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Why did Christianity begin, and why did it take the shape it did? To answer this question -- which any historian must face -- renowned New Testament scholar N. T. Wright focuses on the key points: what precisely happened at Easter? What did the early Christians mean when they said that Jesus of Nazareth had been raised from the dead? What can be said today about this belief? This book, third in Wright's series Christian Origins and the Question of God, sketches a map of ancient beliefs about life after death, in both the Greco-Roman and Jewish worlds. It then highlights the fact that the early Christians' belief about the afterlife belonged firmly on the Jewish spectrum, while introducing several new mutations and sharper definitions. This, together with other features of early Christianity, forces the historian to read the Easter narratives in the gospels, not simply as late rationalizations of early Christian spirituality, but as accounts of two actual events: the empty tomb of Jesus and his "appearances." How do we explain these phenomena? The early Christians' answer was that Jesus had indeed been bodily raised from the dead; that was why they hailed him as the messianic "son of God." No modern historian has come up with a more convincing explanation. Facing this question, we are confronted to this day with the most central issues of the Christian worldview and theology.
Explores ancient beliefs about life after death, highlighting the fact that the early Christians' belief about the afterlife belonged firmly on the Jewish spectrum, while introducing several new mutations and sharper definitions, forcing readers to view the Easter narratives not simply as rationalizations, but as accounts of two actual events: the empty tomb of Jesus and his "appearances." Simultaneous. Hardcover no longer available.
N.T. Wright takes us on a fascinating journey through ancient beliefs about life after death, from the shadowy figures who inhabit Homer's Hades, through Plato's hope for a blessed immortality, to the first century, where the Greek and Roman world (apart from the Jews) consistently denied any possibility of resurrection. We then examine ancient Jewish beliefs on the same subject, from the Bible to the Dead Sea Scrolls and beyond. This sets the scene for a full-scale examination of early Christian beliefs about resurrection in general and that of Jesus in particular, beginning with Paul and working through to the start of the third century. Wright looks at all the evidence, and asks: Why did the Christians agree with Jewish resurrection belief while introducing into it - across the board - significant modifications? To answer this question we come to the strange and evocative Easter stories in the gospels and asks whether they can have been late inventions. Wright seeks the best historical conclusions about the empty tomb and the belief that Jesus really did rise bodily from the dead, recognizing that it was this belief that caused early Christians to call Jesus 'Son of God'. In doing so, they posed a political challenge as well as a theological one. These challenges retain their power in the twenty-first century.
Jesus truly is alive today. But compared to his atoning death, Jesus' resurrection sparks relatively little discussion in the church. Inadvertently,we can become so focused on the good news that Christ died for our sins, that we almost forget he was "raised for our justification" (Romans 4:25). In Raised with Christ, author Adrian Warnock exhorts Christians not to neglect the resurrection in their teaching and experience. Warnock takes his cue from Acts, where every recorded sermon focuses on Jesus' resurrection. He stresses that Christians who faithfully proclaim both the death and the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and live out the implications of that message in vibrant,grace-filled churches, will be enabled to reach a world that lives in death's dark shadow. The power of the risen Christ is active in every true Christian, transforming our lives. Raised with Christ will help you discover afresh the massive implications of the empty tomb. Jesus' resurrection really has changed everything.
Did Jesus rise from the dead? The question is one on which the truth of the Christian faith turns (1 Cor. 15). If Jesus did not rise, you may as well close down your church! In this volume, prominent Internet apologist James Patrick Holding and a team of Christian authors provide a series of essays defending the Resurrection as a historical event, taking on criticisms from every angle - from that which is scholarly to that which is plain lunacy! With this book, you'll be prepared to meet many of today's greatest challenges to the core event of the Christian faith. "Both the interested reader and especially the student of this subject should find many worthwhile discussions that are easily worth the price of the book." - from the Foreword by Dr. Gary Habermas

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