On this Easter Sunday I thought it would be appropriate to repost a blog from several years ago on a Gospel not in the New Testament — a Gospel that gives us an actual narrative of the resurrection. I often say that there is no story of the resurrection in the the New Testament — and people think I’m nuts. Of *course* there is! No, there’s not. In the New Testament, Jesus is buried on a late Friday afternoon. The action picks up, then, on the third day when the women arrive at the tomb, only to find it empty.
The resurrection happened *between* these two events. It is never narrated. We have no account of Jesus being revived and coming out of the tomb.
But we do from *outside* the New Testament, in a book that some early Christians considered canonical Scripture, the Gospel of Peter. This was an account that was lost for many, many centuries. It deals not just with Jesus’ resurrection (though that is clearly the highlight), but with his trial and crucifixion as well. I give a fairly full summary of what happens in the Gospel and its distinctive emphases here in my earlier post.
Unfortunately, we have only a fragment of the the Gospel of Peter, which begins smack dab in the middle of an episode and ends, literally, in the middle of a sentence. The fragment comes to us from one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of Christian texts in the nineteenth century.