Upon the subject of the resurrection, our positive information is derived wholly from the word of God. Further discussion of it may be most naturally arranged in a series of answers to objections. The objections commonly urged against the doctrine, as above propounded, may be reduced to two:
The exegetical objection. It rests upon a literalizing of metaphorical language, and has no sufficient support in Scripture. To this we answer:
(a) Though the phrase ?resurrection of the body? does not occur in the New Testament, the passages which describe the event indicate a physical, as distinguished from a spiritual, change ( <430528>John 5:28, 29; <500321>Philippians 3:21; <520413>1 Thess. 4:13-17). The phrase ?spiritual body? ( <461544>1 Corinthians 15:44) is a contradiction in terms, if it be understood as signifying ?a body which is simple spirit.? It can only be interpreted as meaning a material organism, perfectly adapted to be the outward expression and vehicle of the purified soul. The purely spiritual interpretation is, moreover, expressly excluded by the apostolic denial that ?the resurrection is past already?
( <550218>2 Timothy 2:18), and by the fact that there is a resurrection of the unjust, as well as of the just ( <442415>Acts 24:15).
<430528> John 5:28, 29 ? ?all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth?; <500321>Philippians 3:21 ? ?who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation?; <520416>1 Thess. 4:16, 17 ? ?For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first?; <461544>1 Corinthians 15:44 ? ?it is sown a natural [margin: ?psychical?] body; it is raised a spiritual body?; <550217>2 Timothy 2:17, 18 ? ?Hymeneus and Philetus; men who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some?; <442415>Acts 24:15 ? ?Having hope toward God...that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and the unjust.?
In <461544>1 Corinthians 15:44, the word yuciko>n , translated ?natural? or ?psychical,? is derived from the Greek word yuch> , soul, just as the word pneumatiko>n , translated ?spiritual,? is derived from the Greek word pneu~ma , spirit. And as Paul could not mean to say that this earthly body is composed of soul, neither does he say that the resurrection body is composed of spirit. In other words, these adjectives ?psychical? and ?spiritual? do not define the material of the respective bodies but describe those bodies in their relations and adaptations, in their powers and uses.
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?