As a follow-up to
my earlier article in HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies (‘The Pope’s Jesus book and the
Christologies of the gospels’ ), this contribution concerning the Jesus trilogy by Jozef
Ratzinger will discuss the idea he presents of Jesus’ resurrection and how his view should be
assessed from the perspective of the current state of affairs in biblical scholarship. In addition,
this article articulates a number of proposals that can take the discussion a step further. In that
context, the following questions are dealt with: What is meant when we speak about the body
of the risen Jesus? Are there – except for terms like ‘to raise from the dead’ or ‘to rise up’ – other
formulas used in the New Testament to describe the fundamental reversal after Jesus’ death?
Can Ratzinger’s biased focus upon the concept of ‘resurrection’ be expanded on the basis of
other Old Testament models of thought or faith paradigms that can help us to understand
that Jesus, through the agency of God, has come to share in a life that is no longer limited by
death? What factors played a role in the origin of the belief in Jesus’ resurrection? This article
shows that Ratzinger too strongly emphasises continuity between the historical Jesus and a
number of New Testament Christologies and the way in which they were crystallised in later
ecclesiastical dogmatic formulations.