Saturday, April 03, 2010

Free E-book On the Resurrection of Jesus

Biblical Archaeological Review offers a free e-book "Easter: Exploring the Resurrection of Jesus."

See especially N.T. Wright's article "The Resurrection of Resurrection." Some Wright quotes include:

  • "Christianity was born into a world where one of its central tenets, resurrection, was universally recognized as false. Except, of course, in Judaism."
  •  In Judaism the concept of resurrection is "a late arrival." "Clear statements of resurrection are extremely rare. Daniel 12 is the most blatant, and remembered as such for centuries afterwards: "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Daniel is, however, the latest book of the Hebrew Bible."
  • The Sadducees "famously denied the future life altogether."
  • The Sadducees held that "the soul perishes along with the body."
  • "The clearest statements of resurrection after Daniel 12 are found in 2 Maccabees, the Mishnah and later rabbinic writings."
  • "Resurrection does not mean 'being raised to heaven' or 'taken up in glory'... 'Resurrection' is not simply death from another viewpoint; it is the reversal of death, its cancellation, the destruction of its power."
  • "The early Christian hope for bodily resurrection is clarly Jewish in origin, there being no possible pagan antecedent."
  • The early Christian belief re. 'resurrection' is: "the overcoming of death by the justice-bringing death of the creator God."
  • "For early Christians, resurrection was seen to consist of passing through death and out the other side into a new sort of bodily life." See Romans 8:11. Wright says: "This is a radical mutation from within Jewish belief."