cavin and Carlos Colombetti have already presented
a Bayesian refutation of Craig and Davis’ arguments. But I do take myself to be
presenting an argument that the average person (and philosopher) can follow. It is my
goal for the average person (and philosopher) to be able to clearly understand how and
why the hypothesis “God supernaturally raised Jesus from the dead” fails utterly as an
explanation of the evidence that Christian apologist cite for Jesus’ resurrection.