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The Resurrection of the Son of God

(Christian Origins and the Question of God #3)

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,821 ratings  ·  159 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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 ·  1,821 ratings  ·  159 reviews

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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
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. ...more
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
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
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
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
Matthew Richey
Excellent read; deserves a fuller review later (will try to get to it).
Nate Claiborne
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I posted an extensive review series on this book (and Jesus and The Victory of God) on my blog ...more
Neil Kruger
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology-general
4.5 Stars


Resurrection does not make a covenant with death, it overthrows it.

A thorough analysis of (bodily) resurrection through the lens of worldviews, history and, most importantly, texts with an eye towards theological implications. Wright has done us all a great service with a fantastic exploration on how new life has broken into the present age.
Caleb Cochran
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Maybe N.T. Wright’s most important work
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
Piers Young
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In a league of its own, marvellous.
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Woop woop! After four whole months I have finally finished this book.

Like with the previous books in this series, N.T. Wright is quite good at presenting a few main points, and then returning to them consistently, with the net result being that even when some of the arguments get into the nitty gritty, or when Wright decides to spend a few pages going off on a particular thinker or camp of thinkers, the reader is always reminded of the main point he's arguing for. This is particularly true in th
The third volume of Wright's magisterial series on Christian Origins and the Question of God, originally designed to be the end of the second volume, but for understandable reasons became a volume in and of itself.

Wright set out to comprehensively make a historical case for not only the possibility, but the plausibility, of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead as established in the New Testament. This large work proves necessary on account of all of the confusion, distortion, and misunderstan
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In the future, if I have any questions regarding the resurrection—Jewish or Greek beliefs about it, how the OT and NT speak of it, the apologetic arguments for/against it—I will likely turn first to this book.
Wade Bearden
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The best book I’ve read on the resurrection.
Shane Hill
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Wright is never an easy read as he writes in great detail to make his point....but once you get there, it can be very rewarding......
Ray Clendenen
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology-bible
Hard to say anything about this book without using such terms as classic, monumental, tour de force, and coup de grace. It takes the issue in its teeth and won’t let go until the issue is dealt with and lies still in the grass.
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
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2019
Wright begins his work on the resurrection of Jesus Christ by reminding his readers that:

"Proposing that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead was just as controversial nineteen hundred years ago as it is today. The discovery that dead people stayed dead was not first made by the philosophers of the Enlightenment. The historian who wishes to make such a proposal is therefore compelled to challenge a basic and fundamental assumption—not only, as is sometimes suggested, the position of eighte
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
Glenn Crouch
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Compared to the previous 2 volumes, I thought this one (which is larger) started off a bit slow - but the last 3 out of the 5 Parts were very good, and I was particularly inspired by the last Part. So whereas I thought this might only be a 3 or 4 star, it turned out to be a definite 5 star, and has given me much to think about - and helped me organise my thoughts and understanding of the Resurrection much better :)

I think it is important to realise that Wright is not writing here as a Pastor rat
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
Chad Gibbons
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The most comprehensive study on the resurrection to date. Wright surveys all the relevant Greek and Jewish background material as well as the early Christian writers to try to get to the bottom of the questions: Why did early Christianity take the shape that it did? What event made pious Jews switch their day of worship from Saturday to Sunday? What made their theology take the form it did? Why did people claim that Jesus rose from the dead in the first place? What did they mean by it?

This book
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
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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)

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5 likes · 1 comments
“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
“The question of god lay at the heart of second-Temple Jewish life. Each affirmation, each act of worship, contained the question: not Who? (they knew the answer to that), nor yet Why? (again, they knew: because he was the creator, the covenant god), or particularly Where? (land and Temple remained the focus), but How? What? and, above all, When? How, they wanted to know, would YHWH deliver them? What did he want them to be doing in the meantime? And, When would it happen? The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth provided the early Christians with a new, unexpected and crystal clear answer to these three questions; and, by doing so, it raised the first three in a quite new way.” 1 likes
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