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Jesus, the Final Days

Jesus, Final DaysCraig A. Evans and N. T. Wright, Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2009), 128 pages, ISBN 9780664233594.

This slim book collects two papers by Craig Evans and one by N. T. Wright, edited by Troy A. Miller. The papers were delivered at Crichton College in Memphis in 2003 (Wright) and 2004 (Evans). Evans discusses Jesus’ death and burial (drawing on his earlier research into ossuaries), while Wright, giving a taste of a much lengthier discussion he presents elsewhere, discusses Jesus’ resurrection.

The three papers are all written at a popular level, and the orality of their “paper” format can still be heard—the intended audience for the papers (as delivered) must have been fairly public. Evans and Wright, of course, have had long successful writing careers, and they are both perfectly at home writing these essays. As such, the book serves well as an accessible introduction to some of the more technical aspects of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Anyone wanting a better understanding of the historical aspects of the Passion story will profit from reading it. The only drawback, perhaps, is that the book is only sparsely supported by references, and practically no references to secondary literature are given (aside from “further reading” lists). Such is the trade-off with “potted” treatments.

Reviewed by John C. Poirier

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Category: Biblical Studies, Fall 2011, Pneuma Review

About the Author: John C. Poirier, Th.M. (Duke Divinity), D.H.L. (Jewish Theological Seminary), has published numerous articles on a wide range of topics and has been named the chair of biblical studies at the newly forming Kingswell Theological Seminary in Middletown (Cincinnati), Ohio.

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