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Aspects of the Resurrection II

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Question #1: 

I would like to wish you and yours, the peace, joy, and happiness of the risen Christ this Easter. 

Pertaining to the above, I have a couple of questions regarding the resurrection.

Q1. On 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17, is this the rapture ? And when do these events take place?

Q2. On Revelation 12:14, will these people be raptured?

My thoughts, if I may are as follows: I believe that they will not be raptured, and that these people will be taken into the millennium, will settle in the promised land, will procreate, adding to the numbers of millennial believers, and finally the church.

As always your insight and time is greatly appreciated.

Response #1:  Thanks for your Easter greetings. I hope your day was blessed as well, both for you and your family.

On 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17, this is in fact the classic "proof text" for the so-called "[pre-tribulational] rapture". As I have said and written often, I am reluctant to use the word "rapture", at least without immediately qualifying it. That is because when most Christians use that word they are referring to the (non-existent) pre-Tribulation resurrection of the Church. One of the earliest and most pressing concerns of this ministry was and remains to disabuse my fellow believers of that particular (and incredibly popular) false doctrine. Paul is indeed speaking of the resurrection of the Church in this passage – the problem with the "rapture" theory is the timing. There are two elements to this second stage of the resurrection (Christ Himself being stage one: 1Cor.15:23-24). The first element of stage two, the Church, is the resurrection of all already deceased believers, but the second element, the "mystery" addressed here (and in 1Cor.15:51ff.), is the resurrection of living believers immediately following. This happens at the return of Jesus at the Second Advent, and not, as many evangelicals erroneously believe, just before the beginning of the Tribulation. The main problem with thinking that there will be a "rapture" before the Tribulation begins is that such a belief strips away any impetus to prepare for the hard times ahead (as well as leaving those who will be surprised at such a loss that they may doubt their faith when the Tribulation does begin or alternatively not realize the dangerous time into which they have entered). Please see the link: "The Origin and the Danger of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture Theory.".

On Revelation 12:14, as addressed in Coming Tribulation part 4 (see the link: "The Dragon's Persecution of Believing Israel"), these are the Jewish believers who represent the fruits of the labors of the 144,000. Since they are save by the mid-point of the Tribulation and will still be at Christ's return believers in Jesus Christ, they are resurrected upon His return. But inherent in your question is a very legitimate concern: Who, then, will be the cadre of Jewish believers to repopulate Israel and reenter the land? The answer (covered in part 6 of CT) is that the land of Israel will be repopulated by those Jews who did not believe . . . until they "looked upon Him whom they pierced" returning in glory (Zech.12:10; Rev.1:7). Scripture is fairly explicit that there will be a spiritual return to the Lord once the Lord returns bodily, and in many cases this change of heart will occur just as soon as they see with their own eyes that Jesus really is the Messiah, one that begins with "mourning" for their failure to recognize Him earlier (Zech.12:10-14; Matt.24:30; Rev.12:7). All who are of the stock and stem of Israel will be returned to the land, but not all will enter (Ezek.20:32-38), only those who do in fact accept Jesus as Lord. This does not mean that we or the resurrected Jews of Revelation 12:14 will miss out – any more than Abraham and David and Paul will (etc., etc.). We will all be present with our Lord and enjoy Him and His millennial reign in our eternal bodies even more than we would if we were still in this earthy shell (and by orders of magnitude).

For the most recent, detailed treatment of the resurrection, please see the link:  The Resurrection of the Lamb's Bride (in Coming Tribulation part 5)

Yours in the One who died and rose for us, our Savior Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #2: 

Thanks for all your help so far, it has helped me in my studies and have helped me to mature in the spirit. I am having trouble understanding the context of Matthew 27:53. Is it correct to state that the graves were opened, many bodies of the saints which slept arose and came out of the graves, AFTER Jesus' resurrection. That is, the graves opened up, and they came out of their graves and appeared to man, but they were not resurrected. So, if they came out of their graves they were resurrected and were no loner laying in their graves.

Thanks in advance!

Response #2: 

You are very welcome – I applaud your enthusiasm for the Word of God. As to your question, these believers of Matthew 27:50-53 were "resuscitated", not resurrected (to put it in theological terms). The Greek NT does not distinguish between the two things via its vocabulary, but there is clearly a dramatic difference. We can see, for example, from the case of Lazarus, that when he came back to life it was not the unique, resurrection body and experiential eternal life that he then enjoyed, but rather the same body he had before with the same earthly life that we all are presently experiencing. The believers temporarily brought back to life as a testimony to the life-giving death of Christ on our behalf likewise expired at some point in the natural way and await the coming of the resurrection as do we all (e.g., the ruler's daughter, the son of the widow from Nain, etc.). As 1Cor.15:23-24 makes clear, Jesus is the only One yet to be "resurrected" in the true and full sense of that word (i.e., possessing an eternal body which will never die et al.), with the next echelon of the resurrection to be the "rapture" of believers alive occurring at His Second Advent return at the end of the Tribulation (i.e., not before the Tribulation commences as is often wrongly assumed). All this is written up in far greater detail in the following links:

The Origin and the Danger of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture Theory

Transmutation, Resuscitation, and Resurrection.

Moses and Elijah (the distinction between resurrection and resuscitation).

*The Resurrection

Our Heavenly, Pre-Resurrection, Interim State.

In Jesus our Lord who is the resurrection and the life.

Bob L.

Question #3: 

Concerning those who were raised momentarily in Matthew 27:53, how do we reconcile that with this Hebrews 9:27? How was it that these people had to die a 2nd death on this earth, although the Bible teaches us we die once.

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

Response #3: 

This verse is certainly true for the vast majority of mankind. These very few people constitute an exception – although it's not much of an exception since, following resuscitation, they again fell into the same category of us all in regard to Hebrews 9:27, eventually facing a physical death from which there would be no more reprieve – and that is the real point of Hebrews 9:27, not that we don't have to die more than once, but that we are going to exit these corrupt physical bodies eventually and then face God's judgment – either the judgment of the righteous or the judgment of the unrighteous, depending on our attitude towards Jesus Christ in this life – and there is absolutely nothing we can do about these facts (so we best draw the right conclusions).

Certainly, the widow's son whom Elijah brought back, the Shunammite's son whom Elisha brought back, Tabitha, whom Peter brought back, and the boy who fell from the window in Ephesus whom Paul brought back are surely not around any more. By all indications they went on to live normal lives after being brought back from the dead, and then died physically as it is appointed. Whereas those who are resurrected can never die again (and there was nothing in any of these or similar cases to indicate that the physical, earthly body of these so resuscitated was changed in any way other than the miracle of resuscitation). There is also the even rarer case of transmutation. Enoch (and so far Elijah) did not meet with physical death in the normal way, yet they will be resurrected and appear before the judgment seat of Christ the same as we all will. Finally, Paul's statement in Hebrews 9:27 was made after all of the events discussed above, and from that point forward was, has been, and will continue to be true without further exceptions so far as we can tell from scripture.

In Jesus with who we shall live forever in the glory of eternal bodies that can never die.

Bob L.

Question #4:

I was wondering if you could shed some light on 1st Corinthians14. I noticed something rather peculiar in the Greek in vs. 12. The English has something like, "since you are zealous for spiritual (gifts)...", the Greek word is actual the plural form of "pneuma", and NOT "spiritual gifts." Most translations I have looked at translate this as "spiritual gifts" since "earnestly desiring spirits" doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Could you explain this to me? I know "pneuma" can mean something other than just the Holy Spirit when it is used, but this is downright peculiar. Is this a Greek idiom, or what? I know Paul talks about having "pneumatikos"--"spiritual [things]" in 1 Cor. 14:1, and I believe there also "gifts" is added, since it completes the thought. We use "the poor" and "the rich"--adjectives--as nouns, but not "spiritual," but obviously, Greek does. So adding "gifts" at this instance, in 1 Cor. 14:1, is justified. R.C.H. Lenski says it may be similar in meaning in Rev. 1:4, etc., in which the Holy Spirit is referred to as the "seven Spirits of God", and may indicate the different manifestations of the Holy Spirit in individual Christians. He also talks about the "spirits of the Prophets" in vs. 32. Something like that. Also, I noticed too, that, in the New World Translation (NWT), put out by the Jehovah's Witnesses, they have in vs. 14 "If I pray with a tongue, it is my (gift of the) spirit that prays...." Which I think it ludicrous. This translation has a "gift" praying, and not the inner person. So, would translating vs. 12 as "spirit(ual) gifts justify making vs. 14 read "(gift of the) spirit"?

Also, one more thing: in your opinion, in Jude 19, does the "pneuma" there refer to the Holy Spirit? Nearly every English translation I have seen, from our BibleWorks 4.0 has "Spirit"--meaning the Holy Spirit. One or two other translations--the New English Bible and Revised English Bible, I think--have "being unspiritual." Or something similar. The NWT has "not having spirituality," which is quite awkward, and sounds too vague. What kind of "spirituality"? After all, Paul clearly, in Romans 8, and 1 Cor. 12, talks about people who have the Holy Spirit, and those who do not, who are enslaved by their fleshly desires. I realize this is Jude, not Paul, but wondered if mere "spirituality" is what is being talked about in Jude. One commentator I heard about said it refers to the human spirit, but that strikes me as being absurd, since all human beings--good or bad, Christian or non--have THAT.

Thank you.

Response #4:

It is true that 1Cor.14:12 uses pneuma in the plural as short-hand for pneumatika (which is itself short for pneumatika charismata). The need for economy is plain enough even in English and would have been especially so in the expensive and time-consuming writing of the ancient world. The adjective pneumatika is used to stress the Spirit's role. The use of the noun for the adjective is interesting. My sense is that this is to accentuate the Spirit's role even more. It is true that in a number of places in this broad context pneuma = pneumatika, but I hardly think that "the spirit (i.e., gift) prays" means anything else but "the person prays by means of his/her spiritual gift". I assure you that the language cannot reasonably be made to mean that these gifts now take on a personality and life of their own.

As to Jude 19, yes indeed, I take this as the Spirit of God. These are either unbelievers or apostate believers (so unbelievers too) who never had or no longer have the Spirit of God. As to the issue of "not having a human spirit", there are indeed groups that teach that the human spirit is the third element in a trichotomous human nature that is only received at salvation as part of the new spiritual birth. This is clearly wrong, and scripture, as I have had occasion to discuss before, in my considered view and research presents a very clear picture of mankind as dichotomous, spirit and body, with the place where the two "interface" alternately called "the heart", "the soul", "the mind", "the person".

See the link: "The Creation of Adam and The Human Spirit" (in BB 3A)

In our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #5: 

By the way, how does one know this "pneumaton" was shorthand? From the context? Just
wondering. Thanks again and God bless you!  

Response #5: 

As to the question of "how we know" that pneuma in 1st Corinthians 14:12 means "spirit[ual gift]s" instead of "spirits", I would say that this flows from the context which is all about spiritual gifts The Corinthians are said to be "zealous for spirits" in the context of being enamored of spiritual gifts. So, on the one hand, being zealous "for spirits" makes little sense; on the other, seeing pneumaton as short-hand for pneumatIKon makes fine sense. In the oldest manuscript, Sinaiticus, these are both abbreviated: PNATON and PNTIKON respectively.

In our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #6: 

 Thanks for your response. I never realized that it was a shorthand for "pneumatika charismata!" And I have never heard of people who think that we don't have a spirit until we are saved. But what about passages that speak of man as having body, soul, and spirit? Though I've always understood the spirit to be the "higher" aspect of the soul, the mental part, maybe, and the soul, the "lower" aspect, though I'm not sure how to explain it. I have to rely on Vine's to do that.

Response #6: 

Yes, pneumatikos -e - on is an adjective, "spiritual", so it has to stand for "spiritual _____-things". Since Paul talks about the gifts elsewhere as charismata (Rom.12:6), this seems to be the best fill in for the blank. Most people translate charismata as "[spiritual] gifts".

As to di- vs. tri-chotomy, only one passage, 1st Thessalonians 5:23, gives these three alone. And it is surely in the vein of e.g. Lk.10:27 "love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength and mind", that is to say, with your "all". That's the idea in 1st Thessalonians 5:23 too – not that these are the only three words which talk about our make-up or that they are all three distinct parts on an equal footing. Elsewhere in scripture the "soul", an unfortunate translation of nephesh-psyche, can be translated "self" or "heart" or "person" almost all of the time. The difficulty in trying to make any sensible distinction between two discrete immaterial "organs", soul and spirit, shows what is clearly the case: it's hard to do because the scriptures give no guidance on how to do it, and they give no guidance on how to do it because it isn't true. Of the two, only the spirit is a discrete part – the "soul" is the inner person as a combination of the body and the spirit (heavily influenced at present by indwelling sin). If we didn't translate nephesh-psyche as "soul" (which we have been conditioned by the culture and the language from childhood to think of as being what amounts to what the spirit really is), we would be far less inclined to give any credence to trichotomy. The best easily solution for English readers is to substitute "self" or "heart" or "person" wherever the word "soul" occurs. For more see the link:

The Dichotomy of Man

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7: 

Thanks for the further clarification. I can handle the last part, about our bodies. Corinthians has Jesus being raised a "life-giving spirit", but I've always understood that to mean that the spirit dominated Him, plus, meaning that He is the spirit of life. Also, Jesus flatly denied being a spirit, since He said He had flesh and bones, which no spirit has.

I don't know if we'll be in an "interim" state in heaven, since it seems our soul will be there, and how can we see if we are a spirit? But I suppose that is another debate altogether. Thanks again and God bless you.

Response #7: 

You're very welcome. Yes I agree on the "life-giving spirit" part. As to the "soul" part, there is a common misunderstanding that most believers make (I made it myself as a young believer) based upon what is generally taught rather than on scripture to wit that we have a soul as well as a spirit. But the Bible clearly teaches that we are di-chotomous not tri-chotomous beings. The "soul", a Germanic word, represents Greek psyche and Hebrew nephesh, neither of which words represents in scripture a distinct "organ" or part, but is rather a synonym for the inner self (hence both words are often translated as "person" or "heart" or "mind"). "Soul" makes it sound like these words are referring to an invisible and separate part of our nature, but the invisible and spiritual part of us is the pneuma-ruach human spirit, and the spirit is the only discrete immaterial part of our nature. There is much more on all this at the following two links:

Bible Basics 3A: Anthropology

The Satanic Rebellion part 3: The Purpose, Creation, and Fall of Man

For the interim state, see also especially "Our Heavenly, Pre-Resurrection, Interim State".

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8: 

As you may be aware, Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in the Resurrection as we believe it. They think we cease to exist at death, and Jehovah will recreate our bodies and put our old memories into them. I disputed someone who quoted Job19:26, "Even after my skin be destroyed, yet from my flesh, I will see God..."

Well, he wrote this to me: You might want to look into this further, for that means not in his flesh. Barnes well explains the translation of this text:

"The literal meaning is, 'from, or out of, my flesh shall I see God.' It does not mean in his flesh, which would have been expressed by the preposition be- but there is the notion that from or out of his flesh he would see him; that is, clearly, as Rosenmuller has expressed it, tho' my body be consumed, and I have no flesh, I shall see him." As you note the rendering "from my flesh," it is interesting to see what TWOT states on this: "First 'from.' With verbs of motion or separation; to go from, or to be away from, i.e. without; or away from in relation to some other spot or direction, therefore: on the east or beside a city." Brown, Driver and Briggs Hebrew Lexicon states: "19:26 (prob.) without my flesh shall I see God"

I looked it up on our BibleWorks 4.0 and one of the meanings for this word IS "from." I don't know what the exact Hebrew word is, though. But it seems to me "out from" or "out of" doesn't necessarily mean AWAY from. For instance, a person can work "out of" his home, but that means he is actually IN his home, when he is working, not away from it. But I don't know Hebrew idioms, and you do, and this strikes me as an idiomatic saying.

Response #8: 

The word in question here is the preposition min (which in prepositional phrases is most often, as here, directly affixed to the noun it governs). This is one of the most common prepositions in Hebrew and, as such, has a variety of meanings. Anyone who has ever done any serious language study understands that prepositions are some of the most difficult words to master because they are inevitably used in such a wide variety of ways. Since prepositions are essentially spatial adverbs that have come to be used to limit the application of substantives in specific phrases, I always try to get my students to start with the spatial idea of the preposition in question. For example, the Greek ek (which is the most common way to translate min in the NT or the LXX) means likewise "out of". For this one, I draw a line starting in a house and ending outside of the house. But that doesn't exhaust the possibilities. Because of the essential result of being "outside" in spatial terms, ek can sometimes also mean "from", as in Rev.3:10, "I will keep you from the hour of testing". Over-applying (i.e., wrongly applying) prepositional meaning can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings, as in the case of Rev.3:10 where various exegetes have suggested that since ek can mean "out of" that therefore these believers will start out first being in the hour of testing and then be brought out from within. To anyone with a facility for Greek, this seems a very odd translation when the most natural one works very well (even if it doesn't back up the theory of the pre-Trib "rapture").

What we have in your correspondent's manipulation of the prepositional phrase in Job 19:26 is the opposite sort of thing. While in the Revelation passage where the alternative translation is theoretically possible but strikes the experienced reader as extremely odd and therefore is in need of serious argumentation to support (since protecting someone "from something" is a very natural and common thing both in English and in Greek), here we do not even have a verb of motion or separation to suggest that we should assume a separation in the first place. That is to say, while "Separated from my flesh I shall see God" is theoretically possible, it sounds and feels very odd in Hebrew because of the lack of such a signal of motion, whereas the traditional understanding of the verse "From my flesh I shall see God" has no such drawbacks. In Hebrew especially, and in Hebrew poetry in particular, the translator more often than not has to make choices between a myriad of possibilities which may all be theoretically possible whereas only one meaning is truly correct (even though that meaning may be expressed by a variety of translations, all, one hopes, are attempting to draw as close as possible to that true meaning). Usually adequate experience with translating Hebrew is more than enough of a guide, coupled with the philological and theological context, to dispel most erroneous possibilities. And so when pushed, one can always analyze and defend what is correct if it really is correct. In this passage, your understanding of "to see from my house" including the idea of being in the house at the time is a perfect parallel to what min can do. The examples are numerous, but Genesis 4:10 is clear enough: Abel's blood calls "from out of the earth" – the same exact min preformative plus noun phrase as in Job 19:26 – and, clearly, the blood is in/on the earth when it calls out to God (definitely not separated from it but rather intimately connected to it). But the case is even stronger when one considers the context. In Job 19:25 we certainly appear to have the return of the Messiah in view, and Job's use of the word "dust" (not really "earth") is very telling in light of the Genesis 3 curse to wit that our bodies will return to "dust" (same word). In such a context we do expect talk of resurrection, and that is what the most straightforward translation of our verse suggests: "Although they strip off my skin this way (i.e., grind me down till my flesh no longer exists), yet from my flesh (i.e., when it is resurrected) I shall see God (i.e., the same Redeemer/Messiah of v.25)". The disjunctive nature of the two parallel clauses is made clear by the use of waw plus substantive with verb delayed – that is to say, I translate "yet" because the Hebrew here is most definitely drawing a very strong contrast between being "dust" and later being "resurrected flesh". Finally, in the following verse when Job continues "For I myself will behold Him – my [very] own eyes will see Him, not someone else's", it is probably pointless to ask how Job could see Him with "his [very] own eyes" if he doesn't have a body. The context is clearly one of bodily resurrection from the dust at the return of the Messiah.

As to the authorities cited, 1) From what is quoted here, Barnes it seems is being misused. Barnes clearly seems to understand "from out of" to mean "in", and is merely trying to be more "literal" rather than to denounce the notion of Job being in his flesh on that future day. 2) I am not familiar with Rosenmuller, but the "fly in the ointment" in regards to his translation is the waw and the Hebrew poetic structure. What we have here is very clearly parallel verse structure (i.e., A' answered by B'). Trying to make "and from my flesh" into what amounts to a separate stanza doesn't work (not to mention that the Hebrew is stretched past the breaking point with his translation). That is to say, both A' elements should be parallel in meaning as well as both B' elements, with both stanzas expressing synonymous ideas (as is the case in the traditional translations and understanding of this passage). 3) TWOT is being used selectively. The fact that min sometimes means the things quoted certainly does not mean that it doesn't sometimes mean what it means here (and Gen.4:10 etc.). 4) It is true that BDB lends some support to the view stated, although the authors felt unsure enough to add a qualification "(prob.)", something they never do unless they are divided on a subject. BDB is not "the Bible", and suffers from many liberal biases (e.g., they subscribe to the "JEDP" theory of composition). The problem with their translation, "without my flesh shall I see" is that given the fact that the ancient Hebrew culture was extremely earthy with a very concrete view of the world, the notion of "seeing" without flesh (and hence without eyes) would have been a very strange and foreign concept as the following verse makes abundantly clear, i.e., "my [very] own eyes will see Him" – and eyes, after all, are "flesh".

In our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #9: 

Dear Dr. Luginbill,

I thought you might be amused at his reply to what you wrote:

"What Luginbill seems to neglect is that in this context Job specifically speaks of his flesh being destroyed. Even though his flesh is destroyed and so he is not in it, he will still see God. Such an understand is far from foreign in this passage and is actually quite natural. In Genesis 4, the difference that this text has something going out of the ground, which is the call. It is from the ground, going out of it. Such is not a characteristic in Job, so this example is not very sound. He is entirely wrong is saying that I misuse Barnes. Quite the opposite, Barnes goes on to say: "It is, rather, that though without a body, or though his body should all waste away, he would see God as his vindicator." I would like to know how I am using TWOT selectively. And as for BDB, yes it says "prob" but probably is not possibly, it is the more likely reading. So what does it mean that without his flesh that he will see God? And what happened to Jesus body? The answer to that can be found in Phil 3:20,21. Jesus body was changed, Job's body will be changed and so will those of Christians. And being changed, without their flesh they will see God."

Could you clarify what he wrote about Barnes? He does have a point; he does seem to indicate that Job means that, without his body, he will still see God. I also told him to write to you at ichthys.com if he disagrees and to let you know about his expertise in all things Hebrew.

Thanks again.

Response #9: 

Here's my rebuttal to your correspondent:

1) His initial assessment fails entirely to address my main points.

a) To the ancient Hebrews, the notion of seeing without eyes is what is foreign (not his sense of what seems to him may be foreign or not in this context);

b) In the following verse the fact that Job says he will see the Lord "with my [very] own eyes" is decisive, since beyond all argument one can only have eyes if one has a body;

2) Genesis 4:10 and other such passages: No, the point is that the blood is still in/on the ground when the call goes forth; therefore Gen.4:10 places the matter beyond all doubt that the preposition min can mean "from while still in" and does not have to mean "from after being separated from" which is this individual's contention.

3) Barnes: My comment here was carefully couched because I do have a copy of this work at hand. Barnes has a reputation for being a conservative commentator and so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. That said, I would still not be willing to concede this point on the basis of a selective quotation. For even "It is, rather, that though without a body, or though his body should all waste away, he would see God as his vindicator" can certainly mean, "that is to say, after he has been resurrected in bodily form". After all, Barnes, I have little doubt, did believe in bodily resurrection, and we may safely assume that he did not write this comment with any inkling that it might be used by someone to support this contrary view. Given these facts, we are at the very least right to disregard this as any sort of evidence on this particular point.

4) TWOT (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Harris, Archer, Waltke, edd.): I checked the entry and, indeed, multiple meanings are given for min, including scholarship which supports the idea of be (i.e., "in") and min being essentially interchangeable. That is not my precise position vis-ŗ-vis this particular passage, but if that were true, then "in my flesh" would be acceptable as a translation according to his chosen authority, though I would still maintain that "from my flesh" is preferable = "from-still-in" as opposed "from-after-having-been-separated". It really is silly to try and maintain that this cannot be the case. This preposition is very frequently used to describe "place from" as in "they left from Egypt". Now is it even conceivable that the subjects here were already separated from Egypt at the time when they left? Of course they had to be in Egypt at the time they left from. If the construction is taken as parallel, then "see from my flesh" would have to mean still being in the flesh at the time "seeing" takes place. Q.E.D.

5)BDB (Hebrew English Lexicon, Brown, Driver, Briggs, edd.): Indeed, (prob.) means "probably", so that this is what BDB decided was the most likely translation (as I myself indicated). My point is that even the liberal BDB didn't venture this translation without an unusual caveat. Furthermore, BDB's extensive entry demonstrates quite clearly that "from my flesh" meaning "while still in my flesh" is entirely grammatically possible, whereas your correspondent's whole point hinges upon proving that it is impossible. For once we allow that "from" = "while still in" is indeed acceptable Hebrew, then the context must determine the matter, and the context – the main point summarized at the start of this rebuttal – decisively argues for this possibility to be the correct translation.

6) "So what does it mean that without his flesh that he will see God?" As established above, this is not what the passage really says. Even pending resurrection in our interim state we will have interim bodies (2Cor.5:3 Greek text only; Rev.6:9-11; 7:9; cf. 1Sam.28:11-19; Lk.16:19-31). Human beings are dichotomous, designed by our Maker to have a body and a spirit, and thus will we ever be.

7) "And what happened to Jesus body?": Scripture exhaustively documents that Jesus' resurrection was a bodily one. This doesn't seem the time or place to launch into that subject, but one can mention in passing the nail marks in His hands and feet, His insistence that Thomas thrust his hand into His side, and His eating of the cooked fish as examples of unquestionably "bodily" activity (cf. also Jn.19:34-35 and 1Jn.5:6-8 which are deliberate attempts to refute docetic heresies of the sort being advanced by your correspondent). We all understand that Jesus' body has been "changed" in a blessed and eternal way, and that our bodies will likewise be "changed" – indeed, we are counting on it! We look forward to bodies that will never wear out, never die, never know pain or disease, but will be eternal and possess a capacity to behold and enjoy the glory of the Lord forever! But for all these wonders, they will still be bodies as every scripture affirms.

Hope this helps to set the record straight. Sometimes the true points at issue get lost in the shuffle in discussions of this sort.

In our Lord Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10: 

I just had a quick thought--isn't there a psalm that says, "from out of the depths of hell have I cried unto you"--is "from out of" in that instance "min"? If so, that would help clinch that it can and does mean "from out of" or "from", wouldn't it? Or is it a separate word? Just curious.

Response #10: 

Here's a quick response. I can't place your reference, but Psalm 40:2 has something similar, "You lifted me up from (min) the pit of destruction, from (min) the muck and the mire". This preposition is one of the most common words in the OT and my sense is that there are very many such examples. I'd say you have a very good point here since of course the Psalmist is celebrating no longer being in but out.

Bob L.


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