A few years ago, on a family holiday, we climbed Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. The walk was wonderful. From the wooded glories of Wasdale, to the rocky pinnacle of the Pike, the scenery was ever changing and constantly beautiful. Mind you, the walk back did seem a bit long; very long in fact. It turned out to be the hottest day of the year and our feet became sore and we started to long for the hotel in the valley where we could get a cup of tea. It was a wonderful journey, with a wonderful sense of satisfaction, but eventually, we just wanted it to end.
I have to say, that now that I’ve reached the end of NT Wright’s Christian Origins series, I feel pretty much the same. It has been an exhilarating couple of thousand pages. I’ve enjoyed almost every step of the way and the intellectual and spiritual scenery has been wonderful. But, the last third of the last book has, to be honest, been a bit of a slog. In some ways, this last bit has been the most accessible and the easiest to read, but after so long, I just wanted to finish the journey, take my boots off and drink large quantities of very hot tea. There is no doubt that this is a marvellous series of books. There are at least two historians who read this blog (you know who you are) and they should really take the time to get to grips with what Wright is saying. However, I have to say that for most people, there are other things that you should read before getting into this series – unless you really want a challenge.
There is a rumour that the fourth volume of the trilogy, concentrating on Paul, will be published soon. For myself, I’m eagerly awaiting Wright publishing something serious on John’s Gospel. In the meantime, if you do want to get hold of The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins & the Question of God) here is the link.