Resurrection in Jesus of Nazareth

In the chapter on the Resurrection in Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI focuses on the fact that the Resurrection is the foundation of the Christian message. It cannot be boiled down to an invention of the early Church nor is it a mystical experience of the Apostles. It is an event that is rooted in history, that is, it actually happened, yet it transcends history as we are confronted with an entirely new reality. He continues to examine this central theme through the use of two different types of testimony, the “confessional tradition” (which gives the essentials of the Easter faith in short phrases that establish the basics of what occurred) and the “narrative tradition” (which is the type of testimony used in the Gospels that gives content and shape to the faith through narrative).

The part of this chapter than I enjoyed reading the most was the section that talked about the historicity of Jesus’ Resurrection. Someone of faith can sometimes be intimidated by “scientific” arguments against the Resurrection, and this often causes doubt. It is important to know that there is plenty of evidence to the historicity of the Resurrection, and this evidence can be comforting to someone of faith who is currently questioning if what they believe was a human invention or factually based.  

11 thoughts on “Resurrection in Jesus of Nazareth”

  1. You raise a really good point, J-Weave! I think sometimes we run the risk of losing sight of the historicity of the events in Sacred Scripture. I came across this notion while researching for my exegesis paper. Scholars can take the interpretation of Scripture rather far sometimes, and in doing so, can run the risk of seeing the people and events as mere symbols. It is important to keep in mind that the historical events in Sacred Scripture are just that – actual events that happened in history.

  2. your insight on the event of the resurrection touches a significant point not only for the author but also for those who claim ourselves Christians or followers of Christ. That is to say that history and Sacred Scripture can be well rooted and help one another to not only have an intellectual background (that will stop to a certain point) we also have a faith that allows us to see the context of the scripture and help us to believe and be able to share the good news with others.

  3. Great analysis of this chapter from Ratzinger! I think you make a very important point by reminding us that the Resurrection is truly a historical event that occurred at a particular time and in a particular place and yet it transcends all history. I believe our belief in the Resurrection is a perfect example of why we as Catholics stress the importance of a “both and” approach. I think at times we fail to recognize the historicity of the Resurrection because it happened so long ago. I also think you offer great advice by mentioning that the historical evidence of the Resurrection can help someone who may be struggling with their faith.

  4. This is awesome. It is so true that one, as a Christian, may be intimidated when confronted with scientific arguments against the Resurrection. But, as you showed, there are two types of testimony that prove this great event in our history and our faith. To see how this even is rooted in history is absolutely mind-blowing, and we should never lose that sense of awe at the reality that Jesus, God the Son, dwelt among us, died, and actually rose and appeared to others. Thank you so much for providing this critique.

  5. I like the emphasis stressed on the importance of remembering the historicity of the Resurrection. Often times this great event can come across a nicely glossed fictional tale. However, we must be adamant that the Resurrection is real! Jesus rising from the dead should be at the core of our Christian lives.

  6. Without the resurrection, our Faith is in vain. The historicity of the resurrection is vital for Catholics to believe as true! I’ve heard that this made for a confusing comps question in years past; something like, “If the bones of Jesus were found in a tomb, would your Faith be shaken?” Supposing his bones were really discovered, our Faith would be shaken! But I would assume any such discoveries would be false.

  7. The Resurrection Jesus Christ changes things. It changed history, and can now change hearts in each individual open to encounter the living God. This is a great summary about the essentially important aspect of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As much as science can be a challenge for those of faith, I found comfort in the words of Pope Benedict XVI. Very well done, Josh.

  8. I enjoyed your post. In today’s scientific age, if it cannot be measured in some modern, concrete way, then it must be made up. However, we forget that in this time, both confessional tradition and narrative tradition were valid proofs of the existence of something. An example of that is the fact that Mary Magdalene was the first person Christ revealed himself to. As a woman, her testimony would be considered invalid, and therefore would not have been placed in the Gospel unless it were true!

  9. I agree with the fact that today, and ever since the enlightenment, people have believed that the resurrection is simple a nice story about a man. The fact that, we have great teachers such as Pope Benedict to crush this type of thinking with reasonable and faithful argumentation is comforting. Not only this we can learn from him in order to educate others. Great article and review.

  10. The Resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian message and is so necessary that if the Resurrection did not take place, our lives as Christians would be worthless. As St. Paul says in his letter in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.” You did a thorough job in capturing the themes of chapter. I also enjoy the scientific arguments of the historicity of the Resurrection.

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