- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God) Hardcover – 1 Jan 2003
Special offers and product promotions
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
"- 'The sweep of Wright's project as a whole is breathtaking. It is impossible to give a fair assessment of his achievement without sounding grandiose: no New Testament scholar since Bultmann has ever attempted - let alone achieved - such an innovative and comprehensive account of New Testament history and theology.' Richard B. Hays on The New Testament and the People of God
This third volume in N. T. Wright's magisterial series, Christian Origins and the Question of God, stands as a major point of reference for all students of the New Testament. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Many Quakers will perhaps not think about these issues at all or go along with mainstream liberal theology. This book is a stimulating challenge. It is not for the faint hearted with over 700 pages of closely argued text.
In Part 1 it examines the contemporary views of Jews and Pagans in the context of which the resurrection accounts need to be understood. The second part deals with the understanding of the resurrection of Jesus in the letters of Paul. The third part looks at other early Christian writings and the fourth at the accounts of the resurrection itself, principally in the gospels. The final part explores the significance of resurrection under the heading "Belief, Event and Meaning".
The work is well written but the argument is dense and takes a lot of absorbing! Not since C.S. Lewis have we had such a lucid writer on the central points of Christianity. Unlike Lewis, Wright's primary discipline is new testament scholarship which makes him, in my eyes, even better vlue. Like Lewis, he can be waspish in dealing with those who do not share his thinking.
In the end this is not, however, a mere academic treatise. As Wright himself writes (page 713):
"What if the resurrection, instead of (as is often imagined) legitimating a cosy, comfortable, socially and cuturally conservative form of Christianity, should turn out to be, in the twenty-first century as in the first, the most socially, culturally and politically explosive force imaginable..."
What if, indeed?
I will get back to the book as soon as possible, then, hopefully, re-read it through without an extended break. The other books in Tom Wright's series I have yet to lay hands on. What a prospect is in store!
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. This level of detail may frustrate some readers, as much of the early part of the book discusses resurrection in general, with very little mention of Jesus who only starts to come into the picture after about page 200; even then, much of the focus is really on the hope of a resurrection for all, rather than focussing on the resurrection of Jesus. So in that respect, those expecting a detailed analysis of Easter will have to get through several hundred pages of background before getting what they are looking for.
But it is certainly worth the effort of getting to, once his analysis of the gospel accounts finally begin at page 587. But once he gets under way with it, there seems to be no stopping him. Wright is in his element, giving well-considered, evidenced and thoughtful consideration to the claims and counter-claims that have surrounded Easter for many years. Here, as throughout the book, he uses footnotes to acknowledge and counteract the conclusions of many other theologians, whilst agreeing with some. Foremost in his crosshairs is Rudolph Bultmann. Because much of the groundwork had already been laid, the gospel accounts may appear to be a little short. But do not be deceived; these chapters are immensely rich and in order to take them in I have had to go over them in conjunction with several translations a few times, which takes a fair while to do.
Having finished his survey of beliefs and narratives, the question is then asked: So what? Even if you skip over the first 600 pages and jump straight to last section (though you will be missing out) what you will find is the work of an honest historian who, having looked at the best available evidence, concludes that Jesus of Nazareth was bodily raised from the dead. Not only is this a striking conclusion, but the consequences of it, as expounded in the theology of the earlier sections (most notably Wright's exegesis of 1 Corinthians 15) demand careful consideration by everyone.
In his final flourish, Wright looks at the reasons for calling Jesus the Son of God and what this means both in terms of direct referent and its implications, though the latter part is the lead on to part 4 in his series which, at the time of writing this review, is currently due sometime in 2012.
This is certainly a `meaty' book and though at times you may need a dictionary on hand, it is written in an accessible way and is an immense joy to work through. I would heartily recommend it to anyone interested in resurrection theology and of the future hope (either in heaven or a new earth) for christians.