Apr 10, 2012

One More Thought on the Resurrection

While I was jogging this morning it struck me that when one looks at the aptly identified resurrection chapter in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 15, it is interesting to note how Paul does not make his case for the resurrection. That is, he does not make it by appealing to well-known examples of people being raised from the dead (e.g., the widow of Zarephath's son [1 Kgs 17], the Shunnamite's son [2 Kgs 4), Jairus' daughter [Mark 5], the widow of Nain's son [Luke 7], Lazarus [John 11], etc.). Instead, Paul points to Jesus' resurrection and illustrates his point using creation (plants, animals, and stars). I believe that there is a very good reason for this. Namely, the examples of people raised from the dead are not really examples of resurrections, but more technically, of resuscitations, or as I prefer to call "resusurrections" (see this post). Jesus was the first one to be resurrected. Therefore, there are no other examples (yet!) of resurrections for Paul to appeal to. While we must exercise caution in making too much of how a biblical author does not make his argument, it seems to me that what Paul does not say here is worth noting.


Mike Gantt said...

Yes, Jesus' resurrection from the dead was the first of its kind.

Charles said...

Thanks for your comment Mike. I don't know about you, but in my experience many people refer to the resuscitations (or what I call "resusurrections") in the Bible as resurrections. I think that this is unhelpful theologically.

Mike Gantt said...


Fortunately, the earliest believers could keep the difference clear in their minds even without benefit of a different term.

I think Jesus' destination being identified in Psalm 110 as the right hand of God did a pretty good job of making clear that He was not going to die again.