The Resurrection of the Son of God

I recently completed reading the 738 page book by NT Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God. It took me several years to finish it, as I am a slow reader. Wright’s style is wonderful; he constructs very helpful analogies to convey the force of his argument throughout the book. The point he makes is straightforward: the resurrection of Jesus is historically highly reliable though it is not mathematically or logically plausible. He demands that the resurrection be understood against the background of Second Temple Judaism, and rightfully so. He argues that the Christian belief in resurrection is a mutation of Second Temple Judaism’s resurrection theology, and this mutation is best explained by the resurrection of Jesus as an actual event in history. Wright notes that belief in Jesus as both Messiah and Son of God does not necessarily follow acceptance of the resurrection event. However, he demonstrates that the early Christians believed Jesus is both Messiah and Son of God, because the resurrection qualifies him as such.

This book is fantastic but long. It does a great job of planting resurrection within Second Temple Judaism where it belongs, and it thoroughly explores resurrection in the Bible. If a person is looking to learn about resurrection theology and the resurrection as historical event, this book is great. It is not for the faint-hearted; it may take a couple of years to read through it!