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The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God) Paperback – 21 Mar 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK Publishing (21 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0281055505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281055500
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

In pursuit of his conclusion, Wright is relentless. No point is left undiscussed, no argument untreated. -- Church Times, 8th July 2005

This volume by Tom Wright is a monumental achievement in its scope, depth and execution. -- The Tablet, 19th April 2003

About the Author

A former teacher of New Testament studies at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and McGill, N.T. Wright is among the most interesting and respected New Testament scholars currently at work. His many publications include The New Testament and the People of God, Jesus and the Victory of God, The Challenge of Jesus and (with Marcus Borg) The Meaning of Jesus. Writing as Tom Wright, he is also the author of the popular...for Everyone New Testament guides. N.T. Wright is Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey, and SPCK Research Fellow.

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By S. Meadows on 25 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
At the outset, Wright declares that "Our target is to investigate the claim of the earliest Christians, that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead." He then takes us under his wing and guides along a journey of scholarship of the highest order. Leaving no stone unturned, he first of all investigates the idea of resurrection, first of all being extremely precise about what he means by resurrection. We then review resurrection traditions in pre-christian paganism and of judaism, constantly asking the question "is it probable that the early christians adapted an earlier tradition to suit their own story, or did something really happen that was of major significance." Towards the end of the first section, one can become bogged down in the detail. I think this section can be skipped over with little loss overall, but it is was necessary in order for Wright to be thorough in his work, so that any accusations of taking shortcuts or ignoring certain schools of thought would be unfounded.

Having finished his survey of Pagan and Jewish beliefs, he then moves on to look at the early Christian beliefs into resurrection, attempting to chart the writings in a roughly chronological order, thus analysing the writings of Paul before those of the gospel writers. The aim here is to contrast the views of this emerging religion with those of the old and ask what could have prompted the transformation. Then, having seen the changes, the inevitable question that must then be asked is this: what caused the change? Wright is not presumptive in his answer, as I can tell a great many christians would at this point be jumping up and down saying "I know the answer." But Wright is far more considerate and gives due care and attention to his scholarship.
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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Maxelon on 2 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the previous two books in the series this is not a light read, but worth the effort. In spite of NT Wright's obvious learning it remains approachable to more 'normal' readers. Section 2 (Resurrection and Paul) left my head particularly spinning, but the problem is excess of detail - sight of the larger picture is always firmly in view. While the size of the book is a bit of an obstacle it has meant that the idea of resurrection has been with me long enough to have had its impact on my worldview. In short: if you want light entertainment, buy a novel; if you are serious about Christian beliefs and want to have your worldview changed, buy this book.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Richard Douglason on 10 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
Here we are with book three in the series (which we are told is an addition to the originally planned five books) and things are starting to get really exciting. As before to read this is to join a project that is well underway, having built up a good head of steam and now plunging ahead.
Having found the first two books personally ground breaking and formative, this volume came more as a steady building on established themes than breaking fresh ground. Which was no bad thing as I found myself firming up on some ideas introduced a few thousand pages ago in the series.
Being an additional volume has meant Wright has had space to write an exhaustive review of Resurrection thinking and thouroughly formulate his own rendering. Whilst this did at time bog me down, the effort to finish was well worth it.
In particular Wright paints a clear picture of what Ressurection really is, and why it mattered to Jesus. I found myself discovering what I had hoped for about life after death in unlikely places. Ideas originating back to the first century, forgotten or at least covered over (for me) until now.
And again I find myself in posession of more tools to know and discover Jesus on the ground and why ressurection matter to him.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Dr. C. Jeynes on 15 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
This was the most exciting book I have read for years. I couldn't put it down (didn't sleep for a week!)! People constantly say to Christians, "where is your evidence?" expecting that we would be floored! Here is the evidence, with a long and careful discussion of all the details, including Homer and Virgil, Philo and Pliny, Josephus and Plato, the Dead Sea Scrolls and lots you haven't heard of. And he goes through the Gospels and the Letters too, very carefully and hugely informatively. And I have been reading the Bible for many years!

His thesis is, what historical explanation is there for the sudden large and demonstrable change in how people thought about resurrection, other than that Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead as the Gospels tell us? The book is a cold historical examination of the facts, and also addresses the concerns of a huge number of modern commentators.

This is that rare and beautiful thing: a work of true scholarship that really makes a difference to the way we think. Before, we believed it for pretty good reasons, now we believe it with copper-bottomed first-class unassailable reasons.

Hooray!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Morgan on 2 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
The paperback version of this book is 817 pages long. Obviously I haven't read it all in one sitting, but I have read it all in pieces, over a very long period. I consider this book the closest thing to irrefutable evidence of the Resurrection that I have found. Consequently, I consider it a very important book indeed. For those in a hurry, I would suggest you concentrate on Parts IV ("The Story of Easter") and V ("Easter and History"). He describes, in part IV, the narratives in each gospel, including those which most people (including Wright, I suspect) consider totally ludicrous, e.g. Matthew 27: 51-54 - a whole collection of corpses waking up, waiting 3 days, then calmly walking into the city. Page 633 certainly implies scepticism of this on Wright's part.
My inference from part IV is that, as most of these incidents are only recorded by one gospel, they are not "core", and can be discounted without denying the historicity of the Resurrection itself; this is dealt with in part V, where he concentrates on the 2 incidents reported by all 4 gospels; the empty tomb, and the post-crucifixion appearances. His case rests upon the proposition that, both of these taken together, but not singly, give necessary and sufficient reasons for the disciples' conviction that Jesus was alive. He further argues that they are sufficient for us, too, seeing that the gospels were written so soon after Jesus' death - and that there was therefore no time for embellishment. But in addition (and this is crucial), he gives very thorough critiques of many of the persuasive alternative views (by Crossan, Festinger, Schillebeeckx, Goulder and others), and to my mind does a pretty thorough demolition job on all of them.
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