Christians assert that God raised Jesus from the dead, but no-one outside the Christian faith-community takes them seriously. For most people, the resurrection of Jesus is a non-event. A story or a myth perhaps, but nothing more.
This book tackles the problem of the resurrection head-on. As a scientist, the author is committed to a modern post-Enlightenment worldview. He rejects belief in miraculous divine intervention and argues that the true nature of historical events can only be established by the rigorous interrogation of sources.
The historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is subjected to detailed scrutiny, with the greatest weight being assigned to the earliest and most reliable testimony.
The picture that emerges is sharply at variance with conventional Christian understandings. What is usually regarded as the "Jewish background" becomes the foreground. The Gospels, previously central to any discussion of the resurrection, are only one source among many that give an account of faith in the risen Christ. Very early traditions embedded in the earliest Christian texts move centre-stage. Resurrection faith emerges when visions of Jesus, already exalted in heaven, begin to interact with theological faith-interpretations of the "Jesus event".
The author emphasizes that rejecting belief in the resurrection as a historical event does not undermine belief in non-physical realities. Nor does it exclude the possibility of revelation being delivered through historical events freighted with intrinsic significance.