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The Resurrection of the Son of God

, 2003
ISBN: 9780800626792
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In this volume, N. T. Wright takes us on a fascinating journey through ancient beliefs about life after death, from the shadowy figures who inhabit Homer’s Hades, through Plato’s hope for a blessed immortality, to the first century, where the Greek and Roman world (apart from the Jews) consistently denied any possibility of resurrection. We then examine ancient Jewish beliefs on the same subject, from the Bible to the Dead Sea Scrolls and beyond.

This sets the scene for a full-scale examination of early Christian beliefs about resurrection in general and that of Jesus in particular, beginning with Paul and working through to the start of the third century. Wright looks at all the evidence, and asks: Why did Christians agree with Jewish resurrection belief while introducing into it—across the board—significant modifications?

To answer this question we come to the strange and evocative Easter stories in the gospels and asks whether they can have been late inventions. Wright seeks the best historical conclusions about the empty tomb and the belief that Jesus really did rise bodily from the dead, recognizing that it was this belief that caused early Christians to call Jesus “Son of God.” In doing so, they posed a political challenge as well as a theological one. These challenges retain their power in the twenty-first century.

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Top Highlights

“The shape of the book is thus determined by the two main sub-questions into which the principal question divides: what did the early Christians think had happened to Jesus, and what can we say about the plausibility of those beliefs?” (Page 6)

“Fourth, and quite different from the previous three, there is history as writing-about-events-in-the-past.” (Page 13)

“The hope of the biblical writers, which was strong and constant, focused not upon the fate of humans after death, but on the fate of Israel and her promised land. The nation and land of the present world were far more important than what happened to an individual beyond the grave.” (Page 99)

“Fifth and finally, a combination of (3) and (4) is often found precisely in discussions of Jesus: history as what modern historians can say about a topic.” (Page 13)

“Resurrection means bodily life after ‘life after death’, or, if you prefer, bodily life after the state of ‘death’.” (Pages 108–109)

book really is a bomb thrown into the playground of the theologians. Not only that, it is perhaps even more unusual in being both a joy to read and nearly 850 pages in length . . . It is not only an excellent argument, it is a model for how scholarship should be done.


Wright has succeeded in building a theological cathedral of illuminated historical insights, convincing and surprising exegetical observations, and thoroughly argued systematic conclusions. No prophetic intuition is needed to predict thatthis book will remain a classic.

Scottish Journal of Theology

Theological books can be almost incomprehensible for the ordinary reader. It is a measure of the book’s power and interest that, when I was interrupted in my reading by an unexpected but usually welcome guest, I could hardly conceal my impatience to resume reading. No greater compliment could surely be paid by the lay reader to a distinguished work of theology . . . I shall return many times and always with the expectation of fresh enlightenment and new discoveries.

—P. D. James, author, The Private Patient

A fascinating tale, whose denouement is as gripping as any detective story . . . a masterpiece of lucidity and scholarship.

—Marry Ann Sieghart, Assistant Editor of The Times, 1988-2007

  • Title: The Resurrection of the Son of God
  • Author: N. T. Wright
  • Series: Christian Origins and the Question of God
  • Publisher: SPCK
  • Print Publication Date: 2003
  • Logos Release Date: 2010
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Christianity › Origin; Church history › Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600; Jesus Christ › Resurrection; Resurrection
  • ISBNs: 9780800626792, 0800626796
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2024-03-25T20:45:58Z
N. T. Wright

Nicholas Thomas “Tom” Wright (1948–) is a New Testament scholar, Pauline theologian, and Anglican bishop and currently Research Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Mary's College in the University of St Andrews and Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Christianity Today named him one of today's top theologians. 

Wright was born in Morpeth, Northumberland, and recounts an awareness of God's presence from a young age—and that relationship with God ever since is reflected in his life and work. He's a prolific author; one of his most popular books, Surprised by Hope, frames the resurrection of the dead as the appropriate hope for all believers rather than an overemphasis on just "going to heaven when you die." He's among the leading theologians in the New Perspective on Paul debate. Wright has several honorary doctoral degrees, and in 2014, the British Academy awarded him the Burkitt Medal "in recognition of special service to biblical studies." In 2015, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Wright served as chaplain at Cambridge from 1978 to 1981, then as assistant professor of New Testament language and literature at McGill University in Montreal. Before becoming a chaplain, tutor, lecturer, and fellow at Oxford in 1986, Wright served as dean of Lichfield Cathedral, canon theologian of Westminster Abbey, and the bishop of Durham from 2003–10. In addition to the entire New Testament for Everyone Series, some of N. T. Wright's books include The New Testament in Its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians, Who Was Jesus, The New Testament and the People of God, God and the Pandemic, Evil and the Justice of God, Surprised by Hope, and Simply Christian. He coauthored Jesus the Final Days with Craig A. Evans.


23 ratings

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  1. Joshua Tan

    Joshua Tan


  2. NB.Mick



  3. Jamin Bradley

    Jamin Bradley


  4. Paul Yeager

    Paul Yeager


  5. Veli-Pekka Haarala
  6. Tom Albin

    Tom Albin


    Dr. Wright is the gold standard for evaluating any topic he writes about.
  7. Diane Barnes

    Diane Barnes


    You can get it for the kindle for 4.99
  8. MDD



  9. Artur Asaduriyan
  10. Jimmy C. Corn and I don't Care
    Been over and over this again and again.
Save on Publisher Spotlight through April 30!


Digital list price: $38.99
Regular price: $30.99
Save $9.30 (30%)