One of the most important passages for demonstrating the resurrection of Jesus is the first part of 1 Corinthians 15. There is one part of this that some people have questioned:
Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. (1 Corinthians 15:6 NRSV)
In the context, Paul is offering witnesses to the resurrection as evidence for the Corinthians to remember. He names a number of people or groups including Peter, James, the Twelve and the Apostles. But what about the 500? It seems as if Paul is challenging the Corinthians to ask these people about their experience of seeing the resurrected Jesus. But what good is this if Paul does not give names with the five hundred? If I told you that five hundred people saw a UFO, that would mean nothing because you would not know or have access to those witnesses. What we have to keep in mind is that Paul is not talking about just five hundred people in the world, but five hundred people in Jerusalem. Not only this, he is referring to five hundred Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. This narrows down things quite a bit. Although Paul does not give names to the five hundred, he is expecting that a Christian could travel to Jerusalem, contact the Christian church and that they could point someone to one of these five hundred. Thus this statement becomes powerful evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.