Fac✝s: Faith’s Firm Foundation | 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 Sermon [Video, Text+]

Please view the 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 sermon video, outline and text, Greek text, translation, bibliography, and more below.1  This sermon was first shared on 3.31.19 at Alpha Baptist Church in Willingboro, NJ on Youth and Baptismal Sunday.

Sermon Video

Sermon Outline + Text

  1. Introduction
    1. The Necessity of Staying Still
    2. Things Don’t Stay Still; Things Change
    3. Christ Doesn’t Change; The Facts of What He Did Don’t Change
    4. The Fundamental Historical Claim: Christ Was Resurrected
    5. Christianity 101: The Facts
  2. Exegesis
    1. 1 Corinthians 15:1
    2. 1 Corinthians 15:2
    3. 1 Corinthians 15:3
      1. The Earliest Christian Creed
      2. Christ Died (For Our Sins)
    4. 1 Corinthians 15:4
      1. Christ Was Buried
      2. Christ Was Raised
    5. 1 Corinthians 15:5
      1. The Testimony of Women | The Criterion of Embarrassment
      2. Christ Appeared
    6. 1 Corinthians 15:6
    7. 1 Corinthians 15:7
    8. 1 Corinthians 15:8
  3. Fundamental Facts
    1. Minimal Facts | What is the Best Explanation?
      1. Hallucination Theory
      2. Wrong-Tomb Theory
      3. Swoon Theory
      4. Conspiracy Theory
      5. Wishful Thinking?
      6. The Best Explanation: The Resurrection Hypothesis
    2. Objective vs. Subjective
    3. Theological Foundation of Commands
      1. The Indicative Precedes the Imperative
      2. Faithfulness: The Response to God’s Love and Grace
  4. Conclusion
  5. Invitation

Introduction

Introductory song: There’s Something About That Name[1]

Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there’s something about that name. Fads and fashions will all pass away, but there’s something about that name. Philosophies and ideologies will all pass away, but there’s something about that name.

It is an honor and a privilege to stand before you this (Youth Sunday). I thank God for making this possible, and I thank Pastor Scotton for this opportunity. I stand before you humbly, knowing that – not too long ago – I was a little kid in the Youth Mass Choir, who would fall asleep on the back row.

I’m not trying to talk down to anyone. Most of y’all are taller than me anyway. I’m far from perfect. I’ve  made mistakes. But I hope others do not to make the same mistakes that I did. So, I pray that I can hopefully keep you awake, and I pray that something that is shared today may be beneficial.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer (Ps 19:14, NASB).

The Necessity of Staying Still

I still remember singing in the Youth Mass Choir back in the day. You know, way back. In the good ol’ days of 2005. Times were… so much simpler back then. And, you know, no matter our age, I think we all know the funny thing about time: it doesn’t stay still. As the old saying goes, time flies. It doesn’t stay still.

Speaking of back in the day, ever since I was little, my Dad would take me to get my hair cut. Every two weeks, we would go to the barber shop to keep my hair low, and to line things up, just right.

I respect barbers, because it takes a lot of skill to line things up, just right. I know that because, for many years, I’ve been trying to save some money and cut my own hair – and many times, I don’t line things up, just right. Sometimes, instead of just cutting my hair, I end up cutting my skin.

But anyone who has ever been to a barbershop knows that there is one fundamental principle you have to learn; it’s of the utmost importance: hold your head still.

If you don’t hold your head still, you might end up with an unintentional part in your hair. You might walk in with wavy hair and walk out looking like Moses parted the Red Sea on your scalp. You might walk in with a forehead and leave with a fivehead (end up looking like George Jefferson). You see, you have to hold your head still in order to line things up, just right.

Now when I got to college, nobody was around to tell me to go to the barbershop Nobody was around to tell me to go to class either but… that’s another story (young people, don’t make the same mistakes that I did). In any case, I started growing my hair out, and I came home one Thanksgiving with cornrows.

Now if you’ve ever had your hair braided, there is one fundamental principle you have to learn; it’s of the utmost importance: hold your head still. And, if you’ve ever braided someone else’s hair, you probably know how hard it can be to line things up, just right, if they don’t hold their head still.

I met my wife in college – you, know way back in the day. And, by that time, I had dreadlocks. Not long after we started dating, she offered to retwist my locs for me. Things were still new so she was very polite: Oh Danny, if you wouldn’t mind, could you be so kind as to hold your head still, so I can line things up, just right?

Years later, as my fiancée, when she did my hair there were no more requests. Danny, if you don’t hold your head still! And eventually, we progressed to that level where we didn’t even need to use words. She would just yank my head to where it needed to be.

And after all of her hard work over the years, she was so hurt when I cut all my hair off. But, as they say, people change.

Things Don’t Stay Still; Things Change

People change. Does anyone else look back on the things they used to do and think: I don’t know what I was thinking. Have you ever thought to yourself, if I only knew back then, what I know now…? Or maybe you had some so-called “friends” back in the day, but then they started acting all brand-new. The point is: we change. People change.

And, society changes. Have you ever thought: I can’t believe the way these kids are dressing nowadays; it wasn’t like that back in my day. Or, I can’t believe the music people listen to nowadays; it wasn’t like that back in my day.

Ever hear someone say, back in my day, I had to walk two miles to get to school every day – rain or shine – uphill both ways. Am I like, “how can it be possibly be uphill both ways?” Don’t you talk back to me! Back in my day, kids used to respect their elders. Things change.

Remember when telephones actually had to be connected to a telephone line? Remember when television programming ended at midnight? Remember writing and mailing handwritten letters? Things change.

My uncle, who is a computer programmer, says he has to constantly learn new computer languages – because things are always changing. Society is always changing. The world is always changing. Things that are cool today are going to be old-school tomorrow.

As it’s been said, the issue is this: if we try to be “cool” by society’s constantly changing standards we’re trying to hit a moving target.[2]

And it’s hard to line things up just right when things are constantly moving around. It’s hard to line things up just right, because society doesn’t hold its head still. Sometimes it seems like society has lost its mind.

This is why we shouldn’t conform to our constantly changing culture. We should not conform to the pattern of this world (Rom 12:2a); we should conform to Christ (cf. Rom 8:29).

Christ Doesn’t Change, The Facts of What He Don’t Change

For Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever more (Heb 13:8). On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. Instead of standing on the shifting sands of self or the shifting sands of society, let us stand on the firm foundation of faith – a faith that is based on facts – historical facts.

The Fundamental Historical Claim: Christ Was Resurrected

You see, unlike almost every other worldview, the truth of Christianity hinges on one historical claim: Christ rose from the dead.[3] As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15, if Jesus did not rise from the dead, our “proclamation is without foundation” (1 Cor 15:14, NASB).  He says, “if Christ has not been raised, [our] faith is worthless” (1 Cor 15:17, NASB). If there was no resurrection, we are pitiful (cf. 1 Cor 15:19).

So, I think it’s wise to go back to the basics,[4] to revisit the fundamental foundation of our faith – as Paul did back in the 1st century. For people in the church at Corinth were doubting the resurrection of the dead (1 Cor 15:12)[5] (in general).[6]


 I cut out the following three paragraphs for the sake of time

For Jews, resurrection, by definition. always involved a physical body (cf. Is 26:19; Dn 12:1-3).[7] However, many Jews believed that the resurrection of all the righteous would take place at the end of time.[8] To Jews, to think that one Person was resurrected before then would be absurd.[9]

Greeks, on the other hand, thought differently. As early as Plato, who lived in the 5th century BC,[10] Greek philosophers thought that the soul was immortal,[11] but the body was a prison. So, death was seen as a release into the real world, which they thought was immaterial.[12]

On this view, to be dead was to be truly alive. And if the dead are spiritually free and no longer trapped in their physical bodies, why believe in a physical resurrection?[13] Thus, people who grew up believing this, may have had a hard time believing that Jesus Christ was raised in the flesh.[14]


Christianity 101: The Fac✝s

Therefore, in his letter, Paul takes them back to the bare necessities, the first principles,[15] the central core of the gospel, the common ground of all true Christians:[16] the historical facts.[17] This is Christianity 101:

1 Corinthians 15 begins: Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. (1 Cor 15:1-8, NIV).

Exegesis

1 Corinthians 15:1

In verse 1, he says he wants to remind or make known to the Corinthians something they should know already.[18] This is likely a mild rebuke.[19] You ever have to remind someone of something you already told them some time ago?

Sometimes my Mom would call me from downstairs and get upset when I didn’t answer. I be like, “Mom, I had my door closed because I’m talking on the phone with my friend.” My Mom be like, Boy, you must’ve forgot[20] whose house you living in. Talkin’ bout “my door”… that ain’t your door. That ain’t your phone either. You don’t pay no bills in this house. Sometimes, you have to remind people of something they should know already.

Well, Paul has already preached the gospel to them, they have already accepted[21] it, and on it they have already taken their stand.[22] For the Corinthians, this gospel[23] is not new material; this is review.[24]

You see, Paul had founded the church some years earlier (Ac 18:1f.), and stayed in Corinth for a year and a half (Ac 18:1-11) – likely around AD 51-52.[25] Since he is their founder, they likely would not be Christians if it wasn’t for Paul.[26] And the foundation the founder laid was based on the Resurrection of Christ.[27] But, false theology had begun to infest the church.[28]

1 Corinthians 15:2

In verse 2, Paul tells them, through this gospel you are saved[29] – if you hold firmly to it. The Corinthians must persevere in the faith (Cf. 1 Cor 16:13, etc.)[30] He uses the same word in Ephesians when he says, “put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Eph 6:13, NIV).[31]

The Corinthians must stand firm. Otherwise, he says, they have believed in vain.[32] Now the word translated in vain can mean “being without careful thought, without due consideration, in a haphazard manner.”[33] Such belief is “groundless and empty;” it is not true faith at all.[34] So, Paul may be saying to them: have you read the fine print? Have you considered what it truly means to be a Christian, a follower of Christ?

Also, the word can mean “for nothing.”[35] For as we’ve already said, if there is no resurrection, our faith is for nothing.[36] “Everything is a lie.”[37]

1 Corinthians 15:3

The Earliest Christian Creed

In verse 3, he says, “for what I received I passed on to you as of first importance” (1 Cor 15:3a). Now, Paul himself received direct revelation from the Lord (Gal 1:11-17),[38] but here he speaks of the historical facts he received from the others.[39]

As scholars point out, in the Greek, Paul is using a formula that indicates that he is passing on an oral tradition – a creed. And this creed was that was taught very early in the church.[40] And, such oral traditions were usually memorized.[41]

Now Jesus was crucified around AD 30 or 33. 1 Corinthians was written around AD 55 or 56.[42] So, at most, this creed developed a mere twenty years after Christ’s death.[43] This was not some legend that grew over a long period of time.

Paul may have received this creed when he visited Jerusalem and met with Peter and James (Gal 1:18-19)[44] three years after his conversion. Or he may have received it even earlier, when he visited Jerusalem right after his conversion (Ac 9:20-30). This would date the creed no later than three years after the Crucifixion[45] – perhaps as early as AD 35.[46] This passage contains the earliest Christian creed we have to date.[47]

The creed may have been recited during the Lord’s Supper and during baptisms.[48] By citing this confessional creed, he demonstrates that what he preached to them is the common confession of faith, with which all the apostles agree.[49] This creed is of first importance; it is top priority, it is foundational.[50]

Christ Died (For Our Sins)

He continues, “that Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor 15:3b).[51] Throughout the New Testament, we read that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins.[52] He gave himself for our sins (Gal 1:4), dying in our place and enduring the penalty that we deserve (Rom 3:24-26 cf. Mt 26:48; Mk 10:45, etc.).[53] This is fundamental to the faith.[54]

And this atoning death[55] was in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Cor 15:3b). This is an event that was prophesied long beforehand;[56] this was not random.

Now Paul does not explicitly state what Scriptures he is referring to, but most scholars believe that he is likely thinking of  Isaiah 53.[57] In that prophetic passage of Isaiah (who lived in the 8th century BC), the forthcoming Suffering Servant[58] of the LORD was “pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Is 53:5, NIV). That prophetic chapter concludes: He “bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Is 53:12c).

But Paul could just be referring to the Old Testament Scriptures in general, instead of one certain text.[59] As you may recall in Exodus, the Israelites are saved from the last plague by killing and eating a spotless lamb, and putting some of its blood on the sides and tops of their doors (Ex 12:1-7). This was the first Passover.

Eventually animals became part of the sacrificial system, in which animals were sacrificed to atone for the sins of the nation – on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16) –[60] which in Hebrew is Yom Kippur. To this day, Jews still celebrate Yom Kippur and Passover.

Also, in Isaiah 53, the Suffering Servant is described as a (sacrificial) “lamb led to the slaughter” (Is 53:7).[61] And earlier in 1 Corinthians 5, Paul describes Jesus as the sacrificed Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5:7).[62] All in all, Paul believes that those who read the Old Testament correctly will see that Christ’s atoning death for sins was foretold.[63]

1 Corinthians 15:4

Christ was Buried

Continuing in verse 4, he says, “that he was buried.” This indicates that Jesus actually died,[64] and likely implies that the tomb in which he was buried was eventually empty.[65]

Christ was Raised

For he then says, “that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:4b).[66] By raised, Paul and all the New Testament writers do not mean that only His soul was resurrected, but His body – the whole person.[67] This was “not merely a ‘spiritual’ phenomenon.”[68]

Grammatically, in the Greek, “according to the Scriptures” could refer only to Christ being raised, and not necessarily to Him being raised on the third day, in particular.[69]

Later in Isaiah 53, we see that the life of the prophesied Suffering Servant of the LORD will be made an offering for sin (Is 53:10). But, “After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied” (Is 53:11a, NIV).[70]

In his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter also quotes Psalm 16, which says: “you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay” (Ps 16:10, NIV cf. Ac 2:24-28).[71]

In Luke, on the road to Emmaus, after His Resurrection, Jesus appeared to two people and said, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Lk 24:25-27, NIV).[72] In sum, prophecy about the Resurrection of the One who would make atonement for sin can be found throughout Scripture.

And actually, in Scripture, there is a theme of God appearing and delivering on the third day.[73] As you may recall, the glory of the LORD appeared on Mount Sinai, on the third day (Ex 19:11, 15-16). Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan River on the third day (Jos 1:11).[74] Jonah was spat out on the third day (Jonah 1:17).[75] Also, Jesus mentions how he would be in the heart of the earth for three days just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days (Mt 12:39-41).[76] (Christ repeatedly predicts that He will rise on the third day).[77]

Many other passages could be cited.[78] But suffice it to say that, throughout Scripture, God often shows up and delivers on the third day[79] – the day after tomorrow (cf. Lk 13:32).[80] But the third day is likely just the day the empty tomb was discovered, and the day the Resurrected Lord first appeared.[81]

1 Corinthians 15:5

The Testimony of Women | The Criterion of Embarrassment

In verses 5-7, Paul provides a list of Christ’s resurrection appearances,[82] but this list is not exhaustive.[83] For, as we read in the Gospels, the first witnesses of the Resurrected Lord are women[84] (Mt 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-8; Lk 24:1-8; Jn 20:1-2).[85]

In this first century context, they did not put too much weight on a woman’s testimony.[86] A woman’s testimony was often not even admissible in court.[87] Women were seen as second-class citizens. Jewish men used to thank God in prayer that they were not a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.[88] So, isn’t it curious that Jesus first appeared to women?

Imagine if a guy walks in with some crutches and a cast around his ankle. If you ask him what happens and he says something like, Oh, a robber snatched a purse from this sweet old lady and ran off. I saw him do it, so I bravely chased after him. But what had happened was, it had rained earlier in the day, and I slipped because the ground was wet. I felt my ankle pop, but I told myself, “I am not going to let this guy get away. Not today!”

So, I got up, fought through the pain, and ran this guy down on one leg. I tackled him and took back the purse. When I hopped over to the old lady, she said, “Thank you so much; young man. You’re my guardian angel.” Now, who would believe his story?

Now if he said, I was playing basketball, someone crossed me up, and I broke my ankle, I’d be more inclined to believe him. Why? Because when people lie, they usually try to make themselves look good. Historians call this the criterion of embarrassment.

That is, when they find that someone reports a historical detail that is embarrassing, they consider it more credible. So, in this case, one has to ask, if the disciples wanted to make up a story about a resurrection, why would they use women as their first witnesses?[89] [which, in that context, would be embarrassing]

Christ Appeared

In any case, in verse 5 (1 Cor 15:5), Paul instead starts with the prestigious[90] Cephas, which is the Aramaic name for the Apostle Peter (cf. Lk 24:34; Mk 16:7).[91] This is the same Peter who denied Jesus three times[92] – another embarrassing detail.

After Peter, Paul mentions that Jesus appeared to the Twelve (1 Cor 15:5b). The Twelve was likely a general name for Christ’s disciples (Lk 24:36ff; Jn 20:19ff.).  For of course, at that point, Judas was no longer with them.[93]

1 Corinthians 15:6

In verse 6, Paul says that Christ appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time (1 Cor 15:6). At the same time, indicates that these were not just private experiences; they all saw him at once.[94] And it’s highly unlikely that 500 people all had a corporate hallucination.[95] We can’t say for certain exactly when this happened, but it could be referring to the time of the Great Commission.[96]

And, Paul is so confident, he tells the Corinthians that even though some of the them have fallen asleep (an expression that means that they have died),[97] many of the witnesses are still living (1 Cor 15:6). Paul is essentially saying: if you don’t believe me, you can ask them.[98]

You ever tell someone something and they don’t believe you? Guess who I saw today in the store? Beyoncé. And they be like: (sucks teeth) You did not see Beyoncé in the store today. So, what do we do? Well, Tina was there, Bobby was there, Pookie was there. Matter of fact… <mimes making a phone call> . Hello, Pookie? Didn’t we see Beyoncé in the store today? See, talk to Pookie.  

You see, if one person claims they saw something at one time, it’s easy to write them off as mistaken or even crazy. But when you have hundreds of other potential eyewitnesses who can verify what was seen, the claim seems more credible. This was no hoax.[99]

1 Corinthians 15:7

In verse 7, Paul then says that Christ appeared to James (1 Cor 15:7a). Most likely, this is not James the brother of John;[100] This is James the (earthly) brother of Jesus.[101]

As we find in John, during His ministry, Jesus’ brothers did not believe in him (Jn 7:5).[102] Another embarrassing detail. But in the first chapter of Acts, when the disciples choose a replacement for Judas, Jesus’ brothers are with them in the Upper Room (Ac 1:14).[103]

We don’t know exactly when Jesus appeared to James, but it seems that that appearance transformed him from a skeptic into a believer.[104] In the book of Acts, we find that James eventually became a leader of the church in Jerusalem (Ac 15:13-21; 21:18-25 cf. Gal 1:19, 2:9).[105] He is also likely the author of the letter of James in the New Testament,[106] and he was martyred for his faith in AD 62, when he was stoned.[107]

Paul then says that Jesus appeared to all the apostles (1 Cor 15:7b). The apostles likely refers to a group that includes the disciples in addition to others (1 Cor. 9:5; 12:28; Gal. 1:17, 19; Rom. 16:7),[108] all of whom saw Jesus after the Resurrection.[109] Again, we do not know exactly when this took place, but this could be a reference to the time of Jesus’ Ascension into heaven (Ac 1:1ff.).[110]

1 Corinthians 15:8

Finally, in verse 8, Paul says that Jesus appeared to him last of all – as to one abnormally born (1 Cor 15:8). As you may recall, Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19; cf. Acts 22; 26; Gal 1:13-17).[111] And, this was not a mere vision.[112] Paul likely equates Christ’s appearance to him with Christ’s appearances to the others. And he says that this was the final appearance.[113]

Now the Greek word translated abnormally born is very provocative and likely offensive.[114] We don’t need to get too deep right now. But, suffice it to say that Paul is likely emphasizing his lowly status among the apostles[115] – his unworthiness.[116]

He was “in a deplorable condition of spiritual death” before God gave him new life – by God’s grace.[117] For, as you may recall, Paul used to persecute Christians murderously (1 Cor 15:9; Ac 9:1-2 cf. Gal. 1:13; Phil. 3:6; cf. 1 Tim. 1:13–16; Acts 8:1–3; 9:1–5; 22:3–5; 26:12–15).[118] As scholars note, Paul was “last in time…and least in dignity.”[119]

Fundamental Facts[120]

Now, in the creed Paul cites, four key verbs summarize the Gospel: Christ died, Christ was buried, Christ was raised, Christ appeared.[121] These are all claims about actual history.[122]

Minimal Facts | What is the Best Explanation?

Now what do historians actually believe about these historical claims? You may be surprised to know that the overwhelming majority of all atheist, skeptic, Jewish, and Christian scholars agree on a few basic facts:[123] (1) Jesus died by crucifixion, (2) His disciples were convinced that Jesus appeared to them – in the flesh, (3) Paul, the former persecutor, became a Christian, (4) James, a former skeptic, became a Christian, and (5) the tomb was empty.[124]

Other widely-accepted facts could be mentioned, but the question is, concerning these minimal facts, what is the best explanation?

Hallucination Theory

One of the most popular theories is the hallucination theory – that the disciples didn’t really see Jesus in the flesh, they saw him in their minds. However, as modern science confirms, hallucinations are experienced by individuals, not groups.[125] Remember Paul tells the Corinthians that Jesus appeared to over 500 people at the same time, and essentially challenges them to check his references.

Also, back then, almost everyone believed in ghosts and spirits. A ghost vision would not be controversial.[126] But Jesus actually walks with people, talks with people, and eats with people.[127]

In any case, as scholars point out, the hallucination theory does not explain the empty tomb. The authorities could have crushed the movement before it even got started, simply by parading Jesus’ body around the city.[128]

Wrong-Tomb Theory

But maybe His followers just went to the wrong tomb. The so-called wrong-tomb theory may explain the empty tomb, but it does not explain the appearances.[129] And again, the authorities could have crushed the movement before it even got started, simply by parading Jesus’ body around the city.[130]

Swoon Theory

But maybe Jesus didn’t really die, but only appeared to die. This so-called swoon theory asserts that Jesus was somehow still alive after being crucified, that he somehow escaped from the tomb, and that he somehow convinced His disciples that He had risen.[131]

The problem with the swoon theory is that the Romans were professional killers who did their job well.[132] They thrust a spear into his side, which likely pierced his right lung, pericardium, and heart.[133] Both Jesus’ friends and enemies believed he was dead, as did other first-century Jews,[134] and as do modern doctors today[135] – as they have published in medical journals.[136]

Not to mention, Jesus was likely embalmed according to Jewish burial customs. This entailed 75 pounds of bandages and spices (Jn 19:39-40).[137]

Moreover, even if he did survive the cross, he wouldn’t have been in good shape. He likely would have still died in the tomb. And if he did survive, are we expected to believe that he rolled away a two-ton stone and overpowered some Roman guards – in His condition?

In addition, the swoon theory doesn’t explain the appearance to Paul. For these and many other reasons, today, very few scholars put any stock in the swoon theory.[138]

Conspiracy Theory

But maybe the disciples stole the body. The conspiracy theory is the earliest theory, for Matthew reports that the chief priests and the elders spread this very rumor (Mt 28:11-15).[139]

But one has to ask, why would the disciples make up a story about a resurrection, and then die for it? Almost all of the disciples were beaten, tortured, and/or martyred for their faith. To save themselves, all they had to do, was say it wasn’t true.[140]

Not to mention, this doesn’t explain the appearances – especially to the skeptics James and Paul.[141] And, most scholars affirm that the disciples at least believed that Jesus rose from the dead.[142] Virtually no historians today believe the conspiracy theory.[143]

Wishful Thinking

Others assert that the disciples saw Jesus due to their wishful thinking. But this does not explain the empty tomb, nor does it explain the appearance to Paul. For Paul was not a believer who wished that Jesus would return; Paul was busy persecuting the church![144]

All in all, most historians recognize the absurdity of these alternate theories.[145]

The Best Explanation: The Resurrection Hypothesis

The fact is, based on the widely-accepted historical facts, the belief that Jesus rose from the dead is the best explanation. The reason many still reject this, is due to a prejudice against miracles. But, if God can create and design this incredibly vast and finely-tuned universe, raising one person from the dead is child’s play.

Objective vs. Subjective

Christ died, Christ was buried, Christ was raised, Christ appeared. The historical facts Paul relays to the Corinthians are the firm foundation of our faith.

Now, if you’ve ever watched a cop show on TV, if a detective asks where you were last night from 9-11PM, what is one of the worst answers? I was at home by myself. Why? Because no one can verify it. All you have is your personal testimony.

Similarly, we can have very powerful, personal testimonies about what Christ has done for us. But often, no one else can verify what has taken place in our hearts. So, notice how, to make his case, Paul cites both his subjective, personal experience, and objective, historical evidence.[146] We, too, should use both.

Theological Foundation of Commands

Now, has anyone ever tried to tell you what to do, and you look at them like, who you think you talking to? If it’s some random person off the street that’s one thing, but if it’s my mother, that’s quite another.

My mother carried me in her womb, my mother brought me into this world, my mother raised me. My father helped me become the man I am today. He’s given so much of himself to me, I could never repay. So, I thank him in advance for not making me pay back all the money he’s “lent” me.

My point is, when my parents command me to do something, it carries a little more weight – because of all they’ve done.

Speaking of commands, Jews count the Ten Commandments differently than Christians. For Jews, even to this day, the 1st commandment is “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Ex 20:2, NIV).[147] Only after that does God say, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:3).

The Indicative Precedes the Imperative

You see, in Scripture, the indicative always precedes the imperative. That is, God tells us what to do after He indicates what He has already done.[148]

Because my mother carried me in her womb, brought me into this world, and raised me, therefore I should respond with love and obedience. Because God brought Israel out of Egypt, out of slavery, out of chains, therefore they should respond with love and obedience. Because Christ died for us, because He was buried, because He was raised, therefore we should respond with love and obedience.

And it should be clear that we don’t earn our way into God’s good graces. His grace precedes our faith. You see, I can never earn my mother’s love. My mother’s love precedes my knowledge of my mother’s love. My mother loved me before I even I knew what love was.

Faithfulness: The Response to Love and Grace

Similarly, we can never earn God’s love. God’s love precedes our knowledge of God’s love. God loved us before we even knew what love was. But God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8).[149] Because God has been loving, because God has been gracious, therefore we should be faithful.

So, whenever we see a command in Scripture that we don’t agree with, let’s put a therefore in front of it. As in, because Christ died for us, in view of God’s mercy, therefore offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God (Rom 12:1).[150]

Conclusion

Let us not conform to the pattern of this culture. Not to the winds and waves of this world that constantly blow in different directions. Nor to the shifting sands of self, and a society that can’t seem to hold its head still.

Instead, let us stand firm on the firm foundation of faith, so we can line things up, just right. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. Because of the facts we can all sing:

<inclusio: Song — There’s Something About That Name>

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; there’s just something about that name.
Master, Savior, Jesus, like the fragrance after the rain;
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all Heaven and earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
But there’s something about that name.
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
But there’s something about that name.[151]

Invitation

There may be someone here today who, in view of the facts, would like to give their life to the One who gave them life. To live for Him who died for us, and was raised again (2 Cor 5:15). This invitation is for you.

There may be someone who would like to join a congregation of people who are trying to respond to God’s perfect love and grace, with our imperfect love and faith. This invitation is for you. This invitation is for all.

Greek Text

1 Γνωρίζω δὲ ὑμῖν, ἀδελφοί, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ὃ εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν, ὃ καὶ παρελάβετε, ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἑστήκατε, 2 διʼ οὗ καὶ σῴζεσθε, τίνι λόγῳ εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν εἰ κατέχετε, ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ εἰκῇ ἐπιστεύσατε.

3 παρέδωκα γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν πρώτοις, ὃ καὶ παρέλαβον, ὅτι Χριστὸς ἀπέθανεν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν κατὰ τὰς γραφὰς 4 καὶ ὅτι ἐτάφη καὶ ὅτι ἐγήγερται τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ κατὰ τὰς γραφὰς 5 καὶ ὅτι ὤφθη Κηφᾷ εἶτα τοῖς δώδεκα

6 ἔπειτα ὤφθη ἐπάνω πεντακοσίοις ἀδελφοῖς ἐφάπαξ, ἐξ ὧν οἱ πλείονες μένουσιν ἕως ἄρτι, τινὲς δὲ ἐκοιμήθησαν 7 ἔπειτα ὤφθη Ἰακώβῳ εἶτα τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν 8 ἔσχατον δὲ πάντων ὡσπερεὶ τῷ ἐκτρώματι ὤφθη κἀμοί.2

Translation

1 Now I declare to you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I proclaimed to you, and which you accepted, and on which you have taken your stand, 2 and by which you are saved, if you hold firm to the word I proclaimed to you  –unless you believed in vain.

3 For I passed on to you as of first importance that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins — according to the Scriptures — 4 and that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day — according to the Scriptures — 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.

6 Then He appeared to more than 500 of the brothers and sisters at once, most of whom live to this day, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 And last of all, as to one abnormally born, He appeared to me also.

Bibliography

Allen, R. Michael. ET101 Law and Gospel: The Basis of Christian Ethics. Logos Mobile Education. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016.

Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, Walter Bauer, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Baker, William. “1 Corinthians.” In Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Vol. 15. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2009.

Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–.

Blomberg, Craig. 1 Corinthians. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994.

Craig, William Lane. On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision. David C. Cook. Kindle Edition. 2010.

Ciampa, Roy E., and Brian S. Rosner. The First Letter to the Corinthians. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010.

Davis, James in Burge, Gary M., and Andrew E. Hill, eds. The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2012.

Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988.

Fee, Gordon D. The First Epistle to the Corinthians. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987.

Garland, David E. 1 Corinthians. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003.

Geisler, Norman L. “Plato.” Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Baker Reference Library. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999.

Geisler, Norman L., and Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004.

Johnson, Alan F. 1 Corinthians. Vol. 7. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Westmont, IL: IVP Academic, 2004.

Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.

Keener, Craig S. 1-2 Corinthians. New Cambridge Bible Commentary. Kindle Edition, 2005.

Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996.

McDonald, Lee Martin. “1 Corinthians.” In The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Acts–Philemon, edited by Craig A. Evans and Craig A. Bubeck, First Edition., 255–366. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2004.

Morris, Leon. 1 Corinthians: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 7. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985.

Prior, David. The Message of 1 Corinthians: Life in the Local Church. The Bible Speaks Today. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985.

Sarna, Nahum M. Exodus. The JPS Torah Commentary. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1991.

Schreiner, Thomas R. 1 Corinthians: An Introduction and Commentary. Edited by Eckhard J. Schnabel. Vol. 7. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. London: Inter-Varsity Press, 2018.

Silva, Moisés, ed. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014.

Soards, Marion L. 1 Corinthians. Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011.

Taylor, Mark. 1 Corinthians. Edited by E. Ray Clendenen. Vol. 28. The New American Commentary. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2014.

Thiselton, Anthony C. The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000.

Water, Mark. The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations. Alresford, Hampshire: John Hunt Publishers Ltd, 2000.

Winter, Bruce. “1 Corinthians.” In New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, edited by D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, and G. J. Wenham, 4th ed., 1161–87. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994.

Witherington, Ben, III. Conflict and Community in Corinth: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995.

[1] Song recently sung by Bill and Gloria Gaither https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwzP1jiYhi0

[2] Pastor Todd uses this illustration in his YouTube video on Relationship #GOALS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7h5BHax06c&t=1627s. The video was sent to me by a church member. I have not watched the entire sermon, nor do I necessarily agree with everything that I did hear. But, I think it is a good illustration nonetheless.

[3] “Christ’s death and resurrection in space and time, as bona fide historical events, actually set Christianity apart from all its major rivals. Later Western religions that developed in part in reaction to Christianity do not claim deity or resurrections for their originators, merely prophetic status (e.g., Mohammed in Islam or Joseph Smith in Mormonism). Older Eastern religions do not even require the actual historical existence of their founders for their beliefs and practices to make sense. In some ways they are more akin to philosophies than to historical truth-claims (e.g., Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism). But Christianity lives or dies with the claim of Christ’s resurrection. To be sure, it is possible to believe in Jesus’ resurrection and not become a Christian, but without the bodily resurrection Christianity crumbles.” Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994), 308.

[4] Marion L. Soards, 1 Corinthians, Understanding the Bible Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), 314.

[5] Leon Morris, 1 Corinthians: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 7, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985), 196. David Prior, The Message of 1 Corinthians: Life in the Local Church, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985), 256. “they had especially objected to the corporeal features of such an idea.” Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, ed. Ned B. Stonehouse et al., Revised Edition, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014), 794. Blomberg, 294; David E. Garland, 1 Corinthians, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003), 678.

[6] Mark Taylor, 1 Corinthians, ed. E. Ray Clendenen, vol. 28, The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2014), 365, 367; Soards, 314. Roy E. Ciampa and Brian S. Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), 739.

[7] Ciampa and Rosner, 240f. Also see Jewish intertestamental literature: 1 Enoch 51:1; 62:14–16; 4 Ezra 7:32–33a; and 2 Baruch 50:2, 4. Cf. Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 1 Co 15:5; Blomberg, 295.

[8] Craig S. Keener, 1-2 Corinthians (New Cambridge Bible Commentary) (Kindle Location 1744,. Kindle Edition, 2005.

[9] Ciampa and Rosner, 740.

[10] “Plato was born in 428 B.C., the year of Pericles’ death.” Norman L. Geisler, “Plato,” Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 593.

[11] Witherington, 302. Blomberg, 295.

[12] Prior, 256.

[13] Soards, 315; Johnson, 282-3.

[14] Prior, 256; Taylor, 367; Keener ~1747.

[15] Morris, 196.

[16] Fee, 793; Keener 1 Cor 15:1; Ben Witherington III, Conflict and Community in Corinth: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995), 299.

[17] Prior, 259.

[18] Morris, 197; William Baker, “1 Corinthians,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, vol. 15 (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2009), 210; Blomberg, 295. Cf. 12:3; Gal. 1:11; 2 Cor. 8; Garland, 682; Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 1183.

[19] Taylor, 369; Ciampa and Rosner, 743.

[20] “Now he ‘makes known’ to them what they already know, but seem to have forgotten” Fee, 799.

[21] BDAG, 768; NIDNTTE, 84; EDNT, 30.

[22] Morris, 197.

[23] The word gospel simply means “good news.” And, in the later chapters of the prophetic book of Isaiah, the prophet foretells of the “good news” of God’s coming kingdom, of God’s reign. “…reaches back to the promise of return from exile in the Old Testament (Isa. 40:9; 41:27; 52:7; 61:1). In Isaiah 40–66 the return from exile is linked with the fulfilment of God’s promises to Israel and the coming of the new creation (Isa. 65:17; 66:22).” Thomas R. Schreiner, 1 Corinthians: An Introduction and Commentary, ed. Eckhard J. Schnabel, vol. 7, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (London: Inter-Varsity Press, 2018), 302. Jesus speaks of this good news when he quotes Isaiah 61 at the beginning of His ministry: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor” (Is 61:1, NIV) – that is, to the humbled (cf. Num 12:3). https://catchforchrist.net/isaiah-61-1-commentary-memorize-meaning/   Cf. 1 Cor 4:15; 9:12, 14, 18, 23 “and its verbal cognate ([1 Cor 1:17]; 9:16, 18; 15:2).” Baker, 210; Thiselton, 1184.

[24] “he is repeating the facts, not adding to them.” Prior, 259.

[25] Witherington, 300.

[26] Fee, 801; Ciampa and Rosner, 743; Garland, 682.

[27] Soards, 317.

[28] “rooted in a radical pneumatism that denied the value/significance of the body that was expressed by way of a somewhat “overrealized,” or “spiritualized,” eschatology.” Fee, 796.

[29] Actually, “you are being saved” (present continuous) Morris, 197; Baker, 210; Thiselton, 1185; etc.

[30] As he commands them elsewhere, and as he tells others in his other letters. For word translated persevere “(see Luke 8:15; Heb. 3:6, 14; 10:23).” Paul often tells believers to persevere until the end (cf. Rom. 11:22; Gal. 3:4; Col. 1:23; 1 Thess. 3:1–5; 2 Thess. 2:15). Schreiner, 302; cf. 1 Cor 11:2, 16:13; Taylor, 370.

[31] Cf. 2 Cor 1:24; Eph 6:13–14; Col 4:12; Baker, 210.

[32] They must not deviate Ciampa and Rosner, 744. Cf. Garland, 683.

[33] BDAG, 281.

[34] Morris, 198. Cf. Garland, 683; Thiselton, 1186.

[35] EDNT, 388.

[36] Cf. Taylor, 371. Cf. 1 Cor 15:14; Garland, 683.

[37] Fee, 801.

[38] Schreiner, 302. “His exposition of the significance of those facts he claimed to have received ‘by revelation’” Prior, 259 cf. Taylor, 372. Including his “radical inclusion of the Gentiles” Baker, 213.

[39] Baker, 210; Ciampa and Rosner, 745; Blomberg, 295; Garland, 683.

[40] Morris, 198. Cf. 1 Cor 11:23ff re: The Lord’s Supper; Prior, 259. At least v. 3-4; Fee, 798, 801-2; Taylor, 371; Baker, 210, 213; Soards, 316, 317; Ciampa and Rosner, 743; Witherington, 299. Garland, 684.

[41] Keener, 1 Co 15:3; or used  “for catechetical purposes.” Thiselton, 1187.

[42] Baker, 215; Blomberg, 301.

[43] Prior, 259.

[44] Prior, 259; Blomberg, 295.

[45] Baker, 213.

[46] Witherington, 301.

[47] Blomberg, 296.

[48] In addition to during times of worship and preaching. Baker, 213 cf. Thiselton, 1188.

[49] Taylor, 372.

[50] Schreiner, 303; Johnson, 284, Blomberg, 295; Thiselton, 1186.

[51] Christ or Christos is the Greek word for Messiah. Now to many Jews, this sounds like foolishness. The Messiah was someone who was supposed to restore Israel and reign forever. Christians were talking about a crucified Messiah. To Jews, this is utter nonsense (cf. Jn 12:34; 1 Cor 1:23). Johnson, 284.

[52] Schreiner, 303; cf. Prior, 260;

[53] Schreiner, 303. Cf. Rom 4:25; Rom 5:6-8; Gal 3:13; 2 Cor 5:21. Cf. 1 Cor 11:23-25; Fee, 802; Taylor, 372.; Johnson, 284.

[54] Christ’s atoning death is a central tenet of the faith (Rom 8:32; 1 Cor. 8:11; 2 Cor. 5:14–15; Eph. 5:2; Titus 2:14…” Garland, 684.

[55] Fee, 804; Baker, 213; Cf Lev 5:11, 7:37 LXX; Thiselton, 1191.

[56] Morris, 198; “see the use of Psalms 110 and 8 in 1 Corinthians 15:24–28.” Ciampa and Rosner, 747; Johnson, 284; cf. Ac 2:23; Garland, 685.

[57] Morris, 198; Schreiner, 303; Prior, 260; Taylor, 373; Baker, 214. Cf. Zech 12:10; Soards, 318; [57] Keener, 1 Co 15:3; Witherington, 299; Lee Martin McDonald, “1 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Acts–Philemon, ed. Craig A. Evans and Craig A. Bubeck, First Edition (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2004), 351. Johnson, 284; Blomberg, 296; Garland, 685; cf. Dt. 18:15, 18; Thiselton, 1190.

[58] Fee, 803.

[59] Fee, 804; Taylor, 373. He usually uses Scripture (singular) when referring to a specific text; Ciampa and Rosner, 746; Witherington, 299.

[60] Fee, 804.

[61] Fee, 804.

[62] Taylor, 372-3; Soards, 318; Johnson, 284.

[63] Schreiner, 303. Cf. Lk 18:31-33; Ciampa and Rosner, 746.

[64] Baker, 213; Ciampa and Rosner, 748; Witherington, 299; Johnson, 285; Blomberg, 296; Garland, 685; Thiselton, 1192.

[65] Morris, 198; Blomberg, 296, etc. For if he was buried, he must have been dead. And if he was raised, His reanimated body must no longer be in the tomb. Prior, 260. Cf. Fee, 805; Taylor, 373; [65] Keener, 1 Co 15:4.

[66] The way they counted days back in the day, Good Friday was day one, Saturday was day two, and Sunday was day three.  Blomberg, 296.

[67] “Resurrection is consistently seen in the New Testament as a demonstration of God’s power over death. Almost invariably it is God who raises Jesus from death; Jesus does not rise of his own accord (e.g. 15:16). If God raised Jesus from the dead, he will also raise all those in Jesus” Prior, 258. Cf. Baker, 214; Johnson, 285; Garland, 686;  Jesus raises us: Jn 6:39, 40, 54 cf. “Acts 3:15; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 37; Rom 4:21; 8:11 [bis]; 10:9; 1 Cor 6:14; 15:15 [bis]; 2 Cor 4:14a; Gal 1:1; Col 2:12; 1 Thess 1:10…” Thiselton, 1193.

[68] Fee, 805.

[69] Morris, 198. Cf. Schreiner, 303; Taylor, 373; Ciampa and Rosner, 748; Blomberg, 296; Garland, 686.

[70] Even though “he poured out his life unto death” (Is 53:12c, NIV).Morris, 199; Baker, 214.

[71] Morris, 199. Cf. Ac 2:24-28; Baker, 214. Cf. Psalm 22; Is 53; Schreiner, 303; Blomberg, 296. Also cf. other Psalms (Ps 16, 49, 73, 88) Prior, 260. Jews also thought that the corruption (i.e., decay) set in on the third day after death (cf. Ps 16:9-11); Fee, 807; [71] Keener, 1 Co 15:4; Thiselton, 1196; cf. Soards, 318.

[72] Prior, 260; Cf. Lk 24:44-46; Taylor, 373; Baker, 214; Blomberg, 301; Thiselton, 1188.

[73] Schreiner, 303; Johnson, 285; Cf. Gen 42:18; Jos 2:22; Ezra 8:32; Esther 5:1; Blomberg, 296. Cf. Jos 3:2; Garland, 687.

[74] Schreiner, 303.

[75] Morris, 199; Baker, 214.

[76] Cf. Blomberg, 296; Thiselton, 1195.

[77] (Matt. 16:21; 17:22–23; 20:18–20 par.) Schreiner, 303; Referring to His body, He said, destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up (John 2:19). cf. Mark 14:58//Matt. 26:61; Mark 15:29//Matt. 27:40). Fee, 806.

[78] In addition, though Israel had previously gone astray, in the 8th century BC, the prophet Hosea foretells of their return to the LORD, who will bind up their wounds. In Hosea 6:2 he writes, “After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us; that we may live in his presence” (NIV).Morris, 199; Baker, 214; Garland, 687, Thiselton, 1195.

[79] Cf. Gen 22:4; Judg 20:30) Schreiner, 303. Fee, 807; Cf. 2 Ki 20:5; Thiselton, 1197.

[80] Cf. Lk 9:22; Garland, 686.

[81] Fee, 806; Taylor, 374; Garland, 686; Thiselton, 1196.

[82] “In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the LXX), the term is used to describe the appearance of God in Gen. 12:7; 26:24; 35:9; 48:3; Exod. 6:3; 1 Kings 3:5; 9:2; 2 Chron. 1:7; 3:1; 7:12, and in a manifestation of the glory of God (Exod. 16:10; Lev. 9:23; Num. 14:10; 16:19; 17:7; 20:6).” McDonald, 352 cf. Keener 1 Cor 15:5; cf. Gen 35:1; Ex 3:14-16; Garland, 687.

[83] Morris, 199.

[84] Morris, 199; Schreiner, 304; Fee, 808; Taylor, 374; Soards, 319; Thiselton, 1204.

[85] Baker, 214; McDonald, 352.

[86] Witherington, 300; Paul has also just mentioned that women should be silent (1 Cor 14:35). McDonald, 352; “Josephus’s description of the rules for admissible testimony: “Let not the testimony of women be admitted, on account of the levity and boldness of their sex” (Antiquities IV.8.15)” William Lane Craig, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision, (David C. Cook,  Kindle Edition. 2010), ~3807.

[87] Johnson, 286; Blomberg, 303.

[88] “Sooner let the words of the Law be burnt than delivered to women!” (Sotah 19a) and again: “Happy is he whose children are male, but unhappy is he whose children are female!” (Kiddushin 82b). The daily prayer of every Jewish man included the blessing, “Blessed are you, Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who has not created me a Gentile, a slave, or a woman” (Berachos 60b).” Craig, ~3807.

[89] Craig, ~3807.

[90] Baker, 214; Johnson, 285.

[91] Morris, 199; Schreiner, 304; Soards, 319.

[92] Morris, 199.

[93] Thomas was absent the first time in John, as well. Morris, 199. Cf. Schreiner, 304. Cf. Mk 3:14; Fee, 809; contra Eleven (Mt 28:16; Lk 24:33 cf. Ac 1:3) Baker, 214; Ciampa and Rosner, 749; McDonald, 352; Blomberg, 296; Garland, 688.

[94] Fee, 809, 811.

[95] Schreiner, 304 cf. Soards,319; Kener, 1 Cor 15:6; Johnson, 286; Blomberg, 302; Garland, 688.

[96] Mt 28:16ff. Morris, 199; Schreiner, 304; Fee, 811; Taylor, 374. Or Ac 1:6-11 Baker, 215.

[97] A euphemism (cf. 1 Th 4:13). Morris, 199 cf. 1 Cor 11:30; Schreiner, 304; Soards, 319; cf. 1 Cor 7:39; 11:30; 15:6, 18, 20, 51; 1 Thess. 4:13–15). McDonald, 353.

[98] “Since many of the 500-plus people who saw the risen Christ were still alive, they could attest to the credibility of the event.” Schreiner, 305 cf. Prior, 261; Fee, 810; Keener, 1 Cor 15:6; Ciampa and Rosner, 749; Johnson, 286; Garland, 689.

[99] Baker, 215.

[100] – who was a disciple killed by King Herod (c. AD 44). Thiselton, 1207 cf. “(Mark 9:2; 13:3; 14:33), that James was the first of the Twelve to be martyred (Acts 12:2)” He would have been included in the Twelve. Baker, 215. Ciampa and Rosner, 750.

[101] Morris, 199; cf. Mt 13:55 Schreiner, 305; Fee, 810; Taylor, 374; Ciampa and Rosner, 750; Witherington, 300; McDonald, 353; Johnson, 286; Blomberg, 296; Thiselton, 1207.

[102] Morris, 199. Cf. Mk 3:31-35; Fee, 810; Baker, 215.

[103] Morris, 199; Baker, 215.

[104] Morris, 199.

[105] Schreiner, 305; Baker, 215.

[106] Schreiner, 305; Baker, 215.

[107] According to Josephus; Schreiner, 305; Thiselton, 1208.

[108] Garland, 690 cf. Schreiner, 305; Fee, 811-12.  Like Andronicus and his wife Junia (Rom 16:7), Matthias who replaced Judas (Ac 1:26), and Barnabas (Ac 14:14); cf. Keener, 1 Cor 15:7; Ciampa and Rosner, 750; Johnson, 286.

[109] “(Acts 14:14; 1 Cor 9:5–6; Gal 1:17–19), “the apostles” were a restricted group of eyewitnesses to the resurrection, as 15:7 confirms” Taylor, 375; cf. Ac 1:21-22.

[110] Morris, 200. Or Jn 20:26-29; Lk 24:36-53; Schreiner, 305; cf. Ac 1:1-11; Blomberg, 297.

[111] Schreiner, 305; Baker, 216.

[112] “The sure evidence of that is (a) his actually including his experience in this enumeration, (b) the repetition of the verb “appeared,” and (c) the language he uses to describe his inclusion, that it is “last of all” and “as to one abnormally born.” Fee, 812 cf. Witherington, 301.

[113] Prior, 261; Taylor, 375; Baker, 216; Garland, 691.

[114] It means “abortion” or “miscarriage” Morris, 200. Cf. Schreiner, 305; Baker, 210; Soards, 320; Witherington, 300. Could be an insult from Paul’s opponents. Prior, 261; probably not untimely because miscarriages are premature where Paul’s experience was after everyone else’s; Fee, 812-813; Blomberg, 297. In the LXX it means stillborn child “(Num 12:12; Job 3:16; Eccl 6:3.)” Taylor, 375.

[115] Fee, 798.

[116] Morris, 200. “he is probably deprecating himself in some manner.” Keener, 1 Cor 15:8; Witherington, 300; “referring to his state of wretchedness as an unbeliever and persecutor of the church.” Garland, 693.

[117] Taylor, 376; Garland, 693; Thiselton, 1211. Paul only mentions three individuals: Peter, James and himself. Ciampa and Rosner, 749. Before seeing the Resurrected Lord, Peter was in fear and denial, James was a skeptic, and Paul was essentially killing Christians. Despite their past, they all received divine grace. Thiselton, 1207.

[118] James Davis in Gary M. Burge and Andrew E. Hill, eds., The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2012), 1305. Lee Martin McDonald, “1 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Acts–Philemon, ed. Craig A. Evans and Craig A. Bubeck, First Edition (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2004), 351.)

[119] Garland, 691.

[120] This passage can serve as a strong apologetic of “The absolute fundamentals of the faith,” which “include the genuine humanity and deity of Christ (making real death and real resurrection possible, respectively), his vicarious atonement, his bodily resurrection, and the authority of the Scriptures, which are twice appealed to in verses 3–4 to corroborate the significance of the historical events.” Blomberg, 301.

[121] Ciampa and Rosner, 746; Chiasm say Garland, 687 and Thiselton, 1203.

[122] Johnson, 284.

[123] Also that Jewish Christians stopped worshipping on Saturday and switched to Sunday, breaking one of the Ten Commandments. Blomberg, 307.

[124] https://catchforchrist.net/resurrection-evidence-jesus-minimal-facts-video/ Cf. William Lane Craig. On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision, (David C. Cook, Kindle Edition, 2010), ~3622. Gary “Habermas collected more than 1,400 of the most critical scholarly works on the Resurrection written from 1975 to 2003.” Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004), 298–299. Cf. “In fact, in a survey of over 2,200 publications on the resurrection in English, French, and German since 1975, Gary Habermas found that 75 percent of scholars accepted the historicity of the discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb.” Craig,,~3834.

[125] Moreover, Jesus doesn’t appear to just one person. He is seen by a variety of people in a variety of ways. Geisler and Turek, 302.

[126] Keener, ~1772; If they would have projected a hallucination, it probably would have been one of Jesus in Abraham’s bosom, which would have confirmed not that he was alive, but that he was dead! Craig, ~4243-57.

[127] Geisler and Turek, 302. He even invites them to feel the marks in His hands and feet (Lk 24:39).

[128] Geisler and Turek, 302.

[129] Craig, ~4213

[130] Geisler and Turek, 303-4.

[131] Geisler and Turek, 304; Cf. Craig, ~4184f.

[132] Crucifixion victims would actually die from lack of oxygen; breaking his legs would speed up the process. But, they didn’t even have to resort to that. Geisler and Turek, 304-5.

[133] Geisler and Turek, 304-5.

[134] “These include Josephus, Tacitus, Thallus, and the Jewish Talmud. The Jewish Talmud, for example, says that Yeshua (Jesus) was hung on a tree on the eve of the Passover.” Geisler and Turek, 306.

[135] Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus, (Zondervan, Kindle Edition, 1998), 197.

[136] “William D. Edwards, Wesley J. Gabel, and Floyd E. Hosmer, “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ,” Journal of the American Medical Association 255, no. 11 (March 21, 1986): 1463” as quoted in Geisler and Turek, 305.

[137] It’s hard to believe that they would embalm someone who wasn’t dead. Geisler and Turek, 305.

[138] Geisler and Turek, 305-6.

[139] “Affirmation of Christ’s burial could also counter the earliest defamation of Christ’s resurrection, reflected in Matthew 28:13, that his disciples stole the body (Thiselton 2000:1193).” Baker, 214; cf. Thiselton, 1193.

[140] Geisler and Turek, 307.

[141] And the disciples would have had to overpower the guards. Sleeping on the job would be a capital crime for Roman guards. Geisler and Turek, 307.

[142] Craig, ~4105.

[143] Craig, ~4080.

[144] Geisler and Turek, 310-312; Cf. Blomberg, 302.

[145] “Historians usually recognize the absurdity of most of the proposed alternatives to the resurrection—the swoon theory, the stolen body or wrong tomb, mass hallucination, and so on, though that does not stop more popular writers from continuing to perpetuate such nonsense.” Blomberg, 307. Skeptics cannot just provide alternative theories, they have to provide first-century evidence for those theories. Geisler and Turek, 312f.

[146] “Paul’s appeal to his own personal experience of the risen Christ (v. 8) to balance the historical facts he had learned (vv. 3–7) means that we too may consider our personal encounters with Jesus as an equally legitimate part of the defense of our faith. On the other hand, without the appeal to historical facts, we have no way of mediating between the competing claims of largely parallel personal experiences. Mormons, Buddhists, and Christians alike often testify today to some strong feeling or spiritual encounter that “confirmed” the truth of their faith. But since these three religions contradict each other at important points, all cannot be simultaneously true. Christians must appeal to more than a personal testimony; they must recognize the historical evidence that is on their side.” Blomberg, 308.

[147] “Jewish tradition came to regard this verse as the first of the ten divine pronouncements and understood it as enjoining the belief in the existence of God who is the ultimate controller of the processes of history.” Nahum M. Sarna, Exodus, The JPS Torah Commentary (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1991), 109.

[148] “This is a constant rhythm. Only after giving life and provision and promise, all sorts of blessings, does God encounter the man and the woman in Gen 1 with a mandate and a calling or vocation. Only after freeing Israel from bondage in Egypt does God, atop Sinai, give them a law commanding them, demanding certain behavior from them. And even there in the Ten Commandments, of course, it is prompted by, it is headed by the statement, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out”—of slavery, of Egypt, of so much trouble, of death itself. The indicative statement of what God has done and is doing always precedes the imperative statement of what God expects from us.” R. Michael Allen, ET101 Law and Gospel: The Basis of Christian Ethics, Logos Mobile Education (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

[149] The First Exodus during the first Passover Week was a theological foundation for the faith of Old Testament believers. The Second Exodus of Christ’s death and resurrection, which took place during Passover Week, is the theological foundation for the faith of New Testament believers (cf. Lk 9:31, “departure” = ἔξοδος | exhodos).

[150] “Of course, Paul, more than anyone else, demonstrates this indicative-imperative dynamic order in all of his epistles. Almost every epistle is marked by a structural order…” Allen.

 

[151] Song recently sung by Bill and Gloria Gaither https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwzP1jiYhi0

Sources

  1. Image from https://soundcloud.com/david-seif/on-christ-the-solid-rock
  2. Barbara Aland et al., eds., The Greek New Testament, Fifth Revised Edition (Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2014), 1 Co 15:1–8.
About @DannyScottonJr 172 Articles
Imperfect servant striving to be an unapologetically apologetic ambassador for Jesus the Christ. Princeton University Alum | Palmer Theological Seminary Student