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Resurrection of Jesus: History, Experience, Theology Paperback – January 1, 1995


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Resurrection of Jesus: History, Experience, Theology + The Resurrection Of Christ: A Historical Inquiry + The Great Deception: And What Jesus Really Said and Did
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: FORTRESS PRESS; 1st Fortress press ed edition (January 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080062792X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800627928
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,523,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Unfortunately, this is one of his weakest points.
Amazon Customer
He recognizes that Paul's claim included seeing Jesus, and that other "vision" theories which only include a light but not the person of Christ are inadequate.
J.R. Fraser
Many of Ludemann's objections are answered in this book.
Scott Pearl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By jlowder@infidels.org on October 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Written in 1994 while Professor Leudemann was still a Christian, this book caused such a storm of protest in Germany that the original publisher declined to publish a second impression. But the same honesty which made the book so controversial is also what makes it so valuable. Leudemann decided to write this book because he was dissatisfied with so much of what he read, and therefore the book is a comprehensive treatment of the resurrection. He systematically surveys all of the passages in the New Testament which pertain to the Resurrection, beginning with 1 Corinthians 15 and ending with the last chapter of John. In each instance, Leudemann writes like a sober historian, carefully considering each passage from a redactional, traditional, and critical historical perspective. Leudemann argues that the tomb stories are late--Jesus may have received a dishonorable burial--and likewise the appearance stories are largely legendary. But *something* did happen. Leudemann skillfully extracts as much information as possible about that something from Paul's often cryptic statements, in order to formulate his own hypothesis as to how Christianity began. Whether one one agrees, disagrees, or suspends judgment about Leudemann's hypothesis, all serious students of the Resurrection narratives will want to be familiar with this important book. My only complaint about the book is the lack of a bibliography and detailed indices (e.g., NT verses, subject, author).
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Scott Pearl on September 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
For some time now Ludemann has been wrestling with the idea of how to understand Christian faith in light of our knowledge of history and since the publication of this book his views have changed.

When this book was published, Ludemann believed one could still remain a Christian even while denying Christ's resurrection. But in the book, Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment (which was adapted from a debate between Ludemann and William Lane Craig), Ludemann makes it clear he no longer holds this position. In my opinion, Ludemann is correct that Christianity should collapse if Jesus did not rise from the dead.

But as far as the main point at hand--whether Jesus did, in fact, rise from the dead--Ludemann today holds very much the same position he did when this book was written, viz., Jesus did not rise from the dead. In his denial of the resurrection, though, his case is very mistaken.

One of Ludemann's weakest points comes right at the beginning of the book. Ludemann states that miracles "cannot be the object of scientific historical work.....David Hume already demonstrated that a miracle is defined in such a way that no testimony is sufficient to establish it" (p. 12).

Unfortunately, there is no elaboration or defense of Hume here as many philosophers have critically examined Hume's arguments only to demolish them. So it doesn't serve Ludemann's purposes well to make such a hasty remark.

The fact is, Hume's assertion begs the question. The only way one could determine that no testimony is sufficient to prove a miracle is to already believe that miracles cannot exist. Ludemann's reliance on such a fallacious claim without any interaction with the countless number of critical reviews Hume has received misleads the uninformed reader.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Samuel M Smith on December 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Luedemann's work is fair to middling, at best.
This tome is something of an aporetic description of what "must have happened" in place of the traditional description of the rise of the Christian faith.
Paul was really a nice guy, but felt like he couldn't be that way until he was around Christians (who he felt guilty for persecuting), so his brain cooked up an image of a dead guy who he'd never met who made him feel all warm and fuzzy (and psychosomatically blind for a while). He decided then that the image he saw was none other than the Son of God, the Resurrected Messiah. This explanation works as long as you believe that Paul was insane. We have no other evidence to support that thesis, though.
Peter was just another disciple of Jesus who ran off when he was arrested. He felt so guilty about Jesus' death, however, that his brain cooked up a vision of his dead teacher which inspired him to found the church at Jerusalem. He ended up fighting with James who also felt guilty so (can you see a pattern here?)his brain cooked up an image of his dead brother.
Pentecost? The appearance to 500 mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15? Luedemann kills two birds with one stone here. Both legends are based on one common group hallucination in which people had a really good time and felt like Jesus was there with them, kind of like if they had played a live version of "Truckin'" at Jerry Garcia's funeral.
Luedemann claims to be an historian. He is not. Rather, he is a speculator.
He claims that depth psychology can be of use to biblical interpreters. Psychology is far too amorphous and unreliable for historical interpretation.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Although, Professor Luedemann is obviously learned, and has done much thought on the subjects of early Christian origins and the resurrection specifically his ideas do not hold up under any sizable scrutiny.
From the very beginning it is easy to tell Luedemann believes the church has not been interested in the truth in its pursuits of spirituality. So he writes, "this book is specifically not written with a view to its results being useful for the church; its main aim is to investigate the historical truth." Because of this we must look to Prof. Luedemann to tell us what the church was not honest enough, or curious enough, to find out. Unfortunately, for Luedemann his analysis is wrong. The church has done very careful study of the issue of the resurrection, and truth was their main concern. As Paul writes in 1 Cor 15, the truth/reality of the resurrection is of utmost importance to the church, because without a TRUE, HISTORICAL resurrection there is no Christianity. The whole religion is based on the FACT of the resurrection, and if it is not true then to be a Christian is worthless.
In regards to Luedemann's arguments I can mention a few. First, he argues the New Testament (specifically the parts which refer to the bodily resurrection) is dated late. This is quite mistaken. In regards to standards of judging the accuracy and reliability of documents of antiquity, the NT is very, very early. In fact, Luedemann contradicts himself when he concedes 1 Cor 15 to be dated very early. To see a popular treatment on this you might want to pick up Lee Strobel's The Case for the Real Jesus. If you would like a much harder work to really delve into on this issue see NT Wright's The Resurrection of the Son of God.
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