For over a year’s time, I have been researching the history of the resurrection of Jesus. There are several theories that have been developed over the years to explain the events that occurred after the death of Jesus of Nazareth. For my research I studied four of these different theories: The Swoon Theory, The Hallucination Theory, The Stolen Body Theory and The Resurrection Theory.

The main reason for this research is to determine what the most logical answer is for the events that transpired so many years ago. In order to do this, the inference to the best explanation was used to determine which of the theories is the most plausible. This method has been used over the years to better understand historical events. To help determine the best answer I reviewed each theory and found the pros and cons for each. The empty tomb and post-mortem appearances were the key focus of the paper. The four theories center on these two factors.

After I finished researching I discovered several things. First, The Swoon, Hallucination and Stolen Body theories have not been well represented in the scholarly realm. There are few scholars that support these theories and few have written about them. Those that have do not even agree with others about what the truth really is. From my research it seems that the Resurrection Theory is the most logical of the four theories, based on the data of the empty tomb and post-mortem appearances.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-9-2016


Michael W. Austin

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Philosophy and Religion

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Curriculum and Instruction