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The Reality of the Resurrection

The New Testament Witness

Stefan Alkier

Publication Year: 2013

In The Reality of the Resurrection Stefan Alkier bridges the chasm between history and theology. Through a patient historical, canonical, and hermeneutical study, Alkier demonstrates that the resurrection of Jesus is inextricably bound to the general eschatological resurrection of the dead. Jesus’ resurrection is no isolated miracle but is instead the crucial disclosure of the nature of reality, the identity of God, and the destiny of human beings. Interpretation of Jesus’ resurrection is thus necessarily and unavoidably both historical and theological. Alkier accomplishes three tasks. Through a descriptive exegetical survey of New Testament rhetoric, he locates the resurrection of the Crucified One within a distinct narrative world. Alkier then employs the semiotics of C. S. Peirce to develop a creative epistemology that avoids propositional literalism and modernist reductionism. Alkier finally outlines how resurrection impacts Christian praxis. The Reality of the Resurrection witnesses to that which Paul names as of “first importance”—not only for the early Christian communities but also for the shaping of our communities today.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Half Title Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Epigraph

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword to the English Edition

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pp. ix-xiv

Readers in the English-speaking world should welcome this translation of Stefan Alkier’s book Die Realität der Auferweckung in, nach und mit den Schriften des Neuen Testaments. This is a thought-provoking work that not only makes a significant contribution to theological debates about the reurrection but also offers fresh perspectives on the relation between biblical ...

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Foreword to the German Edition

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pp. xv-xvi

While the study at hand is indeed a monograph, many have contributed to the generation of the idea of writing a book about resurrection discourse in the New Testament, but thanking all those with whom I have discussed the concept and constituent parts by name would go beyond the scope of a foreword. Therefore I would thank all my conversation partners of recent ...

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Introduction: The Problem, the Concern, and the Structure of the Investigation

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pp. 1-4

The belief about the resurrection of the crucified Jesus of Nazareth deter-mines the textual collection of the New Testament to a decisive degree. Discourse concerning the resurrection of the dead is bound up with it. The present investigation approaches the question of the reality of the resurrection in three steps: (1) How is resurrection discourse in the New ...

Part I. Resurrection and the New Testament: Exegetical Investigations

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pp. 5-23

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1. The Pauline Literature

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pp. 7-72

The letters of the Apostle Paul are not only the oldest writings of the New Testament; they are also the oldest Christian writings of any kind that have come down to us. But not all the letters that name Paul as the sender were authored by him. Stylistic and material differences from those letters more certainly formulated by Paul lead one to distinguish between Proto-...

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2. Hebrews

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pp. 73-80

Although the Letter to the Hebrews was handed down as a component of the Corpus Paulinum, Paul is not its author and Hebrews is not a letter. The “Letter” to the Hebrews designates itself fittingly as “a word of com-fort and exhortation” (λuni1F79γοuni03C2 τuni1FC6uni03C2 piαρακλuni1F75σεωuni03C2).1 This word comprises the chief part of the writing (1:1–13:19). In Vanhoye’s opinion, only the “final ...

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3. The Synoptic Gospels and Acts

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pp. 81-142

The Synoptic Gospels, which probably came into being between A.D. 70 and 90, can as Martin Kähler put it be regarded as “passion narratives with extended introductions.”1 They bear the impression of the fundmental eschatological significance of the resurrection of the crucified one every bit as much as the Pauline letters. They also, however, wish to tell ...

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4. The Johannine Writings

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pp. 143-184

The gospel of John shows its readers the soteriological meaning of the eschatological-cosmological dimension of the resurrection of the crucified man Jesus of Nazareth. Its prologue provides an intertextual directive for a reading oriented to creation theology. Thus the beginning of the gospel organizes the narrative from the perspective of the context of the death ...

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5. The Catholic Letters

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pp. 185-194

Already in the early Church, several letters that were not directed to any particular communities but rather to the universal company of believers were designated as catholic letters. Since the Synod of Laodicaea (ca. A.D. 360), James, both letters of Peter, and Jude were numbered among them.1One cannot make out any common theological line in these so-called ...

Part II. Resurrection and the New Testament: Systematic Interpretations

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pp. 195-213

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6. The Fundamental Structure of Resurrection Discourse in the Writings of the New Testament and the Problem Posed for the Second Part of the Investigation

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pp. 197-202

The first part of this monograph attempted to show how the resurrection of the dead and the resurrection of Jesus Christ are communicated in the writings of the New Testament. The exegetical investigations described resurrection discourse within the universe of discourse of each text or complex of texts. This was done for two reasons. First, the intensity, complexity, ...

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7. The Conception of Reality According to Categorical Semiotics

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pp. 203-208

Categorical semiotics is no radical constructivism. Thus Charles Sanders Peirce, the founder of categorical semiotics, can explain reality precisely as a corrective to subjective opinion when he conceptualizes reality as “what is true of something, independent of whether someone regards it as true or not.”1 This holds even for perception of oneself. When I dream, then ...

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8. Semiotic Interpretation of the Phenomena of Resurrection Discourse in the Writings of the New Testament

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pp. 209-226

Keeping in mind the results of the investigating the narrative and rhetorical strategies of texts that were examined in the first part of the present inquiry within the framework of their universe of discourse, the textual data under examination will now be interpreted and classified within the framework of the encyclopedia of our present knowledge, by means of the semiotic ...

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9. Semiotic Interpretation of Protestant Resurrection Discourse Today

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pp. 227-238

The fundamental decision of Protestant theology consists of the Reforma-tion principle of sola scriptura. Only the interpreted Scriptures can be the norm and measure of Christian faith, precisely because only then will the fantasies of enthusiasts, reduction of reality, and ungrounded dogma and philosophical ideas receive a critical evaluation that is based on the power ...

Part III. Resurrection and the New Testament: Ecclesial and Educational Praxis

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pp. 239-257

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10. Protestant Discourse about Death and Resurrection in Funeral Services

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pp. 241-248

This third and final section of the present investigation offers no detailed pedagogical program for religious education or practical theology. Rather, the relevance of Protestant discourse about the reality of the resurrection in and according to the scriptures of the New Testament in their connection with the Old Testament scriptures worked out in the first two parts ...

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11. Resurrection as a Theme in Religious School Instruction

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pp. 249-254

In his substantive essay on “Dying, Death, and Resurrection as Themes for Children and Youth,” Werner Thiede rightly calls for more attention to be paid to the pedagogy and praxis of religious instruction in schools, for the complex of themes his title adumbrates. Thiede shows that with their level of language acquisition children not only encounter the empirical experi-...

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12. The Lord’s Supper as a Gift of the Resurrected Crucified One

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pp. 255-266

The life lived with and in the great story that the Bible narrates is even today no longer self-understood in many Protestant congregations. This concerns not only familiarity with biblical stories and knowledge of ecclesial holy days. Even the knowledge of ritual already evinces considerable decline, because attendance at the celebration of the worship service on ...

Notes

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pp. 267-294

Bibliography

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pp. 295-312

Scripture Index

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pp. 313-325

Index of Names

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pp. 326-327

Subject Index

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pp. 328-335


E-ISBN-13: 9781602589780
E-ISBN-10: 160258978X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602589773
Print-ISBN-10: 1602589771

Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2013

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Subject Headings

  • Resurrection -- Biblical teaching.
  • Jesus Christ -- Resurrection.
  • Bible. N.T. -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
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