24 Cf. ibid., CV and CVI, for examples.
Details of the crucifixion are also provided, such as Jesus being nailed to the cross (Ignatius, Justin) while his clothing was divided among his assassins (Justin). Jesus hung on the cross until evening, after which he was taken down and buried (Justin). During this period of time, his friends forsook and denied him (Justin).
The Resurrection of Jesus
These Christians were equally adamant in their belief that Jesus’ resurrection is also a fact of history (Clement, Ignatius, Justin). This event occurred on the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion in spite of the Jewish claim that the disciples stole the body (Justin).
Evidencing the fact that he had been raised from the dead, Jesus appeared to Peter and the other disciples (Ignatius, Justin). During these encounters, Jesus allowed and even encouraged the disciples to touch his risen flesh, which they did (Ignatius). Jesus also ate and drank with his followers (Ignatius) and taught them concerning how he had fulfilled Old Testament prophecy (Justin). Later, Jesus ascended to heaven (Justin, cf. Quadratus).
These early Christian authors asserted that Jesus’ resurrection provided the assurance that the gospel which he preached was ordained by God (Clement). This event was an example of the believer’s resurrection and was the reason why the disciples despised death (Ignatius). Summary and Conclusion
What value do these early extra-New Testament sources have in reconstructing a historical life of Jesus? Do such Christian authors provide any exceptional evidence for the death and resurrection? Actually, there are both positive and negative considerations in such questions.
Positively, the Christian sources presented in this chapter are early. Clement wrote at the end of the first century, or at approximately the same time as some of the later New Testament writings. Ignatius’ seven books date from about fifteen to twenty years later. These men were also close to apostolic sources, as is evident from their own works,^25 and from other early testimony.^26