Resurrection of Jesus

The resurrection of Jesus or resurrection of Christ is a central doctrine in Christianity. According to the New Testament, after being crucified by the Roman authorities and buried by Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus was raised from the dead by God and appeared to witnesses before ascending into heaven to sit at the right hand of God.

Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, two days after Good Friday, the day of his crucifixion. Easter’s date corresponds roughly with Passover, the Jewish observance associated with the Exodus, that is fixed for the night of the full moon near the time of the spring equinox.[1]

Paul the Apostle declared that “Christ died for our sins” and that belief in both the death and resurrection of Christ is of central importance to the Christian faith: “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”[2]

Background: Jewish and pagan concepts of resurrection

The 1st-century AD historian Josephus tells how the Jews were divided into three sects, of whom the Pharisees believed in the bodily resurrection of the dead and eternal life to follow, the Essenes believed in the survival of the soul only, and the Sadducees rejected both.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5] Most avoided defining what resurrection might imply, but a resurrection of the flesh was a marginal belief.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] 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”.[9]

Gospel harmony: the resurrection in narrative context

In the New Testament all four gospels conclude with an extended narrative of Jesus’s arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial, and his 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. The death and resurrection of Jesus are treated as the climax of the story, the point to which everything else has been moving all the while.[10]:91–92

Another characteristic of the gospel accounts is that they include only a plain description of the events. Unlike elsewhere in the gospels, there is an absence of any citation of the Hebrew scriptures to contextualize or interpret the resurrection appearances. N.T. Wright calls this “The Strange Silence of the Bible in the Stories.”[11] Wright explains that “[t]he very strong probability is that when Matthew, Luke and John describe the risen Jesus, they are writing down very early tradition, representing three different ways in which the original astonished participants told the stories.”[12]

After his death by crucifixion, Jesus was placed in a new tomb which was discovered early Sunday morning to be empty. The New Testament does not include an account of the “moment of resurrection”. In the Eastern Church icons do not depict that moment, but show the myrrhbearers and depict scenes of salvation.[13][14] The major resurrection appearances of Jesus in the canonical gospels (and to a lesser extent other books of the New Testament) are reported to have occurred after his death, burial and resurrection, but prior to his ascension.[15]


Lamentation at the Tomb, 15th century.

Main article: Burial of Jesus

The synoptic gospels agree that, as the evening came after the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, and that, after Pilate granted his request, wrapped it in linen cloth and laid it in a tomb.[16] This was 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.[17]

In Matthew, Joseph was identified as “also a disciple of Jesus;”[18] in Mark he was identified as “a respected member of the council (Sanhedrin) who was also himself looking for the Kingdom of God;”[19] in Luke he was identified as “a member of the council, good and righteous, who did not consent to their purpose or deed, and who was looking for the Kingdom of God'”[20] and in John he was identified as “a disciple of Jesus”.[21]

The Gospel of Mark states that when Joseph of Arimathea asked for Jesus’s body, Pilate marveled that Jesus was already dead, and he summoned the centurion to confirm this before releasing the body to Joseph. In the Gospel of John, it is recorded that Joseph of Arimathea was assisted in the burial process by Nicodemus, who brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes and included these spices in the burial clothes per Jewish customs.[21]

Tomb discovery

Women at the empty tomb, by Fra Angelico, 1437–1446

Although no single gospel gives an inclusive or definitive account of the resurrection of Jesus or his appearances, there are four points at which all four gospels converge:[22]

  1. Attention to the stone that had closed the tomb
  2. The linking of the empty tomb tradition and the visit of the women on “the first day of the week;”
  3. That the risen Jesus chose first to appear to women and to commission them to announce the resurrection to the disciples, including Peter and the other apostles;
  4. The prominence of Mary Magdalene;[13][23]

All four gospels report that women were the ones to find the tomb of Jesus empty. According to Mark and Luke, the announcement of Jesus’ resurrection was made to several women. According to Mark and John, Jesus appeared first (in Mark 16:9 and John 20:14) to Mary Magdalene.[13]

In the gospels, especially the synoptics, women play a central role as eyewitnesses at Jesus’ death, entombment, and in the discovery of the empty tomb. All three synoptics repeatedly make women the subject of verbs of seeing,[24] clearly presenting them as eyewitnesses.[25]

Post-Resurrection appearances

Jesus made a series of post-resurrection appearances to the disciples. He was not immediately recognizable, according to Luke.[26]:277 E. P. Sanders concluded that although he could appear and disappear, he was not a ghost. Writing that Luke was very insistent about that, Sanders pointed out that “the risen Lord could be touched, and he could eat”.[Lk. 24:39–43] He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, but she did not immediately recognize him. The first two disciples to whom he appeared, walked and talked with him for quite a while without knowing who he was, (the road to Emmaus appearance).[Lk. 24:13–32] He was made known “in the breaking of the bread”.[Lk. 24:35] When he first appeared to the disciples in the upper room, Thomas was not present and would not believe until a later appearance where he was invited to put his finger into the holes in Jesus’ hands and side.[Jn. 20:24–29] Beside the Sea of Galilee he encouraged Peter to serve his followers. [Jn. 21:1–23] His final gospel appearance is reported as being forty days after the resurrection when he was “carried up” into heaven[27] where he sits on the right hand of God.[Mark 16:19] [28]

At a later time, on the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus, then the arch-persecutor of the early disciples, was converted to Christ following an extraordinary vision and discourse with Jesus which left him blind for three days.[Acts 9:1–20] (Saul later became known as Paul the Apostle.)[Acts 13:6] [29] He became one of Christianity’s foremost missionaries and theologians.[1 Cor. 15:6] [26]

Resurrection accounts

Evolution of resurrection beliefs within the New Testament writings

The experiences of the risen Christ in the earliest written sources – the “primitive Church” creed of 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:8 and Galatians 1:16 – are ecstatic rapture events.[30] A physical resurrection was unnecessary for this visionary mode of seeing the risen Christ, but the general movement of subsequent New Testament literature is towards a physical resurrection.[31] This development can be linked to the changing make-up of the Christian community, from Paul and the Jewish emphasis on the life of the soul, to the gospel-writers, in an overwhelmingly Greco-Roman church, stressing instead the pagan belief in the hero who is immortalised and deified in his physical body.[32]

Paul and the resurrection of the spiritual body

The earliest surviving Christian writings are the letters of Paul, written between 50-57 AD (or possibly 48-57).[33] In one of these, his First Epistle to the Corinthians, he passes on what he has been told of how, after his death and burial, the resurrected Jesus appeared to Peter, then to “the Twelve,” then to five hundred followers, then to James (presumably James the brother of Jesus), then to “all the Apostles.”[34] He claims that Jesus subsequently appeared to him in the same way he did to the others,[35] and in 2 Corinthians 12 he tells of “a man in Christ (presumably Paul himself) who … was caught up to the third heaven”, and while the language of “glory”, “light”, and the “face of Jesus Christ” is obscure it is plausible that he saw Jesus enthroned at the right hand of God.[36] In the Epistle to the Philippians he 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).[37][38][Notes 1]

The gospels and the resurrection of the flesh

Paul’s proof of the resurrection is the appearances of the risen Lord to others and himself.[39] At some point such appearances ceased – after forty days forty according to Acts, although the Paul’s experience was many years after that.[40] In any event, the end of personal appearances meant that for the gospel-authors alternative proofs were needed. These were found in the narratives of the empty tomb, angelic announcement, and witnesses to post-resurrection appearances on Earth rather than in heaven. In the process they moved from a Jewish to a Hellenistic and Roman paradigm in which Jesus dies and is buried, his body disappears (with witnesses to the empty tomb), and he then returns in an immortalised physical body, able to appear and disappear at will like a god, before returning to the heavens which are now his proper home.[41][Notes 2]

Mark, written c.65-75 CE., ends in its original version with the discovery of the empty tomb, an angel’s announcement that Jesus has risen, and a promise that they will meet him again in Galilee.[42] There are no post-resurrection appearances, perhaps because the tradition of such appearances was only just beginning to develop, but the author does seem to know of the appearances claimed for Peter and the Twelve.[43] The remainder of the New Testament literature tends towards an emphasis on the physical nature of the resurrection, while still showing tensions with the earlier model of the divine exaltation of Christ’s soul.[41] Matthew presents Jesus’s post-resurrection appearance (Matthew 28:19-20) as a Greco-Roman apotheosis, the human body transformed to make it fitting for paradise, but goes beyond the ordinary Greco-Roman forms by having Jesus claim “all authority … in heaven and on earth” (28:18), a claim no Roman hero would dare make.[44] In Matthew there is only a single such appearance, in Galilee, but in Lukethere are several, all in Jerusalem, where Jesus tells the disciples to remain until they receive the Holy Spirit.[45] In Matthew Jesus instructs the disciples to take the good news of the resurrection to the gentiles, in Luke to bring the whole world into a divine community of righteousness and compassion.[44][45] In Luke and Acts (two works from the same author) he then ascends into heaven, his rightful home.[45] John, like the other three, includes an empty tomb and appearances, in this case in both Jerusalem and Galilee.[46]

Resurrection in the New Testament texts (table)

  Pauline/pre-Pauline Mark Matthew Luke Acts John
Resurrection of Spirit Uncertain Flesh Flesh Flesh Flesh
Proof-type Experiential witnesses Narrative report Narrative report Narrative report Narrative report Narrative report
Empty tomb No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Announcement No Angel Angel Angel Jesus
Appearances Visionary Bodily Bodily Bodily Bodily
Message No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Witnessed ascension No No No No Yes No

Historicity and origin of the narrative

5 part resurrection icon, Solovetsky Monastery, 17th century.

For the very earliest Jewish Christians, whose experience of the resurrection is recorded in Paul, Jesus was a man (“son of man”) the crucified messiah, who had been exalted to the right hand of God in heaven, thereby becoming a “son of God”, and would very shortly return to redeem Israel and usher in the Kingdom of God.[47] His resurrection signaled the nearness of the end, since at the end the dead would be resurrected.[47]

Summarizing its traditional analysis, the Catholic Church stated 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.”[48]

As metaphor

In his book The First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity, Thomas Sheehan argues that even Paul’s account of the resurrection is not meant to be taken as referring to a literal, physical rising from the grave, and that stories of a bodily resurrection did not appear until as much as half a century following the crucifixion.[49] Instead, Sheehan believes that Paul’s understanding of the resurrection, and perhaps Peter’s as well, is a metaphysical one, with the stories of Jesus’s (figurative) resurrection reflecting his triumphant “entry into God’s eschatological presence,”[50] and that Paul’s reference to Jesus having risen “on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:4) “is not a chronological designation but an apocalyptic symbol for God’s eschatological saving act, which strictly speaking has no date in history. Thus the ‘third day’ does not refer to Sunday, April 9, AD 30, or to any other moment in time. And as regards the ‘place’ where the resurrection occurred, the formula in First Corinthians does not assert that Jesus was raised from the tomb, as if the raising were a physical and therefore temporal resuscitation. Without being committed to any preternatural physics of resurrection, the phrase ‘he was raised on the third day’ simply expresses the belief that Jesus was rescued from the fate of utter absence from God (death) and was admitted to the saving presence of God (the eschatological future).”[51]

Other interpretations

An early alternative interpretation was provided by George Bush, Professor of Hebrew at New York City University, in 1845 in a book entitled The Resurrection of Christ.[52] He reviews in detail the post-crucifixion appearances of Jesus and demonstrates how they can be better understood as visions of a spiritual or celestial body rather than as appearances of a material body using, in many cases, a careful analysis of the original Greek or Hebrew words.

Biblical scholar Géza Vermes analyzes this subject in his book, The Resurrection. He concludes that there are eight possible theories to explain the resurrection of Jesus. Vermes outlines his boundaries as follows,

I have discounted the two extremes that are not susceptible to rational judgment, the blind faith of the fundamentalist believer and the out-of-hand rejection of the inveterate skeptic. The fundamentalists accept the story, not as written down in the New Testament texts, but as reshaped, transmitted, and interpreted by Church tradition. They smooth down the rough edges and abstain from asking tiresome questions. The unbelievers, in turn, treat the whole Resurrection story as the figment of early Christian imagination. Most inquirers with a smattering of knowledge of the history of religions will find themselves between these two poles.[53]

From his analysis, Vermes presents the remaining six possibilities to explain the resurrection of Jesus account,

  1. “The body was removed by someone unconnected with Jesus”,
  2. “The body of Jesus was stolen by his disciples”,
  3. “The empty tomb was not the tomb of Jesus”,
  4. Buried alive, Jesus later left the tomb”,
  5. Jesus recovered from a coma and departed Judea, and
  6. the possibility that there was a “spiritual, not bodily, resurrection”.

Vermes states that none of these six possibilities are likely to be historical.[54]

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.”[55] And according to Gary Habermas, “Many other scholars have spoken in support of a bodily notion of Jesus’ resurrection.”[56]

Habermas also argues three facts in support of Paul’s belief in a physical resurrection body. (1) Paul is a Pharisee and therefore (unlike the Sadducees) believes in a physical resurrection. (2) In Philippians 3:11 Paul says “That I may attain to the ek anastasis(out-resurrection)” from the dead, which according to Habermas means that “What goes down is what comes up”. And (3) In Philippians 3:20–21 “We look from heaven for Jesus who will change our vile soma (body) to be like unto his soma (body)”. According to Habermas, if Paul meant that we would change into a spiritual body then Paul would have used the Greek pneuma instead of soma.[57] Although others argue that a “body” (or “soma”) can be a spirit “body”, not necessarily “flesh”, in order for it to be a body, according to Paul’s own words to the Corinthians, regarding “spiritual body”. But they say that it was a true resurrection nonetheless.[58]

Flavius Josephus (c. 37–c. 100), a Jew and Roman citizen who worked under the patronage of the Emperor Vespasian and his son Titus, wrote the Antiquities of the Jews c. 93 which contains a passage known as the Testimonium Flavianum. This passage mentions John the Baptist and Jesus as two holy men among the Jews.[59] The text describes the death and resurrection of Jesus as follows: “When Pilate, upon the accusation of the first men amongst us, condemned [Jesus] to be crucified, those who had formerly loved him did not cease [to follow him], for he appeared to them on the third day, living again, as the divine prophets foretold, along with a myriad of other marvelous things concerning him.”[60]

There are various other arguments against the historicity of the resurrection story. For example, the number of other historical figures and gods with similar death and resurrection accounts has been pointed out.[61][c] However the majority consensus among biblical scholars is that the genre of the Gospels is a kind of ancient biography and not myth.[62] Robert M. Price claims that if the resurrection could, in fact, be proven through science or historical evidence, the event would lose its miraculous qualities.[61] In a more focused argument, Carrier asserts that, “The surviving evidence legal and historical, suggests that Jesus was not formally buried Friday night,” but that “it had to have been placed Saturday night in a special public graveyard reserved for convicts. On this theory, the women who visited the tomb Sunday morning mistook its vacancy.”[63]

New Testament historian Bart D. Ehrman recognizes that “Some scholars have argued that it’s more plausible that in fact Jesus was placed in a common burial plot, which sometimes happened, or was, as many other crucified people, simply left to be eaten by scavenging animals.” He further elaborates by saying: “[T]he accounts are fairly unanimous in saying (the earliest accounts we have are unanimous in saying) that Jesus was in fact buried by this fellow, Joseph of Arimathea, and so it’s relatively reliable that that’s what happened.”[64] Analyzing all ancient reports of crucifixion, he later changed his mind to Jesus having been eaten by scavengers.[65]

Theological significance in Christianity

Stained glass of Resurrection with two Marys at a Lutheran Church, South Carolina.

Some modern scholars use the belief of Jesus’ followers in the resurrection as a point of departure for establishing the continuity of the historical Jesus and the proclamation of the early church.[72] Carl Jung suggests that the crucifixion-resurrection account was the forceful spiritual symbol of, literally, God-as-Yahweh becoming God-as-Job.[73]In Christian theology, the resurrection of Jesus is a foundation of the Christian faith.[1 Cor 15:12–20] [1 Pet 1:3] It is described in the Nicene Creed: “On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures”.[66] Christians, through faith in the working of God[Col 2:12] are spiritually resurrected with Jesus, and are redeemed so that they may walk in a new way of life.[Rom 6:4] As Paul the Apostle stated: “If Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless”.[1 Cor 15:14] The death and resurrection of Jesus are the most important events in Christian Theology. They form the point in scripture where Jesus gives his ultimate demonstration that he has power over life and death, thus he has the ability to give people eternal life.[67] Terry Miethe, a Christian philosopher at Oxford University, stated, “ ’Did Jesus rise from the dead?’ is the most important question regarding the claims of the Christian faith.’ ”[68] According to the Bible, “God raised him from the dead”,[69] he ascended to heaven, to the “right hand of God”,[70] and will return again[Acts 1:9–11] to fulfill the rest of Messianic prophecy such as the resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment and establishment of the Kingdom of God; see also Messianism and Messianic Age.[71]

The apostle Paul wrote that: “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”.[1 Cor 15:13–14, 17] [74] Many scholars have contended that in discussion on the resurrection, the apostle Paul refers to a rabbinic style transmission of an early authoritative tradition that he received and has passed on to the church at Corinth. For this and other reasons, it is widely believed that this creed is of pre-Pauline origin.[75][76] 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”.[77] The creed’s ultimate origins are within the Jerusalem apostolic community having been formalised and passed on within a few years of the resurrection.[78] Paul Barnett writes that 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.[79]

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.[80]

Paul’s views 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.[81] At the same time, Paul believed that the newly resurrected body would be a heavenly body; immortal, glorified, powerful and spiritual in contrast to an earthly body, which is mortal, dishonored, weak and natural.[82] According to theologian Peter Carnley, the resurrection of Jesus was different from the resurrection of Lazarus as: “In the case of Lazarus, the stone was rolled away so that he could walk out… the raised Christ didn’t have to have the stone rolled away, because he is transformed and can appear anywhere, at any time”.[83]

According to international scholar Thorwald Lorenzen, the first Easter led to a shift in emphasis from faith “in God” to faith “in Christ”. Today, 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”.[84]:3–4 It has been argued that many Christians neglect the resurrection because of their understandable preoccupation with the Cross.[85] However, the belief in Jesus’ physical resurrection remains the single doctrine most accepted by Christians of all denominational backgrounds.

Christians view the resurrection of Jesus as part of the plan of salvation and redemption by atonement for man’s sin.[86]

Resurrection and redemption

Emperor Constantine and bishops with the Creed of 381.

In the teachings of the apostolic Church, the resurrection was seen as heralding a new era. Forming a theology of the resurrection fell to the apostle Paul. It was not enough for Paul to simply repeat elementary teachings, but as Hebrews 6:1 states, “go beyond the initial teachings about Christ and advance to maturity”. Fundamental to Pauline theology is the connection between Christ’s Resurrection and redemption.[87] Paul explained the importance of the resurrection of Jesus as the cause and basis of the hope of Christians to share a similar experience.[88]

The teachings of the apostle Paul formed a key element of the Christian tradition and theology. If his death stands at the center of Paul’s theology, so does the resurrection: unless the one died the death of all, the all would have little to celebrate in the resurrection of the one.[89] Paul taught that, just as Christians share in Jesus’ death in baptism, so they will share in his resurrection[90] for Jesus was designated the Son of God by his resurrection.[Rom 1:4][90] In 1 Corinthians 15:20–22 Paul states:

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 Apostolic Fathers, discussed the death and resurrection of Jesus, including Ignatius (50–115),[91] Polycarp (69–155), and Justin Martyr (100–165). Following the conversion of Constantine and the liberating 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.[92]

Belief in bodily resurrection was a constant note of the Christian church in antiquity. And nowhere was it argued for more strongly than in North Africa. Saint Augustine accepted it at the time of his conversion in 386.[93]Augustine defended resurrection, and argued that given that Christ has risen, there is resurrection of the dead.[94][95] 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.”[96]

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.[97]

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.[98]

Views of other religions

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.[84]

Baha’i Faith

`Abdu’l-Bahá taught that Christ’s resurrection was a spiritual resurrection and that the accounts in the Gospels are parables. `Abdu’l-Bahá wrote: “We explain, therefore, the meaning of Christ’s resurrection in the following way: After the martyrdom of Christ the Apostles were perplexed and dismayed. The reality of Christ, which consists in His teachings, His bounties, His perfections and His spiritual power, was hidden and concealed for two or three days after His martyrdom, and had no outward appearance or manifestation—indeed, it was as though it entirely lost. For those who truly believed were few in number and even those few were perplexed and dismayed. The Cause of Christ was thus as a lifeless body. After three days the Apostles became firm and steadfast, arose to aid the Cause of Christ, resolved to promote the divine teachings and practice their Lord’s admonitions, and endeavoured to serve Him. Then did the reality of Christ become resplendent, His grace shine forth, His religion find new life, and His teachings and admonitions become manifest and visible. In other words the Cause of Christ, which was like unto a lifeless body, was quickened to life and surrounded by the grace of the Holy Spirit.”[99]

Baha’is believe the Quran’s statement: “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”.[100]means that Jesus’s Spirit didn’t die on the cross, however Baha’is uphold that Jesus was actually crucified in the flesh.


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”.[101]


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”.[102] The Quran says in Surah An-Nisa [Ch004:Verse157] “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”.[100]


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.[103][104] However, Toledot Yeshu is not considered either canonical or normative within rabbinic literature.[105] 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.[106] 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.[107]


Secondo Pia’s 1898 negative of the image on the Shroud of Turin has an appearance suggesting a positive image. It is used as part of the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus.

Main articles: Acheiropoieta, Shroud of Turin, and Veil of Veronica

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.[108]

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.[109][110] 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.[111]


Easter, the preeminent feast that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, is clearly the earliest Christian festival.[112] Since the earliest Christian times, it has focused on the redemptive act of God in the death and resurrection of Christ.[113]

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 Corinthiansstates, “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.[114]

In Christian art

The Chi Rho with a wreath symbolizing the victory of the Resurrection, above Roman soldiers, c. 350 AD.

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.[115]

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[116] 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.[117]

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”.[118][119] 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.[119] 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.[120]


  1.  The many Pauline references affirming the resurrection include:
    • Romans 1:3–4: “…concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and designated the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord”.
    • 2 Timothy 2:8: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead… this is my gospel for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained…”.
    • 1 Corinthians 15:3–7: “…that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…”
  2.  The following quotations illustrate how each gospel presents the empty tomb and angelic announcement:
    • Mark: “Just before sunrise on the day after the regular weekly Sabbath three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, came to anoint Jesus’ body, wondering how they would be able to roll the large rock away from the tomb; but they found the rock already rolled aside and a young man in white inside; he told them that Jesus had risen, and that they should tell Peter and the disciples that he will meet them in Galilee, “just as he told you”. Then the women “fled from the tomb”.[Mark 16]
    • Matthew: “After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.”[Matthew 28:1-3]
    • Luke: “But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5 The women[b] were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” [Luke 24:1-5]
    • John: “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes. 11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew,[b] “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”[John 20:1-17]


  1.  Tamara Prosic, The Development And Symbolism Of Passover Until 70 CE, p. 65 (T & T Clark International, 2004). ISBN0-8264-7087-4
  2.  Stagg, Frank. New Testament Theology. Broadman Press, 1962. ISBN0-8054-1613-7
  3.  Vermes 2001, p. xiv.
  4.  Endsjø 2009, p. 124-125.
  5.  Lehtipuu 2015, p. 31-32.
  6.  Endsjø 2009, p. 145.
  7.  Cotter 2001, p. 131.
  8.  Cotter 2001, p. 131,135-136.
  9.  Collins 2009, p. 46,51.
  10.  Powell, Mark A. Introducing the New Testament. Baker Academic, 2009. ISBN978-0-8010-2868-7
  11.  Wright, N.T. (2003). The Resurrection of the Son of God. London: SPCK Publishing. p. 587.
  12.  Wright, N.T. (2003). The Resurrection of the Son of God. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. p. 611.
  13.  Stagg, Evelyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus.Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1978, pp. 144–150.
  14.  Vladimir Lossky, 1982 The Meaning of IconsISBN978-0-913836-99-6 p. 185
  15.  These are: Matthew 28:8–20Mark 16:9–20 (see also the article on Mark 16), Luke 24:13–49John 20:11–21:25Acts 1:1–11, and 1 Corinthians 15:3–9.
  16.  Matthew 27:57–61Mark 15:42–47Luke 23:50–56
  17.  R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) p. 147; cf. Deuteronomy 21:22–23.
  18.  Matthew 27:57–61
  19.  Mark 15:42–47
  20.  Luke 23:50–56
  21.  John 19:38–42
  22.  Mark 16:1–8Matthew 28:1–10Luke 24:1–12, and John 20:1–13
  23.  Setzer, Claudia. “Excellent Women: Female Witness to the Resurrection”. Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 116, No. 2 (Summer, 1997), pp. 259–272
  24.  Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Eerdmans Publishing Company: Cambridge, 2006), p. 48.
  25.  B. Gerhardsson, ‘Mark and the Female Witnesses’, in H. Behrens, D. Loding, and M. T. Roth, eds., Dumu-E2-Dub-Ba-A(A. W. Sjöberg FS; Occasional Papers of the Samuel Noah Kramer Fund 11; Philadelphia: The University Museum, 1989), pp. 219–220, 222–223; S. Byrskog, Story as History – History as Story (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Jerusalem Talmud 123; Tübingen: Mohr, 2000; remprinted Leiden: Brill, 2002), pp. 75–78; Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (Eerdmans Publishing Company: Cambridge, 2006), p. 48.
  26.  Sanders, E. P. The Historical Figure of Jesus. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN0-14-014499-4
  27.  Lk.24:44–53Acts 1:1–4
  28.  Colossians 3:1 KJV If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
  29.  Paul Powell writes that the apostle had two names: Saul and Paul. Saul was his Jewish name, the name of Israel’s first king. The testimony of the book of Acts is that he was a Roman citizen as well, meaning that he needed a Roman name. In Acts 13:6 Saul is called Paul for the first time (“But Saul, who was also known as Paul, … “) on the island of Cyprus. (Powell, Mark A. Introducing the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2009. ISBN978-0-8010-2868-7)
  30.  De Conick 2006, p. 6.
  31.  Finney 2016, p. 181.
  32.  Finney 2016, p. 183.
  33.  Barnett 2005, p. 2.
  34.  Taylor 2014, p. 374.
  35.  Lehtipuu 2015, p. 42.
  36.  Chester 2007, p. 394.
  37.  Lehtipuu 2015, p. 42-43.
  38.  Endsjø 2009, p. 141,145.
  39.  Barton & Muddiman 2010, p. 122.
  40.  Brown 1973, p. 103-104.
  41.  Finney 2016, p. 182.
  42.  Boring 2006, pp. 3,14.
  43.  Telford 1999, pp. 148.
  44.  Cotter 2001, p. 149-150.
  45.  Burkett 2002, p. 211.
  46.  Burkett 2002, p. 234.
  47.  Fredriksen 2008, p. unpaginated.
  48.  Catechism of the Catholic Church 647
  49.  McClory, Robert (1989). “The Gospel According to Thomas Sheehan”The Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 31 March2013.
  50.  Sheehan, Thomas (1986). The First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity. Random House. p. 111. ISBN978-0394511986.
  51.  Sheehan, Thomas (1986). The First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity. Random House. p. 112. ISBN978-0394511986.
  52.  Bush, George. “The Resurrection of Christ” New York City University. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  53.  Vermes, Geza (2008). The Resurrection: History and Myth. New York: Doubleday. p. 141. ISBN978-0-7394-9969-6.
  54.  Vermes, Geza (2008). The Resurrection: History and Myth. New York: Doubleday. pp. 142–148. ISBN978-0-7394-9969-6.The quoted material appeared in small caps in Vermes’s book.
  55.  Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, 272; cf. 321
  56.  Resurrection Research from 1975 to the Present: What are Critical Scholars Saying? Link
  57.  From a debate with Anthony Flew on the resurrection of the Jesus. Transcript
  58.  Does Jesus have a human body right now?. The Interactive Bible. Blueprint Church. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  59.  Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus SeminarThe acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus.HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. “John the Baptist” cameo, p. 268
  60.  Josephus Jewish Antiquities 18. 3.3
  61.  Robert M. Price, “The Empty Tomb: Introduction; The Second Life of Jesus.” In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds. (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 14. ISBN1-59102-286-X.
  62.  Burridge, R. A. (2006). Gospels. In J. W. Rogerson & Judith M. Lieu (Eds) The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 437
  63.  Richard C. Carrier, “The Burial of Jesus in Light of Jewish Law.” In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds. (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 369. ISBN1-59102-286-X.
  64.  Bart Ehrman, From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity, Lecture 4: “Oral and Written Traditions about Jesus” [The Teaching Company, 2003].
  65.  Bart D. Ehrman (25 March 2014). How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. HarperCollins. p. 156. ISBN978-0-06-225219-7.
  66.  Updated version of the Nicene Creed added at First Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, in Norman Tanner, New Short History of the Catholic Church, p. 33 (Burns & Oates, 2011). ISBN978-0-86012-455-9
  67.  John 3:16John 5:24John 6:39–40John 6:47John 10:10John 11:25–26, and John 17:3.
  68.  Terry Miethe in Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? The Resurrection Debate, ed. Terry Miethe (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987), xi. Quoted by Michael Martin, “The Resurrection as Initially Improbable”. In Price, Robert M.; Lowder, Jeffrey Jay, eds. (2005). The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Amherst: Prometheus Books. p. 44. ISBN1-59102-286-X.
  69.  Acts 2:24Romans 10:91Cor 15:15Acts 2:31–32Acts 3:15Acts 3:26Acts 4:10Acts 5:30Acts 10:40–41Acts 13:30Acts 13:34Acts 13:37Acts 17:30–311Cor 6:142Cor 4:14Gal 1:1Eph 1:20Col 2:121Thess 1:10Heb 13:201Pet 1:31 Pet 1:21
  70.  Mark 16:19Luke 22:69Acts 2:33Acts 5:31Acts 7:55–56Romans 8:34Eph 1:20Col 3:1Hebrews 1:3Hebrews 1:13Hebrews 10:12Hebrews 12:21Pe 3:22
  71.  The ‘‘Parousia’‘ is the term used in the Bible, see Strong’s G3952 for details, which includes the Thayer’s Lexicon definition: “In the N.T. especially of the advent, i.e.,the future, visible, return from heaven of Jesus, the Messiah, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God”. According to the Bauer lexicon: “of Christ, and nearly always of his Messianic Advent in glory to judge the world at the end of this age”.
  72.  Reginald H. Fuller, The Foundations of New Testament Christology (New York: Scribners, 1965), p. 11.
  73.  Jung, CarlThe Answer to Jobonline excerpt
  74.  Vermes, Geza (2008). The Resurrection: History and Myth. New York: Doubleday. p. xv. ISBN978-0-7394-9969-6..
  75.  Neufeld, The Earliest Christian Confessions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964) p. 47; Reginald Fuller, The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives (New York: Macmillan, 1971) p. 10; Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus—God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) p. 90; Oscar Cullmann, The Early Church: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) p. 64; Hans Conzelmann, 1 Corinthians, translated James W. Leitch (Philadelphia: Fortress 1969) p. 251; Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament vol. 1 pp. 45, 80–82, 293; R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) pp. 81, 92
  76.  Most Fellows of the Jesus Seminar concluded that this tradition dates to before Paul’s conversion, c AD 33. Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus SeminarThe acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. Empty Tomb, Appearances & Ascension pp. 449–495.
  77.  Geza Vermes (2008) The Resurrection. London, Penguin: 121–122
  78.  see Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus – God and Man translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) p. 90; Oscar Cullmann, The Early church: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology, ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) pp. 66–66; R. E. Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) p. 81; Thomas Sheehan, First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity (New York: Random House, 1986) pp. 110, 118; Ulrich Wilckens, Resurrection translated A. M. Stewart (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1977) p. 2; Hans Grass, Ostergeschen und Osterberichte, Second Edition (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1962) p. 96; Grass favors the origin in Damascus.
  79.  Barnett, Paul William (2009). Finding the Historical Christ (Volume 3 of After Jesus). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 182. ISBN978-0802848901.
  80.  (as in 1 Corinthians 15:20–22)
  81.  Meditation and Piety in the Far East by Karl Ludvig Reichelt, Sverre Holth 2004 ISBN0-227-17235-3 p. 30
  82.  Corinthians 15:42–49 with commentary by Dale B. Martin, The Corinthian Body, Yale University Press, 1999. ISBN0-300-08172-3 p. 126 in particular.
  83.  “Archbishop Peter Carnley; William Oats”Radio National.
  84.  Lorenzen, Thorwald. Resurrection, Discipleship, Justice: Affirming the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Today. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys, 2003, p. 13.
  85.  Warnock, Adrian, Raised With ChristArchived 12 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Crossway 2010
  86.  Great Preaching on the Resurrection by Curtis Hutson 2000 ISBN0-87398-319-X pp. 55–56
  87.  The creed: the apostolic faith in contemporary theology by Berard L. Marthaler 2007 ISBN0-89622-537-2 p. 361
  88.  See 1 Corinthians 15:20–22
  89.  Theology of Paul the Apostle by James D. G. Dunn 2003[ISBN missing] p. 235
  90.  Ehrman, Bart. Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend. Oxford University Press, US. 2006. ISBN0-19-530013-0
  91.  Ignatius makes many passing references, but two extended discussions are found in the Letter to the Trallians and the Letter to the Smyrnaeans.
  92.  The resurrection and the icon by Michel Quenot 1998 ISBN0-88141-149-3 p. 72
  93.  Augustine: ancient thought baptized by John M. Rist 1996 ISBN0-521-58952-5 p. 110
  94.  Augustine and the Catechumenate by William Harmless 1995 ISBN0-8146-6132-7 p. 131
  95.  Augustine De doctrina Christiana by Saint Augustine, R. P. H. Green 1996 ISBN0-19-826334-1 p. 115
  96.  The Trinity by Saint Augustine (Bishop of Hippo.), Edmund Hill, John E. Rotelle 1991 ISBN0-911782-96-6 p. 157
  97.  Adventus Domini: eschatological thought in 4th-century apses and catecheses by Geir Hellemo 1997 ISBN90-04-08836-9 p. 231
  98.  Vladimir Lossky, 1982 The Meaning of IconsISBN978-0-913836-99-6 p. 189
  99.  “Bahá’í Reference Library – Some Answered Questions”.
  100.  Qur’anSura 4:157
  101.  Kurt Rudolph, Gnosis: The Nature & History of Gnosticism, p. 190 (T & T Clark Ltd, 1970, second and expanded edition, 1980; 1998). ISBN0-567-08640-2
  102.  Qur’anSura 4:158
  103.  Michael J. Cook, “Jewish Perspectives on Jesus”, in Delbert Burkett (editor), The Blackwell Companion to Jesus, pp. 221–223 (Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2011). ISBN978-1-4051-9362-7
  104.  Gary R. Habermas, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, p. 205 (Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2008). ISBN0-89900-732-5
  105.  Dan, Joseph (2006). “Toledot Yeshu”. In Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Encyclopaedia Judaica. 20 (2nd ed.) pp. 28–29
  106.  Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence WmB Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN0-8028-4368-9 p. 128
  107.  Michael J. Cook Jewish Perspectives on Jesus Chapter 14 in “The Blackwell Companion to Jesus” edited by Delbert Burkett 2011 ISBN978-1-4443-2794-6
  108.  The encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 5 by Erwin Fahlbusch, Jan Milic Lochman, Geoffrey William Bromiley, John Mbiti 2008 ISBN0-8028-2417-X p. 490
  109.  Charles S. Brown, 2007 Bible “Mysteries” ExplainedISBN0-9582813-0-0 p. 193
  110.  Peter Rinaldi 1972, The man in the ShroudISBN0-86007-010-7 p. 45
  111.  Antonio Cassanelli, 2001 The Holy Shroud: a comparison between the Gospel narrative of the five stages of the PassionISBN0-85244-351-X p. 13
  112.  Foundations of Christian Worship by Susan J. White 2006 ISBN0-664-22924-7 p. 55
  113.  Mercer dictionary of the Bible by Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard 1998 ISBN0-86554-373-9 p. 224
  114.  JohnRevelation1 Peter 1:191 Peter 1:2, and the associated notes and Passion Week table in Barker, Kenneth, ed. (2002). Zondervan NIV Study BibleGrand RapidsZondervan. p. 1520. ISBN0-310-92955-5.
  115.  Understanding early Christian art by Robin Margaret Jensen 2000 ISBN0-415-20454-2 p. 149
  116.  “Cross and Crucifix in the Christian Assembly – Part I (The Early Christian Period: Crux Invicta, Crux Gemmata)”. Archived from the original on 24 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  117.  The passion in art by Richard Harries 2004 ISBN0-7546-5011-1 p. 8
  118.  Ambrose, On the Belief in the Resurrection, 102
  119.  Images of redemption: art, literature and salvation by Patrick Sherry 2005 ISBN0-567-08891-X p. 73
  120.  Heaven on Earth: art and the Church in Byzantium by Linda Safran 1998 ISBN0-271-01670-1 p. 133

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