The Resurrection Hypothesis passes all of the standard criteria for being the best explanation, such as explanatory power, explanatory scope, plausibility, and so forth.-William Lane Craig
I must confess I find this statement quite baffling. While the "Resurrection Hypothesis," might account for the rise of Christianity admirably (indeed, I can think of few things that could more surely give rise to such a movement), it doesn't do so realistically. More importantly, it gives rise to more questions than it answers. The suggestion that it has greater "plausibility" isn't just wrong, it's wrongheaded.
The dictionary is our friend on this one:
2 entries found for plausibility.
plau·si·ble Pronunciation Key (plôz-bl)
1. Seemingly or apparently valid, likely, or acceptable; credible: a plausible excuse.
2. Giving a deceptive impression of truth or reliability.
3. Disingenuously smooth; fast-talking: “Ambitious, unscrupulous, energetic,... and plausible,a political gladiator, ready for a ‘set-to’ in any crowd” (Frederick Douglass).
Resurrection isn't simply not "apparently valid" or "likely," it's impossible. Dead people do not come back to life, that is, for all intents and purposes, a fact. I certainly respect the choice of people to accept the existence of forces--God or otherwise--that can defy natural law, but that doesn't mean that I need to accept their existence. It doesn't mean that I need to accord such possibilities an equal footing with more tangible, empirical phenomena.
All the fancy mathematics and formal logic Bill Craig puts out fails to account for one fundamental fact: The probability of an impossible event occurring is zero.
Ehrman summed this up aptly:
For that reason, Bill’s four pieces of evidence are completely irrelevant. There cannot be historical probability for an event that defies probability, even if the event did happen. The resurrection has to be taken on faith, not on the basis of proof.
Lee Edgar Tyler also gave this memorable quote on X-Talk:
If it happened it was a miracle (and if on the weird off-shot it happened by natural means unknown to present-day science then there's no point in being a Christian, at least in the conventional sense). ...The impossibility of resurrection *is* proven, and there are quite sound methodological reasons for dismissing its historicity if one wants to undertake a study of the origin and transmission of the Resurrection tales. And the metaphysical arguments as to why a historian ought to take the possibility of the miraculous into consideration in this case are in reality the irrelevancies.
Dead people do not come back to life; were this ongoing discussion linked to any other figure, ancient or contemporary, it would be met with gales of laughter should it ever try and make its way into the academy.
Also of note, regarding the discussion of the empty tomb, is Peter Kirby's excellent response to Craig on the historicity of the empty tomb.