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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Resurrection of the Body

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This expression is used to denote the revivification of the human body after it has been forsaken by the soul, or the re-union of the soul hereafter to the body which it had occupied in the present world. Considerable diversity of opinion has prevailed respecting the extent to which the doctrine of the resurrection was known to the ancient Jews. In the time of Christ, however, the belief of this doctrine in connection with a state of future retribution, was held by the Pharisees and the great body of the Jewish people, and was only disputed by the Sadducees.

But although the doctrine of the resurrection was thus prevalent among the Jews in the time of Christ, it might still have been doubtful and obscure to us, had not Christ given to it the sanction of his authority, and declared it a constituent part of his religion (e.g., Matthew 22; John 5, 8, 11).

The principal points which can be collected from the New Testament on this subject are the following:— 1. The raising of the dead is everywhere ascribed to Christ, and is represented as the last work to be undertaken by him for the salvation of man (;; , sq.;; ). 2. All the dead will be raised, without respect to age, rank, or character in this world (;; ). 3. This event is to take place not before the end of the world, or the general judgment (;;;;; ). 4. The manner in which this marvelous change shall be accomplished is necessarily beyond our present comprehension; and, therefore, the Scripture is content to illustrate it by figurative representations, or by proving the possibility and intelligibility of the leading facts. Some of the figurative descriptions occur in John 5; Matthew 24;;; . 5. The possibility of a resurrection is powerfully argued by Paul in , sq., by comparing it with events of common occurrence in the natural world (see also , and compare ). But although this body shall be so raised as to preserve its identity, it must yet undergo certain purifying changes to fit it for the kingdom of heaven, and to render it capable of immortality (, sq.), so that it shall become a glorified body like that of Christ (;; ); and the bodies of those whom the last day finds alive, will undergo a similar change without tasting death (;;; , sq.; ).





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Resurrection of the Body'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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