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Resurrection: Jesus, The Sadducees and Qumran

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Chapter Summary

The argument, which presents the idea of resurrection as an absurdity, doubtless was effective against the common view of resurrection life, that is, as an extension of the 'good life' of this age. Jesus' argument is one from inference and proceeds from several assumptions common to him and his opponents: God said he was the God of Abraham after Abraham was dead; but God is not the God of the dead. If Jesus combined an argument for resurrection with an Old Testament view of Sheol and of resurrection, did such a view find expression elsewhere in first-century Judaism? Neither the eschatology of the Sadducees, nor that of the Pharisees, nor that of the Essenes as reported in the classical sources conforms to this pattern. From the texts published so far, it is probable that Qumran also combined an Old Testament view of Sheol with a future resurrection hope.

Keywords: Jesus; Old Testament; Qumran; Sadducees; Sheol

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