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The Resurrection A Historical Analysis

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The resurrection message was an integral part of the early Christian proclamation, as is evident in all parts of the New Testament: Gospels, Acts, Letters, and Apocalypse. Christians have always believed that after his crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead. To believers, this was completely in accord with the scriptures, even though at first it was a great shock to his demoralized followers. But how can we be sure we have correctly understood the biblical message? Is it really essential to interpret the resurrection as a historical event, a physical reality? Did Jesus truly emerge from the grave, or is there another way to look at this Christian doctrine? (Perhaps only the idea of Jesus made a "comeback." Or maybe the Christian doctrine is not unique; did not, after all, many pagan deities die and come back to life?)

Considering that many Books have tackled the subject–hardly a fresh field for New Testament studies–one might doubt whether a new Book could be useful. And yet such doubts are not warranted. In The Resurrection, Foster Stanback has produced an eminently clear, thoughtful, and penetrating analysis of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has masterfully surveyed and incorporated the conclusions of the best (and sometimes the worst!) New Testament scholarship into his own careful study, bringing solid analytic skills to the discussion. And he has shown us that the traditional Christian view is indeed the most plausible interpretation of the facts.

Moreover, Foster's passion for his subject comes across in his faithful adherence to his topic, refusal to go down side-streets, and assiduous development of the central arguments. The author deals with the many challenges to the orthodox doctrine of the resurrection.

–Douglas Jacoby (from the Foreword)

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