Milligan on the (circular) relationship between the fact of the resurrection and its theological meaning:
“The Preaching of the Resurrection of our Lord by His Apostles was not simply a display of evidence. It was that, but it was more. It was the assertion of a truth of Christianity, which, by its meaning, unified and irradiated all other Christian truths. The two things reacted on each other. The fact, resting on its appropriate evidence, invited to the consideration of its own transcendental meaning; the transcendental meaning, showing the place of the fact in the Divine economy of grace, gave probability and even confirmation to the fact….
The fact must precede the dogma, if dogma it can be called, not the dogma the fact. But we cannot pause there. We must try to ascertain the meaning of the fact, to assign to it its position in the arrangements of the Almighty for the human race, and to see if it be not a fitting step in some great process, a part of some great plan. Then we shall have fresh evidence confirmatory of the historical, and the historical evidence will possess fresh power.”
William Milligan, The Resurrection of our Lord (Macmillan, 1937), 37.