Affirming the “Creed”: The Extent of Paul's Citation of an Early Christian Formula in 1 Cor 15,3b–7

David M Moffitt 1
  • 1 Institut für antikes Judentum und hellenistische Religionsgeschichte, Liebermeisterstraße 12, 72076 Tübingen.


I. Introduction

In 1922 Adolf von Harnack published an essay in which he suggested that the accounts of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances to Peter and James mentioned in 1 Cor 15,5 and 7 indicated that these individuals were leaders of competing factions in the early church. He argued on the one hand that within the pre-Pauline formula quoted in vv.3b–5 the appearance motif served as evidence for the reality of Christ's resurrection. On the other hand he claimed that the appearances to Peter and the Twelve (v.5) and to James and the Apostles (v.7) could be isolated from the pre-Pauline formula. He thought these traditions originally circulated independently and served to legitimate the authority of Peter and James as leaders in their respective communities.

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