The resurrection of Jesus is assumed by the New Testament to be a historical event. Some scholars argue, however, that there was no empty tomb, but that the New Testament accounts are midrashic or mythological stories about Jesus. In this article extra-canonical writings are investigated to find out what light it may throw on intra-canonical tradition. Many extra-canonical texts seemingly have no knowledge of the passion and resurrection, and such traditions may be earlier than the intra-canonical traditions. Was the resurrection a later invention? Are intra-canonical texts developments of extra-canonical tradition, or vice versa? This article demonstrates that extra-canonical texts do not materially alter the landscape of enquiry.