The resurrection of Jesus is the Christian belief that God raised Jesus from the dead after his crucifixion. In Christian theology, the death and resurrection of Jesus are the most important events, a foundation of the Christian faith, and commemorated by Easter. While for the majority of Christians the resurrection is taken to have been a physical resurrection, the appearances of Jesus are often explained as visionary experiences, which gave the impetus to the belief in the exaltation of Jesus and the resumption of the missionary activity of Jesus' followers.
According to the New Testamentical writings, "God raised him from the dead",[note 1] he ascended to heaven, to the "right hand of God",[note 2] and will return again[note 3] to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment and establishment of the Kingdom of God.[note 4]
The writings in the New Testament do not contain any descriptions of the moment of resurrection itself, but rather two types of eyewitness descriptions: appearances of Jesus to various people, and accounts of seeing the tomb empty.
The earliest surviving Christian writings are the letters of Paul, written between 50–57 (or possibly 48–57). The First Epistle to the Corinthians contains one of the earliest Christian creeds reporting post-mortem appearances of Jesus, and expressing the belief that he was raised from the dead, namely [1 Corinthians]:[note 5]
 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,[note 6]  and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,[note 7]  and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.  Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
Paul says that Jesus subsequently appeared to him in the same way he did to the others. In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul describes "a man in Christ [presumably Paul himself] who ... was caught up to the third heaven", and while the language is obscure it is plausible that he saw Jesus enthroned at the right hand of God.
It is widely accepted that this creed predates the Apostle Paul. Scholars have contended that in his presentation of the resurrection, Paul refers to an earlier authoritative tradition, transmitted in a rabbinic style, that he received and has passed on to the church at Corinth.[note 8] Geza Vermes 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 creed's ultimate origins are probably within the Jerusalem apostolic community, having been formalised and passed on within a few years of the resurrection.[note 9] Hans Grass argues for an origin in Damascus, and according to Paul Barnett, this creedal formula, and others, were variants of the "one basic early tradition that Paul "received" in Damascus from Ananias in about 34 [AD]" after his conversion.
All four gospels climax with appearances of Jesus after his crucifixion, preparing the reader for his resurrection by having Jesus predict it [Mark 8:31–32] [9:31] [10:33–34], or through allusions that only the reader will understand [Mark 2:20], [John 2:19–22] and elsewhere). The moment of resurrection is not described.
In the Little Commission, called to during his life as described in Matthew 10, Mark 6 and Luke 9, Jesus told the disciples to announce the arrival of the kingdom of God and to "heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons." After his resurrection, Jesus starts proclaiming "eternal salvation" through the disciples[Mark 16:8], and subsequently calls the apostles to the Great Commission, as described in [Matthew 28:16–20], [Mark 16:14–18], [Luke 24:44–49], [Acts 1:4–8], and [John 20:19–23], in which the disciples receive the call "to let the world know the good news of a victorious Saviour and the very presence of God in the world by the spirit." Jesus says that they "will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you"[Acts 1:8], that "repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in [the Messiah's] name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem"[Luke 24:46–47], and that "[i]f you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained"[John 20:12–23].
The Gospel of Mark, written c. 65–75, ends with the discovery of the empty tomb by Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. An angel announces to them that Jesus has risen, and instructs them to "tell Peter and the disciples that he will meet them in Galilee, 'just as he told you'"; yet, Mary does not do so[Mark 16]. There are no appearances, but the author does seem to know of the appearances claimed for Peter and the Twelve. The appendix, Mark 16:9–20, similar to Luke and John, says that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene, then to two followers walking outside Jerusalem, and then to the eleven remaining Apostles, commissioning them to spread "the good news": "The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned." [Mark 16:16]
In Matthew, Luke and John, the resurrection announcement is followed by appearances of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and other followers. The Book of Matthew describes a single appearance in Galilee, Luke describes several appearances in Jerusalem, John mentions appearances in both Jerusalem and Galilee. At some point, these appearances ceased in the early Christian community, as reflected in the Gospel-narratives: the "Acts of the Apostles" says that "for forty days he had continued to appear to them".[Acts 1:3] The Book of Luke describe Jesus ascending to heaven at a location near Bethany [Luke 24:50–51].
In the Gospel of Matthew, an angel appears to Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb, telling her that Jesus is not there because he's been raised from the dead, and instructing her to tell the other followers to go to Galilee, to meet Jesus. Jesus then appears to Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" at the tomb; and next, based on Mark 16:7, Jesus appears to all the disciples on a mountain in Galilee, where Jesus claims authority over heaven and earth, and commissions the disciples to preach the gospel to the whole world. Matthew presents Jesus's second appearance as an apotheosis (deification), commissioning his followers to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you."[Matthew 28:16–20] In this message, the end-times are delayed, "to bring the world to discipleship."
In the Gospel of Luke, "the woman who had come with him from Galilee" [Luke 23:55] come to his tomb, which they find empty. Two angelic beings appear to announcing that Jesus is not there, but has been raised.[Luke 24:1–5] Jesus then appears to two followers on their way to Emmaus, who notify the eleven remaining Apostles, who respond that Jesus has appeared to Peter. While telling this, Jesus appears again, explaining that he is the messiah who raised from the dead according to the scriptures, "and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem."[Luke 24:47] In Luke-Acts (two works from the same author) he then ascends into heaven, his rightful home.
In the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene finds the tomb empty, and informs Peter. She then sees two angels, after which Jesus himself appears to her. In the evening, Jesus appears to the other followers, followed by another appearance a week later.[John 20:1–29] He later appears in Galilee to Peter, Tomas, and two other followers, commanding Peter to take care of his sheep.[John 21:1–19]
In Acts of the Apostles, Jesus appears to apostles for forty days, and commands them to stay in Jerusalem [1:3] whereafter Jesus ascends to heaven, followed by the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and the missionary task of the early church.
In Christian theology, the death and resurrection of Jesus are the most important events, and a foundation of the Christian faith.[note 10] The Nicene Creed states: "On the third day[note 7] he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures". According to Terry Miethe, a Christian philosopher at Oxford University, the question " 'Did Jesus rise from the dead?' is the most important question regarding the claims of the Christian faith." According to John R. Rice, a Baptist evangelist, the resurrection of Jesus was part of the plan of salvation and redemption by atonement for man's sin. Summarizing its traditional analysis, the Catholic Church states in its Catechism:
Although the Resurrection was an historical event that could be verified by the sign of the empty tomb and by the reality of the apostles' encounters with the risen Christ, still it remains at the very heart of the mystery of faith as something that transcends and surpasses history.
For Christians, the resurrection is taken to have been a concrete, material resurrection. According to N. T. Wright in his book The Resurrection of the Son of God, "There can be no question: Paul is a firm believer in bodily resurrection. He stands with his fellow Jews against the massed ranks of pagans; with his fellow Pharisees against other Jews." According to Christian apologist Gary Habermas, "Many other scholars have spoken in support of a bodily notion of Jesus’ resurrection."[web 2][note 11]
The belief of Jesus' first followers in the resurrection formed the proclamation of the first ekklēsia. The appearances reinforced the impact Jesus and his ministry had on his early followers, giving the impetus to Christ-devotion and the belief in the exaltation of Jesus. They also led to the resumation of the missionary activity of Jesus' followers, with Peter assuming the first leader-role in the first ekklēsia, forming the basis for the Apostolic succession.
The New Testament writings contend that Jesus was extalted to Divine status with the resurrection. According to Hurtado, the resurrection experiences were powerful religious experiences which "seem to have included visions of (and/or ascents to) God's heaven, in which the glorified Christ was seen in an exalted position."[note 12] They initiated a "new devotional pattern unprecedented in Jewish monotheism," that is, the worship of Jesus next to God, which was only possible because Jesus' ministry, and it's consequences, had a strong impact on his early followers. Revelations, including those visions, but also inspired and spontaneous utterances, and "charismatic exegesis" of the Jewish scriptures, convinced them that this devotion was commanded by God.
Ehrman notes that both Jesus and his early followers were apocalyptic Jews, who believed in the bodily resurrection, which would start when the coming of God's Kingdom was near. According to Ehrman, "the disciples' belief in the resurrection was based on visionary experiences," arguing that visions usually have a strong persuasive power, but also noting that the Gospel-accounts record a tradition of doubt about the appearances of Jesus. Ehrman's "tentative suggestion" is that only a few followers had visions, including Peter, Paul and Mary. They told others about those visions, convincing most of their close associates that Jesus was raised from the dead, but not all of them.[note 13] Eventually, these stories were retold and embellished, leading to the story that all disciples had seen the risen Jesus. The belief in Jesus' resurrection radically changed their perceptions, concluding from his absence that he must have been exalted to heaven, by God himself, exalting him to an unprecented status and authority.
According to Dunn, the appearances to the disciples have "a sense of obligation to make the vision known." Helmut Koester states that the stories of the resurrection were originally epiphanies in which the disciples were called to a ministry by the risen Jesus, and at a secondary stage were interpreted as physical proof of the event. He contends that the more detailed accounts of the resurrection are also secondary and do not come from historically trustworthy sources, but instead belong to the genre of the narrative types. Biblical scholar Géza Vermes argues that the resurrection is to be understood as a reviving of the self-confidence of the followers of Jesus, under the influence of the Spirit, "prompting them to resume their apostolic mission." They felt the presence of Jesus in their own actions, "rising again, today and tomorrow, in the hearts of the men who love him and feel he is near."[note 14] According to Gerd Lüdemann, Peter convinced the other disciples that the resurrection of Jesus signaled that the end-times were near and God's Kingdom was coming, when the dead who would rise again, as evidenced by Jesus. This revitalized the disciples, starting-off their new mission.[web 3]
Peter claimed forcefully that Jesus appeared to him, and legitimised by Jesus' appearance he assumed leadership of the group of early followers, forming the Jerusalem ekklēsia mentioned by Paul. He was soon eclipsed in this leadership by James the Just, "the Brother of the Lord," which may explain why the early texts contain scarce information about Peter.[note 15] According to Gerd Lüdemann, Peter was the first who had a vision of Jesus, noting that Peter and Mary both had appearance-experiences, but argueing that the tradition of Mary's appearance is a later development, and her appearance probably was not the first.[note 13]
According to Christian proto-orthodoxy, Peter was the first to who Jesus appeared, and therefore the rightful leader of the Church. The resurrection forms the basis of the Apostolic succession and the institutional power of orthodoxy, as the heirs of Peter, to who Jesus appeared, and is described as "the rock" on which the church will be built. Though the Gospels, and Paul's letters, describe appearances to a greater number of people, only the appearances to the Twelve Apostles count as lending authority and Apostolic succession.
The appearance of Jesus to Paul convinced him that Jesus was the risen Lord and Christ, who commissioned him to be an apostle to the Gentiles. The teachings of the apostle Paul form a key element of the Christian tradition and theology. Fundamental to Pauline theology is the connection between Christ's resurrection, and redemption. According to the Apostle Paul, as stated by Newbigin, "in the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus God has acted decisively to reveal and effect his purpose of redemption for the whole world." In [1 Corinthians 15:13–14], [15:17], [15:20–22] Paul writes:
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain [...] If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile [...] 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.
The kerygma of 1 Corinthians 15:3 states that "Christ died for our sins." The meaning of that kerygma is a matter of debate, and open to multiple interpretations. Traditionally, this kerygma is interpreted as meaning that Jesus' death was an atonement or ransom for, or propitiation or expiation of, God's wrath against humanity because of their sins. With Jesus death, humanity was freed from this wrath.[web 4][note 16] In the classical Protestant understanding, which has dominated the understanding o Paul's writings, humans partake in this salvation by faith in Jesus Christ; this faith is a grace given by God, and people are justified by God through Jesus Christ and faith in Him.
More recent scholarship has raised several concerns regarding these interpretations. According to E.P. Sanders, who initiated the socalled New Perspective on Paul, Paul saw the faithfull redeemed by particpation in Jesus' death and rising. Though "Jesus’ death substituted for that of others and thereby freed believers from sin and guilt," a metaphor derived from "ancient sacrificial theology,"[web 6][note 17] the essence of Paul's writing is not in the "legal terms" regarding the expiation of sin, but the act of "participation in Christ through dying and rising with him."[note 18] According to Sanders, "those who are baptized into Christ are baptized into his death, and thus they escape the power of sin [...] he died so that the believers may die with him and consequently live with him."[web 6] Just as Christians share in Jesus' death in baptism, so they will share in his resurrection.  James F. McGrath notes that Paul "prefers to use the language of participation. One died for all, so that all died (2 Corinthians 5:14). This is not only different from substitution, it is the opposite of it."[web 1]
Paul insists that salvation is received by the grace of God; according to Sanders, this insistence is in line with Judaism of ca. 200 NCE until 200 CE, which saw God's convenant with Israel as an act of grace of God. Observance of the Law is needed to maintain the convenant, but the convenant is not be earned by observing the Law, but by the grace of God.[web 10]
The Apostolic Fathers, discussed the death and resurrection of Jesus, including Ignatius (50–115), Polycarp (69–155), and Justin Martyr (100–165). The understanding of the Greek Fathers of the death and resurrection of Jesus as an atonement is the "classic paradigm" of the Church Fathers, who developed the themes found in the New Testament.
During the first millennium AD, the ransom theory of atonement was the dominant metaphor, both in eastern and western Christianity, until it was replaced in the west by Anselmus' satisfaction theory of atonement. The ransom theory of atonement says that Christ liberated humanity from slavery to sin and Satan, and thus death, by giving his own life as a ransom sacrifice to Satan, swapping the life of the perfect (Jesus), for the lives of the imperfect (humans). It entails the idea that God deceived the devil, and that Satan, or death, had "legitimate rights" over sinful souls in the afterlife, due to the fall of man and inherited sin.
The ransom theory was first clearly enunciated by Irenaeus (c. 130–c. 202), who was an outspoken critic of Gnosticism, but borrowed ideas from their dualistic worldview. In this worldview, humankind is under the power of the Demiurg, a lesser God who has created the world. Yet, humans have a spark of the true divine nature within them, which can be liberated by gnosis (knowledge) of this divine spark. This knowledge is revealed by the Logos, "the very mind of the supreme God," who entered the world in the person of Jesus. Nevertheless, the Logos could not simply undo the power of the Demiurg, and had to hide his real identity, appearing as a physical form, thereby misleading the Demiurg, and liberating humankind. In Irenaeus' writings, the Demiurge is replaced by the devil, while Justin Martyr had already equated Jesus and the Logos.
Origen (184–253) introduced the idea that the devil held legitimate rights over humans, who were bought free by the blood of Christ. He also introduced the notion that the devil was deceived in thinking that he could master the human soul.
Following the conversion of Constantine and the Edict of Milan in 313, the ecumenical councils of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, that focused on Christology, 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. Augustine of Hippo 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. 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 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, 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 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.
Lorenzen finds "a strange silence about the resurrection in many pulpits". He writes that among some Christians, ministers and professors, it seems to have become "a cause for embarrassment or the topic of apologetics". According to Warnock, many Christians neglect the resurrection because of their understandable preoccupation with the Cross.
Easter is the preeminent Christian feast that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, and, according to Susan J. White, "is clearly the earliest Christian festival." According to Dunn, "In Easter we celebrate man become God [...] that in the death and resurrection of Christ God has broken the stranglehold of human selfishness, has proved the enduring and conquering strength of divine love." According to Thorwald Lorenzen, the first Easter led to a shift in emphasis from faith "in God" to faith "in Christ". According to Raymond Harfgus Taylor, "focuses upon the consumation of the redemptive act of God in the death/resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Easter is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and 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 for his death in the upper room during the Last Supper. He identified the loaf of bread and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed. 1 Corinthians 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.
The idea of any resurrection at all first emerges clearly in the 2nd-century-BC Book of Daniel, but as a belief in the resurrection of the soul alone. Josephus tells of the three main Jewish sects of the 1st century AD, that the Sadducees held that both soul and body perished at death; the Essenes that the soul was immortal but the flesh was not; and the Pharisees that the soul was immortal and that the body would be resurrected to house it. Of these three positions, Jesus and the early Christians appear to have been closest to that of the Pharisees.
Endsjø notes that the evidence from Jewish texts and from tomb inscriptions points to a more complex reality. For example, when the 2nd century BC author the Book of Daniel wrote that "many of those sleeping in the dust shall awaken" (12:2), he probably had in mind rebirth as stars in God's Heaven, stars having been identified with angels from early times – such a rebirth would rule out a bodily resurrection, as angels were believed to be fleshless. Other texts range from the traditional Old Testament view that the soul would spend eternity in the underworld, to a metaphorical belief in the raising of the spirit. Most avoided defining what resurrection might imply, but a resurrection of the flesh was a marginal belief.
The Greeks held that a meritorious man could be resurrected as a god (the process of apotheosis), and the successors of Alexander the Great made this idea very well known throughout the Middle East through coins bearing his image, a privilege previously reserved for gods. The idea was adopted by the Roman emperors, and in Imperial Roman apotheosis the earthly body of the recently deceased emperor was replaced by a new and divine one as he ascended into heaven. The apotheosised dead remained recognisable to those who met them, as when Romulus appeared to witnesses after his death, but as the biographer Plutarch (c. AD 46–120) explained of this incident, while something within humans comes from the gods and returns to them after death, this happens "only when it is most completely separated and set free from the body, and becomes altogether pure, fleshless, and undefiled".
Dunn notes that there is a great difference between Paul's resurrection appearance, and the appearances described in the Gospels. Where "Paul's seeing was visionary [...], 'from heaven'," in contrast, the Gospel-accounts have a "massive realism" to them. Dunn 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." According to Dunn, most scholars explain this as a "legendary materialization" of the visionary experiences, "borrowing the traits of the earthly Jesus."[note 19] Yet, according to Dunn, there was both "a tendency away from the physical [...] and a reverse tendency towards the physical." The tendency towards the material is most clear, but there are also signs for the tendency away from the physical, and "there are some indications that a more physical understanding was current in the earliest Jerusalem community."
Scholars argue, primarily from Paul's terminology and the contemporary Jewish, pagan and cultural understanding of the nature of resurrection, that Paul held to a physically resurrected body, like the later Gospel accounts. In the Epistle to the Philippians Paul describes how the body of the resurrected Christ is utterly different to the one he wore when he had "the appearance of a man," and holds out a similar glorified state, when Christ "will transform our lowly body," as the goal of the Christian life – "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," (I Corinthians 15:50) and Christians entering the kingdom will be "putting off the body of the flesh" (Colossians 2:11). Paul opposed the notion of a purely spiritual resurrection, as propagated by some Christians in Corinthe, which he adresses in 1 Corinthians. The developing Gospel-tradition emphasized the material aspects to counter this spiritual interpretation.
Paul's views of a bodily resurrection 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.
Elaine Pagels notes that the Gospels don't agree about the nature of the resurrection appearances, with Luke and Mark describing Jesus as appearing in another shape, not in his earthly shape, and John describing Jesus as telling Mary not to touch him.
Géza Vermes notes that "[t]he empty tomb and the apparitions are never directly associated to form a combined argument." While the coherence of the empty tomb-narrative is questionable, it is "clearly an early tradition." Vermes rejects the literal interpretation of the story, as being proof of the resurrection, and also notes that the story of the empty tomb conflicts with notions of a spiritual resurrection. According to Vermes, "[t]he strictly Jewish bond of spirit and body is better served by the idea of the empty tomb and is no doubt responsible for the introduction of the notions of palpability (Thomas in John) and eating (Luke and John)."
According to Brown, the body of Jesus was buried in a new tomb by Joseph of Arimathea 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. New Testament historian Bart D. Ehrman dismisses the story of the empty tomb; according to Ehrman, "an empty tomb had nothing to do with it [...] an empty tomb would not produce faith."[note 20] According to Ehrman, the empty tomb was needed to underscore the physical resurrection of Jesus, but is it doubtfull that Jesus was buried by Joseph of Arimathea. It is unlikely that a member of the Sanhedrin would have buried Jesus; crucifixin was meant "to torture an dhumiliate a person as fully as possible," and the body was left on the stake to be eaten by animals; criminals were usually buried in common graves; and Pilatus had no concern for Jewish sensitivities, which makes it unlikely that he would have allowed for Jesus to be buried.
Some scholars say that the New Testament writings contain two different Christologies, namely a "low" or adoptionist Christology, and a "high" or "incarnation Christology." The "low Christology" or "adoptionist Christology" is the belief "that God exalted Jesus to be his Son by raising him from the dead," thereby raising him to "divine status."[web 11] The other early Christology is "high Christology," which is "the view that Jesus was a pre-existent divine being who became a human, did the Father’s will on earth, and then was taken back up into heaven whence he had originally come,"[web 11] and from where he appeared on earth. The chronology of the development of these early Christologies is a matter of debate within contemporary scholarship.[web 12]
According to the "evolutionary model" c.q. "evolutionary theories," as proposed by Bousset, followed by Brown, the Christological understanding of Christ developed over time, from a low Christology to a high Christology, as witnessed in the Gospels. According to the evolutionary model, the earliest Christians believed that Jesus was a human who was exalted, c.q. adopted as God's Son, when he was resurrected, signaling the nearness of the Kingdom of God, when all dead would be resurrected and the righteous exalted. Later beliefs shifted the exaltation to his baptism, birth, and subsequently to the idea of his eternal existence, as witnessed in the Gospel of John. Mark shifted the moment of when Jesus became the son to the baptism of Jesus, and later still Matthew and Luke shifted it to the moment of the divine conception, and finally John declared that Jesus had been with God from the beginning: "In the beginning was the Word".
Since the 1970s, the late datings for the development of a "high Christology" have been contested, and a majority of scholars argue that this "High Christology" existed already before the writings of Paul. This "incarnation Christology" or "high Christology" did not evolve over a longer time, but was a "big bang" of ideas which were already present at the start of Christianity, and took further shape in the first few decades of the church, as witnessed in the writings of Paul.[web 13][web 11][web 14]
According to Ehrman, these two Christologies existed alongside each other, calling the "low Christology" an "adoptionist Christology, and "the "high Christology" an "incarnation Christology." While adoptionism was declared heresy at the end of the 2nd century, it was adhered to by the Ebionites, who regarded Jesus as the Messiah while rejecting his divinity and his virgin birth, and insisted on the necessity of following Jewish law and rites. They revered James the brother of Jesus (James the Just); and rejected Paul the Apostle as an apostate from the Law. They show strong similarities with the earliest form of Jewish Christianity, and their specific theology may have been a "reaction to the law-free Gentile mission."
In the Catacombs of Rome, artists indirectly 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 showed secondary events such as the Myrrhbearers at the tomb of Jesus to convey the concept of the resurrection. An early symbol of the resurrection was the wreathed Chi Rho (Greek letters representing the word "Khristos" or "Christ"), 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 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 representation of the connection between the Crucifixion of Jesus and his triumphal resurrection, as seen in the 4th-century sarcophagus of Domitilla in Rome. Here, in the wreathed Chi Rho 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 military banner, 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 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 "The universe rose again in Him, the heaven rose again in Him, the earth rose again in Him, for there shall be a new heaven and a new earth". This theme developed gradually in the West, later than in the East where the resurrection had been linked from an earlier date to redemption and the renewal and rebirth of the whole world. In art this was symbolized by combining the depictions of the resurrection with the Harrowing of Hell in icons and paintings. A good example is from the Chora Church in Istanbul, where John the Baptist, Solomon and other figures are also present, depicting that Christ was not alone in the resurrection. The depiction sequence at the 10th-century Hosios Loukas shows Christ as he pulls Adam from his tomb, followed by Eve, signifying the salvation of humanity after the resurrection.
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. 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'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.
Groups such as Jews, Muslims, Bahá'ís, and other non-Christians, as well as some liberal Christians, dispute whether Jesus actually rose from the dead. Arguments over death and resurrection claims occur at many religious debates and interfaith dialogues.
Christianity split from Judaism in the 1st century AD, and the two faiths have differed in their theology since. According to the Toledot Yeshu, the body of Jesus was removed in the same night by a gardener named Juda, after hearing the disciples planned to steal the body of Jesus. However, Toledot Yeshu is not considered either canonical or normative within rabbinic literature. Van Voorst states that Toledot Yeshu is a medieval document set without a fixed form which is "most unlikely" to have reliable information about Jesus. The Blackwell Companion to Jesus states that the Toledot Yeshu has no historical facts as such, and was perhaps created as a tool for warding off conversions to Christianity.
Some Gnostics did not believe in a literal physical resurrection. "For the gnostic any resurrection of the dead was excluded from the outset; the flesh or substance is destined to perish. 'There is no resurrection of the flesh, but only of the soul', say the so-called Archontics, a late gnostic group in Palestine".
Muslims believe that ʿĪsā (Jesus) son of Mariam (Mary) was a holy prophet with a divine message. The Islamic perspective is that Jesus was not crucified and will return to the world at the end of times. "But Allāh raised him up to Himself. And Allāh is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise". The Quran says in Surah An-Nisa [Ch 004: Verse 157] "And because of their saying, "We killed Messiah ʿĪsā, son of Mariam, the Messenger of Allāh", – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts".
Sheen quotes Helmut Koester:
The word "resurrection" is a metaphor that unfortunately has been taken literally. That's where the confusion begins. In the New Testament the word for "resurrection" means literally "awakening," like waking up your kids in the morning. The New Testament says not that God "resurrected" Jesus from the dead, but that he "awoke" him. Using metaphoric language, the New Testament says God awoke Jesus from the sleep of death and brought him into God's heavenly presence. There's nothing here about an event in space and time. Resurrection doesn't mean coming back to life."
"Resurrection is thus a mythological metaphor for God's victory over the powers of unrighteousness. ... The preaching of Jesus' resurrection was thus the proclamation that the new age had been ushered in": "The Structure and Criteria of Early Christian Beliefs" in Robinson and Koester, Trajectories, 223, 224.
1 Corinthians 15 is the fifteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle and Sosthenes in Ephesus. The first eleven verses contain the earliest account of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus in the New Testament. The rest of the chapter stresses the primacy of the resurrection for Christianity. Readings from the text are used at funerals in the Catholic Church, where mourners are assured of the "sure and certain expectation of the resurrection to a better life".Arrest of Jesus
The arrest of Jesus was a pivotal event in Christianity recorded in the canonical gospels. Jesus, a preacher whom Christians believe to be the Son of God, was arrested by the Temple guards of the Sanhedrin in the Garden of Gethsemane. It occurred shortly after the Last Supper (during which Jesus gave his final sermon), and immediately after the kiss of Judas, which is traditionally said to have been an act of betrayal since Judas made a deal with the chief priests to arrest Jesus. The event ultimately led, in the Gospel accounts, to Jesus' crucifixion.The arrest led immediately to his trial before the Sanhedrin, during which they condemned him to death and handed him to Pilate the following morning. In Christian theology, the events from the Last Supper until the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are referred to as the Passion.
In the New Testament, all four Gospels conclude with an extended narrative of Jesus' arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. In each Gospel, these five events in the life of Jesus are treated with more intense detail than any other portion of that Gospel's narrative. Scholars note that the reader receives an almost hour-by-hour account of what is happening.Doubting Thomas
A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience—a reference to the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross.
In art, the episode (formally called the Incredulity of Thomas) has been frequently depicted since at least the 5th century, with its depiction reflecting a range of theological interpretations.Easter
Easter, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as "Holy Week", which contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the 40th day, the Feast of the Ascension.
Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the Sun; rather, its date is offset from the date of Passover and is therefore calculated based on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council. No details for the computation were specified; these were worked out in practice, a process that took centuries and generated a number of controversies. It has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March, but calculations vary.
Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast is called by the words for passover in those languages; and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate passover. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs (symbols of the empty tomb). The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.Empty tomb
In Christianity, the empty tomb is the tomb of Jesus that was found to be empty by the women myrrhbearers who had come to his tomb to carry out their last devotions to Jesus' body by anointing his body with spices and by pouring oils over it. All four canonical gospels report the incident with some variations.
Jesus' body was laid out in the tomb after crucifixion and death. All the gospels report that women were the first to discover the Resurrection of Jesus. The first hint that something had happened was the rolled-away stone. This stone, as was typical of ancient tombs, had covered the entrance. They found the tomb to be empty, the body gone, and a young man or angel(s) within the tomb or on the rolled-away stone tells the women that Jesus has risen.These accounts, along with many Resurrection appearances of Jesus, lead to beliefs concerning the Resurrection of Jesus. The empty tomb points to the revelation of Jesus' resurrection, implicitly in the canonical Gospel of Mark (without the later endings) and explicitly in the other three canonical gospel narratives.Esparreguera
Esparreguera (Catalan pronunciation: [əspərəˈɣeɾə]; Spanish: Esparraguera) is a municipality in Catalonia, in the province of Barcelona, Spain. It is situated in the comarca of el Baix Llobregat.
Esparreguera is famous in Catalonia for staging a grand version of the play Life and Passion of Jesus Christ every year in March and April, on the Sundays before and after Easter. The play is popularly known as La Passió d'Esparreguera. Over 300 actors, 50 technicians and 100 musicians participate in the play during five acts, twenty scenographic settings and more than five hours of drama, from the election of the apostles until the resurrection of Jesus.
The grand scale of the show is achieved with the volunteer contribution of the citizens of the town, in a tradition that dates back to Esparreguera's medieval origins. This tradition has made Esparreguera one of the cradles of Catalan performing arts, giving birth to actors such as the sisters Anna and Lola Lizaran, or the contemporary dancer Ramon Oller. The Shakira's music video for Empire was filmed in Esparreguera too.Gary Habermas
Gary Robert Habermas (born 1950) is an American historian, New Testament scholar, philosopher of religion, and Christian apologist who frequently writes and lectures on the resurrection of Jesus.Gospel of Bartholomew
The Gospel of Bartholomew is a missing text amongst the New Testament apocrypha, mentioned in several early sources. It may be identical to either the Questions of Bartholomew, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (by Bartholomew), or neither.List of Easter hymns
Easter hymns are hymns dedicated to Eastertide, often related to the resurrection of Jesus.Michael R. Licona
Michael R. Licona (born 1961) is an American New Testament scholar, Christian apologist and author. He is Associate Professor in Theology at Houston Baptist University and the director of Risen Jesus, Inc. Licona specializes in the Resurrection of Jesus, and in the literary analysis of the Gospels as Greco-Roman biographies.Paschal mystery
The Paschal mystery is one of the central concepts of Catholic faith relating to the history of salvation. Its main subject is the passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – the work God the Father sent His Son to accomplish on earth. According to the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "The Paschal Mystery accomplished once for all by the redemptive death of His Son Jesus Christ." The Catechism states that in the liturgy of the Church which revolves around the seven sacraments, "it is principally his own Paschal mystery that Christ signifies and makes present."Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox Christian churches celebrate this mystery on Easter. It is recalled and celebrated also during every Eucharist, and especially on a Sunday, which is the Pascha of the week.Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ
The Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ (Ukrainian: Патріарший Собор Воскресіння Христового) is the main cathedral of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, located in Kiev (Kyiv), the capital of Ukraine. The church was opened on March 27, 2011.
The cathedral is located in the Livoberezhnyi Masyv on the left-bank of the Dnieper River (Dnipro), being one of the few churches of Kiev that are not located on the right-bank.Resurrection
Resurrection or anastasis is the concept of coming back to life after death. In a number of ancient religions, a dying-and-rising god is a deity which dies and resurrects.
The resurrection of the dead is a standard eschatological belief in the Abrahamic religions. As a religious concept, it is used in two distinct respects: a belief in the resurrection of individual souls that is current and ongoing (Christian idealism, realized eschatology), or else a belief in a singular resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. Some believe the soul is the actual vehicle by which people are resurrected.The death and resurrection of Jesus, an example of resurrection, is the central focus of Christianity. Christian theological debate ensues with regard to what kind of resurrection is factual – either a spiritual resurrection with a spirit body into Heaven, or a material resurrection with a restored human body. While most Christians believe Jesus' resurrection from the dead and ascension to Heaven was in a material body, a very small minority believes it was spiritual.There are documented rare cases of the return to life of the clinically dead which are classified scientifically as examples of the Lazarus syndrome, a term originating from the biblical story of the resurrection of Lazarus.Resurrection of Jesus Christ (by Bartholomew)
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (by Bartholomew) is not to be confused with the book called Questions of Bartholomew, although either text may be the missing Gospel of Bartholomew (or neither may be), a lost work from the New Testament apocrypha.Resurrection of Jesus in Christian art
The Resurrection of Jesus has long been central to Christian faith and Christian art, whether as a single scene or as part of a cycle of the Life of Christ. In the teachings of the traditional Christian churches, the sacraments derive their saving power from the passion and resurrection of Christ, upon which the salvation of the world entirely depends. The redemptive value of the resurrection has been expressed through Christian art, as well as being expressed in theological writings.
However, the moment of the Resurrection is not described as such in the Gospels, and for over a thousand years it was therefore not represented directly in art. Instead at first it was represented by symbolic depictions such as the Chi Rho, the first two Greek letters of Christ, encircled by a wreath symbolizing the victory of resurrection over death. Later various scenes that are described in the Gospels were used, and also the Harrowing of Hell, which is not. In Byzantine and later Eastern Orthodox art this has remained the case, but in the West the depiction of the actual moment of Resurrection became common during the Gothic period.Road to Emmaus appearance
The Road to Emmaus appearance is one of the early resurrection appearances of Jesus after his crucifixion and the discovery of the empty tomb. Both the Meeting on the road to Emmaus and the subsequent Supper at Emmaus, depicting the meal that Jesus had with two disciples after the encounter on the road, have been popular subjects in art.Swoon hypothesis
The swoon hypothesis is any of a number of ideas that aim to explain the resurrection of Jesus, proposing that Jesus did not die on the cross, but merely fell unconscious ("swooned"), and was later revived in the tomb in the same mortal body. This 200-year-old hypothesis is still the subject of debate to this day.The Three Marys
The Three Marys or Maries is a term referring to the women mentioned in the canonical gospel's narratives of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, several of whom were, or have been considered by Christian tradition, to have been named Mary (a very common name for Jewish women of the period).The Gospels give the name Mary to several individuals. At various points of Christian history, some of these women have been conflated with one another.
Mary, mother of Jesus
Mary of Jacob (mother of James the Less) (Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40; Luke 24:10)
Mary of Clopas (John 19:25)
Mary of Bethany (Luke 10:38–42; John 12:1–3) (not mentioned in the Crucifixion or Resurrection narratives)Another woman who appears in the Crucifixion and Resurrection narratives is Salome, who, in some traditions, is identified as being one of the Marys, notwithstanding having a different name. In such cases, she is referred to as Mary Salome. Other women mentioned in the narratives are Joanna and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
Different sets of three women have been referred to as the Three Marys:
Three Marys present at the crucifixion of Jesus;
Three Marys at the tomb of Jesus on Easter Sunday;
Three Marys as daughters of Saint Anne.Vision theory of Jesus' appearances
The vision theory or vision hypothesis is a term used to cover a range of theories that question the physical resurrection of Jesus, and suggest that sightings of a risen Jesus were visionary experiences. It was first formulated by David Friedrich Strauss, and proposed in several forms by mainstream scholarship, including Helmut Koester, Géza Vermes, and Larry Hurtado, and members of the Jesus Seminar such as Gerd Lüdemann.Christian apologist object against the theory, taking the resurrection to be a literal, bodily phenomenon.
|Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome go to the tomb, where the stone has been rolled away.[16:1–4]||Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" go to the tomb.[28:1]||"The women who had come with him from Galilee"[23:55-56][24:1] find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty.[24:2-3]||Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb and finds the stone removed.[20:1–10]|
|Mary Magdalene informs "Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved," who go to the tomb, but don't understand that Jesus has been risen.[20:2–10]|
|They see "a young man, dressed in a white robe," who says that "He has been raised; he is not here."[16:6]||An angel appears who rolls back the stone, telling them that "He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said." [28:2-7]||Two man "in dazzling clothes" suddenly appear, say that "He is not here, but has risen."[24:4-5]||Appearance of two angels to Mary Magdalene.[20:11–13]|
|"Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them" tell the apostles what happened, but are not believed. Peter goes to the tomb, sees the linnen cloths, and is "amazed."[24:9-12]|
|Instruction to them to tell the "disciples and" Peter to go to Galilee where they will see Jesus. [16:7]||Instruction to Mary to tell "his disciples" to go to Galilee to meet Jesus.[28:7]|
|[Verse 8] "So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid."[Mark 16:8]|
|[Unversed - shorter ending] They tell "to those around Peter" what had been commanded to them, whereafter Jesus starts proclaming through them "eternal salvation."[Mark 16:8]|
|[Verse 9 - longer ending] Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene. She tells "those who had been with him," but don't believe he's alive and seen by her. [16:9-11]||Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and the "other Mary" [28:9–10]||Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene, who informs the disciples[20:11–18]|
|Jesus appears to two disciples [16:12]||Jesus appears to two disciples [24:13–31]|
|"He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. [1 Corinthians 15:7]||Jesus appears to eleven disciples (unspecified location); Great Commission [16:14–18]||Jesus appears to eleven disciples and others in Jerusalem; Great Commission; command to stay in Jerusalem [24:36–50]||Jesus appears twice to the disciples in Jerusalem.[20:19–31]||Jesus appears to apostles for forty days [1:3]|
|Jesus appears to eleven disciples in Galilee; Great Commission [28:16–20]||Jesus appears again in Galilee, to Peter, Tomas, and five other disciples, commanding Peter to take care of his sheep[21:1–22]|
|Jesus orders the apostles to stay in Jerusalem, promising to baptise them with the Holy Spirit[1:4–8]|
|Jesus is taken up into heaven [16:19]||Jesus is taken up into heaven [24:51]||Jesus is taken up into heaven[1:9–11]|
|"Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me."[1 Corinthians 15:8]|
|Ordinary Time I|
|Ordinary Time II|
of the faithful