On this topic also, Borg takes a more moderate approach than does Crossan, addressing the resurrection appearances of Jesus at more length, as well. Borg thinks that, while “the story of the historical Jesus ends with his death on a Friday in A.D. 30, the story of Jesus does not end there.” According to Jesus’ followers, “he appeared to them in a new way beginning on Easter Sunday.”^51
However, “[w]e cannot know exactly what happened. According to the earliest accounts of Easter reported by his followers, Jesus ‘appeared to them’” but “[w]e do not know what form those appearances took” since they are sometimes described as visionary and other times as corporeal. Did anything happen to Jesus’ body? Borg states that, in historical terms, “we cannot say,” maintaining that Jesus’ resurrection was not a reanimation of his corpse but that “Jesus’ followers continued to experience him as a living reality . . . .”^52 Presumably, Borg thinks that the truth lies somewhere in between these two positions.
In a more recent article that attempts to answer this question, Borg adds a few items. He continues to take seriously the claims that Jesus appeared, largely because such is the testimony of Paul, whom he considers the earliest New Testament author, the only eyewitness writer we have, and because this was the central event for him. Thus we must make sense of these occurrences. Yet, these are not “straightforward events” and could not have been photographed. Again, they signify the continuing presence of Jesus in “the lives of Christians as both companion and lord.”^53
We will look briefly at Borg’s proposal by responding to his own question concerning the nature of Jesus’ appearances. Although it is a crucially important issue, we will not be able to argue here the actual nature of these appearances,^54