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October 08 , 2018

The Resurrection of Jesus

The Origins of the Tradition and its Meaning for Today
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Overview

Discussion of the Resurrection usually centres on whether it was an historical event. The Resurrection stories, primarily those of the empty tomb and the appearances of Jesus to his disciples, are judged as to whether they are likely to be true. This approach will not do, for it ignores the bewildering complexity of the literature of the New Testament and of the differing - and not altogether consistent - patterns of thought represented in it. The Resurrection meant different things to different people at different times during the first century. The earliest Christians had to find ways of explaining what to them was the vital (eternal?) significance of Jesus of Nazareth, and the New Testament writings reflect the various ways in which the 'Jesus event' was interpreted during these formative years. Resurrection ideas formed part of this interpretative process. This book is a serious analytical study of the resurrection language and stories of the New Testament. For the benefit of non-theologians it begins with two chapters on the composition of the Gospels and the inter-relatedness of the first three. There follows a thorough critical study of the texts relating to the Resurrection. The conclusion is that it is the message of the Resurrection that matters (e.g. that the truths found in Jesus are eternal truths) and not its historicity.
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