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Easter: Exploring the Resurrection of Jesus

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What can Bible scholars teach us about Easter? Discover the resurrection narrative in the Gospels, Jewish tradition and art in order to understand the Easter story in its ancient and modern contexts.

In the free eBook Easter: Exploring the Resurrection of Jesus, expert Bible scholars offer in-depth reflections on the resurrection.

Not even the intense drama and tragedy of Jesus’ trial, passion, death and burial can prepare one for the utter shock at what comes next in the well-known story: Jesus’ resurrection. The Gospels recount varying stories of the disciples’ astonishment and confusion as they encounter the resurrected Jesus.

Locating the Encounter with the resurrected Jesus

On the road to Emmaus


The Gospel of Luke tells of one such meeting on the road to Emmaus. There is considerable controversy among archaeologists as to which among nine sites may be identified as Biblical Emmaus. In the first chapter of this free eBbook, “Emmaus Where Christ Appeared,” Biblical Archaeology Review editor Hershel Shanks puts forth Emmaus Nicopolis as the leading contender.

Understanding the Meaning of Resurrection in the ancient world

What did resurrection mean to the earliest Christians?


What did the concept of resurrection mean to the earliest Christians? In what ways did it evolve from—and depart from—contemporaneous ideas about death and the afterlife? Author N.T. Wright traces the origins of the idea of bodily resurrection to first-century Judaism in “The Resurrection of Resurrection,” the second chapter of this free eBook.

Understanding the Meaning of Resurrection

What does resurrection mean to us today?


And what about the wide range of modern interpretations of the resurrection of Jesus Christ? In the third chapter of this free eBook, “Thinking about Easter,” Marcus J. Borg questions just how literally and physically we should take the gospel accounts of the resurrected Jesus to be.

This is a special opportunity to discover in-depth research and reflections on Jesus’ resurrection by world-renowned Bible scholars.

Understanding the Resurrection of Jesus in the Bible

The resurrection in the Gospel of Mark

Three Marys

The interpretation of the Gospel of Mark in particular challenges Bible scholars because at least nine versions of its conclusion have been identified in 1,700 surviving ancient Greek manuscripts and early translations. In the fourth chapter of this free eBook, “To Be Continued…,” author Michael W. Holmes stresses the importance of piecing together the end Mark’s resurrection story.

Understanding The Resurrection of Jesus in Art and Poetry

The resurrection is a well-loved artistic subject

Ivory Plaque

All questions of historicity and scholarship aside, the encounters of the resurrected Jesus with his disciples have been well-loved artistic subjects for centuries. A carved ivory plaque from northern Spain in the 12th century depicts two scenes: the meeting of Jesus and his disciples on the road to Emmaus and Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene outside the empty tomb. In the fifth chapter of this free ebook, “The Resurrection,” this intricate carving accompanies a poem by the medieval French bishop Marbod of Rennes contemplating Jesus’ choice of Mary Magdalene as the first witness of the resurrection.

Understanding Jesus’ Tomb and the Resurrection of Jesus through Art

Peter and John hurry to the empty tomb

To the Tomb

The 1898 painting The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection by Swiss artist Eugene Burnand captures the next event in the resurrection story. The disciples Peter and John hurry to investigate the story Mary Magdalene has just told them of the empty tomb with the stone rolled away. “To the Tomb,” the sixth chapter of this free eBook, explains the disciples’ mixed emotions and the significance of the missing tomb in this evocative painting.

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  • TIM says

    All of these strongly held and differing positions on an intresting question demonstrates to me that there is so much about the gospel account that we do not yet have certainty. And that is a healthy sign since we seek the real facts. And know we will all be surprised when someday they are revealed. We don’t want a truth but the truth and humbly admit there is so much me do not know and are excited to explore. If we lose our sense of mystery we become a cult. All that said, I think Sunday was resurrection day.

  • John says

    Follow the teaching of the HOLY SPIRIT,for HE will reveal the truth.

    • John says

      Perhaps I missed something in my Bible reading: He the holy spirit where does it say that? I am very interested in your reply………but, please no spurious scriptures.

      • John says

        Also when we look at scriptures like, Acts 7:55 where it says that Stephen was filled with holy spirit when talking, just before he was stoned and died; Acts 11:24 says that Barnabas was full of holy spirit; Acts 13:9 points out that the apostle Paul was filled with holy spirit; Romans 15:19 says that Paul was able to preach because he was filled with holy spirit; etc., etc………..we therefore can see that the holy spirit is a guiding force from God……NOT a person.

  • Raj says

    Jesus says that people who belive in him without asking any reason are his true followers so I think it is wrong to fight for Saturday or Sunday .

    • John says

      However, Raj, you should not have “blind” faith…….you must study God’s Word and come to know it is the truth. As Hebrews 11:1 says Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for even though we cannot see these things. We therefore have to know the promises contained in the Bible to believe in them, even though we have not seen the evidence. You cannot believe, or put faith in something, that you know nothing about.

  • Vukile says

    Rev is very correct and accurate. Thank you. Like Jonas was in the belly of the fish 3 days and 3 night, Jesus was dead 3 days and 3 nights. That’s important. I hope Rev’s article liberates God’s people from Satan’s Good Friday and Easter lie

  • Rev. says

    Commentator: please correct my response to say: …regardless of whatever day it falls on. Also my link is in need of correction as it is DOUBLED. Please remove the 2nd/repeated link. Thank you.

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