As I'm working on the resurrection for my PhD, when I get a new book I always read the section(s) on the resurrection first. Thanks to my friend Lee Gratiss here in Cambridge, I just got a copy of Richard Bauckham's new book: Jesus: A Very Short Introduction published by Oxford University Press (2011). (I'm working on a review of it for Churchman).
I like the way Bauckham describes the significance of the women at Jesus' tomb:
"The somewhat varying versions of the same story in all three of the other Gospels probably vary because they go back to different members of the group of women, who remembered somewhat differently, as people do. But they were eyewitnesses! As almost every scholar notes, in that society women were not trusted to give evidence ... If Jesus had risen from death, the men ought to have been the first to know ... All this suggests that the stories were not simply invented" (105-6).
And also what the first disciples saw and experienced:
“... it is very clear that they did not think that what people saw was the spirit of Jesus, surviving his physical death. They knew about ghosts and about dead people appearing in visions. If this had been the case with Jesus, it would have been very much less momentous than the ‘resurrection’ they believed had happened. The reports about the empty tomb fitted harmoniously with the appearance narratives, because the one who appeared was identified as Jesus in his whole bodily-spiritual identity. Jesus was not a soul who had left his body behind in the tomb ... They believed he was raised to a new sort of bodily life, eternal life” (106-7).
And also, this bit in Chapter 8, Jesus in Christian faith:
Personally (and not giving away anything of my forthcoming review), I think this book will provide pastors and normal uninformed believers with a short and well written introduction into the latest research on Jesus, written by one of the most respected Biblical Scholars in Britain and North America.