Christopher Bryan is a biblical scholar noted for his work on the genre of Mark (as Chris Price has blogged about previously). In this volume, the culmination of decades of research, he presents his discussion of the resurrection of Jesus. Coming on the heels of Michael Licona's monumental tome on the resurrection, which itself was preceded by N.T. Wright's magnum opus, what sets this volume apart?
Ludemann's view of the disciples having visions for which their experience had in some sense prepared them has a little more mileage in it [than the suggestion that Jesus survived the crucifixion]. It seems to me that his conjectures (they are, of course, no more than that) about Peter and Paul would be plausible, if there were no data that a historian had to explain other than a tradition of appearances. But that is not the case...[the conjectures] do not explain the texts, which stubbornly, persistently, and without exception witness to the Easter faith [involving the claim of Jesus' transformed physicality, as we saw above]. One may grant that such visions as Ludemann describes were common in antiquity and are so still-I will even confess to having had two such experiences myself. Yet however common such visions may have been or are...neither in antiquity nor in the present are they normally regarded as evidence of resurrection. On the contrary they are taken to be at worst (I suppose) hallucinations, and at best (as I have taken them to be) genuine communications of comfort about the departed from beyond the grave. But in neither case are they considered to be declarations that the departed one has risen from the dead. That, however, is what the texts claim about Jesus. That is what Peter and Paul actually say. Why did they do that? Ludemann's hypothesis leaves that question unanswered. (pp.163-164)