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The Historical beginnings of the Resurrection Faith

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the origin and initial development of the faith in Jesus' resurrection in the primitive Christian community. It also establishes reliable historical methodology. Many studies of Christian origins have failed to use a valid approach, and Willi Marxsen rightly starts with the question of method. He recognizes the necessity of penetrating behind the New Testament text to an earlier period of time, to sources in that text and their original context, and to the Sitz im Leben. He notes that we must inquire into the events behind the text, and "we must above all discover 'why' a person makes a particular statement". The speeches in Acts represent kerygma that is earlier than the thought in most of the New Testament, but they are not that early. The gospels, their sources, and the Book of Acts alike were written to support the Christian proclamation, not to report history.

Keywords: Christian community; Jesus resurrection faith; New Testament; Willi Marxsen



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