You are hereThe Resurrection: What and When?
The Resurrection: What and When?
by Marcus Booker
In the Preterist/Futurist debate, the nature and timing of "the resurrection" is a touchy subject. This article will examine the issue while developing and bearing in mind three chief points of consideration: 1. comparisons between Pharisaical and Apostolic resurrection teaching and language; 2. testimony of the earliest non-canonical Christian writings on the resurrection; 3. Pharisaical and Apostolic hermeneutics that ventured beyond the modern "grammatical-historical" method.In the Preterist/Futurist debate, the nature and timing of "the resurrection" is a touchy subject. This article will examine the issue while developing and bearing in mind three chief points of consideration: 1. comparisons between Pharisaical and Apostolic resurrection teaching and language; 2. testimony of the earliest non-canonical Christian writings on the resurrection; 3. Pharisaical and Apostolic hermeneutics that ventured beyond the modern "grammatical-historical" method.As I said, this article will investigate three aspects to the argument about the resurrection.
Under #1, comparing the Pharisees (rabbinical Judaism) and the Apostles, we will focus mostly upon apostolic similarities to the Talmud's account of Gamaliel's answer to the Sadducees on the resurrection and Josephus' Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades.
Under #2, testimony of the earliest fathers, we will consider Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Ignatius, and the Epistle of Barnabas.
Under #3, Pharisaical and Apostolic hermeneutics, we will look at cases of recapitulation and subsequent/ultimate fulfillment that went beyond objective prior historical fulfillment (i.e. beyond "grammatical-historical" method).
All three of these are extremely important to consider when approaching the topic of "the resurrection." I will endeavor to present them as faithfully as possible.
1. Comparison of Resurrection Doctrine of Pharisees and Apostles/Jesus.
Pay careful attention to the following:
The Talmud relates: "The Sadducees asked Rabbi Gamaliel, 'Whence do you know that the holy one, blessed be he, will raise the dead?' To which he replied, 'From the law, the prophets, and the Hagiographia: from the law because it is written, And the Lord said to Moses, Behold, thou shalt lie down with thy fathers, and this people shall rise again (Deut 31:16): from the prophets because it is written, Thy dead men shall live, etc. (Isaiah 26:19); and from the Hagiographia because it is written, And the roof of thy mouth, etc. (Song of Songs 7:9).' The Sadducees, however, would not accept these passages till he quoted the passage, 'The land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give it to them' (Deut 11:21). He promised it to them, i.e. to the living, and not to the dead; but as they were now dead, it is evident that there will be a resurrection if the promise is to be fulfilled." (Sanhedrin, 90 b)
The argument is basically thus: Know the Scriptures (Law, Prophets, Writings). Yet note particularly the "clincher," which is his appeal to the fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He mentions the promise that God made "to them." And Gamaliel says that it [the promise] was "to the living, and not to the dead."
Gamaliel's argument may seem strained. The fulfillment of the promise, most would say, was through the descendants and them alone. Nevertheless, Genesis 17:8 specifies "to you" and "to your descendants after you." Gamaliel, like the writer of Hebrews, believes the fathers not to have been recipients of the promise (Heb 11:13). He emphasizes the words "to them" (i.e. to the fathers) to show forth that the Scriptures do not single out the descendants but specify also the patriarchs themselves as recipients. And if, therefore, the fathers had not been recipients before they slept, Gamaliel argues that they must rise again if the promise is to be fulfilled.
Note also: It might be for this reason that Moses and the people of Israel took the bones of Joseph with them into the land of promise (Exodus 13:19).
Gamaliel's argument adopts a strikingly similar form to that of Jesus. In fact, Jesus addresses the same party, the Sadducees. Here is the account from the Gospel According to Luke:
Now there came to Him some of the Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection), and they questioned Him, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that IF A MAN'S BROTHER DIES, having a wife, AND HE IS CHILDLESS, HIS BROTHER SHOULD MARRY THE WIFE AND RAISE UP CHILDREN TO HIS BROTHER. Now there were seven brothers; and the first took a wife and died childless; and the second and the third married her; and in the same way all seven died, leaving no children. Finally the woman died also. In the resurrection therefore, which one's wife will she be? For all seven had married her." Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB. "Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him." Some of the scribes answered and said, "Teacher, You have spoken well." (Luke 20:27-39)
Like Gamaliel, Jesus says that the Sadducees know neither the Scriptures (Law, Prophets, Writings) nor the power of God. Jesus' "clincher" is the same as Gamaliel's. In referencing Moses and the burning bush, He appeals ultimately to the fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And then He says, like Gamaliel, that He is not the God of the dead but of the living.
It would appear, therefore, that Jesus employs a stock Pharisaical argument against the Sadducees. From these compared excerpts, it would seem as if the Pharisaical and Apostolic beliefs concerning the resurrection were similar, if not identical.
Josephus' Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades:
As a Pharisee, Josephus elaborates upon Hades and the resurrection and defends his ideas against Greek notions. Notice in this account the many close similarities to apostolic teaching:
1. NOW as to Hades, wherein the souls of the of the good things they see, and rejoice in the righteous and unrighteous are detained, it is necessary to speak of it. Hades is a place in the world not regularly finished; a subterraneous region, wherein the light of this world does not shine; from which circumstance, that in this region the light does not shine, it cannot be but there must be in it perpetual darkness. This region is allotted as a place of custody for souls, ill which angels are appointed as guardians to them, who distribute to them temporary punishments, agreeable to every one's behavior and manners.
2. In this region there is a certain place set apart, as a lake of unquenchable fire, whereinto we suppose no one hath hitherto been cast; but it is prepared for a day afore-determined by God, in which one righteous sentence shall deservedly be passed upon all men; when the unjust, and those that have been disobedient to God, and have given honor to such idols as have been the vain operations of the hands of men as to God himself, shall be adjudged to this everlasting punishment, as having been the causes of defilement; while the just shall obtain an incorruptible and never-fading kingdom. These are now indeed confined in Hades, but not in the same place wherein the unjust are confined.
3. For there is one descent into this region, at whose gate we believe there stands an archangel with an host; which gate when those pass through that are conducted down by the angels appointed over souls, they do not go the same way; but the just are guided to the right hand, and are led with hymns, sung by the angels appointed over that place, unto a region of light, in which the just have dwelt from the beginning of the world; not constrained by necessity, but ever enjoying the prospect of the good things they see, and rejoice in the expectation of those new enjoyments which will be peculiar to every one of them, and esteeming those things beyond what we have here; with whom there is no place of toil, no burning heat, no piercing cold, nor are any briers there; but the countenance of the and of the just, which they see, always smiles them, while they wait for that rest and eternal new life in heaven, which is to succeed this region. This place we call The Bosom of Abraham.
4. But as to the unjust, they are dragged by force to the left hand by the angels allotted for punishment, no longer going with a good-will, but as prisoners driven by violence; to whom are sent the angels appointed over them to reproach them and threaten them with their terrible looks, and to thrust them still downwards. Now those angels that are set over these souls drag them into the neighborhood of hell itself; who, when they are hard by it, continually hear the noise of it, and do not stand clear of the hot vapor itself; but when they have a near view of this spectacle, as of a terrible and exceeding great prospect of fire, they are struck with a fearful expectation of a future judgment, and in effect punished thereby: and not only so, but where they see the place [or choir] of the fathers and of the just, even hereby are they punished; for a chaos deep and large is fixed between them; insomuch that a just man that hath compassion upon them cannot be admitted, nor can one that is unjust, if he were bold enough to attempt it, pass over it.
5. This is the discourse concerning Hades, wherein the souls of all men are confined until a proper season, which God hath determined, when he will make a resurrection of all men from the dead, not procuring a transmigration of souls from one body to another, but raising again those very bodies, which you Greeks, seeing to be dissolved, do not believe [their resurrection]. But learn not to disbelieve it; for while you believe that the soul is created, and yet is made immortal by God, according to the doctrine of Plato, and this in time, be not incredulous; but believe that God is able, when he hath raised to life that body which was made as a compound of the same elements, to make it immortal; for it must never be said of God, that he is able to do some things, and unable to do others. We have therefore believed that the body will be raised again; for although it be dissolved, it is not perished; for the earth receives its remains, and preserves them; and while they are like seed, and are mixed among the more fruitful soil, they flourish, and what is sown is indeed sown bare grain, but at the mighty sound of God the Creator, it will sprout up, and be raised in a clothed and glorious condition, though not before it has been dissolved, and mixed [with the earth]. So that we have not rashly believed the resurrection of the body; for although it be dissolved for a time on account of the original transgression, it exists still, and is cast into the earth as into a potter's furnace, in order to be formed again, not in order to rise again such as it was before, but in a state of purity, and so as never to be destroyed any more. And to every body shall its own soul be restored. And when it hath clothed itself with that body, it will not be subject to misery, but, being itself pure, it will continue with its pure body, and rejoice with it, with which it having walked righteously now in this world, and never having had it as a snare, it will receive it again with great gladness. But as for the unjust, they will receive their bodies not changed, not freed from diseases or distempers, nor made glorious, but with the same diseases wherein they died; and such as they were in their unbelief, the same shall they be when they shall be faithfully judged.
6. For all men, the just as well as the unjust, shall be brought before God the word: for to him hath the Father committed all judgment: and he, in order to fulfill the will of his Father, shall come as Judge, whom we call Christ. For Minos and Rhadamanthus are not the judges, as you Greeks do suppose, but he whom God and the Father hath glorified: CONCERNING WHOM WE HAVE ELSEWHERE GIVEN A MORE PARTICULAR ACCOUNT, FOR THE SAKE OF THOSE WHO SEEK AFTER TRUTH. This person, exercising the righteous judgment of the Father towards all men, hath prepared a just sentence for every one, according to his works; at whose judgment-seat when all men, and angels, and demons shall stand, they will send forth one voice, and say, JUST IS THY JUDGMENT; the rejoinder to which will bring a just sentence upon both parties, by giving justly to those that have done well an everlasting fruition; but allotting to the lovers of wicked works eternal punishment. To these belong the unquenchable fire, and that without end, and a certain fiery worm, never dying, and not destroying the body, but continuing its eruption out of the body with never-ceasing grief: neither will sleep give ease to these men, nor will the night afford them comfort; death will not free them from their punishment, nor will the interceding prayers of their kindred profit them; for the just are no longer seen by them, nor are they thought worthy of remembrance. But the just shall remember only their righteous actions, whereby they have attained the heavenly kingdom, in which there is no sleep, no sorrow, no corruption, no care, no night, no day measured by time, no sun driven in his course along the circle of heaven by necessity, and measuring out the bounds and conversions of the seasons, for the better illumination of the life of men; no moon decreasing and increasing, or introducing a variety of seasons, nor will she then moisten the earth; no burning sun, no Bear turning round [the pole], no Orion to rise, no wandering of innumerable stars. The earth will not then be difficult to be passed over, nor will it he hard to find out the court of paradise, nor will there be any fearful roaring of the sea, forbidding the passengers to walk on it; even that will be made easily passable to the just, though it will not be void of moisture. Heaven will not then be uninhabitable by men, and it will not be impossible to discover the way of ascending thither. The earth will not be uncultivated, nor require too much labor of men, but will bring forth its fruits of its own accord, and will be well adorned with them. There will be no more generations of wild beasts, nor will the substance of the rest of the animals shoot out any more; for it will not produce men, but the number of the righteous will continue, and never fail, together with righteous angels, and spirits [of God], and with his word, as a choir of righteous men and women that never grow old, and continue in an incorruptible state, singing hymns to God, who hath advanced them to that happiness, by the means of a regular institution of life; with whom the whole creation also will lift up a perpetual hymn from corruption, to incorruption, as glorified by a splendid and pure spirit. It will not then be restrained by a bond of necessity, but with a lively freedom shall offer up a voluntary hymn, and shall praise him that made them, together with the angels, and spirits, and men now freed from all bondage.
7. And now, if you Gentiles will be persuaded by these motives, and leave your vain imaginations about your pedigrees, and gaining of riches, and philosophy, and will not spend your time about subtleties of words, and thereby lead your minds into error, and if you will apply your ears to the hearing of the inspired prophets, the interpreters both of God and of his word, and will believe in God, you shall both be partakers of these things, and obtain the good things that are to come; you shall see the ascent unto the immense heaven plainly, and that kingdom which is there. For what God hath now concealed in silence [will be then made manifest,] what neither eye hath seen, nor ear hath heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love him.
8. In whatsoever ways I shall find you, in them shall I judge you entirely: so cries the END of all things. And he who hath at first lived a virtuous life, but towards the latter end falls into vice, these labors by him before endured shall be altogether vain and unprofitable, even as in a play, brought to an ill catastrophe. Whosoever shall have lived wickedly and luxuriously may repent; however, there will be need of much time to conquer an evil habit, and even after repentance his whole life must be guarded with great care and diligence, after the manner of a body, which, after it hath been a long time afflicted with a distemper, requires a stricter diet and method of living; for though it may be possible, perhaps, to break off the chain of our irregular affections at once, yet our amendment cannot be secured without the grace of God, the prayers of good men, the help of the brethren, and our own sincere repentance and constant care. It is a good thing not to sin at all; it is also good, having sinned, to repent; as it is best to have health always, but it is a good thing to recover from a distemper. To God be glory and dominion for ever and ever Amen.
There are, in the foregoing account, many similarities to apostolic language and teaching. It would be tedious to comprehensively extract them all, but below are many of the most striking examples:
For all men, the just as well as the unjust, shall be brought before God the word: for to him hath the Father committed all judgment: and he, in order to fulfill the will of his Father, shall come as Judge, whom we call Christ...This person, exercising the righteous judgment of the Father towards all men, hath prepared a just sentence for every one, according to his works...by giving justly to those that have done well an everlasting fruition; but allotting to the lovers of wicked works eternal punishment. (Josephus)
For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son...Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice, and will come forth; those who did the good to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil to a resurrection of judgment. (John 5:22,28-29)
...at whose judgment-seat when all men, and angels, and demons shall stand, they will send forth one voice, and say, JUST IS THY JUDGMENT. (Josephus)
"And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day." (Jude 6)
To these belong the unquenchable fire, and that without end, and a certain fiery worm, never dying, and not destroying the body, but continuing its eruption out of the body with never-ceasing grief. (Josephus)
If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:43-44)--both of the above refer to Isaiah
In this region there is a certain place set apart, as a lake of unquenchable fire, whereinto we suppose no one hath hitherto been cast; but it is prepared for a day afore-determined by God, in which one righteous sentence shall deservedly be passed upon all men. (Josephus)
"And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone." (Revelation 19:20)
"Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31)(Paul in Athens in the Areopagus)
This place we call The Bosom of Abraham. (Josephus)
...for a chaos deep and large is fixed between them; insomuch that a just man that hath compassion upon them cannot be admitted, nor can one that is unjust, if he were bold enough to attempt it, pass over it. (Josephus)
"Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Child, memember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.'" (Luke 16:22-26)
the heavenly kingdom, in which there is no sleep, no sorrow, no corruption, no care, no night, no day measured by time, no sun...no moon...nor will there be any fearful roaring of the sea. (Josephus)
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea...and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away...and the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illuminated it, and its lamp is the lamb. (Revelation 21:1,4,23)
...what is sown is indeed sown bare grain, but at the mighty sound of God the Creator, it will sprout up, and be raised in a clothed and glorious condition, though not before it has been dissolved, and mixed [with the earth]. (Josephus)
But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?" You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own....It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." (1 Corinthians 15:35-38, ?)
"For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life." (2 Corinthians 5:4)
The similarities between Josephus' writing and the Apostolic testimony are remarkable! Those examples highlighted above are only the tip of the iceberg. It appears, again, that the apostolic teaching accords closely with the Pharisaical doctrine on the resurrection.
That these two schools accord with one another is recorded by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles:
"But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men. Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings; in which they found me occupied in the temple, having been purified, without any crowd or uproar. But there were some Jews from Asia--who ought to have been present before you and to make accusation, if they should have anything against me. Or else let these men themselves tell what misdeed they found when I stood before the Council, other than for this one statement which I shouted out while standing among them, 'For the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today.'" (Acts 24:14-26)
Moreover, the following texts seem to proclaim the same:
Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection. (Hebrews 11:35)
"But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." (Luke 14:14)
"...being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead [i.e. better resurrection]. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect...For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory..." (Philippians 3)
"Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power." (1 Corinthians 6:14)
"Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some." (2 Timothy 2:14-18)
"For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord...." (2 Cor 5:1-6)
Concerning reference to Hymenaeus and Philetus, I used to believe this passage, ironically enough, to work more in favor of a full preterism. Indeed, it seemed strange that Paul would have to argue against them if the established teaching was of a general physical resurrection (which obviously had not happened). However, inasmuch as their sin is defined in terms of the wrangling of words, it would seem that they were contentious concerning the definition of resurrection. It is likely that they redefined the resurrection and adopted an exclusively spiritualized understanding of it.
2. Testimony of Earliest Church Fathers
It is important to consider carefully the writings of those closest to the apostles (especially those prior to a.d. 150). It would be folly to dismiss them outright simply because their writings are non-canonical. Primarily, the apostles taught orally. Their writings were made as a last resort, due mostly to circumstances of imprisonment, exile, or duress. When they wrote, they addressed concerns particular to the people or churches receiving their letters. Some points need not have been addressed anew in writing if they had already been firmly established by word of mouth. Paul says to listen to what he says, whether by word of mouth or by epistle.
It is quite conceivable, therefore, that the writings of Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, and the Epistle of Barnabas, further clarify the apostolic teaching. Clement, in particular, is especially close in time; his teaching is quite Pauline.
Clement of Rome
Traditionally, the following is said to speak of Clement of Rome: "Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life." (Philippians 4:3)
Here are some excerpts from Clement:
"Let us turn to every age that has passed, and learn that, from generation to generation, the Lord has granted a place of repentance to all such as would be converted unto Him." (First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 7)
Notice how Clement of Rome teaches here a form of idealism. He speaks of repentance as a generic and timeless principle. The Scriptures might say, "repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." John the Baptist might appeal to the Pharisees to repent so as to escape the coming judgment (i.e. a.d. 70). Of course, the coming of the event of a.d. 70, while spoken of as the basis for which they should repent, is not the sole basis. In this way, Clement does not allow for a hyper-preterist that relegates timeless principles to a.d. 70 alone.
"Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has rendered the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising him from the dead. Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. The night sinks to sleep, and the day arises; the day departs, and the night comes on. Let us behold the fruits, how the sowing of grain takes place. The sower goes forth, and casts it into the ground; and the seed thus being scattered, though dry and naked when it fell upon the earth, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its dissolution the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raises it up again, and from one seed many arise and bring forth fruit." (First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 24)
This excerpt alone does not prove the nature of the future resurrection. Also, this epistle may precede the destruction of Jerusalem, which leaves the question unanswered. Nevertheless, Clement presents more idealism. He speaks not here only of "the resurrection" but of the resurrection which is at all times taking place. The apostles do the same. They apply principles and teachings (even future expectations) to daily life. They offer a continual fore-taste of what is to come.
"Do we then deem it any great and wonderful thing for the Maker of all things to raise up again those that have piously served Him in the assurance of a good faith, when even by a bird He shows us the mightiness of His power to fulfill His promise?" (First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 26)
In this passage, Clement seems to teach physical resurrection. The "bird" refers to Chapter 25's account of the phoenix, an illustration of the resurrection.
"Since then all things are seen and heard, let us fear Him, and forsake those wicked works which proceed from evil desires; so that through His mercy, we may be protected from the judgments to come." (First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 28)
Notice here that Clement teaches more idealism. Unlike the usual reference to a singular judgment, he speaks of "judgments" in the plural. For Clement, God's judgment is a permanent, abiding principle.
"If we please Him in this present world, we shall receive also the future world, according as He has promised to us that He will raise us again from the dead, and that if we live worthily of Him, 'we shall also reign together with Him,' provided only we believe." (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, Chapter 5)
"For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist; and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross, is of the devil; and whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and says that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the first-born of Satan. Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from the beginning." (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, Chapter 7)
"But who of us are ignorant of the judgment of the Lord? 'Do we not know that the saints shall judge the world?' as Paul teaches. (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, Chapter 11)
Polycarp plainly teaches future judgment and resurrection.
"But when I suffer, I shall be the freedman of Jesus, and shall rise again emancipated in Him." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, Chapter 4)
Ignatius here speaks of martyrdom. His physical body would be destroyed by beasts, and he would physically rise again.
"He was also truly raised from the dead, His Father quickening Him, even as after the same manner His Father will so raise up us who believe in Him by Christ Jesus, apart from whom we do not possess the true life." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, Chapter 9)
The Epistle of Barnabas
"And He (since it behoved Him to appear in flesh), that He might abolish death, and reveal the resurrection from the dead, endured [what and as He did], in order that He might fulfill the promise made unto the fathers, and by preparing a new people for Himself, might show, while He dwelt on earth, that He, when He has raised mankind, will also judge them." (The Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter 5)
This epistle seems to adopt the same argument as Jesus and Gamaliel. He links the resurrection with the promise to the fathers.
"This meaneth: when His Son, coming, shall destroy the time of the wicked man, and judge the ungodly, and change the sun, and moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day." (The Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter 15)
"I find, therefore, that a temple does exist. Learn, then, how it shall be built in the name of the Lord. Before we believed in God, the habitation of our heart was corrupt and weak, as being indeed like a temple made with hands...and [God] by giving us repentence introduced us into the incorruptible temple." (The Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter 16)--chapter references destruction of Jerusalem
Like Clement, the Epistle of Barnabas employs a Pauline idealism. He references the past destruction of Jerusalem. Yet he speaks of another temple made with hands (to be destroyed) and the establishment of a heavenly temple. He makes the transition not historical but personal. If any of us were to assume (for the sake of argument) that Revelation was written after a.d. 70, it is quite possible that John employs the same technique. John may have been referring to past history and idealizing it. Yet, it is more likely that Revelation was composed prior to a.d. 70.
"For he who keepeth these shall be glorified in the kingdom of God; but he who chooseth other things shall be destroyed with his works. On this account there will be a resurrection, on this account a retribution." (The Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter 21)
Here, the epistle clearly looks forward to a future resurrection.
3. The Hermeneutics of the Pharisees and Apostles.
The mainstay of modern Scriptural hermeneutics is the "grammatical-historical" method. It is, however, not the sole method historically employed by Jews. Nor, for that matter, is it the only method of the apostles.
Jews have acknowledged 4 basic methods: 1. p'shat (plain), which is basically our grammatical-historical method; 2. remez (hint); 3. drash or midrash ("search"), which is an allegorical or homiletical approach; 4. sod (secret), which is a mystical/hidden meaning.
It might effectively be argued that the apostles, to some extent or another, employed all 4 of these methods. They do, for instance, speak of the gospel "hidden" in the Law and Prophets. They seem to quote verses out of context. They speak of the good news in terms of a mystery or secret.
Nevertheless, I will not endeavor to prove that the apostles employed all 4 methods. Rather, I will make plain that they did not limit themselves to #1, the p'shat or "grammatical-historical" method.
Elsewhere, I have written on the good news as apostolic midrash. One glaring example is Matthew's reference to Hosea's "out of Egypt I called My Son." The simple/plain meaning of that text in Hosea was preteristic. In other words, it was a past, already-fulfilled historical reality. God had delivered Israel out of Egypt. The full text say, "when Israel was a child, I loved him. And out of Egypt I called My Son." If the grammatical-historical method were the only legitimate method, then Matthew's use of that text and interpretation of it is completely illegitimate. Indeed, Matthew speaks of the fulfillment of the words of the text in his own time (in Jesus), a text that refered originally to past events.
The significance of this Matthean method is astounding. Indeed, if "out of Egypt I called My Son" can be fulfilled in Jesus in a greater, ultimate way, then it is quite possible that the same is true of other writings. If the exodus was a foretaste of Christ, couldn't a.d. 70 be a foretaste of something to come?
This possibility is distinct from partial preterism (or futurism) as we know it. Indeed, partial preterists break the events down into pieces. They say "this part refers to a.d. 70...this part refers to the future." But maybe ALL of it refers to a.d. 70 and ALL of it refers to the future.
The apostles, like the prophets before them, liked to play with words. The Provers make a pun when saying to answer a fool according to his folly and not to answer a fool according to his folly. The word translated as resurrection only means a "rising" or a "standing" or an "uprising." It was used of those waking up from sleep and of those rising in polical or social upheaval. The word itself was more generic and broadly applicable to other concepts than the theologically charged word "resurrection."
John spoke thus: a time is coming and now is when there will be an uprising of just and unjust. He may here have employed a pun. He may have said, in effect: "You have heard about the uprising of the just and unjust (as established doctrine), but there's even now an uprising of the just and unjust. Everyone is polarizing and taking sides because of Jesus."
The apostles (and prophets) seem to use the concept of resurrection in many, many ways. Ezekiel used it as the restoration of Israel. He speaks of the perished "hope." The dry bones were "Israel." Paul speaks of the hope of the resurrection and the hope of Israel, the basis for which he is in chains and on trial.
Resurrection also applies to a death to sin and rising to new life. Sometimes this is treated as a one-time phenomenon. Other times, it is daily, like the rising of the sun.
In any case, I don't believe that the concept of resurrection is easy to pin down. It is simply used in too many ways. Because it is used in one way (or in reference to one event) doesn't mean that it cannot be used in other ways or in reference to other events.
Because of this and the foregoing, I believe that there is yet a resurrection and that it will be general/univeral event and physical. A.D. 70, I have come to believe, was simply a foretaste of the judgment to come. I am now a futurist.