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The Jewish Background to The Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T.Wright

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This response to N.T. Wright's recent magnum opus on the resurrection of Jesus concentrates on his handling of the Jewish background to the beliefs about what had happened to Jesus. It was made in dialogue with the author at the British New Testament Conference in Edinburgh (Sept. 2004). In his study Wright vigorously argues that Christian beliefs stand out as both continuous with the mainstream of Jewish thought on the subject, but also introducing a new and unexpected element, namely that no one expected an individual to rise ahead of the rest of humankind. This conclusion forms the bedrock for Wright's investigation of the New Testament traditions about Jesus and his robust defence of the traditional belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus as an historical event. The pivotal nature of his conclusion about the background beliefs therefore called for a thorough analysis of his handling of this material. This article goes some way to offering that kind of critique.

Affiliations: 1: Cranmer Hall, University of Durham Durham, UK


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