by Canon F. H. DRINKWATER
Resurrection and the New Testament by C. F. Evans (S.C. M . Press 30s.)
WHAT (would you say?) is the closest we can get, document-wise, to the actual first-hand eye-witnesses of the Risen Lord? The answer of course is the epistle we are all familiar with from the llth Sunday after Pentecost I Cor. 15): "the gospel which I preached to you, which I also received."
There St. Paul gives an official list of the men who had seen the Lord risen from the dead (women wouldn't count as witnesses in Jewish law), a list which even in St. Paul's Greek still shows traces of its Aramaic origin, and which he must have received from St. Peter and the others when he went up to Jerusalem after his own startling conversion; which takes the evidence back to six or seven years after the Crucifixion itself.
Naturally this letter of St. Paul is one of the points treated very fully in the hook under review; incidentally its author is almost the first critic I have come across to speculate on the -more than five hundred brethren at once" whom St. Paul mentions, though his speculations seem r a ther weakened because of an obsessive inability to reconcile St. Luke's narratives with everybody else's. This leads the author to visualise the 500, quite improbably it seems to me. in Jerusalem, not Galilee.
The hook is by an Anglican clergyman who has also been student or professor at several seats of learning, and is now a professor in University of London, King's College.