However, we still cannot conclude that ancient extrabiblical sources, by themselves, historically demonstrate the resurrection, as is true with Jesus’ death by crucifixion. The evidence indicates that alternative theories involving a stolen or moved body are invalid, and that the tomb was empty, but the cause of this event cannot be proven at this point alone. Still, the testimony of Josephus and Phlegon, in particular, are very helpful, and supplement the excellent case in Chapter 7 from the New Testament creeds and known facts.
We conclude that ancient extrabiblical sources both provide a broad outline of the life of Jesus and indicate that he died due to the effects of crucifixion. Afterwards he was buried and his tomb was later found empty, but the body had not been stolen or moved. While we have this mystery and some factual evidence in favor of Jesus’ resurrection, additional data from other sources are needed in order to reach a final position.
97 For example, see Schweitzer’s The Quest of the Historical Jesus, who lists no proponent of this theory since 1778.
98 On the contemporary rejection of these fraud theories, see Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, vol. IV, p. 340; Raymond Brown, “The Resurrection and Biblical Criticism,” p. 233.