I came across this debate today: Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus? It's between Dr. William Lane Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, and Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, James A. Gray Distinguished
Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina.
I find it fascinating. It's quite long (38 pages), but well worth the read if you're interested in the arguments for and against the resurrection. I don't think it does the topic justice, I'd like to see more arguments from each, with more cross-questioning, I don't think either of them answer all the questions they're posed by the other.
Personally, I find myself coming down on the side of Ehrman (surprise surprise!) ; he does make some very good points. Firstly, that the gospels are not eyewitness accounts, but records of existing oral tradition, the reliability of which is dubious. Secondly, that resurrection is a theological explanation, not a historical one. There are many possible theological explanations for the resurrection, if it occurred - one could think of any number on the spot, and Dr. Ehrman suggests one in the debate. How can we know that none of these explanations are true, but the Christian explanation is? The point is that theologians are free to debate the spiritual significance of an event, but this is not something that history can make any sort of judgement about.
Following on from that, Dr. Ehrman also asks Craig about other accounts of miracles from the time, such as Appolonius of Tyana - what historical basis is there for saying that these miracles happened? Craig as much as admits that there are none - in fact he brushes them aside as "myths and legends that have no historical value whatsoever". I'm surprised that he doesn't see that his statement can be easily turned around and applied to his own Christian miracle stories. He seems to me to have shot himself in the foot here. He, and many Christians like him, presuppose the truth of his own miracle traditions, while dismissing out of hand the miracle traditions of other religions. The resurrection of Jesus by God only becomes a valid possibility once one pressuposes God's existence (and more specifically: the existence of the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition). History has nothing to say on this topic, that's for theologians and philosophers.
Anyway, read it for yourself, see what you think.