Table of Contents

The hope of Israel.
Death and the afterlife in the Greco-Roman world beyond Israel.
The Christian claim.
Paul.
Mark.
Matthew.
Luke.
John.
What should we make of the witnesses' claims?.
So what? A partially unscientific postscript.
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. This book combines literary, historical, and theological approaches in a study of the doctrine of the Resurrection. The first part of the book provides a careful and sympathetic description of 1st-century Jewish and pagan opinions and beliefs about death and what might follow. It then presents a general account of early Christian claims about the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The second part 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. The third part discusses and evaluates various proposals that have been made by those attempting to explain the data in ways that differ from the traditional Christian explanation. Finally, the book asks, "So what?" and considers various theological and ethical implications of accepting the claim "Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead." Throughout, the book 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.