resurrection

resurrection

A rising to life from death. The concept of resurrection is derived from Jewish apocalyptic literature and is to be distinguished from the Greek concept of the immortality of the soul (Isa 26:19; Dan 12:2). Resurrection implies that a person who was truly dead is brought back to life; immortality of the soul implies that the person’s true self (soul) does not die, which obviates the need for resurrection. Thus the doctrine of resurrection assumes that death is total—the whole person (body, mind, soul, spirit) dies, and no part of that person remains alive. God then brings the whole person (body, mind, soul, spirit) back to life. Still, the biblical concept of resurrection is also to be distinguished from temporary resuscitation of dead persons, which is what occurs in the Bible when Elijah (1Kgs 17:17-24) or Jesus (Luke 7:11-17) restores life to someone who has died. The persons “raised from the dead” in those stories are being restored to temporal life, with an assumption that they will eventually die again. Resurrection, by contrast, denotes a complete transformation of the person into a being that now has eternal life (1Cor 15:35-55). Just how this happens is expressed in a number of ways, but the dominant motif is new creation. Just as God created the person initially, so God will re-create that person. Notably, those who are resurrected will have new bodies that do not suffer the limitations of mortal flesh (1Cor 15:35-55). In that sense, at least, they will be like angels (Mark 12:25). Resurrection was also thought of as a corporate event. God would raise all of the elect at the end of history. Christian proclamation of Jesus’s resurrection was understood in this light: his resurrection was viewed as “first fruits” in anticipation of the general resurrection (1Cor 15:20), and the resurrection of all believers would follow as a result (1Cor 15:22).

Isa 26:19

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Dan 12:2

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1Kgs 17:17-24

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Luke 7:11-17

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1Cor 15:35-55

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1Cor 15:35-55

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Mark 12:25

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1Cor 15:20

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1Cor 15:22

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