Monday, 9 March 2009
An Excellent Book For Easter Reading
I've just finished reading this book, Jesus, The Final Days, by Craig Evans and Tom Wright in the last five minutes and wanted to share how good a book I found it to be.
Not a long book, just 107 pages plus a short index, only three chapters based on lectures given in the Symposium for Church and Academy at Crichton College, Memphis, Tennessee.
Two chapters, on death of the Lord Jesus and the burial of the Lord Jesus by Craig Evans and one on the resurrection of the Lord Jesus by Tom Wright.
Both these rightly respected scholars offer a historical opinion on the events of Easter, asking about these central elements, did they happen? After so many years of Enlightenment hubris it is exciting to read two such able scholars and historians dealing with the historical evidence and showing that historically the death, the burial and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus are credible, if not more than that!
History is important, as Tom Wright comments, 'The "truth" of the crucifixion story would be totally undermined if it could be proved that Jesus died of pneumonia in Galilee, even though of course the crucifixion sets of all kinds of metaphorical resonances in the minds of people ancient and modern. And the "truth" of the resurrection story is like that too. If it didn't happen, it isn't true.' (page 103-104, emphasis added)
If it didn't happen, it isn't true. Let's give thanks to our God that he has raised up in his Church and for his world such scholars to give us great assurance in the events of our salvation. Let us with joy and confidence celebrate the festival as we remember all that our Lord Jesus did for us in those final days.