Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Resurrection and Reception in Early Christianity
Miller, Richard C.

New York: Routledge, 2015 pp. xi + 206. $140.00

Series Information
Routledge Studies in Religion, 44


Description: This book offers an original interpretation of the origin and early reception of the most fundamental claim of Christianity: Jesusí resurrection. Richard Miller contends that the earliest Christians would not have considered the New Testament accounts of Jesusí resurrection to be literal or historical, but instead would have recognized this narrative as an instance of the trope of divine translation, common within the Hellenistic and Roman mythic traditions. Given this framework, Miller argues, early Christians would have understood the resurrection story as fictitious rather than historical in nature. By drawing connections between the Gospels and ancient Greek and Roman literature, Miller makes the case that the narratives of the resurrection and ascension of Christ applied extensive and unmistakable structural and symbolic language common to Mediterranean "translation fables," stock story patterns derived particularly from the archetypal myths of Heracles and Romulus. In the course of his argument, the author applies a critical lens to the referential and mimetic nature of the Gospel stories, and suggests that adapting the "translation fable" trope to accounts of Jesusí resurrection functioned to exalt him to the level of the heroes, demigods, and emperors of the Hellenistic and Roman world. Millerís contentions have significant implications for New Testament scholarship and will provoke discussion among scholars of early Christianity and Classical studies.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Johannine Literature, John, Literature

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). Enter your SBL Member ID and click the "Log in" button. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBLís Terms of Use.

I donít remember my SBL Member ID.

Join SBL or renew your membership to read the review(s).



SBL Membership Id:  


Review by M. David Litwa
Published 10/1/2015
Citation: M. David Litwa, review of Richard C. Miller, Resurrection and Reception in Early Christianity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.

 

 
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us