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The Resurrection of Christ

A Historical Inquiry

Gerd Lüdemann

Prometheus New Releases - October 2004 - Biblical Criticism

In this thorough exegesis of the primary texts dealing with the resurrection of Jesus, New Testament expert Gerd Lüdemann (University of Göttingen) presents compelling evidence to show that the resurrection was not a historical event and further argues that this development leaves little, if any, basis for Christian faith as presently defined.

Beginning with Paul's testimony in 1 Cor. 15: 3-8, in which the apostle declares that Jesus "has been raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures," Lüdemann systematically evaluates every reference to Jesus' resurrection in the New Testament, as well as apocryphal literature. He examines the purpose of the text writers, the ways in which they reworked tradition, and the historical value of each account.

Since the historical evidence leads to the firm conclusion that Jesus' body was not raised from the dead, Lüdemann argues that the origin of the Easter faith must be sought in the visionary experiences of Christianity's two leading apostles. From a modern perspective this leads to the inescapable conclusion that both primary witnesses to Jesus' resurrection, Peter and Paul, were victims of self-deception.

In conclusion, he asks whether in light of the non-historicity of Jesus' resurrection, thinking people today can legitimately and in good conscience still call themselves Christians.

Gerd Lüdemann (Göttingen, Germany) is professor of the History and Literature of Early Christianity at the University of Göttingen and formerly a visiting scholar and associate professor of New Testament at Vanderbilt Divinity School. He is the author of many books and articles on the origins of Christianity including Paul: The Founder of Christianity, Jesus After 2000 Years, and The Great Deception: And What Jesus Really Said and Did.

250 pages (illustrations) ISBN 1-59102- 245-2 Hardcover: $28

Copyright © Gerd Lüdemann
Last updated on April 22, 2020
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