Michael R. Licona

Michael R. Licona
Michael R. Licona
Born Michael R. Licona
Baltimore, Maryland
Alma mater University of Pretoria

Michael R. Licona (born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1961) is a New Testament scholar and Evangelical Christian apologist. He has a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies (University of Pretoria) which he completed "with distinction" and the highest mark and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Liberty University. Till 2011 he was the Apologetics Coordinator at the North American Mission Board (Southern Baptist Convention) and Research Professor of New Testament at Southern Evangelical Seminary.


Matthew 27 controversy

In a passage in his 2010 book, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, Michael Licona questioned the literal historicity of the story of the resurrection of the saints in Matthew 27, and proposed that it might be apocalyptic imagery instead. This led to a major controversy with fellow Evangelical scholar Norman Geisler, who accused Licona of denying the full inerrancy of the Bible in general and the gospel narratives in particular.[1] In the course of events Licona resigned in 2011 from his position as research professor at Southern Evangelical Seminary and as apologetics coordinator for the North American Mission Board (NAMB).[2] Other Evangelical scholars such as William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland, and Gary Habermas voiced their support for Licona by signing an open letter to Geisler.[3]


  • Stephen Patterson (Jesus Seminar) at Florida State University, “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” (March, 2010)
  • Richard Carrier (Atheist) at Washburn University, “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” (February, 2010)
  • Bart Ehrman (Agnostic) at Southern Evangelical Seminary, “Can Historians Prove that Jesus Rose from the Dead?” (April, 2009)
  • Bart Ehrman (Agnostic) at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, “Can Historians Prove that Jesus Rose from the Dead?” (February, 2008)
  • Ali Ataie (Muslim) at the University of California (Davis), “What was the First Century Fate of Jesus?” (November, 2006)
  • Steve Yothment (Atheist) at the University of Georgia, “Resolution: God Created Man” (March, 2006)
  • Elaine Pagels on Ron Insana Show, “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” (April, 2005)
  • Elaine Pagels on Faith Under Fire, “The Gospel of Thomas” (February, 2005)
  • Shabir Ally (Muslim) on Faith Under Fire, “Who was Jesus: Divine or Prophet?” (November, 2004)
  • Richard Carrier (Atheist) at UCLA, “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” (April, 2004)
  • Shabir Ally (Muslim) at Regent University, “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” (March, 2004)
  • Dan Barker (Atheist) at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?” (April, 2003)


  • The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, (IVP Academic, 2010), ISBN 978-0-8308-2719-0
  • Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy & Science, co-edited w/William Dembski (Baker, 2010), ISBN 978-0801072604
  • Paul Meets Muhammad: A Christian-Muslim Debate on the Resurrection, (Baker, 2006), ISBN 978-0801066023
  • The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, with Gary Habermas, (Kregel, 2004), ISBN 978-0825427886
  • Behold, I Stand At the Door and Knock: What to Say to Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses When They Knock on Your Door, (Truth Quest Publishers, 1998), ASIN: B00126UFDS


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