Tabor Bookshelf: Allison on The Resurrection

Dale C. Allison, Jr., The Resurrection of Jesus: Apologetics, Polemics, History (T&T Clark, 2021) is truly Allison’s magnum opus¬†on the subject of the resurrection of Jesus. It is by far the best, most comprehensive, and acutely discriminating work on the topic of which I am aware. I love its organization into coherent Parts: Historical-Critical Studies, Thinking with Parallels, and especially the third section, Analysis and Reflections–which looks at tenuous arguments both apologetic and skeptical. It is all here, The final chapter, “Overreach and Final Results,” is particularly valuable, assessing the concept of “certitude” and veracity in terms of implications for propositional doctrines and truth declarations. I found his treatment of Mark particularly valuable, in contrast to the growing cluster of apologetically driven additions in the accounts of Matthew, Luke, John, and the Gospel of Peter. These subsequent works pushed his bare narrative into other directions, and for other purposes, and essentially “overwrote” Mark–who remains a singular enigma–yes, “shattering human expectations,” but beyond that, offering virtually no apologetic defense of Jesus’ resurrection in manner of his successors who made use of his narrative. One feature of the book I particularly like is that one can read various sections of interest bit by bit along the way, without losing the overall impact of the book. I highly recommend this book as both a reference and worthy of a thorough reading–or two!

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