Friday, February 28, 2020

Earliest evidence for the Resurrection

The earliest evidence for the resurrection is not I Corinthians 15 but the Synoptic accounts of the resurrection. And we can have confidence that the info. in John's account, though written down later, was being told by Mary Magdalene and Peter and John from extremely early. Peter's sermon in Acts 2 is in the competition as well, since it would have been made public (to its original, hearing audience) earlier than any other account in the New Testament but published in written form a little later. Yes, yes, I know what is going to be said against this, but it's true nonetheless. If Luke is a good reporter of what was said (and I believe that we have good evidence that), then the first public proclamation of the resurrection was on the day of Pentecost, just six weeks after the event. And the Gospel accounts, needed for our justification and far more detailed than what Paul says in I Cor. 15, can be defended as coming from eyewitnesses who were backing up Peter's sermon with their accounts of this kind from earlier than the writing of I Corinthians.
We need to break free of the idea that the date of writing is the date of proclamation. And we need to break free of the minimalist attempt to do without the Gospel accounts. That the Gospel accounts represent what the witnesses claimed is no less historical bedrock than Paul's "creed" in I Corinthians 15 or than facts "admitted by a vast majority of scholars."

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