A Greek word meaning “proclamation,” “kerygma” as used in modem New Testament scholarship generally refers to the content of the early Christian message. Kerygmatic formulas are the specific forms in which the kerygma was preached.


Although persons thought to be dead do occasionally revive, these cases are hardly comparable to the transcendent resurrection of Jesus.



Pheme Perkins, Resurrection: New Testament Witness and Contemporary Reflection (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1984), pp. 453–479.


See Eduard Lohse, “Death and Life in the New Testament,” in Death and Life, ed. Otto Kaiser and Lohse, Biblical and Encounter Series (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1981), p. 118f.; Reginald H. Fuller, “Resurrection,” in Harper’s Bible Dictionary, ed. Paul J. Achtemeier (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), p. 864.


See the comments of Werner Georg Kummel in The New Testament: The History of the Investigation of its Problems, transl. S. MacLean Gilmour and Howard Clark Kee (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1972), pp. 120ff., 141–142, 160, 168, 189.


These principles have been summarized by Ernst Troeltsch in Der Historismus und seine Problem (Göttingen: vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1922), pp. 40ff.


Rudolf Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament, vol. I (New York: Scribners, 1951); Norman Perrin, The Resurrection According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1977); Willi Marxsen, The Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth (London: SCM, 1970).


Grant R. Osborne, The Resurrection Narratives: A Redactional Study (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1984); George Eldon Ladd, I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1975).


Bultmann, Kerygma and Myth, ed. H. W. Bartsch (New York: Harper & Row), pp. 38ff.; Gerhard Ebeling, The Nature of Faith (London: SCM, 1966), pp. 68ff.; Ebeling, Word and Faith (London: SCM, 1963), p. 302


See Gerald O’Collins, What Are They Saying About the Resurrection? (New York: Paulist Press, 1978), pp. 34–40, 106–115; Raymond E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973), pp. 128–129.


This is the view maintained by Gary R. Habermas, The Resurrection of Jesus: An Apologetic (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1980), pp. 20ff.; Habermas and Antony G. N. Flew, Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? The Resurrection Debate (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987), pp. 15–17. See also Stephen T. Davis, “Is It Possible to Know That Jesus Was Raised from the Dead?” Faith and Philosophy 1 (1984), pp. 148, 150.


Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus—God and Man, transl. Lewis L. Wilkens and Duane Priebe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968), pp. 88–97.


This is the position maintained by Harold H. Oliver, “A Relational Reassessment of Myth,” Nexus 20 (1977), pp. 11–18; J. Keith Elliott, “The First Easter,” History Today 29 (1979), pp. 209ff.; Antonio R. Gualtieri, “The Resurrection of Jesus as Transformational Myth,” Encounter 43 (1982), pp. 177–183; Ronald H. Preston, raise “Understanding Resurrection Faith,” Modern Churchman 23 (1980), pp. 65–73. Cf. Jaques Guillet, “Les récits evangeliques de la resurrection,” Quatres Fleuves (Paris) 15–16 (1982), pp. 7–21.


For more on such preliterary units, see Perkins, Resurrection, pp. 217–223, 236–245.


Perkins, Resurrection, pp. 228–236.


Among the scholars who agree on dating this tradition of the resurrection appearances to the early 30s are the following: Oscar Cullmann, “The Tradition: The Exegetical, Historical, and Theologica1 Problem,” in The Early Church, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966), pp. 65–66; Brown, Virginal Conception, p. 81; Ladd, I Believe in the Resurrection, pp. 141, 161; O’Collins, What Are They Saying About the Resurrection? p. 112; Fuller, The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives (New York: Macmillan, 1971), p. 48; Pannenberg, Jesus, p. 90.


See the discussion of these texts in Ulrich Wilckens, Resurrection: Biblical Testimony to the Resurrection: An Historical Examination and Explanation (Atlanta: John Knox, 1977), pp 16–27.


Giuseppe Ghiberti, “Contemporary Discussion of the Resurrection of Jesus,” in Problems and Perspectives of Fundamental Theology, ed. Rene Lataourelle and O’Collins (New York: Paulist Press, 1982), p. 231.


On the empty tomb motif, see Robert H. Stein, “Was the Tomb Really Empty?” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS) 20 (1977), pp. 23–29; Fergus Kerr, “Recent Catholic Writing on the Resurrection. (1) The Empty Tomb Story,” New Blackfriars 58 (1977), 453–461; Antonio Cordoba, “Relatos de la tumba vacia,” Mayéutica 3 (1977), pp. 297–328; Gerald O’Mahony, “The Empty Tomb,” Clergy Review 63 (6, 1987), pp. 207–210; Kenneth Grayston, “The Empty Tomb,” Expository New Times 92 (1981), pp. 263–267; Rudolph Pesch, “Das ‘leere Grab’ und der Glaube an Jesu Auferstehung,” International Katholische Zeitschrift/Communio (IKZ/C) 11(1982), pp. 6–20; and Barnabas Lindars, “Jesus Risen: Bodily Resurrection But No Empty Tomb,” Theology 89 (1986), pp. 90–96. On the uniqueness of the appearance to Peter in John 21, see Paul S. Minear, “The Original Functions of John 21, ” Journal of Biblical Literature 102 (1983), pp. 85–98.


Compare these comments with the discussion in William M. Thompson, The Jesus Debate: Survey and Synthesis (New York: Paulist Press, 1985), pp. 235–238.


On the “appearances” tradition, set now William P. Loewe, “The Appearances of the Risen Lord: Faith, Fact, and Objectivity,” Horizons 6 (1979), pp. 171–192; Fernando Quesada Garcia, “Las apariciones y la Ascension en la economia salvifica,” Burgense 26 (1985), pp. 351–377; Daniel Kendall, “Catholic Theologians the Post-Resurrection Appearances,” Priests & People (London) I (1987), pp. 45–50; O’Collins, “The Appearances of the Risen Jesus,” America 156 (1987), pp. 317–320. On the importance of Peter’s witness, see O’Collins, “Easter Witness and Peter’s Ministry,” Heythrop Journal (HJ) 26 (1985), pp. 177–178; O’Collins, “Peter as Easter Witness,” HJ 22 (1981), pp. 1–18.


See Helmut Koester, Introduction to the New Testament, vol. 2, History and literature of Early Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1982), pp. 1–5, 160–177; Edward Schillebeeckx, Jesus: An Experiment in Christology Virginal Christ: The Experience of Jesus as Lord (New York: Seabury, 1980), pp. 403–515.


Fuller, A Critical Introduction to the New Testament (London: Duckworth Press, 1971), p. 74.


Thompson, The Jesus Debate, p. 223.


In this regard, see M. Eugene Boring, Sayings of the Risen Jesus: Christian Prophecy in the Synoptic Tradition (Cambridge, UK: University Press, 1982), pp. 183, 185.


See Osborne, The Resurrection Narratives, pp. 171–174.


On the use of Psalm 110 in the resurrection proclamation, see Perkins, Resurrection, pp. 82, 87, 165–166, 227, 230, 241, 243.


See the penetrating comments about the role of women in the resurrection accounts in Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins (New York: The Crossroad, 1986), pp. 332ff.


These are the conclusions reached by O’Collins and Kendall, “Mary Magdalene as Major Witness to Jesus’ Resurrection,” Theological Studies (TS) 48 (1987), pp. 631–646.


See her discussion of the “feminine face” of the resurrection in O’Collins, What Are They Saying About the Resurrection? pp. 95–102. Compare, also, the comments of Luise Schottroff, “Maria Magdalena und die Frauen am Grab Jesu (Mk 15:40–16:8),” Evangelische Theologie 42 (1982), pp. 19–25.


On the role of faith in grasping the meaning of the resurrection, see further, the comments of Lohse, “Was es heisst: Ich glaube an den auferstandenen Christus. Vom Zentrum einer Theologie des Neuen Testaments,” Berliner Theologische Zeitschrift 4 (1987), pp. 53–60.


On Paul’s implied acceptance of the empty tomb, see Brown, The Virginal Conception, pp. 124–127; Stein, “Was the Tomb Really Empty?” JETS 20 (1977), pp. 24ff.; William L. Craig. “The Empty Tomb of Jesus,” in Gospel Perspectives: Studies of History and Tradition in the Four Gospels, Vol. 2, ed. Richard T. France & David Wenham (Sheffield, UK: JSOT Press, 1981), pp. 178ff.; Grayston, John “The Empty Tomb,” ET 92 (1981), pp. 263–267; Meinolf Habitzky, “Noch einmal: das ‘leere’ Grabe,” IKZ/C 11 (1982), pp. 403–406; Lorenz Oberlinner, “Verkundigung der Auferweckung Jesu im geoffneten und leeren Grad: Zu einem vernachlassigsten Aspekt in der Diskussion um den Grab Jesu,” Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 73 (1982), pp. 159–182; Lindars, “Jesus Risen: Replies,” Theology 89 (1986), pp. 90–96, and “Jesus Risen: Replies,” Theology 89 (1986), pp. 296–300; David Vaughan, “New Light Upon the Empty Tomb: The Shroud and Mediumistic Evidence,” Journal of Religious and Psychological Research 9 (1986), p. 98–102; Ronald J. Sider, “St. Paul’s Understanding of the Nature and Significance of the Resurrection in I Corinthians XV 1–19, ” Novum Testamentum 19 (1977), pp. 124–141; Antonio Vargas-Machuca, “Reflexiones sobre la Resurreccion de Jesus,” Razón y Fe 217 (1988), pp. 355–60.


On the view that the appearance stories were composed as “formulas of legitimation,” see Marxsen, The Resurrection of Jesus, chap. 4; Wilckens, Resurrection, p. 13; Pesch, “Zur Entstehung des Glaubens an die Auferstehung Jesu. Ein Vorschlag zur Diskussion,” Theologische Quartalschrift 153 (1973), pp. 201–208. The more recent view, that mission and preaching had to precede any attempts at legitimation, is maintained by Ghiberti, “Contemporary Discussion,” p. 247; Joseph Plevnik, “The Eyewitnesses of the Risen Jesus in Luke 24, ” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 49 (1987), pp. 90–103; John P. Galvin, “The Origin of Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus: Two Recent Perspectives,” TS 49 (1988), pp. 25ff.; Lucien Legrand, “The Missionary Command of the Risen Christ. I. Mission and Resurrection,” Indian Theological Studies 23 (1986), pp. 290–309.


On the entire discussion of the verb “opthe” in 1 Cor 15:5–8, see the following: Emanuel Hirsch, Die Auferstehungsgeschichten und der christliche Glaube (Tübingen, W.Ger.: Mohr, 1940), pp. 8, 15, 33; Bernhard Sporlein, Die Leugnung der Auferstehung. Eine historisch-kritische Untersuchung zu I Kor 15 (Regensburg, W.Ger.: F. Pustet Verlag, 1971), pp. 51–63; Heinrich Schlier, “Die Anfange des christologischen Credo,” in Zur Fruhgeschichte der Christologie, Bernhard Welte (Freiburg, W.Ger.:Verlag and Herder, 1970), pp. 37–38; Bartsch, “Inhalt und Funktion des urchristlichen Osterglaubens,” New Testament Studies 26 (1980), pp. 180–196.