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The Resurrection Of Christ: A Historical Inquiry Hardcover – October 1, 2004

2.9 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Argument has long raged over whether assessing early Christian texts about the Resurrection as historical sources is legitimate and important. Ludemann stands squarely in the Enlightenment camp of Tom Paine--revered in the U.S. for Common Sense, reviled for the later tract The Age of Reason--and Paine's detractors call Ludemann an Enlightenment fundamentalist. Ludemann insists that a purely historical reading is important because Christians and Christianity exercise authority based on a historical claim about an act of God. If the claim is false, that authority is illegitimate. Since the claim is based on the self-deception of Peter and Paul, and other historical evidence doesn't support it, Ludemann says that thinking people can no longer call themselves Christians in good faith. This may be preaching to the choir of those against using religious, metaphysical, and ideological claims to contain historical investigations, but it is clear and succinct. The translation and historical assessment of Resurrection accounts that constitute the bulk of the book make it useful for students in and out of the choir. Steven Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From the Inside Flap

Although Christianity is anchored to the doctrine of the resurrection, historical research shows that from a historical standpoint Jesus was not raised from the dead. In the thorough explanation and discussion of the primary texts dealing with the claimed resurrection of Christ, New Testament expert Gerd Ludemann presents compelling evidence to show that the resurrection was not a historical event, and he further argues that this development leaves little, if any, basis for Christian faith as presently defined.

Ludemann offers fresh translations of the mist important early Christian texts concerning Jesus' alleged resurrection and assesses their historical value. Beginning with Paul's testimony in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, in which the apostle declares that Jesus "has been raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures," and then turning to the texts of the Gospels and of other noncanonical early Christian texts, Ludemann systematically evaluates every reference to Jesus' resurrection in the New Testament, as well as in apocryphal literature. In each case he examines the purpose of the authors of these texts, reconstructs the tradition they reworked, and assesses the historical value of each account.

Since the historical evidence leads to the firm conclusion that Jesus' body was not raised from the dead, Ludemann argues that the origin of the Easter story 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' claimed resurrection, Peter and Paul, were victims of self-deception. In conclusion, he asks whether in light of the nonhistoricity of Jesus' resurrection, thinking people today can in good conscience still call themselves Christians.


Product details

  • Hardcover : 248 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1591022452
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1591022459
  • Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
  • Dimensions : 6.23 x 0.8 x 9.27 inches
  • Publisher : Prometheus (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    2.9 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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2.9 out of 5 stars
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