Christopher Bryan: The resurrection is not a community forming myth

Good quote from Christopher Bryan (The Resurrection of the Messiah,  on how the resurrection was not simply a community forming myth:

“[T]he apostles’ contemporaries – Jew and Gentile alike – will have been just as aware as we are that the dead generally stay dead. Therefore the apostolic claim will have sounded initially just as surprising and unlikely to most of them as it does to us. Nonetheless, the Christians seem stubbornly to have persisted in it: in their proclamation, iin the formularies and narratives that marked their cult and their liturgies,  in debate with others, and in reflection on their own identity. What is more, they did not merely insist on it s a fine old story, their ‘myth’ or ‘founding legend,’ as a good Roman matron might tell her children the ancient stories of Romulus and Remus, pius Aeneas, or Alcestis. Rather, they insisted on telling each other, and anyone else who would listen, this very new story, even on occasion appealing in its regard to named ‘eyewitnesses’ (autoptai) and to what a particular follower of the Lord ‘remembered’ (emnēmneusen), as if they actually expected to be taken seriously.”


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