Bishop John Shelby Spong: Resurrection: Myth or Reality. "A Critique"
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Synopsis. The object of this critique is to look at the
Christology of Bishop Shelby Spong in his book Resurrection Myth or Reality. It is hoped
by a careful analysis of the method used by Spong to prove that his account of the
Resurrection is more of the kind he claims the Orthodox view to be. That is, some kind of
fairy tales or fable.
By use of proper Theological Method it will be shown that by his use of presupposition, an
ignorance of historical data, a failure to consult leading authorities and a twisted view
of the use of Jewish Midrash, Spong has failed to arrive at the Jesus of the bible.
Rather it will be shown that when the proper Method is applied that the Jesus of the bible
is the only possible outcome for such a search, because the facts when considered verify
the biblical account as historical.
For Bishop Shelby Spong the New Testament story is just that, a story. His journey into
the secrets of the resurrection starts with a presupposition that, the biblical story
cannot be taken literally. This is no more evident than when he states, "In
today’s world evangelical and fundamentalist elements of the Christian church,
Catholic and Protestant, cling to the fading possibility of a literal truth being present
in the details of the faith story"1 or "I will not allow
my 20th century mind to be compromised by the literalism of another era that is not
capable of being believed in a literal way today"2 . Spong
like others before him has been the product of the Enlightenment3
and has set out on a quest to find the historical Jesus. This is why he cannot accept the
Jesus of the bible4. However, as Willi Marxsen so aptly points
out, "there is no answer to the quest for the historical Jesus"5.
Bishop Spong, through a series of discourses, claims that the biblical record of Jesus
life and death was written in a form of Jewish Midrash6, used by
the writers to incorporate the evolving faith story into one with, "no closed
chapters and claimed no frozen infallibility"7. By the end of
the first century he claims, the writers of the faith story had finished their respective
works, but by the end of the second century those who were now interpreting the faith
story, knew nothing of Midrashic history. Spong obviously struggles to come to terms with
the resurrection, an event which he describes as so indescribable that it was outside of
linear time and required something as eloquent as Midrash to convey it8.
For him, the resurrection became not a bodily resurrection9 of
Jesus but an existential resurrection for each individual starting with Peter10.
Jesus instead was exalted straight to heaven, and there he sat at the right hand of the
Father11. John MacQuarie for instance would agree with Spong on
this point because he see the ascension as, "a purely mythical event"12.
He was not however, resurrected back into life but "into God and God’s heaven by
God’s divine action"13. He claims in the preface to his
book, "I believe and affirm that Jesus, in the experience called Easter, transcends
the limits of human finitude expressed in the ultimate symbol of that finitude-death"14.
This to the casual reader would almost convince them that he held an orthodox view of
Scripture. He also claims that those called by this Jesus will live in him, however as one
reads on they find he rejects the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Rather seeing the body of
Jesus still lying in the ground in an unmarked common grave15. If
we combine the Jesus who failed to rise from the dead and the Jesus he talks about, who
was not the product of a virgin birth but the illegitimate child of Mary, the product of a
possible rape, then God in exalting Jesus was only righting the scales of justice16.
Jesus then is not the pre-existent perfect one but rather "a" son of God, not
"the" son of God17. Likewise Jesus for Spong was not a
valid priest, and as such a valid claim to priesthood had to be developed for him by the
early Jewish Christians18.
Within his argument, lies a fundamental belief that, angelic messengers, the miraculous
which include the virgin birth19, as well as the resurrection are
nothing more than fancifully created legends20. He suffers from,
so to speak, of a terminal case of fundamentalism, of which he is loath to speak. He
claims, instead, these literal and fundamental interpretations have been used by those in
authority to control the power they hold over people in a religious experience21.
Spong’s argument hinges precariously on these several points, that the New Testament
was a collection of Midrashic stories or legends, and as a result the Scriptures are
unreliable with regard to historical accuracy, also, that the resurrection was not a
bodily resurrection, and finally, that the Apostle Paul does not write about a bodily
resurrection in the early work of 1 Corinthians 15.
To be able see the real Jesus and not the shadowy Jesus of Spong it is important to
examine and prove that the resurrection of Jesus did occur in a bodily manner and was not
an event outside history but an actual historically verifiable event. In the process it
will be attempted to refute all of the points on which his argument rests.
Doing good Theology requires good Theological Method, and good Theological Method
according to scholars like Erickson and Berkhof requires the bringing of no
presuppositions to the text22. It is necessary then to approach
the topic of resurrection without any presupposition and let the evidence speak for
Firstly let us look at the issue of the New Testament being what Spong refers to as Jewish
Midrash. This is point where he is guilty of scientific fraud. When looking at ancient
documents with a view to their authenticity, the Ancient Documents Rule is just one means
which can be used when it comes to authenticating an ancient document, like the New
Testament23. As such the New Testament writings or much of them
would be quite admissible in any court of law. How could such historically accurate
documents be called legends or folk stories?
As well Archaeological evidence, had by the late 19th century confirmed the accuracy of
the New Testament and scholars such as William Albright were making statements to this
fact24. Marxsen brakes the issue of the historical record of Jesus down into facts that
are historically verifiable and those which are accepted by faith alone. The statement
that Jesus has risen is a historical statement because it can, as Albright and others
claim, be verified by the evidence25.
The statement that "God raised Jesus from the dead", however relies on faith for
it has a prehistory of expectation that God will raise Jesus from the dead. This issue is
also raised by Clifford who makes note that just because the Gospels could be admitted in
a court of law as evidence, does not mean that, that by itself authenticates them26.
Rather, the Scriptures of the New Testament would be seen as historical but only those
portions which contained the writers eyewitness detail, where they were reporting on
"what they knew to be fact from personal observation"27,
would be admitted. Hence to say that the New Testament is no historical means one must
ignore the evidence to the contrary.
To help accept the Gospel accounts as historical there is a need to look at the way in
which the early church and historians viewed them.
Irenaeus who was a Bishop at Lyons and studied under Polycarp, reacted to heresies of his
day, and was the first writer of his day whose list of New Testament books corresponded
with the New Testament canon28 held to, by the church today29.
This puts him in a good position as a witness to reliability of the gospels especially
when we read how Irenaeus sees the history behind the gospels themselves30.
For Irenaeus "Matthew published his gospel among the Hebrews in their own tongue,
when Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel in Rome and Founding the Church there".
He goes onto say that Mark was a disciple and interpreter of Peter, and had handed down in
writing the teaching of Peter. Irenaeus confirms that both Luke and John produced their
own account of the gospel story31.
Papias, who was a Bishop of Hierapolis32 , confirms that what
Irenaeus has said about the writers of the gospels was true33.
Papias tells how he confirms what is written because it does not disagree with the oral
teaching he received from the Elders themselves.
Finally, from history comes the evidence from the Muratorian Canon, which supports Luke
and John as the writers of their respective gospels. "The fourth gospel is that of
John, one of the disciples, moreover the Acts of all the Apostles are included in one
book, Luke addressed them to the most excellent Theophilus"34,
is how it is worded and leaves little room for not accepting what is historical truth35.
It is therefore true, that the resurrection story told in the gospels is true in it’s
historical detail and it is only the means of the resurrection which cannot be verified36.
If then, we can acknowledge the New Testament as true historical fact, we can then explain
why Spong’s use of a Midrashic tradition is not valid.
To add weight to the historical perspective, N.T. Wright points out that Spong’s use
of Midrash is not even close to the Jewish use of this literary genre37.
That there is such a thing as midrash is a verifiable fact and to claim that the
Scriptures must in all cases be understood literally is the one area where it must be
agreed with Spong, especially when he states "we need to separate ourselves from
literalism38". Spong however omits to recognise the work of
scholars like Geza Vermes ad Jacob Neusner who are the acknowledged experts in the field
of Midrashic study39. Proper Midrash is made up of commentary on a
particular biblical text, the evidence is overwhelming and Wright40
is correct, when he sees Spong’s use of it as the fanciful retelling of a verbal
story. For Spong there is no original text, rather the writer of Mark used this particular
style and the rest of the Gospel writers followed his lead41.
Having established, that firstly, Spong’s presupposition that nothing that his 20th
century mind could not imagine, could be fact, goes against good Theological Method and
secondly that his implication that the New Testament Scriptures are not verifiable fact
but Midrashic interpretations of the oral stories, are questionable enough to be
contradicted, it is important then to let the Gospel stories speak for themselves.
Even those who view the gospels with some scepticism usually try to argue for an early
date for the composition of the gospels. Spong, however holds to a late dating of all the
Gospels42. Spong who claims to an heir of J.A.T. Robinson43
even fails to consider his arguments for the early dating of the gospels44.
This early dating means that only a period of 30 to 40 years elapsed between Jesus death
and the writing of the gospels. As such with the known ability of the Jewish society to
commit facts to memory and accurately transmit an oral tradition comes the likelihood that
there was little or no embellishment of the text45. This stands in
direct contrast to the claims of Spong. Clifford rightly picks up on this point making
note that, "many scholars hold that in the Gospels it is clear that Aramaic
expressions undergird the Greek", this however should not be taken as Spong does, to
mean that the transmission from Aramaic to Greek is a corrupting of the text46,
but more rightly what Clifford states it to be, "clearly the writers are trying to
transcribe the actual teachings of Jesus and are not supplying their own embellished
thoughts or paraphrase"47.
Peterson goes onto point out that both Luke and John have internal claims to be accurate
accounts of eyewitnesses set down as Luke puts it, to show what had been fulfilled among
them (Luke 1:1-2). John 21:24 holds an explicit claim to be eyewitness evidence.
With regard to what Spong infers was an empty tomb (because Jesus was buried in a common
grave), the fact that it is recorded in all four Gospels that Jesus was buried in the
tomb, does seem to outweigh his argument. Peterson rightly puts it when he says that just
because there are differences between the empty tomb accounts, does not warrant the
scepticism of Spong48 and others49. These
differences are seen by Clifford as a verification of the truth, rather than a reason to
discount the evidence altogether. For when witness set out to deceive they usually
contradict themselves and instead the Gospel accounts can be harmonised50.
Against this backdrop of unbelief by Spong in a bodily resurrection, it can be seen that
when the historical validity of the Gospels has been verified, they do, contain eyewitness
accounts of Jesus appearing to his disciples and many others. Stories like Matthew
28:9-10, find parallels in John 20:11-18 and Luke 24:13-25. It again can be seen that
these accounts differ in their detail and as has been discussed this should be seen as a
verification rather than a denial of the event. Peterson puts it plainly by stating,
"Harmonisation of the resurrection narratives is not always easy because the Gospel
writers have particular reasons for recording certain events and presenting them as they
Lastly there is a need to look at the issue of his use of Paul’s writings to refute
the resurrection. Paul Barnett believes that Spong makes four errors or presuppositions
with regard to Paul’s works. Of these three only will be looked at.
Firstly, he claims that Paul never knew the Jesus of bible52. This
is highly unlikely because Paul was active in Jerusalem during the period of Jesus
ministry there. Barnett sees the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:16 as meaning, he had seen Jesus
in the flesh. In support of this Philip E. Hughes sees this verse as a "rejoinder to
those who have sought to discredit him (Paul) by alleging that he had no first hand
knowledge of Christ"53. This added to the fact that he would
have had a personal knowledge of the early Christian movement because of his vehement
desire to see it terminated, means that Paul must have acquired a greater understanding
than we give him credit for54.
The second presupposition is that because the Gospels were written after Paul had composed
much of his work, he would have not had access to much or any of the material of the very
physical nature of the resurrected Jesus55. Barnett calls this a
dubious assertion, because as he points out many of the component parts would have already
been in circulation. The words of Luke’s opening statement ring true in the mind of
those who seek the truth, "since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account
of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by
those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word"(Luke 1:1-2;
NRSV). Just because Paul does not mention any resurrection stories, is not a reason to
claim he denies the bodily resurrection56, neither do any other
Thirdly, Spong in the words of Barnett, "assumes, without argument, that resurrection
as used in the New Testament, can be redefined as exaltation"58.
However, Jewish and internal evidence of the Gospels point to a reanimation or
resuscitation of the dead, not simply the exaltation of the spirit to become one with the
father59. In those crucial verses of 1 Corinthians 15 Paul
actually refers to being raised from dead, understanding as all Jews of his time did that,
"it meant dead persons being alive again"60. Berkhof61
looks at this expectation among the Jews and rightly draws the same conclusion as Paul
What then is the true character of Jesus, is he some illegitimate child, born to Mary
after she had been raped62, who was exalted by God just to set the
scales of Justice aright63. Surely this Jesus is unable to bring
to us knowledge of God, and come as the judge at the end of the age, as the one who sits
at the right hand of the Father. Surely this Jesus is not able to conquer death if his
mortal remains still lie some where buried in the ground. He would be nothing more than
another dead guru64.
How could he be worshipped as Matthew would have us worship him, because the resurrection
of Jesus demonstrates his divine status65. Jesus is a legitimate
object of worship and God has granted him full universal authority66.
For Luke, the resurrection of Jesus is the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy and a
necessary vindication of a suffering servant.
It can be seen that after careful and proper Theological investigation, that the Jesus of
Bishop Spong is not the Jesus of the bible. The Jesus of bible is the divine image of the
Father67, worthy of worship and praise, who gives us a reflection
of God so we know him even more intimately. For, if we take the view of the resurrection
not being physical, we are subject as Peter Jensen puts it, "to having nothing left
to believe in"68. For the Jesus of the bible entered our
world as a man, to fight the battle for us, he in the process was exposed to all the
elements of an earthly life, which ended in his bearing our transgression on the cross69.
He did not have a make believe body70. Even Thomas Aquinas
reflected on the resurrection of Jesus, pointing to his ability to have control over his
own destiny, thus having the ability to have control over our destiny71.
Let the words of Paul Barnett close this investigation into the slanted Christology of
Bishop Spong, "The (bodily72) resurrection reverses the
judgement of God in the very arena in which we first experience it, in the body"73.
A Response to Bishop Spong:
In any scientific endeavour there needs to be proper controls set in place to guard the
information that produced from being tainted either by deliberate act or by misadventure.
Bishop Spong has failed to guard against either of these two likelihood’s.
Firstly, he has ignored one of the most important
hallmarks of a Scientist, "the scientist should have an open mind. He should not rule
out anything without examining the probability of its occurring".
He does this not only with the facts which he in some cases ignores, but he also does this
with his own presuppositions, with which he is bound. Hence he cannot believe, because he
cannot or will not accept the facts as they are presented.
Secondly, having a closed mind he ignores the
facts, he goes onto ignore, other scientific and critical authorities, many who are
experts in their respective fields.
He does this obviously with his use of Midrash, where he completely ignores two of the
leading experts in this field to propose his own theory. To do this he must again break
the first rule of scientific endeavour. He ignores the historical usage of Midrash, as has
been recorded from the earliest times.
Thirdly Spong having made these elementary
omissions in his scientific method, then goes onto challenge the writings of the New
Testament by putting the thoughts of his own into the mouths of it’s authors.
Fourthly Spong has failed to move beyond the
Enlightenment model of world events. He is still living in a closed continuum of natural
causes and effects. Since this view has been rejected by modern science, we unlike Spong,
cannot postulate scientific or historical absolutes which are capable of ruling out events
without an investigation.
Fifthly it is then necessary to notice that since
the unpredictable and unexpected does occur, they cannot be ruled out simply because our
mind cannot imagine the processes by which the occur.
Sixthly it is no longer possible to come to any
subject with an a priori that it could not have happened.
In a age, which both expects and searches for things beyond the known, Spong as become a
relic of a past age, unable to bring his own mind into the twentieth century. Rather he
still lives in the past and has been unable to move beyond his own short sightedness.
Seventhly, correct inductive research requires all
possibilities to be examined before conclusions are drawn.
Lastly it is not necessary to bring an argument
from the New Testament itself to refute the claims of Bishop Spong. It is only necessary
to show that in writing his book Resurrection, Myth or Reality, he has failed to fulfil
the role as a scientist in all areas of scholarly endeavour.
He is what he loathes the most, "a fundamentalist".
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Bettensen, Henry, Ed., Documents of the Early Church. (Ed. Henry Bettensen; Oxford;
Oxford Press, 1977).
Bruce, F.F., The Canon of Scripture, (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press,
Chadwick, Henry,. The Early Church. (London; Penguin Books, 1990).
Clifford, Ross,. The Case of the Empty Tomb. (Sutherland, NSW; Albatross Books,
Davies, Brian,. The Thoughts of Thomas Aquinas, (Oxford; Clarendon Press, 1993).
Erickson, Millard J., Christian Theology. (Grand Rapids; Baker Book House, 1985).
Fuller, Daniel,. Easter Faith and History, (London; Tyndale Press, 1968).
Gilmour, G.P., The Memoirs Called Gospels, (London; Hodder & Stoughten, 1959).
Hughes, Philip E., The New International Commentary on the New Testament: The Second
Epistle to the Corinthians. (Ed. F.F. Bruce: Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1992).
Jansen, John. Frederick, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ in New Testament Theology,
(Philadelphia; Westminster Press, 1980).
Kelsey, Morton,. Resurrection: Release from Oppression, (New York; Paulist Press,
MacQuarie, John,. Principles of Christian Theology, (London; SCM Press, 1966).
Marxsen, Willi,. Jesus and Easter, Did God raise the historical Jesus from the Dead?
(Nashville; Abingdon Press, 1990).
Neusner, J. Midrash in Context. (Atlanta; Scholars Press, 1988).
Peterson, David, et. al, Resurrection: Myth or Reality: Three Scholars reply to Bishop
Spong. (Sydney; Aquila Press, 1994).
Robinson, James M., "A New Quest of the Historical Jesus", Studies in
Biblical Theology. Vol 25 (1963).
Spong, John. Shelby,. Resurrection: Myth or Reality. (San Francisco; Harper
Vermes, G., Post-Biblical Jewish Studies. (Leiden; E.J Brill, 1975).
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Wright, N.T., Who was Jesus, (London; SPCK, 1992).
- 1. John Shelby Spong, Resurrection Myth or Reality. (San Francisco; Harper
Collins, 1994) 10.
- 2. Spong, 237.
- 3. Daniel Fuller, Easter Faith and History. (London; Tyndale Press, 1968) 27 ff.
In these pages looks how the Enlightenment influenced biblical scholarship and takes a
close look at Theologians like Kant, Lessing, Paulus and Hegel. He summarises his findings
this way: "Schleiermacher, Hegel, and Strauss take their place with Kant and Paulus
on the same side of the ugly ditch as Lessing, for they too, found the ultimate basis for
truth in an idea that they shared with all men, rather than in some particular point of
history. History was simply the place where the mind, by a process of selection and
arrangement, finds illustrations of the idea that could be grasped without history. And,
because truth was found in the mind rather than in history, Jesus, who is a part of
history, ceased to be the crucial source for truth".
- 4. G.P. Gilmour, The Memoirs Called Gospels. (London; Hodder & Stoughten,
1959) 154-172. Here Gilmour looks at some of the reasons people of the Enlightenment, or
those who believe in a closed world system, have for rejecting the miraculous. This
rejection appears to go with the world view held by Spong and others.
- 5. Willi Marxsen, Jesus and Easter. Did God raise the historical Jesus from the
Dead? (Nashville; Abingdon Press, 1990) 13: James M. Robinson, "A New Quest of the
Historical Jesus", Studies in Biblical Theology. Vol 25 (1963) 12f. Even Bultmann
held that a quest for the Historical Jesus was illegitimate.
- 6. Spong, 16.
- 7. Spong, 16.
- 8. Spong, 20.
- 9. Spong, 50.
- 10. Spong, 197.
- 11. Spong, 119.
- 12. John MacQuarie, Principles of Christian Theology. (London; SCM Press, 1966)
- 13. Spong, 119.
- 14. Spong, xi.
- 15. Spong, 228.
- 16. Spong, 119.
- 17. Spong, 122.
- 18. Spong, 125.
- 19. Spong 19.
- 20. Spong, 237.
- 21. Spong, 35.
- 22. Hendrikus Berkhof, Introduction to the Study of Dogmatics. (Grand Rapids;
Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1985) 23 ff. Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology.
(Grand Rapids; Baker Book House, 1985) 59 ff. Daniel Fuller, Easter Faith and History.
(London; Tyndale Press, 1968) 20-26.
- 23. Ross Clifford, The Case of the Empty Tomb. (Sutherland, NSW; Albatross Books,
1991) 140. Here Clifford quotes the rule as interpreted by Simon Greenleaf: Every
document, apparently ancient, coming from the proper repository or custody, and bearing on
its face no evident marks of forgery, the law presumes to be genuine and devolves on the
opposing party the burden of proving it to be otherwise.
- 24. William Albright, Recent Discoveries in Biblical Lands. (New York; Funk &
Wagnells, 1955) 136.
- 25. Marxsen, Jesus and Easter. 44.
- 26. Clifford, 141.
- 27. Clifford, 142.
- 28. F.F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture. (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity
Press, 1988). Bruce gives extensive treatment of the witness of Irenaeus: 23, 71, 126,
- 29. Henry Chadwick, The Early Church. (London; Penguin Books, 1990) 80.
- 30. Henry Bettensen Ed, Documents of the Early Church. (Ed. Henry Bettensen;
Oxford; Oxford Press, 1977) 28.
- 31. Bettensen, 28.
- 32. Bruce, 119, 123, 124-26, 156, 198. Bruce gives his affirmation to the genuiness of
- 33. Bettensen, 27.
- 34. Bettensen, 26.
- 35. Bruce, 158. Bruce gives an extensive treatment of the Muratorian Fragment.
- 36. Gilmour, 204.
- 37. N.T. Wright, Who was Jesus. (London; SPCK, 1992) 72.
- 38. Spong, 18.
- 39. G. Vermes, Post-Biblical Jewish Studies. (Leiden; E.J Brill, 1975); J.
Neusner, Midrash in Context. (Atlanta; Scholars Press, 1988).
- 40. Wright, 72.
- 41. Spong, 58.
- 42. Spong, 47 ff, 57 ff. Here Spong Dates both Paul works of 1 Corinthians and Galations
at approx 25 to 30 years after the final days of Jesus life. This was followed by Mark
after another 15 to 20 years, Matthew after another 25 to 30 years and finally John after
another 40 years. This put the writing of John at 100 years after the death of Jesus.
- 43. Spong, 13.
- 44. David Peterson, et. al, Resurrection: Myth or Reality: Three Scholars reply to
Bishop Spong. (Sydney; Aquila Press, 1994) 10.
- 45. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 11.
- 46. Spong, 43f.
- 47. Clifford, 51.
- 48. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 13.
- 49. John Frederick Jansen, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ in New Testament
Theology. (Philadelphia; Westminster Press, 1980) 40 ff. Here Jansen looks at several
different views of the empty tomb and outlines the reasons why other like Spong find
difficult to accept it as historically accurate. He however concludes "Over against
the hypothesis that the story of the grave is a later effort to demonstrate and
"prove" the resurrection, the Gospel accounts do not make it so: Gilmour, 204f.
- 50. Clifford, 59f: John Wenham, Easter Enigma. (Exeter; Paternoster Press, 1984)
127 ff. Wenham put forward a case for the legitimate harmonisation of the accounts even
though he states many scholars today frown on such harmonisation because they feel
"that each Gospel must be considered in its own terms and be allowed to tell its own
story.... This he says "is generally a sound principle.... if one regards the Gospels
as late creations which retain little contact with history". But the story of Jesus
is not "an end product of a long process of development, which took place in widely
separated parts of the world".
- 51. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 16.
- 52. Spong, 47.
- 53. Philip E. Hughes, The New International Commentary on the New Testament: The
Second Epistle to the Corinthians. (Ed. F.F. Bruce: Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1992) 201.
- 54. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 20.
- 55. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 21.
- 56. Spong, 50. The words of Bishop Spong say it all: There is no sense at all in Paul of
a physical resurrection of Jesus back into the life on this earth.
- 57. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 21.
- 58. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 21.
- 59. Spong, 56. For Paul, Jesus was the one exalted into God’s realm, vindicated by
God’s action, and raised from death to God’s right hand. Only later in Christian
history, as we shall see, do legends of tombs that were empty, resuscitated bodies that
were real, and ascensions that were cosmic appear in the Christian tradition.
- 60. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 22.
- 61. Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology. (Edinburgh; Banner of Truth, 1976) 720
- 62. Wright, 65.
- 63. Jansen, 46f. Jansen sees that vindication is not just something God did to write the
scales of Justice, but rather it is God’s recognition that Jesus ministry was valid.
- 64. Clifford, 85. Fuller, 73. Fuller points out the search of Albert Schweitzer who come
up with a poor miserable guru style person worthy of emulation.
- 65. Wenham, 9.
- 66. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 16.
- 67. Morton Kelsey, Resurrection: Release from Oppression. (New York; Paulist
Press, 1985) 63.
- 68. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 38.
- 69. Kelsey, 79.
- 70. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 41f.
- 71. Brian Davies, The Thoughts of Thomas Aquinas. (Oxford; Clarendon Press, 1993)
- 72. This is the resurrection Barnett is arguing for.
- 73. Barnett, Jensen, Peterson, 42.
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