Arguments for the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus strongly rely on testimonial evidence. Defenders of Jesus' resurrection as a historical fact typically argue that the writings of the New Testament are reliable first- or second-hand eyewitness testimonies in support of the resurrection, despite arguments to the contrary pointing out the implausibility of miracles (according to scientific common sense), the degree of uncertainty introduced by the antiquity of the writings (they were written about 2000 years ago) and the impossibility to interview the primary sources (all self-proclaimed eyewitnesses have long since died). Simply put, the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus consists of (1) the alleged first/second-hand eyewitness accounts compiled in the NT and (2) the willingness of early Christians to withstand persecution and martyrdom for what they believed to be true. Many find these two pieces of evidence put together compelling enough to warrant their belief in the resurrection. Others, more skeptical, would remain unwilling to accept the claim unless higher standards of evidence were to be presented.
To the best of my knowledge, cessationists have no issue whatsoever in accepting Jesus' miraculous resurrection on the basis of this "testimonial argument" referenced above.
That said, when it comes to the testimonial evidence of the spiritual gifts after the apostolic age, especially in modern times, an implicit double standard seems to be at play on the cessationist side. Contemporary firsthand accounts about how the spiritual gifts are still active abound. Unlike previous generations, in this internet era we have a privilege as never before to access an endless supply of firsthand eyewitness accounts witnessing to all kinds of miracles and supernatural experiences, including spiritual gifts such as tongues, words of knowledge, healings, etc. See the appendix below for a more exhaustive list of examples.
Surprisingly, despite the abundancy, recency and accessibility of contemporary firsthand eyewitness testimonies, cessationists usually disregard this evidence altogether, judging it to be unreliable, while paradoxically believing the eyewitness accounts for the resurrection of Jesus. Isn't this a case of double standard? What kind of logically consistent epistemology can simultaneously regard (1) limited 2000-year-old testimonial evidence as reliable and (2) abundant, recent and accessible testimonial evidence as unreliable?
Examples of evidence for the continuation of the spiritual gifts after the apostolic age:
- Is there any historical evidence that the supernatural gifts of the Spirit were still in operation after the apostolic age?
- Charismatic Gifts in the Early Church: An Exploration into the Gifts of the Spirit During the First Three Centuries of the Christian Church
- Are there any documented cases of Xenoglossy (i.e. “Acts 2:1-13 type” tongues, understood by a foreigner) in recent history (19th century on)?
- Are there any accounts of “words of knowledge” taking place outside of Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations?
- Are there or have there been Christian healing ministries that have documented healing cases with supporting medical records?
- Miracles Never Ceased: The History of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to Today
- Why I Am Still Surprised by the Power of the Spirit: Discovering How God Speaks and Heals Today
- The Case for Miracles: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for the Supernatural
- Miracles : 2 Volumes: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts
- Miracles: Eyewitness to Some of the Greatest Miracles of Our Time
- The Miracles: A Medical Doctor Says Yes to Miracles!
- The Shantung Revival (The Greatest Revival in Baptist Church History)
- Authentic Fire: A Response to John MacArthur's Strange Fire
- How often do Christian missionaries report occurrences of miracles while on the mission field?
- Listen to Me, Satan!