Resurrection Logic

How Jesus' First Followers Believed God Raised Him from the Dead

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Bruce D. Chilton
  • Waco, TX: 
    Baylor University Press
    , September
     319 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Daniel B. Glover forthcoming.


Death does not speak the final word. Resurrection does. Christianity stands or falls with this central confession: God raised Jesus from the dead.

Bruce Chilton investigates the Easter event of Jesus in  Resurrection Logic. He undertakes his close reading of the New Testament texts without privileging the exact nature of the resurrection, but rather begins by situating his study of the resurrection in the context of Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, and Syrian conceptions of the afterlife. He then identifies Jewish monotheistic affirmations of bodily resurrection in the Second Temple period as the most immediate context for early Christian claims. Chilton surveys first-generation accounts of Jesus’ resurrection and finds a pluriform—and even at times seemingly contradictory—range of testimony from Jesus’ first followers. This diversity, as Chilton demonstrates, prompted early Christianity to interpret the resurrection traditions by means of prophecy and coordinated narrative.

In the end, Chilton points to how the differing conceptions of the ways that God governs the world produced distinct understandings—or "sciences"—of the Easter event. Each understanding contained its own internal logic, which contributed to the collective witness of the early church handed down through the canonical text. In doing so, Chilton reveals the full tapestry of perspectives held together by the common-thread confession of Jesus’ ongoing life and victory over death.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Bruce D. Chilton is Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion in the Department of Religion and Executive Director of The Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College. He is also the author of Visions of the Apocalypse: Receptions of John's Revelation in Western Imagination, co-author of The Targums: A Critical Introduction, and co-editor of In Quest of the Historical Pharisees.


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