Book review – ‘Easter Enigma’ by John Wenham

Easter Enigma (second edition) by John Wenham

This book brings vividly to life the events of the Resurrection that we will be celebrating this Easter. Easter Enigma weaves together the five accounts of Jesus’s Resurrection and His subsequent appearances, and gives us a compelling overview of what happened during those momentous 40 days. The author describes Jerusalem and the areas around the city relevant to the Bible account, and gives us a little biography of Mary Magdalene together with a briefer description of the other people involved, including the five writers who record the events. He then, over the remaining seven chapters, recounts the events in detail from Good Friday right through to Jesus’s ascension. Dr Wenham writes, “the story of Jesus’ resurrection is told by five different writers, whose accounts differ from each other to an astonishing degree. So much so that distinguished scholars one after another have said categorically that the five accounts are irreconcilable. . . . . It is by no means easy to see how these things can be fitted together while remaining strictly faithful to what the writers say. But an insatiable curiosity made me want to know who did what and why each writer put things so. Reading all I could and studying the Greek text carefully, I gradually found many of the pieces of the jigsaw coming together. It now seems to me that these resurrection stories exhibit in a remarkable way the well-known characteristics of accurate and independent reporting, for superficially they show great disharmony, but on close examination the details gradually fall into place.”

This book had an unforgettable impact on me when I first read it. It took me into the events of Jesus’s Resurrection and subsequent appearances in such a way that I felt that I could almost have been there in person when these momentous events took place.

Here are endorsements from the publisher’s description page:

“Becomes the more convincing and exciting as it is read in full.” (Evangelical Times)

“Gripping, psychologically convincing . . . enthralling . . . .”” (Harvester)

“Virtually the whole New Testament establishment believe that there is no possibility of harmonizing the five accounts of the resurrection appearances. John Wenham takes them on with charm, common sense and erudition…such a reconstruction is entirely plausible.” (Michael Green)

View the publisher’s description page HERE.

John Wenham (1913–1996) was an Anglican Bible scholar. He had a distinguished academic career as vice principal of Tyndale Hall, Bristol, lecturer in New Testament Greek at Bristol University and warden of Latimer House, Oxford. As a biblical scholar living in Jerusalem, his curiosity led him to make a detailed examination of the people and the places mentioned in the Easter Story. Easter Enigma is the fruit of this detective work.

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