Papias, the Bishop of Hieropolis and an early Father of the Church, wrote a book (“Exposition of the Logia of the Lord”) that, sad to say, exists only in fragments and in references to his works in other, later authors. That’s really, really unfortunate, as Papias’s book would be one of our best sources on the origin of the Gospels. He was personally acquainted with the daughters of Philip (mentioned in Acts 21:8-9), from whom he gained most of his information about the events and writing of the Gospels. We’re not even sure exactly when Papias’s book was written, but some have suggested c. 130 A.D. Papias quoted 1 Peter and 1 John, and was familiar with the Book of Revelation, so the dating for this seems reasonable.
Papias collected the orthodox oral traditions (or as we would say, the Deposit of Faith) from those who had been around Jesus. He described his research technique thus:
I will not hesitate to add also for you to my interpretations what I formerly learned with care from the Presbyters and have carefully stored in memory, giving assurance of its truth. For I did not take pleasure as the many do in those who speak much, but in those who teach what is true, nor in those who relate foreign precepts, but in those who relate the precepts which were given by the Lord to the faith and came down from the Truth itself. And also if any follower of the Presbyters happened to come, I would inquire for the sayings of the Presbyters, what Andrew said, or what Peter said, or what Philip or what Thomas or James or what John or Matthew or any other of the Lord’s disciples, and for the things which other of the Lord’s disciples, and for the things which Aristion and the Presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, were saying. For I considered that I should not get so much advantage from matter in books as from the voice which yet lives and remains.
Irenaeus, later in the 2nd century, wrote that Papius was " “a hearer of John, and companion of Polycarp, a man of old time.” (Adversus Haereses V 33.4), so he seems to have been a good source.
The early 5th century writer Philip of Side, who apparently did have a copy of Papias’s book, wrote in "The History of the Church according to Philip of Side, codex Baroccianus 142 (Lightfoot-Holmes 5) that Papius wrote that those who were raised from the dead by Jesus survived to the reign of the Emperor Hadrian (circa 117-138 A.D.).
“Concerning those resurrected by Christ from the dead, that they lived until Hadrian.” ( και Παπιας δε περι την χιλιονταετηριδα σφαλλεται, εξ ου και ο Ειρηναιος.)
Eusebius also attributes a similar statement to Quadratus of Athens, another second-century author. This could be a corroborative statement, or Philip of Side may have confused Papias’s writing with that if Quadratus.
Eusebius wrote in his Ecclesiastical History, Book IV, chapter 3:
1. After Trajan had reigned for nineteen and a half years Ælius Adrian became his successor in the empire. To him Quadratus addressed a discourse containing an apology for our religion, because certain wicked men had attempted to trouble the Christians. The work is still in the hands of a great many of the brethren, as also in our own, and furnishes clear proofs of the man’s understanding and of his apostolic orthodoxy. 2. He himself reveals the early date at which he lived in the following words: But the works of our Saviour were always present, for they were genuine:— those that were healed, and those that were raised from the dead, who were seen not only when they were healed and when they were raised, but were also always present; and not merely while the Saviour was on earth, but also after his death, they were alive for quite a while, so that some of them lived even to our day. Such then was Quadratus.
It’s not fully clear if Quadratus and/or Papius referred solely to those three people who are named in the Gospels that Jesus raised from the dead, pre-crucifixion (Lazarus, the 12-year old girl who died in bed, and the only son of the widow of Nain), or additionally to those who were raised from the dead after his crucifixion. So we have at least one, possibly two extra-Biblical sources suggesting that these post-crucifixion appearances were physical resurrections, not a metaphorical or merely spiritual, “ghost-like” appearances, but were resurrections (and quite long-lasting ones) on the nature of Lazarus.