Events/ ISCA Annual Conference

Defeating the Delusion Hypothesis

Defeating the Delusion Hypothesis


The Christian justification for rational belief in the Resurrection is in large part anchored in Paul’s justification for rational belief in the authenticity of his own experience. In Paul we find the earliest and best attested documentary evidence for a historical investigation of the miraculous event. Moreover, his epistles are an indispensable source of independent corroboration of the gospel narratives.

While critics of the Resurrection have attempted to explain Paul’s experience on the Damascus Road by a number of naturalistic accounts, contemporary variants of the Delusion hypothesis (DH) offer perhaps the most promising of such skeptical alternatives. The article that follows argues that contemporary versions of DH fail to satisfy the criteria of a superior historical description. Further, the epistemic model of cumulative evidentialism is applied to show that Paul’s claim to have encountered the risen Jesus would resist a strong potential defeater.


What is “intellectual formation”? In Rom. 12:2, the apostle Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”