By: Brian G. Chilton | March 15, 2021

Regardless of whether an event is recent or of antiquity, the researched event holds greater historical probability if it holds a higher number of eyewitnesses. The more eyes on the event, the greater chance the historian has in understanding what transpired. When it comes to the resurrection of Jesus, numerous individuals encountered the risen Jesus in a variety of locations and over the course of 40 days (Acts 1:3). The number of witnesses is recorded in an early creed which is accepted by even critical scholars. Even Bart Ehrman, Rudolf Bultmann, and Gerd Ludemann—individuals who are highly skeptical of biblical claims—accept the credibility of the early NT creeds, which includes 1 Corinthians 15:3-9 (Bultmann, NTT, 42; Ehrman, Forged, 92-93; Ludemann, Paulus, 142). The creed of 1 Corinthians 15 represents material that Paul obtained from the early Christian leaders in Jerusalem when he met with them a few years after his conversion. NT scholar Luke Timothy Johnson notes that “the most critical historian can affirm without hesitation. Can anyone doubt, for example … a meeting between Paul and the Jerusalem Church leadership concerning the legitimacy of the gentile mission” (Johnson, Real Jesus, 103)? How many witnesses are listed in the earliest material? Furthermore, is it possible that the groups of individuals listed could have had a hallucination?