The parts of the New Testament that really prove the resurrection are not Mt. 28, Mk. 16, Lk. 24, and John 20.21. These are the stories of the first Easter. Of course I am not depreciating them; they are of great value. But taken in themselves and on their own, they could be wrong, they could be mistaken, they could be deliberate fiction, invented to bolster up a case. The parts of the New Testament that prove the resurrection are Mt.1-27, Mk. 1-15, Lk. 1-23, and John 1-19 for these were raised up with Jesus. If nothing had happened at the first Easter, if Jesus had simply stayed dead in the grave, he should never have had these stories of his life and teachings. There might have been a few scattered references in the Talmud (as in fact there are) but (as David Flusser says in the article in the Encyclopedia Judaica summarized in this morning’s Times), the events of the Gospel were not really very close to the major events of the day. It is because Jesus rose from the dead that we have the Gospel records. In other words, the risen Christ is the historical Jesus and there is no other.
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