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Bible Commentaries
Luke 20

Whedon's Commentary on the BibleWhedon's Commentary

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Verse 35

35. They which shall be accounted worthy From the words accounted worthy, some draw the inference that the resurrection is conditional and partial; that it is limited to the worthy, while the wicked are left in perpetual extinction. It is an unwarranted conclusion. For, 1. The Greek word here rendered accounted worthy is often elegantly put for equum censetur, it is thought proper, or it seems good; good, that is, in the present case, to the Divine Mind. The meaning then would be: Those who by the Divine will shall attain the resurrection. Their resurrection would be not dependent upon personal worthiness, but upon God’s plan; whether of a part or the whole. 2. As the question of the Sadducees, (briefly feigning to be orthodox,) which Christ here answers, regarded solely the children of Abraham, who were assumed to be of course heirs of the blessed resurrection, it is of the blessed resurrection, or the blessed side of the resurrection, only, that Jesus now speaks, to which the worthy alone do in fact attain. In the same manner Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:0, as writing for the Christian alone, describes only the glorious resurrection. In neither case is it implied that there is not also, and at the same time, a resurrection of the unjust, (Acts 24:15,) or resurrection of damnation, John 5:29.

Resurrection from the dead Literally, resurrection from dead. There is apparently a difference in meaning between the three phrases, resurrection of the dead, resurrection from the dead, and resurrection from dead, without the article. Says Winer, (Gram. of N.T., vol. ii, p. 135,) “ Νεκροι [dead, without the article] signifies dead persons, Luke 7:22; 1Co 15:15 ; 1 Corinthians 15:29; 1 Corinthians 15:32, etc.; but οι νεκροι , the dead as a definite multitude.” Resurrection of the dead would signify the resurrection of the totality of the race. The resurrection from the dead would signify the resurrection of only a part from the whole. The resurrection from dead may be a resurrection of persons from being dead. It is a becoming alive from dead. The same persons from their dead selves rise into living; as the phoenix has a resurrection from her own ashes, her ashes composing her risen self. There are thirty-four passages in the New Testament where the preposition εκ , from or out from, is used before dead without the article; and four in which it is used with the article, namely, Ephesians 5:14; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:12; Revelation 1:5. With the preposition απο , there are four instances; in all which, with a single exception, (Luke 16:30,) the article is used. The result is, that the great mass of passages are resurrection εκ from dead persons. In a resurrection from dead, there may or may not be additional dead who do not rise. In Romans 11:15, life from dead is life from their own dead selves; for Israel is held as a one historical race, which as a unit dies and rises again. The casting away and recovering is of the same conceptual Israel existing through ages. So also in Romans 6:13, Christians are to yield themselves, as εκ νεκρων ζωντας , from dead living. In the whole passage the contrast is between themselves dead and themselves alive; not between themselves alive and others dead. The phrase εκ νεκρων does not therefore decide whether a general or a partial resurrection takes place; but whether it is a partial or a universal resurrection, it may be a resurrection from their own previous dead selves.

Verse 36

36. Neither can they die Soul and body are made incapable of separation, and both incapable of disintegration or extinction. Death from violence, either from others or their own efforts, is impossible, and out of their natures.

Equal unto the angels In Mark, are as the angels which are in heaven. Luke’s words might be translated are angel-like. To them, as to angels, is attributed neither death, birth, nor marriage. It is not to be inferred that the angels are, like men even in their glorified state, of a compound nature, body and soul. Angels we understand to be pure spirits, who in becoming visible to bodily eyes invest themselves with a visible vehicle; unless, indeed, we suppose with some that matter is but a denser and solidified sort of spirit.

And are the children of God… children of the resurrection Literally , sons of the resurrection. The opposite of this would be son of gehenna, or child of hell, in Matthew 23:15. This is in accordance with that Hebrew figure of speech by which a being is said to be a son or child of that to whose nature he is conformed, or to whom he somehow belongs. So son of Belial, son of perdition, son of death. They who attain the resurrection in its glorious side cannot die, because they are now angel-like, and so god-like, resurrection-like.

Verse 37

37. Now that the dead are raisen Our Lord, in the argument of this verse, does not prove the resurrection of the body distinctively from the immortality of the soul. This is because he is arguing with those who hold the former to be included in and inseparably identified with the latter. To prove one, therefore, is to prove both. See notes on Matthew 22:32.

Verses 45-47

§116 JESUS REPREHENDS THE SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES, Luke 20:45-47; Luke 20:45-47Luke 20:45-47 .

Matthew 23:1-39; Mark 12:38-40.

Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 20". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/luke-20.html. 1874-1909.
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