“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, September 10, 2010

N. T. Wright on the Resurrection of Jesus

"I regard this conclusion [the early Christians' encounter with what appeared to be the risen Jesus] as coming in the same sort of category, of historical probability so high as to be virtually certain, as the death of Augustus in AD 14 or the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70." - N. T. Wright
This summer I read (most of) N. T. Wright's book The Resurrection of the Son of God.  After exhaustively examinating the idea of resurrection in ancient Judaism, Judaism of Jesus' time, the writings of Paul, and the Gospels, Wright concludes that belief in Jesus' bodily resurrection was a startling new "mutation" from within Judaism.  While it came about in the context of Judaism, there are numerous reasons why it cannot be explained away as an invented story.  If you're interested, read the last few chapters of the book - the gist of Wright's argument is that if the story were invented, the early Christians would not have acted as they did or written the Gospels they did.  The only conclusion that remains is that the earliest Christians really did experience what they believed to be the risen Jesus.  Did they experience a delusion, or could it really have happened?

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