Crossan probably spends the most time on this issue and does present a rather novel approach. He holds that the accounts of both Jesus’ nature miracles and his resurrection appearances are notconcerned with miraculous acts, but with authority structures in the early church. Taking Paul’s famous account in 1 Corinthians 15:1– 11, Crossan notes “that there are three types of recipients” of Jesus’ “apparitions or revelations” consisting of: “three specific leaders,” Peter, James, and Paul; “two leadership groups”: the twelve and the apostles; and “one single general community” represented by the five hundred.^32

Concerning these “three types of recipients,” Crossan then makes two proposals. First, the post-resurrection phenomena are not about Jesus’ appearances, but are “quite deliberate political dramatizations” showing the priority of one leader over another, or one group over the community as a whole. Second, the nature miracles

30 See the discussion in chapter 7 for the significance of these early kerygmatic reports.

31 Another possible indication in favor of the traditional burial of Jesus is the Nazareth Decree, a first century marble slab that warns that grave robbing is punishable by death, which may be a response both to the Jewish charges, as well as the reports of Jesus’ resurrection. Some think that the Shroud of Turin is at least an evidence of an individual burial for a crucifixion victim. For an overview of such reasons (including sources), see Gary R. Habermas, Dealing with Doubt(Chicago: Moody, 1990), pp. 43–45.

32 Crossan, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, p. 169. (The emphasis is Crossan’s.)

(of which the resurrection is the greatest) likewise “serve the same function” and describe not Jesus’ power but the “apostles’ spiritual power over the community.”^33