Sample Religious Studies Paper on Jesus the Resurrection and the Way


Some attacks that cast doubts on Christianity come from skepticism about the resurrection. In this short argument, you will be arguing for the resurrection of Jesus, but your defense argument will depend on the type of attack you are defending the resurrection against. Whichever direction you choose to take, it will be a topic and a line of defense that you will have occasion to use in the future.



Use a paper format for this argument. There is no template used for this assignment. The paper should be 4-5 pages long. A current Turabian format title page, footnotes, and bibliography are required.

Be sure to begin by crafting a strong thesis for your argument. The methodologies from previous assignments in this course may be useful for you in this short argument.

Naturalist Explanations for the Resurrection of Christ (Gould p. 109-19 provides good material to start your defense of the resurrection as does Sweis, Chapters 37-39; Gould in Chapter 4 “Miracles” as well as Sweis, Chapters 33-35 may also provide useful lines of argument for establishing the possibility of the resurrection; Gould in Chapter 5 “The Reliability of the New Testament” and Sweis – Chapter 31 for the historicity of the resurrection based on the reliability of the New Testament). There is more material than you need for 3-5 pages. A well-crafted thesis will help you to know what material to choose.

Choose one of the following subtopics for your argument (there are five from which to choose). Be sure to choose a topic that can be addressed through a line of argument that is different than what you have already used in this or in previous courses.

  1. Jesus’s Disciples Stole the Body (Gould p. 119-20)
  2. The Jewish Leaders Stole the Body (Gould p. 120)
  3. Jesus Was Not Actually Dead (Gould p. 120-21)
  4. The Women Went to the Wrong Tomb (Gould p. 121)
  5. The Appearances of Jesus Were Hallucinations (Gould p. 121-23)

The paper must have a proper introduction and conclusion.

  1. The introduction (one paragraph, 3-5 sentences, no direct quotes or citable information) must be built around the thesis statement. This thesis statement provides unity to the overall presentation, so every word of the paper must be related to and supportive of the thesis statement.
  2. The conclusion (also one paragraph, 3-5 sentences, no direct quotes or citable information) must summarize the main points presented that support your thesis. This is neither an outline of your paper nor a reiteration of the argument but rather a summary of how you supported your thesis.

Including both the introduction and conclusion but not the title and bibliography pages, the total length of the paper must be 4-5 pages in current Turabian format (including the main text only, not footnotes, front matter, or the bibliography). In the final submission, assertions should be supported by 3 resources (more are allowed). Scripture should be used when applicable but does not count as one of the countable bibliographic resources. Course textbooks should be used, be footnoted and be placed in the bibliography but they do not count towards the required 3 resources.

Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.