The Resurrection of Jesus

Resurrection of Jesus as depicted by the painter TitianHistoric Christianity stands or falls with the truth of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. St. Paul was quite upfront about this when he wrote to fellow Christians in the early years of the movement:

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17)

New Testament scholar N.T. Wright has recently written a nearly exhaustive study (817 pages) on the subject entitled The Resurrection of the Son of God (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2003). Here is his exciting (or for some, disturbing) conclusion about the value of alternative explanations:

Enormous forces in our culture are determined to deny Jesus was raised from the dead. And, over and over again, they use arguments which can be shown to be invalid, and they propose alternative scenarios about the rise of Christianity which can be shown to be impossible.

What does it mean, for you and for me – and for our world – if Jesus of Nazareth was indeed raised from the dead as the New Testament claims?

Reference: The Wright quote is taken from his contribution to The Resurrection of Jesus, edited by Robert B. Stewart (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2006), p. 18.

By Ray Pennoyer (October 17, 2010)

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