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Resurrection of Christ


Resurrection of Christ

The resurrection of Jesus is the Christian belief that Jesus Christ miraculously returned to life on the Sunday following the Friday on which he was executed by crucifixion. It is the central tenet of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures".[1][2]

In the New Testament, after the Romans crucify Jesus, he is anointed and buried in a new tomb by Joseph of Arimathea but God raises him from the dead[3] and he appears to many people over a span of forty days before his ascension to Heaven, to sit at the Right Hand of God. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, the third day after Good Friday, the day of his crucifixion. Easter's date corresponds roughly with Passover, the Jewish observance associated with the Exodus, that is fixed for the night of the Full moon near the time of the spring equinox.[4]

The Apostle Paul wrote that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures". [1 Cor. 15:3b-4]] Thus the death and resurrection of Christ were proclaimed as belonging together at the very heart of the gospel, forcefully placing "the full weight of faith on both the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ"[5] by stating, "if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith". [1 Cor. 15:14]] In fact, Paul further claims that belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus is so central to salvation that "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. [1 Cor. 15:17-19]]

Skeptical biblical scholars have questioned the historicity of the resurrection story for centuries; for example, "nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century biblical scholarship dismissed resurrection narratives as late, legendary accounts".[6] Some scholars consider the biblical accounts of Jesus' resurrection as derived from the experiences of Jesus' followers and of Apostle Paul.[7]

E.P. Sanders concludes "that Jesus’ followers (and later Paul) had resurrection experiences is, in my judgment, a fact". He writes that when Jesus was executed, his followers fled or hid, but their hopes were renewed when they saw him alive again.[8]:p.58

Part of a series on the
Death and resurrection of Jesus

New Testament events

In the New Testament all four Gospels conclude with an extended narrative of the Jesus' arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial, and his resurrection. In each Gospel these five events in the life of Jesus are treated with more intense detail than any other portion of that Gospel's narrative. Scholars note that the reader receives an almost hour-by-hour account of what is happening. The death and resurrection of Jesus are treated as the climax of the story, the point to which everything else has been moving all the while.[9]:p.91–92

After his death by crucifixion, Jesus is placed in a new tomb which is discovered early Sunday morning to be empty. The New Testament does not include an account of the "moment of resurrection". In the Eastern Church icons do not depict that moment, but show the Myrrhbearers and depict scenes of salvation.[10][11] The major Resurrection appearances of Jesus in the Canonical gospels (and to a lesser extent other books of the New Testament) are reported to have occurred after his death, burial and resurrection, but prior to his Ascension.[12]


Main article: Entombment of Christ

All four Gospels state that, on the evening of the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, and that, after Pilate granted his request, he wrapped Jesus' body in a linen cloth and laid it in a tomb.[13] This was in accordance with Mosaic Law, which stated that a person hanged on a tree must not be allowed to remain there at night, but should be buried before sundown.[14]

In Matthew, Joseph was identified as "also a disciple of Jesus;" in Mark he was identified as "a respected member of the council (Sanhedrin) who was also himself looking for the Kingdom of God;" in Luke he was identified as "a member of the council, good and righteous, who did not consent to their purpose or deed, and who was looking for the Kingdom of God'" and in John he was identified as "a disciple of Jesus".

The Gospel of Mark states that when Joseph asked for Jesus' body, Pilate was shocked that Jesus was already dead, and he summoned a centurion to confirm this before dispatching the body to Joseph. John recorded that Joseph was assisted in the burial process by Nicodemus, who brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes and included these spices in the burial cloth as per Jewish customs.

Death state of Christ during the 3 days

The following are further New Testament comments on the death of Christ and resurrection after his time in the tomb:

The apostle Peter delivers a sermon fifty days after the resurrection in which he states: "Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact." [Acts 2:29-31]]

As written in the Book of Revelation: "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead' (Greek egenomen nekros), and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades". [Rev. 1:17-18]]

1 Peter also states: "It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison". (i.e., He descended into Hades after his death), [1 Pet 3:18-20]] which describes Jesus as preaching to the "spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago".

This passage, along with the phrase in 1 Peter that God did "not leave his soul in Hades", [Acts 2:31]] is the theological basis behind the statement "He descended into Hades" in the Apostles' Creed. The death state of Christ was considered by theologians such as Thomas Aquinas and related in traditions such as the Harrowing of Hell.

Tomb discovery

Main articles: Empty tomb and Myrrhbearers

Although no single Gospel gives an inclusive or definitive account of the resurrection of Jesus or his appearances, there are four points at which all four Gospels converge:[15]

  1. Attention to the stone that had closed the tomb
  2. The linking of the empty tomb tradition and the visit of the women on "the first day of the week;"
  3. That the risen Jesus chose first to appear to women (or a woman) and to commission them (her) to proclaim this most important fact to the disciples, including Peter and the other apostles;
  4. The prominence of Mary Magdalene;[10][16]

Variants have to do with the precise time the women visited the tomb, the number and identity of the women; the purpose of their visit; the appearance of the messenger(s)—angelic or human; their message to the women; and the response of the women.[10]

All four Gospels report that women were the ones to find the tomb of Jesus empty, although the number varies from one (

In the Gospels, especially the synoptics, women play a central role as eyewitness at Jesus' death, entombment, and in the discovery of the empty tomb. All three synoptics repeatedly make women the subject of verbs of seeing,[17] clearly presenting them as eyewitnesses.[18]

Resurrection appearances of Jesus

After they found the empty tomb, the Gospels indicate that Jesus made a series of appearances to the disciples. He was not immediately recognizable, according to Luke.[8]:p.277 Sanders concludes that although he could appear and disappear, he was not a ghost. Writing that Luke was very insistent about that, Sanders points out that "the risen Lord could be touched, and he could eat". [Lk. 24:39-43]] He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, but she did not recognize him. The first two disciples to whom he appeared walked and talked with him for quite a while without knowing who he was. (The Road to Emmaus appearance) [Lk. 24:13-32]] When he appeared to the disciples in the upper room, Thomas did not recognize him and wouldn't believe until he was invited to put his finger into the holes in Jesus' hands and side. [Jn. 20:24-29]] He was made known "in the breaking of the bread". [Lk. 24:35]] Beside the Sea of Galilee he encouraged Peter to serve his followers. [Jn. 21:1–23]] His final appearance is reported as being forty days after the resurrection when he ascended into heaven [Lk. 24:44–49]] where he remains with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit until the Second Coming of Christ.

Soon after, on the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus, arch-persecutor of Christians, converted to Christianity following an extraordinary vision of and discourse with Jesus which blinded him for three days. (Saul later became known as Paul the Apostle.) [Acts 13:6]] [19] He became one of Christianity's foremost missionaries and theologians. [1 Cor. 15:6]] [8]

Christian tradition

The resurrection of Jesus has long been central to Christian faith and appears within diverse elements of the Christian tradition, from feasts to artistic depictions to religious relics. In Christian teachings, the sacraments derive their saving power from the passion and resurrection of Christ, upon which the salvation of the world entirely depends.[20]

An example of the interweaving of the teachings on the resurrection with Christian relics is the application of the concept of "miraculous image formation" at the moment of resurrection to the Shroud of Turin. Christian authors have stated the belief that the body around whom the shroud was wrapped was not merely human, but divine, and that the image on the shroud was miraculously produced at the moment of resurrection.[21][22] Quoting Pope Paul VI's statement that the shroud is "the wonderful document of His Passion, Death and Resurrection, written for us in letters of blood" author Antonio Cassanelli argues that the shroud is a deliberate divine record of the five stages of the Passion of Christ, created at the moment of resurrection.[23]


Main article: Easter

Easter, the preeminent feast that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, is clearly the earliest Christian festival.[24] Since the earliest Christian times, it has focused on the redemptive act of God in the death and resurrection of Christ.[25]

Easter is linked to the

Resurrection and Redemption

In the teachings of the

The teachings of 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 Paul states:

But Christ really has been raised from the dead. He is the first of all those who will rise. Death came because of what a man did. Rising from the dead also comes because of what a man did. Because of Adam, all people die. So because of Christ, all will be made alive.

The Apostolic Fathers, discussed the death and resurrection of Jesus, including Ignatius (50−115),[31] Polycarp (69−155), and Justin Martyr (100−165). Following the conversion of Constantine and the liberating Edict of Milan in 313, the ecumenical councils of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, that focused on Christology helped shape the Christian understanding of the redemptive nature of Resurrection, and influenced both the development of its iconography, and its use within Liturgy.[32]

Belief in bodily resurrection was a constant note of the Christian church in antiquity. And nowhere was it argued for more strongly than in North Africa. Saint Augustine accepted it at the time of his conversion in 386.[33] Augustine defended Resurrection, and argued that given that Christ has risen, there is Resurrection of the Dead.[34][35] Moreover, he argued that the death and resurrection of Jesus was for the salvation of man, stating: "to achieve each resurrection of ours, the savior paid with his single life, and he pre-enacted and presented his one and only one by way of sacrament and by way of model.[36]

The 5th century theology of Theodore of Mopsuestia provides an insight into the development of the Christian understanding of the redemptive nature of Resurrection. The crucial role of the sacraments in the mediation of salvation was well accepted at the time. In Theodore's representation of the Eucharist, the sacrificial and salvific elements are combined in the "One who saved us and delivered us by the sacrifice of Himself". Theodore's interpretation of the Eucharistic rite is directed towards the triumph over the power of death brought about by the Resurrection.[37]

The emphasis on the salvific nature of the Resurrection continued in Christian theology in the next centuries, e.g., in the 8th century Saint John of Damascus wrote that: "...When he had freed those who were bound from the beginning of time, Christ returned again from among the dead, having opened for us the way to resurrection" and Christian iconography of the ensuing years represented that concept.[38]

Depictions of the Resurrection

In the Catacombs of Rome, artists just hinted at the Resurrection by using images from the Old Testament such as the fiery furnace and Daniel in the Lion's den. Depictions prior to the 7th century generally showed secondary events such as the Myrrhbearers at the tomb of Jesus to convey the concept of the Resurrection. An early symbol of the resurrection was the wreathed Chi Rho, whose origin traces to the victory of emperor Constantine I at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, which he attributed to the use of a cross on the shields of his soldiers. Constantine used the Chi Rho on his standard and his coins showed a labarum with the Chi Rho killing a serpent.[39]

The use of a wreath around the Chi Rho symbolizes the victory of the Resurrection over death, and is an early visual representations of the connection between the Crucifixion of Jesus and his triumphal resurrection, as seen in the 4th century sarcophagus of Domitilla.[40] in Rome. Here, in the wreathed Chi Rho the death and resurrection of Christ are shown as inseparable, and the Resurrection is not merely a happy ending tucked at the end of the life of Christ on earth. Given the use of similar symbols on the Roman standard, this depiction also conveyed another victory, namely that of the Christian faith: the Roman soldiers who had once arrested Jesus and marched him to Calvary now walked under the banner of a resurrected Christ.[41]

The cosmic significance of the Resurrection in Western theology goes back to Saint Ambrose who in the 4th century said that "The universe rose again in Him, the heaven rose again in Him, the earth rose again in Him, for there shall be a new heaven and a new earth".[42][43] This theme developed gradually in the West, and later than in the East, where the Resurrection was early linked to redemption and the renewal and rebirth of the whole world. In art this was symbolized by combining the depictions of the Resurrection with the Harrowing of Hell in icons and paintings. A good example is from the Chora Church in Istanbul, where John the Baptist, Solomon and other figures are also present, depicting that Christ was not alone in the resurrection.[43] The depiction sequence at the 10th century Hosios Loukas shows Christ as he pulls Adam, followed by Eve from his tomb, signifying the salvation of humanity after the resurrection.[44]

Historicity and origin of the narrative

Main article: Historicity and origin of the Resurrection of Jesus

The earliest Christians proclaimed Jesus as the risen Christ. The first Christians may be defined as those followers of Jesus who, after his crucifixion, proclaimed him as the risen lord.[30] The earliest Christian scriptures place Jesus' resurrection at the center of religious faith. The preaching and letters of Apostle Peter in the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of Paul declared that Jesus died, was raised by God and the apostles are witnesses to this resurrection.[45]

Géza Vermes who considers the Resurrection one of the fundamental and intriguing concepts of the Christian faith has presented eight possible theories to explain the Resurrection of Jesus. These theories fall between two extremes, ranging from a total denial of the Resurrection to absolute belief in it. The six variants include the theft of the body, recovery from a coma and a spiritual non-bodily resurrection.[46][47] Vermes dismisses the "two extremes", stating that they "are not susceptible to rational judgment".[47]

According to a survey conducted by Gary Habermas; 75% of both conservative and non-conservative New Testament scholars accept arguments in favor of the empty tomb.[48] Robert M. Price claims that if the resurrection could, in fact, be proven through science or historical evidence, the event would lose its miraculous qualities.[49] Helmut Koester writes that the stories of the resurrection were originally epiphanies and that the more detailed accounts are secondary and not based on historical records.[50]

According to R. A. Burridge, the majority consensus among biblical scholars is that the genre of the Gospels is a kind of ancient biography and not myth.[51] James D.G. Dunn has stated that, while the apostle Paul's resurrection experience was "visionary in character" and "non-physical, non-material", the accounts in the Gospels are very different.[52] E.P. Sanders argues that a plot to foster belief in the Resurrection would probably have resulted in a more consistent story:[53]

I do not regard deliberate fraud as a worthwhile explanation. Many of the people in these lists were to spend the rest of their lives proclaiming that they had seen the risen Lord, and several of them would die for their cause. Moreover, a calculated deception should have produced great unanimity. Instead, there seem to have been competitors: ‘I saw him first!’ ‘No! I did.’ Paul’s tradition that 500 people saw Jesus at the same time has led some people to suggest that Jesus’ followers suffered mass hysteria. But mass hysteria does not explain the other traditions.

— E.P. Sanders[8]

Biblical accounts


The resurrection story appears in more than five locations in the

Paul's epistles

The earliest written records of the death and resurrection of Jesus are the letters of Paul, which were written around two decades after the death of Jesus,[59][60] and show that within this time frame Christians believed that it had happened. Some scholars suppose that these contain early Christian creeds and creedal hymns, which were included in several of the New Testament texts and that some of these creeds date to within a few years of Jesus' death and were developed within the Christian community in Jerusalem.[61] Though embedded within the texts of the New Testament, these creeds are a distinct source for early Christianity.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-7: "...that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures"

These appearances include those to prominent members of Jesus' ministry and the later Jerusalem church, including James the brother of Jesus and the apostles, naming the Apostle Peter (Cephas). The creed also makes reference to appearances to unidentified individuals. According to the Acts of the Apostles and Paul's Letter to the Galatians, he had contact with at least two of the named witnesses of the creed, James and Peter. [Gal 1:18-20]] Hans Von Campenhausen and A. M. Hunter have separately stated that the creed text passes high standards of historicity and reliability of origin.[64][65]

Gospel narratives


Just after sunrise on the day after the Sabbath three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, come to anoint Jesus' body, wondering how they can roll the rock away from the tomb; but they find the rock already rolled aside and a young man in white inside; he tells them that Jesus is risen, and that they should tell Peter and the disciples that he will meet them in Galilee, "just as he told you". The women run away and tell no-one. [Mark 16]]


Just after sunrise on the day after the Sabbath two women, Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary", came to look at the tomb. Accompanied by an earthquake, an angel comes down from Heaven and rolls the rock aside from the tomb. The angel tells them not to be afraid, but to tell the disciples that Jesus is risen and will meet them in Galilee. The women are joyful and set out to tell the disciples the good news, but Jesus appears and tells them not to be afraid, and tells them that he is risen and that they should tell the disciples that they will see him in Galilee. The disciples go to Galilee, where they see Jesus.

The soldiers guarding the tomb are terrified by the angel, and inform the chief priests; the priests and elders bribe them to spread a lie that the disciples have stolen the body, "[a]nd this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day". [Matthew 27:61-28:3]]


Just after sunrise on the day after the Sabbath a number of women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James) come to anoint Jesus' body. They find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. Suddenly two men stand beside them. The men tell them Jesus is risen. The women tell the disciples, but the disciples do not believe them, except for Peter who runs to the tomb. Peter finds the grave-clothes in the empty tomb and goes away, wondering.

The same day Jesus appears to two of his followers on the road to Emmaus. They fail to recognise him until he breaks bread and gives thanks, and he then vanishes. The two go at once to Jerusalem where they find the disciples exclaiming over Jesus' appearance to Peter. As they tell their story Jesus appears to them all. They are afraid, but he invites them to touch his body, eats with them, and explains the prophecies which are fulfilled in him. [Luke 24]]


(The Acts of the Apostles is presented as a continuation of the Gospel of Luke.) Jesus appeared to the Apostles for forty days, giving many proofs that he was alive, and instructing them not to leave Jerusalem until they were baptised with the Holy Spirit. [Acts 1]]


Early on the day after the Sabbath, before sunrise, Mary Magdalene visits the tomb and finds the stone rolled away. She tells Peter and "the beloved disciple", who run to the tomb and find the grave-clothes, then go home. Mary sees two angels and then Jesus, whom she does not recognise. Jesus tells her to tell the disciples that he is ascending to the Father, and Mary tells the disciples she has seen the Lord.

That evening Jesus appears among them, despite locked doors, and gives them power over sin and forgiveness of sin. A week later he appears to doubting Thomas, who has not believed, but when Thomas is instructed to touch the wounds of Jesus he says, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus replies: "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed". [John 20]]

Comparison of gospel narratives

Matthew Mark Luke John
Empty tomb [28:1-7]] Empty tomb [16:1-7]] Empty tomb [24:1-7]] Empty tomb [20:1-10]]
Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary [28:9-10]] Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene [16:9]] Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene [20:11-18]]
Jesus appeared to two disciples [16:12]] Jesus appeared to two disciples [24:13-31]]
Jesus appeared to eleven disciples [28:16-20]] Jesus appeared to eleven disciples [16:14-18]] Jesus appeared to disciples [24:36-50]] Jesus appeared to disciples [20:19-31]]; Jesus appeared again to disciples [21:1-22]]
Jesus was taken up into heaven [16:19]] Jesus was taken up into heaven [24:51]]
Jesus appeared to apostles for forty days [1:3]] Jesus stayed with them and said to them "you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit" [1:4-5]] Jesus said to disciples that "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses" [1:8]] Jesus was taken up into heaven [1:9]]

Theological significance

In Christian theology, the resurrection of Jesus is a foundation of the Christian faith. [1 Cor 15:12-20]] [1 Pet 1:3]] Christians, through faith in the working of God [Col 2:12]] are spiritually resurrected with Jesus, and are redeemed so that they may walk in a new way of life. [Rom 6:4]] As Paul the Apostle stated: "If Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless". [1 Cor 15:14]] The death and resurrection of Jesus are the most important events in Christian Theology. They form the point in scripture where Jesus gives his ultimate demonstration that he has power over life and death, thus he has the ability to give people eternal life.[66] Terry Miethe, a Christian philosopher at Oxford University, stated, " 'Did Jesus rise from the dead?' is the most important question regarding the claims of the Christian faith.' "[67] According to the Bible, "God raised him from the dead",[68] he ascended to heaven, to the "right hand of God",[69] and will return again [Acts 1:9–11]] to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the Resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment and establishment of the Kingdom of God; see also Messianism and Messianic Age.[70]

Some modern scholars use the belief of Jesus' followers in the resurrection as a point of departure for establishing the continuity of the historical Jesus and the proclamation of the early church.[71] Carl Jung suggests that the crucifixion-resurrection account was the forceful spiritual symbol of, literally, God-as-Yahweh becoming God-as-Job.[72]

Apostle Paul wrote that: "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.... If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile". [1 Cor 15:13–14, 17]] [73] Many scholars have contended that in discussion on the resurrection, Apostle Paul refers to a rabbinic style transmission of an early authoritative tradition that he received and has passed on to the church at Corinth. For this and other reasons, it is widely believed that this creed is of pre-Pauline origin.[74][75] Geza Vermes writes that the creed is "a tradition he [Paul] has inherited from his seniors in the faith concerning the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus".[76] The creed's ultimate origins are within the Jerusalem apostolic community having been formalised and passed on within a few years of the resurrection.[77] Paul Barnett writes that this creedal formula, and others, were variants of the "one basic early tradition that Paul "received" in Damascus from Ananias in about 34 [CE]" after his conversion.[78]

But Christ really has been raised from the dead. He is the first of all those who will rise. Death came because of what a man did. Rising from the dead also comes because of what a man did. Because of Adam, all people die. So because of Christ, all will be made alive.[79]

Paul's views went against the thoughts of the Greek philosophers to whom a bodily resurrection meant a new imprisonment in a corporeal body, which was what they wanted to avoid—given that for them the corporeal and the material fettered the spirit.[80] At the same time, Paul believed that the newly resurrected body would be a heavenly body; immortal, glorified, powerful and pneumatic in contrast to an earthly body, which is mortal, dishonored, weak and psychic.[81] According to theologian Peter Carnley, the resurrection of Jesus was different from the Resurrection of Lazarus as: "In the case of Lazarus, the stone was rolled away so that he could walk out ... the raised Christ didn't have to have the stone rolled away, because he is transformed and can appear anywhere, at any time".[82]

According to international scholar Thorwald Lorenzen, the first Easter led to a shift in emphasis from faith "in God" to faith "in Christ". Today, Lorenzen finds "a strange silence about the resurrection in many pulpits". He writes that among some Christians, ministers and professors, it seems to have to have become "a cause for embarrassment or the topic of apologetics".[83]:pp.3–4 It has been argued that many Christians neglect the resurrection because of their understandable pre-occupation with the Cross.[84] However, the belief in Jesus' physical resurrection remains the single doctrine most accepted by Christians of all denominational backgrounds.

Views of other religions

Groups such as Jews, Muslims, Bahá'ís, and other non-Christians, as well as some liberal Christians, dispute whether Jesus actually rose from the dead. Arguments over death and resurrection claims occur at many religious debates and interfaith dialogues.[83]


Some Gnostics did not believe in a literal physical resurrection. "For the gnostic any resurrection of the dead was excluded from the outset; the flesh or substance is destined to perish. 'There is no resurrection of the flesh, but only of the soul', say the so-called Archontics, a late gnostic group in Palestine".[85]


Christianity split with Judaism in the 1st century, and the two faiths have differed in their theology since. According to the Toledot Yeshu, the body of Jesus was removed in the same night by a gardener named Juda, after hearing the disciples planned to steal the body of Jesus.[86][87] However, Toledot Yeshu is not considered either canonical or normative within rabbinic literature.[88] Van Voorst states that Toledot Yeshu is a medieval document set without a fixed form which is "most unlikely" to have reliable information about Jesus.[89] The Blackwell Companion to Jesus states that the Toledot Yeshu has no historical facts as such, and was perhaps created as a tool for warding off conversions to Christianity.[90]


Muslims believe that ʿĪsā (Jesus) son of Mariam (Mary) was a holy prophet with a divine message. The Islamic perspective is that Jesus was not crucified and will return to the world at the end of times. "But Allāh raised him up to Himself. And Allāh is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise".[91] The Quran says in Surah An-Nisa [Ch004:Verse157] "And because of their saying, "We killed Messiah ʿĪsā (Jesus), son of Mariam (Mary), the Messenger of Allāh", – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts".[92]

Furthermore, in Islam, it is believed that when Jesus returns at the end of the world, he will kill the pigs, break the crosses and abolish the Jizya tax.

"The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it (as charitable gifts)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 43: Kitab-ul-`Ilm (Book of Knowledge), Hâdith Number 656)

Gallery of art

For a larger gallery, please see: Resurrection gallery

See also


a.^ In a note, Kirby states, "A very abbreviated list of twentieth-century writers on the NT who do not believe that the empty tomb is historically reliable: Marcus Borg, Günther Bornkamm, Gerald Boldock Bostock, Rudolf Bultmann, Peter Carnley, John Dominic Crossan, Stevan Davies, Maurice Goguel, Michael Goulder, Hans Grass, Charles Guignebert, Uta Ranke-Heinemann, Randel Helms, Herman Hendrikx, Roy Hoover, Helmut Koester, Hans Küng, Alfred Loisy, Burton L. Mack, Willi Marxsen, Gerd Lüdemann, Norman Perrin, Robert M. Price, Marianne Sawicki, John Shelby Spong, Howard M. Teeple, and John T. Theodore".[93]
b.^ Cavin continues "... even on the assumption of their complete historical reliability ... This assumption, of course, is rightly dismissed in light of contemporary New Testament scholarship".
c.^ Robert M. Price points to the accounts of Adonis, Appollonius of Tyana, Asclepius, Attis, Empedocles, Hercules, Osiris, Oedipus, Romulus, Tammuz, and others.[94]



Further reading


  • Catholic Encyclopedia.




  • Habermas, Gary, "Explaining Away Jesus' Resurrection: The Recent Revival of Hallucination Theories" "Christian Research Journal/ vol.23 no.4, 2001
  • Holding, James Patrick. "Robert Price's 'By This Time He Stinkith': A Critique
  • Habermas, Gary, "The Case for Christ's Resurrection" an essay in To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian World View ed. Francis Beckwith, William Lane Craig, and J.P. Moreland, 180-198. Downers Grove, IL: published by InterVarsity Press, 2004


  • Hays, Steve. "This Joyful Eastertide: A Critical Review of 'The Empty Tomb'"
  • Bauckham, Richard. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. Wm. B. Eerdman's, 2008.
  • * Eddy, Paul and Boyd, Greg. The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. Baker Academic, 2007
  • Endsjø, Dag Øistein. Greek Resurrection Beliefs and the Success of Christianity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2009.
  • Habermas, Gary and Licona, Michael, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, Kregel Publications, 2004.
  • Wright, N. T., The Resurrection of the Son of God, Fortress Pr, 2003.
  • Licona, Michael, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, IVP Academic, 2010.


  • The Resurrection of Jesus, Gary Habermas, Ph.D.[2]



  • Crossley, James G.. "Against the Historical Plausibility of the Empty Tomb Story and the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus: A Response to N.T. Wright",Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, Jun2005, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p171-186
  • By This Time He Stinketh: The Attempts of William Lane Craig to Exhume Jesus. 1997.



  • Craig, William Lane, Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment?: A Debate Between William Lane Craig and Gerd Ludemann. IVP Academic, 2000.
  • Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus?: A Debate between William Lane Craig and Bart D. Ehrman (transcript) (video)
  • Stewart, Robert B. The Resurrection of Jesus: John Dominic Crossan And N.T. Wright in Dialogue, 2006
  • "Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?" A Debate Between William Lane Craig and Richard Carrier (audio)
  • "Did Jesus of Nazareth Rise from the Dead?" A Debate Between Robert Price and William Lane Craig (audio)

External links

Major events in Jesus' life in the Gospels

Nativity | Childhood | Baptism | Temptation | Sermon on the Mount | Transfiguration | Last Supper | Passion | Crucifixion | Resurrection | Hell | Ascension

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