Life & Teachings of Jesus
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Kathryn Smith
April 25, 2002
"The Resurrection"

I.   Afterlife & Resurrection
A.   Earliest thought - no physical resurrection - compare Canaanite, early Greek thought of Sheol/Hades
1.   2Sam 14:14 "For we shall surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one may not be cast out from him..
2.   Psalm 88:33-6 For my soul has had enough troubles, And my life has drawn near to Sheol. 4 I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength, 5 Forsaken among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom Thou dost remember no more, And they are cut off from Thy hand. 6 Thou hast put me in the lowest pit, In dark places, in the depths.
3.   Job 7:9 "When a cloud vanishes, it is gone, So he who goes down to Sheol does not come up.
B.   Earlier period - only two ways to attain immortality
1.   A Great memory
2.   Many Children
C.   First occurrence of resurrection language - around 2nd century B.C.E.
D.   May be due to Persian/Babylonian influence
1.   Daniel 12:2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt
II.   Resurrection of the Righteous
A.   Some texts - resurrection is only for the righteous
1.   Psalms of Solomon 3:10-12 He falls, since his fall is grievous, and he does not rise up. 11 The destruction of the sinner is eternal, and he will not be remembered, whenever God oversees the just. 12 Such is the fate of the sinners forever. But those who fear the Lord shall rise up unto eternal life, and their life shall be in the light of the Lord and shall not ever fail.
B.   Belief in resurrection shared by
1.   Jesus community
2.   Pharisees
III.   Afterlife in Greek Thought
A.   Plato
1.   Opposed soul (spirit) to body (matter)
2.   Body a mere image
3.   The soul is the real "you"
B.   Homer
1.   Body decays
2.   Soul remains in shadowy underworld
3.   Cannot be touched or grasped (ghosts)
C.   Compare Jesus traditions
1.   Luke 24:39 - risen Jesus not a phantom or ghost but a physical being
2.   An offensive idea to Greek sensibilities
IV.   Thomas and John
A.   The Thomas tradition
1.   Strongly influenced by Hellenistic ideas
2.   Platonic
3.   Spirit/body dualism
B.   Only John's gospel portrays Thomas as active character
1.   John (late 1st century A.D.) knows Thomas tradition - that the resurrected Jesus can only be a spirit
2.   John refutes that tradition in his gospel by including the story of Doubting Thomas
3.   He wasn't Doubting Thomas because he was insecure like me; rather, his tradition did not allow for a physical resurrection
V.   The Resurrection Narratives
A.   1st appearance: all 4 gospels have Mary Magdalene and others - companions differ in different accounts (argues very highly on the historical accuracy of this account because if they were going to make up the story they wouldn't have had women see it first)
B.   2nd appearance: all 4 gospels have the disciples in a group, either in Jerusalem or Galilee
1.   Luke doesn't record trip to Galilee - Indicates Luke has something against the church in Galilee (they also aren't even mentioned in his book Acts)
C.   Final commission: all 4 gospels have; dramatic climax
D.   Appearance to Thomas: only found in John