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Resurrection: The Power of God for…

Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews

by Kevin J. Madigan, Jon D. Levenson

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Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews reads with the suspense of a mystery novel as it pursues answers to the question of how we got to the current doctrine (considered orthodox by both Christians and Jews) of a bodily resurrection (not just an ephemeral life after death of some disembodied "soul") considering that the doctrine is not evident in the Hebrew Scriptures. Rather, in the earliest Scriptures, the reward for a holy life is offspring--eternal life through one's heirs. Sheol, commonly now understood as the underworld, was a state that could be experienced before actual death, when very ill or depressed. The most famous resurrection scene in the Old Testament, Ezekiel's vision of dry bones, is really about the nation of Israel as a whole, not about individuals. Yet the image is there, and so are God's promises, which He claims to be eternal. The choice to follow God is seen as the choice of life. All of these factors can only be reconciled by belief in physical resurrection. The God who created the world, can certainly recreate the parts He wishes. Humans are not fully themselves apart from their bodies and the Gnostics, who denied this, fought against the acceptance of Resurrection by the Christian inheritors of second temple Judaism. Madigan and Levenson see Christianity and rabbinic Judaism as siblings, both inheritors of Second Temple rabbinic teaching, which included then, as Orthodox Judaism continued to do (despite common perception to the contrary) of the doctrine that people would be restored to life, both bodies and souls.

In addition to showing the deeply intertwined nature of Judaism and Christianity, the book makes a strong case for acceptance of the traditional doctrine of bodily Resurrection for all who adhere to the Scriptures which depict one all powerful Creator. ( )
1 vote robinamelia | Jun 13, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kevin J. Madiganprimary authorall editionscalculated
Levenson, Jon D.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300151373, Paperback)

This book, written for religious and nonreligious people alike in clear and accessible language, explores a teaching central to both Jewish and Christian traditions: the teaching that at the end of time God will cause the dead to live again. Although this expectation, known as the resurrection of the dead, is widely understood to have been a part of Christianity from its beginnings nearly two thousand years ago, many people are surprised to learn that the Jews believed in resurrection long before the emergence of Christianity. In this sensitively written and historically accurate book, religious scholars Kevin J. Madigan and Jon D. Levenson aim to clarify confusion and dispel misconceptions about Judaism, Jesus, and Christian origins.


Madigan and Levenson tell the fascinating but little-known story of the origins of the belief in resurrection, investigating why some Christians and some Jews opposed the idea in ancient times while others believed it was essential to their faith. The authors also discuss how the two religious traditions relate their respective practices in the here and now to the new life they believe will follow resurrection. Making the rich insights of contemporary scholars of antiquity available to a wide readership, Madigan and Levenson offer a new understanding of Jewish-Christian relations and of the profound connections that tie the faiths together.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:49 -0400)

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Yale University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300122772, 0300151373

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