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By G. A. Wells, George A. Wells

Professor Wells argues that there has been no old Jesus, and in hence arguing he bargains with the numerous contemporary writers who've interpreted the historic Jesus as a few form of political determine within the fight opposed to Rome, and calls in facts the various modern theologians who accept as true with a few of his arguments approximately early Christianity. The query at factor is what all of the facts provides as much as. Does it identify that Jesus did or didn't exist? Professor Wells concludes that the latter is the much more likely speculation. This problem to obtained considering through either Christians and non-Christians is supported through a lot documentary facts, and Professor Wells conscientiously examines all of the suitable difficulties and solutions the entire proper questions. He intentionally avoids polemic and hypothesis, and sticks as far as attainable to the identified proof and to rational inferences from the proof.

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They may have denied immortality, or believed that their faith in the risen Jesus had launched them on an immortal resurrection life, and that they therefore would not experience death. If they took this latter view then their opinions would resemble those of the Christians mentioned in 2 Tim. 2:18 and 2 Thess. e. of judgement] has come’. 15 in the passage quoted above he answers the Corinthians by pointing out that Jesus himself entered upon his resurrection life only after death and burial; and that faith in, and even visions of, the risen one do not exempt from death, since some of the five hundred who saw him have since died.

There is, then, evidence that some Christians before Paul did not share his view that Jesus was crucified. And that even afterwards some did not accept his crucifixion is suggested by the absence of any clear allusion to it in Rev. (where 11:8 is but an editor’s gloss; see JEC, pp 284 — 5), and also in the hypothetical document known as Q (on which see below, p 84), recent study of which has shown that the cross-resurrection kerygma of Paul can no longer be taken for granted as having been, from the beginning, the basis of all Christian theology (142, p 249).

Nor does mention of ‘the third day’ constitute a precise historical allusion. As the other indications of time in the passage (‘then‘, ‘after that’) are vague, and as it supplies no time reference for the death of Christ from which to reckon the three days, the preciseness of this one reference in it cannot be attributed to any general interest in chronology, but is (as Evans concedes) more likely intended as ‘a theological statement’ (151, p 48). 14 Metzger has observed that ‘in the East, three days constitute a temporary habitation, while the fourth day implies a permanent residence’ ; hence the purpose of Paul’s formula may be to ‘convey the assurance that Jesus would be but a visitor in the house of the dead and not a permanent resident therein’ (299, p 123).

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