"I Will Come to You": An Investigation of Early Christian Beliefs about Post-Ascension Visitations of the Risen Jesus

Title

"I Will Come to You": An Investigation of Early Christian Beliefs about Post-Ascension Visitations of the Risen Jesus

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication

2023

Authors

Pagination

129–194

Volume

57

Terms of use

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Bibliographic Citation

Gervais, Timothy. ""I Will Come to You": An Investigation of Early Christian Beliefs about Post-Ascension Visitations of the Risen Jesus", Vol. 57. 2023:129–194.

Abstract

While later Creedal Christians have come to view “the Ascension” recorded in the first chapter of Acts as a conclusive corporeal appearance of the Resurrected Lord, earliest Christians do not appear to have conceived of this appearance as “final” in any temporal or experiential sense. A careful investigation of canonical resurrection literature displays a widespread Christian belief in continued and varied interaction with the risen Lord relatively late into the movements’ development. Stringent readings of Luke’s account of the Ascension in Acts suggesting that Christ will not return until his second coming fail to consider the theological rhetoric with which Luke conveys the resurrection traditions he relied on in composing his account. Analysis of Luke’s narrative displays that his presentation of these traditions is shaped in a way to stress the primacy of the apostolic Easter experiences in establishing the apostles as authoritative “witnesses” in the early church over and against possible competing authoritative claims stemming from purported experiences with the risen Lord.

Resurrection
New Testament
Easter
Apocrypha

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