In The Resurrection of the Messiah, Christopher Bryan combines literary, historical, and theological approaches in a study of the doctrine of the Resurrection. The book is divided into three parts. The first section provides a careful and sympathetic description of first-century Jewish and pagan opinions and beliefs about death and what might follow. This is followed by a presentation of a general account of early Christian claims about the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The second part of the book offers a detailed, full-length commentary on and exegesis of the main New Testament texts that speak of Jesus' death and resurrection: 1 Corinthians 15 and the narratives in the four canonical gospels. As a framework for this commentary, Bryan utilizes the pattern of apostolic preaching presented by Paul and then echoed by each of the four evangelists, namely the formula "Christ died, Christ was buried, Christ has been raised, Christ appeared." The final section of the book is spent discussing and evaluating various proposals that have been made by those attempting to explain the data in ways that differ from the traditional Christian explanation. Bryan also considers various theological and ethical implications of accepting the claim "Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead." Throughout his study, Bryan exhibits a willingness to face hard questions as well as an appropriate reverence for a faith that for almost two thousand years has enabled millions of people to lead lives of meaning and grace.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
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About the Author
Christopher Bryan, sometime scholar of Wadham College, Oxford, is C.K. Benedict Professor of New Testament Emeritus at the University of the South. Since his semi-retirement in 2008 he continues to write and teach, and is currently editor of the Sewanee Theological Review, one of only two Anglican quarterly journals of theology currently published in the United States.
Table of ContentsPart I. The Setting 1. The Hope of Israel 2. Death and the Afterlife in the Greco-Roman World beyond Israel 3. The Christian Claim Part II. Witnesses 1. Paul 2. Mark 3. Matthew 4. Luke 5. John Part III. Questioning the Witnesses 1. What Should We Make of the Witnesses' Claims? 2. So What? A Partially Unscientific Postscript Additional Notes Additional Note A: On Varieties of Faith in Early Christianity Additional Note B: On Whether the New Testament Narratives Are Useful Sources of Information about Anything That May Actually Have Happened Additional Note C: Are the Passion Narratives Examples of "the Prophetization of History," or of "the Historicization of Prophecy"? Additional Note D: The Resurrection of the Dead and Torah Additional Note E: The Alexamenos Graffito and Texts of Terror Additional Note F: Further Reflections on Paul's Understanding of Resurrection as Involving a Transformed Physicality Additional Note G: Further Reflections on Paul's Understanding of Our Present Experience of Transformation in and through Christ Additional Note H: The New Testament and the Negative Eschaton: The Possibility of Damnation Endnotes Selected Bibliography and Sources Abbreviations Index