51 Wilckens, Resurrection, p. 2.

52 Jeremias, “Easter,” p. 306.

30s. More specifically, numerous critical theologians date it from three to eight years after Jesus’ crucifixion.^53

How would Paul have received this creed? A number of scholars have arrived at the same scenario. Dating Jesus’ crucifixion around AD 30, Paul’s conversion would have occurred shortly afterwards, about AD 33–35. Three years after his conversion (AD 36–38) he visited Jerusalem and specifically met with Peter and James (Gal. 1:18–19). It is therefore reasoned that the gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus would in all likelihood be the normal center of discussion,^54 and that the presence of both Peter and James in the list of appearances (1 Cor. 15:5,7) indicates the probability that Paul received this creed from these apostles when he visited them in Jerusalem.^55 Another possibility is that Paul received this material in Damascus immediately after his conversion, which would make it even three years earlier, but the presence of the Semitisms in the creed, as mentioned above, in addition to the two proper names, favor Jerusalem as the location where Paul first received it.

A Jerusalem location would date Paul’s reception of the creed at about five to seven years after the crucifixion. But we can actually proceed back two stages earlier. Since the tradition would actually have been formulated before Paul first heard it, the creed itself would be dated even earlier. Additionally, the independent beliefs themselves, which later composed the formalized creed, would then date back to the actual historical events. Therefore, we are dealing with material that proceeds directlyfrom the events in question and this creed is thus crucial in our discussion of the death and resurrection of Jesus.