This confession links the historical life of Jesus, and the central Christian message of the gospel, in particular (vv. 3–4), with those eyewitnesses who testified to his resurrection appearances, beginning on the third day after his death (vv. 5–7). In addition, Paul had not only met some of these witnesses personally (Gal. 1:18–19; 2:9), but he explains that his message concerning these facts is identical with their eyewitness testimony (1 Cor. 15:11; cf. 15:14, 15). So the eyewitnesses of Jesus, and especially of his resurrection, were relating the same findings as Paul. It is crucially important that this information is very close to the actual events, and therefore cannot be dismissed as late material or as hearsay evidence. Critics not only admit this data, but were the first ones to recognize the early date.^7