How do we know that Jesus was actually raised from the dead in bodily form? This course with Prof. N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, examines the extraordinary claim that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead in a bodily fashion to appear in person to people after his cruel death, crucifixion, and entombment. This journey will look at the ancient world's understanding of the afterlife from Jewish and Greek perspectives along with the implications of their understandings as it relates to the early Christian claim of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. New Testament documents will then be examined for broader understanding of resurrection generally as well as for specific information as it relates to the claim that Jesus was raised from the dead in bodily form.
The student is urged to read the book Surprised by Hope by Prof. N.T. Wright (ISBN: 0061551821) published by HarperOne. This book is a powerful partner to have while working through this course. If you would like a very thorough scholarly work on the subject by Prof. Wright, you may wish to consult the book The Resurrection of the Son of God (ISBN:0800626796) published by Fortress Press.
The course The Resurrection of the Son of God takes advantage of the thorough scholarship of Professor N.T. Wright as he methodically works through the relevant material.
Prof. N.T. Wright gives a brief introduction to the scope of the study of the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth including an examination of relevant background literature of the ancient world.
Prof. Wright reads 1 Cor 15:1-19 from the Kingdom New Testament.
Prof. Wright explains one of the key texts that summarizes what constituted the message of the early church as seen in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.
This comprehension quiz will help you assess your comprehension of the first session.
Practical Suggestions for Embracing the Ideas In This Course
In this article, suggestions are made of how to make this section, and, indeed, this course, more practical by using probing questions. Because this is an academic course, we are looking at understanding ideas and then bringing the principles behind those ideas into the present in practice.
Prof. Wright reads from the Wisdom of Solomon 2:1-5.
The text of the Wisdom of Solomon 2:1-5 is provided for the student. We suggest you print this out for reference.
Prof. Wright gives a survey of the ancient world's perspectives on what happened to people after death. This provides the student with immense understanding of the breadth of ideas existing in the world into which Jesus of Nazareth lived.
This quiz will help assess your comprehension of Session Two.
Prof. Wright reads Psalm 16 in preparation for the Session Three.
Here is the written text of Psalm 16.
Prof. Wright examines Psalm 16 as an example of the perspective on death and the afterlife added by OT writers and thinkers.
Prof. Wright reads from the Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9.
Prof. Wright examines the prevailing and powerful ideas about immortality held by Jews during the time of Jesus.
Prof. Wright reads 1 Thessalonians 4:13-19 from the Kingdom New Testament.
Prof. Wright examines 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 to elucidate the expectation of believers, not of a heaven that is detached from earth, but an expectation of resurrection at the last day.
The apostle Paul encountered some believers who did not understand the reality of bodily resurrection. In 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 you will find explanation of the importance of this key element of faith and the reasons why bodily resurrection matters to the believers in Corinth and for people in the present day.
Prof. Wright explains the consequences of not embracing the ramifications of the fact of Jesus' bodily resurrection. All of life is affected if Jesus is not raised from the dead.
Prof. Wright summarizes the first part of Second Corinthians in order to set up a more thorough explanation of 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. This formative text examines the confident expectation Paul had regarding his future state of being securely held by the Lord Jesus.
Prof. Wright examines eight 'mutations' of the idea of resurrection within the Jewish world. This is in dramatic contrast with what the early Jewish and Gentile believers in King Jesus were proclaiming, as Romans 1:1-7 indicates.
In order to understand the unique circumstances surrounding Jesus Christ’s resurrection, which may have been considered a highly bizarre event by traditional ancient Jewish standards, one must examine the Christian perspective carefully. The Christian Church regarded Christ’s resurrection as a central, natural and a fundamental event within the new world. It is important to inspect and examine the New Testament scriptures thoughtfully concerning this event. To this end we now look at one of the most important texts concerning the Jesus' resurrection, John 20:1-10.
The Gospel of Mark represents perhaps the earliest of the New Testament Gospels authored between 65 A.D. and 80 A.D. This Gospel presents the audience with an immediate surprise upon reading the account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ because of its brevity and the remarkable abrupt ending to the Gospel of Mark.
The Gospel of Matthew in Chapter 28 begins the resurrection account with dramatic pictorial language that differs than from Gospel of Mark yet follows a similar story line with different conclusion. The opening scene describes a powerful earthquake that introduces an angel who roles away the massive grave stone which covers its opening. The angel then sits at the entrance to the tomb. We examine this narrative for additional evidence surrounding pointing to the reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus.
There exists an ancient and venerable tradition that Luke, the writer of the Gospel of Luke, was a superb artist as well as an excellent physician. Luke adroitly described the post resurrection conversations and interactions of two disciples with Jesus on the Road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35.
Prof. Wright reads John 20:24-31 from the Kingdom New Testament.
The Gospel of John’s account of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection was written by the Apostle John with imagery that parallels the creation story found in the Book of Genesis. John 20 speaks of the 'First Day' of the New Creation week. Jesus Christ is the first born, the start of the 'New Creation' whose resurrection body represent the first part of the old world man transformed into the 'new incorruptible Adam'.
Prof. Wright reads Acts 1:1-8 in preparation for Session Fifteen.
The resurrection of Jesus argues for a clear explanation to understand why the Christian Church suddenly deviated from traditional Jewish and cultural views concerning the afterlife to adopt radical claims concerning Jesus. We examine the essential roles played by the accounts of the empty tomb and the post-resurrection appearances in the early Christian Church.
N.T Wright received his BA, MA and PHD from Oxford University. He taught New Testament at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford Universities 1978-1993. He was Dean of Lichfield, then Canon of Westminster, then Bishop of Durham (Church of England), 1994-2010. Since 2010 Prof. Wright has been Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He has published over 75 books and hundreds of articles. Prof. Wright recently received the Burkitt Medal from the British Academy for services to New Testament scholarship. He enjoys writing, lecturing, mentoring students and an occasional round of golf. He delights in spending time with his family in the midst of a busy schedule of writing and traveling.
David Seemuth has a Ph.D. from Marquette University in the field of Religious Studies with an emphasis on New Testament Theology. He has taught at the graduate level for over 25 years at numerous universities and seminaries. He also has 16 years of on-line teaching experience. His passion is to see that people not only understand the Scripture, but also apply them to daily life.