D. Pre-New Testament verbal-Creeds

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Contents

Introduction

Christological creeds

1 Corinthians 15: 3-7

Luke 24:34

Historical Facts critical scholars grant (add after creeds)

Synopsis of creeds

Conclusion

Sources

Introduction

What facts did the earliest Christians report concerning Jesus in the initial years after his crucifixion? Of what did the earliest Christology consist before the forming of the New Testament? Is it possible to get back to eyewitness testimony and to historical facts with regard to Jesus? We are now going to ground zero when it comes to Christianity.

This subject takes interest in the existence of early Christian creeds which were first repeated verbally and later written in the books of the New Testament. So in one way, this material is not extrabiblical since we rely on the scriptural material for the creeds, however, at the same time, this data was formulated before the New Testament books, in which the creeds appear, were actually written. 

So we’re looking at pre-bible, the era of 30-50AD where testimonies were spreading orally, preserved in reports, small creeds and hymns. The creeds preserve pre-New Testament material, and are our earliest sources for the life of Jesus. Part of this journey will take us to as close to the cross as is possible.

With the understanding of the creeds, we will explore facts admitted by virtually all scholars regardless of their belief systems who study the subject. Critical theologians, historians and philosophers who have studied the New Testament have ascertained a number of facts from the life of Jesus by the critical examination of the biblical sources.

We’ll then conclude with the established results of what Christianity looked like coming out of the gate. From the writings of Paul’s letters and the Gospels, informal and controlled oral tradition takes us back to the first days. What we expose here is what is known to be transmitted and detected under the historical method of critical scholars. This does not mean we have every creedal statement and tradition incase you feel certain topics arn’t talked about (Like Deacons and Elders), but what is important to discover is, are the basic tenets of Christianity preserved here?

So what we will establish here is

  1. The texts of the earliest days of christian beliefs: creeds, hymns and statements
  2. The historical facts critical scholars accept Christians have at the beginning
  3. A synopsis of the two to see what Christianity was coming out in the first few years 

A big credit for this research comes from Gary Habermas’ “The Historical Jesus . College Press Publishing Co, p143-170

Christological creeds

Scholars have discovered ancient creeds and hymns within the texts of the New Testament, the oral source material for the forming of many of the New Testament documents. They appear like pasted quotes that contrast from the hand of the author and their written style. Many of these confessional creeds embody descriptions of Jesus Christ’s divinity, his death and resurrection. Here we’ll briefly tap into them and what picture of Christ we can form as a result.

The Life of Jesus Christ 

  • 1 John 4:2 an early creed states Christians “show confidence Jesus Christ came in the flesh” [1]
  • Philippians 2:6ff is a pre-Pauline hymn clearly expressing Jesus’ incarnation in human and divine form. His human and heavenly life are contrasted “in the  form of God” with later exaltation and worship
  • 2 Timothy 2:8 [2] is another ancient creed. Jesus’ birth and lineage are contrasted with Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Here christians link Jesus to history [3]
  • Romans 1:3-4, pre-Pauline creed [4]. Seed of David made flesh with the divine Jesus whose claims were vindicated by his rising from the dead [5]
  • 1 Timothy 3:16 is a confessional creed [6] that associates the human and divine Jesus as the same person 
  • Romans 10:9 was likely a baptismal creed [7] for those considering baptism. It might be an indirect reference to Jesus’ own baptism

The Death and Resurrection of Jesus 

  • 1 Corinthians 11:23ff is a fixed tradition which suggests a private supper with the disciples and is considered an independent source from the synoptic Gospels [8] The scholar Jeremias notes that Paul’s words “received” and “delivered” are not Paul’s typical terms, but “represent the rabbinical technical terms” for passing on tradition.[9] Additionally, there are other non-Pauline phrases such as “he was betrayed,” “when he had given thanks” and “my body” (11:23-24), which are further indications of the early nature of this report. In fact, Jeremias asserts that his material was formulated “in the very earliest period; at any rate before Paul . . . a pre-Pauline formula.” Paul is actually pointing out “that the chain of tradition goes back unbroken to Jesus himself.”[10] 
  • 1 Timothy 6:13, an early tradition [11] states Jesus came before Pilate and made a good confession, regarding if he was king of the Jews. Scholar Neufeld states based on his research states “Jesus did not deny his identity in the trials but made a good confession before the Jews and Pilate.” [12] 
  • Philippians 2:8, pre-Pauline hymn contrasts Jesus’ humbling (dying on the cross) and then exaltation (exalted by God)
  • Romans 4:25, an early statement handed down [13] states Jesus died for sins and was raised from the dead to secure the believers justification
  • 1 Peter 3:18 an early tradition, contrasts Jesus’ death for sins with resurrection of bringing people to God 
  • Peter’s sermons in Acts present the resurrection of Jesus in every sermon [14] Critical research has shown that these texts reflect early, largely undeveloped theology, perhaps from the Jerusalem community. [15]
  • Luke’s brief mention of Jesus’ resurrection appearance to Peter in Luke 24:34 is of even greater antiquity than is 1 Corinthians 15:5, which would make this an extremely early witness to these appearances.[17] Scholars note it to be an “apostolic kerygma” [16]
  • Romans 1:3-4 is an ancient pre-Pauline creed shown by parallelism of the clauses [18]. It presents Jesus as both son of David and son of God vindicated in his resurrection [19]
  • Romans 10:9-10, an early creed links the resurrection with the person of Jesus, confessing Jesus as Lord so secure salvation
  • Creeds showing Jesus’ ascension and resulting exaltation: 1 Timothy 3:16 “Jesus was taken up in glory”; Philippians 2:6-11 Jesus humbled as a man was highly exalted and to be worshipped by all people (2:9-11) [20]

Initial summary

Now we haven’t gone through 1 Corinthians 15:3-7, that’s because it’s significance requires a whole article. So with what we have so far, what can we establish of the Historical Jesus of Faith?

(1) that Jesus was really born in human flesh (Phil. 2:6; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 4:2) 

(2) of the lineage and family of David (Rom. 1:3-4; 2 Tim. 2:8). 

We find (3) an implication of his baptism (Rom. 10:9) 

(4) that Jesus’ word was preached (Rom. 10:9)

(5) resulting in persons believing his message (1 Tim. 3:16).

A few earlier events of Jesus’ life are mentioned, all from the creeds in Acts: 

(6) Jesus was born in the lineage of David (Acts 13:23; also Rom. 1:3; 2 Tim. 2:8), and 

(7) came from the town of Nazareth (Acts 2:22; 4:10; 5:38). 

(8) John preceded Jesus’ ministry (Acts 10:37; 13:24-25), 

(9) which began in Galilee (Acts 10:37)

(10) afterwards expanding throughout Judea (Acts 10:37). 

(11) Jesus performed miracles (Acts 2:22; 10:38) and 

(12) fulfilled numerous Old Testament prophecies (Acts 2:25-31; 3:21-25; 4:11; 10:43; 13:27-37). 

We are further informed by the creed in 1 Corinthians 11:23ff. that 

(13) Jesus attended a dinner 

(14) on the evening of his betrayal. 

(15) He gave thanks before the meal and 

(16) shared both bread and drink, 

(17) which, he declared, represented his imminent atoning sacrifice for sin. 

More passages tell us

(18) Later, Jesus stood before Pilate (Acts 3:13; 13:28) 

(19) He made a good confession, which very possibly concerned his identity as the King of the Jews to Pilate (1 Tim. 6:13). 

(20) Afterwards, Jesus was killed (Acts 3:13-15; 13:27-29) 

(21) for mankind’s sins (1 Pet. 3:18; Rom. 4:25; 1 Tim. 2:6), 

(22) in spite of his righteous life (1 Pet. 3:18). 

(23) Crucifixion was specified as the mode of death (Acts 2:23; 2:36; 4:10; 5:30; 10:39),

(24) in the city of Jerusalem (Acts 13:27; cf. 10:39), 

(25) by wicked men (Acts 2:23). 

(26) Then he was buried (Acts 13:29). 

(27) After his death he was resurrected (Acts 2:24, 31-32; 3:15, 26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30-37; 2 Tim. 2:8), 

(28) resurrected on the third day (Acts 10:40) 

(29) then appeared to his followers (Acts 13:31), 

(30) Jesus then ate with them (Acts 10:40-41). 

(31) His disciples were witnesses of these events (Acts 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 10:39, 41; 13:31). 

(32) After his resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven and was glorified and exalted (Acts 2:33; 3:21; 5:31; 1 Tim. 3:16; Phil. 2:6f.). 

(33) The risen Jesus instructed that salvation be preached in his name (Acts 2:38-39; 3:19-23; 4:11-12; 5:32; 10:42-43; 13:26, 38-41). 

(34) This event showed God’s approval of Jesus, by validating his person and message (Acts 2:22-24, 36; 3:13-15; 10:42; 13:32-33; Rom. 1:3-4; 10:9-10). 

The person of Jesus Christ 

Jesus is called or referred to as:

(35) the Son of God (Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:3-4), 

(36) Lord (Luke 24:34; Acts 2:36; 10:36; Rom. 1:4; 10:9; Phil. 2:11), 

(37) Christ or Messiah (Acts 2:36, 38; 3:18, 20; 4:10; 10:36; Rom. 1:4; Phil. 2:11; 2 Tim. 2:8), 

(38) Savior (Acts 5:31; 13:23), 

(39) Prince (Acts 5:31) and 

(40) the Holy and Righteous One (Acts 3:14; cf. 2:27; 13:35). 

(41) It is even said that, regarding his essential nature, he is God (Phil. 2:6).

Taken from: Habermas, Gary. The Historical Jesus . College Press Publishing Co., Inc.. Kindle Edition.

1 Corinthians 15: 3-7

One method of strengthening the case for these Christian creeds is the discovery of how reliable the New Testament documents are which I’ve laid out cases for on this site. However, the goal here is to ascertain independent evidence for the claims of the creeds, to ascertain information about Jesus of Nazareth without treating the Bible as the inspired word of God and seeing it as a historical document preserved over time. Because of this, scholars identified sources used by the authors of the New Testament, visible quotes in the text and there is one that stands firmly against the backdrop of them all.

In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul states: 

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.

As the passage continues, Paul records appearances of the resurrected Christ to Peter, to the “twelve” disciples, to over 500 persons at one time, to James, to all of the apostles and then to Paul himself (vv. 5-8). 

This confession of the early Christian, pre-Pauline creed is recognized by virtually all critical scholars across a very wide theological spectrum. [21] There are several reasons for coming to this conclusion.

First, Paul’s words “delivered” and “received” are technical rabbinic terms for passing on tradition. So to our ears, Paul is stating this material he’s about to quote is not from him but comes prior to him. [22] 

Second, a number of words in this creed are non-Pauline and indicate another origin of this material [23]. The scholar Jeremias, a leading authority on this issue, states that such non-Pauline phrases as: 

(1) “for our sins” (v. 3); 

(2) “according to the scriptures” (vv. 3-4); 

(3) “he has been raised” (v. 4); 

(4) the “third day” (v. 4); 

(5) “he was seen” (vv. 5-8); and 

(6) “the twelve” (v. 5). 47 

Third, it is likely that the creed is organized in a stylized, parallel form, thereby providing a further indication of the oral and confessional nature of this material. [24]

Fourth, there are indications that there may be a Semitic source, such as the use of the Aramaic “Cephas” for Peter (v. 5), hence pointing to an earlier source before Paul’s Greek translation. [25] 

Fifth, other indications of ancient Hebrew narration include the triple usage of “and that” along with the two references to the Scripture being fulfilled.[26] 

How early is this creed? Numerous critical theologians have sought to give an answer to this question, with very exciting results. Ulrich Wilckens asserts that this creed “indubitably goes back to the oldest phase of all in the history of primitive Christianity.” [27] Joachim Jeremias calls it “the earliest tradition of all.”[28] Concerning a more exact time, it is very popular to date this creed in the mid AD 30s. More specifically, numerous critical theologians date it from three to eight years after Jesus’ crucifixion.[29]

Receiving the Creed

How would Paul have received this creed? A number of scholars have arrived at the same scenario. 

  1. Dating Jesus’ crucifixion around AD 30, 
  2. Paul’s conversion would have occurred shortly afterwards, AD 33–35. 
  3. Three years after his conversion (AD 36–38) he visited Jerusalem and specifically met with Peter and James (Gal. 1:18-19). 
  4. It is therefore reasoned that the gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus would in all likelihood be the normal center of discussion, [30] and that the presence of both Peter and James in the list of appearances (1 Cor. 15:5, 7) indicates the probability that Paul received this creed from these apostles when he visited them in Jerusalem.[31] 

The alternative option is that Paul received this material in Damascus immediately after his conversion, which would make it even three years earlier, but the presence of the Semitisms in the creed, as mentioned above, in addition to the two proper names, favour Jerusalem as the location where Paul first received it. 

With Jerusalem as the location we would date Paul’s reception of the creed at about five to seven years after the crucifixion. However, we can go back further, two stages earlier. Since the tradition would need to be in existence prior to when Paul first heard it, the creed would have to be dated earlier. In addition to this, the independent beliefs themselves, which later composed the formalised creed, would then date back to the historical events as they are the basic tenets of Christianity. So we are dealing with material that proceeds directly from the events in question and this creed is thus crucial in our discussion of the death and resurrection of Jesus. 

Not only are these facts reported early, but they are reported directly by the eyewitnesses themselves. 

  1. Paul states that he specifically checked out his message with the apostles (Gal. 2:1-10) 
  2. He probably received this creed directly from these eyewitnesses themselves (Gal. 1:18-19)
  3. As a direct result, not only had Paul personally seen the risen Christ (1 Cor. 15:8-9), but his testimony concerning the facts of the gospel agreed with that of the apostolic eyewitnesses (vv. 11, 14, 15).[32] 

So Paul’s factual account was the same as that of the other apostles, in spite of the fact that Paul distinguished himself from the others. [33] 

So the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth are open to the historical method for testing. German historian Hans von Campenhausen attests concerning 1 Corinthians 15:3ff., “This account meets all the demands of historical reliability that could possibly be made of such a text.”[34] A.M. Hunter states that “The passage therefore preserves uniquely early and verifiable testimony. It meets every reasonable demand of historical reliability.”[35] 

Now we can begin to perceive the immense importance of this creed in terms of both facts and faith. Initially, it reveals some crucial facts concerning the gospel of the deity, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It also shows that Paul was near to these facts. [36] As C.H. Dodd asserts concerning this creed: 

Thus Paul’s preaching presents a special stream of Christian tradition which was derived from the mainstream at a point very near to its source. . . . anyone who should maintain that the primitive Christian gospel was fundamentally different from that which we have found in Paul must bear the burden of proof. [37]

So Peter and John have this creed credalised, a creed that has two stanzas in it. This was their testimony in standardized form of testimony that goes back to the cross. So the apostles now have this creed, a summary to leave their readers with, something that could easily be learned and recited in hymns or church confessions. So we know Paul received this creed likely around 5 years, but when do the leading New Testament critical scholars date when they may have received this creed?

The Emeritus Lightfoot Professor James D.G. Dunn of Durham University, one of the leading critical voices in his Huge work Jesus Remembered dates the creeds forming within months after the cross [38], we’re talking Pentecost! 

Larry Hurtardo, Emeritus Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology at Edinburgh and a specialist in early Christianity says the creed came out from the beginning in the Jerusalem Church [39]  after the resurrection. But why not? It was the central Christian message and they wanted to get it out to an illiterate people in an oral culture and for scholars, it gives the clear indication why such views held and why such views spread so quickly.

Summary

This factual witness to the death and resurrection of Jesus also became an apologetic for Christian belief. [40] The belief that the same Jesus who was dead and buried was raised again (1 Cor. 15:3-4) also strongly implies the empty tomb, especially in the context of Jewish thought. [41] On the other hand, this creed is also referred to by some as the most important single formulation of faith in the early church. [42] The importance of the creed in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. can hardly be overestimated. 

No longer can it be charged that there is no demonstrable early, eyewitness testimony for the resurrection or for the other most important tenets of Christianity, for this creed provides just such evidential data concerning the facts of the gospel, which are at the very core of the Christian belief. It links the events themselves with those who actually participated in time and space. As such this creed yields a strong factual basis for Christianity through the early and eyewitness reports of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. 

Main source: Habermas, Gary. The Historical Jesus . College Press Publishing Co., Inc.. 
Kindle Edition. 

Historical Facts critical scholars grant 

Because of the testimony of these early Christian creeds, as well as other data, even contemporary critical scholars recognize a certain amount of historical facts surrounding the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. In other words, even treating the New Testament as nothing more than a book of ancient literature, critics have deduced numerous historical facts concerning Jesus’ life. In particular, 1 Corinthians 15:3ff. has played a significant part in this reconstruction. There are a minimum number of facts agreed upon by practically all critical scholars, whatever their school of thought. At least twelve separate facts are considered to be knowable history.

  1. Jesus died by crucifixion and 
  2. was buried. 
  3. Jesus’ death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope, believing that his life was ended. 
  4. Although not as widely accepted, many scholars hold that the tomb in which Jesus was buried was discovered to be empty just a few days later. Critical scholars further agree that 
  5. the disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus. Because of these experiences, 
  6. the disciples were transformed from doubters who were afraid to identify themselves with Jesus to bold proclaimers of his death and resurrection. 
  7. This message was the center of preaching in the early church and 
  8. was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem, where Jesus died and was buried shortly before. As a result of this preaching, 
  9. the church was born and grew, 
  10. with Sunday as the primary day of worship. 
  11. James, who had been a sceptic, was converted to the faith when he also believed that he saw the resurrected Jesus. 
  12. A few years later, Paul was converted by an experience which he, likewise, believed to be an appearance of the risen Jesus.

These facts are crucial for our contemporary investigation of Jesus’ resurrection.

Synopsis of creeds

We have explored the historical creeds and hymns known to scholars and certain facts conceded by them as a result. This oral material that circulated before the penning of the New Testament scholars admit as knowable history. 

These details provide a formidable basis for knowledge about Jesus. 

  1. Jesus was a real flesh and blood person (Phil. 2:6; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 4:2) 
  2. who was physically born in the lineage of David (Acts 13:23; Rom. 1:3-4; 2 Tim. 2:8) 
  3. and came from the town of Nazareth (Acts 2:22; 4:10; 5:38). 
  4. John preceded Jesus (Acts 10:37; 13:24-25), 
  5. and it is implied that Jesus was baptized (Rom. 10:9). 
  6. Jesus’ ministry began in Galilee, and was extended throughout Judea (Acts 10:37). 
  7. Jesus both performed miracles (Acts 2:22; 10:38) 
  8. and fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies (2:25-31; 3:21-25; 4:11; 10:43; 13:27-37). 
  9. He preached his message among men, resulting in people believing his testimony (1 Tim. 3:16). 
  10. On the night Jesus was betrayed, he first attended a dinner, where he prayed and gave thanks before the meal. Afterward, Jesus passed around both bread and drink, which he referred to as the sacrifice of his body and blood for sin (1 Cor. 11:23ff.). 
  11. Later, Jesus appeared before Pilate (Acts 3:13; 13:28), 
  12. where he made a good confession, which very possibly concerned his identity as the Messiah (1 Tim. 6:13). 
  13. In spite of the fact that Jesus was a righteous man (1 Pet. 3:18), 
  14. he died for the sins of others (1 Pet. 3:18; Rom. 4:25; 1 Tim. 2:6). 
  15. He was killed (Acts 3:13-15; 13:27-29; 1 Cor. 15:3; Phil. 2:8) 
  16. by crucifixion (Acts 2:23; 2:36; 4:10; 5:30; 10:39), 
  17. dying in the city of Jerusalem (Acts 13:27; cf. 10:39), 
  18. at the hands of wicked men (Acts 2:23). 
  19. Afterwards, he was buried (Acts 13:29; 1 Cor. 15:4). 
  20. These events caused the disciples to doubt and despair. 
  21. On the third day after the crucifixion (Acts 10:40), 
  22. the tomb was empty (1 Cor. 15:4, implied) 
  23. and Jesus was raised from the dead (Acts 2:24, 31-32; 3:15, 26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30-37; 2 Tim. 2:8). 
  24. Jesus appeared to numerous eyewitnesses (Luke 24:34; Acts 13:31; 1 Cor. 15:4ff.), 
  25. even eating with them (Acts 10:40-41). 
  26. Two of these persons — namely James (1 Cor. 15:7) 
  27. and Paul (1 Cor. 15:8-9) — were formerly skeptics before they met the risen Jesus. 
  28. The disciples were witnesses of the appearances (Acts 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 10:39, 41; 13:31), 
  29. which were reported at a very early date (Acts 10:40-41; 13:31; 1 Cor. 15:4-8). 
  30. After his resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven where he was glorified and exalted (Acts 2:33; 3:21; 5:31; 1 Tim. 3:16; Phil. 2:6f.). 
  31. The disciples were transformed by these experiences (cf. 1 Tim. 3:16) 
  32. and made the gospel the very center of their early preaching (1 Cor. 15:1-4). 
  33. In fact, it was the risen Jesus who taught that salvation was to be preached in his name (Acts 2:38-39; 3:19-23; 4:11-12; 5:32; 10:42-43; 13:26, 38-41). 
  34. The resurrection was the chief validation of Jesus’ person and message (Acts 2:22-24, 36; 3:13-15; 10:42; 13:32-33; Rom. 1:3-4; 10:9-10). 
  35. The apostolic preaching initially centered in Jerusalem, 
  36. the same place where Jesus had been killed. 
  37. Here the church was born and grew, with Sunday as the chief day of worship. 

In the early Christian preaching, Jesus was given numerous titles: 

  1. Son of God (Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:3-4), 
  2. Lord (Luke 24:34; Acts 2:36; 10:36; Rom. 1:4; 10:9; Phil. 2:11), 
  3. Christ or Messiah (Acts 2:36, 38; 3:18, 20; 4:10; 10:36; Rom. 1:4; Phil. 2:11; 2 Tim. 2:8), 
  4. Savior (Acts 5:31; 13:23), 
  5. Prince (Acts 5:31) 
  6. and the Holy and Righteous One (Acts 3:14; cf. 2:27; 13:35). 
  7. Concerning his essential nature, he was even called God (Phil. 2:6). 

Most of these facts are reported in the early Christian creeds and actually predate the writing of the New Testament. Other facts are virtually unanimously accepted by critical scholars, but not because of them, the careful historical methodology is what backs them up [43] so we have critical and methodological agreement. So with the facts given, critics should not disagree with them because 

  1. They fit and pass historical methodology
  2. Even leading sceptical critics grant the facts

Conclusion

We have explored the material preceding between 30-50AD and found that the source of such material proceeds from the earliest years (30-35AD). No ancient document gets even close to this type of dating in antiquity.

However, what we can boldly and confidently say is even without these creeds, we would have the informal and controlled oral tradition to preserve the teachings of Christ from the very beginning with the solid significant memories from the apostles.

With the creeds, oral tradition and group memory, we have an astonishing case for the preservation of the early teachings prior to the penning of the New Testament documents. Each factor assists one another in strengthening the case for the reliability of the early Christian teachings.

Sources

  1. See Oscar Cullmann, The Earliest Christian Confessions, transl. by J.K.S. Reid (London: Lutterworth, 1949), pp. 32. This book is one of the classic works on this subject.  
  2. Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament, ibid., vol. 1, pp. 49, 81; Joachim Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, p. 102; Neufeld, ibid., p. 145, cf. p. 128. 
  3. See Cullmann, Confessions, pp. 55, 58; C.F.D. Moule, The Birth of the New Testament, revised edition (New York: Harper and Row, 1982), p. 247; Neufeld, pp. 128-129, 133. 
  4. Cullmann, ibid., p. 55; Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, p. 27; II, p. 121; Pannenberg, Jesus, pp. 118, 283, 367; Neufeld, pp. 7, 50; cf. Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, p. 14. 
  5. For example, see Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, pp. 27, 50. Other such sources will be pursued later in this chapter. 
  6. Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, p. 102; Neufeld, pp. 7, 9, 128. 
  7. Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, p. 112; Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, pp. 81, 125; Neufeld, Confessions, pp. 43, 140. 
  8. Moule, Birth, p. 38; Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, pp. 101, 104-105. 
  9. Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, p. 101. 
  10. Eucharistic Words, pp. 101, 104-105. 
  11. Bultmann, Theology, vol. 2, p. 121; Neufeld, Confessions, pp. 20, 31. 
  12. Neufeld, Confessions,, p. 114; cf. pp. 132-133. 
  13. Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, p. 82. 
  14. See Acts 2:22-23, 31; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30-31; 10:39-42; 13:28-29. 
  15. Drane, Introducing the NT, p. 99. 
  16. See the influential treatment by Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, pp. 17-31; cf. Craig’s overview of the debate, pp. 36-38. 
  17. Joachim Jeremias, “Easter: The Earliest Tradition and the Earliest Interpretation,” p. 306. 
  18. Cf. Neufeld, Confessions, pp. 7, 50; Pannenberg, Jesus, pp. 118, 283, 367; Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, p. 14; Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, p. 27; vol. 2, p. 121; Fuller, Foundations, pp. 187, 189. 
  19. Neufeld, Confessions, p. 50. 
  20. Cullmann, Confessions, pp. 55, 57-62. 
  21. See Reginald Fuller, Resurrection Narratives, p. 10; Oscar Cullmann, The Early Church: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. by A.J.B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966), p. 64; Pannenberg, Jesus, p. 90; Wilckens, Resurrection, p. 2; Hengel, The Atonement, pp. 36-38, 40; Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, pp. 45, 80, 82, 293; Willi Marxsen, The Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, transl. by Margaret Kohl (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1970), pp. 80, 86; Hans Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, transl. by James W. Leitch (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1969), p. 251; Hans-Ruedi Weber, The Cross, transl. by Elke Jessett (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), p. 58; Dodd, “Risen Christ,” pp. 124-125; A.M. Hunter, Bible and Gospel, p. 108; Raymond E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973), pp. 81, 92; Norman Perrin, The Resurrection According to Matthew, Mark and Luke (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1977), p. 79; George E. Ladd, I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975), p. 104; Neufeld, Confessions, p. 47. 
  22. Fuller, Resurrection Narratives, p. 10; Wilckens, Resurrection, p. 2; Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, p. 293; Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, pp. 13-14; “Risen Christ,” p. 125; Neufeld, Confessions, p. 27; Brown, Bodily Resurrection, p. 81. 
  23. Cullmann, Early Church, p. 64; Fuller, Resurrection Narratives, p. 10; Marxsen, Resurrection, p. 80; Weber, The Cross, p. 59. 
  24. See especially Fuller, Resurrection Narratives, pp. 11-12; Weber, The Cross, p. 59; Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, pp. 102-103. 
  25. Jeremias, in particular, provides a list of such Semitisms (Eucharistic Words, pp. 102-103). See also Pannenberg, Jesus, p. 90; Fuller, Resurrection Narratives, p. 11; Foundations, p. 160; Weber, The Cross, p. 59. 
  26. Lapide, Resurrection, p. 98. 
  27. Wilckens, Resurrection, p. 2. 
  28. Jeremias, “Easter,” p. 306. 
  29. For a sample of some of those who hold to these specific dates for this creed, see Hans Grass, Ostergeschen und Osterberichte, Second Edition (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1962), p. 96; Leonard Goppelt, “The Easter Kerygma in the New Testament,” The Easter Message Today transl. by Salvator Attanasio and Darrell Likens Guder (New York: Nelson, 1964), p. 36; Thomas Sheehan, First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity (New York: Random House, 1986), pp. 110, 118; Cullmann, The Early Church, pp. 65-66; Pannenberg, Jesus, p. 90; Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, p. 16; Hunter, Jesus, p. 100; Brown, Bodily Resurrection, p. 81; Fuller, Foundations, pp. 142, 161; Resurrection Narratives, pp. 10, 14, 28, 48; Ladd, I Believe, p. 105. O’Collins points out that, as far as he is aware, no scholars date this creed later than the AD 40s. Even with such a date in the 40s, the general conclusions which we draw here, especially concerning the early and eyewitness testimony for the resurrection, still follow. See Gerald O’Collins, What Are They Saying About the Resurrection? (New York: Paulist Press, 1978), p. 112. 
  30. It is interesting that when Paul returned to Jerusalem 14 years later, again meeting with Peter and James, the gospel was specifically mentioned as the center of the discussion (Gal. 2:1-10). 
  31. See note 28 above, since each of these scholars also adopts this general framework. Grass favors the Damascus location (p. 96), while Sheehan does not give the locale in his immediate context. 
  32. See Cullmann, The Early Church, pp. 65-66; cf. p. 73; Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, p. 106; Hengel, The Atonement, p. 38; Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, pp. 16-17. 
  33. Cullmann, Confessions, pp. 72-73. 
  34. Hans von Campenhausen, “The Events of Easter and the Empty Tomb,” in Tradition and Life in the Church (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1968), p. 44, as quoted by Ladd, I Believe, p. 105. 
  35. Hunter, Jesus, p. 100. 
  36. Cullmann, The Early Church, p. 64; Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, p. 96; Pannenberg, Jesus, p. 90; Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, p. 17. 
  37. Dodd, Apostolic Preaching, p. 16. 
  38. James D.G. Dunn, Jesus Remembered 
  39. Larrry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ 
  40. Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, p. 295; Neufeld, Confessions, pp. 66-67, 146. 
  41. Cullmann, Earliest Confessions, p. 32; Wolfhart Pannenberg, “A Dialogue on Christ’s Resurrection,” in Christianity Today, 12/14, April 12, 1968, pp. 9-11. 
  42. Weber, The Cross, p. 58; Hengel, The Atonement, p. 37. 
  43. See Grant, Jesus: An Historian’s Review, for an example of a critical historical work which uncovers other such early data (in addition to the creeds) concerning the life of Jesus. Again, Grant also recognizes the four core facts (pp. 175-178). See Sherwin-White’s Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament for an instance of another ancient historian who also uses critical methodology and applies it to the trial of Jesus and of the journeys of Paul, in particular. Interestingly, Sherwin-White finds that the appropriate New Testament texts are very trustworthy at these points (see pp. 186-193), as we indicated especially in chapter 3 above.
Main source: Habermas, Gary. The Historical Jesus . College Press Publishing Co., Inc.. 
Kindle Edition. 

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