Early accounts of Jesus’ resurrection are also preserved in Christian tradition. Next to 1 Corinthians 15:3ff., the most crucial texts for historical purposes are several early passages in the book of Acts (especially Peter’s speeches).^30 The death and resurrection of Jesus are the center of each sermon.^31 Critical research has
21 Martin Hengel, The Atonement, transl. by John Bowden (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981), p.53.
22 Moule, Birth, p. 38.
23 Bultmann, Theology, vol. 2, p. 121; Neufeld, Confessions, pp. 20, 31.
24 See Cullmann, Confessions, pp. 25, 27.
25 Ibid.; Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament, vol. 1, p. 82.
26 Neufeld, Confessions, pp. 31, 63–64, 146.
27 Ibid., p. 114; cf. pp. 132–133.
28 Bultmann, Theology, vol. 1, p. 82.
29 Cullmann, Confessions, pp. 41, 45, 53, 57–62, including the creedal nature of these two references. See especially Acts 2:14–39; 3:12–26; 4:8–12; 5:29–32; 10:34–43; cf. 13:16–41.
31 See Acts 2:22–23, 31; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30–31; 10:39–42; 13:28–29.
shown that these texts reflect early, largely undeveloped theology, perhaps from the Jerusalem community. Drane explains it this way: The earliest evidence we have for the resurrection almost certainly goes back to the time immediately after the resurrection event is alleged to have taken place. This is the evidence contained in the early sermons in the Acts of the Apostles. . . . But there can be no doubt that in the first few chapters of Acts its author has preserved material from very early sources.
Scholars have discovered that the language used in speaking about Jesus in these early speeches in Acts is quite different from that used at the time when the book was compiled in its final form.^32
Many scholars have argued that in these early texts we have a clear summary of the earliest apostolic kerygma.^33