A couple of snapshots of my life right now, followed by a comment.
Snapshot one: I’ve had a couple of people ask me why I’m reading so many books and articles about the resurrection right now, in preparation for my book How Jesus Became God. The resurrection, of course, is key to answering the question of the title, since if Jesus was thought to have been executed, and to have stayed dead, not only would there never have been anything like Christianity, but Jesus himself would have been thought of by posterity as, possibly, a Jewish preacher who ended up on the wrong side of the law, or a failed messianic pretender, or yet another prophet who met a bad end, or something else – but not God. The resurrection itself did not immediately make anyone think Jesus was God (at least that’s what I’m going to argue in the book), but without the resurrection, the thought process that eventually declared he was God would never have been set in motion.
But back to the question: why am I reading so much about the resurrection? Haven’t I read, thought, and written about the resurrection for forty years? What am I going to learn that I haven’t already thought about?? And isn’t this just a small part of the book? Why spend so much time on one aspect of the big problem, when there are so many other things to deal with as well – especially when this is an aspect that I already have clear thoughts and ideas about?
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