Since naturalistic theories have failed and the evidence so strongly confirms these early creeds, the earliest Christian experiences (both to groups and to individuals) are generally considered by critical scholars to be as firmly established as almost any fact in the life of Jesus. In short, it is admitted by virtually all that the disciples had real experiences that caused them to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead.^76 Fuller even boldly states that these are “indisputable facts . . . upon which both believer and unbeliever may agree”!^77
The transformationof the disciples as a result of these experiences is confirmed by the material immediately following this early creed (1 Cor. 15:9–11), which reports the ministry of the eyewitnesses. Again, the entire New Testament also
for the resurrection does not rest on these four facts alone. In fact, there is no particular reason to use only four, except to make a point concerning their strong attestation.
74 For a sampling of critical theologians who accept these four core facts, see Fuller, Resurrection Narrativesespecially pp. 27–49; Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, pp. 44–45; Tillich, Systematic Theology, vol. 2, pp. 153–158; Bornkamm, Jesus, pp. 179–186; Wilckens, Resurrection, pp. 112–113; Pannenberg, Jesus, pp. 88–106; Moltmann, Theology of Hope, especially pp. 197–202; Hunter, Jesus, pp. 98–103; Perrin, Resurrection, pp. 78– 84; Brown, Bodily Resurrection, especially pp. 81–92; Paul VanBuren, The Secular Meaning of the Gospel(New York: Macmillan, 1963), pp. 126–134.
75 See especially Acts 1:1–11; 2:32; 3:15; 5:30–32; 10:39–43; 13:30–31.
76 Compare the testimony of historian Michael Grant (Jesus: An Historian’s Review, p. 176) with that of theologian Rudolf Bultmann (Theology, vol. 1, p. 45), who agree at this point with scholarship as a whole.