There is an important element of the discussion of the resurrection of Christ that often gets ignored, and that discussion is the early church fathers (in scholarly circles these are known as the Ante-Nicene fathers).
As Biblical protestants we do not consider the fathers to be authoritative. In truth, as theologians they are a mixed bag, Polycarp is much more useful than is the Epistle of Barnabus. But the fathers are very valuable when it comes to Church history.
The dirty secret that many ignore is that they had superior information to what the modern church historian has available to him. Early Muslims purposefully burned Christian libraries and Christian books during their conquest of the Middle East. Eusebius’ Church history, for example, quotes or references numerous authors that are otherwise lost.
In part, the fathers have also been demonstrated to be accurate historians. With the discovery of the Gnostic gospels we have suffered from a lot of conspiracy theories published by those seeking to profit from the gullible to try to suggest that the gnostics were the earliest Christians (see our series on the technical site to answer this particular question). However, there was one thing that the gnostic library at Nag Hammadi and other finds have demonstrated that no one in the religious left or the atheists discuss on any PBS Specials – these books proved that Iraneus and other early fathers accurately described their opponents. This demonstrates that many of these men were a careful critical thinker, which indicates that the early Church did not value ignorance.
Next time, I want to cite a few specific things that the fathers provide us.