Resurrection of Jesus

Resurrection of Jesus
Resurrection of Christ by Noel Coypel, 1700, using a hovering depiction of Jesus.
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Death and resurrection of Jesus

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The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures". (The resurrection is not to be confused with the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven after the resurrection).[1][2]

In the New Testament, after the Romans crucified Jesus, he was buried in a new tomb, but God raised him from the dead[3] and he appeared to many people over a span of forty days before his ascension to Heaven. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, the third day after Good Friday which marks his crucifixion. Easter's date corresponds roughly with Passover, the Jewish observance associated with the Exodus.

The resurrection story appears in more than five locations in the Bible. In several episodes in the Canonical Gospels Jesus foretells of his coming death and resurrection, and states that it was based on the plan of God the Father.[4] Christians view the resurrection of Jesus as part of the plan of salvation and redemption.[5] There are other accounts of the death of Jesus, notably in the Jewish and Islamic traditions. Not all of these accounts include the resurrection of Jesus after his death.

Skeptical scholars have questioned the historicity of the resurrection story for centuries; for example, "nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century biblical scholarship dismissed resurrection narratives as late, legendary accounts."[6] Some contemporary scholars still express doubts about the historicity of the resurrection accounts and have debated their origin,[7] and others consider that the biblical accounts of Jesus' resurrection were derived from the experiences of Jesus' followers and of Apostle Paul.[8][9]


New Testament Events

In the New Testament there are three groups of events that surround the death and resurrection of Jesus: Crucifixion and burial: wherein Jesus is placed in a new tomb following his death, discovery of the empty tomb and the resurrection appearances. The New Testament does not include an account of the "moment of resurrection" and in the Eastern Church icons do not depict that moment, but show the Myrrhbearers, and depict scenes of salvation.[10][11]


All four Gospels state that, on the evening of the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, and that, after Pilate granted his request, he wrapped Jesus' body in a linen cloth and laid it in a tomb.[12] This was in accordance with Mosaic Law, which stated that a person hanged on a tree must not be allowed to remain there at night, but should be buried before sundown.[13]

Lamentation at the Tomb, 15th century.

In Matthew, Joseph was identified as "also a disciple of Jesus;" in Mark he was identified as "a respected member of the council (Sanhedrin) who was also himself looking for the Kingdom of God;" in Luke he was identified as "a member of the council, good and righteous, who did not consent to their purpose or deed, and who was looking for the Kingdom of God'" and in John he was identified as "a disciple of Jesus."

The Gospel of Mark states that when Joseph asked for Jesus' body, Pilate was shocked that Jesus was already dead, and he summoned a centurion to confirm this before dispatching the body to Joseph. John recorded that Joseph was assisted in the burial process by Nicodemus, who brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes and included these spices in the burial cloth as per Jewish customs.

Death state of Christ during the three days

The following are further New Testament comments on the death of Christ and resurrection after three days in the tomb:

The apostle Peter delivers a sermon fifty days after the resurrection in which he states: "Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact."[Acts 2:29-31]

As written in the Book of Revelation: "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead (Greek egonomen nekros), and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."[Rev. 1:17-18]

1 Peter also states: "It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison." (i.e., He descended into Hades after his death),[1 Pet 3:18-20] which describes Jesus as preaching to the "spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago".

This passage, along with the phrase in 1 Peter that God did "not leave his soul in Hades,"[Acts 2:31] is the theological basis behind the statement "He descended into Hades" in the Apostles' Creed. The death state of Christ was considered by theologians such as Thomas Aquinas and related in traditions such as the Harrowing of Hell.

Tomb discovery

Women at the empty tomb, by Fra Angelico, 1437-1446.

Although no single Gospel gives an inclusive or definitive account of the resurrection of Jesus or his appearances, there are four points at which all four Gospels converge:[14]

  1. The linking of the empty tomb tradition and the visit of the women on "the first day of the week;"
  2. That the risen Jesus chose first to appear to women (or a woman) and to commission them (her) to proclaim this most important fact to the disciples, including Peter and the other apostles;
  3. The prominence of Mary Magdalene;
  4. Attention to the stone that had closed the tomb[10][15] Variants have to do with the precise time the women visited the tomb, the number and identity of the women; the purpose of their visit; the appearance of the messenger(s)—angelic or human; their message to the women; and the response of the women.[10]

All four Gospels report that women were the ones to find the tomb of Jesus empty, although the number varies from one (Mary Magdalene) to an unspecified number. According to Mark and Luke, the announcement of Jesus' resurrection was first made to women. According to Matthew and John, Jesus actually appeared first to women (in Mark 16:9 and John 20:14 to Mary Magdalene alone).[10] "Whereas others found woman not qualified or authorized to teach, the four Gospels have it that the risen Christ commissioned women to teach men, including Peter and the other apostles, the resurrection, foundation of Christianity."[10]

In the Gospels, especially the synoptics, women play a central role as eyewitness at Jesus' death, entombment, and in the discovery of the empty tomb. All three synoptics repeatedly make women the subject of verbs of seeing,[16] clearly presenting them as eyewitnesses.[17]

Resurrection appearances of Jesus

After the discovery of the empty tomb, the Gospels indicate that Jesus made a series of appearances to the disciples. These include the appearance to the disciples in the upper room, where Thomas did not believe until he was invited to put his finger into the holes in Jesus' hands and side;[Jn 20:24-29] the Road to Emmaus appearance;[Lk 24:13-32] and beside the Sea of Galilee to encourage Peter to serve his followers.[Jn 21:1–23] His final appearance is reported as being forty days after the resurrection when he ascended into heaven[Lk 24:44–49] where he remains with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit until the Second Coming of Christ.

Soon after, on the road to Damascus, Paul of Tarsus converted to Christianity based on a vision of Jesus and later, became one of Christianity's foremost missionaries and theologians.[1 Cor 15:6]

Christian tradition

Secondo Pia's 1898 negative of the image on the Shroud of Turin has an appearance suggesting a positive image. It is used as part of the devotion to Holy Face of Jesus.

The resurrection of Jesus has long been central to Christian faith and appears within diverse elements of the Christian tradition, from feasts to artistic depictions to religious relics. In Christian teachings, the sacraments derive their saving power from the passion and resurrection of Christ, upon which the salvation of the world entirely depends.[18]

An example of the interweaving of the teachings on the resurrection with Christian relics is the application of the concept of "miraculous image formation" at the moment of resurrection to the Shroud of Turin. Christian authors have stated the belief that the body around whom the shroud was wrapped was not merely human, but divine, and that the image on the shroud was miraculously produced at the moment of resurrection.[19][20] Quoting Pope Paul VI's statement that the shroud is "the wonderful document of His Passion, Death and Resurrection, written for us in letters of blood" author Antonio Cassanelli argues that the shroud is a deliberate divine record of the five stages of the Passion of Christ, created at the moment of resurrection.[21]


Easter, the preeminent feast that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, is clearly the earliest Christian festival.[22] Since the earliest Christian times, it has focused on the redemptive act of God in the death and resurrection of Christ.[23]

Easter is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion that preceded the resurrection. According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death in the upper room during the Last Supper. He identified the loaf of bread and cup of wine as symbolizing his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed. 1 Corinthians states, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed"; this refers to the Passover requirement to have no yeast in the house and to the allegory of Jesus as the Paschal lamb.[24]

Resurrection and Redemption

The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus is a foundation of the Christian faith.[1 Cor 15:12-20] [1 Pet 1:3] Christians, through faith in the working of God[Col 2:12] are spiritually resurrected with Jesus, and are redeemed so that they may walk in a new way of life.[Rom 6:4]

In the teachings of the apostolic Church, the resurrection was seen as heralding a new era. Forming a theology of the resurrection fell to Apostle Paul. It was not enough for Paul to simply repeat elementary teachings, but as Hebrews 6:1 states, "go beyond the initial teachings about Christ and advance to maturity". Fundamental to Pauline theology is the connection between Christ's Resurrection and redemption.[25] Paul explained the importance of the resurrection of Jesus as the cause and basis of the hope of Christians to share a similar experience in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22:

Emperor Constantine and bishops with the Creed of 381.

But Christ really has been raised from the dead. He is the first of all those who will rise. Death came because of what a man did. Rising from the dead also comes because of what a man did. Because of Adam, all people die. So because of Christ, all will be made alive.

If the cross stands at the center of Paul's theology, so does the Resurrection: unless the one died the death of all, the all would have little to celebrate in the resurrection of the one.[26] Paul taught that, just as Christians share in Jesus' death in baptism, so they will share in his resurrection[27] for Jesus was designated the Son of God by his resurrection.[Rom 1:4] [27] Paul's views went against the thoughts of the Greek philosophers to whom a bodily resurrection meant a new imprisonment in a corporeal body, which was what they wanted to avoid; given that for them the corporeal and the material fettered the spirit.[28] At the same time, Paul believed that the newly resurrected body would be a heavenly body; immortal, glorified, powerful and pneumatic in contrast to an earthly body, which is mortal, dishonored, weak and psychic.[29] According to theologian Peter Carnley, the resurrection of Jesus was different from the Resurrection of Lazarus as: "In the case of Lazarus, the stone was rolled away so that he could walk out.... the raised Christ didn't have to have the stone rolled away, because he is transformed and can appear anywhere, at any time."[30]

The Apostolic Fathers, discussed the death and resurrection of Jesus, including Ignatius (50−115),[31] Polycarp (69−155), and Justin Martyr (100−165). Following the conversion of Constantine and the liberating Edict of Milan in 313, the ecumenical councils of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, that focused on Christology helped shape the Christian understanding of the redemptive nature of Resurrection, and influenced both the development of its iconography, and its use within Liturgy.[32]

Belief in bodily resurrection was a constant note of the Christian church in antiquity. And nowhere was it argued for more strongly than in North Africa. Saint Augustine accepted it at the time of his conversion in 386.[33] Augustine defended Resurrection, and argued that given that Christ has risen, there is Resurrection of the Dead.[34][35] Moreover, he argued that the death and resurrection of Jesus was for the salvation of man, stating: "to achieve each resurrection of ours, the savior paid with his single life, and he pre-enacted and presented his one and only one by way of sacrament and by way of model.[36]

The 5th century theology of Theodore of Mopsuestia provides an insight into the development of the Christian understanding of the redemptive nature of Resurrection. The crucial role of the sacraments in the mediation of salvation was well accepted at the time. In Theodore's representation of the Eucharist, the sacrificial and salvific elements are combined in the "One who saved us and delivered us by the sacrifice of Himself". Theodore's interpretation of the Eucharistic rite is directed towards the triumph over the power of death brought about by the Resurrection.[37]

The emphasis on the salvific nature of the Resurrection continued in Christian theology in the next centuries, e.g., in the 8th century Saint John of Damascus wrote that: "...When he had freed those who were bound from the beginning of time, Christ returned again from among the dead, having opened for us the way to resurrection" and Christian iconography of the ensuing years represented that concept.[38]

Depictions of the Resurrection

The Chi Rho with a wreath symbolizing the victory of the Resurrection, above Roman soldiers, ca. 350.

In the Catacombs of Rome, artists just hinted at the Resurrection by using images from the Old Testament such as the fiery furnace and Daniel in the Lion's den. Depictions prior to the 7th century generally used secondary events such as the Myrrhbearers at the tomb of Jesus to convey the concept of the Resurrection. An early symbol of the resurrection was the wreathed Chi Rho, whose origin traces to the victory of emperor Constantine I at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, which he attributed to the use of a cross on the shields of his soldiers. Constantine used the Chi Rho on his standard and his coins showed a labarum with the Chi Rho killing a serpent.[39]

The use of a wreath around the Chi Rho symbolizes the victory of the Resurrection over death, and is an early visual representations of the connection between the Crucifixion of Jesus and his triumphal resurrection, as seen in the 4th century sarcophagus of Domitilla in Rome. Here, in the wreathed Chi Rho the death and resurrection of Christ are shown as inseparable, and the Resurrection is not merely a happy ending tucked at the end of the life of Christ on earth. Given the use of similar symbols on the Roman standard, this depiction also conveyed another victory, namely that of the Christian faith: the Roman soldiers who had once arrested Jesus and marched him to Calvary now walked under the banner of a resurrected Christ.[40]

The cosmic significance of the Resurrection in Western theology goes back to Saint Ambrose who in the 4th century said that "In Christ the world has risen, heaven has risen, the earth has risen". However, this theme was only developed later in Western theology and art. It was, a different matter in the East where the Resurrection was linked to redemption, and the renewal and rebirth of the whole world from a much earlier period. In art this was symbolized by combining the depictions of the Resurrection with the Harrowing of Hell in icons and paintings. A good example is from the Chora Church in Istanbul, where John the Baptist, Solomon and other figures are also present, depicting that Christ was not alone in the resurrection.[41] The depiction sequence at the 10th century Hosios Loukas shows Christ as he pulls Adam, followed by Eve from his tomb, signifying the salvation of humanity after the resurrection.[42]


Peter Kirby, the founder of, states that, "Many scholars doubt the historicity of the empty tomb."[43][a] According to Robert M. Price, Christian "apologists love to make the claims ... that the resurrection of Jesus is the best attested event in history", but "probabalistic arguments" show that "the resurrection is anything but an open-and-shut case".[44] Robert Greg Cavin, a professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Cypress College, states that, "our only sources of potential evidence, the New Testament Easter traditions, fall far short of providing the kind of information necessary for establishing the resurrection hypothesis."[45][b]

According to Richard C. Carrier,

Christianity probably began ... with a different idea of the resurrection than is claimed today. The evidence suggests the first Christians, at least up to and including Paul, thought Christ's "soul" was taken up to heaven and clothed in a new body, after leaving his old body in the grave forever. The subsequent story, that Jesus actually walked out of the grave with the same body that went into it, leaving an empty tomb to astonish all, was probably a legend that developed over the course of the first century, beginning with a metaphorical "empty tomb" in the Gospel of Mark ... By the end of the first century the Christian faction that would win total power three centuries later, and thus alone preserve its writings for posterity, had come to believe in the literal truth of the ensuing legend, forgetting or repudiating the original doctrine of Paul.[46]

Carrier also describes some questions relating to the sourcing of the Gospel narratives of the resurrection: "Beyond mere conjecture, there is no indication any of them had any other source of information for the changes and additions they [Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John] made," and "Luke does claim to have many sources, but does not say who or for what material."[47]

There are various other arguments about the historicity of the resurrection story. For example, the number of other historical figures and gods with similar death and resurrection accounts has been pointed out.[48][c] Another argument is that if the resurrection could, in fact, be proven through science or historical evidence, the event would lose its miraculous qualities.[49] In a more focused argument, Carrier asserts that, "The surviving evidence legal and historical, suggests that Jesus was not formally buried Friday night," but that "it had to have been placed Saturday night in a special public graveyard reserved for convicts. On this theory, the women who visited the tomb Sunday morning mistook its vacancy."[50]


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In 1st century BC, debates existed among Jewish religious groups. The Pharisees believed in Resurrection of the Dead, and the Sadducees did not. The Sadducees did not believe in an afterlife, but the Pharisees believed in a literal resurrection of the body.[51] The Sadducees, politically powerful religious leaders, rejected the afterlife, angels, and demons as well as the Pharisees oral law. The Pharisees, whose views became Rabbinic Judaism, eventually won (or at least survived) this debate. The promise of a future resurrection appears in the Torah as well as in certain Jewish works, such as the Life of Adam and Eve, c 100 BC, and the Pharisaic book 2 Maccabees, c 124 BC.[52]

In the Torah, the Jewish scriptures and the Old Testament of the Bible, it was the promise of God to provide an eternal liberating king in the line of King David of Bethlehem.[53] Apostle Peter used this reasoning to argue for the significance of the resurrection.[54] The Apostle Paul also connects Jesus' death and resurrection with a fulfilment of scripture.[1 Cor 15:3-4]

Paul's epistles

The earliest written records of the death and resurrection of Jesus are the letters of Paul, which were written around two decades after the death of Jesus,[55][56] and show that within this time frame Christians believed that it had happened. Some scholars suppose that these contain early Christian creeds and creedal hymns, which were included in several of the New Testament texts and that some of these creeds date to within a few years of Jesus' death and were developed within the Christian community in Jerusalem.[57] Though embedded within the texts of the New Testament, these creeds are a distinct source for early Christianity.

  • Romans 1:3–4: "...concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and designated the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord."[58]
  • NIV: "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, this is my Gospel."[59]
  • 1Cor 15:3–7: "... that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures"

These appearances include those to prominent members of Jesus' ministry and the later Jerusalem church, including James the brother of Jesus and the apostles, naming the Apostle Peter (Cephas). The creed also makes reference to appearances to unidentified individuals. According to the Acts of the Apostles and Paul's Letter to the Galatians, he had contact with at least two of the named witnesses of the creed, James and Peter.[Gal 1:18-20] Hans Von Campenhausen and A. M. Hunter have separately stated that the creed text passes high standards of historicity and reliability of origin.[60][61]

Gospel narratives


Just after sunrise on the day after the Sabbath three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, come to anoint Jesus' body, wondering how they can roll the rock away from the tomb; but they find the rock already rolled aside and a young man in white inside; he tells them that Jesus is risen, and that they should tell Peter and the disciples that he will meet them in Galilee, "just as he told you." The women run away and tell no-one.[62]


Just after sunrise on the day after the Sabbath two women, Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary," came to look at the tomb. Accompanied by an earthquake, an angel comes down from Heaven and rolls the rock aside from the tomb. The angel tells them not to be afraid, but to tell the disciples that Jesus is risen and will meet them in Galilee. The women are joyful and set out to tell the disciples the good news, but Jesus appears and tells them not to be afraid, but to Jesus himself suddenly appears and tells them that he is risen and that they should tell the disciples that they will see him in Galilee. The disciples go to Galilee, where they see Jesus.

The soldiers guarding the tomb are terrified by the angel, and inform the chief priests; the priests and elders bribe them to spread a lie that the disciples have stolen the body, "[a]nd this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day."[63]


Just after sunrise on the day after the Sabbath a number of women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and others) come to anoint Jesus' body. They find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. Suddenly two men stand beside them. The men tell them Jesus is risen. The women tell the disciples, but the disciples do not believe them, except for Peter who runs to the tomb. Peter finds the grave-clothes in the empty tomb and goes away, wondering.

The same day Jesus appears to two of his followers on the road to Emmaus. They fail to recognise him until he breaks bread and gives thanks, and he then vanishes. The two go at once to Jerusalem where they find the disciples exclaiming over Jesus' appearance to Peter. As they tell their story Jesus appears to them all. They are afraid, but he invites them to touch his body, eats with them, and explains the prophecies which are fulfilled in him.[64]


(The Acts of the Apostles is presented as a continuation of the Gospel of Luke) Jesus appeared to the Apostles for forty days, giving many proofs that he was alive, and instructing them not to leave Jerusalem until they were baptised with the Holy Spirit.[65]


Early on the day after the Sabbath, before sunrise, Mary Magdalene visits the tomb and finds the stone rolled away. She tells Peter and "the beloved disciple," who run to the tomb and find the grave-clothes, then go home. Mary sees two angels and then Jesus, whom she does not recognise. Jesus tells her to tell the disciples that he is ascending to the Father, and Mary tells the disciples she has seen the Lord.

That evening Jesus appears among them, despite locked doors, and gives them power over sin and forgiveness of sin. A week later he appears to doubting Thomas, who has not believed, but when Thomas is instructed to touch the wounds of Jesus he says, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus replies: "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."[66]


Flavius Josephus (c. 37–c. 100), a Jew and Roman citizen who worked under the patronage of the Flavians, wrote the Antiquities of the Jews c. 93 which contains a passage known as the Testimonium Flavianum. This passage mentions John the Baptist and Jesus as two holy men among the Jews.[67] Scholars believe the original text has been changed by Christian editors, though all extant manuscripts containing the Testimonium Flavianum contain the same words as was originally quoted by the church historian Eusebius (c. 260-339CE).[68] This text mentions the death and resurrection of Jesus: "When Pilate, upon the accusation of the first men amongst us, condemned [Jesus] to be crucified, those who had formerly loved him did not cease [to follow him], for he appeared to them on the third day, living again, as the divine prophets foretold, along with a myriad of other marvellous things concerning him."[69]

Theological significance

Stained glass of Resurrection with two Marys at a Lutheran Church, South Carolina.

As Paul the Apostle stated: "If Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless."[1 Cor 15:14] The death and resurrection of Jesus are the most important events in Christian Theology. They form the point in scripture where Jesus gives his ultimate demonstration that he has power over life and death, thus he has the ability to give people eternal life.[70] Terry Miethe, a Christian philosopher at Oxford Univeristy, stated, " 'Did Jesus rise from the dead?' is the most important question regarding the claims of the Christian faith.' "[71] According to the Bible, "God raised him from the dead,"[72] he ascended to heaven, to the "right hand of God",[73] and will return again[Acts 1:9–11] to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the Resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment and establishment of the Kingdom of God; see also Messianism and Messianic Age.[74]

Some modern scholars use the belief of Jesus' followers in the resurrection as a point of departure for establishing the continuity of the historical Jesus and the proclamation of the early church.[75] Carl Jung suggests that the crucifixion-resurrection account was the forceful spiritual symbol of, literally, God-as-Yahweh becoming God-as-Job.[76]

Many scholars have contended that in discussion the resurrection, Apostle Paul refers to a rabbinic style transmission of an early authoritative tradition that he received and has passed on to the church at Corinth. For this and other reasons, it is widely believed that this creed is of pre-Pauline origin.[77][78] Geza Vermes writes that the creed is "a tradition he [Paul] has inherited from his seniors in the faith concerning the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus".[79] The creeds ultimate origins are within the Jerusalem apostolic community having been formalised and passed on within a few years of the resurrection.[80] Paul Barnett writes that this creedal formula, and others, were variants of the "one basic early tradition that Paul "received" in Damascus from Ananias in about 34 [CE]" after his conversion.[81]

According to international scholar Thorwald Lorenzen, the first Easter led to a shift in emphasis from faith "in God" to faith "in Christ." Today, Lorenzen finds "a strange silence about the resurrection in many pulpits." He writes that among some Christians, minsters, and professors, it seems to have to have become "a cause for embarrassment or the topic of apologetics."[82]:pp.3-4 It has been argued that many Christians neglect the resurrection because of their understandable pre-occupation with the Cross.[83] However, the belief in Jesus' physical resurrection remains the single doctrine most accepted by Christians of all denominational backgrounds.

Groups such as Jews, Muslims, Bahá'ís, and other non-Christians, as well as some liberal Christians, dispute whether Jesus actually rose from the dead. Arguments over death and resurrection claims occur at many religious debates and interfaith dialogues.[82]

Origin of the narrative

See also: Historicity of the Resurrection accounts
5 part resurrection icon, Solovetsky Monastery, 17th century.

The majority of 1st century Jews in Palestine believed in the reality of bodily resurrection but the Sadducees did not believe in it.[84] The belief was especially relevant in the context of martyrdom, with the Pharisees warning of serious consequences for those who denied it (meaning their opponents the Sadducees).[84]

The earliest Christians proclaimed Jesus as the risen Christ. The first Christians may be defined as those followers of Jesus who, after his crucifixion, proclaimed him as the risen lord.[27] The earliest Christian scriptures place Jesus' resurrection at the center of religious faith.

The preaching of the Apostle Peter in the Acts of the Apostles which is widely believed to reflect Aramaic Jewish-Christian preaching[85] declare that Jesus died, was raised by God and the apostles are witnesses to this resurrection.[86] The same proclamation of Jesus' death and resurrection is found within the letters of Paul. In his first epistle to the Corinthians([1Co. 15:1-8]), Paul passes on a Christian creed that he says he received at his conversion. Paul Barnett writes that this creedal formula, and others, were variants of the "one basic early tradition that Paul "received" in Damascus from Ananias in about 34 [CE]."[81]

E.P. Sanders argues that a plot to foster belief in the Resurrection would probably have resulted in a more consistent story, and that some of those who were involved in the events gave their lives for their belief. Sanders offers his own hypothesis, different from the supporters, saying "there seems to have been a competition: 'I saw him,' 'so did I,' 'the women saw him first,' 'no, I did; they didn't see him at all,' and so on."[87]

In Mark's account, the earliest manuscripts of Mark 16 break off abruptly at 16:8, where the men at the empty tomb announce Jesus' resurrection, lacking post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. The modern text of Mark 16:9–20 does not appear in the earliest manuscripts.[88] Many modern translations of Mark 16 end at Mark 16:8 with for they were afraid, sometimes adding 16:8–20 in italics, or in a foot note; the New Revised Standard Version gives both the "long ending," i.e., 16:8–20, and another variant "short ending" after Mark 16:8. Scholars disagree about whether the original work ended at 16:8, or whether the last part, perhaps the last page, is missing.[27] John Fenton writes that if the Evangelist intended to end at 16:8, this does not mean that he "did not believe that Christ was risen" as he refers to the resurrection directly and indirectly on numerous occasions throughout the work.[89] Reginald Fuller believes that the "writer seemed to know such appearances, apparently to Peter and the others in Galilee."[90] Members of the Jesus Seminar believe that Mary of Magdala, Paul, and probably Peter had genuine visionary experiences of the risen Jesus.[8]

James D.G. Dunn writes that where the apostle Paul's resurrection experience was "visionary in character" and "non-physical, non-material" the accounts in the Gospels are very different. He contends that the "massive realism'...of the [Gospel] appearances themselves can only be described as visionary with great difficulty - and Luke would certainly reject the description as inappropriate" and that the earliest conception of resurrection in the Jerusalem Christian community was physical.[91] Conversely, Helmut Koester writes that the stories of the resurrection were originally epiphanies in which the disciples are called to a ministry by the risen Jesus and were interpreted as physical proof of the event at a secondary stage. He contends that the more detailed accounts of the resurrection are also secondary and do not come from historically trustworthy information but belong to the genre of the narrative types.[92] Those who think Paul was a Gnostic Christian hold the belief that Paul talks of the resurrection as an allegory or that Paul thought that Jesus was never a human.[93]

Non-Christian views

Some other religions include their own descriptions of Jesus which may not include his resurrection.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre now occupies the traditionally ascribed location of Jesus' death and burial.


Jesus was Jewish, but Christianity split with Judaism in the 1st century, and the two faiths have differed in their theology since. According to one Jewish perspective, the body of Jesus was removed in the same night.[citation needed]


Muslims believe that Jesus son of Mary was a holy prophet with a divine message. The Islamic perspective is that Jesus was not crucified (to death) and will be resurrected to the world at the end of times. "But Allâh raised him up to Himself. And Allâh is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise".[94] The Quran says in Surah An-Nisa [Ch004:Verse157] "And because of their saying, "We killed Messiah 'Îsâ (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allâh," – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts".[95]

Gallery of art

For a larger gallery, please see: Resurrection gallery

See also


a.^ In a note, Kirby states, "A very abbreviated list of twentieth-century writers on the NT who do not believe that the empty tomb is historically reliable: Marcus Borg, Günther Bornkamm, Gerald Boldock Bostock, Rudolf Bultmann, Peter Carnley, John Dominic Crossan, Stevan Davies, Maurice Goguel, Michael Goulder, Hans Grass, Charles Guignebert, Uta Ranke-Heinemann, Randel Helms, Herman Hendrikx, Roy Hoover, Helmut Koester, Hans Küng, Alfred Loisy, Burton L. Mack, Willi Marxsen, Gerd Lüdemann, Norman Perrin, Robert M. Price, Marianne Sawicki, John Shelby Spong, Howard M. Teeple, and John T. Theodore."[96]
b.^ Cavin continues "... even on the assumption of their complete historical reliability ... This assumption, of course, is rightly dismissed in light of contemporary New Testament scholarship."
c.^ Robert M. Price points to the accounts of Adonis, Appollonius of Tyana, Asclepius, Attis, Empedocles, Hercules, Osiris, Oedipus, Romulus, Tammuz, and others.[97]


  1. ^ J. E. L. Newbigin, The Gospel In a Pluralist Society (London: SPCK, 1989), p.66.
  2. ^ "Resurrection of Christ." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  3. ^ Acts 2:24, Romans 10:9, 1Cor 15:15, Acts 2:31–32, Acts 3:15, Acts 3:26, Acts 4:10, Acts 5:30, Acts 10:40–41, Acts 13:30, Acts 13:34, Acts 13:37, Acts 17:30–31, 1Cor 6:14, 2Cor 4:14, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:20, Col 2:12, 1Thess 1:10, Heb 13:20, 1Pet 1:3, 1Pet 1:21
  4. ^ Dictionary of Premillennial Theology by Mal Couch 1997 ISBN 0-8254-2410-0 page 127
  5. ^ Great Preaching on the Resurrection by Curtis Hutson 2000 ISBN 0-87398-319-X pages 55-56
  6. ^ Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. pp. front flap. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 
  7. ^ Michael Martin "Skeptical Perspectives on Jesus' Resurrection" chapter 18 in The Blackwell Companion to Jesus edited by Delbert Burkett 2011 ISBN 9781444327946
  8. ^ a b Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "What do we really know about Jesus" p. 527–534.
  9. ^ Sanders, E. P. The historical figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993. Epilogue: the resurrection. p. 276–281.
  10. ^ a b c d e Stagg, Evalyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1978, p. 144–150.
  11. ^ Vladimir Lossky, 1982 The Meaning of Icons ISBN 9780913836996 page 185
  12. ^ Matthew 15:57–61, Mark 15:42–47, Luke 23:50–56, John 19:38–42
  13. ^ R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) pp. 147; cf. Deuteronomy 21:22–23.
  14. ^ Mark 16:1–8, Matthew 28:1–8, Luke 24:1–12, and John 20:1–13
  15. ^ Setzer, Claudia. "Excellent Women: Female Witness to the Resurrection." Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 116, No. 2 (Summer, 1997), pp. 259–272
  16. ^ Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Eerdmans Publishing Company: Cambridge, 2006), p. 48.
  17. ^ B. Gerhardsson, 'Mark and the Female Witnesses', in H. Behrens, D. Loding, and M. T. Roth, eds., Dumu-E2-Dub-Ba-A (A. W. Sjöberg FS; Occasional Papers of the Samuel Noah Kramer Fund 11; Philadelphia: The University Museum, 1989), pp. 219–220, 222–223; S. Byrskog, Story as History—History as Story (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Jerusalem Talmud 123; Tübingen: Mohr, 2000; remprinted Leiden: Brill, 2002), pp. 75–78; Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Eerdmans Publishing Company: Cambridge, 2006), p. 48.
  18. ^ The encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 5 by Erwin Fahlbusch, Jan Milic Lochman, Geoffrey William Bromiley, John Mbiti 2008 ISBN 080282417X page 490
  19. ^ Charles S. Brown, 2007 Bible "Mysteries" Explained ISBN 0958281300 page 193
  20. ^ Peter Rinaldi 1972, The man in the Shroud ISBN 0860070107 page 45
  21. ^ Antonio Cassanelli, 2001 The Holy Shroud: a comparison between the Gospel narrative of the five stages of the Passion ISBN 085244351X page 13
  22. ^ Foundations of Christian Worship by Susan J. White 2006 ISBN 0664229247 page 55
  23. ^ Mercer dictionary of the Bible by Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard 1998 ISBN 0865543739 page 224
  24. ^  John,  Revelation, 1 Peter 1:19, 1 Peter 1:2, and the associated notes and Passion Week table in Barker, Kenneth, ed (2002). Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. p. 1520. ISBN 0310929555. 
  25. ^ The creed: the apostolic faith in contemporary theology by Berard L. Marthaler 2007 ISBN 0896225372 page 361
  26. ^ Theology of Paul the Apostle by James D. G. Dunn 2003 ISBN page 235
  27. ^ a b c d Ehrman, Bart. Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend. Oxford University Press, USA. 2006. ISBN 0-19-530013-0
  28. ^ Meditation and Piety in the Far East by Karl Ludvig Reichelt, Sverre Holth 2004 ISBN 0227172353 page 30
  29. ^ Corinthians 15:42-49 with commentary by Dale B. Martin, The Corinthian Body, Yale University Press, 1999. ISBN 0300081723 p. 126 in particular.
  30. ^ National Interest - Archbishop Peter Carnley
  31. ^ Ignatius makes many passing references, but two extended discussions are found in the Letter to the Trallians and the Letter to the Smyrnaeans.
  32. ^ The Resurrection and the icon by Michel Quenot 1998 ISBN 0881411493 page 72
  33. ^ Augustine: ancient thought baptized by John M. Rist 1996 ISBN 0521589525 page 110
  34. ^ Augustine and the Catechumenate by William Harmless 1995 ISBN 0814661327 page 131
  35. ^ Augustine De doctrina Christiana by Saint Augustine, R. P. H. Green 1996 ISBN 0198263341 page 115
  36. ^ The Trinity by Saint Augustine (Bishop of Hippo.), Edmund Hill, John E. Rotelle 1991 ISBN 0911782966 page 157
  37. ^ Adventus Domini: eschatological thought in 4th-century apses and catecheses by Geir Hellemo 1997 ISBN 9004088369 page 231
  38. ^ Vladimir Lossky, 1982 The Meaning of Icons ISBN 9780913836996 page 189
  39. ^ Understanding early Christian art by Robin Margaret Jensen 2000 ISBN 0415204542 page 149
  40. ^ The passion in art by Richard Harries 2004 ISBN 0754650111 page 8
  41. ^ Images of redemption: art, literature and salvation by Patrick Sherry 2005 ISBN 056708891X page 73
  42. ^ Heaven on Earth: art and the Church in Byzantium by Linda Safran 1998 ISBN 0271016701 page 133
  43. ^ Peter Kirby, "The Case Against the Empty Tomb," In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 233. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 
  44. ^ Robert M. Price, Robert M. Price, "The Empty Tomb: Introduction; The Second Life of Jesus." In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 13. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 
  45. ^ Robert Greg Cavin, "Is There Sufficient Historical Evidence to Establish the Resurrection of Jesus?" In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 36. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 
  46. ^ Richard C. Carrier "The Spiritual Body of Christ and the Legend of the Empty Tomb." In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 105. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 
  47. ^ Richard C. Carrier, "The Spiritual Body of Christ and the Legend of the Empty Tomb." In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 155–156. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 
  48. ^ Robert M. Price, "The Empty Tomb: Introduction; The Second Life of Jesus." In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 14. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 
  49. ^ Robert M. Price, "The Empty Tomb: Introduction; The Second Life of Jesus." In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 14. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 
  50. ^ Richard C. Carrier, "The Burial of Jesus in Light of Jewish Law." In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 369. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 
  51. ^ Pecorino, Philip (2001). "Section 3. The Resurrection of the Body". Philosophy of Religion. Dr. Philip A. Pecorino. Retrieved 2007–09–13. 
  52. ^ Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
  53. ^ 2 Samuel 7:12, Psalm 132:11, Psalm 89:3
  54. ^ Acts 2:30
  55. ^ L. Michael White, Importance of the Oral Tradition
  56. ^ Barnett, Paul, The Birth Of Christianity: The First Twenty Years (After Jesus)[page needed]
  57. ^ A basic text is that of Oscar Cullmann, available in English in a translation by J. K. S. Reid titled, The Earliest Christian Confessions (London: Lutterworth, 1949)
  58. ^ Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus—God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) pp. 118, 283, 367; Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964) pp. 7, 50; C. H. Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching and its Developments (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980), p. 14
  59. ^ Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament vol 1, pp. 49, 81; Joachim Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus translated Norman Perrin (London: SCM Press, 1966) p. 102
  60. ^ Hans Von Campenhausen, "The Events of Easter and the Empty Tomb," in Tradition and Life in the Church (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1968) p. 44
  61. ^ Archibald Hunter, Works and Words of Jesus (1973) p. 100
  62. ^ Mark 16
  63. ^ Matthew 28
  64. ^ Luke 24
  65. ^ Acts 1
  66. ^ John 20
  67. ^ Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "John the Baptist" cameo, p. 268
  68. ^ Eusebius (1989). The History of the Church. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin. p. 29. ISBN 0-14-044535-8. 
  69. ^ Josephus Jewish Antiquities 18.3.3
  70. ^ John 3:16, John 5:24, John 6:39-40, John 6:47, John 10:10, John 11:25–26, and John 17:3.
  71. ^ Terry Miethe in Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? The Resurrection Debate, ed. Terry Miethe (San Fransisco: Harper and Rw,1987), xi. Quoted by Michael Martin, "The Resurrection as Initially Improbable." In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 44. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 
  72. ^ Acts 2:24, Romans 10:9, Corinthians 15:15; 1Cor 15:15, Acts 2:31–32, Acts 3:15, Acts 3:26, Acts 4:10, Acts 5:30, Acts 10:40–41, Acts 13:30, Acts 13:34, Acts 13:37, Acts 17:30–31, Corinthians 6:14; 1Cor 6:14, Corinthians 4:14; 2Cor 4:14, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:20, Col 2:12, 1Thess 1:10, Heb 13:20, [1], 1 Pet 1:21
  73. ^ Mark 16:19, Luke 22:69, Acts 2:33, Acts 5:31, Acts 7:55–56, Romans 8:34, Eph 1:20, Col 3:1, Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 1:13, Hebrews 10:12, Hebrews 12:2, 1 Pet
  74. ^ The ‘‘Parousia’‘ is the term used in the Bible, see Strong's G3952 for details, which includes the Thayer's Lexicon definition: "In the N.T. especially of the advent, i.e.,the future, visible, return from heaven of Jesus, the Messiah, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God." According to the Bauer lexicon: "of Christ, and nearly always of his Messianic Advent in glory to judge the world at the end of this age."
  75. ^ Reginald H. Fuller, The Foundations of New Testament Christology (New York: Scribners, 1965), p. 11.
  76. ^ Jung, Carl, The Answer to Job online excerpt
  77. ^ Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964) p. 47; Reginald Fuller, The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives (New York: Macmillan, 1971) p. 10; Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus—God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) p. 90; Oscar Cullmann, The Earlychurch: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) p. 64; Hans Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, translated James W. Leitch (Philadelphia: Fortress 1969) p. 251; Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament vol. 1 pp. 45, 80–82, 293; R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) pp. 81, 92
  78. ^ Most Fellows of the Jesus Seminar concluded that this tradition dates to before Paul's conversion, c AD 33. Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Empty Tomb, Appearances & Ascension" p. 449-495.
  79. ^ Geza Vermes (2008) The Resurrection. London, Penguin: 121-2
  80. ^ see Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus—God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) p. 90; Oscar Cullmann, The Early church: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) p. 66–66; R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) pp. 81; Thomas Sheehan, First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity (New York: Random House, 1986) pp. 110, 118; Ulrich Wilckens, Resurrection translated A. M. Stewart (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1977) p. 2; Hans Grass, Ostergeschen und Osterberichte, Second Edition (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1962) p. 96; Grass favors the origin in Damascus.
  81. ^ a b Paul Barnett, Finding the Historical Christ (After Jesus Volume 3), Eerdmans, 2009. 182.
  82. ^ a b Lorenzen, Thorwald. Resurrection, Discipleship, Justice: Affirming the Resurrection Jesus Christ Today. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys, 2003, p. 13.
  83. ^ Warnock, Adrian Raised With Christ, Crossway 2010
  84. ^ a b Craig S. Keener, "The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary", pp.710-711
  85. ^ C.H. Dodd, Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments: Three Lectures With an Appendix on Eschatology and History. 25. (Baker Book House, 1982).
  86. ^ Acts 2:14-40; 3:11-12; 4:5-12; 5:29-32; 10:34-42
  87. ^ "Jesus Christ." Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 10 Jan. 2007
  88. ^ Bruce Metzger's Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, p. 122, commentary on Mark 16:9-20: "The last twelve verses of the commonly received text of Mark are absent from the two oldest Greek manuscripts (Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209), from the Old Latin Codex Bobiensis, the Sinaitic Syriac manuscript, syr(s), about one hundred Armenian manuscripts, and the two oldest Georgian manuscripts…
  89. ^ John Fenton, "The Ending of Mark's Gospel" in Resurrection: Essays in Honour of Leslie Houdlen Ed. Stephen Barton and Graham Stanton.6.
  90. ^ Reginald Fuller, The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives. (SPCK, 1972). 2.
  91. ^ James D.G. Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit: A Study of the Religious and Charismatic Experience of Jesus and the First Christians as Reflected in the New Testament. Eerdmans, 1997. p. 115, 117.
  92. ^ Helmut Koester, Introduction to the New Testament, Vol. 2: History and Literature of Early Christianity. Walter de Gruyter, 2000. p. 64-65.
  93. ^ Pagels, Elaine, The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters, 1992, ISBN 0–8006–0403–2
  94. ^ Qur'an, Sura 4:158
  95. ^ Qur'an, Sura 4:157
  96. ^ Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 256–257. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 
  97. ^ Robert M. Price, "The Empty Tomb: Introduction; The Second Life of Jesus." In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. pp. 14–15. ISBN 1-59102-286-x. 


Further reading





  • David Marshall (Ph.D.). "The Risen Jesus" an essay in Essential Jesus, edited by Bryan Ball and William Johnsson, and published by Pacific Press in 2002.
  • Habermas, Gary, "Resurrection Research from 1975 to the Present: What are Critical Scholars saying?" Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, Jun2005, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p135-153
  • Wright, N.T., "Resurrecting Old Arguments: Responding to Four Essays," Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, Jun2005, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p209-231. [2]
  • Yamauchi, Edwin, Easter: Myth, Hallucination, or History?, 1974, Christianity Today


  • Bauckham, Richard. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. Wm. B. Eerdman's, 2008.
  • Bruce, FF, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, 1985, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press
  • Eddy, Paul and Boyd, Greg. The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. Baker Academic, 2007
  • Endsjø, Dag Øistein. Greek Resurrection Beliefs and the Success of Christianity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2009.
  • Habermas, Gary and Licona, Michael, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, Kregel Publications, 2004.
  • Habermas, Gary, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ (College Press: Joplin, MI 1996).
  • McDowell, Josh, New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Thomas Nelson, Inc, Publishers, 1999
  • Overman, Dean L., A Case for the Divinity of Jesus: Examining the Earliest Evidence Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2010.
  • Strobel, Lee, The Case for Easter, Zondervan Publishing Company, 2004.
  • Swinburne, Richard, The Resurrection of God Incarnate, Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Wenham, John. Easter Enigma: Do the Resurrection Stories Contradict One Another? Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Wright, N.T., The Resurrection of the Son of God. Fortress Press. 2003 Online excerpt




  • Robert M. Price and Jeffery Jay Lowder, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave (ISBN 1–59102–286-X), 2005
  • Spong, John Shelby, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? , 1995


  • Craig, William Lane, Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment?: A Debate Between William Lane Craig and Gerd Ludemann. IVP Academic, 2000.
  • Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus?: A Debate between William Lane Craig and Bart D. Ehrman (transcript) [3] (video)
  • Stewart, Robert B. The Resurrection of Jesus: John Dominic Crossan And N.T. Wright in Dialogue, 2006

External links

Major events in Jesus' life in the Gospels

Nativity | Childhood | Baptism | Temptation | Sermon on the Mount | Transfiguration | Last Supper | Passion | Crucifixion | Resurrection | Hell | Ascension

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