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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

I. General Considerations.-The resurrection of Christ does not fall to be discussed in this article, the next article being devoted to it. Nevertheless it will be impossible to treat of the Pauline view of resurrection without some discussion of his attitude towards the nature of Christ’s resurrection. St. Paul is practically the only NT writer who has really worked out the problem of the resurrection on the basis of the resurrection of Christ. It will be necessary to show how much he has in common with the Jewish apocalyptic writers of the 1st cent. a.d. in his attitude towards the problems of the resurrection, and also how far he has introduced new elements and developed along fresh lines. In dealing with the Fourth Gospel we have to examine the relation between that Gospel and St. Paul, how far the author is developing along the lines laid down by St. Paul and how far he is travelling on independent lines.

The principal questions that must be answered by any inquiry into the subject of the resurrection from the historical point of view are: (1) What was the place of the resurrection in the eschatology of the time? (2) Are there more than one resurrection in any of the eschatological schemes of the 1st century? (3) How is the resurrection of Christ related to the general Christian resurrection-doctrine of the period? (4) How is the question of the relation between body and spirit, flesh and spirit, worked out? (5) How far does an ethical element enter into the various views of the resurrection developed by NT writers? These questions involve ethical, metaphysical, and eschatological considerations which were not clearly distinguished in the thought of the time, and cannot be separated in our treatment of the subject; yet they must be borne in mind in examining the various systems of the period.

The roots of eschatology have been found to be far more widely spread in early civilizations than was formerly believed, and of all the conceptions of eschatology none has a more varied and complicated history than the conception of the resurrection. It is not our task to trace out its roots in the ancient past. But we have to consider and take stock of the stage of development which the conception of resurrection had reached at the beginning of our period. It was the moment when the focus of national and political consciousness was shifting from the present to the future-a movement which expressed itself in every phase of human activity, especially in religion. Hence the significance of the mystery-religions, whose emphasis was wholly on the future life. The word ‘syncretism’ has been much abused, but it expresses well the characteristic tendency of this period. An immense number of currents of religious and philosophic thought were meeting and influencing one another, and it is easier to distinguish the main currents than to estimate the extent to which they intermingled and modified one another. The history of the interpretation of St. Paul bears witness to the difficulty of this attempt. The main currents may be broadly distinguished as follows:

(a) Neo-Platonism, in its earliest form, representing a fusion of Platonic philosophy with Oriental mysticism, and emphasizing the superiority of the intellectual principle in man, the νοῦς, over the body. Hence, for our inquiry, it is an influence against the conception of a bodily resurrection. Possibly it would be more accurate to call this current, in which Philo has a place, Neo-Pythagoreanism.

(b) Orientalism, to use a broad term for the various forms in which the dualism and mysticism of the East expressed themselves in religious sects and mystery-cults, and so influenced religious thought in the Graeco-Roman world of our period. The eternal antithesis between matter and spirit, the necessity of redemption from the bondage of matter, and the consequent stress on asceticism, are factors working against the conception of a bodily resurrection.

(c) Judaism, although logically coming under the head of Orientalism, yet practically stands apart. At the time under consideration Judaism presents two forms of resurrection-doctrine: (1) the doctrine of the resurrection of the righteous only, developed from ethical and spiritual interests, and probably quite independent of external influences; (2) the doctrine of a general resurrection of both righteous and wicked, possibly, but not necessarily, due to the influence of Mazdeism (cf. R. H. Charles, Eschatology2, London, 1913, pp. 139-141). In addition to this divergence, Judaism also represents two other lines of divergent thought on this subject, lines which were not so sharply separated at this period as they became later: (i.) the Palestinian doctrine of bodily resurrection, both of the individual and of the nation, for the Messianic kingdom; (ii.) the Alexandrian doctrine, influenced by Neo-Platonic ideas, teaching only a spiritual resurrection, and tending to abandon the idea of the Messianic kingdom. These various forms of thought will be dealt with in fuller detail in the historical examination of the Jewish literature.

(d) Christianity, receiving its doctrine of resurrection from both forms of Judaistic thought, but profoundly modifying the doctrine it thus received by the conception of the nature of Christ’s resurrection as interpreted by St. Paul, to be reacted on later by contact with the Hellenic and Oriental streams of thought, especially in the conflict with Gnosticism.

The fuller discussion of these various currents of conflicting and intermingling views concerning the nature of the resurrection, its time and conditions, will arise out of our examination of the various passages relating to it in the literature of the Apostolic Age.

II. The Resurrection in the Literature of the Apostolic Age

1. Jewish literature .-The references to the subject of resurrection and the related question of body and spirit may be considered under the separate heads of Alexandrian and Palestinian, although, as already pointed out, at this time there was not a sharp line of demarcation. Palestinian Judaism was influenced by Alexandrian, and the literature of the former will show the influence of the latter in its conceptions.

(a) Alexandrian Judaism.-The principal literary sources for Alexandrian Judaism are Philo, the Book of Wisdom , 2 Enoch, and 4 Maccabees. The general attitude of this phase of Judaism towards the resurrection can only be touched on briefly, as our main inquiry lies in the Christian literature of the period. The Alexandrian and Palestinian Judaism must be touched on sufficiently to show its influence on the formation of Christian thought.

Philo holds the Neo-Pythagorean view of the evil nature of matter. The soul was once free from matter, has become united to and debased by matter, and can attain to the full knowledge of God, the supreme good, only by deliverance from matter. Hence the resurrection of the body is obviously impossible, and any doctrine of a corporate resurrection of a blessed community can have no place. Philo’s mysticism is purely individualistic, like that of Plotinus, and looks to the perfection of the disembodied soul, after death, with God. The national Messianic hope is replaced by the expectation of the universal triumph of the Law. In the words of a French scholar, E. Bréhier, ‘Of the whole Jewish eschatology, this idea alone retains its vitality in Philo’s system, the future of the Law which is destined to attain universal sway’ (Les idées philosophiques et religieuses de Philon d’Alexandrie, Paris, 1908, p. 10).

The author of the Book of Wisdom also held the eternity and evil of matter, and, in spite of some objections, it is most probable that he held the pre-existence of the soul ( Wisdom of Solomon 8:19-20). The body, even if ‘undefiled,’ is nevertheless ‘corruptible’ ( Wisdom of Solomon 9:15), and clogs and imprisons the soul. Hence ‘immortality’ ( Wisdom of Solomon 8:17), ‘incorruption’ ( Wisdom of Solomon 2:23,  Wisdom of Solomon 6:19), are terms which belong only to the state of the soul, and do not imply any resurrection of the body. The judgment is immediately after death, for both righteous and wicked ( Wisdom of Solomon 3:18,  Wisdom of Solomon 4:10;  Wisdom of Solomon 4:14).

In 2 Enoch we have the conception of the millennial Messianic kingdom, at the end of which occurs the Final Judgment. There are intermediate abodes for souls (7:1-3, 32:1). The writer holds the doctrine of the pre-existence of souls. It is not clear whether he holds a resurrection of the body, since his description of the change from the earthly to the heavenly body is curiously akin to St. Paul’s doctrine of the spiritual body (cf. 22:8-10). His account, too, of the torments of the wicked suggests a bodily state in hell, unless the language used be taken symbolically (10:1, 2).

In 4 Maccabees there is no resurrection of the body. The souls of the righteous are received by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, after death, and enjoy eternal communion with God (13:16, 17:5).

(b) Palestinian Judaism.-The chief sources are the Assumption of Moses, 2 Baruch , , 4 Ezra for the apocalyptic literature, and such portions of the Talmud as may reflect the Rabbinical tradition of this period. The division Sanhedrin contains the most important of the traditional utterances on this subject.

The Assumption of Moses presents a temporary Messianic kingdom, without a Messiah (cf. 2 Bar.). At its close Israel, probably identified by the writer with the righteous in Israel, is exalted to heaven, and sees its enemies in Gehenna. As in Alexandrian Judaism, so here there is no resurrection of the body.

2 Baruch is a composite work, containing, according to Charles’s analysis, three apocalypses written prior to a.d. 70 and three fragments belonging to a later date. In the parts of the book composed before a.d. 70 we have the following important passages: 30:1, 2, ‘And it will come to pass after these things, when the time of the advent of the Messiah is fulfilled, and He shall return in glory. Then all those who have fallen asleep in hope of Him shall rise again.’ Here the resurrection of the righteous is placed after the period of tribulation preceding the advent of Messiah. The form of the passage strongly suggests Christian influence or interpolation, especially the phrase ‘fallen asleep in hope of Him’ (cf.  1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). This doctrine of the bodily resurrection of the righteous seems to be characteristic of only the portions of the book composed prior to a.d. 70. In 30:2-5, which belongs to the sections written after a.d. 70, we have the doctrine of a general resurrection, also in chs. 50, 51. These chapters also discuss the nature of the resurrection very fully.[Note: It should be remarked here that the precise place of the resurrection in the general eschatological scheme depends entirely on Charles’s analysis of the book in question into sources. There are signs of a reaction against this tendency to carry analysis to an extreme (cf. Burkitt, Jewish and, Christian Apocalypses, Lecture III.).]The personal identity of the dead is to be preserved in the resurrection in order to give force to the judgment by the recognition of identity, ‘when they have severally recognized those whom they now know, then judgement will grow strong’ (50:4). The bodies of the righteous will be changed into bodies of glory that they may be able to take part in the world to come; they will be hade like to the angels.

The close resemblance of this teaching to that of the Pauline Epistles and of  Luke 20:34-36 is very striking.

4 Ezra is also a composite book, written partly before a.d. 70 and finally edited after that date. The doctrine of resurrection occupies a large place in it. It contains the doctrine of a Messianic kingdom of 400 years’ duration, at the close of which the Messiah and His companions are to die, before the Final Judgment and end of all things. In the earlier sources, i.e. the Ezra-Apocalypse and the Son of Man Vision, we have the doctrine of the revelation of Messiah from heaven with the saints who had been caught up alive, prior to the establishment of the 400 years’ kingdom. Then follows the death of the Messiah and all men, then the Final Judgment for which all will be raised (cf. 4 Ezra 4 f.). In the Salathiel-Apocalypse, the most important of the later constituents of the book, the souls of both the righteous and the wicked await the Final Judgment in a kind of intermediate state of blessing and misery respectively. The terms in which their condition is described suggest some kind of bodily state (cf. 7:75-101). In 7:32 there is a clear reference to the resurrection of the body, but G. H. Box would assign this verse to the redactor, who, according to him, is seeking to supplement the resurrection-doctrine of the author of the Salathiel-Apocalypse. The souls of righteous and wicked are assembled for the Final Judgment which determines the full blessing and torment of each respectively. Hence the resurrection-doctrine of the Salathiel-Apocalypse lies midway between the Alexandrian doctrine of a spiritual resurrection immediately after death, and the Palestinian doctrine of an intermediate disembodied state and a resurrection of the body for the Final Judgment.

The most important point, however, in these two apocalyptic works is the suggestion of the doctrine of a first resurrection which appears explicitly in the NT. This germ of the idea of a first resurrection appears especially in 4 Ezr 7:28, 13:52 (see Charles, Eschatology, p. 133 ff.).

For the Rabbinical views on the resurrection at this period we have the second article in the Shemoneh Esreh, which speaks of the power of God in raising the dead. Lagrange finds no trace of a connexion between the resurrection and the Messianic kingdom earlier than R. Meir; but it must be remembered that the apocalyptic writings already quoted may well represent Rabbinical eschatology of this period, and it is not necessary to suppose that the Talmud is the only source of information as to contemporary Rabbinical belief.

The general tradition, however, is clear for a belief in the bodily resurrection of both righteous and wicked for the Final Judgment. (For an excellent account of the Rabbinical doctrine of the resurrection see Lagrange, Le Messianisme chez les juifs, Paris, 1909, p. 176 ff.)

2. St. Paul. -If the passages relating to the resurrection in St. Paul’s correspondence be collected and compared they appear to show three distinct elements at work.

(a) There is his own view of the resurrection, which, as the evidence of Acts plainly indicates, he held in common with the Pharisaic party of his time. It is not very easy to determine precisely what shade of resurrection-doctrine he held, and possibly St. Luke was not clear himself on the matter, but the point must be discussed as the passages are examined. This form or shade of resurrection-doctrine may be assumed to have constituted a part of St. Paul’s general eschatological belief at the time of his conversion to Christianity. (b) There is the distinctively Christian belief in the resurrection of Christ as a historical fact. Possibly it was afterwards interpreted in different ways according to the particular view held concerning the resurrection, but it is absolutely clear that the belief in the fact of the resurrection of Christ operated more powerfully than any other cause in transforming current beliefs in the resurrection. (c) There is the particular line of modification in St. Paul’s view of the resurrection which can be traced out in process of development and which is due to his interpretation of what he accepted as the historical fact of the resurrection of Christ.

If the speeches in Acts may be accepted as in any degree authentic, they depict the Apostle as holding the general belief in a resurrection of just and unjust for a Final Judgment (cf.  Acts 23:6;  Acts 24:15). The passage in  Acts 17:31 does not necessarily refer to the resurrection of the dead in general, though  Acts 17:32 may imply that the Athenians understood it in that sense.

In 1 Thessalonians, where St. Paul’s exposition of the resurrection clearly implies a resurrection before the Messianic kingdom in order that the dead may share in its blessings, it is possible that the idea may have been already present in his original scheme of eschatology, although he had not imparted it to his converts. But it is also clear that, whatever be the source of the idea, it receives a new setting, and is brought into organic connexion with the resurrection of Christ (see articleParousia).

In 1 Corinthians 15 the whole argument presupposes a belief in the resurrection, not necessarily depending upon the resurrection of Christ, although the resurrection of Christ is used to support the belief in the resurrection of the dead and to modify the general outline of the eschatology.

The question of St. Paul’s indebtedness to the mystery-religions for any ideas as to the resurrection belongs rather to the discussion of the development of his doctrine than to the evidence for his original stock of ideas on the subject.

(b) Turning to the second point, St. Paul’s interpretation of Christ’s resurrection, we have first of all several passages which do not call for special discussion proving the Apostle’s belief in the resurrection of Christ as a historical occurrence. Indeed, the whole of his correspondence rests upon this as the most fundamental thing in his religious experience. It is well expressed in  Acts 25:19 : ‘a certain Jesus, who had died, whom Paul pretended to be alive.’ The discussion of this point belongs to the following article. We are here concerned only with St. Paul’s interpretation of the fact in so far as it bears on his view of the resurrection of believers or of a general resurrection.

The passages in 1 Thessalonians only yield the general inference that the resurrection of Christ is related to His Parousia; through His resurrection He is able to enter upon the Kingdom in power; God will bring Him again with the dead saints; it is as raised from the dead that He becomes the deliverer from the coming wrath.

In Galatians the subject of resurrection is not touched on, but it is possible that the famous passage in  Galatians 2:20 may throw light on St. Paul’s view of the resurrection of Christ. Taken along with other passages to be quoted later it appears certain that St. Paul, probably in common with the leaders of the primitive Church, had considered the resurrection of Christ not merely as an eschatological event, or as an article of belief, but as an event in the human experience of Christ intimately related to the experience of the believer. It is possible that we may see in such passages as  Romans 1:3-4;  Romans 6:4;  Romans 6:10,  2 Corinthians 4:11-14;  2 Corinthians 13:4, and others, the evidence of such an attitude towards the Resurrection.  Romans 1:3-4 is commonly interpreted to mean that St. Paul regarded the Resurrection as an evidence of the Messiahship of Jesus. But, while this may be implied, there appears to be much more implied as well. ‘Son of God’ is not used by St. Paul as a Messianic title but rather as a personal name, possibly implying moral likeness to God. Also ‘according to the spirit of holiness’ would seem to refer to the personal holiness of the human life of Jesus, so that the Resurrection marks out or distinguishes Jesus in virtue of His absolute holiness as Son of God, possessing that character. There was something in His life which made this special act of power possible in His case. In addition to this, another element in the experience is introduced, viz. faith. Not St. Paul only, as in  2 Corinthians 4:11-14, but the early Church in general, seems to have regarded the Resurrection as a result of Christ’s faith, and also as an act of necessary justice on God’s part, ‘by the glory of the Father.’

These factors in the interpretation of the Resurrection need to be considered in order to understand the extension of the principle to believers. Now, the passage in Galatians already cited suggests that St. Paul, in considering the death and resurrection of Christ from this point of view, had come to the conclusion that faith was the governing principle in Christ’s life, and that he himself as a believer lived by virtue of the faith which Christ had exercised and which had brought Him through resurrection into a spiritual state in which He could realize and make good the purpose of God in His death by dwelling in those who believed on Him.

This is the central idea in St. Paul’s view of the Resurrection-his belief in the present spiritual existence of the same Christ whose faith during His earthly life bad brought about the whole possibility of resurrection, a spiritual life, and the communication of it to believers. It is a mistake to think that St. Paul separated the earthly from the heavenly Christ; the heavenly Christ was the earthly Christ in a new state of existence, but the same in experience and personal identity. Hence, by His indwelling, the principles that had been proved in His own experience could be reproduced in those who believed on Him.

(c) This brings us to the third set of passages, viz. those in which St. Paul develops the consequences of the indwelling of Christ for the future state of believers. The most important are  Romans 8:1-30 especially vv. 11, 30, 1 Corinthians 15, 2 Corinthians 3-5,  Philippians 3:10;  Philippians 3:20-21. The clearest exposition of this view-point is found in 2 Corinthians 3-5, where St. Paul develops the ministry of the Spirit in its various consequences, identifying Christ with the Spirit, and reaching the climax in the passage  2 Corinthians 4:13 to  2 Corinthians 5:10. The dying of Jesus is at work in him, and by the same spirit of faith he is certain that God will raise him with Jesus and present him along with the other believers, clothed in a new and glorious habitation prepared by God and already existing in heaven.

In the same way, in Romans 8 the consequences of the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ, again identified with Christ, extend to the quickening of the mortal bodies of those who are thus dwelt in. In Philippians 3 the Apostle desires to be completely identified with the experiences of Christ, His death and His sufferings, in order to reach the goal of resurrection and attain to the resurrection from among the dead.

In 1 Corinthians 15 the general line of argument is: (1) the proof of the possibility of a resurrection from the resurrection of Christ accepted as a historical event; (2) the argument from analogy, based on the Rabbinical conception of ‘body,’ to prove the possibility of the existence of such a thing as a spiritual body; (3) the contrast between Christ and Adam as the respective sources of the incorruptible and the corruptible, the heavenly and the earthly. The Second Man, the Last Adam, is a quickening spirit; by this title St. Paul implies all that is developed at length in Romans 8 and 2 Corinthians 3-5. Lastly, he describes the manner in which the change from the earthly to the heavenly body is effected. Hence the general line of St. Paul’s development of the doctrine is clear. As a Pharisee he held the continued existence of the soul after death; as part of his Palestinian eschatology he held the necessity of a resurrection to judgment of both righteous and wicked, and probably a first resurrection of righteous to participation in the Messianic kingdom.

Into this original stock of eschatological belief there broke the new conception of a Messiah who had died and risen. It is so clear from the Pauline correspondence that this new conception was based upon what St. Paul believed to be a trustworthy historical event, supported by contemporary evidence and confirmed for himself by his Damascus experience, that it is unnecessary to discuss the question of whether he owed this conception to one of the mystery-religions.

The effect of this new element was two-fold. On the one hand, it shifted the eschatological centre of interest, almost unconsciously, to the resurrection of Christ, as 1 Corinthians 15 shows. The resurrection of Christ assumes a catastrophic colouring, so to speak: it becomes the first act of Divine intervention in the introduction of the Kingdom, the first step of a process whose culmination also has a catastrophic character derived from the original scheme of eschatology. On the other hand, it introduced into the eschatological scheme the doctrine of the Spirit of Christ with its new ethical implications and a special theory of the way in which the presence of the Spirit operated to transform the whole personality of the believer into the likeness of the Glorified Christ.

The tendency of this double working of the interpretation of the death and resurrection of Christ was to disturb the outline of the old eschatology. We can see in 1 Thess. the stress laid on the first resurrection, that of believers to the likeness of Christ; then in 1 Cor. the outline of the eschatological scheme is adjusted to this new emphasis; first Christ’s resurrection, then the resurrection of those that are Christ’s at His Parousia-clearly the first resurrection-then the end, when the Kingdom is delivered to the Father. No mention is made of what happens in this third stage, whether another resurrection takes place or not.

Thus St. Paul’s doctrine of the resurrection, as far as it can be reconstructed from the Epistles, becomes limited to a resurrection of believers only, in the likeness of Christ; and further, this likeness is conceived of more and more as ethical and spiritual, and the whole ensuing state of blessing as a spiritual state rather than as a concrete kingdom on earth. But the latter never wholly disappeared from St. Paul’s thinking; it only fell into the background. It is difficult to believe that St. Paul ever reached the point of abandoning entirely the resurrection of the body, although his conception of the doctrine was extremely spiritual. But the difference between a mere life of the spirit after death, even in full communion with God, and St. Paul’s doctrine of a spiritual body is much more than a difference of words. It involves two fundamentally different views of redemption. The Oriental view, which influenced Alexandrian eschatology, regarded redemption as the separation of matter from spirit, the dissolution of an evil and unnatural union. The Pauline view, which was based on the Palestinian, and which ultimately passed into the distinctively Christian point of view, was the deliverance of the body from corruption, the corruptible and mortal element in it due to sin, and its true union with the spirit in an incorruptible form. No doubt metaphysical speculation may find practically no difference between a spirit preserving personal identity and a spiritual body, but it is more than doubtful whether St. Paul ever reached such a point of view.

Before leaving the subject of the Pauline doctrine of resurrection it may be of interest to add a note on the special doctrine of the spiritual body. The Kabbala reflects a theory which goes back to very early Jewish times, possibly earlier than R. Meir, that unfallen man in the garden of Eden was clothed in a garment of light, which after the Fall changed into a covering of skin (Zohar, ii. 229b). In the Bardesanian Hymn of the Soul, contained in the Syriac Acts of Judas Thomas, we have also a full and striking account of the Light-Form, or spiritual counterpart of man, which remains in heaven during man’s stay on earth, and is reunited to him when he casts off his earthly body and returns to his home in heaven. Likewise, in the recently discovered Odes of Solomon occur several references to the same belief, closely connected with the sacrament of baptism. Burkitt (Early Eastern Christianity, London, 1904, Lecture IV. p. 124 f.) has shown that in early Syriac Christianity the sacrament of baptism was believed to have a special efficacy in relation to complete physical resurrection, and was limited to celibates. Hence the Pauline doctrine of a spiritual body seems to have its roots in early Jewish metaphysical and cosmological speculation, although considerably modified by his views of the ethical and spiritual element in the resurrection of Christ.

There is also a remarkable resemblance between the theory of resurrection put forward in 2 Bar 49-51 and St. Paul’s doctrine of the spiritual body. According to Baruch, all who have died are first raised in precisely the same physical form in which they were buried (50:2); they are then transformed, the righteous into the likeness of angels, and the wicked into some worse or baser aspect (51:1-6). In St. Paul’s doctrine transformation holds good only of the living who remain until the Parousia; the dead are raised in their new and glorious form. Charles would also add that the believing dead receive their glorious form or state immediately after death, according to his view of 2 Corinthians 5. In St. Paul’s teaching there is no place for the resurrection of the wicked, or for any such change as is taught in 2 Bar 50:1. The only exception is  Acts 23:6.

2 Timothy is the only one of the Pastorals that contributes anything of importance to our subject. ἀφθαρσία, ‘incorruptibility,’ is one of the elements of the Pauline gospel ( 2 Timothy 1:10-11). The elect are to obtain salvation with eternal glory ( 2 Timothy 2:10). Those who share the death will also share the life, those who suffer will reign ( 2 Timothy 2:11). There were some who taught that the resurrection had already happened ( 2 Timothy 2:18), but no answer to this heresy is deemed necessary by the author of the Epistle, showing that the belief in a future resurrection already formed a part of the orthodox faith. Christ is to judge both living and dead ( 2 Timothy 4:1). But there is little or nothing of the distinctively Pauline teaching on the resurrection.

3. The Catholic Epistles

(a) Hebrews is important for our inquiry. The resurrection of Christ is held firmly as a historical event. God brought Christ again from the dead ( Hebrews 13:20). Yet the resurrection-state of Christ seems to be conceived of as purely spiritual, and the same term ‘perfected,’ τετελειωμένος, is used of Christ’s present condition ( Hebrews 7:28) as is used for the present state of the righteous, ‘the spirits of just men made perfect’ ( Hebrews 12:23). ‘A better resurrection’ is spoken of in  Hebrews 11:35 as the object of the hope of the martyrs.

The general tendency of the Epistle seems to point to what Charles calls a spiritual resurrection, the belief which, as we have already seen, was characteristic of Alexandrian Judaism. But it is impossible to draw any conclusions from this Epistle as to the place of the resurrection in the general scheme of eschatology.

(b) The First Epistle of Peter supports the contention already put forward that the early Church regarded the faith of Christ as an important element in the historical fact of His resurrection. The Epistle draws a parallel between the ark as the means of salvation for Noah and his company from the judgment of his time and Christian baptism, which by the resurrection of Christ saves the believer from the eschatological judgment which is regarded as imminent. But the manner of the salvation is left quite vague. Believers are to share the ‘glory’ which is to be revealed at the Parousia, but in what state is left undefined. There is also a vague reference to the future state of the wicked ( 1 Peter 4:5), but it is impossible to draw the implication of the resurrection of the wicked from it.

4. The Synoptic Gospels. -One or two passages in the Synoptic Gospels fall to be considered here, although, owing to the difficulty of ascertaining the original form of Christ’s sayings, we can gather from them only the general nature of His attitude towards the resurrection-doctrine of His time.

In the passage containing the question raised by the Sadducees as to the resurrection ( Mark 12:18-27 =  Matthew 22:23-32), the Marean form of the Saying of Christ, closely followed by Matthew, appears to show two elements: (1) the acceptance of the current Pharisaic belief in a future resurrection, although the position of that resurrection in the eschatological scheme is not defined, and a too materialistic view of the resurrection-state is corrected; (2) an argument, more rabbinico, in which it is proved from  Exodus 3:6 that the resurrection follows from the nature of the relation between God and the patriarchs. The line of argument appears to imply that the relation ‘God of the living’ is not fully satisfied by the present state of the patriarchs in Sheol or Paradise, but requires the resurrection of the persons concerned to give its full meaning and truth. The older doctrine of Sheol, as represented in many of the Psalms, teaching that in Sheol there was no relation between God and the soul, would give more point to the argument; but that doctrine can hardly have been current in the time of Christ, nor would it have been denied by the Sadducees. The Lucan form of the Saying ( Luke 20:34-36) either has been considerably modified by Luke, or has its source in a different tradition. The phrase τῆς ἀναστάσεως τῆς ἐκ νεκρῶν ( Luke 20:35) is Pauline, as is also the thought of attaining to the resurrection (cf.  Philippians 3:10).

The Pharisaic view of the resurrection is given in much fuller detail. The resurrection is definitely connected with the Messianic Age, τοῦ αἰῶνος ἐκείνου, but those who rise cannot die again; they enter on their eternal state, possibly as against the doctrine of the death of Messiah and His companions at the close of the Messianic Age, taught in 4 Ezra (see above). The implication that the resurrection is only for the righteous is made clearer: ‘sons of God’ is the equivalent of ‘sons of the resurrection.’ But in the second part of the argument an addition is made which implies a general resurrection-‘all live unto Him.’ This is not consistent with the older form of the Saying and its implication, and may possibly arise from the same point of view which led St. Luke to represent St. Paul as holding the doctrine of a general resurrection in  Acts 23:6

Although the Synoptic Gospels are outside our field of inquiry, yet they illustrate the primitive background of the Christian resurrection-doctrine, the spiritualizing tendency at work having a partial source of support in our Lord’s teaching, and the possibilities of later modifications of an earlier tradition.

5. The Johannine literature

(a) The Apocalypse.-In the Apocalypse we have the only absolutely explicit teaching of more than one resurrection. Here also the question is complicated by source-theories. The principal passage with which we are concerned  Revelation 20:4-6,  Revelation 20:11-15. This passage, after the account of the binding of Satan in the Abyss during the 1000 years ( Revelation 20:1-3), goes on to describe the resurrection of those who had been slain during the tribulation. They live and reign with Christ 1000 years ( Revelation 20:4-6). Then at the close come the final assault of Gog and Magog, their defeat, the general judgment and resurrection of all the dead, or, strictly speaking, of the rest of the dead ( Revelation 20:5), for judgment.

In considering this passage we have to take several points into account: (1) The possibility of different sources. E. de Faye (Les Apocalypses juives, Paris, 1892, p. 171 f.), following F. Spitta’s analysis (Die Offenbarung des Johannes untersucht, Strassburg, 1889), assigns  Revelation 20:1-3;  Revelation 20:7-15 to a Caligula-Apocalypse of Jewish authorship, while  Revelation 20:4-6 is assigned to a Christian redactor of Trajan’s time. Hence the original Apocalypse would not have contained a pre-millennial resurrection. Modern critical opinion, however, has expressed itself strongly in favour of unity of authorship, and that authorship Christian. Thus we are sufficiently justified in regarding as held in the time of Domitian, in certain Christian circles, the view that there was a pre-millennial resurrection, possibly of martyrs only, followed by a postmillennial general resurrection for judgment.

(2) There is also the possibility that the author, who seems to distinguish the Church from the remnant of Israel and the slain martyrs of the tribulation, may have regarded the rapture and resurrection which St. Paul contemplates in 1 Thessalonians 4 as having already taken place. The difficulty of interpreting the symbolic representations comes in here, but it is possible that the elders already in heaven in ch. 5 represent the Church. In this case we have a scheme of three resurrections implied: (i.) the resurrection and rapture of the Church before the pre-Messianic woes commence; (ii.) the pre-millennial resurrection at the close of the tribulations, confined by Charles to the martyrs; and (iii.) the resurrection of the rest of the dead at the end of the millennium for the general Judgment. In support of this view there is the evidence of a somewhat ambiguously expressed belief that the Church would be saved from the final tribulation, possibly due to St. Paul’s teaching. Even if this be not accepted-and there are serious objections to it-it is impossible to think that the author could have confined the enjoyment of the millennial kingdom to the martyrs and survivors, shutting out all the righteous of early times, and those believers who had died, but not as martyrs, before the establishment of the kingdom. Those who have part in what the writer calls ‘the first resurrection’ are ‘blessed and holy.’ It hardly seems likely that he contemplated the omission of any who possessed this character from the first resurrection. The phrase ‘the first resurrection’ certainly militates against the view of three resurrections. But, as we have seen from St. Paul’s earlier scheme, possibly abandoned afterwards by him, the resurrection of Christ could be considered as the commencement of a resurrection which culminates with that of the dead believers-‘Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ’s, at his coming’ ( 1 Corinthians 15:23). Possibly the author of the Apocalypse may have understood the first resurrection in such a sense, namely, as a process commencing with the resurrection of Christ, continuing with the rapture and resurrection of the Church before the tribulation, and closing with the resurrection of martyrs at the beginning of the Messianic kingdom on earth. But this is certainly a highly disputable point.[Note: Charles has offered a reconstruction of this passage in ExpT xxvi. [1914-15] 54, 119.]

(3) Lastly, we must note that the author’s scheme is clearly a combination of non-congruent elements. It combines at least two views of the resurrection, and possibly three, if we accept the influence of the Pauline teaching as suggested above. He has combined the early Judaic and Pharisaic view of an earthly temporal Messianic kingdom, to which the righteous are raised, with the later view, partly due to Alexandrian influence and also to the failure of Messianic hopes after the destruction of Jerusalem, of a general resurrection of righteous and wicked for judgment before the establishment of an eternal kingdom in a new heaven and earth.

It is obvious that the resurrection of all the righteous and holy before the Messianic kingdom, if we accept this as the writer’s intention, renders nugatory a discriminating judgment at the close of the kingdom, for none but the wicked are left to be raised. Yet the account of the final resurrection and judgment clearly implies a discriminating judgment.

Of the nature of the resurrection-condition we can gather nothing from the writer of the Apocalypse.

(b) The Fourth Gospel.-The Gospels lie outside the plan of this work. Yet the Fourth Gospel by its date belongs to our period, and a few words as to its teaching on resurrection are necessary to complete our account of the whole view of the resurrection during the Apostolic Age. See also articles Parousia and Immortality.

The principal point to be observed concerning the resurrection-doctrine of this Gospel is that it presents the completion of that process which we observed at work in the Pauline eschatology. The conception of Christ’s resurrection has completely transformed the traditional doctrine of resurrection. The resurrection of Christ is the demonstration of the nature of His spiritual life, the eternal life, pre-existent, and incapable of being touched by death. Hence Christ not only rises, but is in His own Person the Resurrection and the Life. The two ideas coalesce in Him. Hence the believer in Christ, possessing eternal life, possesses the resurrection-life already, and after death merely enters into its fuller enjoyment. Hence, in consistency, an eschatological scheme of resurrection has no place in this writer’s view. But such a scheme certainly had a place in Christ’s teaching, and the writer could not wholly remove it from his presentation and interpretation of that teaching; and even if we allow with Charles and other scholars that 5:28, 29 is an interpolation, we still have the repetition of the phrase ‘I will raise him up at the last day.’

Like all the NT writers, the author of the Fourth Gospel presents elements which are not entirely congruent, save by a forced and artificial process of exegesis. We have the furthest and highest spiritual development of the doctrine of life, transcending the current views of eschatological events, and we have also the survival, perhaps unconscious, perhaps a conscious accommodation to the reader’s point of view, of the older doctrine.

6. The Apostolic Fathers

(a) 1 Clement.-The author of 1 Clement in a curious passage (chs. 24-26) proves the doctrine of the future resurrection along the lines of St. Paul’s proof in 1 Corinthians 15. He uses the analogy of day and night, of the seed sown, and finally the myth of the phcenix, to illustrate his view. But, while a resurrection of the flesh is clearly implied, its time and nature are left undefined. The only other passage that bears on the subject is in ch. 50, where the resurrection and public manifestation of the righteous are placed at the ἐπισκοπῇ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ apparently the coming of the Kingdom; but whether an earthly millennial kingdom is intended or an eternal heavenly one is not clear.

(b) 2 Clement.-In this little treatise we have a good deal more definite teaching on the resurrection. In ch. 8 the future state of the believer is contingent on purity of the flesh and on baptism. In ch. 9 the resurrection of the flesh is explicitly stated, ‘Let none of you say that this flesh is not judged nor rises again,’ ‘we shall receive the reward in this flesh.’ In ch. 14 we have an apparent similarity to the mystical teaching of Ignatius. The relation between flesh and spirit is conceived of as corresponding to the relation between the Church and Christ; the abuse of the one involves the loss of the other. Life and immortality are connected with the possession of the Spirit, which is identified with Christ. In chs. 16 and 17 a physical resurrection of both righteous and wicked at the Day of Judgment is implied. In ch. 19 those who do righteousness ‘gather the immortal fruit of the resurrection.’

(c) Ignatius.-The general trend of Ignatius’ attitude towards the resurrection closely resembles, and has possibly been formed by, that of the Fourth Gospel. Christ is his true life. He expects to rise again to God as the immediate consequence of his martyrdom. He lays stress, however, in the Pauline way, on the salvation of both flesh and spirit by the Passion of Christ, who Himself rose both in flesh and in spirit. The possession of life and immortality is also connected with the Eucharist, ‘the medicine of immortality’ (Eph. xx. 2). In Magn. 9 we have a reference to the raising of the righteous dead of the OT, by the descent of Christ into Hades, possibly reflected in  Matthew 27:52-53; cf. also Hermas, Sim. ix. 16, and Gospel of Peter, 9. In Smyrn. 3 we have the assertion of the physical resurrection of Christ, in 7 those who have love are those who will rise again. In the Letter to Polycarp, 7, is the only clear reference to the resurrection as an eschatological event, ‘that I may be found your disciple at the resurrection.’

From the nature of the correspondence a clear statement of eschatological views is hardly to be expected, but it is fairly clear that the older scheme of eschatological expectation has no living place in the experience of Ignatius. ‘Christ our life’ has for him replaced the earlier form of Jewish Christian hope.

(d) Epistle of Polycarp.-This letter contains two references (chs. 2 and 5) to the resurrection as the subject of future hope, but nothing definite as to its time and nature.

(e) The Didache.-In the last chapter of the Didache we have a brief summary of the kind of eschatology which was characteristic of primitive Judaeo-Christian community represented by this treatise. There is the great tribulation preceded by a general apostasy, as in the little Apocalypse of Mark 13. Then come the signs of the Parousia, the third sign being the resurrection of the dead. Then the writer adds, ‘but not of all the dead,’ quoting  Zechariah 14:5 in order to limit the resurrection to the righteous only.

This apparently will be the pre-millennial resurrection of  Revelation 20:4-6. But no mention is made of a final judgment and resurrection.

(f) Barnabas teaches (v. 7) the general resurrection and judgment of both wicked and righteous, and also (xi. 8) lays stress on the importance of baptism in this respect (cf. also xxi. 1, 6).

(g) The Shepherd of Hermas.-In this strange medley we have what may represent the point of view of the poorer and uneducated class of Christians in Rome about the middle of the 2nd century. Much stress is laid on baptism for the salvation of flesh and spirit to the Kingdom of Christ (Vis. III. iii. 5). In Vis. IV. iii. 5 the world is to be destroyed by blood and fire, but the righteous pass through the final tribulation in safety. The elect will dwell in the world to come, without spot and pure. In Sim. IV. ‘the world to come is summer for the righteous, but winter for the wicked.” All are to be manifested in that world and to receive the reward of their deeds. In Sim. V. vii. 4 both flesh and spirit, kept pure, are to be preserved for the future life. In Sim. ix. 16 we have the fullest passage for the raising of the OT saints, but with considerable differences from the view that apparently became stereotyped in the Roman Creed. The apostles after their death preached to the OT saints and gave them the seal of baptism. It is remarkable that Hermas, speaking of the apostles, says, ‘they went down alive and came up alive,’ in contrast with the OT saints who ‘went down dead and came up alive.’

It is difficult to extract much coherency from the rambling visions and parables of Hermas, but apparently he conceives of the completion of the tower, the Church, as the moment when the world to come will be ushered in. There will be judgment of wicked and righteous, a great tribulation, a resurrection of flesh and spirit for the righteous, and apparently eternal death or annihilation for the wicked.

Hence, the survey of the Apostolic Fathers shows us in the main the same lines of cleavage, represented by Ignatius and the Didache respectively. We have too little remaining to us of the literature of the Church of this period to form a comprehensive judgment. C. H. Turner (Studies in Early Church History, Oxford, 1912, p. 1 ff.) has already entered a weighty protest against regarding the Didache as in any way representative of the general thought and practice of the Church at the beginning of the 2nd century. Nor can we infer that the type of eschatology which it represents largely outweighed the more spiritual form of hope characteristic of the Christian experience of Ignatius.

III. Conclusion.-In closing this examination of the doctrine of the resurrection as held in various circles of the early Church during the 1st cent. of Christianity the same general conclusions meet us as appeared at the close of the survey of the Parousia. There are, however, some important differences in the development of the two conceptions.

The Parousia-that is, the coming of Messiah with glory to inaugurate a time of bliss-had always formed a somewhat uncertain element in Jewish eschatology. It was not bound up with the future hope of Israel by any moral necessity; hence we find it absent from various forms of Jewish eschatology, and at various periods.

The resurrection of the righteous, on the other hand, was increasingly regarded by the best Jewish thought as morally bound up with the character and faithfulness of God, and hence appears in nearly every form of eschatological construction, whether strictly Messianic or not.

Thus, when we pass into NT eschatology, we find that the two factors of the belief in the historical resurrection of Christ as the Messiah, and the connexion of this resurrection with His own moral character and God’s response to it, operate much more cogently in the development of the resurrection-doctrine of the NT than in that of the Parousia, especially in St. Paul’s teaching. Hence we find two lines of thought of unequal strength at work in St. Paul’s treatment of the subject.

(1) On the one hand, he seeks to find a place for the resurrection of the believers in the general scheme of eschatology as he had inherited it, and to relate the resurrection of Christ and those who were vitally connected with Him to the whole scheme. The result was a disturbance of the main lines of the Palestinian eschatology and a gradual blurring of its determined sequence of events.

(2) On the other hand, St. Paul is far more interested in working out the nature of the resurrection of believers as a moral implication of the resurrection of Christ. The essential form of his resurrection-doctrine is principally determined by this factor, although his Judaeo-Hellenistic psychology, his Rabbinical metaphysics, and his Pharisaic eschatology have a subordinate influence on his modes of thinking. These three last factors contribute far less to the essence of St. Paul’s resurrection-doctrine than has been generally supposed.

The outstanding results of the development in those circles where the historical resurrection of Christ remained the fundamental fact in the Church’s belief were the gradual liberation of the belief in the resurrection of believers from any particular scheme of eschatology and an increasing spiritualization of the resurrection. The strength of the belief in the physical resurrection of Christ, however, caused the resurrection of the body or the flesh to become a fixed element in the belief of the Church as a whole, as witnessed by the early forms of creed.

The subsidiary results of development were a divergence of opinion between those circles in the Church which held to the Jewish expectation of an earthly kingdom and those which inclined to the Alexandrian view. In the former the millennial scheme prevailed, with a resurrection of the righteous preceding the Messianic kingdom, and a general resurrection and final judgment following it. This is represented in the Apocalypse and the Didache, and was perhaps most prevalent in the Palestinian churches and in the country districts of Asia Minor. In the latter circles the tendency was to regard the righteous as entering upon their glorified state after death, although even here the conception of a final resurrection as necessary for the full consummation was retained, and the belief in a final resurrection of both righteous and wicked for judgment kept its place.

It is not too much to say that the real inwardness, the essence, of both the Pauline and the Johannine doctrine of the resurrection failed to be apprehended by the Church as a whole, although individuals such as Ignatius show clear traces of its influence.

Literature.-See Literature of articleParousia, and, in addition, F. C. Burkitt, Jewish and Christian Apocalypses (Schweich Lectures for 1914), London, 1914; R. H. Charles, Studies in the Apocalypse, Edinburgh, 1913; W. O. E. Cesterley, The Books of the Apocrypha, London, 1914.

S. H. Hooke.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]


1. In OT . In our study of the OT doctrine of the resurrection we recognize the need for taking into consideration the chronological order of the different documents of which it is composed. No other belief, perhaps, presents a history into which the process of slow and halting development enters so visibly and consistently. That the later orthodox Jews advocated the existence in their earlier Scriptures of the principles which give vitality and a rational basis to this doctrine, is seen in their satisfaction with the answer of Jesus to the Sadducean cavils of His day (see   Mark 12:28; cf.   Luke 20:39 ,   Matthew 22:34 ). The gradual awakening of human consciousness in this respect is the best attestation to the Divine self-accommodation to the needs and limitations of the race. Beginning with the vague belief in the existence of a germinal principle of Divine life in man (cf.   Genesis 2:7 ), the latest passages of the OT dealing with the subject embody a categorical assertion of the resurrection of individual Israelites (cf.   Daniel 12:2 f.). Between these two utterances we have the speculations of Psalmists and Prophets, while death became gradually shorn of many of its terrors and much of its power. The common Jewish belief in the time of Jesus finds expression in the words of Martha concerning her brother Lazarus (  John 11:24 ), while this formed one of the deep lines of religious cleavage between the Pharisees and the Sadducees (  Acts 23:6 ff.; cf. Jos. [Note: Josephus.] BJ II. viii. 14; Schürer, HJP [Note: JP History of the Jewish People.] ii. ii. 13).

A peculiar feature of Jewish thought as to human life, marking it off clearly from some of the ethnic speculations and philosophic conceptions, consists in their habit of regarding the body as essential to man’s full existence. The traditions embodied in the stories of the translations of Enoch and Elijah ( Genesis 5:24 ,   2 Kings 2:11 ) receive their explanation on the assumption that in this way alone would they be enabled to enjoy the continuance of a full and complete life beyond the grave. It was this idea also that gave such a strong feeling of the incompleteness of the existence in Hades, and inspired the Psalmist’s assurance, ‘Thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption’ (  Psalms 16:10 , cf.   Job 14:13 ff;   Job 19:25 f.).

The first specific mention of the hope of a resurrection is found in Hosea, where the prophet’s words are rather of the nature of an aspiration than the distinct announcement of a future event ( Hosea 6:2 , cf.   Hosea 13:14 ). This is, however, the expression not of an individual who looks forward to being raised from the dead, but of one who sees his nation once more quickened and ‘brought up again from the depths of the earth’ (  Psalms 71:20; cf. Kirkpatrick, The Psalms, ad loc. ). A similar hope finds expression in Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (  Ezekiel 37:1-14 ). A distinct advance on these utterances is found in the post-exilic prophecy,   Isaiah 26:19 , where the prophet breathes a prayer for the resurrection of the individual dead. When this passage is contrasted with the confident assertion of   Isaiah 26:14 it is seen that as yet there was no thought of a resurrection save for the Israelite. The same restriction is also found to exist at the later date, when the Book of Daniel was written. In this book there is a clear, unambiguous assertion of the resurrection of individuals, and at the same time a no less clear announcement that there is a resurrection of the wicked as well as of the righteous (  Daniel 12:2 ). It is true that these words not only have no message of a resurrection hope for nations other than Israel, but even limit its scope to those of that nation who distinguish themselves on the side of good or of evil (cf. Driver, ‘Daniel,’ ad loc. , in Camb. Bible ). At the same time it is easy to see that a great stride forward had been taken already, when the atrocities of Antiochus Epiphanes brought religious despair to the hearts of all true Israelites, and roused the fervid patriotism of Judas Maccabæus and his followers.

2. In the Apocrypha . The development of this doctrine in the deutero-canonical and apocryphal literature of the Jews presents a varied and inharmonious blend of colours. Inconsistencies abound, and can be explained only on the ground that each writing was influenced by the individual experience as well as by the theological Idiosyncrasies of its author.

Sirach . The oldest of the deutero-canonical books is that of ben-Sira, and in his work we look in vain for the idea of a resurrection, either national or individual. On the other hand, the eschatological conceptions of this author do not seem to advance beyond those of Ecclesiastes (cf. Sir 17:30 ).

Book of Enoch . Very different from the foregoing are the ideas prevalent in this composite apocalyptic writing. The oldest portion contains an elaborate theory of Sheol, and teaches the resurrection of all righteous Israelites, and so many of the wicked as have escaped ‘without incurring judgment in their life time’ (22.10f.). The sinners who have suffered here ‘will not be raised from thence’ (22.13), inasmuch as retribution, in part at least, has overtaken them. Another writer of a somewhat later date speaks of the resurrection of righteous Israelites only. These shall be raised, after judgment and retribution have been meted out to sinners, to share in the glories of the Messianic Kingdom (90.29 33). A similar opinion is expressed in another part of this writing. None but the righteous shall rise (91.10); but the author seems to interpret the resurrection as that of the spirit only, and not of the body (103.3f.).

The most important and best known section of the Book of Enoch (chs. 37 70), which is known as the Similitudes , contains an explicit assertion of a general resurrection (51.1). Whether, however, the writer intended to convey the idea of a resurrection of the Gentiles is somewhat doubtful. The words of this passage, if taken literally, would certainly convey the impression that a universal resurrection is meant. At the same time we must remember that this thought would be quite contrary to the whole habit of Jewish eschatological thinking, and would stand unique in Jewish pre-Christian literature. (For discussions of this question see the admirable critical edition of the Book of Enoch by R. H. Charles, passim .)

Psalms of Solomon . These are probably the product of the 1st cent. b.c. Here, too, a resurrection of the righteous alone is taught (3:16, 13:9, cf. 4:6). Moreover, no resurrection of the body is mentioned explicitly, though it would be rash to assume from his words that the author did not hold this doctrine.

2 Maccabees . A very definite doctrine of the resurrection is taught in this book, though the author expressly denies its applicability to the Gentiles ( 2Ma 7:14 , cf. 2Es 7:1-70 [79f]). The resurrection of the body is strongly held, as affording a powerful incentive and a glorious hope for those who underwent a cruel martyrdom ( 2Ma 14:46; 2Ma 7:11; cf. 2Ma 7:9; cf. 2Ma 7:14 ). At times the writer seems to be controverting the denial of a resurrection, as when he stops to praise the action of Judas in offering sacrifices and prayers for those who had fallen in battle, on the ground that he did so because ‘he took thought for a resurrection’ ( 2Ma 12:43 ). If there were no resurrection of the dead, such a course of action would be superfluous and idle ( 2Ma 12:44 ).

Book of Wisdom . It is only necessary to say of this writing that it is an Alexandrian work, written about the beginning of the Christian era, and that according to it the body is an incubus dragging the soul, which is destined for incorruption ( Wis 2:23; Wis 3:1 ), earthwards ( Wis 9:15 [cf. art. ‘Wisdom, Book of,’ in Hastings’ DB [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] iv. 930 f.]).

3. Position of the doctrine at and immediately subsequent to the time of Jesus Christ . It might be said, and said with justice, that the foregoing views were representative, not of contemporary popular beliefs and ideas, but of conceptions prevalent among the educated and thinking classes. It is reasonable, however, to expect that by the time of Jesus these lines of thought would have penetrated to the masses, with such modifications as they were likely to assume in and during the process. This expectation is found to be in harmony with what we observe to have actually existed; for, with one or two exceptions, when He felt called on to make a specific declaration (cf.   Mark 12:18-27 =   Matthew 22:23-32 =   Luke 20:27-38 ,   John 5:28 f.). Jesus everywhere in His teaching assumed the truth of, and belief in, the resurrection of the dead. We know that materialistic views of this doctrine were held side by side with the more spiritual ideas so prominent in the Book of Enoch (cf. 51.4, 104.4, 8, 62.15f. etc.).

In the Apocalypse of Baruch, for example, the questions were asked, ‘In what shape shall those live who live in thy day?’ ‘Will they then resume this form of the present, and put on these entrammelling members, which are now involved in evils, and in which evils are consummated, or wilt thou perchance change these things which have been in the world, as also the world?’ (49.2f.). To these the answer is given, that the bodies of the dead shall be raised exactly as they were when committed to the ground, in order that they may be recognized by their friends (50.2ff.). After this object has been achieved, a glorious change will take place: ‘they shall be made like unto the angels, and be made equal to the stars, and they shall be changed into every form they desire, from beauty into loveliness, and from light into the splendour of glory’ (51.10, cf.  Mark 12:25 =   Luke 20:36 =   Matthew 22:30 ). Even in Rabbinical circles sensuous conceptions were frequent, so that even the clothes in which one was to be buried became a subject of anxious care (see The Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] of Baruch ed. R. H. Charles, notes on chs. 50 51, and Introd. p. lxxx).

At this period, too, the ideas of a universal and of a first and a second resurrection were held and taught (Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] Bar 30.2 5, 2Es 7:28; 2Es 7:31-37 ). For our purpose it is not necessary to do more than refer to the Hellenistic or Pythagoræan speculations of the Essenes to which Josephus makes reference (see BJ II. viii. 11; Schürer, HJP [Note: JP History of the Jewish People.] ii. iii. 205). The only form of Judaism which contained principles of continuity and life was represented by Pharisaism. The view of this, the most religions and the most orthodox of the Jewish sects, with regard to the resurrection, limited it to the righteous, for whom they postulated a new and a glorified body (see BJ II. viii. 14, cf. Ant. XVIII. i. 3). While this doctrine of a personal resurrection seems to have made much more headway in the Judaism of this age than the other ideas referred to above, it also clearly appears that the limitation of its scope to the righteous was more universally held than its extension to the wicked, in spite of the teaching in Daniel (  Daniel 12:2 ), Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] of Baruch (30.2 5), and 2 Esdras (72:32 37). Moreover, a difference of opinion continued to exist as to the time when it was supposed to take place, some writers placing it immediately before (cf. En 51.1f.) and others immediately after the close of the Messianic era (cf. En 91.10, 92.3, Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] Bar 40 42, 2Es 4:41 , Ps-Sol 3:16, 13:9 etc.).

4. Teaching of Jesus

( a ) The Synoptics . Many of the passages in which Jesus’ teaching on the resurrection is recorded by the Synoptists might be interpreted as leaving no room for the doctrine that the wicked shall rise again from the dead. The most conspicuous, perhaps, of these is that Incorporated in the Lukan narrative of His controversy with the Sadducees (  Luke 20:35 f.). The form of the expression ‘the resurrection from the dead,’ as has been pointed out, ‘implies that some from among the dead are raised, while others as yet are not’ (see Plummer, ‘St. Luke’ in ICC [Note: CC International Critical Commentary.] , ad loc. ). The other expression, ‘sons of the resurrection,’ is remarkable for a similar reason. There seems to be an implied antithesis between those whose sonship results in immortality and those who can have no such hope (cf. Plummer, op. cit.   Luke 20:36 n. [Note: . note.] ). Other instances, which might be considered as lending countenance to this view, speak of the ‘resurrection of the just’ (  Luke 14:14 ), and contain promises of restoration in the glory of His Kingdom to ‘his elect’ (  Mark 13:27 =   Matthew 24:31 ). When, on the other hand, we take a general survey of the eschatological teaching of Jesus, we find that the doctrine of a general bodily resurrection occupies a very assured position even in the Synoptic records. Not only do we find, as already noted, that His teaching on this subject, as against Sadducean negations, was pleasing in Pharisaic circles (cf.   Luke 20:39 ), but He is also seen to refer to this question in terms of current Jewish orthodoxy. The future life is personal in the fullest sense, and it is not incorporeal, for’ many shall come from the east and the west and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven’ (  Matthew 8:11 , cf.   Luke 13:29 ).

( b ) The Fourth Gospel . The Johannine record of Jesus’ eschatological teaching reveals a profounder view of the resurrection life than that contained in the Synoptics, for it is there dealt with as a spiritual process intimately connected with the quickening life which is ‘given to the Son’ (  John 5:26; cf.   John 17:2;   John 1:4 ). When Martha expresses her assurance that her brother ‘shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day’ (  John 11:24 ), Jesus at once lays broader and deeper the foundations upon which this belief is to rest for the future. While tacitly acquiescing in her conviction as a ‘sure and certain hope,’ He establishes an organic relationship, immediate and spiritual, between Himself and those committed to Him. This living relationship, in which all believers share, contains the germ of that resurrection life which springs into being at present, and will be perfected at ‘the last day’ (  John 11:26 , cf.   John 6:40;   John 6:44;   John 5:21;   John 3:36 ).

It is true that Jesus seems to have given no thought to the difficulty of conceiving a resurrection of the wicked on the ground that all resurrection life has its origin in Himself; at the same time no doubt can be reasonably entertained that He looked for the resurrection of all men (see  John 12:48; cf. those passages which speak of the body being cast with the soul into Gehenna,   Matthew 10:28;   Matthew 5:29 f.). Perhaps He considered that a sufficient explanation consisted in asserting the omnipotence of ‘the Father’ after the manner of the OT; ‘The Father raiseth the dead and quickeneth them’ (  John 5:21; cf.   Deuteronomy 32:38 ,   2 Corinthians 1:9 ). In the Lukan version of Jesus’ argument with the Sadducees we may understand a reference to the idea of the resurrection of all men based on the truth that ‘all live unto him’ (  Luke 20:38 , cf. a slightly different expression in   Acts 17:28 ).

It may be pointed out here that Jesus seems to have made no attempt to answer the often debated question of the curious as to the nature of the resurrection body . He compared the condition of those who had arisen to that of the angels (  Mark 12:25 ), a comparison which is noteworthy for what it implies as well as for the reserve which Jesus used when speaking on this subject. At the same time, we must remember that certain incidents in the post-resurrection life of Jesus on earth appear to have been designed to meet what is legitimate in speculation of this kind. He was anxious to prove that His was a bodily resurrection (  Luke 24:41 ff.,   John 20:20; cf.   Acts 10:41 ), and that His risen body was capable of being identified with the body to which His disciples had been accustomed for so long (  John 20:27 ). On the other hand, the conditions of His existence underwent a complete alteration. For Him now physical limitations, as regards time or space, did not exist (  Matthew 28:2 ,   John 20:19;   John 20:25 ,   Luke 24:15; cf.   Luke 24:34 ); and this freedom from temporal conditions resulted in a life which transcended ordinary experience. Sometimes He remained unrecognized until a well-known characteristic phrase or act revealed His personality (  John 20:14 f.,   John 21:4 ,   Luke 24:16; cf. the author’s comment ‘but some doubted’ In   Matthew 28:17 ).

5. Apostolic teaching

( a ) The Acts . Although the Apostles do not seem at first to have shaken themselves free from Judaistic conceptions of the Messianic Kingdom (  Acts 1:6 ), it is plain that they looked on the fact of Jesus’ resurrection as of primary importance (see   Acts 1:22 ). At all costs this must be placed in the forefront of their evangelistic work, and the principal element of their Apostolic claims to the attention of their Jewish hearers lay in their power, as eye-witnesses, to offer irrefragable proof of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (  Acts 2:24;   Acts 2:32;   Acts 3:15;   Acts 4:10;   Acts 4:33;   Acts 5:30;   Acts 5:32; cf.   Acts 10:40 f.). When we compare the fragmentary reports of Petrine teaching in the Acts with the doctrine of 1Peter , we find that in the latter document the Apostle is no less insistent on the fact (  1 Peter 1:21 ), while he has learned to assign to it the power of penetrating the present life and renewing it ‘unto a living hope’ (  1 Peter 1:3 ). Christian Baptism for him receives its spiritual validity ‘through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,’ which enables us to satisfy ‘the appeal of a good conscience toward God’ (  1 Peter 3:21 ). At the same time we must not forget that elements of this power are recognized more than once in his discourses in Acts. The Pentecostal outpouring, the work of healing, the gifts of repentance and forgiveness of sins, are all described as (flowing from the risen life of Jesus (see   Acts 2:33;   Acts 4:10;   Acts 5:31; cf.   Acts 5:20 , where the angelic messenger speaks of the Apostolic teaching as having reference to ‘this life’).

( b ) St. Paul . When we turn to the teaching of St. Paul as it gradually comes into contact with Hellenic and Gentile thought, we find the doctrine of the resurrection assuming a new and developed prominence in connexion with the resurrection of Jesus. When addressing Jewish audiences, he emphasizes the fact that God raised up Jesus according to certain promises recorded in the OT (of.   Acts 13:32 f.,   Acts 26:6 ff.), and at the same time bases his doctrine of the resurrection on its necessity, and on the relationship of Jesus and the human race. When, however, he came face to face with the Greek mind, his experience was entirely different. The philosophers of Athens met his categorical assertion of the resurrection of Jesus not merely with a refusal to credit his statement, but with a plain derision of the very idea (  Acts 17:32; cf.   Acts 26:8 ). It was doubtless the calm mockery of the Athenian Stoics that made him feel that his mission to them was hopeless (  Acts 18:1 ), and caused him, when writing afterwards to the essentially Greek community of Corinthian Christians, to expound fully his doctrine of the resurrection. In the first of the two letters addressed to this Church he establishes the fact of the resurrection of Jesus, by revealing its harmony with the Divine plan set forth to the Jews in the OT, and showing that it was attested by numerous witnesses of His post-resurrection existence. He next goes on to demonstrate the organic connexion between this resurrection and that of those ‘who are fallen asleep in Christ’ (  1 Corinthians 15:16 ff.), and the necessity of accepting the doctrine as fundamentally essential to Christian belief and hope (  1 Corinthians 15:3 f.,   1 Corinthians 15:19 , cf.   Hebrews 6:1 ).

St. Paul’s eschatological doctrine included a belief in a real bodily resurrection . This is quite certain not only from the chapter we have been considering, but also from incidental references scattered throughout his Epistles (cf. the expression, He ‘shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation,’   Philippians 3:21; see   Romans 8:11;   Romans 4:14 ,   2 Corinthians 5:1-5 etc.). Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the Apostle’s contribution to this doctrine is contained in his conception of the nature of the resurrection body. It is evident from the analogies he employs that he intended to establish the identity of the mortal and the glorified bodies (  1 Corinthians 15:35-41 ). this idea he puts on a rational, though an apparently paradoxical, basis by postulating the existence of ‘a spiritual body’ as distinct from ‘a natural body’ (  1 Corinthians 15:44 ), and at the same time by insisting on their strict continuity (cf. the repeated doublets ‘it is sown’ … ‘it is raised,’   1 Corinthians 15:42 ff.). Doubtless his presentment of this speculative and mysterious question was founded on what he had already learned regarding the nature of the traditional appearances of the risen Jesus. ‘The body of his glory’   Philippians 3:21 ) is the ultimate attainable glory of those whose ‘citizenship is in heaven’ (  Philippians 3:20; cf.   Colossians 3:10 ,   Romans 8:20 ,   1 John 3:2 ,   1 Corinthians 15:49 ).

Side by side with the doctrine of a literal, bodily resurrection, St. Paul’s writings are rich with another conception which is more especially connected with the present life. Following the teaching of Jesus, who claimed to be the power by which resurrection life was alone possible, the Apostle declares that Christ gives this new and glorious life here and now. It is rooted, so to speak, in the earthly life of men, and its final growth and fruit are consummated hereafter (cf.  Colossians 2:12;   Colossians 3:1 ,   Philippians 3:10 f.,   Romans 6:5 ). This inchoative resurrection life has its origin in the spiritual union of baptized Christians with Christ (cf.   Romans 6:3 f.,   Colossians 2:12 ,   Galatians 3:27 ), and the tremendous possibilities of development are, according to St. Paul, due to a transcendent fellowship with the glorified Jesus (see   Ephesians 1:20 to   Ephesians 2:10;   Ephesians 2:19 ff.). His resurrection is the power by which this union, in all its aspects, is perfected (  Philippians 3:10 f., cf.   Romans 1:4 ). It was doubtless the one-sided presentation of Pauline eschatology that led to the heresy of Hymenæus and Philetus (  2 Timothy 2:18 ), and the Apostle seems to have felt the necessity of balancing his mystical interpretation by an emphatic insistence on the literal truth that the resurrection is a future objective fact in the progressive life of man.

That St. Paul held the doctrine of the resurrection of the wicked as well as of the righteous is evident not only from the words of his defence before Felix at Cæsarea ( Acts 24:15 , cf.   Luke 14:14 ), but also from incidental remarks in his Epistles (see   1 Thessalonians 4:16 and   1 Corinthians 15:22 f., where the emphasis which is laid on the first resurrection implies a second and a separate event; cf.   Acts 26:7 f. and   Philippians 3:11 , where the same implication may be observed). What the connexion is, however, between these two distinct resurrections does not appear to have occurred to the Apostle’s mind, and there seems to be little ground for the supposition that he believed in a distinction between them as regards time. Indeed, the particular passage upon which millenarians rely to prove the affinity of the Pauline and Apocalyptic doctrines in this respect says nothing of any resurrection except that of ‘those that are Christ’s’ (cf.   1 Corinthians 15:22 ff.). The resurrection of the wicked occupies a very subordinate place in Pauline eschatology, and we need not be surprised at the scanty notice taken of it, when we remember how constantly he is pressing on his readers’ attention the power by which the resurrection to life is brought about (  Romans 8:11 ,   1 Corinthians 15:45; cf.   John 6:40;   John 6:44;   John 6:54;   John 5:21 for the teaching that it is the quickening Spirit of Christ which causes the resurrection ‘at the last day’). It is sufficient for him to urge men to the attainment of this resurrection which was the goal of his own aspirations (cf.   Philippians 3:11 ), and to warn them of the fate attendant on the rejection of Christ (note the expressions ‘day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,’   Romans 2:5; ‘eternal destruction from the face of the Lord,’ 2Th 1:9; cf.   1 Thessalonians 1:10 ,   Philippians 3:19 etc.).

6. The Apocalypse . The principal contribution of the apocalyptic eschatology to the doctrine of the resurrection is contained in ch. 20. Although there is no specific reference to the resurrection of the wicked, this is implied in the expression ‘the first resurrection’ (  Revelation 20:5 ), as well as in the connexion established between the Resurrection and the Judgment. Rewards and punishments are meted out to all as they stand ‘before the throne,’ for ‘death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works’ (  Revelation 20:12 f.). What precisely is the interpretation by which the millennial reign of the martyrs and loyal followers of Jesus is to be adequately explained it is difficult to conjecture. See, further, artt. Chiliasm, Millennium.

For the Resurrection of Christ, see, further, Jesus Christ, p. 456 ff.

J. R. Willis.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [3]

The Old Testament. In the Old Testament, the idea of bodily resurrection evolves from a vague concept into a developed expectation. Beginning with the judgment of death in   Genesis 3:6 , the divine plan of God unfolds in history. The patriarchal period is more concerned with the first stages of the design. Community function is central because of the "promise" concerning the "seed." The extension of existence is passed through progeny ( Genesis 12:1-3;  15:1-6 ) and individual resurrection is not the central concern.

Nonetheless, in the Old Testament concern is expressed for the individual soul. Job's despairing vacillation over death and decay is answered by the radiant expectation of preservation: "For I know my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God" ( Job 19:25-26; NRSV cf also  Psalm 16:10;  Isaiah 26:19 ).

One of the principal factors in the development of a fixed notion of an individual resurrection is in response to the problem of theodicy. Because it could easily be seen that corrupt people sometimes were not punished for every wrong and that God's people were at times unjustly treated, individual resurrection was a natural philosophical resolution to this quandary. The resurrection of the just to reward and the unjust to punishment resolved the otherwise meaningless existence for those who followed Yahweh during times of persecution. There must be incentive to faithfulness toward God when there is no prosperity and no immediate compensation for belief. A further affront was the prosperous nonbeliever who endured no immediate, perceivable effects of sin and selfishness. Therefore, reward for one's earthly actions is integral to individual resurrection and is its initial catalyst.

 Psalm 49 points out that all die, the "wise" and the "fool" alike. Fools are appointed to Sheol (which is used as a synonym for death or the grave) and "their forms will decay in the grave" (v. 14). Fools cannot continue in their resplendence of material possessions; therefore, the psalmist says, "Do not be overawed when a man grows rich for he will take nothing with him when he dies" (vv. 16-17). Even though theodicy is not directly in view, at the core of the psalm is a proclamation of God's justice, which is dispensed to the fool and the wise person after death. The wise follower of Yahweh is triumphant: "But God will redeem my life from the grave, for he will surely take me to himself" (v. 15).

In  Psalm 88 the psalmist's existence is about to cease. This is evidenced by the words used to denote death: "the pit" (vv. 4,6); "the dead" (vv. 5,10); "the grave" (vv. 5,11); "the darkest depths" (v. 6); "the lowest pit" (v. 6); "Abaddon" (v. 11); "the place of darkness" (v. 12); "the land of oblivion" (v. 12); and "darkness" (v. 18). The psalmist says, "my life draws near to Sheol " (v. 3), the penumbral expanse of the netherworld. The psalmist then asks the rhetorical questions: "Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise you? Is your steadfast love declared in the grace, or your faithfulness in Abaddon? Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?" (vv. 10-12 NRSV). As with  Psalm 6:4-6 the point is that one must be alive in order to praise God. The reference reveals a cognizance of the concept of an individual's resurrection even though the questions are unanswered (cf.   Psalm 7:15;  49:15 ).

 Psalm 6:5 says, "For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give your praise?" (NRSV). The psalm reveals God's justice being demonstrated in theodicy: "Deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love."   Psalm 73 is enlightening in regards to the development of the concept of individual resurrection. The psalm begins, "Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart" (NRSV). The problem is stated clearly: "I saw the prosperity of the wicked" (v. 3 NRSV). These wicked people mock, do violence, oppress, are prideful, and speak evil (vv. 6-9). Yet they are at ease and their wealth has increased (v. 12). The psalmist then makes the rhetorical statement, "Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure" (v. 13). Seeking to understand this seeming incongruity was troublesome to the psalmist (v. 16) until he perceived the end of the unfaithful (v. 17). They will be destroyed in a moment (vv. 19,27), but the righteous Yahwist will receive a different recompense. Even though his flesh and heart may fail, God is his "portion forever" and "afterward will take [him] into glory" (v. 24b).

 Isaiah 26:10 says, "If favor is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness they deal perversely" (NRSV). Yet God's justice is revealed in the afterlife, as indicated in verse 19: "Your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy!" But the wicked have a different end: "The Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins; the earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer" (v. 21).

Just prior to the exile, an eschatological emphasis instilled by prophetic preaching imparted a growing concern for individuals. The result was a heightened awareness of the afterlife. For example,  Jeremiah 31:30 says, "But everyone will die for his own iniquity" (NASB). The concern was no longer just for the nation of Israel or for Abraham's descendants, as it tended to be in the pre-Mosaic period, but for individuals as well.

The most conspicuous references to a resurrection are to be found in later apocalyptic literature, as the salvation leitmotif moves closer to the comprehensive perception that is later spelled out in Christ's resurrection. A resurrection of the just and the unjust is affirmed in  Daniel 12:2-3 : "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." Unlike the "resurrections" of 1Kings 17:17-24, 2 Kings 4:31-37 , and  2 Kings 13:20-21 , which are resuscitations to the conditions of earthly life,  Daniel 12:2-3 apportions a future allotment by the use of the future tense (both in the Hebrew text and LXX).

Second Temple Judaism. With the prophetic voice being silent in the second temple period, and a feeling of the remoteness of God, harmonization with the justice of God took the form of requital after death. The question of why bad things happen to righteous people continued to fuel the concept of the resurrection, especially in light of the failure to establish Israel as the powerful nation it had once been. Apocalyptic literature was more commonplace, and the afterlife and the concern for individual salvation were prominent. It is in the context of persecuted saints in the second temple period that resurrection from the dead was developed into the form that is found in the New Testament. It is during this period that the concept of bodily resurrection takes shape.

The Maccabean revolt in 167 b.c. incited the earlier belief in the resurrection of the just and polarized it to new heights. The second of seven tortured brothers responds to his persecutors "in his last breath of consciousness" by saying, "You like a frenzy take us out of this present existence but the King of the universe shall raise us up to eternal life, because we have died on behalf of his laws" ( 2 Maccabees 7:9 , translation mine ). The third brother, after putting forth his hands to the fire, says, "I received these [hands] from heaven and from him I hope to receive them again" ( 2 Maccabees 7:11 ). After the seven brothers are slain, their mother says, "The Creator of the universe will give you breath and life again" ( 2 Maccabees 7:23 ).

Other Jewish sources reveal a belief in a resurrection. The early second-century SyriActs (translated from Greek) text 2Baruch is an example. Baruch ask God the questions, "In which shape will the living live in your day? Or how will remain their splendor which will be after that? Will they, perhaps, take again this present form, and will they put on the chained members which are in evil and by which evils are accomplished?" (2Bar 49:2-3). The answer that is given in 2Baruch 50-51 is that initially the "earth will surely give back the dead not changing anything in their form" (2Bar 50:2). After this event, "the shape of those who are found to be guilty as also the glory of those who have proved to be righteous will be changed" (2Bar 51:1-2). The evil will take a more evil "shape" and the righteous will take a more righteous "shape."

By the time of Christ, the Pharisees (the most influential Jewish sect just prior to the Christian period who dated back to at least the second century b.c.) believed in a resurrection ( Acts 23:8 ) whereas, the Sadducees did not ( Matthew 22:23;  Acts 23:8 ).

The New Testament. The resurrection of Jesus is the principal tenet of the New Testament. Baptism is centered in Jesus' resurrection. Even though Jewish illustrations were present for at least a hundred years before Christ, Paul applies the act symbolically to death, burial, and resurrection. He says, "When you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead" (  Colossians 2:12; NRSV see also  Romans 6:3-5;  1 Peter 3:21-22 ).

The Lord's Supper is less connected in its symbolism than baptism, but the early correlation that it was celebrated on the Lord's day, that is, on the day that Jesus raised from the dead, reveals an early association.

The retelling of the empty tomb of Jesus is found in all four Gospels ( Mark 16:1-8;  Matthew 28:11-15;  Luke 24:1-12;  John 20:11-18 ). The empty tomb of Christ stands in sharp contrast to other world religions whose prophets and their adherents never make such a claim.

The appearances of Jesus after his resurrection to chosen individuals play an important role in the proclamation of the gospel message (e.g.,  Matthew 28:9-10,16-17;  Luke 24:34;  John 20:11-17;  21:1-2;  Acts 2:32;  3:15;  4:20;  10:40-41;  13:30-31;  1 Corinthians 15:5-7 ).

The resurrection of Jesus is a testimony to the general resurrection of all humans, which will be followed by the dispensing of God's justice; to the righteous there will be a "resurrection of life" and to the unrighteous a "resurrection of condemnation" ( John 5:28-29; cf.  Revelation 20:4-6 ). Regardless of the complex time sequence involved in the various resurrections recorded in the New Testament, Jesus' bodily resurrection is the basis for the future resurrection of humans ( 1 Corinthians 15:42-50 ). The Spirit, which was given after his resurrection, is the "guarantee" (or "first installment") that God will raise the righteous from the dead, and that they will not be found "naked, " that is, incorporeal ( 2 Corinthians 5:1-5; cf.  Ephesians 1:13-14 ), but will have a corporeal existence with God. Even though believers "groan" while in their bodies ( 2 Corinthians 5:2 ), they will be "further clothed" after their resurrection (v. 4). There will be recompense for what was done in the body; therefore, one must seek to please God (vv. 6-10).

First Corinthians 15. The earliest teaching in the New Testament concerning the resurrection is undoubtedly   1 Corinthians 15 . Paul "passes on" that which he has received (presumably by oral tradition), which is of "first importance." Paul says that the resurrection was in accordance with the Scriptures—a perception that was an important one considering the magnitude of the teaching. The seemingly insignificant detail of the time sequence ("the third day") is not an inconsequential component; rather, it reveals the historical nature of the event, which was not a private, subjective experience but one that occurred in actual time and was attested by Cephas, the Twelve, and five hundred people.

Paul, using simple logic, concludes several things "if the dead are not raised." The specific problem that he is addressing is that some of the Corinthians were saying that there was no resurrection of the dead. If there is no general resurrection, then the conspicuous conclusion that "Christ has not been raised" can be deduced. If "Christ has not been raised, " then several philosophical conclusions can be outlined.

First, the missionary proclamation concerning Christ "is useless" (v. 14). This perception was undoubtedly an important one for Paul considering that his commission to the Gentiles was rooted in the idea that Jesus was "first to rise from the dead" ( Acts 26:23 ). Therefore, Paul's mission to the Gentiles unfolds in light of the resurrection of Christ and the corollary futility of his own life ensues if there is no resurrection. Paul corresponds with the Corinthians with much passion in these verses. The collapse of the resurrection was commensurate to Christianity being fallacious for Paul.

Second, if there is no resurrection the faith of the believer is "vain" and "futile" (vv. 14,17). The eschatological aspect of faith is rooted in the notion of resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus guarantees the resurrection of the believer. Future salvation is based on the resurrection of Jesus. Therefore, faith in God's justice in resolving the problem of theodicy is "vain" (cf.  1 Peter 3:21;  Romans 4:25 ) if there is no resurrection.

Jesus' resurrection is a prototypical event. As "the firstfruits" ( 1 Corinthians 15:23 ) he gives the Spirit as the firstfruits to the believer ( Romans 8:23 ). This Spirit indwelling is the "first installment" ( 2 Corinthians 1:22;  5:5;  Ephesians 1:14 ) and the basis for the hope of the "redemption of our bodies" ( Romans 8:23 ).

Third, the early missionaries were "misrepresenting God" if there is no resurrection ( 1 Corinthians 15:15 ). Paul's logic allows no room for a "spiritual" approach that discounts the resurrection. The belief in bodily resurrection is commensurate with belief in God. If God exists and if he created the universe and has power over it, he has power to raise the dead. Attempts to explain the resurrection as a mere sociological phenomenon without the supernatural element minimizes the magnitude of the event and the role that it played in the formation of Christianity.

For example, the fourth of Paul's conclusions"you are still in your sins" (v. 17)shows the magnitude for Paul of the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus showed that Christ's oblation as the sacrificial lamb was accepted by God, which is the basis for the giving of the Spirit to believers and the forgiveness of their sins.

Fifth, if there is no resurrection "those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost" (v. 18). In other words, they have returned to dust with no future cognizance of any existence. This statement gets at the core of the basis for hoping and not fearing death. It also affects morality. God's future judgment modifies earthly behavior. Paul's conclusion that "If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die'" (v. 32) reveals the tenable resolution of materialistic hedonism, when the resurrection of Christ as the firstfruit and the ensuing general resurrection are dismissed. As in the Old Testament, theodicy, especially in times of persecution, was perceived as futile if there was no future vindication.

Finally, the result of such logic led Paul to declare that "If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied" (v. 19 NRSV). Paul articulates the persecution he received at Ephesus in verse 32, which only has meaning if the dead are raised. The persecution and even death of many of the early Christians led to Paul's conclusion that theodicy is resolved by bodily resurrection.

The rhetorical question is asked in verse 35, "With what kind of body will they come?" Paul's answer is to stress continuity of identity. Even though individuals will be "changed, " they will remain in essence who they are. He illustrates this by using a grain of wheat that will, after it is planted, be changed, but will remain wheat. In the Gospels, the appearances of Jesus stress the continuity of his identity even though he changed. His pierced hands and side attest to the continuity of his identity.

Paul's discussion on the "first Adam" who is born of "dust" and the "second Adam" who is Christ and is a "life-giving spirit" has as its goal the statement "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." In other words, spiritual rebirth is necessary to enter the eternal kingdom of God.

Not only does the resurrection of Jesus have implications for the individual, according to Paul, but Christ's passage through the cosmos unharmed by evil spirits has placed the universe itself in his subjection (vv. 24-28). This early perception, the so-called classic view of the atonement, is common in the New Testament (cf.  Acts 2:32-35;  Ephesians 1:20-23;  Hebrews 1:13 ). In second temple Judaism, ascension into the cosmos by a saint who confronted evil spirits (e.g., Eth Enoch) was commonplace, but none were permitted passage to "the right hand of God." Jesus' resurrection and subsequent ascension (which are often treated together as one event) is unique in that sense.

Eric W. Adams

See also Second Coming Of Christ

Bibliography . J. E. M. Dewart, Message of the Fathers of the Church  ; R. B. Gaffin, Jr., The Centrality of the Resurrection: A Study in Paul's Soteriology  ; G. R. Habermas, The Resurrection of Jesus: An Apologetic  ; M. J. Harris, Raised Immortal: Resurrection and Immortality in the New Testament  ; G. E. Ladd, I Believe in the Resurrection .

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [4]

The belief of a general resurrection of the dead, which will come to pass at the end of the world, and will be followed with an immortality either of happiness or misery, is an article of religion in common to Jews and Christians. It is very expressly taught both in the Old and New Testaments,  Psalms 16:10;  Job 19:25 , &c;  Ezekiel 37:1 , &c;  Isaiah 26:19;  John 5:28-29; and to these may be added, Wis_3:1 , &c; Wis_4:15; 2Ma_7:14; 2Ma_7:23; 2Ma_7:29 , &c. At the time when our Saviour appeared in Judea, the resurrection from the dead was received as one of the principal articles of the Jewish religion by the whole body of the nation, the Sadducees excepted,  Matthew 22:23;  Luke 20:28;  Mark 12:18;  John 11:23-24;  Acts 23:6;  Acts 23:8 . Our Saviour arose himself from the dead, to give us, in his own person, a proof, a pledge, and a pattern of our future resurrection. St. Paul, in almost all his epistles, speaks of a general resurrection, refutes those who denied or opposed it, and proves and explains it by several circumstances,  Romans 6:5;  1 Corinthians 15:12-15; Php_3:10-11;  Hebrews 11:35;  1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 , &c.

On this subject no point of discussion, of any importance, arises among those who admit the truth of Scripture, except as to the way in which the doctrine of the resurrection of the body is to be understood;—whether a resurrection of the substance of the body be meant, or some minute and indestructible part of it. The latter theory has been adopted for the sake of avoiding certain supposed difficulties. It cannot however fail to strike every impartial reader of the New Testament, that the doctrine of the resurrection is there taught without any nice distinctions. It is always exhibited as a miraculous work; and represents the same body which is laid in the grave as the subject of this change from death to life, by the power of Christ. Thus our Lord was raised in the same body in which he died, and his resurrection is constantly held forth as the model of ours; and the Apostle Paul expressly says, "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body." The only passage of Scripture which appears to favour the notion of the rising of the immortal body from some indestructible germ, is   1 Corinthians 15:35 , &c: "But some men will say, How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die; and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain," &c. If, however, it had been the intention of the Apostle, holding this view of the case, to meet objections to the doctrine of the resurrection, grounded upon the difficulties of conceiving how the same body, in the popular sense, could be raised up in substance, we might have expected him to correct this misapprehension by declaring, that this was not the Christian doctrine; but that some small parts of the body only, bearing as little proportion to the whole as the germ of a seed to the plant, would be preserved, and be unfolded into the perfected body at the resurrection. Instead of this, he goes on immediately to remind the objector of the differences which exist between material bodies as they now exist;. between the plant and the bare or naked grain; between one plant and another; between the flesh of men, of beasts, of fishes, and of birds; between celestial and terrestrial bodies; and between the lesser and greater celestial luminaries themselves. Still farther he proceeds to state the difference, not between the germ of the body to be raised, and the body given at the resurrection; but between the body itself, understood popularly, which dies, and the body which shall be raised. "It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption," which would not be true of the supposed incorruptible and imperishable germ of this hypothesis; and can only be affirmed of the body itself, considered in substance, and, in its present state, corruptible. Farther: the question put by the objector,—"How are the dead raised up?" does not refer to the modus agendi of the resurrection, or the process or manner in which the thing is to be effected, as the advocates of the germ hypothesis appear to assume. This is manifest from the answer of the Apostle, who goes on immediately to state, not in what manner the resurrection is to be effected, but what shall be the state or condition of the resurrection body; which is no answer at all to the question, if it be taken in that sense.

Thus, in the argument, the Apostle confines himself wholly to the possibility of the resurrection of the body in a refined and glorified state; but omits all reference to the mode in which the thing will be effected, as being out of the line of the objector's questions, and in itself above human thought, and wholly miraculous. It is, however, clear, that when he speaks of the body, as the subject of this wondrous "change," he speaks of it popularly, as the same body in substance, whatever changes in its qualities or figure may be impressed upon it. Great general changes it will experience, as from corruption to incorruption, from mortality to immortality; great changes of a particular kind will also take place, as its being freed from deformities and defects, and the accidental varieties produced by climate, aliments, labour, and hereditary diseases. It is also laid down by our Lord, that "in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be given in marriage, but be like to the angels of God;" and this also implies a certain change of structure; and we may gather from the declaration of the Apostle, that though "the stomach," is now adapted "to meats, and meats to the stomach," yet God will "destroy both it and them;" that the animal appetite for food will be removed, and the organ now adapted to that appetite will have no place in the renewed frame. But great as these changes are, the human form will be retained in its perfection, after the model of our Lord's "glorious body," and the substance of the matter of which it is composed will not thereby be affected. That the same body which was laid in the grave shall arise out of it, is the manifest doctrine of the Scriptures. The notion of an incorruptible germ, or that of an original and unchangeable stamen, out of which a new and glorious body, at the resurrection, is to spring, appears to have been borrowed from the speculations of some of the Jewish rabbins. But if by this hypothesis it was designed to remove the difficulty of conceiving how the scattered parts of one body could be preserved from becoming integral parts of other bodies, it supposes that the constant care of Providence is exerted to maintain the incorruptibility of those individual germs, or stamina, so as to prevent their assimilation with each other. Now, if they have this by original quality, then the same quality may just as easily be supposed to appertain to every particle which composes a human body; so that, though it be used for food, it shall not be capable of assimilation, in any circumstances, with another human body. But if these germs, or stamina, have not this quality by their original nature, they can only be prevented from assimilating with each other by that operation of God which is present to all his works, and which must always be directed to secure the execution of his own ultimate designs. If this view be adopted, then, if the resort must at last be to the superintendence of a Being of infinite power and wisdom, there is no greater difficulty in supposing that his care to secure this object may extend to a million as easily as to a hundred particles, of matter. This is, in fact, the true and rational answer to the objection that the same piece of matter may happen to be a part of two or more bodies, as in the instances of men feeding upon animals which have fed upon men, and of men feeding upon one another. The question here is one which simply respects the frustrating a final purpose of the Almighty by an operation of nature. To suppose that he cannot prevent this, is to deny his power; to suppose him inattentive to it, is to suppose him indifferent to his own designs; and to assume that he employs care to prevent it, is to assume nothing greater, nothing in fact so great, as many instances of control, which are always occurring; as, for instance, the regulation of the proportion of the sexes in human births, which cannot be attributed to chance, but must either be referred to superintendence, or to some original law. Another objection to the resurrection of the body has been drawn from the changes of its substance during life; the answer to which is, that, allowing a frequent and total change of the substance of the body (which, however, is but an hypothesis) to take place, it affects not the doctrine of Scripture, which is, that the body which is laid in the grave shall be raised up. But then, we are told, that if our bodies have in fact undergone successive changes during life, the bodies in which we have sinned or performed rewardable actions may not be, in many instances, the same bodies as those which will be actually rewarded or punished. We answer, that rewards and punishments have their relation to the body, not so much as it is the subject but as it is the instrument of reward and punishment. It is the soul only which perceives pain or pleasure, which suffers or enjoys, and is, therefore, the only rewardable subject. Were we, therefore, to admit such corporeal mutations as are assumed in this objection, they affect not the case of our accountability. The personal identity or sameness of a rational being, as Mr. Locke has observed, consists in self-consciousness: "By this every one is to himself what he calls self, without considering whether that self be continued in the same or divers substances. It was by the same self which reflects on an action done many years ago, that the action was performed." If there were indeed any weight in this objection, it would affect the proceedings of human criminal courts in all cases of offences committed at some distance of time; but it contradicts the common sense, because it contradicts the common consciousness and experience, of mankind.

Our Lord has assured us, that "the hour is coming in which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." Then we shall "all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump," and "the dead shall be raised incorruptible." It is probable that the bodies of the righteous and the wicked, though each shall in some respects be the same as before, will each be in other respects not the same, but undergo some change conformable to the character of the individual, and suited to his future state of existence; yet both, as the passage just quoted clearly teaches, are then rendered indestructible. Respecting the good it is said, "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we shall appear with him in glory," "we shall be like him; our body shall be fashioned like his glorious body;" yet, notwithstanding this, "it doth not yet fully appear what we shall be,"  Colossians 3:4;  1 John 3:2; Php_3:21 . This has a very obvious reason. Our present manner of knowing depends upon our present constitution, and we know not the exact relation which subsists between this constitution and the manner of being in a future world; we derive our ideas through the medium of the senses; the senses are necessarily conversant with terrestrial objects only; our language is suited to the communication of present ideas; and thus it follows that the objects of the future world may in some respects (whether few or many we cannot say) differ so extremely from terrestrial objects, that language cannot communicate to us any such ideas as would render those matters comprehensible. But language may suggest striking and pleasing analogies; and with such we are presented by the holy Apostle: "All flesh," says he, "is not the same flesh: but there is one flesh of men, another of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds;" and yet all these are fashioned out of the same kind of substance, mere inert matter, till God gives it life and activity. It is sown an animal body; a body which previously existed with all the organs, faculties, and propensities, requisite to procure, receive, and appropriate nutriment, as well as to perpetuate the species; but it shall be raised a spiritual body, refined from the dregs of matter, freed from the organs and senses required only in its former state, and probably possessing the remaining senses in greater perfection, together with new and more exquisite faculties, fitted for the exalted state of existence and enjoyment to which it is now rising. In the present state the organs and senses appointed to transmit the impressions of objects to the mind, have a manifest relation to the respective objects: the eye and seeing, for example, to light; the ear and hearing, to sound. In the refined and glorious state of existence to which good men are tending, where the objects which solicit attention will be infinitely more numerous, interesting, and delightful, may not the new organs, faculties, and senses, be proportionably refined, acute, susceptible, or penetrating? Human industry and invention have placed us, in a manner, in new worlds; what, then, may not a spiritual body, with sharpened faculties, and the grandest possible objects of contemplation, effect in the celestial regions to which Christians are invited? There the senses will no longer degrade the affections, the imagination no longer corrupt the heart; the magnificent scenery thrown open to view will animate the attention, give a glow and vigour to the sentiments; that roused attention will never tire; those glowing sentiments will never cloy; but the man, now constituted of an indestructible body, as well as of an immortal soul, may visit in eternal succession the streets of the celestial city, may "drink of the pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb;" and dwell for ever in those abodes of harmony and peace, which, though "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the imagination of man to conceive," we are assured "God hath prepared for them that love him,"

 1 Corinthians 2:9 .

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [5]

Both Old and New Testaments record examples of ordinary people who died and were brought back to life. In all these cases the kind of life to which they returned was the same kind of life as they had known previously. They experienced a normal human existence again, and in due course died a normal human death ( 1 Kings 17:22;  2 Kings 4:32-35;  Luke 7:12-15;  Luke 8:49-55;  John 11:39-44;  Acts 9:37-41). The present article, however, is concerned with a kind of resurrection that is an entirely new order of existence, where death has no more power ( Romans 6:9;  1 Corinthians 15:54;  2 Corinthians 5:4).

Death and the afterlife

Old Testament believers did not have a clear understanding of eternal life, though they did at times express the hope of a resurrection through which they would have deliverance from the power of death. Likewise they expected a resurrection of the wicked that would be followed by punishment ( Psalms 49:14-15;  Daniel 12:2). The reason their understanding was so limited was that Jesus Christ had not yet come. By Christ’s death God broke the power of death and revealed the nature of resurrection life ( 2 Timothy 1:10;  Hebrews 2:14-15). A minority of Jews, the Sadducees, refused to believe in a resurrection of any sort ( Matthew 22:23).

Death is a consequence of sin, and therefore salvation from sin must include victory over death if that salvation is to be complete. It must involve the resurrection of the body to a new and victorious life. Because Jesus’ death and resurrection conquered sin and death, the believer in Jesus can look forward to salvation from sin and death ( Romans 4:24-25;  Romans 6:8-10;  Romans 8:11;  1 Corinthians 15:26;  1 Corinthians 15:54-57).

God created the human being as a unified whole, and therefore he deals with people in the totality of their being. God does not divide them into physical and spiritual ‘parts’. The human being’s destiny, whether for salvation or damnation, is connected not with death but with the resurrection of the body, after which the person faces final judgment ( Daniel 12:2;  John 5:29;  Acts 24:15; see Death ).

Assurance of Jesus’ resurrection

People’s only basis of hope for a victorious resurrection is the resurrection of Jesus ( John 11:25;  1 Corinthians 15:20-21;  1 Corinthians 15:45-49). Throughout his ministry Jesus pointed out that he was not only to die but was also to rise from death ( Mark 8:31;  Mark 9:9;  Mark 9:31;  John 2:19-21). In spite of Jesus’ clear statements, his disciples often displayed a lack of understanding concerning his coming crucifixion and resurrection. Therefore, when Jesus met with them after his resurrection, he made sure that they knew it was a true bodily resurrection ( Luke 24:39-43;  John 20:20;  John 20:27;  1 Corinthians 15:4-7).

Nevertheless, there was something uniquely different about Jesus’ body after his resurrection. On some occasions his physical appearance seems to have changed, for his friends did not at first know who he was ( Luke 24:30-31;  Luke 24:36-37;  John 20:14-15;  John 21:4;  John 21:12). On other occasions they recognized him immediately ( Matthew 28:9;  John 20:26-28).

In his resurrection body Jesus was capable of normal physical functions ( Luke 24:41-43), but he was also able to appear and disappear as he wished. Although always with his disciples invisibly, he could make himself visible to them if he so desired ( Luke 24:31;  John 20:19;  John 20:26; cf.  Matthew 18:20). The last time he appeared to them, he disappeared in a way that showed that he would appear to them no more, until he returned in power and glory at the end of the age ( Acts 1:3;  Acts 1:9-11).

Jesus’ resurrection changed the apostles from people who were confused and cowardly into people who were assured and courageous ( Acts 2:14;  Acts 2:36;  Acts 4:13;  Acts 4:18-20;  Acts 4:29-31;  Acts 5:27-29). By his resurrection he had conquered death and made salvation sure, and they were witnesses of these things ( Luke 24:46-48;  Acts 2:24;  Acts 2:32;  Acts 5:30-32;  Acts 10:39-43).

The resurrection was therefore a central theme in the apostles’ preaching. It had a significance that people could not ignore ( Acts 2:22-24;  Acts 4:2;  Acts 4:33). Jesus was alive and, through his disciples, was continuing the work he had begun during the time of his earthly ministry ( Acts 3:15-16;  Acts 4:10; cf  John 14:12-18; see Holy Spirit ).

Not just the original disciples but all disciples are changed because of Jesus’ resurrection ( Ephesians 2:5-6;  Revelation 1:17-18). Paul, who had not known Jesus during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, claimed that the resurrection gave him assurance of eternal life and confidence in his Christian service ( Acts 23:6;  Acts 25:19;  Romans 1:4-5;  1 Corinthians 9:1;  1 Corinthians 15:8;  1 Corinthians 15:14-15;  2 Timothy 2:8). The resurrection of Jesus is essential for a person’s entire salvation ( 1 Corinthians 15:14;  1 Corinthians 15:17;  1 Corinthians 15:19;  Romans 4:24-25;  Romans 8:10-11). This is one of the truths that believers express when they are baptized ( Romans 6:3-4;  Romans 10:9;  Colossians 2:12; see Baptism ).

Having become united with Christ through faith, believers share in the resurrection life of Christ. God’s power worked in Christ in raising him to new life, and that same power can work in those who have come into union with Christ. Christians have a new life. They share in Christ’s conquest of sin, and so can claim victory over sin in their everyday lives ( Romans 6:6-11;  Romans 6:13;  Romans 7:4;  Romans 8:10;  Ephesians 1:19-20;  Philippians 3:10).

Future resurrection

Only through Jesus’ resurrection can believers have the assurance of a future resurrection. Through their union with him, they can look forward to an entirely new order of existence where sin and death have no more power ( 1 Corinthians 15:20-26;  1 Corinthians 15:54-57;  1 Peter 1:3-4). This new order of existence will begin at the return of Jesus Christ, when the resurrection of believers will take place ( John 6:40;  John 6:54;  1 Corinthians 15:52;  1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Believers have no way of knowing exactly what the resurrection body will be like. But they know at least that it will be imperishable, glorious and strong, suited to the life of the age to come just as the present body is suited to present earthly life. The link between the future resurrection body and the present physical body may be compared to the link between a plant and the seed from which it grows. The plant is different from the seed, but in a sense it is the same thing. Similarly, the resurrection body of the believer will be different from the present body, but the believer will still be the same person ( John 6:40;  1 Corinthians 15:35-38;  1 Corinthians 15:42-44).

As Adam’s body was the pattern for the bodies of people in the present life, so Christ’s resurrection body is the pattern for the bodies of believers in the life to come ( 1 Corinthians 15:45-49;  Philippians 3:20-21). The Christian’s expectation at the resurrection is not for the giving of life to a corpse, but for the changing of the whole person into the likeness of Christ ( 1 John 3:2; cf.  Romans 8:29;  2 Corinthians 3:18).

The resurrection of the ungodly is a different matter. Whatever form their resurrection will take, they will not be given spiritual and imperishable bodies. Their resurrection will result not in life, but in judgment, condemnation and eternal destruction ( Daniel 12:2;  Matthew 10:28;  John 5:29;  1 Corinthians 15:50;  Revelation 20:6;  Revelation 20:12-14; see Hell ).

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [6]

Here is a word of words! The doctrine of which, and the eventful consequence of which, involves in it all our high hopes and expectations of happiness for the life that now is, and that which is to come. The resurrection is the key-stone in the arch of the Christian faith: so that as the apostle Paul strongly and unanswerably reasons, "if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and our faith is also vain." Yea, saith the apostle, (as if he had said, and that is not the worst consequence if the doctrine be not true, for then) "we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not; for if the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised; and if Christ be not raised your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins; and then all they that are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." ( 1 Corinthians 15:14-18)

The subject therefore, is infinitely important and the apostle hath placed the doctrine in the clearest light possible. It is reduced to this single point—if Christ be not risen, then there is no resurrection of the dead; but if Christ be himself risen, then is he become "the first-fruits of them that slept." For by his own resurrection he gives full proof to all the doctrines he taught; and as he declared himself to be the resurrection and the life, and promised that whosoever lived and believed in him he would raise up at the last day, and in confirmation of it arose himself; hence it must undeniably follow that our resurrection is involved and secured in his. He said himself, "be cause I live, ye shall live also." (See  John 11:25-26 etc;  John 5:21-29; Joh 14:19)

Concerning the fact itself of our Lord's resurrection I do not think it necessary to enlarge. The New Testament is so full of the interesting: particulars, and the truth of it is so strongly confirmed by the in numerable witnesses both of the living and the dead, yea, God himself giving his testimony to the truth of it, that in a work of this kind I consider it a superfluous service to bring forward any proof. I rather assume it as a thing granted, and set it down as one of the plainest matters of fact the world ever knew, that Christ is risen from the dead. I shall therefore only subjoin under this article the observations which naturally arise out of this glorious truth, in proof also that as Christ is indeed risen from the dead, he arose not as a private per son, but the public Head of his church, which is his body, and thereby became the first fruits of them that slept.

The first view of Christ's resurrection, as connecting our resurrection with it, is the full assurance it brought with it that the debt of sin Christ under took, as our Surety, to pay, was discharged. For never surely would the prison-doors of the grave have been thrown open, and Christ let out, had not the law of God, and the justice of God both been satisfied. In that glorious moment when Christ arose from the dead, he proved the whole truth of what he had taught. "Destroy this temple;" (he said, and he spake of the temple of his body) "and in three days I will raise it up." (See  John 2:18-22) And hence God the Father on this occasion is called "the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ," because by the blood of the everlasting covenant he had now fulfilled the contract on his part and God now fulfilled it in his, and in confirmation is here called the God of peace. ( Hebrews 13:20)

The next view of Christ's resurrection, as including in it ours, is that as the man Christ Jesus arose, so assuredly must the bodies of all his redeemed. And as it was said by Moses to Pharaoh concerning Israel's deliverance from Egypt, "not an hoof shall be left behind," ( Exodus 10:26) so it may be said of Israel's seed, not an hair of their head shall perish, much less the humblest and least of Christ's mystical body shall be lost in the ruins of the world, which at the resurrection is then to be burnt. And this resurrection of the bodies of Christ's members is secured by virtue of their union and oneness with their glorious Head; for so the character of the covenant runs—"If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in you." ( Romans 8:11) Sweet thought to the believer! He may truly say, I shall arise, not simply by the sovereign power of that voice that raiseth the dead, but by his Spirit which unites me to himself now, and will then quicken me to the new life in him forever. And this is the meaning of that blessed promise of God the Father to the Son—"Thy dead men shall live;"yea, saith the Lord Jesus, in answer as it were, and in a way of confirmation, "together with my dead body shall they arise." And then comes the call—"Awake and sing ye that dwell in the dust, for thy dew [the warm, reanimating, life-giving dew of Jesus in resurrection power to glory, as in regenerating power first in grace from the womb of the morning, in which Christ had the dew from his youth;  Psalms 110:3] is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead." ( Isaiah 26:19) Beautiful figure! the dew of herbs revives those plants which appear through the winter like dry sticks, and not the least view of herbage remains. Son of man! can these sticks live? Such will be Christ's dew to the bodies of his people. Oh, precious, precious Jesus!

One thought more on this subject of Christ's resurrection, and of his church so highly interested in it, and that is, that as Jesus's resurrection is the cause of ours, and he himself accomplisheth ours by his Spirit as a germ dwelling in us, so the blessedness of our resurrection is, that as Christ's identical body arose, so shall ours. "He will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body." Changed it will be from what it was sown in weakness, because it will be raised in power but its identity, consciousness, reality, will be the same. Here again we feel constrained to cry out, Oh, precious, precious Lord Jesus! and to say with Job, "I know that my Redeemer (or, as the words are, my kinsman Redeemer) liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, (for myself) and not another for me." ( Job 19:25-27)

So much for the doctrine of the resurrection, and the unanswerable testimonies on which it is founded. The Lord strengthen all his people in the faith of it, seeing that by the resurrection of their Lord they are begotten "to this lively hope in Jesus, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for them who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." ( 1 Peter 1:3-5)

Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

Old Testament The preexilic portions of the Old Testament contain no statements which point certainly to a hope of resurrection from the dead even though some of Israel's neighbors had such a belief. Death is the end of human existence, the destruction of life ( Genesis 3:19;  Job 30:23 ). In isolated instances revivification occurs (being brought back to life from death but only as a temporary escape from final death;  1 Kings 17:17-22;  2 Kings 4:18-37;  2 Kings 13:21 ). In addition, God took from the earth two Old Testament figures before their deaths: Enoch ( Genesis 5:24 ) and Elijah ( 2 Kings 2:9-11 ). The scarcity of these statements and the lack of reflection on their meanings, however, point to the absence of any consistent doctrinal conception of resurrection from the dead.

Similarly, the Psalms are bereft of clear thought on resurrection. Many of the songs, however, express a hope that communion with God, begun on earth, will have no end (as in  Psalm 16:11;  Psalm 49:15;  Psalm 73:24 ). The Song of Moses ( Deuteronomy 32:1 ) and the Song of Hannah ( 1 Samuel 2:1 ) assert that Yahweh kills and makes alive. These expressions of hope in God may not suggest a doctrine of resurrection from the dead. They at least confess a conviction that the living God is able to intervene in life's darkest hours. They grope for a firm hope in justice and help beyond the grave. They may reflect the beginnings of a doctrine of resurrection.

The prophets proclaimed hope for the future in terms of national renewal (see  Hosea 6:1-3;  Ezekiel 37:1 ). So pointed is the prophetic expression of national hope that the New Testament writers sometimes used the language of the prophets to expound the doctrine of resurrection (compare  Hosea 13:14;  1 Corinthians 15:55 ). The prophetic statements, however, do not necessarily attest to the hope of individual resurrection from the dead but profess the sovereignty of God over all His subjects, even death.

On the other hand,  Isaiah 26:19 and   Daniel 12:2 decidedly teach a belief in resurrection. The Old Testament emphasis on the sovereignty of God in all matters easily led to the prophetic statements.

The Old Testament statements about resurrection are scant and do not reveal clear theological reflection. The emphasis upon Yahweh as the God of present life tended to make Judaism a this-worldly religion. The future was generally interpreted as a national future under the sovereign rule of Yahweh. In New Testament times the Saduccees still did not believe in resurrection. The belief, however, in God as sovereign Lord over all, even death, eventually flowered in the brief but salient assertions of the Books of Isaiah and Daniel and possibly in the Psalms. See Eschatology; Future Hope; Sheol .

New Testament Jesus' preaching presupposed a doctrine of resurrection. Opposition by the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection, gave Jesus the opportunity to assert His own thought on the matter ( Mark 12:18-27;  Matthew 22:23-33;  Luke 20:27-38; compare  Deuteronomy 25:5-10 ).

John's Gospel presents Jesus as the mediator of resurrection who gives to believers the life given Him by His Father ( John 6:53-58 ). Jesus is the resurrection and the life ( John 11:24-26 ). Jesus pointed to a resurrection of the righteous to eternal life and of the wicked to eternal punishment ( Matthew 8:11-12;  Matthew 25:31-34 ,Matthew 25:31-34, 25:41-46;  John 5:28-29 ). In His postresurrection appearances Jesus had a body that was both spiritual ( John 20:19 ,John 20:19, 20:26 ) and physical ( John 20:20 ,John 20:20, 20:27;  John 21:13 ,John 21:13, 21:15 ) in nature.

The greatest biblical exponent of resurrection was Paul. For him, resurrection was the final event which would usher Christians out of the bodily struggle of the present age into the bodily glory which will accompany Jesus' second coming ( Philippians 3:20-21 ). In resurrection, God's new creation will reach completion ( 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 ). The bedrock of hope for Christian resurrection is the resurrection of Christ, the foundation of gospel preaching ( 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 ). Those who follow Christ are organically related to Christ in His resurrection from the dead; Christ is the first fruits of an upcoming harvest ( 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 ). Destruction awaits those who do not follow Christ ( Philippians 3:19 ).

Paul's discourses on the nature of the resurrected body broadens the Old Testament idea of a restored Israel to include the redemption of persons complete with bodies. Paul viewed the human person as a psychosomatic unity. He recognizes no truth in the Greek idea of a separation of body and soul. See  2 Corinthians 5:1-10 ). Those united to Christ in faith become not only one with Him in spirit but also one with Him in body ( 1 Corinthians 6:15 ). The resurrected body will be a spiritual body, different from the present physical body ( 1 Corinthians 15:35-50 ); but it will have continuity with the present body because Christ redeems the whole person ( Romans 8:23 ).

The New Testament unquestionably affirms a doctrine of resurrection of all persons from the dead. Humanity has a corporate destiny to encounter just and divine response to faithfulness and unfaithfulness ( Acts 24:15 ). A resurrection body and life in the consummated kingdom of God will characterize the resurrection of those who follow Christ.

William L. Hendricks

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [8]

(See Jesus ; LAW.) His resurrection is the earnest or "firstfruits" of ours. His life is ours by vital union with Him, and because He lives we shall live also ( 1 Corinthians 15:23;  John 14:19). Christ from  Exodus 3:6;  Exodus 3:16 proves the resurrection and charges the Sadducees with ignorance of Scripture and of God's "power" ( Mark 12:24) as the root of their "error." God said, "I AM the God of Abraham" when Abraham was dead; but God is the God of the living, Abraham must therefore live again and already lives in God's sure purpose, not a disembodied spirit, which would be no restoration of man in his integrity, but as heir of an abiding city suited to man with perfect body, soul, and spirit ( 1 Thessalonians 5:23;  Hebrews 11:8-16). (See Sadducees .) God promised "to thee will I give this land," not merely to thy posterity. This can only be fulfilled by Abraham rising and, in integrity of parts, inheriting the antitypical Canaan. Disembodied spirits require a body if they are to exercise the functions of life. Abraham's soul now receives blessings from God, but will only "live unto God" when he receives again the body.

Rabbi Simai argues on  Exodus 6:3-4, "it is not, said, to give you, but to give them, whereby the resurrection of the dead appeareth out of the law." So Manasseh ben Israel, "God said to Abraham, I will give to thee and to thy seed after thee the land wherein thou art a stranger; but Abraham did not possess that land; wherefore it is of necessity that they should be raised up to enjoy the good promises, else God's promise would be vain." The Pharisees in holding this preserved the faith gleaned from the Old Testament by the pious fathers of the nation; such was Martha's and Paul's faith ( John 11:25;  Acts 26:6-8). Jacob's dying ejaculation "I have waited for Thy salvation" ( Genesis 49:18) and Balaam's, "let me die the death of the righteous," etc. ( Numbers 23:10), assume a future state. (See Job expressly asserts his anticipation of the resurrection through his Redeemer ( Job 19:23-27) (See Redeemer for the translated.) So David ( Psalms 16:9-11;  Psalms 17:14-15) anticipates his "soul not being left in hades," so that "his flesh shall rest in hope," and his "awaking with Jehovah's likeness"; fulfilled in Christ the Head first ( Acts 2:25-31), and hereafter to be so in His members.

So Isaiah ( Isaiah 26:19), "thy dead shall live ... my dead body shall they arise"; Christ's dead body raised is the pledge of the resurrection of all Jehovah's people. Daniel ( Daniel 12:2): Hebrew "many from among the sleepers, these (The Partakers Of The First Resurrection, Revelation 20) shall be unto everlasting life; but those (The Rest Who Do Not Rise Until After The Thousand Years) shall be unto shame" ( 1 Corinthians 15:23). The wicked too shall rise ( John 5:28-29;  Revelation 20:13). Essentially the same body wherewith the unbeliever sinned shall be the object of punishment ( Jeremiah 2:10;  Isaiah 3:9-11;  Revelation 22:11-12;  2 Corinthians 5:10), "that every one may receive the things done by the instrumentality of ( 'Dia ') the body." Self consciousness witnesses the identity between the body of the infant and full grown man, though that identity does not consist in the sameness of the particles which compose the body at different stages.

Possibly there is some indestructible material germ at the basis of identity between the natural (Psychic, I.E. Soulish Or Animal) body and the resurrection body which  1 Corinthians 15:44-45 call a "spirit-animated body," in contrast to the "natural." "Christ will transfigure our body of humiliation ( 2 Corinthians 4:10;  2 Timothy 2:11-12; 'Not Vile, Nothing That He Made Is Vile:' Whately On His Death Bed) , that it may be conformed unto the body of His glory" ( Philippians 3:21). The mere animal functions of flesh and blood shall no longer be needed they do not marry, but are equal to the angels ( Luke 20:35-36;  1 Corinthians 6:13;  1 Corinthians 15:35-57;  1 Peter 1:3-4) The time is fixed for the Lord's coming ( Colossians 3:4;  1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 20). (See Regeneration .)

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [9]

1: Ἀνάστασις (Strong'S #386 — Noun Feminine — anastasis — an-as'-tas-is )

denotes (I) "a raising up," or "rising" (ana, "up," and histemi, "to cause to stand"),  Luke 2:34 , "the rising up;" the AV "again" obscures the meaning; the Child would be like a stone against which many in Israel would stumble while many others would find in its strength and firmness a means of their salvation and spiritual life; (II) of "resurrection" from the dead, (a) of Christ,  Acts 1:22;  2:31;  4:33;  Romans 1:4;  6:5;  Philippians 3:10;  1—Peter 1:3;  3:21; by metonymy, of Christ as the Author of "resurrection,"  John 11:25; (b) of those who are Christ's at His Parousia (see Coming  Luke 14:14 , "the resurrection of the just;"  Luke 20:33,35,36;  John 5:29 (1st part), "the resurrection of life;"   John 11:24;  Acts 23:6;  24:15 (1st part);   1—Corinthians 15:21,42;  2—Timothy 2:18;  Hebrews 11:35 (2nd part), see Raise , Note (3);  Revelation 20:5 , "the first resurrection;" hence the insertion of "is" stands for the completion of this "resurrection," of which Christ was "the firstfruits;"  Revelation 20:6; (c) of "the rest of the dead," after the Millennium (cp.  Revelation 20:5 );  John 5:29 (2nd part), "the resurrection of judgment;"   Acts 24:15 (2nd part), "of the unjust;" (d) of those who were raised in more immediate connection with Christ's "resurrection," and thus had part already in the first "resurrection,"   Acts 26:23;  Romans 1:4 (in each of which "dead" is plural; see   Matthew 27:52 ); (e) of the "resurrection" spoken of in general terms,  Matthew 22:23;  Mark 12:18;  Luke 20:27;  Acts 4:2;  17:18;  23:8;  24:21;  1—Corinthians 15:12,13;  Hebrews 6:2; (f) of those who were raised in OT times, to die again,  Hebrews 11:35 (1st part), lit., "out of resurrection."

2: Ἐξανάστασις (Strong'S #1815 — Noun Feminine — exanastasis — ex-an-as'-tas-is )

ek, "from" or "out of," and No. 1,  Philippians 3:11 , followed by ek, lit., "the out-resurrection from among the dead." For the significance of this see Attain , No. 1.

3: Ἔγερσις (Strong'S #1454 — Noun Feminine — egersis — eg'-er-sis )

"a rousing" (akin to egeiro, "to arouse, to raise"), is used of the "resurrection" of Christ, in  Matthew 27:53 .

Morrish Bible Dictionary [10]

This may be said to be the fundamental principle of God's dealings with man in grace, seeing that man is through sin under the judgement of death. The expression, 'The general resurrection' is found in works on theology, and is explained as meaning that the dead will all be raised at the same time; but this idea is not found in scripture. The Lord speaks of a resurrection unto life. "The dead in Christ " will be raised at the coming of the Lord Jesus,  1 Thessalonians 4:16; and John speaks of the first resurrection, and adds that "the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished."   Revelation 20:5,6 . The term 'first' designates rather the character than the time of the resurrection, it will evidently include only the saved; 'the rest' being simply raised for judgement.

It will be seen in  Romans 8:11 , that the resurrection of believers is of a wholly different order from that of the wicked: the saints will be quickened by, or on account of, God's Spirit that dwells in them, which certainly could not be said of the unconverted. The resurrection of the saints is also distinguished from that of the wicked in being, like that of the Lord and of Lazarus, 'out from among (ἐκ) the dead.'  Mark 12:25 . It was the earnest desire of Paul to attain this.  Philippians 3:11 (see Greek)

The resurrection condition is in the strongest contrast to that after the flesh. That which springs from the seed sown in the ground appears very different in form from the seed sown, though absorbing the substance of the seed.  1 Corinthians 15 refers only to the resurrection of the saints, as may be seen in   1 Corinthians 15:23,24 . There were those at Corinth who said that there was no resurrection ( 1 Corinthians 15:12 ); and on the other hand it appears from  2 Timothy 2:18 , some held that the resurrection had already past, that they had in fact reached a final condition!

Few distinct intimations of the resurrection are found in the O.T., though the idea of it underlies all the teaching. Job may perhaps have learnt it ( Job 19:25-27 ), and when the Lord rebuked the Sadducees He taught that resurrection could be gathered inferentially from God speaking of Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob long after they were dead. He is God of the living, not of the dead.  Mark 12:26,27 . Martha spoke of the resurrection as a matter of common orthodox belief,  John 11:24; which is also implied in its being said that the Sadducees did not believe in it.

 Isaiah 26:19;  Ezekiel 37:1-14; and  Daniel 12:2 , are often quoted as testimony to resurrection; but these passages are figurative and refer to Israel being raised up as from their national decease (the consequence of their departure from the Lord,  Isaiah 1:1-4 ), when God will again bless them on the earth. It is an important fact, however, that the figure of resurrection is used.

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [11]

A rising again from the state of the dead; generally applied to the resurrection of the last day. This doctrine is argued,

1. From the resurrection of Christ,  1 Corinthians 15:1-58 :

2. From the doctrines of grace, as union, election, redemption, &c.

3. From Scripture testimonies,  Matthew 22:23 , &c.  Job 19:25;  Job 19:27 .  Isaiah 26:19 .  Philippians 2:20 .  1 Corinthians 15:1-58 : Song of Solomon 12: 2.   1 Thessalonians 4:14 .  Revelation 20:13 .

4. From the general judgment, which of course requires it. As to the nature of this resurrection, it will be,

1. General.  Revelation 20:12;  Revelation 20:15 .  2 Corinthians 5:10 .

2. Of the same body. It is true, indeed, that the body has not always the same particles, which are continually changing, but it has always the same constituent parts, which proves its identity; it is the same body that is born that dies, and the same body that dies that shall rise again; so that Mr. Locke's objection to the idea of the same body is a mere quibble.

3. The resurrection will be at the command of Christ, and by his power,  John 5:28-29 .

4. Perhaps as to the manner it will be successive; the dead in Christ rising first,  1 Corinthians 15:23 .  1 Thessalonians 4:16 . This doctrine is of great use and importance. It is one of the first principles of the doctrine of Christ; the whole Gospel stands or falls with it. It serves to enlarge our views of the divine perfections. It encourages our faith and trust in God under all the difficulties of life. It has a tendency to regulate all our affections and moderate out desires after earthly things. It supports the saints under the loss of near relations, and enables them to rejoice in the glorious prospect set before them.

See Hody on the Resurrection; Pearson on the Creed; Lame Street Lect. ser. 10; Watt's Ontology; Young's Last Day; Locke on the Understanding, 50: 2: 100: 27; Warburton's Legation of Moses, vol. 2: p. 553, &c; Bishop Newton's Works, vol. 3: p. 676, 683.

Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection [12]

The doctrine of the resurrection is full of joy to the bereaved. It clothes the grave with flowers, and wreathes the tomb with unfading laurel. The sepulchre shines with alight brighter than the sun, and death grows fair, as we say, in full assurance of faith, 'I know that my brother shall rise again.' Rent from the ignoble shell the pearl is gone to deck the crown of the Prince of Peace; buried beneath the sod the seed is preparing to bloom in the King's garden. Altering a word or two of Beattie's verse we may even now find ourselves singing:

'Tis night and the landscape is lovely no more: Yet ye beautiful woodlands I mourn not for you;

For morn is approaching your charms to restore, Perfumed with fresh fragrance, and glittering with dew: Nor yet for the ravage of winter I mourn; Kind nature the embryo blossom will save; The spring shall yet visit the mouldering urn; The day shall yet dawn on the night of the grave.'

Webster's Dictionary [13]

(1): ( n.) A rising again; the resumption of vigor.

(2): ( n.) The cause or exemplar of a rising from the dead.

(3): ( n.) State of being risen from the dead; future state.

(4): ( n.) Especially, the rising again from the dead; the resumption of life by the dead; as, the resurrection of Jesus Christ; the general resurrection of all the dead at the Day of Judgment.

King James Dictionary [14]

RESURREC'TION, n. s as z. L. resurrectus, resurgo re and surgo, to rise.

A rising again chiefly, the revival of the dead of the human race, or their return from the grave, particularly at the general judgment. By the resurrection of Christ we have assurance of the future resurrection of men.  1 Peter 1 .

In the resurrection, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage.  Matthew 22 .

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [15]

rez - u - rek´shun (in the New Testament ἀνάστασις , anástasis , with verbs ἀνίστημι , anı́stēmi , "stand up," and ἐγείρω , egeı́rō , "raise." There is no technical term in the Old Testament, but in   Isaiah 26:19 are found the verbs חיה , ḥāyāh , "live," קוּם , ḳūm "rise," קיץ , ḳı̄c "awake").

I. Israel And Immortality

1. Nationalism

2. Speculation

3. Religious Danger

4. Belief in Immortality

5. Resurrection

6. Greek Concepts

II. Resurrection In The Old Testament And In TERMEDIATE Literature

1. The Old Testament

2. The Righteous

3. The Unrighteous

4. Complete Denial

III. Teaching Of Christ

1.  Mark 12:18-27

2. In General

IV. The Apostolic Doctrine

1. References

2. Pauline Doctrine

3. Continuity

4.  2 Corinthians 5

V. Summary

1. New Testament Data

2. Interpretation


I. Israel and Immortality.

1. Nationalism:

It is very remarkable that a doctrine of life after death as an essential part of religion was of very late development in Israel, although this doctrine, often highly elaborated, was commonly held among the surrounding nations. The chief cause of this lateness was that Israel's religion centered predominantly in the ideal of a holy nation . Consequently the individual was a secondary object of consideration, and the future of the man who died before the national promises were fulfilled either was merged in the future of his descendants or else was disregarded altogether.

2. Speculation:

Much speculation about life after death evidently existed, but it was not in direct connection with the nation's religion. Therefore, the Old Testament data are scanty and point, as might be expected, to non-homogeneous concepts. Still, certain ideas are clear. The living individual was composed of "flesh" and nephesh , or rūaḥ (a trichotomy appears to be post-Biblical, despite   1 Thessalonians 5:23; see Psychology ). In the individual nephesh and rūaḥ seem to be fairly synonymous words, meaning primarily "breath," as the animating principle of the flesh (so for the lower animals in  Psalm 104:29 ,  Psalm 104:30 ). But nephesh came to be used to denote the "inner man" or "self" ( Deuteronomy 12:20 , etc.; see Heart ), and so in English Versions of the Bible is usually rendered "soul." But there are only a very few cases where nephesh is used for the seat of the personality after death ( Psalm 30:3; compare  Psalm 16:10;  Psalm 38:17;  Job 33:18 , etc.), and nearly all of such passages seem quite late. Indeed, in some 13 cases the nephesh of a dead man is unmistakably his corpse (  Leviticus 19:28;  Numbers 5:2;  Haggai 2:13 , etc.). It seems the question of what survives death was hardly raised; whatever existed then was thought of as something quite new. On the one hand the dead man could be called a "god" ( 1 Samuel 28:13 ), a term perhaps related to ancestor-worship. But more commonly the dead are thought of as "shades," rephā'ı̄m ( Job 26:5 margin, etc.), weak copies of the original man in all regards (  Ezekiel 32:25 ). But, whatever existence such "shades" might have, they had passed out of relation to Yahweh, whom the "dead praise not" ( Psalm 115:17 ,  Psalm 115:18;  Isaiah 38:18 ,  Isaiah 38:19 ), and there was no religious interest in them.

3. Religious Danger:

Indeed, any interest taken in them was likely to be anti-religious, as connected with necromancy, etc. ( Deuteronomy 14:1;  Deuteronomy 26:14;  Isaiah 8:19;  Psalm 106:28 , etc.; see Sorcery ), or as connected with foreign religions. Here, probably, the very fact that the surrounding nations taught immortality was a strong reason for Israel's refusing to consider it. That Egypt held an elaborate doctrine of individual judgment at death, or that Persia taught the resurrection of the body, would actually tend to render these doctrines suspicious, and it was not until the danger of syncretism seemed past that such beliefs could be considered on their own merits. Hence, it is not surprising that the prophets virtually disregard the idea or that Ecclesiastes denies any immortality doctrine categorically.

4. Belief in Immortality:

Nonetheless, with a fuller knowledge of God, wider experience, and deeper reflection, the doctrine was bound to come. But it came slowly. Individualism reaches explicit statement in  Ezekiel 14;  18;  33 (compare   Deuteronomy 24:16;  Jeremiah 31:29 ,  Jeremiah 31:30 ), but the national point of view still made the rewards and punishments of the individual matters of this world only ( Ezekiel 14:14; Ps 37, etc.), a doctrine that had surprising vitality and that is found as late as Sirach (1:13; 11:26). But as this does not square with the facts of life (Job), a doctrine of immortality, already hinted at (II, 1, below), was inevitable. It appears in full force in the post-Maccabean period, but why just then is hard to say; perhaps because it was then that there had been witnessed the spectacle of martyrdoms on a large scale (1 Macc 1:60-64).

5. Resurrection:

Resurrection of the body was the form immortality took, in accord with the religious premises. As the saint was to find his happiness in the nation, he must be restored to the nation; and the older views did not point toward pure soul-immortality. The "shades" led a wretched existence at the best; and Paul himself shudders at the thought of "nakedness" ( 2 Corinthians 5:3 ). The nephesh and rūaḥ were uncertain quantities, and even the New Testament has no consistent terminology for the immortal part of man ("soul,"  Revelation 6:9;  Revelation 20:4; "spirit,"  Hebrews 12:23;  1 Peter 3:19; Paul avoids any term in 1 Cor 15, and in 2 Cor 5 says: "I"). In the Talmud a common view is that the old bodies will receive new souls ( Ber . R. 2 7; 6 7; Vayy . R. 12 2; 15 1, etc.; compare Sib Or 4:187).

6. Greek Concepts:

Where direct Greek influence, however, can be predicated, pure soul-immortality is found (compare The Wisdom of  Song of Solomon 8:19,20;  9:15 (but Wisd's true teaching is very uncertain); Enoch 102:4 through 105; 108; Slavonic Enoch; 4 Macc; Josephus, and especially Philo). According to Josephus ( Bj , II, viii, 11) the Essenes held this doctrine, but as Josephus graecizes the Pharisaic resurrection into Pythagorean soul-migration (II, viii, 14; contrast Ant. , Xviii , i, 3), his evidence is doubtful. Note, moreover, how  Luke 6:9;  Luke 9:25;  Luke 12:4 ,  Luke 12:5 has re-worded   Mark 3:4;  Mark 8:36;  Matthew 10:28 for Greek readers. In a vague way even Palestinian Judaism had something of the same concepts (2 Esdras 7:88;   2 Corinthians 4:16;  2 Corinthians 12:2 ), while it is commonly held that the souls in the intermediate state can enjoy happiness, a statement first appearing in Enoch 22 (Jubilees  Matthew 23:31 is hardly serious).

II. Resurrection in the Old Testament and Intermediate Literature.

1. The Old Testament:

For the reasons given above, references in the Old Testament to the resurrection doctrine are few. Probably it is to be found in  Psalm 17:15;  Psalm 16:11;  Psalm 49:15;  Psalm 73:24 , and in each case with increased probability, but for exact discussions the student must consult the commentaries. Of course no exact dating of these Psalm passages is possible. With still higher probability the doctrine is expressed in  Job 14:13-15;  Job 19:25-29 , but again alternative explanations are just possible, and, again, Job is a notoriously hard book to date (see Job , Book Of ). The two certain passages are  Isaiah 26:19 margin and   Daniel 12:2 . In the former (to be dated about 332 (?)) it is promised that the "dew of light" shall fall on the earth and so the (righteous) dead shall revive. But this resurrection is confined to Palestine and does not include the unrighteous. For  Daniel 12:2 see below.

2. The Righteous:

Indeed, resurrection for the righteous only was thought of much more naturally than a general resurrection. And still more naturally a resurrection of martyrs was thought of, such simply receiving back what they had given up for God. So in Enoch 90:33 (prior to 107 BC) and  2 Maccabees 7:9,11 ,  23;  14:46 (only martyrs are mentioned in 2 Macc); compare   Revelation 20:4 . But of course the idea once given could not be restricted to martyrs only, and the intermediate literature contains so many references to the resurrection of the righteous as to debar citation. Early passages are Enoch 91:10 ( perhaps pre-Maccabean); Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, Test. Judah 25:4 (before 107). A very curious passage is Enoch 25:6, where the risen saints merely live longer than did their fathers, i.e. resurrection does not imply immortality. This passage seems to be unique.

3. The Unrighteous:

For a resurrection of unrighteous men ( Daniel 12:2; Enoch 22:11; Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, Test. Benj.  Daniel 10:7 ,  Daniel 10:8 , Armenian text - in none of these cases a general resurrection), a motive is given in Enoch   Revelation 22:13 : for such men the mere condition of Sheol is not punishment enough. For a general resurrection the motive is always the final judgment, so that all human history may be summed up in one supreme act. The idea is not very common, and Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, Test. Benj. 10:7, 8 (Greek text); Baruch 50:2; Enoch 51:1; Sib Or 4:178-90; Life of Adam (Greek) 10, and 2 Esdras 5:45; 7:32; 14:35 about account for all the unequivocal passages. It is not found in the earliest part of the Talmud, Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, Test. Benj. 10:7, 8 (Greek) has two resurrections.

4. Complete Denial:

Finally, much of the literature knows no immortality at all. Eccl, Sirach and 1 Maccabees are the most familiar examples, but there are many others. It is especially interesting that the very spiritual author of 2 Esdras did not think it worth while to modify the categorical denial in the source used in 13:20. Of course, the Jewish party that persisted most in a denial of any resurrection was the Sadducees ( Matthew 22:23 and parallel's;   Acts 23:8 ), with an extreme conservatism often found among aristocrats.

III. Teaching of Christ.

1.  Mark 12:18-27 :

The question is discussed explicitly in the familiar passage  Mark 12:18-27 parallel   Matthew 22:23-33 parallel   Luke 20:27-38 . The Sadducees assumed that resurrection implies simply a resuscitation to a resumption of human functions, including the physical side of marriage. Their error lay in the low idea of God. For the Scriptures teach a God whose ability and willingness to care for His creatures are so unlimited that the destiny He has prepared for them is caricatured if conceived in any terms but the absolutely highest. Hence, there follows not only the truth of the resurrection, but a resurrection to a state as far above the sexual sphere as that of the angels. (The possibility of mutual recognition by husband and wife is irrelevant, nor is it even said that the resurrection bodies are asexual) Luke (  Luke 20:36 ) adds the explanation that, as there are to be no deaths, marriage (in its relation to births) will not exist. It may be thought that Christ's argument would support equally well the immortality of the soul only, and, as a matter of fact, the same argument is used for the latter doctrine in 4 Macc 7:18, 19; 16:25. But in Jerusalem and under the given circumstances this is quite impossible. And, moreover, it would seem that any such dualism would be a violation of Christ's teaching as to God's care.

2. In General:

However, the argument seems to touch only the resurrection of the righteous, especially in the form given in Lk (compare  Luke 14:14 ). (But that Luke thought of so limiting the resurrection is disproved by  Acts 24:15 .) Similarly in  Matthew 8:11 parallel   Luke 13:28;  Mark 13:27 parallel   Matthew 24:31 . But, as a feature in the Judgment, the resurrection of all men is taught. Then the men of sodom, Tyre, Nineveh appear ( Matthew 11:22 ,  Matthew 11:24;  Matthew 12:41 ,  Matthew 12:42 parallel   Luke 10:14;  Luke 11:32 ), and those cast into Gehenna are represented as having a body ( Mark 9:43-47;  Matthew 5:29 ,  Matthew 5:30;  Matthew 10:28;  Matthew 18:8 ,  Matthew 18:9 ). And at the great final assize (Mt 25:31-46) all men appear. In the Fourth Gospel a similar distinction is made ( John 6:39 ,  John 6:40 ,  John 6:44 ,  John 6:54;  John 11:25 ), the resurrection of the righteous, based on their union with God through Christ and heir present possession of this union, and (in  John 5:28 ,  John 5:29 ) the general resurrection to judgment. Whether these passages imply two resurrections or emphasize only the extreme difference in conditions at the one cannot be determined.

The passages in 4 Maccabees referred to above read: "They who care for piety with their whole heart, they alone are able to conquer the impulses of the flesh, believing that like our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, they do not die to God but live to God" (7:18,19); and "They knew that dying for God they would live to God, even as Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the patriarchs" (16:25). It is distinctly possible that our Lord's words rnay have been known to the author of 4 Maccabees, although the possibility that Christ approved and broadened the tenets of some spiritually-minded few is not to be disregarded. More possible is it that 4 Maccabees influenced Luke's Greek phraseology. See Maccabees , Book Of , IV.

IV. The Apostolic Doctrine.

1. References:

For the apostles, Christ's victory over death took the resurrection doctrine out of the realm of speculative eschatology. Henceforth, it is a fact of experience, basic for Christianity. Direct references in the New Testament are found in  Acts 4:2;  Acts 17:18 ,  Acts 17:32;  Acts 23:6;  Acts 24:15 ,  Acts 24:21;  Romans 4:17;  Romans 5:17;  Romans 6:5 ,  Romans 6:8;  Romans 8:11;  Romans 11:15;  1 Corinthians 6:14; 15;  2 Corinthians 1:9;  2 Corinthians 4:14;  2 Corinthians 5:1-10;  Philippians 3:10 ,  Philippians 3:11 ,  Philippians 3:21;  Colossians 1:18;  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18;  2 Timothy 2:18;  Hebrews 6:2;  Hebrews 11:19 ,  Hebrews 11:35;  Revelation 20:4 ,  Revelation 20:5 (martyrs only);   Revelation 20:12 ,  Revelation 20:13 . Of these only  Acts 24:15;  Revelation 20:12 ,  Revelation 20:13 , refer to a general resurrection with absolute unambiguity, but the doctrine is certainly contained in others and in   2 Timothy 4:1 besides.

2. Pauline Doctrine:

A theology of the resurrection is given fully by Paul. Basic is the conception of the union of the believer with Christ, so that our resurrection follows from His (especially  Romans 6:5-11;  Philippians 3:10 ,  Philippians 3:11 ). Every deliverance from danger is a foretaste of the resurrection ( 2 Corinthians 4:10 ,  2 Corinthians 4:11 ). Indeed so certain is it, that it may be spoken of as accomplished ( Ephesians 2:6 ). From another standpoint, the resurrection is simply part of God's general redemption of Nature at the consummation ( Romans 8:11 ,  Romans 8:18-25 ). As the believer then passes into a condition of glory, his body must be altered for the new conditions ( 1 Corinthians 15:50;  Philippians 3:21 ); it becomes a "spiritual" body, belonging to the realm of the spirit ( not "spiritual" in opposition to "material"). Nature shows us how different "bodies" can be - from the "body" of the sun to the bodies of the lowest animals the kind depends merely on the creative will of God (  1 Corinthians 15:38-41 ). Nor is the idea of a change in the body of the same thing unfamiliar: look at the difference in the "body" of a grain of wheat at its sowing and after it is grown! ( 1 Corinthians 15:37 ). Just so, I am "sown" or sent into the world (probably not "buried") with one kind of body, but my resurrection will see me with a body adapted to my life with Christ and God ( 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 ). If I am still alive at the Parousia, this new body shall be clothed upon my present body ( 1 Corinthians 15:53 ,  1 Corinthians 15:54;  2 Corinthians 5:2-4 ) otherwise I shall be raised in it ( 1 Corinthians 15:52 ). This body exists already in the heavens ( 2 Corinthians 5:1 ,  2 Corinthians 5:2 ), and when it is clothed upon me the natural functions of the present body will be abolished ( 1 Corinthians 6:13 ). Yet a motive for refraining from impurity is to keep undefiled the body that is to rise ( 1 Corinthians 6:13 ,  1 Corinthians 6:14 ).

3. Continuity:

The relation of the matter in the present body to that in the resurrection body was a question Paul never raised. In  1 Corinthians 6:13 ,  1 Corinthians 6:14 it appears that he thought of the body as something more than the sum of its organs, for the organs perish, but the body is raised. Nor does he discuss the eventual fate of the dead body. The imagery of   1 Thessalonians 4:16 ,  1 Thessalonians 4:17;  1 Corinthians 15:52 is that of leaving the graves, and in the case of Christ's resurrection, the type of ours, that which was buried was that which was raised (  1 Corinthians 15:4 ). Perhaps the thought is that the touch of the resurrection body destroys all things in the old body that are unadapted to the new state; perhaps there is an idea that the essence of the old body is what we might call "non-material," so that decay simply anticipates the work the resurrection will do. At all events, such reflections are "beyond what is written."

4.  2 Corinthians 5 :

A partial parallel to the idea of the resurrection body being already in heaven is found in Slavonic Enoch 22:8,9, where the soul receives clothing laid up for it (compare Ascension of  Isaiah 7:22 ,  Isaiah 7:23 and possibly   Revelation 6:11 ). But Christ also speaks of a reward being already in heaven ( Matthew 5:12 ). A more important question is the time of the clothing in  2 Corinthians 5:1-5 . A group of scholars (Heinrici, Schmiedel, Holtzmann, Clemen, Charles, etc.) consider that Paul has here changed his views from those of 1 Corinthians; that he now considers the resurrection body to be assumed immediately at death, and they translate  2 Corinthians 5:2 ,  2 Corinthians 5:3 " 'we groan (at the burdens of life), longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven': because, when we shall be clothed with it, we shall have no more nakedness to experience" (Weizsacker's translation of the New Testament). But 2 Corinthians would have been a most awkward place to announce a change of views, for it was written in part as a defense against inconsistency (  2 Corinthians 1:17 , etc.). The willingness to be absent from the body ( 2 Corinthians 5:8 ) loses all its point if another and better body is to be given at once. The grammatical reasons for the interpretation above (best stated by Heinrici) are very weak. And the translation given reads into the verse something that simply is not there. Consequently it is far better to follow the older interpretation of Meyer (B. Weiss, Bousset, Lietzmann, Bachmann, Menzies, etc.; Bachmann is especially good) and the obvious sense of the passage: Paul dreads being left naked by death, but finds immediate consolation at the thought of being with Christ, and eventual consolation at the thought of the body to be received at the Parousia . (In  Philippians 1:21-24 this dread is overcome.)

Of a resurrection of the wicked, Paul has little to say. The doctrine seems clearly stated in  2 Corinthians 5:10 (and in   2 Timothy 4:1 , unless the Pauline authorship of 2 Timothy is denied). But Paul is willing to treat the fate of the unrighteous with silence.

V. Summary.

1. New Testament Data:

The points in the New Testament doctrine of the resurrection of the righteous, then, seem to be these: The personality of the believer survives after death and is with Christ. But it is lacking in something that will be supplied at the consummation, when a body will be given in which there is nothing to hinder perfect intercourse with God. The connection of this body with the present body is not discussed, except for saying that some connection exists, with the necessity of a transformation for those alive at the end. In this state nothing remains that is inconsistent with the height to which man is raised, and in particular sexual relations ( Mark 12:25 ) and the processes of nutrition ( 1 Corinthians 6:13 ) cease. For this end the whole power of God is available. And it is insured by the perfect trust the believer may put in God and by the resurrection of Christ, with whom the believer has become intimately united. The unrighteous are raised for the final vindication of God's dealings in history. Two resurrections are found in   Revelation 20:5 ,  Revelation 20:13 and quite possibly in   1 Thessalonians 4:16;  1 Corinthians 15:23 ,  1 Corinthians 15:24 . Hence, the phrase first resurrection . See Last Judgment .

2. Interpretation:

Into the "blanks" of this scheme the believer is naturally entitled to insert such matter as may seem to him best compatible with his other concepts of Christianity and of philosophy. As is so often the case with passages in the Bible, the student marvels at the way the sacred writers were restrained from committing Christianity to metaphysical schemes that growth in human knowledge might afterward show to be false. But theologian must take care to distinguish between the revealed facts and the interpretation given them in any system that he constructs to make the doctrine conform to the ideas of his own time or circle - a distinction too often forgotten in the past and sometimes with lamentable results. Especially is it well to remember that such a phrase as "a purely spiritual immortality" rests on a metaphysical dualism that is today obsolete, and that such a phrase is hardly less naive than the expectation that the resurrection body will contain identically the material of the present body. We are still quite in the dark as to the relations of what we call "soul" and "body," and so, naturally, it is quite impossible to dogmatize. A. Meyer in his Rgg article ("Auferstehung, dogmatisch") has some interesting suggestions. For an idealistic metaphysic, where soul and body are only two forms of God's thought, the resurrection offers no difficulties. If the body be regarded as the web of forces that proceed from the soul, the resurrection would take the form of the return of those forces to their center at the consummation. If "body" be considered to embrace the totality of effects that proceed from the individual, at the end the individual will find in these effects the exact expression of himself (Fechner's theory). Or resurrection may be considered as the end of evolution - the reunion in God of all that has been differentiated and so evolved and enriched. Such lines must be followed cautiously, but may be found to lead to results of great value.

In recent years the attention of scholars has been directed to the problem of how far the teachings of other religions assisted the Jews in attaining a resurrection doctrine. Practically only the Persian system comes into question, and here the facts seem to be these: A belief among the Persians in the resurrection of the body is attested for the pre-Christian period by the fragments of Theopompus (4th century BC), preserved by Diogenes Laertius and Aeneas of Gaza. That this doctrine was taught by Zoroaster himself is not capable of exact proof, but is probable. But on the precise details we are in great uncertainty. In the Avesta the doctrine is not found in the oldest part (the Gathas ), but is mentioned in the 19th Yasht, a document that has certainly undergone post-Christian redaction of an extent that is not determinable. The fullest Persian source is the Bundahesh (30), written in the 9th Christian century. It certainly contains much very ancient matter, but the age of any given passage in it is always a problem. Consequently the sources must be used with great caution. It may be noted that late Judaism certainly was affected to some degree by the Persian religion (see Tob, especially), but there are so many native Jewish elements that were leading to a resurrection doctrine that familiarity with the Persian belief could have been an assistance only. Especially is it to be noted that the great acceptance of the doctrine lies in the post-Maccabean period, when direct Persian influence is hardly to be thought of. See Zoroastrianism .


The older works suffer from a defective understanding of the presuppositions, but Salmond, Christian Doctrine of Immortality , is always useful. Brown, The Christian Hope , 1912, is excellent and contains a full bibliography. Charles, Eschatology , and article "Eschatology" in Encyclopedia Biblica are invaluable, but must be used critically by the thorough student, for the opinions are often individualistic. Wotherspoon's article "Resurrection" in Dcg is good; Bernard's in Hdb is not so good. On 1 Corinthians, Findlay or (better) Edwards; on 2 Corinthians, Menzies. In German the New Testament Theologies of Weiss, Holtzmann, Feine; Schaeder's "Auferstehung" in Pre 3 . On 1 Cor, Heinrici and J. Weiss in Meyer (editions 8,9); on 2 Corinthians, Bachmann in the Zahn series. On both Corinthian epistles Bousset in the Schriften des New Testament of J. Weiss (the work of an expert in eschatology), and Lietzmann in his Handbuch . See Body; Eschatology (OLD Testament And New Testament ); Flesh; Soul; Spirit .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [16]

( Ἀνάστασις ) OF THE BODY, the revivification of the human body after it has been forsaken by the soul, or the reunion of the soul hereafter to the body which it had occupied in the present world. This is one of the essential points in the creed of Christendom.

I. History Of The Doctrine . It is admitted that there are no traces of such a belief in the earlier Hebrew Scripture. It is not to be found in the Pentateuch, in the historical books, or in the Psalms; for  Psalms 49:15 does not relate to this subject; neither does  Psalms 104:29-30, although so cited by Theodoret and others. The celebrated passage of  Job 19:25 sq. has indeed been strongly insisted upon in proof of the early belief in this doctrine; but the most learned commentators are agreed, and scarcely any one at the present day disputes, that such a view of the text arises either from mistranslation or misapprehension, and that Job means no more than to express a confident conviction that his then diseased and dreadfully corrupted body should be restored to its former soundness; that he should rise from the depressed state in which he lay to his former prosperity; and that God would manifestly appear (as was the case) to vindicate his uprightness. Thatno meaning more recondite is to be found in the text is agreed by Calvin, Mercier, Grotius, Le Clerc, Patrick, Warburton, Durell, Heath, Kennicott, Doderlein, Dathe, Eichhorn, Jahn, De Wette, and a host of others. That it alludes to a resurrection is disproved thus:

1. The supposition is inconsistent with the design of the poem and the course of the argument, since the belief which it has been supposed to express, as connected with a future state of retribution, would in a great degree have solved the difficulty on which the whole dispute turns, and could not but have been often alluded to by the speakers.

2. It is inconsistent with the connection of the discourse; the reply of Zophar agreeing, not with the popular interpretation, but with the other.

3. It is inconsistent with many passages in which the same person (Job) longs for death as the end of his miseries, and not as the introduction to a better life (Job 3;  Job 7:7-8;  Job 10:20-22; Job 19;  Job 17:11-16).

4. It is not proposed as a topic of consolation by any of the friends of Job; nor by Elihu, who acts as a sort of umpire; nor by the Almighty himself in the decision of the controversy.

5. The later Jews, who eagerly sought for every intimation bearing on a future life which their Scriptures might contain, never regarded this as such; nor is it once referred to by Christ or his apostles.

6. The language, when exactly rendered, contains no warrant for such an interpretation; especially the phrase "yet In my flesh shall I see God," which should rather be rendered " Out Of my flesh." (See Book Of Job).

Isaiah may be regarded as the first Scripture writer in whom such an allusion can be traced. He compares the restoration of the Jewish people and state to a resurrection from the dead ( Isaiah 26:19-20); and in this he is followed by Ezekiel at the time of the exile (ch. 37). From these passages, which are, however, not very clear in their intimations, it may seem that in this, as in other matters, the twilight of spiritual manifestations brightened as the day-spring from on high approached; and in  Daniel 12:2 we at length arrive at a clear and unequivocal declaration that those who lie sleeping under the earth shall awake, some to eternal life, and others to everlasting shame and contempt.

In the time of Christ, the belief of a resurrection, in connection with a state of future retribution, was held by the Pharisees and the great body of the Jewish people, and was only disputed by the Sadducees. Indeed, they seem to have regarded the future life as incomplete without the body; and so intimately were the two things-the future existence of the soul and the resurrection of the body-connected in their minds that any argument which, proved the former they considered as proving the latter also (see  Matthew 22:31;  1 Corinthians 15:32). This belief, however, led their coarse minds into gross and sensuous conceptions of the future state, although there were many among the Pharisees who taught that the future body would be so refined as not to need the indulgences which were necessary in the present life; and they assented to our Lord's assertion that the risen saints would not marry, but would be as the angels of God ( Matthew 22:30; comp.  Luke 20:39). So Paul, in  1 Corinthians 6:13, is conceived to intimate that the necessity of food for subsistence will be abolished in the world to come.

In further proof of the commonness of a belief in the resurrection among the Jews of the time of Christ, see Matthew 22; Luke 20;  John 11:24;  Acts 23:6-8. Josephus is not to be relied upon in the account which he gives of the belief of his countrymen ( Ant. 18:2; War, ii, 7), as he appears to use terms which might suggest one thing to his Jewish readers and another to the Greeks and Romans, who scouted the idea of a resurrection. It is clearly taught in the Apocryphal books of the Old Test. (Wisdom of Solomon 3:1, etc.; 4:15;  2 Maccabees 7:14;  2 Maccabees 7:23;  2 Maccabees 7:29, etc.). Many Jews believed that the wicked would not be raised from the dead; but the contrary was the more prevailing opinion, in which Paul once took occasion to express his concurrence with the Pharisees ( Acts 24:15).

But although the doctrine of the resurrection was thus prevalent among the Jews in the time of Christ, it might still have been doubtful and obscure to us had not Christ given to it the sanction of his authority, and declared it a constituent part of his religion (e.g. Matthew 22;  John 5:8;  John 5:11). He and his apostles also, were careful to correct the erroneous notions which the Jews entertained on this head, and to make the subject more obvious and intelligible than it had ever been before. A special interest is also imparted to the subject from the manner in which the New Test. represents Christ as the person to whom we are indebted for this benefit, which, by every variety of argument and illustration, the apostles connect with him, and make to rest upon him ( Acts 4:2;  Acts 26:3; 1 Corinthians 15;  1 Thessalonians 4:14, etc.).

II. Scripture Details . The principal points which can be collected from the New Test. on this subject are the following:

1. The raising of the dead is everywhere ascribed to Christ, and is represented as the last work to be undertaken by him for the salvation of man ( John 5:21;  John 11:25;  1 Corinthians 15:22 sq.;  1 Thessalonians 4:15;  Revelation 1:18).

2. All the dead will be raised, without respect to age, rank, or character in this world ( John 5:28-29;  Acts 24:15;  1 Corinthians 15:22).

3. This event is to take place not before the end of the world, or the general judgment ( John 5:21;  John 6:39-40;  John 11:24;  1 Corinthians 15:22-28;  1 Thessalonians 4:15;  Revelation 20:11).

4. The manner in which this marvellous change shall be accomplished is necessarily beyond our present comprehension, and therefore the Scripture is content to illustrate it by figurative representations, or by proving the possibility and intelligibility of the leading facts. Some of the figurative descriptions occur in Matthew 24; John 5;  1 Corinthians 15:52;  1 Thessalonians 4:16;  Philippians 3:21. The image of a trumpet-call, which is repeated in some of these texts, is derived from the Jewish custom of convening assemblies by sound of trumpet.

5. The possibility of a resurrection is powerfully argued by Paul in  1 Corinthians 15:32 sq., by comparing it with events of common occurrence in the natural world. (See also  1 Corinthians 15:12-14; and comp.  Acts 4:2.) Kitto.

6. The numerous instances of an actual raising of individuals to life by our Lord and his apostles, not to speak of a few similar acts by the Old Test. prophets, and especially the crowning fact of our Lord's resurrection from the grave, afford some light on these particulars. (See below.):

7. The fact of the general judgment (q.v.) is conclusive as to the literal truth of this great doctrine.

But although this body shall be so raised as to preserve its identity, it must yet undergo certain purifying changes to fit it for the kingdom of heaven, and to render it capable of immortality ( 1 Corinthians 15:35 sq.), so that it shall become a glorified body like that of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 15:49;  Romans 6:9;  Philippians 3:21); and the bodies of those whom the last day finds alive will undergo a similar change without tasting death ( 1 Corinthians 15:51;  1 Corinthians 15:53;  2 Corinthians 5:4;  1 Thessalonians 4:15 sq.;  Philippians 3:21).

III. Theories On The Subject, Whether the soul, between the death and the resurrection of the present body, exists independent of any envelope, we know not. Though it may be that a union of spirit with body is the general law of all created spiritual life, still this view gives no countenance to the notions of those who have attempted to prove, from certain physiological opinions respecting the renewal every few years of the human frame during life, and the final transmission of its decomposed elements into other forms of being, that the resurrection of the body is impossible. The apostle asserts the fact that the "dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed; for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" ( 1 Corinthians 15:35-53). While this passage affirms the identity of the body before and after the resurrection, it by no means affirms the identity of the constituent particles of which the body is, at different periods, supposed to be made up. The particles of a man's body may change several times betiween infancy and old age; and yet, according to our ideas of bodily identity, the man has had all the time "the same body." So also all the particles may be changed again between the process of death and the resurrection, and the body yet retain its identity (see the Bibliothec Sacra, 2, 613 sq.). Doubtless the future body will be incorruptible, infrangible, and capable of being moved at will to any part of the universe. The highest and most lengthened exercises of thought and feeling will doubtless not occasion exhaustion or languor so as to divert in any way the intellect and the affections from the engagements suited to their strength and perfection (see the Brit. and For. Evang. Rev. April, 1862). But that there is no analogy that the new body will have no connection with, and no relation to, the old; and that, in fact, the resurrection of the body is not a doctrine of Scripture does not appear to us to have been satisfactorily proved by the latest writer on the subject (Bush, Annistasis,.N. Y. 1845); and we think so highly of his ingenuity and talent as to believe that no one else is likely to succeed in an argument in which he has failed.

Among the speculations propounded as a solution of the problem of the resurrection, the most ingenious, perhaps, as well as fascinating, is the germ theory, which assumes that the soul at death retains a certain ethereal investiture, alndthat this ha's, by virtue of the vital force, the power of accreting to itself a new body for the celestial life. This is substantially the Swedenborgian view as advocated by the late Prof. Bush, and has recently received the powerful support of Mr. Joseph Cook in his popular lectures. It is thought to be countenanced especially by Paul's language (1 Corinthians 15) concerning the "spiritual body" of the future state ( 1 Corinthians 15:4), and his figure of the renewed grain ( 1 Corinthians 15:37). This explanation, however, is beset with many insuperable difficulties.

(a.) The apostle's distinction between the Psychical ( Ψυχικόν , "natural") and thepneumatical ( Πνευματικόν , "spiritual") in that passage is not of Material ( Φυσικόν , physical) as opposed to immaterial or disembodied; for both are equally called Body ( Σῶμα , actual and tangible substance), such as we know our Lord's resurrection body was composed of ( Luke 24:39). It is merely, as the whole context shows ("corruptible- incorruptible," "mortal-immortal," etc.), the difference between the feeble, decaying body of this life in its present normal state, and the glorious, fadeless frame of the future world in its transcendent condition hereafter; in short, its aspect as known to us here from natural phenomena, and its prospect as revealed to us in Scripture. This appears from the contrasted use of these terms in another part of the same epistle ( 1 Corinthians 2:14-15) to denote the unregenerate as opposed to the regenerate heart, the former being its usual or depraved, and the latter its transformed or gracious, state.

(b.) In like manner the apostle's figure of grain as sown, while it admirably illustrates, in a general way, the possibility of changes in the natural world as great as that which will take place in the resurrection body, yet like all other metaphors was never intended to teach the precise Mode of that transformation, and accordingly it fails in several essential particulars to correspond to the revival of the body from the grave. 1. The seed never actually dies, nor any part of it. It is the germ alone that possesses vitality, and this simply expands and develops, gathering to itself the material of the rest of the seed, which undergoes chemical and vital changes fitting it for nutriment until the young plant attains roots and leaves wherewith to imbibe nourishment from the outer world. This whole process is as truly a growth as that anywhere found in nature; it is, in fact, essentially the same as takes place in the hatching of an egg or the gestation of an animal. 2. The real identity of the original plant or seed and its successor or the crop is lost in this transmutation, as the apostle himself intimates (v. 37). It is, in fact, the reproduction of another but similar thing rather than the continuation or renewal of the: same. The old plant, indeed, perishes, but it never revives. The seed is its offspring, and thus only represents its parent. Nor is the new plant anything more than a lineal descendant of the old one. We must not confound the resurrection with mere propagation. The young plant may, we admit, in one sense be said to be identical with the germ sown, notwithstanding the great change which it takes on in the process of growth; and this is the precise point of the apostle's simile. But we must not press his figure into a literal strictness when comparing things so radically different as the burial of a corpse and the planting of grain. The principle of life is continuous in the latter; but this is not a distinct substance, like the soul; it is merely a property of matter, and in the case of the body must cease with physical dissolution.

(c.) We would ask those who maintain this theory a simple question: Is the so-called germ or "enswathement" which is supposed to survive, escape, or be eliminated from the body at death is it matter or is it spirit? We presume all will admit that there are but these two essential kinds of substance. Which of these, then, is it? It must, of course, belong to the former category. Then the body does not actually and entirely die! But this contradicts all the known phenomena in the case. The whole theory under discussion is not only a pure begging of the question really at issue, but it is improbable and inconsistent. There is absolutely not the slightest particle of scientific or historical evidence that the body leaves a vital residuum in dissolution, or evolves at death an ethereal frame that survives it in any physical sense whatever as a representation. We remand all such hypotheses to the realm of ghostland and "spiritualism."

(d.) In the case of the resurrection of the body of Jesus, which is the type of the general resurrection, and the only definite instance on record, it is certain that this theory will not apply. Not, only is no countenance given to it by the language of Holy Scripture concerning the agency which effected that resuscitation, viz. the direct and miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, but the circumstances obviously exclude such a process. There, was the defunct person, entire except that the spark of life had fled. If it be said that there still lingered about it some vital germ that was the nucleus around which reanimation gathered, what is this but to deny that Jesus was ttuly and effectually dead? Then thie whole doctrine of the atonement is endangered. In plain English, he was merely in a swoon, as the Rationalists assert. It may be replied, indeed, that the revivification of our Lord's body, which had not yet decomposed, of course differed in some important respects from that of the bodies of the saints whose elements will have dissolved to dust. But on the ordinary view the two agree in the essential point, viz. an actual and full return to life after total and absolute extinction of it; whereas under the theory in question one main element of this position is denied. It matters little how long the body has been dead, or to what extent disorganization has taken place whether but a few hours, as in the case of the son of the widow of Nain; or four days, as in that of Lazarus; or thousands of years, as in thatof the saints at the final judgment. It is equally a resurrection if life have utterly left the physical organism, and not otherwise. We conclude, therefore, that there is no scriptural, consistent, or intelligible view except the one commonly entertained by Christians on this subject, viz. that the pure and immaterial soul alone survives the dissolution of the body, and that at the last day almighty power will clothe this afresh with a corporeal frame suitable to its enlarged and completely developed faculties, and that the identity of the latter will consist, not so much, if at all, in the reassemblage of the individual particles of which its old partner was composed, much less of some subtle and continuous tertium quid that emerged from the decaying substance and reconstructs a new physical home for itself, but in the similar combination of similar matter, similarly united with the same immortal spirit, and with it glorified by some such inscrutable change as took place in our Saviour's body at the transfiguration, and as still characterized it when preternaturally beheld by Saul on his way to Damascus.

IV. Literature . This is very copious (see a list of works on the subject in the appendix to Alger's Doctrine of a Future Life, Nos. 2929-3181). We here mention only a few of the most important: Knapp, Christian Theology, translated by Leonard Woods, D.D., § 151-153; Hody, On the Resurrection; Drew, Essay on the Resurrection of the Human. Body; Burnet, State of the Dead; Schott, Dissert. de Resurrect. Corporis, adv. S. Burnetumn (1763); Teller, Fides Dogmat. de Resurr. Carnis (1766); Mosheim, De Christ. Resurr. Mort., etc., in Dissertatt. ii, 526 sq.; Dassov, Diatr. gua Judceor. de Resurr. Mort. Sentent. ex Plur. Rabbinis (1675); Neander, All. Geschichte, etc., I, 3:1088,1096; II, 3:1404-1410; Zehrt, Ueber d. Auferstehung d. Todten (1835); Hodgson, Res. of Hum. Body (Lond. 1853). (See Resurrection Of Christ).