N.T. Wright concludes that the resurrection narratives in the four gospels develop from early accounts, accounts in which the startling fact of the resurrection is still raw, undigested (Resurrection, 610-15). Assuming Wright is correct, this feature of the gospel resurrection accounts is beyond strange. Since they are written down quite late (in all probability and as most scholars agree), after four to six decades of theological reflection one would think they would express the meaning of the resurrection clearly and thoroughly. Yet, in fact, Paul’s writings on the resurrection of Yeshua are far more developed. What are we to make of the raw accounts in the four gospels?
. . . What is it about these narratives that makes a leading historian and New Testament scholar to view them as raw, as reflecting early, unvarnished, even puzzled reactions to a virtually inexplicable event? Wright speaks of the strange absences and unusual features of the resurrection narratives under four topics: the silence of the Bible, the absence of personal hope, the inclusion of women, and the unusual descriptions of Yeshua’s body.
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