This book, third in Wright's series Christian Origins and the Question of God, sketches a map of ancient beliefs about life after death, in both the Greco-Roman and Jewish worlds. It then highlights the fact that the early Christians' belief about the afterlife belonged firmly on the Jewish spectrum, while introducing several new mutations and sharper definitions. This, together with other features of early Christianity, forces the historian to read the Easter narratives in the gospels, not simply as late rationalizations of early Christian spirituality, but as accounts of two actual events: the empty tomb of Jesus and his "appearances."
How do we explain these phenomena? The early Christians' answer was that Jesus had indeed been bodily raised from the dead; that was why they hailed him as the messianic "son of God." No modern historian has come up with a more convincing explanation. Facing this question, we are confronted to this day with the most central issues of the Christian worldview and theology.
In this 8-session video-based study (DVD/digital downloads sold separately), leading New Testament scholars, N.T. Wright and Michael Bird, hope to take you on a tour of the New Testament Story, from Galilee to Golgotha, from Jerusalem to Rome. They will look at who Jesus is, the real meaning of his death and resurrection, the expansion of the church in the Greco-Roman world, examine the debates and setbacks that they had along the way, and show how Christians can live out the story of New Testament in their own lives today.
Sessions include:The Story of the New TestamentThe World of JesusLife and Death of JesusThe Resurrection of JesusThe Apostle PaulThe Early ChristiansThe Mission of the ChurchHow the NT Came to Be
Designed for use with The New Testament You Never Knew Video Study (sold separately).
Familiar: Since Christian worship services began, areading from the gospels has played a central role.
Studied: For over two hundred years scholars havechallenged and defended the central claims of thegospels: miracles, historical accuracy, the divinity ofJesus, and more.
But Forgotten: Still, leading Bible scholar N. T.Wright reveals shocking news: We have all forgottenwhat the four gospels are about.
"Despite centuries of intense and heavy industryexpended on the study of all sorts of features of thegospels," Wright writes, "we have often managed tomiss the main thing that they, all four of them, aremost eager to tell us. What we need is not just a bitof fine-tuning, an adjustment here and there. We needa fundamental rethink about what the gospels aretrying to tell us."
What Wright offers is an opportunity to confront thesepowerful texts afresh, as if we are encountering themfor the first time. How God Became King reveals thesurprising, unexpected, and shocking news of thegospels: this is the story of a new king, a new kind ofking, a king who has changed everything, and a kingwho invites us to be part of his new world.