Book Plunge: But God Raised Him From The Dead

What do I think about Kevin Anderson’s book from Wipf and Stock publishers? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.


Wipf and Stock was recently letting reviewers have a free copy of this book and since it was about resurrection, I jumped at the chance, so my thanks first to Wipf and Stock publishers for this copy.

This is supposed to be the first monograph of its kind on the resurrection as seen in the work of Luke-Acts. For those with a more apologetic bent like I am, this is not meant to give you a defense of the resurrection. You will not find something like the minimal facts in here. You won’t even find an argument for the resurrection. What you will find is what the doctrine of the resurrection means in Luke-Acts and how it plays a major role if not the major role in the whole narrative.

Some especially interesting subjects are the looking at the concept of resurrection in Second Temple Judaism and the looking at resurrection in the pagan world surrounding the Jews. The resurrection is not cut and dried in the time of Second Temple Judaism. We know the Sadducees did not believe in it and the Pharisees did. Various texts in the OT are looked at to see if they talk about resurrection and then some writings from the period of Second Temple Judaism are looked at.

More interesting is the looking at the pagan world I thought. After all, many of us would view resurrection as a good thing. In the ancient world, not as much. There are strong indications that it would be like returning to a prison. This is helpful for those of us in the apologetics field as it gives us further evidence that indeed returning to the body would be seen as returning to the shackles of a prison. Contrary to what we might think, the resurrection was not thought to be a liked doctrine. That would explain why there were scoffers of the idea even in the Corinthian community.

From there, with the cultural backdrop of resurrection, Anderson looks at how Luke plays this out in his narrative. He spends plenty of time on Peter’s speeches and on Paul’s speeches. If there is a main theme that the resurrection is seen to help establish in the narrative, it is the theme of hope, which is also something Anderson writes about. What is the hope of Israel and how will it be established?

Anderson seems to end on the note that the resurrection will take place so the just will be rewarded and the wicked punished. I think it’s a bit more. The hope of Israel is that God will become king and Israel will be His special chosen people. Today, Christians also share that hope as we are adopted into the family of Israel and we preach the kingship of Christ with the hope that His kingdom will spread all over the world.

Note this book is not layman friendly. It does contain plenty of Greek and assumes a good background with the scholarly material, but if you’re into the heavy stuff, this will be a good addition to your library.

In Christ,
Nick Peters


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12 Responses to “Book Plunge: But God Raised Him From The Dead”

  1. Vincent S Artale Jr Says:

    Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.

  2. jbsptfn Says:

    With the resurrection, though, you return to a spiritual body, not this flesh body. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15 that there is a flesh body, and there is a spiritual body (which seems to indicate that they are two different things, not the same body transfigured. It doesn’t say in the NT that your flesh can’t be cremated).

    Also, it doesn’t make sense to revive a flesh body out of the grave just to judge it to damnation. In Revelation, it says that Death and Hell (Hades, or the unseen place) give up the dead in them. Then, the people that go in the Lake of Fire undergo the second death (death of soul, or consciousness).

    • apologianick Says:

      The second depends on your view of Hell.

      The first is built on a false reading. The words used refer more to what animates the body. The use of flesh and blood is an idiom that refers to mortal sinful nature.

      • jbsptfn Says:

        Well, one translation of Hell in the NT is Hades (that applies to that Revelation verse), and another is Gehenna (which I take to mean total non-existence).

        As for what you said about flesh and blood, that’s a possibility. There are a lot of idioms and things like that in the Bible. An example is taking the Mark in your forehead and in your hand (meaning that you believe that the Antichrist is Jesus, and that you will do his work).

      • apologianick Says:

        I’ll focus on the issue of the body. The best works on this are Gundry’s Soma in Biblical Greek and Licona has a section on it in The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach.

        But the example of our resurrected body is Jesus’s, and His was physical.

    • Tom Larsen Says:


      With the resurrection, though, you return to a spiritual body, not this flesh body. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15 that there is a flesh body, and there is a spiritual body (which seems to indicate that they are two different things, not the same body transfigured. It doesn’t say in the NT that your flesh can’t be cremated).

      Out of curiosity, what do you make of 1 Cor. 2:14–15?

      • jbsptfn Says:

        That the natural man can’t understand the ways of God without the holy spirit, which helps you discern what is right and wrong.

        As for Jesus’s resurrection, I know it was physical, but he was transformed like Enoch and Elijah (people who didn’t die, but were taken up to be with God). Jesus had to raise physically, or nobody would believe it. We don’t need to.

      • apologianick Says:

        Except our body is said to be like Jesus’s and to say that he was buried and rose in a spiritual body makes zero sense for a Pharisee like Paul to say. Resurrection is not resurrection of a soul, which is kind of meaningless, but resurrection of the body. Again, Gundry and Licona provide the best material on this.

  3. jbsptfn Says:

    I didn’t say that Jesus rose in a spiritual body, but in a flesh body that was transfigured.

    As for the spiritual body, Paul does make a distinction between spiritual and physical bodies in 1 Corinthians 15. Resurrection means that you get one of those permanent spiritual bodies that last forever.

    • apologianick Says:

      Again, this doesn’t fit with Paul’s view as a Pharisee and physical is not really a good translation of that word. Licona finds 846 usages from around the 8th century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D. Not once does it mean physical. He also compares the use of the word translated as “spiritual.” Often it refers to people who are very physical but are enlightened as it were. In the case of Paul, it would mean one empowered by the Spirit.

      • jbsptfn Says:

        Since you mentioned his status as a Pharisee, I wonder if he wrote that part of 1 Corinthians with a Pharisiacal slant. I heard something (don’t know if this is true) that Paul didn’t want to stray too much from his Jewish influences in his teaching at times.

      • apologianick Says:

        He did. The language of passing on and receiving is how Pharisees also passed on oral tradition.

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