These three major categories of arguments for the resurrection do not exhaust the ancient evidence for this event,^13 but they do demonstrate this fact as a literal event of history, according to normal historical methodology. This event is the final capstone and fitting conclusion for the unique life, person, teachings, and death of Jesus. In the earliest church, the resurrection served the purpose of confirming Jesus Christ’s message and providing the basis for the truth of the Christian message.

For instance, the evidence of the Nazareth Decree (see pp. 176–177) and the assertions of Tacitus and Suetonius that Jesus’ teachings broke out again in Palestine afterhis death are other avenues that might be explored. The direct testimonies of Josephus and Phlegon are the most helpful in arguing for this event from non-New Testament sources.

The place that the resurrection might play in validating Christian theism today is a fit sequel for just such a study, for the only time that such a resurrection is ever known to have occurred, it happened to the very person who made the most unique claims in the history of religions.