A central Christian belief is the resurrection of Christ — that three days after Jesus was executed by crucifixion and buried in a stone tomb, he miraculously came back from the dead. This commemorated each spring on Easter, which features joyful hymns and readings of the resurrection story.
The resurrection of Christ is frequently mentioned in the New Testament. All four gospels include an account of the resurrection. In Acts, the central message preached by the apostles is the resurrection of Christ. In his first letter to the Corinthians, which dates to as early as 55 CE, Paul writes that the resurrection is of "first importance" and that "if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
According to the gospel accounts, one or more female followers of Jesus came to his tomb the Sunday morning after his death to anoint his body with spices. When they arrived, they were astonished to find the stone covering the entrance to the tomb had been rolled away, and the tomb was empty.1
Each gospel varies somewhat on what happened next, but all generally agree that the women told the other disciples and their story was not believed. But the risen Jesus later appeared to the disciples, where he passed through a locked door yet demonstrated he was not a ghost by eating and allowing himself to be touched.[^2] He made several other appearances among various groups2 before ascending into heaven3.
- Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Zondervan, 2001).
- Norman L. Geisler and Thomas Howe, The Big Book of Bible Difficulties: Clear and Concise Answers from Genesis to Revelation (Baker Books, 2008).
- Josh McDowell, A Ready Defense: The Best Of Josh McDowell (Thomas Nelson, 1992).
- Josh McDowell, The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Thomas Nelson, 1999).
- Mark D. Roberts, Can We Trust the Gospels?: Investigating the Reliability of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (Crossway Books, 2007).
- Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (Zondervan, 1998).
- R Forster & P Marston (based on), The Resurrection of Jesus: A harmony of the resurrection accounts (1998) - Answering Islam. Includes maps and diagrams of post-Resurrection events.
- Gary W. Jensen, Is it true that the Bible's accounts of Christ's resurrection are full of contradictions? (1998) - ChristianAnswers.net
- Anthony Maas, Resurrection of Christ (1911) - Catholic Encyclopedia. Includes a proposed harmony of the New Testament accounts.
- Glenn Miller, Do the Resurrection accounts HOPELESSLY contradict one another? (1997) - Christian Thinktank
- Dan Barker, "Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?" (Chapter 16) in Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists (Ulysses Press, 2008).
- Bart Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) (HarperOne, 2009).
- Michael Martin, "Resurrection" (Chapter 3) in The Case Against Christianity (Temple University Press, 1991).
- David Ramsay Steele, "The Holy Bible Isn't Wholly Reliable" (Chapter 11) in Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy (Open Court Press, 2008).
- Richard Carrier, Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story (6th ed., 2006) - Infidels.org
- Robert T. Carroll, The Resurrection - Skeptic's Dictionary (brief atheist perspective)
- Austin Cline, Jesus' Resurrection & Ascension: Contradictions - About.com
- Abdul Haleem, Contractions in the Resurrection Story - Answering Christianity (Muslim perspective)
- Jeffery Jay Lowder, Historical Evidence and the Empty Tomb Story: A Reply to William Lane Craig (2001) - Infidels.org
- Jeffery Lowder, How Not to Argue Against the Historicity and Resurrection of Jesus (2002) - Infidels.org
Mt 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-8; Lk 24:1-12; Jn 20:1-10. [^2]. Mk 16:14; Lk 24:36-43; Jn 20:19-31, 1 Co 15:5. ↩
Two men on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-32); to Peter in Jerusalem (Lk 24:34; 1 Co 15:5); to seven disciples fishing (Jn 21:1-23); to 11 disciples on a mountain (Mt 28:16-20; Mk 16:15-18)); to more than 500 (1 Co 15:5); to James (1 Co 15:7); at the ascension (Lk 24:44-49; Ac 1:3-8). ↩
Mt 28:16-20; Mk 16:19-20; Lk 24:44-53. ↩