At the heart of the Christian message stands the proclamation of the resurrection: the good news that God raised Jesus from the dead. In Resurrection: The Origin and Goal of the Christian Life, Frank Matera explains why the resurrection was so important to the early church and why it remains important for Christians today. Beginning with the gospels, then moving to the Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline Epistles, and concluding with Hebrews, 1 Peter, 1 John, and the book of Revelation, Matera provides a comprehensive overview of how the different writings of the New Testament proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Written in a clear and accessible manner, Matera presents readers with a way to understand the central message of the New Testament and of Christian faith: God raised Jesus from the dead. Building on this message, he shows that the resurrection of Jesus enables and empowers believers to live in the world today and provides them with the assurance that God will raise them from the dead as well.
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"In this volume, Father Matera presumes and builds on others' work on the historical issues regarding the empty tomb narratives and the appearances of the risen Jesus, and focuses this work exclusively on the meaning of Jesus' resurrection for those who believe in and try to follow him. What emerges from his study of this diversity is a stunning coherence in the underlying vision regarding such elements as the relationship between Jesus' preaching of the kingdom of God and the general resurrection, or God's raising of Jesus as a victory over the power of evil, the vindication of an apparently defeated Jesus, and the promise of everlasting life in a new creation begun with Jesus' resurrection, furthered by the Spirit's empowerment of the church, and fulfilled in the ultimate resurrection of the faithful."
Fr. Frank Matera is both a distinguished biblical scholar and a wise pastor. Both qualities are on display in this exceptionally clear and thorough study of the meaning of the Resurrection for Christian faith. Written for a broad audience it demonstrates that the mystery of the Resurrection not only reveals a God of Life and vindicates Jesus' mission to the world but also is the dynamic inspiration for the mission of the Church and for a hope-filled Christian life. Here is truly substantial and nourishing spiritual reading for those who want to plunge deeply into the beauty and power of the gospel.
With his usual clarity and brilliance, Matera presents a comprehensive mosaic of the multiple images, metaphors, and expressions used by each of the New Testament authors to speak of Christ's resurrection. Like a diamond whose many facets refract the light differently with each turn, so Matera illumines the theological meaning of this mystery for Jesus' followers.
With this volume, Fr. Matera offers inquiring Christians a valuable gift for Easter (or for any time of the year). In it, he clearly, concisely, and incisively presents the perspectives of the New Testament authors on the mystery of the resurrection and highlights the multi-faceted significance of the resurrection for individual Christians and the Church as a whole today.
Frank J. Matera was for many years the Andrews-Kelly-Ryan Professor of Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America. A former president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America, he is presently the pastor of St. Mary's Church in Simsbury, Connecticut. He has published commentaries on Romans, Second Corinthians, and Galatians and written books on New Testament theology, New Testament Christology, New Testament ethics, and Pauline theology. Matera's previous works published by Liturgical Press include Galatians in the Sacra Pagina series, Strategies for Preaching Paul, Preaching Romans: Proclaiming God's Saving Grace, and most recently The Sermon on the Mount: The Perfect Measure of the Christian Life.