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The Resurrection of the Son of God

(Christian Origins and the Question of God #3)

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,576 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
Why did Christianity begin, and why did it take the shape it did? To answer this question – which any historian must face – renowned New Testament scholar N.T. Wright focuses on the key points: what precisely happened at Easter? What did the early Christians mean when they said that Jesus of Nazareth had been raised from the dead? What can be said today about his belief?


Paperback, 817 pages
Published March 17th 2003 by Fortress Press (first published March 1st 2003)
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Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
The Resurrection of the Son of God is the scholarship behind Surprised by Hope, and well worth the time it takes to read. In some ways, I am the perfect audience for Wright's work. I grew up under pretty ambiguous teachings on the resurrection. Sure, Jesus rose from the dead, but emphasis was always on the “end times”. I haven't found every answer in Wright's exposition, but I have found ground to stand on, and for that, I am grateful for his work.

Resurrection is highly organized. It is written
Ryan Manns
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
Excellent book. 5 stars worth of historical information on the resurrection, 5 stars for making a case for Jesus being the Son of God, 3 stars for length (could have made his argument in half the number of pages), and 3 stars for confusing wording at times. Overall 4 stars and I would recommend this to anyone looking at examining the truth behind the resurrection of Jesus.

Ok so here is my review on this excellent book. As I said initially I thought Wright could have made his case in half the nu
Jana Light
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oof. This is a BOOK. Wright is thorough and detailed in a way that my brain cannot always keep up with, but in a way that makes it very clear both that the early Christians believed Jesus rose from the dead and that resurrection (of Jesus and eventually of all believers) is central to early Christian faith.

I was relieved Wright never set out to *prove* Jesus rose from the dead. Instead, he set out to demonstrate that belief in the resurrection was the foundation of Christian faith, in a way tha
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book because I was looking for the most robust, academic case I could find about the resurrection of Jesus written by someone who believed it to be true. In general, I was impressed by the depth and thought he put into this book. He definitely takes the long road - you don't get to the gospel accounts of the resurrection until almost the end. A central theme was the need to understand the second-temple Jewish context in order to see and hear the events and words in the same way the ...more
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've read so many N.T. Wright books by now it has become pretty easy to know which beats he is going to hit, like the beats of your favorite song when it comes on the radio. After a while, it can be difficult not to become jaded and think that they cannot do anything that would surprise you. In the case of this book, I couldn't be more happy to be wrong! In this volume, N.T. Wright takes the single, most important event in Christianity (indeed, in world history), the resurrection of Jesus Christ ...more
Chauncey Lattimer
Wow!, again. This was one of the best Christmas presents I have received from my wife. (Especially since I had to go buy and read NTPG and JVG before starting this book.

Wright brought home to me once again the absolute necessity of understanding the 2nd Temple mindset. In that frame of reference, resurrection can ONLY mean getting a new body.. not 'life after death', but life after life-after-death!

Of particular interest was his development of the sufficient and necessary causes in relationship
Piers Young
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In a league of its own, marvellous.
Greg Watson
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best book available on the topic. Wright covers the topic exhaustively. It's not a quick read, but it's well worth the time investment.
An incredibly well-researched book organized into a frustrating and often obscure argument structure.
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a phenomenal though quite lengthy and dense book. N.T. Wright is one of the foremost New Testament scholars of our time and I believe this book is something of a "rite of passage" for those curious of the historical case for the resurrection of Jesus. This comprehensive work is referred to by many other Christian apologists which is why I picked it up.

To try to summarize this book seems unwise. However, I can summarize some points as they stuck out from my perspective:

1. Beliefs on deat
James Tetley
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
What a monster of a book. Crucial reading on the resurrection.With a full 360 degree view of the Scriptures on the subject. Has opened my eyes to Jesus resurrection and the impact on us and our own futures in a way I had never seen before. That the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the forerunner of our own, and he's returning to inaugurate a renewed heaven and earth. My destiny is an embodied resurrected life in this new creation, not some disembodied life in the clouds!!! Implications let's get ...more
Bret James Stewart
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing


The Resurrection of the Son of God is a book for scholars and those interested in the historical concept of resurrection and as specifically applied to Jesus Christ. The author seeks to explain how the term ‘resurrection’ was used and understood by both pagans (non-Jews and non-Christians in this context) and Jews. With this established, Wright seeks to demonstrate how the early Christians both reaffirmed the view held by the majority of Jews and added new levels of meaning to the w
Aug 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is Wright's third of what will be 5 (at least for now) volumes in his "Christian Origins and the Question of God" series. When I see the size of these things, I get an overwhelming sense of stupidity and laziness. I don't think I can even thoughtfully read as much as he has written.

This volume tackles the doctrine of resurrection, and does so extensively. Wright analyzes the Christian belief about resurrection in the context of ancient Pagan and Jewish beliefs, and he attacks the notion th
Dean Jenkins
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whilst Wright's work on Paul may mark him out as controversial to some, his contribution to the historical discussion of where the Christian faith came from and took the exact shape it did is invaluable to any taking this question seriously.

Within the Resurrection of the Son of God Wright argues the disciples claims about Jesus of Nazareth were the direct result of their belief that his resurrection simultaneously fulfilled and challenged Jewish theology about what the Messiah would accomplish.
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Essential reading for anyone, Christian or not, which places the resurrection of Jesus in its historical and Biblical context. Through surveying just about every piece of Christian and Jewish religious literature ever written up until the second century (including a lot that didn't make it into the Bible), as well as the writings of the Greeks and the beliefs of the Romans, Egyptians and other ancient cultures, Tom Wright puts the idea of the resurrection of Jesus thoroughly into context. Throug ...more
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly important work surveying the biblical and historical roots of the Church's faith in the risen Jesus. Wright works through the Old Testament and Second Temple sources speaking to the ideas of reusrrection of the dead, and contrasting this with the pagan notions of existence after death. He then unpacks how the earlier Christian confessions presented a shift, and how they retained parts of the Pharisaic understanding of resurrection.

The methodology and history of interpretation secti
Jacob McGill
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book does a great job of defending the Christian position of physical resurrection, and for that it gets 4 stars. I was close to giving it three though b/c the book gets quite repetitive, especially in Part 1. This book is touted very highly by the conservative evangelical camp b/c it defends the resurrection better than they are able to, but I would say that it is overrated. Conservatives like it b/c it 'proves' the liberals wrong, but does not propose much new for Christian thought. JVG i ...more
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Perhaps the best New Testament scholar of this age, Wright explores the historical setting of the Resurrection of Christ. Looking at the understanding of death, the afterlife and the idea of “resurrection” in the various settings of the ancient Near East (pagan, Jewish, etc.) Wright argues that the claim of the followers of Jesus was radical and unheard of. Wright begins with an objective tone, and slowly moves through the text toward subjectivity, arguing a level of belief and involvement when ...more
Robert Turnage
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
N.T. Wright writes the most thorough and conclusive historical argument for the resurrection I've come across, with a reasonable (and certainly manageable) thesis: there is no other viable explanation for the birth of the Christian church than the bodily resurrection of Christ himself. He seems to work backwards, with the Easter stories themselves not addressed until the end. This is yet another sign of a brilliantly crafted argument: he will only get to the Easter stories themselves once he has ...more
Jon Beadle
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Spectacular. Lucid, direct, and times very beautiful. The sheer amount of scholarship engaged with is impressive on its own. The fact that he makes a compelling case for the bodily resurrection as the true definition for what the New Testament means when it says, "Resurrection." Life after life after death is the point.

For those who don't have the time or patience to engage with this mammoth, just read his "Surprised By Hope." Many of the same arguments are there, with the added bonus of pop cu
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Started this book. Wright, as usual, is a force of character and rhetoric. His arguments are convincing and fastidiously researched. One of the best volumes on this subject.
Benjamin Alexander
Jul 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Doug Wilson was gracious in letting me sub out a Greyfriar's book for this one
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In this theological page turner, Wright starts by explaining the obvious: that the classical world did not believe in anastasis. He then shows that by second-Temple Judaism, the concept of resurrection as a metaphor for national restoration has acquired its literal and personal meaning. It is an embodied and transformative process, and confers both dis- and continuity. It does not mean "going to heaven". Any Platonic (or Cartesian) adulteration is anachronistic and a distortion. Wright argues pe ...more
Adam Smith
Sep 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
From my blog (

Here we are finally at the conclusion of the three volume series (thus far) of the epic "Christian Origins and the Question of God". In this third (and longest) volume of the three, we find a well-reasoned, well thought out historical study of the resurrection of Jesus.

As usual, N.T. Wright is at his best when writing history. On the theological front, Wright is no slouch either. He deftly weaves together historical references and theologica
Brian White
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carl Nelson
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the books recommended by John Meacham in his NYT Book Review Easter essay. This is an impressive piece of scholarship that evaluates the evidence and presents a strong argument for the historical accuracy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
gene hasselquist
It was well written and challenging

It was inspirationAl and I learned lot.I appreciate his writing..his knowledge of the bible is amazing..
I'm very interested in having more of his books.
Nate Weis
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. The definitive work on the resurrection.
James Chappell
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This should count as ten books.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
About 200 pages too long.
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  • Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony
  • The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative
  • The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics
  • The Meaning of Jesus
  • Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
  • Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction
  • The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach
  • The Historical Reliability of the Gospels
  • God's Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul
  • The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology
  • The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate
  • The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited
  • The Theology of Paul the Apostle
  • Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon
  • The Gospel in a Pluralist Society
  • Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels
  • Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination
  • For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
N. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England (2003-2010) and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline NBC, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air, and he has taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGi ...more

Other books in the series

Christian Origins and the Question of God (4 books)
  • The New Testament and the People of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #1)
  • Jesus and the Victory of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #2)
  • Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #4)
“Nem o cenário alternativo da Páscoa proposto por Lüdemann, no qual Pedro e Paulo experimentaram fantasias geradas pelo luto e culpa respectivamente, nem a alternativa de Crossan, na qual um grupo de escribas cristãos começou, anos depois da crucificação, a estudar as Escrituras e especular sobre o destino de Jesus, são baseadas em qualquer evidência. Aqueles que sentem a força das dúvidas de Marxsen sobre a evidência para a ressurreição de Jesus devem é ficar muito mais preocupados com estas reconstruções.” 1 likes
“There is no reason in principle why the question, what precisely happened at Easter, cannot be raised by any historian of any persuasion. Even if some Christians might wish to rule it off limits, they have (presumably) no a priori right to tell other historians, whether Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, New Agers, gnostics, agnostics, or anyone else, what they may and may not study.” 0 likes
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