Resurrection of Jesus

Resurrection of Jesus

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The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 returned to bodily life on the third day
Third day in the Bible
-Introduction:The expression third day appears in several narratives in the Bible. Some biblical interpreters have thought that some of these third day motifs have significance by signifying a certain divine principle, and a few interpreters have thought that they are cryptic in meaning...

 following his death by crucifixion
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

. It is a key element of Christian faith
Faith in Christianity
Faith, in Christianity, has been most commonly defined by the biblical formulation in the Letter to the Hebrews as "'the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen". Most of the definitions in the history of Christian theology have followed this biblical formulation...

 and theology
Christian theology
- Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

 and part of the Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures". (The resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 is not to be confused with the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

 after the resurrection).

In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, after the Romans crucified Jesus, he was buried in a new tomb, but God raised him from the dead and he appeared
Resurrection appearances of Jesus
The major Resurrection appearances of Jesus in the Canonical gospels are reported to have occurred after his death, burial and resurrection, but prior to his Ascension. Among these primary sources, most scholars believe First Corinthians was written first, authored by Paul of Tarsus along with...

 to many people over a span of forty days before his ascension to Heaven. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, the third day after Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

 which marks his crucifixion. Easter's date
Computus
Computus is the calculation of the date of Easter in the Christian calendar. The name has been used for this procedure since the early Middle Ages, as it was one of the most important computations of the age....

 corresponds roughly with Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

, the Jewish observance associated with the Exodus
The Exodus
The Exodus is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness...

.

The resurrection story appears in more than five locations in the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

. In several episodes in the Canonical Gospels Jesus foretells of his coming death
Jesus predicts his death
Jesus predicts his death three times in the New Testament, the first two occasions building up to the final prediction of his crucifixion. The final prediction episode appears in all three Synoptic Gospels, in the Gospel of Matthew , the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke...

 and resurrection, and states that it was based on the plan of God the Father
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

. Christians view the resurrection of Jesus as part of the plan of salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

 and redemption
Redemption (theology)
Redemption is a concept common to several theologies. It is generally associated with the efforts of people within a faith to overcome their shortcomings and achieve the moral positions exemplified in their faith.- In Buddhism :...

. There are other accounts of the death of Jesus, notably in the Jewish and Islamic traditions. Not all of these accounts include the resurrection of Jesus after his death.

Skeptical 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." Some contemporary scholars still express doubts about the historicity of the resurrection accounts and have debated their origin, and others consider that the biblical accounts of Jesus' resurrection were derived from the experiences of Jesus' followers and of Apostle Paul.

New Testament Events


In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 there are three groups of events that surround the death and resurrection of Jesus: Crucifixion and burial
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

: wherein Jesus is placed in a new tomb following his death, discovery of the empty tomb
Empty tomb
Empty tomb most often refers to the tomb of Jesus which was found to be empty by the women who were present at Jesus’ crucifixion. They had come to his tomb to anoint his body with spices...

and the resurrection appearances
Resurrection appearances of Jesus
The major Resurrection appearances of Jesus in the Canonical gospels are reported to have occurred after his death, burial and resurrection, but prior to his Ascension. Among these primary sources, most scholars believe First Corinthians was written first, authored by Paul of Tarsus along with...

. The New Testament does not include an account of the "moment of resurrection" and in the Eastern Church icons do not depict that moment, but show the Myrrhbearers
Myrrhbearers
In Eastern Orthodoxy the Myrrhbearers are the individuals mentioned in the New Testament who were directly involved in the burial or who discovered the empty tomb following the resurrection of Jesus...

, and depict scenes of salvation.

Burial



All four Gospels state that, on the evening of the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea was, according to the Gospels, the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus' Crucifixion. He is mentioned in all four Gospels.-Gospel references:...

 asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, and that, after Pilate granted his request, he wrapped Jesus' body in a linen cloth
Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy. The image on the shroud is...

 and laid it
Descent from the Cross
The Descent from the Cross , or Deposition of Christ, is the scene, as depicted in art, from the Gospels' accounts of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus taking Christ down from the cross after his crucifixion . In Byzantine art the topic became popular in the 9th century, and in the West from the...

 in a tomb
Tomb of Jesus
Several places have been proposed as the tomb of Jesus, the place where Jesus Christ was buried:*Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, accepted by many Christians and scholars as built on ground on which Jesus was crucified and buried...

. 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.


In Matthew, Joseph was identified as "also a disciple
Disciple (Christianity)
In Christianity, the disciples were the students of Jesus during his ministry. While Jesus attracted a large following, the term disciple is commonly used to refer specifically to "the Twelve", an inner circle of men whose number perhaps represented the twelve tribes of Israel...

 of Jesus;" in Mark he was identified as "a respected member of the council (Sanhedrin
Sanhedrin
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

) who was also himself looking for the Kingdom of God
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is a foundational concept in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.The term "Kingdom of God" is found in all four canonical gospels and in the Pauline epistles...

;" 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
Gospel of Mark
The Gospel According to Mark , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Mark or simply Mark, is the second book of the New Testament. This canonical account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is one of the three synoptic gospels. It was thought to be an epitome, which accounts for its place as the second...

 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
Nicodemus
Saint Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, who, according to the Gospel of John, showed favour to Jesus...

, 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 three days



The following are further New Testament comments on the death of Christ and resurrection after three days 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."

As written in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "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 egonomen nekros), and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."

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
Hades
Hades , Hadēs, originally , Haidēs or , Aidēs , meaning "the unseen") was the ancient Greek god of the underworld. The genitive , Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: "[the house/dominion] of Hades". Eventually, the nominative came to designate the abode of the dead.In Greek mythology, Hades...

 after his death), 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," is the theological basis behind the statement "He descended into Hades" in the Apostles' Creed
Apostles' Creed
The Apostles' Creed , sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol"...

. The death state of Christ was considered by theologians such as Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 and related in traditions such as the Harrowing of Hell
Harrowing of Hell
The Harrowing of Hell is a doctrine in Christian theology referenced in the Apostles' Creed and the Athanasian Creed that states that Jesus Christ "descended into Hell"...

.

Tomb discovery




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:
  1. The linking of the empty tomb tradition and the visit of the women on "the first day of the week;"
  2. 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;
  3. The prominence of Mary Magdalene
    Mary Magdalene
    Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus' most celebrated disciples, and the most important woman disciple in the movement of Jesus. Jesus cleansed her of "seven demons", conventionally interpreted as referring to complex illnesses...

    ;
  4. Attention to the stone that had closed the tomb 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.


All four Gospels report that women were the ones to find the tomb of Jesus empty, although the number varies from one (Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus' most celebrated disciples, and the most important woman disciple in the movement of Jesus. Jesus cleansed her of "seven demons", conventionally interpreted as referring to complex illnesses...

) to an unspecified number. According to Mark and Luke, the announcement of Jesus' resurrection was first made to women. According to Matthew and John, Jesus actually appeared first to women (in Mark 16:9 and John 20:14 to Mary Magdalene alone). "Whereas others found woman not qualified or authorized to teach, the four Gospels have it that the risen Christ commissioned women to teach men, including Peter and the other apostles, the resurrection, foundation of Christianity."

In the Gospels, especially the synoptics
Synoptic Gospels
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, and sometimes exactly the same wording. This degree of parallelism in content, narrative arrangement, language, and sentence structures can only be...

, 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, clearly presenting them as eyewitnesses.

Resurrection appearances of Jesus


After the discovery of the empty tomb, the Gospels indicate that Jesus made a series of appearances to the disciples. These include the appearance to the disciples in the upper room
Cenacle
The Cenacle , also known as the "Upper Room", is the term used for the site of The Last Supper. The word is a derivative of the Latin word cena, which means dinner....

, where Thomas did not believe until he was invited to put his finger into the holes in Jesus' hands and side; the Road to Emmaus appearance
Road to Emmaus appearance
The Road to Emmaus appearance refers to one of the early resurrection appearances of Jesus after his crucifixion and the discovery of the empty tomb...

; and beside the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

 to encourage Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

 to serve his followers. His final appearance is reported as being forty days after the resurrection when he ascended into heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

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, Paul of Tarsus
Paul of Tarsus
Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

 converted to Christianity based on a vision of Jesus and later, became one of Christianity's foremost missionaries
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 and theologians.

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.

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
Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy. The image on the shroud is...

. 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. Quoting Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

'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.

Easter



Easter, the preeminent feast that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, is clearly the earliest Christian festival. Since the earliest Christian times, it has focused on the redemptive act
Redemption (theology)
Redemption is a concept common to several theologies. It is generally associated with the efforts of people within a faith to overcome their shortcomings and achieve the moral positions exemplified in their faith.- In Buddhism :...

 of God in the death and resurrection of Christ.

Easter is linked to the Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

 and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 through the Last Supper
Last Supper
The Last Supper is the final meal that, according to Christian belief, Jesus shared with his Twelve Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as "communion" or "the Lord's Supper".The First Epistle to the Corinthians is...

 and crucifixion
Passion (Christianity)
The Passion is the Christian theological term used for the events and suffering – physical, spiritual, and mental – of Jesus in the hours before and including his trial and execution by crucifixion...

 that preceded the resurrection. According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples
Jesus predicts his death
Jesus predicts his death three times in the New Testament, the first two occasions building up to the final prediction of his crucifixion. The final prediction episode appears in all three Synoptic Gospels, in the Gospel of Matthew , the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke...

  for his death in the upper room
Cenacle
The Cenacle , also known as the "Upper Room", is the term used for the site of The Last Supper. The word is a derivative of the Latin word cena, which means dinner....

 during the Last Supper. He identified the loaf of bread and cup of wine as symbolizing his body
Body of Christ
In Christian theology, the term Body of Christ has two separate connotations: it may refer to Jesus's statement about the Eucharist at the Last Supper that "This is my body" in , or the explicit usage of the term by the Apostle Paul in to refer to the Christian Church.Although in general usage the...

 soon to be sacrificed and his blood
Blood of Christ
The Blood of Christ in Christian theology refers to the physical blood actually shed by Jesus Christ on the Cross, and the salvation which Christianity teaches was accomplished thereby; and the sacramental blood present in the Eucharist, which is considered by Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and...

 soon to be shed. states, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed"; this refers to the Passover requirement to have no yeast in the house and to the allegory of Jesus as the Paschal lamb
Lamb of God
The title Lamb of God appears in the Gospel of John, with the exclamation of John the Baptist: "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" in John 1:29 when he sees Jesus....

.

Resurrection and Redemption


The New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 teaches that the resurrection of Jesus is a foundation of the Christian faith. Christians, through faith in the working of God are spiritually resurrected with Jesus, and are redeemed
Redemption (theology)
Redemption is a concept common to several theologies. It is generally associated with the efforts of people within a faith to overcome their shortcomings and achieve the moral positions exemplified in their faith.- In Buddhism :...

 so that they may walk in a new way of life.

In the teachings of the apostolic Church
Apostolic Age
The Apostolic Age of the history of Christianity is traditionally the period of the Twelve Apostles, dating from the Crucifixion of Jesus and the Great Commission in Jerusalem until the death of John the Apostle in Anatolia...

, the resurrection was seen as heralding a new era
World to Come
The World to Come is an eschatological phrase reflecting the belief that the "current world" is flawed or cursed and will be replaced in the future by a better world or a paradise. The concept is similar to the concepts of Heaven and the afterlife, but Heaven is another place generally seen as...

. Forming a theology of the resurrection fell to Apostle Paul. It was not enough for Paul to simply repeat elementary teachings, but as states, "go beyond the initial teachings about Christ and advance to maturity". Fundamental to Pauline theology is the connection between Christ's Resurrection and redemption
Redemption (theology)
Redemption is a concept common to several theologies. It is generally associated with the efforts of people within a faith to overcome their shortcomings and achieve the moral positions exemplified in their faith.- In Buddhism :...

. Paul explained the importance of the resurrection of Jesus as the cause and basis of the hope of Christians to share a similar experience in :



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.


If the cross stands at the center of Paul's theology, so does the Resurrection: unless the one died the death of all, the all would have little to celebrate in the resurrection of the one. Paul taught that, just as Christians share in Jesus' death in baptism, so they will share in his resurrection for Jesus was designated the Son of God
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

 by his resurrection. 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. 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. According to theologian Peter Carnley
Peter Carnley
Peter Frederick Carnley AC is a retired Australian Anglican bishop. Carnley was the Archbishop of Perth from 1981 to 2005 and was Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia from 2000 until July 2005...

, 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."

The Apostolic Fathers
Apostolic Fathers
The Apostolic Fathers are a small number of Early Christian authors who lived and wrote in the second half of the first century and the first half of the second century. They are acknowledged as leaders in the early church, although their writings were not included in the New Testament...

, discussed the death and resurrection of Jesus, including Ignatius
Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch was among the Apostolic Fathers, was the third Bishop of Antioch, and was a student of John the Apostle. En route to his martyrdom in Rome, Ignatius wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology...

 (50−115), Polycarp
Polycarp
Saint Polycarp was a 2nd century Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him...

 (69−155), and Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr, also known as just Saint Justin , was an early Christian apologist. Most of his works are lost, but two apologies and a dialogue survive. He is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church....

 (100−165). Following the conversion of Constantine
Constantine I and Christianity
During the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine, also known as Constantine I, had a significant religious experience following his victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312...

 and the liberating Edict of Milan
Edict of Milan
The Edict of Milan was a letter signed by emperors Constantine I and Licinius that proclaimed religious toleration in the Roman Empire...

 in 313, the ecumenical councils
First seven Ecumenical Councils
In the history of Christianity, the first seven Ecumenical Councils, from the First Council of Nicaea to the Second Council of Nicaea , represent an attempt to reach an orthodox consensus and to establish a unified Christendom as the State church of the Roman Empire...

 of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, that focused on Christology
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

 helped shape the Christian understanding of the redemptive nature of Resurrection, and influenced both the development of its iconography, and its use within Liturgy.

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. Augustine defended Resurrection, and argued that given that Christ has risen, there is Resurrection of the Dead
Resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the Dead is a belief found in a number of eschatologies, most commonly in Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian. In general, the phrase refers to a specific event in the future; multiple prophesies in the histories of these religions assert that the dead will be brought back to...

. 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.

The 5th century theology of Theodore of Mopsuestia
Theodore of Mopsuestia
Theodore the Interpreter was bishop of Mopsuestia from 392 to 428 AD. He is also known as Theodore of Antioch, from the place of his birth and presbyterate...

 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
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

, 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.

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
John of Damascus
Saint John of Damascus was a Syrian monk and priest...

 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.

Depictions of the Resurrection


In the Catacombs
Catacombs
Catacombs, human-made subterranean passageways for religious practice. Any chamber used as a burial place can be described as a catacomb, although the word is most commonly associated with the Roman empire...

 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 used secondary events such as the Myrrhbearers
Myrrhbearers
In Eastern Orthodoxy the Myrrhbearers are the individuals mentioned in the New Testament who were directly involved in the burial or who discovered the empty tomb following the resurrection of Jesus...

 at the tomb of Jesus to convey the concept of the Resurrection. An early symbol of the resurrection was the wreathed Chi Rho
Chi Rho
The Chi Rho is one of the earliest forms of christogram, and is used by Christians. It is formed by superimposing the first two letters chi and rho of the Greek word "ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ" =Christ in such a way to produce the monogram ☧...

, 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
Labarum
The labarum was a vexillum that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧, formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" — Chi and Rho . It was used by the Roman emperor Constantine I...

 with the Chi Rho killing a serpent.

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
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

 and his triumphal resurrection, as seen in the 4th century sarcophagus of Domitilla in Rome. Here, in the wreathed Chi Rho
Chi Rho
The Chi Rho is one of the earliest forms of christogram, and is used by Christians. It is formed by superimposing the first two letters chi and rho of the Greek word "ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ" =Christ in such a way to produce the monogram ☧...

 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
Aquila (Roman)
The Aquila was the eagle standard of a Roman legion, carried by a special grade legionary known as an Aquilifer. One eagle standard was carried by each legion.-History:...

, 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
Calvary
Calvary or Golgotha was the site, outside of ancient Jerusalem’s early first century walls, at which the crucifixion of Jesus is said to have occurred. Calvary and Golgotha are the English names for the site used in Western Christianity...

 now walked under the banner of a resurrected Christ.

The cosmic significance of the Resurrection in Western theology goes back to Saint Ambrose who in the 4th century said that "In Christ the world has risen, heaven has risen, the earth has risen". However, this theme was only developed later in Western theology and art. It was, a different matter in the East where the Resurrection was linked to redemption, and the renewal and rebirth of the whole world from a much earlier period. In art this was symbolized by combining the depictions of the Resurrection with the Harrowing of Hell
Harrowing of Hell
The Harrowing of Hell is a doctrine in Christian theology referenced in the Apostles' Creed and the Athanasian Creed that states that Jesus Christ "descended into Hell"...

 in icons and paintings. A good example is from the Chora Church
Chora Church
The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine church. The church is situated in Istanbul, in the Edirnekapı neighborhood, which lies in the western part of the municipality of Fatih...

 in Istanbul, where John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

, Solomon
Solomon
Solomon , according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before...

 and other figures are also present, depicting that Christ was not alone in the resurrection. The depiction sequence at the 10th century Hosios Loukas
Hosios Loukas
Hosios Loukas is an historic walled monastery situated near the town of Distomo, in Boeotia, Greece. It is one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art, and has been listed on UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, along with the monasteries of Nea Moni and Daphnion.-...

 shows Christ as he pulls Adam, followed by Eve from his tomb, signifying the salvation of humanity after the resurrection.

Historicity


Peter Kirby, the founder of EarlyChristianWritings.com, states that, "Many scholars doubt the historicity of the empty tomb." According to Robert M. Price
Robert M. Price
Robert McNair Price is an American theologian and writer. He teaches philosophy and religion at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, is professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and the author of a number of books on theology and the historicity of Jesus, including...

, Christian "apologists love to make the claims ... that the resurrection of Jesus is the best attested event in history", but "probabalistic arguments" show that "the resurrection is anything but an open-and-shut case". Robert Greg Cavin, a professor of Philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and Religious Studies at Cypress College
Cypress College
Cypress College is a community college located in Cypress, California. Opened on September 12, 1966 , the southern California college offers a variety of general education , transfer courses , and 141 vocational programs leading to Associate's degrees and certificates.-Overview:Cypress College's...

, states that, "our only sources of potential evidence, the New Testament Easter traditions, fall far short of providing the kind of information necessary for establishing the resurrection hypothesis."

According to Richard C. Carrier,
Christianity probably began ... with a different idea of the resurrection than is claimed today. The evidence suggests the first Christians, at least up to and including Paul, thought Christ's "soul" was taken up to heaven and clothed in a new body, after leaving his old body in the grave forever. The subsequent story, that Jesus actually walked out of the grave with the same body that went into it, leaving an empty tomb to astonish all, was probably a legend that developed over the course of the first century, beginning with a metaphorical "empty tomb" in the Gospel of Mark ... By the end of the first century the Christian faction that would win total power three centuries later, and thus alone preserve its writings for posterity, had come to believe in the literal truth of the ensuing legend, forgetting or repudiating the original doctrine of Paul.


Carrier also describes some questions relating to the sourcing of the Gospel narratives of the resurrection: "Beyond mere conjecture, there is no indication any of them had any other source of information for the changes and additions they [Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John] made," and "Luke does claim to have many sources, but does not say who or for what material."

There are various other counterarguments about the historicity of the resurrection story. For example, the number of other historical figures and gods with similar death and resurrection accounts has been pointed out. Robert M. Price
Robert M. Price
Robert McNair Price is an American theologian and writer. He teaches philosophy and religion at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, is professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and the author of a number of books on theology and the historicity of Jesus, including...

 claims that if the resurrection could, in fact, be proven through science or historical evidence, the event would lose its miraculous qualities. In a more focused argument, Carrier asserts that, "The surviving evidence legal and historical, suggests that Jesus was not formally buried Friday night," but that "it had to have been placed Saturday night in a special public graveyard reserved for convicts. On this theory, the women who visited the tomb Sunday morning mistook its vacancy."

Background


In 1st century BC, debates existed among Jewish religious groups. The Pharisees
Pharisees
The Pharisees were at various times a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews during the Second Temple period beginning under the Hasmonean dynasty in the wake of...

 believed in Resurrection of the Dead, and the Sadducees did not. The Sadducees did not believe in an afterlife
Afterlife
The afterlife is the belief that a part of, or essence of, or soul of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity, survives the death of the body of this world and this lifetime, by natural or supernatural means, in contrast to the belief in eternal...

, but the Pharisees believed in a literal resurrection of the body. The Sadducees, politically powerful religious leaders, rejected the afterlife, angels, and demons as well as the Pharisees oral law. The Pharisees, whose views became Rabbinic Judaism
Rabbinic Judaism
Rabbinic Judaism or Rabbinism has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE, after the codification of the Talmud...

, eventually won (or at least survived) this debate. The promise of a future resurrection appears in the Torah as well as in certain Jewish works, such as the Life of Adam and Eve
Life of Adam and Eve
The Life of Adam and Eve, also known, in its Greek version, as the Apocalypse of Moses, is a Jewish pseudepigraphical group of writings. It recounts the lives of Adam and Eve from after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden to their deaths. It provides more detail about the Fall of Man, including...

, c 100 BC, and the Pharisaic book 2 Maccabees
2 Maccabees
2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible, which focuses on the Jews' revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work....

, c 124 BC.

In the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

, the Jewish scriptures and the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 of the Bible, it was the promise of God to provide an eternal liberating king in the line of King David of Bethlehem. Apostle Peter used this reasoning to argue for the significance of the resurrection. The Apostle Paul also connects Jesus' death and resurrection with a fulfilment of scripture.

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, and show that within this time frame Christians believed that it had happened. Some scholars suppose that these contain early Christian creed
Creed
A creed is a statement of belief—usually a statement of faith that describes the beliefs shared by a religious community—and is often recited as part of a religious service. When the statement of faith is longer and polemical, as well as didactic, it is not called a creed but a Confession of faith...

s and creedal hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s, which were included in several of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old 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. Though embedded within the texts of the New Testament, these creeds are a distinct source for early Christianity.
"...concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and designated the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.": "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, this is my Gospel.": "... 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
James the Brother of Jesus
James the Brother of Jesus may refer to:*James the Just,* James the Brother of Jesus , 1997, by Robert Eisenman...

 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
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 and Paul's Letter to the Galatians, he had contact with at least two of the named witnesses of the creed, James and Peter.
Hans Von Campenhausen and A. M. Hunter have separately stated that the creed text passes high standards of historicity and reliability of origin.

Mark


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.

Matthew


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, but to Jesus himself suddenly appears 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."

Luke


Just after sunrise on the day after the Sabbath a number of women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and others) 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.

Acts


(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.

John


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
Doubting Thomas
A Doubting Thomas is someone who will refuse to believe something without direct, physical, personal evidence; a skeptic.-Origin:The term is based on the Biblical account of Thomas the Apostle, a disciple of Jesus who doubted Jesus' resurrection and demanded to feel Jesus' wounds before being...

, who has not believed, but when Thomas is instructed to touch the wounds of Jesus
Holy Wounds
The Five Holy Wounds or Five Sacred Wounds refer to what are believed to be the five piercing wounds that was suffered during the crucifixion 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."

Josephus


Flavius Josephus (c. 37–c. 100), a Jew and Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 citizen who worked under the patronage of the Flavians
Flavian dynasty
The Flavian dynasty was a Roman Imperial Dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 69 and 96 AD, encompassing the reigns of Vespasian , and his two sons Titus and Domitian . The Flavians rose to power during the civil war of 69, known as the Year of the Four Emperors...

, wrote the Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews is a twenty volume historiographical work composed by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in the thirteenth year of the reign of Roman emperor Flavius Domitian which was around 93 or 94 AD. Antiquities of the Jews contains an account of history of the Jewish people,...

 c
. 93 which contains a passage known as the Testimonium Flavianum. This passage mentions John the Baptist and Jesus as two holy men among the Jews. Scholars believe the original text has been changed by Christian editors, though all extant manuscripts containing the Testimonium Flavianum contain the same words as was originally quoted by the church historian Eusebius (c. 260-339CE). This text mentions the death and resurrection of Jesus: "When Pilate, upon the accusation of the first men amongst us, condemned [Jesus] to be crucified, those who had formerly loved him did not cease [to follow him], for he appeared to them on the third day, living again, as the divine prophets foretold, along with a myriad of other marvellous things concerning him."

Theological significance



As Paul the Apostle stated: "If Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless." The death and resurrection of Jesus are the most important events in Christian Theology
Christian theology
- Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

. 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
Eternal life (Christianity)
In Christianity the term eternal life traditionally refers to continued life after death, rather than immortality. While scholars such as John H. Leith assert that...

. Terry Miethe, a Christian philosopher at Oxford Univeristy, stated, " 'Did Jesus rise from the dead?' is the most important question regarding the claims of the Christian faith.' " According to the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, "God raised him from the dead," he ascended to heaven, to the "right hand of God
Session of Christ
The Christian doctrine of the Session of Christ or heavenly session says that Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven—the word "session" is an archaic noun meaning "sitting." Although the word formerly meant "the act of sitting down," it no longer has that meaning in...

", and will return again
Second Coming
In Christian doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, or the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, where he sits at the Right Hand of God, to Earth. This prophecy is found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian and Islamic eschatologies...

to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the Resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the dead
Resurrection of the Dead is a belief found in a number of eschatologies, most commonly in Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian. In general, the phrase refers to a specific event in the future; multiple prophesies in the histories of these religions assert that the dead will be brought back to...

, the Last Judgment
Last Judgment
The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, or The Day of the Lord in Christian theology, is the final and eternal judgment by God of every nation. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. It will purportedly take place after the...

 and establishment of the Kingdom of God
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is a foundational concept in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.The term "Kingdom of God" is found in all four canonical gospels and in the Pauline epistles...

; see also Messianism
Messianism
Messianism is the belief in a messiah, a savior or redeemer. Many religions have a messiah concept, including the Jewish Messiah, the Christian Christ, the Muslim Mahdi and Isa , the Buddhist Maitreya, the Hindu Kalki and the Zoroastrian Saoshyant...

 and Messianic Age
Messianic Age
Messianic Age is a theological term referring to a future time of universal peace and brotherhood on the earth, without crime, war and poverty. Many religions believe that there will be such an age; some refer to it as the "Kingdom of God" or the "World to Come".- Terminology: "messianic" and...

.

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. Carl Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

 suggests that the crucifixion-resurrection account was the forceful spiritual symbol of, literally, God-as-Yahweh
Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

 becoming God-as-Job
Job (Biblical figure)
Job is the central character of the Book of Job in the Hebrew Bible. Job is listed as a prophet of God in the Qur'an.- Book of Job :The Book of Job begins with an introduction to Job's character — he is described as a blessed man who lives righteously...

.

Many scholars have contended that in discussion 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. Geza Vermes
Geza Vermes
Géza Vermes or Vermès is a British scholar of Jewish Hungarian origin and writer on religious history, particularly Jewish and Christian. He is a noted authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient works in Aramaic, and on the life and religion of Jesus...

 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". The creeds ultimate origins are within the Jerusalem apostolic community having been formalised and passed on within a few years of the resurrection. 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.

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, minsters, and professors, it seems to have to have become "a cause for embarrassment or the topic of apologetics." It has been argued that many Christians neglect the resurrection because of their understandable pre-occupation with the Cross. However, the belief in Jesus' physical resurrection remains the single doctrine most accepted by Christians of all denominational backgrounds.

Groups such as Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, Muslims, Bahá'í
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

s, and other non-Christians, as well as some liberal Christians
Liberal Christianity
Liberal Christianity, sometimes called liberal theology, is an umbrella term covering diverse, philosophically and biblically informed religious movements and ideas within Christianity from the late 18th century and onward...

, dispute whether Jesus actually rose from the dead. Arguments over death and resurrection claims occur at many religious debate
Debate
Debate or debating is a method of interactive and representational argument. Debate is a broader form of argument than logical argument, which only examines consistency from axiom, and factual argument, which only examines what is or isn't the case or rhetoric which is a technique of persuasion...

s and interfaith dialogues
Interfaith
The term interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels...

.

Origin of the narrative

See also: Historicity of the Resurrection accounts


The majority of 1st century Jews in Palestine believed in the reality of bodily resurrection but the Sadducees did not believe in it. The belief was especially relevant in the context of martyrdom, with the Pharisees warning of serious consequences for those who denied it (meaning their opponents the Sadducees).

The earliest Christians proclaimed
Kerygma
Kerygma is the Greek word used in the New Testament for preaching . It is related to the Greek verb κηρύσσω , to cry or proclaim as a herald, and means proclamation, announcement, or preaching.The New Testament teaches that as Jesus launched his public ministry he entered the synagogue and read from...

 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. The earliest Christian scriptures place Jesus' resurrection at the center of religious faith.

The preaching of the Apostle Peter in the Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

 which is widely believed to reflect Aramaic
Aramaic of Jesus
It is generally agreed that the historical Jesus primarily spoke Aramaic, perhaps along with some Hebrew and Greek . The towns of Nazareth and Capernaum, where Jesus lived, were primarily Aramaic-speaking communities, although Greek was widely spoken in the major cities of the Eastern Mediterranean...

 Jewish-Christian preaching declare that Jesus died, was raised by God and the apostles are witnesses to this resurrection. The same proclamation of Jesus' death and resurrection is found within the letters of Paul. In his first epistle to the Corinthians, Paul passes on a Christian creed that he says he received at his conversion. Paul Barnett writes that this creedal formula, and others, were variants of the "one basic early tradition that Paul "received" in Damascus from Ananias
Ananias of Damascus
Ananias , was a disciple of Jesus at Damascus mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, which describes how he was sent by Jesus to restore the sight of "Saul, of Tarsus" and provide him with additional instruction in the way of the...

 in about 34 [CE]."

E.P. Sanders argues that a plot to foster belief in the Resurrection would probably have resulted in a more consistent story, and that some of those who were involved in the events gave their lives for their belief. Sanders offers his own hypothesis, different from the supporters, saying "there seems to have been a competition: 'I saw him,' 'so did I,' 'the women saw him first,' 'no, I did; they didn't see him at all,' and so on."

In Mark's account, the earliest manuscripts of Mark 16
Mark 16
Mark 16 is the final chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It begins with the discovery of the empty tomb by Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome — there they encounter a man dressed in white who announces the Resurrection of Jesus.Verse 8 ends...

 break off abruptly at 16:8, where the men at the empty tomb announce Jesus' resurrection, lacking post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. The modern text of Mark 16:9–20 does not appear in the earliest manuscripts. Many modern translations of Mark 16 end at Mark 16:8 with for they were afraid, sometimes adding 16:8–20 in italics, or in a foot note; the New Revised Standard Version
New Revised Standard Version
The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible is an English translation of the Bible released in 1989 in the USA. It is a thorough revision of the Revised Standard Version .There are three editions of the NRSV:...

 gives both the "long ending," i.e., 16:8–20, and another variant "short ending" after . Scholars disagree about whether the original work ended at 16:8, or whether the last part, perhaps the last page, is missing. John Fenton writes that if the Evangelist intended to end at 16:8, this does not mean that he "did not believe that Christ was risen" as he refers to the resurrection directly and indirectly on numerous occasions throughout the work. Reginald Fuller
Reginald H. Fuller
Reginald Horace Fuller was an Anglo-American Biblical scholar, ecumenist, and Anglican priest...

 believes that the "writer seemed to know such appearances, apparently to Peter and the others in Galilee." Members of the Jesus Seminar believe that Mary of Magdala, Paul, and probably Peter had genuine visionary experiences of the risen Jesus.

James D.G. Dunn writes that where the apostle Paul's resurrection experience was "visionary in character" and "non-physical, non-material" the accounts in the Gospels are very different. He contends that the "massive realism'...of the [Gospel] appearances themselves can only be described as visionary with great difficulty - and Luke would certainly reject the description as inappropriate" and that the earliest conception of resurrection in the Jerusalem Christian community was physical. Conversely, Helmut Koester
Helmut Koester
Helmut Koester is a German-born American scholar of the New Testament and currently Morison Research Professor of Divinity and Winn Research Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard Divinity School. He teaches courses at both the Divinity School and at Harvard Extension School, and was the...

 writes that the stories of the resurrection were originally epiphanies in which the disciples are called to a ministry by the risen Jesus and were interpreted as physical proof of the event at a secondary stage. He contends that the more detailed accounts of the resurrection are also secondary and do not come from historically trustworthy information but belong to the genre of the narrative types. Those who think Paul was a Gnostic Christian
Gnosticism
Gnosticism is a scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices common to early Christianity, Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman mystery religions, Zoroastrianism , and Neoplatonism.A common characteristic of some of these groups was the teaching that the realisation of Gnosis...

 hold the belief that Paul talks of the resurrection as an allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 or that Paul thought that Jesus was never a human
Docetism
In Christianity, docetism is the belief that Jesus' physical body was an illusion, as was his crucifixion; that is, Jesus only seemed to have a physical body and to physically die, but in reality he was incorporeal, a pure spirit, and hence could not physically die...

.

Non-Christian views


Some other religions include their own descriptions of Jesus which may not include his resurrection.


Judaism



Jesus was Jewish, but Christianity split with Judaism in the 1st century, and the two faiths have differed in their theology since. According to one Jewish perspective, the body of Jesus was removed
Stolen body hypothesis
The stolen body hypothesis posits that the body of Jesus Christ was stolen from his burial place. His tomb was found empty not because he was resurrected, but because the body had been hidden somewhere else by the apostles or unknown persons. Both the stolen body hypothesis and the debate over it...

 in the same night.

Islam



Muslims believe that Jesus son of Mary was a holy prophet with a divine message. The Islamic perspective
Islamic view of Jesus' death
The issue of the crucifixion and death of Jesus is important to Muslims as they believe that Jesus will return before the end of time. Muslims believe Jesus was not crucified, but was raised bodily to heaven by God....

 is that Jesus was not crucified (to death) and will be resurrected to the world at the end of times. "But Allâh raised him up to Himself. And Allâh is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise". The Quran says in Surah An-Nisa [Ch004:Verse157] "And because of their saying, "We killed Messiah 'Îsâ (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allâh," – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts".

Gallery of art

For a larger gallery, please see: Resurrection gallery


See also

  • Chronology of Jesus
    Chronology of Jesus
    The chronology of Jesus aims to establish a historical order for some of the events of the life of Jesus in the four canonical gospels. The Christian gospels were primarily written as theological documents rather than historical chronicles and their authors showed little interest in an absolute...

  • Dying god
  • Tomb of Jesus:
    • The Church of the Holy Sepulchre
      Church of the Holy Sepulchre
      The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan....

      , the ground on which the church stands is venerated by most Christians as Golgotha, the Hill of Calvary
      Calvary
      Calvary or Golgotha was the site, outside of ancient Jerusalem’s early first century walls, at which the crucifixion of Jesus is said to have occurred. Calvary and Golgotha are the English names for the site used in Western Christianity...

      , where the New Testament
      New Testament
      The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

       says that Jesus
      Jesus
      Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

       was crucified
      Crucifixion
      Crucifixion is an ancient method of painful execution in which the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead...

      . This tomb is venerated as the tomb of Christ by the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox churches, and Oriental Orthodox churches
      Oriental Orthodoxy
      Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of those Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus. They rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon...

      .
    • The Garden Tomb
      Garden Tomb
      The Garden Tomb , located in Jerusalem, outside the city walls and close to the Damascus Gate, is a rock-cut tomb considered by some to be the site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus, and to be adjacent to Golgotha, in contradistinction to the traditional site for these—the Church of the Holy...

      , discovered in the 19th century, considered the actual site of Jesus' grave by some Protestant Christians.
    • Talpiot Tomb
      Talpiot Tomb
      The Talpiot Tomb is a rock-cut tomb discovered in 1980 in the East Talpiot neighborhood, five kilometers south of the Old City in East Jerusalem. It contained ten ossuaries, six of them with epigraphs, including one with the inscription that has been interpreted as "Jesus, son of Joseph", though...

      , discovered in 1980, subject of the controversial documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus
      The Lost Tomb of Jesus
      The Lost Tomb of Jesus is a documentary co-produced and first broadcast on the Discovery Channel and Vision TV in Canada on March 4, 2007, covering the discovery of the Talpiot Tomb. It was directed by Canadian documentary and film maker Simcha Jacobovici and produced by Felix Golubev and Ric...


Theological

  • The resurrection of Jesus Christ, Catholic Encyclopedia
    Catholic Encyclopedia
    The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index...

    .

Pro-Resurrection


Articles:
  • David Marshall (Ph.D.). "The Risen Jesus" an essay in Essential Jesus, edited by Bryan Ball and William Johnsson, and published by Pacific Press in 2002.
  • Habermas, Gary
    Gary Habermas
    Gary Robert Habermas is an American evangelical Christian apologist, historian, and philosopher of religion. He is a prolific author, lecturer, and debater on the topic of the Resurrection of Jesus...

    , "Resurrection Research from 1975 to the Present: What are Critical Scholars saying?" Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, Jun2005, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p135-153
  • Wright, N.T.
    Tom Wright (theologian)
    Nicholas Thomas Wright is a leading New Testament scholar and former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England. His academic work has usually been published under the name N. T...

    , "Resurrecting Old Arguments: Responding to Four Essays," Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, Jun2005, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p209-231. http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Old_Arguments.htm
  • Yamauchi, Edwin, Easter: Myth, Hallucination, or History?, 1974, Christianity Today


Books:
  • Bauckham, Richard
    Richard Bauckham
    Richard Bauckham is a widely published scholar in theology, historical theology and New Testament. He is currently working on New Testament Christology and the Gospel of John as a Senior Scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge....

    . Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. Wm. B. Eerdman's, 2008.
  • Bruce, FF, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, 1985, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press
  • 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
    Dag Øistein Endsjø
    Dag Øistein Endsjø is a Norwegian professor in religious studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. and a human rights activist...

    . 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.
  • Habermas, Gary
    Gary Habermas
    Gary Robert Habermas is an American evangelical Christian apologist, historian, and philosopher of religion. He is a prolific author, lecturer, and debater on the topic of the Resurrection of Jesus...

    , The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ (College Press: Joplin, MI 1996).
  • McDowell, Josh
    Josh McDowell
    Joslin "Josh" McDowell is a Christian apologist, evangelist, and writer. He is within the Evangelical tradition of Protestant Christianity, and is the author or co-author of some 77 books. His best-known book is Evidence That Demands a Verdict, which was ranked 13th in Christianity Today's list of...

    , New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Thomas Nelson, Inc, Publishers, 1999
  • Overman, Dean L., A Case for the Divinity of Jesus: Examining the Earliest Evidence Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2010.
  • Strobel, Lee
    Lee Strobel
    Lee Patrick Strobel is a writer, creationist, former journalist and former megachurch pastor. He is the author of several books, including four which received ECPA Christian Book Awards and a series which addresses challenges to a Biblically inerrant view of Christianity...

    , The Case for Easter, Zondervan Publishing Company, 2004.
  • Swinburne, Richard
    Richard Swinburne
    Richard G. Swinburne is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. Over the last 50 years Swinburne has been a very influential proponent of philosophical arguments for the existence of God. His philosophical contributions are primarily in philosophy of religion and...

    , The Resurrection of God Incarnate, Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Wenham, John
    John Wenham
    John W. Wenham was an Anglican Bible scholar. Born in 1913, he devoted his professional life to academic and pastoral work. He died February 13, 1996 at age 82 after a series of debilitating strokes....

    . Easter Enigma: Do the Resurrection Stories Contradict One Another? Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Wright, N.T.
    Tom Wright (theologian)
    Nicholas Thomas Wright is a leading New Testament scholar and former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England. His academic work has usually been published under the name N. T...

    , The Resurrection of the Son of God. Fortress Press. 2003 Online excerpt

Sceptical


Articles:
  • 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
  • Price, Robert M.
    Robert M. Price
    Robert McNair Price is an American theologian and writer. He teaches philosophy and religion at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, is professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and the author of a number of books on theology and the historicity of Jesus, including...

    , By This Time He Stinketh: The Attempts of William Lane Craig to Exhume Jesus. 1997.


Books:
  • Robert M. Price and Jeffery Jay Lowder, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave (ISBN 1–59102–286-X), 2005
  • Spong, John Shelby
    John Shelby Spong
    John Shelby "Jack" Spong is a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was formerly the Bishop of Newark . He is a liberal Christian theologian, religion commentator and author...

    , Resurrection: Myth or Reality? , 1995

Dialogues

  • 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) http://www.holycross.edu/departments/crec/website/resurrection-debate-transcript.pdf (video)
  • Stewart, Robert B. The Resurrection of Jesus: John Dominic Crossan And N.T. Wright in Dialogue, 2006

External links


Major events
Chronology of Jesus
The chronology of Jesus aims to establish a historical order for some of the events of the life of Jesus in the four canonical gospels. The Christian gospels were primarily written as theological documents rather than historical chronicles and their authors showed little interest in an absolute...

 in Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

' life in the Gospels

Nativity
Nativity of Jesus
The Nativity of Jesus, or simply The Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus in two of the Canonical gospels and in various apocryphal texts....

 | Childhood
Child Jesus
The Child Jesus represents Jesus from his Nativity to age 12. At 13 he was considered to be adult, in accordance with the Jewish custom of his time, and that of most Christian cultures until recent centuries.The Child Jesus is frequently depicted in art, from around the third or fourth century...

 | Baptism
Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

 | Temptation
Temptation of Christ
The temptation of Christ is detailed in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. According to these texts, after being baptized, Jesus fasted for forty days and nights in the Judean desert. During this time, the devil appeared to Jesus and tempted him...

 | Sermon on the Mount
Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus, which emphasizes his moral teaching found in the Gospel of Matthew...

 | Transfiguration
Transfiguration of Jesus
The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported in the New Testament in which Jesus is transfigured and becomes radiant upon a mountain. The Synoptic Gospels describe it, and 2 Peter 1:16-18 refers to it....

 | Last Supper | Passion
Passion (Christianity)
The Passion is the Christian theological term used for the events and suffering – physical, spiritual, and mental – of Jesus in the hours before and including his trial and execution by crucifixion...

 | Crucifixion
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

 | Resurrection | Hell
Harrowing of Hell
The Harrowing of Hell is a doctrine in Christian theology referenced in the Apostles' Creed and the Athanasian Creed that states that Jesus Christ "descended into Hell"...

 | Ascension