The Resurrection

Frank Kermode writes:

A prodigiously learned Hebraist, Vermes has written many books about Jewish culture and history in the first century and about the significant part played in that period by nascent Christianity, at that time still a Jewish sect. He is an authority on another charismatic movement, the Qumran sect that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls, which he translated into English. Born in Hungary in 1924, Vermes was baptised as a child, lost his parents in the Holocaust and, after the war, became a Roman Catholic priest, though he later reverted to Judaism. It would be difficult to invent a scholar better qualified to write on Judaism and its relation to early Christianity. Having dealt impartially, in little books uniform with this one, with the Nativity and Passion, he now studies the biblical evidence for the Resurrection. Some of it he cannot help regarding as curious.

(LRB 20 March 2008)

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