You are hereA Response to Andrew Perriman's Questions on Resurrection

A Response to Andrew Perriman's Questions on Resurrection

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By Virgil - Posted on 29 May 2009

by Virgil Vaduva, Jack Scott and Jeremy Lile

A few days ago Andrew Perriman posted a sort of review and a list of comments regarding Kevin Beck’s book titled This Book Will Change Your World. In response to my comments, Andrew also had a couple of questions about the resurrection, especially about 1 Thes. 4 and 1 Cor. 15. This is a response to the questions Andrew raised about the resurrection, not just recently but also in the past. Hundreds of pages can be written on these two passages, and I am hoping that however inadequate of a response, Andrew together with the readers of Open Source Theology will enjoy these arguments and interact in a constructive and meaningful way. Click here to read the entire article

chrisliv's picture


The article and points follow very nicely, on such a slippery topic, semantically speaking.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

plymouthrock's picture


Glad to see this article here! I am also glad to see the continued interaction with Open Source Theology.


davo's picture

1. Some people were worried that their physically dead relatives would be “forgotten” or somehow “lessened” because they were physically dead, or they would take a secondary role or place in the resurrection of the dead.

2. Some people were experiencing discomfort at the thought that those of them who would be physically alive at the Parousia would prevent those who were dead from being resurrected or from enjoying their resurrection benefits.This is interesting Virgil…

Regardless of the actual specifics of the resurrection these believers became anxious over, according to these options one thing seems clear – they had an expectation that such resurrection would be just like Jesus' in that it would be back into THIS world i.e., back into THIS life; this as opposed to our more typically minded post-mortem other or next worldly assumptions.

I like the way Tom Wright puts it:As good creational monotheists, mainline Jews were not hoping to escape from the present universe into some Platonic realm of eternal bliss enjoyed by disembodied souls after the end of the space-time universe. If they died in the fight for the restoration of Israel, they hoped not to 'go to heaven', or at least not permanently, but to be raised to new bodies when the kingdom came, since they would of course need new bodies to enjoy the very much this-worldly shalom, peace and prosperity that was in store.

N.T. Wright: The New Testament And The People Of God p. 286So that said, the facts are – ALL "physical" resurrections as recorded in the bible were the same, that is, resurrection back into this life. Where Jesus' resurrection was exceptional beyond the rest in this sense, was that he didn't die again, rather, ascending to the Father to enter his reign as Lord of all.

So… IF we leave aside for a moment the notion that "biblical" resurrection generically means other-worldly existence beyond the grave and instead run with the thought that resurrection specifically pertained to the people of God as the promise of covenant renewal then I think it quite naturally takes on the "corporate" understanding that you've argued for etc. Israel's resurrection [redemption] then being God's catalyst for the reconciliation of man.


Virgil's picture

...I think it quite naturally takes on the "corporate" understanding that you've argued for etc. Israel's resurrection [redemption] then being God's catalyst for the reconciliation of man.

Yes, in fact the eschatological language of the NT is all about the renewing, reconciliation of man: NEW Israel, NEW Jerusalem, NEW creation, NEW world, NEW Kingdom, NEW body..on and on.

chrisliv's picture


Davo, you seem to still be caught up with an old, genetic and geographical "Israel".

C. Livingstone

davo's picture

Well yeah Chris… as I understand it in one very important sense – God's promises WERE unequivocally to Israel i.e., fleshly Israel AND to whomever joined themselves to her. "Called of God" old covenant fleshly Israel [there was no other Israel] were specifically designated by God as His kingdom of priests. They were to be His mouthpiece and hands to the rest of God's "genetic and geographical" creation.

As you know, through disobedient self-righteousness fleshly Israel abdicated their divine call. It was this calling that Jesus and the first-fruit saints took up ON BEHALF OF their fleshly brethren, redemptively fulfilling as the NEW Israel the promises – people anointed by God to serve His "genetic and geographical" creation.


chrisliv's picture

Oh, Davo,

My dear friend. You have slightly, but significantly, missed what God always and only meant by "Israel", even in the OT.

Nobody needed to go through Genetic Jews in the 1st Century to come to Christ.

You have made a serious misunderstanding.

God was never a respecter of persons or Semetic pedigrees.

Come on, do you really think God coveted Jewish DNA?

That's the carnal-minded and fanciful interpretation of Dispensationalism.

It was alway the Israel of "Faith", never of genetics. And the geographical promises were all fulfilled, and also annulled, due to the disobedience of the Israelites.

That's why the Prophets often mentioned that the Promise was only for a "Remnant".

The real Promise" and "Seed" of Abraham, singluar, as interpreted in the NT, was never the genetic decendants of Abraham.

You might as well join Hal Lindsey, until you understand Paul's definition of "Israel" at Romans 9:

6 ... For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

7 Neither, because they are the [plural] seed [genetic] of Abraham , are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh [genetically speaking], these are not the children of God: but the children of the Promise [Jews and Gentiles, through Faith in Christ] are counted for the Seed.

You're not too far off, though, Davo. It was to whom ever joined themselves to the True Israel, which was Christ, alone.

Christ was the Holy One.

Christ was the one who claimed to be the true Vine, i.e., "Israel" when He said, " I am the True Vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in ME [not genetic Jews] that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

There is much more that could be said alone this line. But I trust that you are enough of a diligent study, on your own, to find out more about this simple and obvious truth that is clearly articulated in the NT.

But I'll leave you with a list of references, below, to the word "heirs" in the NT. You'll quickly see that Jewish DNA was never what God sought.

Of course, you'll probably remember, from the Book of Hebrews, that even Abraham always understood that a high fertility rate and a strip of Middle Eastern real estate never something he or God really sought.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

Ro 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Ro 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Ga 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Eph 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Heb 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:

Heb 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

davo's picture

Sorry Chris, but your unbiblical "replacement theology" that you have hastily jumped in with has blinded you to what I'm really saying.

Israel wasn't so much replaced by "the church", but rather, by means of the new covenant congregation, "who Israel was" became refined and so redefined as to WHO the servant people of God were.

By the very "nature" of Israel's original calling YES it had a strong ethnic emphasis – but in a commonsense logical sense it had to. But even in this God permitted allowance for foreigners to join this covenanted ethnic people, showing that "ethnicity" ITSELF was NOT the ultimate badge of covenant membership, OBEDIENCE was.

It was Jesus and His first-fruit saints who fulfilling this mandated calling brought "life to the world" – the very thing historic Israel from her infancy was called to do, i.e., being "blessed to be a blessing".


chrisliv's picture


You mistakenly "placed" Jews in a false status in the first place.

I hope that dawns in your mind one day. I mean, if you don't understand that, you can't understand the Abrahamic covenant. You know, Davo, Abraham had no Jewish/Israelite DNA.

Historic, genetic Israel was not a blessing to all families of the Earth.

Historic, genetic Israel handed the Holy One over to be crucified by their Master, the Roman State.

That was to their shame.

And to this day, in a collective sense, genetic Jews are known to shun the Lamb that was slain for the sins of all humanity, not just Jews alone.

I know you're having trouble with this biblical point, as it is a little tricky:

Christ was the Seed to whom the Promises were made.

Genetic and geographic Israel broke their covenant with God way before Christ ever came, and it ultimately suffered the curse, in 70 AD, that was stipulated when that covenant was cut.

I won't belabor this simple point any further, as I've done it here at PP a few times now, I think.

Most Preterists do get this important point.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

davo's picture

chrisliv: You mistakenly "placed" Jews in a false status in the first place.

Well actually my posts mention "Israel" – but regardless, let's run with your charge… I wonder what "false status" Jesus was holding his own brethren in when he spoke these words: "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

chrisliv: I hope that dawns in your mind one day. I mean, if you don't understand that, you can't understand the Abrahamic covenant. You know, Davo, Abraham had no Jewish/Israelite DNA.

C'mon Chris you can do better than playing juvenile semantics surely?? You might consider that the Israelite Jews had Abrahamic DNA… i.e., they were ALL Hebraic.

chrisliv: Historic, genetic Israel was not a blessing to all families of the Earth.

Ultimately this is true… we agree :) – however, through them came those who DID minister such blessing, namely Jesus and His first-fruit saints, and then progressively those following in like faith…

chrisliv: Genetic and geographic Israel broke their covenant with God way before Christ ever came, and it ultimately suffered the curse, in 70 AD, that was stipulated when that covenant was cut.

Logic should inform you Chris that covenant curse only came upon those who were in fact already as God's people, "in covenant" – the fact that "some" broke covenant and suffered temporal consequences in NO WAY, according to Paul, negated God's faithfulness to His covenant people of the covenant promises, as these were of God's choosing and thus irrevocable!

Rom 3:3-4a For what if some [disobedient Israel] did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not!

Rom 11:28-29 Concerning the gospel they [disobedient Israel] are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they [disobedient Israel] are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Chris with all due respect, you may have been belabouring certain simple points for quite some time, that however guarantees nothing.


chrisliv's picture


Apostle Paul's genetic countrymen never did accept, en masse, the Holy One Israel. Apostle Paul's wish in his Epistle to the Romans was never fulfilled, even to this day.

That is to their shame.

Abraham was not genetically Hebraic.

And, actually the Blessing and Promise was even before Abraham.

Although Abraham did become the first Hebrew.

Do you know how he did that?

It wasn't through animal husbandry.

Abraham exercised his Faith by "crossing over to" or "crossing over from". That's why he was called a "Hebrew".

Did you think "Hebrew" was a new race or species?

No, Davo the local covenant, known as the OT, was broken by one of the two parties, known as the Israelites/Jews, and was therefore nullified.

The OT always had a temporary shelf life, with notations like "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, until Shiloh comes."

Well, Shiloh did come, and the scepter did depart, in 70 AD.

These are simple points. But you're right, they don't get guaranteed acceptance into unwilling minds. So, I probably won't belabor them much further, except to give a remedial and foundational look at John the Baptist's attitude and Christ's early wrangling with the so-called "chosen" at Mat. 3:

7 ¶ But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees:
therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

You see, the "wrath to come" on the Jewish nation had been coming for a long time. It was finished around 70 AD, or at least by Masada.

John told those haughty Jews that their Jewish DNA an lineage back to Abraham meant nothing. And that if they wanted to have anything to do with Messiah's Kingdom that they had to come the same as if they were a filthy Goyhim/Gentile proselyte who were baptized, among other things, before being able to be joined to the genetic and geographic Israel.

To make a modern analogy to what John was saying would sound something like this to Billy Graham:

"Billy Graham, you've been a perverted child molester your whole life and you're going to be tormenting in Hell for all eternity unless you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and become Born Again."

Christ followed along similar verbal lines at John 8:

33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

38 ¶ I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

You see, Christ told the leading ancient Jews that their DNA was very nice, and that it was completely worthless in God's Kingdom. It was actually worse that worthless, it was destructive to their spiritual growth, which is what Paul was lamenting in Romans.

Davo, go ahead and hold up Jewish DNA as somehow special and magical if you like, but it's not biblical.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

davo's picture

Well Chris I appreciate your zeal, even if it is somewhat misguided. All I can suggest is you go back and reread my last two posts again CAREFULLY. If you do, then you'd realise I can readily agree with much of the padding you fill your posts out with on the way to making your erroneous and passing snipes…

Clearly you have a deep-rooted aversion to Jewish DNA – I'll leave your issue with you on that score. The truth is however – whoever and or whatever constituted "Israel" as "a holy people" called by God [Ex 19:5-6; Deut 7:6] had a corporate commonality and source etc; only the ill-informed would deny otherwise. That they as a called people became self-righteously insular and disobedient doesn't change the facts, as you seem to want to do.


chrisliv's picture


I have no aversion to Jewish DNA any more than I do to Armenian DNA, or any other DNA for that matter.

You're the one with Jewish DNA fixation.

I'm the one, along with the consecutive NT arguments from John the Baptist, Christ Himself, and Apostle Paul (as I outlined) who is arguing against your position which wrongly ELEVATES Jewish DNA above all others.

That biblical truth is not an aversion. It is a "deeply-rooted" biblical theology.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

davo's picture

Yeah ok Chris… go back and take your 'replacement theology' glasses off and "see" IF you can read me properly – I won't be holding my breath *_*


chrisliv's picture


Be more clear.

Again, your charge of "replacement theology" demonstrates your position, if the rules of the English language apply.

You do speak English?

There's no "placement" or "replacement".

Of course, Jews then, and even some now really believe that the promise of "I will bless them that bless thee" was talking about Jewish DNA.

It wasn't.

But I did see TV soliticitation the other night by OnEaglesWings, which used that one to manipulate Christians into sending money to fund people with Jewish DNA, or else the Christians wouldn't be blessed by God.

That's a "false placement" that needs no "replacement", only refutation.

I don't care what you do with your breathing.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

davo's picture

To be perfectly CLEAR Chris… YOU were the one introducing this whole "Jewish DNA" spin. Again, whenever stuck on an issue you disagree with you inevitably attempt to slide the topic sideways – apparently this meet your needs?

To be perfectly CLEAR Chris… what I am saying is this – old covenant Israel originally and primarily though NOT exclusively consisting of one family of people were the people of God. These people were God's kingdom of priests. THEY were promised redemption [resurrection]. This was fulfilled on their behalf by the new covenant 'Body' of Christ and the first-fruit saints.

This redemption of old covenant Israel through covenant renewal [the work of Israel's Messiah and His first-fruit saints] was the means whereby reconciliation then flowed to the world beyond Israel.


Ed's picture

To put an end to this madness, let me interject: I've known Davo for YEARS.........and he has NEVER ONCE advocated a biological link to salvation. It has always been covenantal, as has mine. Abraham's household consisted of circumcised slaves, not of his lineage. Jacob's household consisted of circumcised slaves, not of his lineage. The Exodus included "converts" whosoever wanted to leave slavery in Egypt. The examples abound, and Davo embraces them.

In fact, were you privy to the conversations on the forum, you'd know that he has been the sole voice arguing against the biological arguments presented by RiversofEden and DWHochner, among others.

The problem here, I think, is that you misconstrued what he was saying and are now having a difficult time backing down. Please back down, as Davo has more than explained himself. I agree with him that "replacement theology" is in fact in error. Rather what I, and Davo, perceives is that the church is the resurrected covenant Israel. Hope you can see the difference.


Papa is especially fond of us

davo's picture

Bravo Ed... YES!! thanks mate.


chrisliv's picture


But that now sounds like Davo follows a like of Replacement Theology of his own.

And I've interacted with Davo enough to realize that he has never really promoted a link between genetics and salvation.

What I was arguing against was any tendency for Jews today to be seen to have any covenantal status with God except through Christ, just like everybody else.

Can Davo actually say as much, instead of resorting to a false charge of anti-Semitism?

So, yeah, we've rocked this topic pretty good.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Ed's picture

The only reason that I can speak concerning this issue is that Davo and I have almost always been on the same page on any and every issue. Those that we were not were either political or short-lived.

Anyway, Davo makes no such claim that present-day Jews are somehow in covenant with God. In fact, I think that he would join with me in saying that there is little or no biological Jewish DNA in so-called Jews today.

We maintain, and have for some time, that the first century Israel, made up of Jew and Gentile (gentiles by faith), was the "chosen generation" in which the Messiah appeared to redeem her from the Curse. In redeeming her, through Christ, she became that "city on a hill," whose calling was to be a light to all the nations of the earth.

It is NOT replacement theology because Faithful Israel has always been the apple of God's eyes. It was never about biology, but always about faith. Foreigners joined to Israel through faith and circumcision prior to Christ, and afterward through faith and baptism. This faithful Israel, Jew and Gentile, was the kingdom of priests to God, who are the ambassadors of peace and righteousness. We, who profess faith in Christ, join with them in "serving" the world with the life of Christ. We partake in His divinity (we are His bride) and with His humanity (He is like us). We dwell with Him in His garden that His Father made for Him. We are naked, but not ashamed.


Papa is especially fond of us

chrisliv's picture


Now we're taking.

But I will tease you with one last point.

What about the oldest book in the Bible, the Book of Job?

Job was contemporary to Abraham.

Yet Job was not Hebrew, Israelite, or Jewish.

God was clearly in a relationship and interacted with Job in an interesting manner, quite apart from any covenant that had a cultural or genetic component.

Job was certainly been an ambassador and a shining example of Faith for 4000 years now, similar to Abraham, in seeing God's salvation and Christ's Kingdom from afar, as he stated, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him."

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

Ed's picture

Aha! Yes. You won't find argument with either Davo or I on this one either. Remember, we are the heretics around here who maintain that God's blessings are for everyone. That's why we get the label of "universalist."

Let's also not forget Melchizedek along with Job. Nebuchadnezzar and Darius should be included too.

Primarily however the bible is a covenantal book. God had a purpose in covenant people. However, we need to think more broadly than perhaps some are willing to do. That's where Mel and Job come in.


Papa is especially fond of us

chrisliv's picture


That's what I'm talking about, thinking more broadly than human pedigree and genealogy when we consider relationship with God, through the finished work of Christ, from either side of the historical event at Calvary.

Peace to you,

davo's picture

Yes Virgil… and so to put this spin on Paul's 2Cor 5:17 = "Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is new Israel…" – and thus "as I understand it" the new means whereby God blesses His world by those whom He has called to serve Him; thus are men saved to serve… on and on.

So, if you can catch my drift – "salvation" be it redemptive or temporal is very much "this worldly". Now none of that is to preclude how Tom Wright describes it as "life after life after death", but that's another story the Scriptures are less forthcoming on, but that getting a head-start with God in this life now is such a wonderful privilege.


Reformer's picture


What do you (Andrew or Virgil, et al.) do with the Matthew 27:51-53 event and this resurrection of many dead bodies? I don't see anyone dealing with this. How does this dramatic event fit in with your scheme and the stated order of resurrection fulfillment and reality (1 Cor. 15:23)?

Barry's picture

How does this dramatic event fit in with your scheme and the stated order of resurrection fulfillment and reality (1 Cor. 15:23)?
End quote.

Mat 27:50 And Jesus having again cried with a great voice, yielded the spirit;
Mat 27:51 and lo, the vail of the sanctuary was rent in two from top unto bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks were rent,
Mat 27:52 and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who have fallen asleep, arose,
Mat 27:53 and having come forth out of the tombs after his rising, they went into the holy city, and appeared to many.
Mat 27:54 And the centurion, and those with him watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake, and the things that were done, were exceedingly afraid, saying, `Truly this was God's Son.'

Jhn 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
Jhn 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
Jhn 11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

Mat 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Hbr 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
[Side note, see my little writing on this here: ]

None of the above are the "better resurrection".
The then "lesser resurrection" was temporal and did not touch upon the aspect of dieing with Christ. Christ "was" the (better) resurrection.

The same principle comes to bear in the "being made whole". Many were made whole (physically). But are we ultimately to define being made whole on physical terms?
Like having been given bread to eat when hungry or water when thirsty. But the ultimate focus of the "not bread alone" aspect of having been made whole, and being filled with something other than bread, and having the thirst quenched with something other than water is the undeniable message before us.

One showed forth the grandeur of the other.
If thousands could be fed with bread meraculously could not then this same person feed the soul and the heart.
One manifested the reality of the ultimate meaning. The ultimate meaning of being made whole was not physical in nature.

Just as Paul's dieing with Christ was not physical in mode or nature.
Once Christ fulfilled the natural order of the old covenant cosmos as pertains to the high priest requirements, the saints then no longer focus on this aspect of Christ's death and resurrection as pertains to the fulfillment of all things written.

Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

davo's picture

Mt27:52-53 …and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

G'day John… I wouldn't be too dogmatic, but I would surmise that these particular referenced saints may well have been like Zarephath's son, or the Shunammite woman's son, or the dead man raised to life courtesy of Elisha's bones, or the widow of Nain's son, or Jairus' daughter, or Lazarus, or Tabitha, or Eutychus – ALL people raised back to "physical" life in THIS life; and ALL no doubt to physically die again – example Jn 12:9-11.

Now IF not this, then save the "AD70 rapture theory" there would have to be be some very old people still getting around :).


chrisliv's picture


It appears to have been another powerful, yet temporal sign, for Judean Jews to heed the Gospel.

Those people were likely to have been recently deceased, and would have been recognized by their contemporaries, or else how would anyone believe they had been dead.

But you're right, their physical sign resurrection seems a little out of order and of a non-immortal character. They probably did die for their second time not too long after.

I see that as not relating to any prophecy being fulfilled, but maybe it was.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

Reformer's picture


So far, and with all due respect, I do not see a satisfactory response to my question(s).

We MUST -- IMO -- address what happens to the individual Christian upon each one's physical death, back then and here and now. I don't see this scheme stepping up to that issue.

Virgil's picture


1. I don't think anyone understands your question. Are you saying that the physical resurrection of some old covenant people together with Jesus is a fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets and the beginning of the new covenant?

2. Why do we MUST address what happens to the individual Christian upon physical death? If that issue was so critical, Jesus would have dealt with it effectively as he has with other important issues. In fact, I do not see Jesus dealing with afterlife much, if at all anywhere in the Gospels.

Reformer's picture


#1 -- Yes, I think you are right -- this group does not understand. And, yes, I do think it is part of resurrection fulfillment. And, no, I don't think this was the beginning of the New Covenant.

#2 -- This is the driving issue of resurrection fulfillment. Just ask a premillennialist, amillennialist, or a postmillennialist. It cannot be denied or ignored. And Jesus did deal with this in John 5, 6, and 11. But Paul dealt with it the most.

Virgil's picture

John, I am sorry but I'll have to disagree with you, and here is why. The physical resurrection of some people at the time of the crucifixion has absolutely nothing to do with what happens to us postmortem. Lazarus was brought back to life by Jesus - his resurrection is completely disconnected from the corporate resurrection we see taking place in 1 Cor. 15, just as we see the passage in Matthew being disconnected from the corporate teaching of Paul.

The passage says: ...many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

My questions for you are:

1. Did all of the saints who had fallen asleep come to life, or many of them come to life?

2. Did they have physical bodies like you and I, or did they just appear to people as they desired?

Thanks for the interaction - I do believe that the issue of the resurrection is important, however I do not believe that the resurrection in Matthew 27 is that important, or any more important than the dead brought to life by Jesus throughout his ministry.

Reformer's picture


Thank you for your comments and doing so in civil manner -- something some of PP's other commentors could and should learn from.

Re: your questions:

#1 -- Yes, Matthew 27:51-53 states "many" not all, because this was the firstfruits group in keeping with the typology and order of how the dead were raised (see Lev. 23; 1 Cor. 15:20, 23). And in keeping with the typology, this group was visibly paraded through the streets. The rest of the harvest (of resurrection) who were to come out of the Hadean realm on the "last day" (John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24) would not receive this treatment.

#2 -- The Greek word used here is "soma." So they had some form of "bodily" nature. What that was we are not told and don't know.

Consequently, I believe the resurrection in Matthew 27 is very important. It is part of the fulfillment of Daniel 12:2-13, for instance, and shows that the general resurrection of the dead, as also prophesied by Jesus (John 5:28-29), is now underway.

Virgil's picture


1. 1 Cor. 15:20 says that Chris was the firstfruit of the dead, not the people who came alive when he was crucified. Again, your order does not make sense. If the physical resurrection of the body of Christ was to be used as an example, then these other saints would have come to life when Jesus came to life, on Sunday, not when he was crucified. What we see happening in Matthew 27 does not match what you think 1 Cor. 15:20 says.

2. I think we demonstrated quite well Paul's use of soma throughout his writings; the second half of the article explains quite well how Paul uses soma as a reference for several kind of bodies, just like we would do today, physical, spiritual, and corporate.

Reformer's picture


#1. Actually, Christ was the "first of the firstfruits" (Exod. 23:19; 34:26; Ezek. 44:30 KJV). And, in keeping with the typology, the firstfruits group never was just one single stalk of grain, etc. And this group did not appear until AFTER Chirst's resurrection as He was the "firstborn" and "first of the firstfruits" of the "better resurrection" (Heb. 11:35).

#2. And, yes, "soma" has several uses in the NT.
That's why I can embrace what you are saying but cannot agree that your corporate body view exhausts resurrection fulfillment and ongoing reality.

Virgil's picture

John, note that I never said that a corporate resurrection of the dead precludes people today from becoming alive in Christ. People physically walking around come to life all the time when they enter into this New Covenant with God, which is found to be in Christ, and which is a fulfillment of Old Covenant promises made to Israel, promises which were not yet fully available to Paul and his audience in the first century, at least not while the Temple was standing.

Btw, this is a personal opinion and I don't claim to be speaking for either Jack or Jeremy.

Barry's picture

Right on the money Virgil!

we are all in this together

chrisliv's picture


The Reformer obviously already made up his mind before he asked his seemingly less-than-sincere questions.

Our feedback didn't fit his ideas, and then his ridicule was undoubtedly meant to drive us to his position, website, or possible books.

I mean, my initial feedback left the so-called door open for his position that was implied in his question, e.g., "I see that as not relating to any prophecy being fulfilled, but maybe it was."

Oh, well, who said theology was supposed to be easy.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

chrisliv's picture


You MUST (not really) deal with what you have defined as YOUR problem, IMO.

My response to you was satisfactory to me.

Your demand and satisfaction is on you.

But, like the NT stated back then, undoubtedly still applies as a general rule upon the physical death of people today:

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Heb. 9:27

There, you MUST die a physical death.


"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." 1The. 5:9

"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." 1John 3:14

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Rev. 21:4

Are you waiting for a carnal fulfillment of those?

Like a Millennial Utopia where immortalized human bodies stay on Planet Earth for all eternity.

If you're not already enjoying what those are saying at a deep spiritual level, you may have to wait for all eternity before you do.

Or, I suppose you could start "stepping up" onto a tall building, then jump off, in order to satisfy your curiosity sooner.

But I don't recommend that, mostly because you wouldn't be able to share your finding with us here, and the earthly memories that reside in your human brain may not necessarily follow you.

Maybe that adds a little more to your query.

I know, I know, you want something we Preterists can include as a body of text for an soteriological and eschatologically articulated Preterist Hermeneutic.

Or, do you already have a theory of your own?

If so, let's hear your take. Don't let all of those divinity degrees get in your way!

Or, are you one of those rare Preterists who actually believes there was a Physical Rapture around 70 AD, and now you're wondering what the covenantal status is for people today?

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

Reformer's picture

This response almost qualifies as one that does not deserve a response.

But if you really truly desire to know what I think about all this stuff . . .

Go to

Click on: “Podcasts & Media” in the column on the right.

Click on “More Media & Resources.”

The third panel down is “Unraveling the End.”
Click on “View More.”

Go to: lesson #12 (at the end) and 13a.

chrisliv's picture


I'll pass.

You've come to the PP website and asked for direct feedback to your inquiry. And some was given to you. You you ridiculed it, suggesting that nobody even "stepped up" with a credible answer.

Now, you refuse to respond or reciprocate with any direct feedback of your own.

What is that?

Is that those shiny divinity diploma seals?

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

davo's picture

Pardon me John, but "with all due respect" your approach comes across as somewhat disingenuous – that you maybe don't like the answers given doesn't mean none have "stepped up". Further, you asked specifically relative the Matthew text… I dealt with that.

IF you were simply seeking to do some advertising for your own material and NOT honestly interested in sharing your apparently contrary thoughts here, then perhaps it would have been better and more open to have simply posted your link in your initial enquiry…


Reformer's picture

Thank you, gentlemen, for your various comments.
I did find them of interest.

I do, however, feel that resurrection is a multi-facited concept and reality and your corporate body view, while having biblical merit, does not exhaust its fulfillment and ongoing nature.

What also must be included -- IMO -- is what happens to the individual post-coverstion in being co-crucifed, co-buried, co-raised, co-ascended, and co-seated with Christ as well as post-mortem (what happens bodily after death).

Ed's picture

So John, your theology requires a "bodily" (assuming physical here) resurrection BECAUSE(?) Jesus rose physically?

Let me ask you this - were you physically crucified with Christ on a cross? If not, using your reasoning, you (and I) are not "crucified with Christ" because it happened to him bodily.

Just a few thoughts.


Papa is especially fond of us

Reformer's picture


Resurrection is a multi-facited reality. Being co-crucified and co-raised with Christ in this life here and now is ONE of those facits.

Also, "bodily" does not require a physical resurrection of our old physical body from a dirt or whatever grave. The "spiritual body" which God "gives" is also "bodily" isn't it (1 Cor. 15:44; 38)?

Jer's picture

Re: 1 Cor. 15:44...In Greek morphology, adjectives ending -ικος -ικη -ικον (i.e., πνευματικον) do not denote material.

(See also: Rom. 1:11; 7:14; 15:27; 1 Co. 2:13, 15; 3:1; 9:11; 10:3f; 12:1; 14:1, 37; 15:44, 46; Gal. 6:1; Eph. 1:3; 5:19; 6:12; Col. 1:9; 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:5)

Reformer's picture


If your and my "spiritual body" is going to be "like" Jesus' (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2) -- which is about all we are told -- then his post resurrection body did demonstrate aspects of physicality, did it not?

Jer's picture

That premise is flawed. There is nothing about physical vs spiritual material in either of those texts. Phil. 3:20-21 contrasts "the body of our humiliation" and "the body of his glory," and this should be read in light of the rhetoric of the body politic, which I covered in an article here.

Reformer's picture

I must disagree with your limited perspective.

Jer's picture

Was my comment on Greek morphology inaccurate? I would be happy to provide a source other than myself.

Have you investigated the historical significance and rhetorical use of the the body politic imagery?

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