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on 7 May 2018
well worth reading
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on 20 April 2016
I have not yet finished reading it, but already loving it
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on 2 June 2003
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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on 13 March 2012
This is a very important book indeed for those who wish to assert the truth of the ressurection but are unsure whether it is possible to do this with "academic rigour".

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?
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on 30 June 2013
If you are a holiday reader then get Tom Wrights wonderful 'For Everyone' series. This book has to the be most thorough I have ever read, if you have the time and want every i dotted and t crossed then this for you. But, it is about 2 inches thick, the type is small and there are no pictures...
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on 24 July 2009
I'm only half way through this book but, regrettably, have had to lay it down temporarily to attend to more urgent business. As an evangelical lay preacher I found the breadth and depth of Tom Wright's assessment of the resurrection of Jesus to be deeply satisfying. His analysis of 1 Corinthians chapter 15, in particular, thrilled me. We need to hear more of this kind of material suitably presented for the laity from the pulpit.

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!
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on 23 February 2015
interesting book
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on 25 March 2011
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. 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.
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on 8 April 2017
Fantastic book and in really good condition
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on 24 July 2017
Whilst Wright's work on Paul may mark him out as controversial to some, his contribution to the historical discussion of where the Christian faith came from and took the exact shape it did is invaluable to any taking this question seriously.

Within the Resurrection of the Son of God Wright argues the disciples claims about Jesus of Nazareth were the direct result of their belief that his resurrection simultaneously fulfilled and challenged Jewish theology about what the Messiah would accomplish. In line with this, Wright considers the shape the disciples claims took within the Jewish world they were a part of and this includes a crash course on how various factions in the ancient world, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, understood death and the after-life.

There's plenty in here but only about 100 pages or so are dedicated to discussing the historical validity of the New Testament texts or common arguments brought against the Resurrection of Jesus. If your looking for 700 pages of Christian apologetics or pure engagement with self-described 'skeptics' then this may not be the place to turn, although Wright certainly does pack a lot into short space in this regard. Ultimately, though, the main focus here is the attitudes and beliefs of the disciples and their contemporaries to the world around them just as Jesus was turning it on its head.
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