Recommended Reading on Atonement and Holy Week


In our recent podcast discussion on atonement theories, David Fry and I recommended a few books on the atonement. It was requested that we share the titles and links. This article includes those resources as well as a few other books that I have found helpful for Holy Week and related themes.

Setting aside special time each year during Holy Week to read books, articles, and sermons related to Jesus’s death, burial, descent, and resurrection, is an excellent way to grow in one’s understanding and appreciation of what God has done in Christ for us and for our salvation. Keep in mind that nothing can replace Scripture. Consider reading the parallel accounts in the Gospels (see the reading plan in Kostenberger’s book linked below) or choose one Gospel to focus on each year and read through a commentary on Matthew 21–26, Mark 11–16, Luke 19:28–24:53, or John 12:12–20:31. See for commentary recommendations for each book.

Holy Week

  1. Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor, The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived.
  2. Joseph Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection.

The Cross and Atonement (Good Friday)

  1. Locating Atonement: Explorations in Constructive Dogmatics. See especially Chapter 3, “The Patristic Atonement Model” by Ben Myers.
  2. Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ.
  3. Joshua McNall, The Mosaic of Atonement: An Integrated Approach to Christ’s Work.
  4. Thomas McCall, Forsaken: The Trinity and the Cross, and Why It Matters.
  5. Adam Johnson, Atonement: A Guide for the Perplexed.
  6. John Stott, The Cross of Christ.
  7. N. T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion.

The Descent to the Dead (Holy Saturday)

  1. Matthew Emerson, “He Descended to the Dead”: An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday

The Resurrection (Easter Sunday)

  1. N. T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God.
  2. John Chrysostom, “Paschal Homily.”
  3. Gregory of Nazianzus, “Oration 45: On Holy Pascha.”
  4. Gregory of Nazianzus, “Oration 1: On Pascha and on His Slowness.”
Johnathan Arnold
Johnathan Arnold is President and Founder of Holy Joys. He serves as a preaching and teaching pastor in Newport, PA, where he lives with his wife Alexandra and son Adam. You can connect with him on Twitter @jsarnold7.