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  • Peter Carnley

New Book on N. T. Wright

In 2003 the British New Testament scholar N. T. Wright, published The Resurrection of the Son of God, in which he argued vigorously that the Resurrection of Christ should be handled purely as a historical event. Like any other event of human history, it was to be approached by employing the historical reason and the methods and techniques of critical-historical research.

This book is a critical examination of Wright’s arguments. Peter Carnley seeks to demonstrate the flaws in the view that the Resurrection is to be understood essentially as Jesus’ return from the dead to this world of space and time in a material and physical body. Rather than being handled by reason alone, Carnley argues that the Resurrection of Christ is essentially a “mystery of God,” which must necessarily be appropriated by faith, using various interpretative models. Apart from historical evidence relating to an occurrence of the past that can be known only retrospectively, Easter faith has to do with the apprehension in the present of a concretely experienced reality—of which St. Paul spoke as “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2).

An epistemology of the identification of the Spirit in faith as the living presence of Christ will be found in the companion volume to this book: The Reconstruction of Resurrection Belief.


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Adam Crowl
Adam Crowl
Dec 23, 2023

Reading "The Structure of Resurrection Belief" was a serious eye-opener for me. I'd taken the issue of the Resurrection as a historical event as the key aspect and totally missed what faith was for - to perceive what I hadn't personally witnessed.

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Peter Carnley
May 12, 2019

Resurrection in Retrospect was published by Wipf and Stock on 6 May 2019 and is available through its website, wipfandstock.com and amazon. A companion volume, The Reconstruction of Resurrection Belief, has now also been published, also by Wipf and Stock.

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