Resurrection Logic: How Jesus' First Followers Believed God Raised Him from the Dead

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Death does not speak the final word. Resurrection does. Christianity stands or falls with this central confession: God raised Jesus from the dead. Bruce Chilton investigatestheEaster event of Jesus in Resurrection Logic . He undertakes his close reading of the New Testament texts without privileging the exact nature of the resurrection, but rather begins bysituating his study of the resurrection in the context of Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek,andSyrian conceptions of the afterlife. He then identifiesJewish monotheistic affirmations of bodily resurrection in the Second Templeperiod as the most immediate context for early Christian claims. Chilton surveysfirst-generation accounts ofJesus' resurrection and finds a pluriformaand even at times seemingly contradictoryarange of testimony from Jesus' first followers.This diversity, asChiltondemonstrates, prompted early Christianity to interpret the resurrection traditionsby means ofprophecy and coordinated narrative. In the end, Chilton points to how the differing conceptions of the ways that God governs the world produced distinct understandingsaor "sciences"aof the Easter event. Each understanding contained its own internal logic, which contributedto the collective witness of the early church handed down through the canonical text. In doing so,Chiltonreveals the full tapestry of perspectives held together by the common-thread confession of Jesus' ongoing life and victory over death.

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Baylor University Press
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