Original Research

A reformed-theological engagement with the resurrection of Jesus Christ

Jan H. Van Wyk
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 39, No 1 | a1920 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v39i1.1920 | © 2018 Jan H. (Amie) Van Wyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2018 | Published: 28 November 2018

About the author(s)

Jan H. Van Wyk, Unit of Reformed Theology, North-West University, South Africa


In this article, the author investigates the manifold interpretations that were given to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is a topic which has caused many disturbances in the Christian church right from the very beginning and is therefore not a modern phenomenon, although a more critical approach has gained momentum since the Aufklärung of the 18th century with its rationalism and positivism. The resurrection is not an everyday experience and cannot be verified in any way. The author investigates different approaches to this topic, namely the classic realistic interpretation (pneumatic realism), metaphoric realism, demythologisation and elevation. Special attention is given to the view of the eminent South African systematic theologian Klaus Nürnberger, who has recently published his two books on Dogmatics. The aim of the article is to stimulate further reflection on this fundamental article of the Christian faith.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article investigates the manifold interpretations that were given to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This topic is widely discussed in Dogmatics and New Testament Theology as well as Practical Theology, especially Homiletics, where it has a huge effect on how the gospel is preached and how the essence of the gospel is defined. Since the Aufklärung of the 18th century, with its rationalism and positivism, the discussion built up momentum and the message of the resurrection was put into question from the side of science and scientism. This implied that the author had to discuss the relation between faith and science, trying to find an answer.


Resuscitation; resurrection; demythologisation; elevation; faith; science; eschatology and hope


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