Analysis of the history of the tradition only takes us so far — to first reports formulated as tradition. It does not explain the terms used, terms which defined the tradition as 'resurrection' appearances. We can be confident that there was a visual and auditory element to these seeings. That the seeing and hearing was a seeing and hearing of Jesus was a matter of doubt for some who shared the experience, but that memory of doubt has been retained in a tradition where no such doubt remained. That Jesus was alive, despite crucifixion and burial, was an understandable conclusion to draw from the experience. But why resurrection'? Why was the further conclusion drawn, and why did it become the core interpretation, that God had raised Jesus from the dead?
The question arises for two reasons. First, because there were other categories which one would expect to have appealed to the disciples. Second, because 'resurrection' had a limited reference, that is, to what was expected to take place at the end of time, prior to the final judgment.178 Both aspects require elucidation.
Was this article helpful?