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Resurrection of Jesus: History, Experience, Theology [Paperback]

By Gerd Ludemann (Author), Gerd Luedemann (Author) & John Bowden (Author)
Our Price $ 26.64  
Item Number 145786  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   276
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.33" Width: 5.31" Height: 0.92"
Weight:   0.81 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1995
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  080062792X  
EAN  9780800627928  

Availability  120 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 04:04.
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Item Description...
What actually happened at the resurrection of Jesus? Gerd Luedemann suggests that this question, considered unanswerable by many, is of critical importance to Christians and that it can be answered more specifically than has been the case in recent studies. Luedemann begins with the oldest list of witnesses to the resurrection and proceeds from there to other texts from Paul and the Gospels to investigate the events of Good Friday, Easter, and Pentecost.

Publishers Description
What actually happened at the resurrection of Jesus? Gerd Luedemann suggests that this question-considered unanswerable by many-is of crucial importance to Christians and that it can be answered more specifically than has been the case in recent studies. Luedemann begins with the oldest list of witnesses to the resurrection (1 Corinithians 15) and proceeds from there to three texts from Paul and the Gospels to investigate the events of Good Friday, Easter, and Pentecost. The Easter faith, which Luedemann finds had originally nothing to do with the empty tomb, ultimately stems from visions of Peter and the other disciples, both men and women. These, along with Paul's vision on the road to Damascus, Luedemann examines by means of historical criticism and depth psychology. He concludes that the original core of the Easter faith reflects the message of Jesus as the experience of forgiveness of sins and the overcoming of death.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology   [2037  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Ludemann is Honest, yet Very Mistaken  Sep 27, 2006
For some time now Ludemann has been wrestling with the idea of how to understand Christian faith in light of our knowledge of history and since the publication of this book his views have changed.
When this book was published, Ludemann believed one could still remain a Christian even while denying Christ's resurrection. But in the book, Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment (which was adapted from a debate between Ludemann and William Lane Craig), Ludemann makes it clear he no longer holds this position. In my opinion, Ludemann is correct that Christianity should collapse if Jesus did not rise from the dead.
But as far as the main point at hand--whether Jesus did, in fact, rise from the dead--Ludemann today holds very much the same position he did when this book was written, viz., Jesus did not rise from the dead. In his denial of the resurrection, though, his case is very mistaken.
One of Ludemann's weakest points comes right at the beginning of the book. Ludemann states that miracles "cannot be the object of scientific historical work.....David Hume already demonstrated that a miracle is defined in such a way that no testimony is sufficient to establish it" (p. 12).
Unfortunately, there is no elaboration or defense of Hume here as many philosophers have critically examined Hume's arguments only to demolish them. So it doesn't serve Ludemann's purposes well to make such a hasty remark.
The fact is, Hume's assertion begs the question. The only way one could determine that no testimony is sufficient to prove a miracle is to already believe that miracles cannot exist. Ludemann's reliance on such a fallacious claim without any interaction with the countless number of critical reviews Hume has received misleads the uninformed reader.
When we get to specific evidences concerning the resurrection of Jesus, Ludemann's case is similarly troubled. According to Ludemann the early church could not have known where Joseph of Arimathea's tomb was located because "it can be presupposed that had Jesus' tomb been known, the early Christians would have venerated it and traditions about it would have been preserved" (p. 45). Not only does Ludemann not state why this can be presupposed but now it is he who is begging the question.
Ludemann's point begs the question in that it would only be true if Jesus did not rise from the dead. If Jesus' body still laid in the tomb then, yes, veneration would be expected. But if Jesus did rise from the dead, why must one presuppose this?
The only significance a tomb in which a holy man is buried possesses is that it holds the remains of a holy man. But if the remains are not in the tomb, what do we make of the tomb other than a hole in the ground? There would simply be no reason to venerate a hole in the ground. If Christ rose from the dead, the tomb would have been conquered and, more importantly, utterly irrelevant. Thus, ironically, given the resurrection, we would expect the lack of veneration of Christ's tomb and this fact seems to support the exact opposite conclusion which Ludemann holds!
In discussing 1 Corinthians 15:3-10, Ludemann makes one of the most remarkable statements in the entire book. He states, "We can assume that all the elements in the tradition are to be dated to the first two years after the crucifixion of Jesus" (p. 38). This tradition includes Christ's death for our sins, his burial, his resurrection on the third day, and that he appeared to Peter, then the Twelve, his appearance to more than 500 people at once, his appearance to James and all the apostles, and his appearance to Paul.
So we are expected to believe that, within the small span of two years, these elements completely destroyed the truth. Consider that A.N. Sherwin-White of Oxford researched how long it took a legend to completely erase the truth in the Ancient Near-East and not even two full generations were enough time! Furthermore, when you consider that for other secular ancient writings several hundred years divide our first present copy with the original. But, as Ludemann admits, this is simply two years. However, by the above standard, two years is a historical blip!
This is why the scholar Gary Habermas has concluded that there are minimal facts of Jesus' resurrection which cannot be denied, but once these minimal facts are accepted there is no better explanation for them than Christ rose from the dead.
Having said all this I have found Ludemann to be an honest scholar and would recommend this book to anyone wanting to know the basic arguments brought forth against the resurrection. But if you do decide to read this I would also recommend reading Doug Geivett's and Gary Habermas's In Defense of Miracles. Many of Ludemann's objections are answered in this book.
Perhaps the best book I can recommend if you are interested in Ludemann's book is the one I mentioned toward the beginning of the review (Jesus Resurrection: Fact or Fiction). This debate between Ludemann and Craig was very insightful on the topic of Christ's resurrection and should not be missed.

Worth reading, if only to understand why he's wrong  Dec 4, 2003
Luedemann's work is fair to middling, at best.

This tome is something of an aporetic description of what "must have happened" in place of the traditional description of the rise of the Christian faith.

Paul was really a nice guy, but felt like he couldn't be that way until he was around Christians (who he felt guilty for persecuting), so his brain cooked up an image of a dead guy who he'd never met who made him feel all warm and fuzzy (and psychosomatically blind for a while). He decided then that the image he saw was none other than the Son of God, the Resurrected Messiah. This explanation works as long as you believe that Paul was insane. We have no other evidence to support that thesis, though.

Peter was just another disciple of Jesus who ran off when he was arrested. He felt so guilty about Jesus' death, however, that his brain cooked up a vision of his dead teacher which inspired him to found the church at Jerusalem. He ended up fighting with James who also felt guilty so (can you see a pattern here?)his brain cooked up an image of his dead brother.

Pentecost? The appearance to 500 mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15? Luedemann kills two birds with one stone here. Both legends are based on one common group hallucination in which people had a really good time and felt like Jesus was there with them, kind of like if they had played a live version of "Truckin'" at Jerry Garcia's funeral.

Luedemann claims to be an historian. He is not. Rather, he is a speculator.

He claims that depth psychology can be of use to biblical interpreters. Psychology is far too amorphous and unreliable for historical interpretation. Here's why:

Herr Luedemann could sit across the table from me and ask me as many questions as he would like about whatever topic he felt needed his attention, and he would never have the slightest idea of what was going on in my mind, except through the matrix of whatever the latest in psychology could theorize.

Now, let me write down something that may take a few hours to compose and wait two millenia, then let him say what was going on in my head. Good luck, Gerd.

His book fails because his methodology and tools are flawed and, in the end, it takes less faith to believe that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead than it does to believe that Jungian psychology can accurately interpret the human mind.

Love it or hate it, a must-have book on the resurrection  Oct 1, 2000
Written in 1994 while Professor Leudemann was still a Christian, this book caused such a storm of protest in Germany that the original publisher declined to publish a second impression. But the same honesty which made the book so controversial is also what makes it so valuable. Leudemann decided to write this book because he was dissatisfied with so much of what he read, and therefore the book is a comprehensive treatment of the resurrection. He systematically surveys all of the passages in the New Testament which pertain to the Resurrection, beginning with 1 Corinthians 15 and ending with the last chapter of John. In each instance, Leudemann writes like a sober historian, carefully considering each passage from a redactional, traditional, and critical historical perspective. Leudemann argues that the tomb stories are late--Jesus may have received a dishonorable burial--and likewise the appearance stories are largely legendary. But *something* did happen. Leudemann skillfully extracts as much information as possible about that something from Paul's often cryptic statements, in order to formulate his own hypothesis as to how Christianity began. Whether one one agrees, disagrees, or suspends judgment about Leudemann's hypothesis, all serious students of the Resurrection narratives will want to be familiar with this important book. My only complaint about the book is the lack of a bibliography and detailed indices (e.g., NT verses, subject, author).

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