Bones of contention

The nature of the resurrection

An old joke has a graduate student giving the news to the great theologian Paul Tillich: “They’ve discovered the bones of Jesus!” To which Tillich replies, in his thick German accent, “So he really did exist!” Christianity began with reports of an empty tomb and appearances of a risen Lord. For St. Paul, if God has not raised this righteous Jew, then Christian faith is futile and its adherents are still in their sins. But over the years some Christians have decided, with Tillich, that the resurrection was more of a spiritual than a physical event.


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