Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 15

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel” (gnorizo de humin, adelphoi, to evangellion) "Moreover, I make known to you, brethren, the good tidings" - This entire chapter is a doctrinal defence of the 1) certainty of the resurrection, 1 Corinthians 14:1-34; 1 Corinthians 14:2) the nature of it, 1 Corinthians 14:35-40.

2) "Which I preached unto you," (ho evangelisamen humin) "Which I preached to you" -Having addressed the Corinthians as brethren, Paul gives them to know, once again, the gospel.

3) "Which also ye have received," (ho kai parelobete) "Which also ye received" - When it was first delivered to them in person, Acts 18:8-11. With them he had lived a year and six months, teaching the Word of God.

4) "And wherein ye stand;" (en ho kai estekate) "In which also ye stand" - To stand in the gospel, the Word of God, is the only profitable way to stand, even when men doubt, Ephesians 6:10-17.

Verse 2

1) "By which also ye are saved," (di ou kai sozesthe-)- "Through which also ye are saved or delivered," - The Gospel, (death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for man’s sins, according to the scriptures) is the means, instrument, agency of man’s deliverance from sin, Romans 1:16.

2) "if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you," (tini logo evengelisamen humin ei katechete) "If ye hold fast to what word (message) I preached to you," - as the glad tidings of salvation; His having stated "ye" or "you all" are saved was conditioned on their believing in Christ, according to the scriptures, including the resurrection.

3) "Unless ye have believed in vain." (ektos ei me eike episteusate) "Except or unless ye believed in vain." To believe Christ died and was buried, according to the Scriptures, was not enough - none was saved by this belief only - they must have also believed that He rose from the dead.

Verse 3

1) "For I delivered unto you" (paredoka gar humin en) "For I delivered to (and) among you" Paul delivered, conveyed, or turned over to the Corinth brethren while he was among them - the very foundation of salvation’s assurance.

2) "First of all that which I also received," (protois ho kai parelabon) "The first (priority) things - what also I received." This salvation message, for soul and life, held as its priority of existence, a necessary faith through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Galatians 1:6-12.

3) "How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;” (hoti christos apathanen huper ton hamartion hemon kata tas graphas) "That Christ died on behalf of our sins, according to the scriptures." The death of Christ for sins was a first or priority requisite, for the salvation of all men, Hebrews 9:22. In this he "tasted death for every man," Hebrews 2:9.

Verse 4

1) "And that he was buried," (kai hoti etaphe) "And that was entombed (buried)." He was sealed, planted, or buried in Joseph’s new tomb in the earth, on behalf of our sins, according to the scriptures. Matthew 27:59-66; Romans 6:4-5.

2) "And that he rose again the third day" (kai hoti egegertai te hemera te trite) "And that We has been raised on the day, the third." The resurrection of Jesus was held by Paul, as an attorney, to be "a case made out" or validated, according to the scriptures and testamentary evidence, Matthew 12:40; Matthew 28:6-7; John 2:19.

3) "According to the scriptures;" (kata tas graphos) "according to the writings (scriptures)." Paul’s hypothetical statement, "Ye are saved," addressed to the Corinthians, couched in the phrase, "if ye keep or hold in memory," what he had preached, rather than infer one could lose his salvation, affirmed he was not saved if he did not accept the whole of it! The whole of it included the resurrection, which some among them had questioned. He asserted they were saved, only if they held in memory or believed in a risen and living Christ, not merely a Christ who died and was buried.

Verse 5

1) "And that he was seen of Cephas," (kai hoti ophthe kepha) "And that he was seen or beheld by Cephas." Six successive appearances of Christ, after His resurrection, are enumerated, beginning with Peter and concluding with Paul, 1 Corinthians 14:5-9; Luke 24:34; John 20:24.

2) "Then of the twelve:" (heita tois dodeka) "Thereafter of the twelve." The term "the twelve" was used to refer to the body or "the college" of the twelve ordained, when at times no more than ten were bodily present; Mark 16:14; Matthew 28:16.

Verse 6

1) "After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once;" (epeita ophthe epano pentakosiois adelphois ephapaks) "Afterward he was seen by over (more than) five hundred brothers - at one time." This appears to refer to the final ascension of the Lord, Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:4-11.

2) "Of whom the greater part remain unto this present," (eks hon hei pleiontes menousin heos arti) "Out of whom the majority remain until (right) now, or this very moment." The masses of our Lord’s followers were perhaps relatively young, since, as Paul wrote twenty five years later, most of those who witnessed His ascension were still living.

3) "But some are fallen asleep." (tines de ekoimethesan) "Though some fell asleep or died." By reason of time and the decay of life, some who witnessed the ascension of the risen Lord had departed this life to be with Him. Their bodies slept in death, not their souls, 2 Corinthians 5:1-9.

Verse 7

1) "After that he was seen of James," (epeita ophthe lakobo) "Afterward he was seen by James." After his resurrection, James, later pastor of the Jerusalem church, saw the Lord.

2) "Then of all the apostles." (eita tois apostolois pasin) "then by all the apostles." Paul then simply asserted that all of the apostles had seen the risen Lord. What a band of reliable witnesses to the validity of the claim of the resurrection of our Lord, Acts 1:3-11, a matter that had come to be questioned by some of the Corinth brethren.

Verse 8

1) "And last of all he was seen of me also," (eschaton de panton ophthe kamoi) "And lastly of all (of all who saw him after he was raised) he was also seen by me." Last of all living witnesses who saw the risen Lord, to that time, was Paul.

2) "As of one born out of due time." (hosperei to ektromati) "As relates to the abortion," or "as one coming forth out of the regular time." Paul was not saved under, or baptized by, the heaven-sent personal ministry of John the Baptist, nor did he company with our Lord’s disciples from the baptism of John, a requisite to the apostleship, Acts 1:20-22. He was saved and called an apostle from his Damascus experience where and when he saw the Lord, Acts 9:1-20.

Verse 9

1) "For I am the least of the apostles," (ego gar eimi ho elachistos ton apostolon) "For I exist as the least of the apostles." The term (elachistos) rendered “least" more accurately means "last," of the apostles, called late, as an aborted one, to humble him, Ephesians 3:8.

2) "That am not meet to be called an apostle," (hos ouk eimi hikanos kaleisthai apostolos) "Who am not sufficient to be addressed as or called an apostle." Paul’s apostleship ministry is marked by a humility proceeding from a continuing consciousness of his former sinful life, 2 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Timothy 1:12-15.

3) "Because I persecuted the church of God." (dioti edioksa ten ekkiesian tou theou) "because I persecuted the church, congregation, or assembly of God," a remorse which never quite left the great apostle, Acts 26:9; Galatians 1:13; Galatians 1:22.

Verse 10

1) "By the grace of God I am what I am:" (chariti de theou eimi ho eimi) "Yet by (the) grace of God I am what I am." Grace made Paul utterly undeserving of God’s favor and transformed him from a front rank persecutor to a front rank servant and soldier of Jesus Christ, Galatians 1:13-14.

2) "And his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain;" (kai he charis autou he eis eme ou kene egenethe) "And the grace of him with relationship to me was not empty or vain." This grace (favor) from God had not proved vain or void of results in Paul’s life. His office of apostleship was no mere title of honor, but service.

3) "But I laboured more abundantly than they all:" (alla perissoteron auton panton ekopiasa) "But more abundantly (than) all of them, I labored." The term (ekopiasa) rendered "labor" means toil, painful or exhausting exertion in service. More than all the apostles, referring to the continental areas of his travels in foreign mission toil, 2 Corinthians 10:13-18.

4) "Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (ouk ego de alla he charis tou theou sun emoi) "Yet not 1, but the grace of God (which was) in close accord or colleague with me." From personal pride of achievement, Paul quickly turned to self-abasement, to the effect that he was only the instrument of God’s grace that was with him and in him in his rigorous toils, Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 1:29,

Verse 11

1) "Therefore whether it were I or they," (eite oun ego eite ekenoi) "Whether therefore I (labor) or those." Paul turned from comparing himself with the other apostles in trial and exhausting labor in declaring the resurrection and gospel story.

2) "So we preach," (houtos keroussomen) "Thus we proclaim or herald," Paul closed his testamentary arguments of presenting apostolic witnesses of the resurrection by asserting that whether he or they preached the resurrection gospel, Corinth brethren believed.

3) "And so ye believed." (kai houtos episteusate) "And thus you all trusted." Whether they believed by Paul, Peter, Apollos, Christ, or other apostles’ preaching the resurrection gospel, they were still saved by God’s grace.

Verse 12

1 ) "Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead " (ei de christos kerussetai hoti ek nekron egegertai) "Now if it is heralded that Christ has been raised out from among the dead (corpses)," and it had been, and was yet being preached.

2) "how say some among you" (pos legousin en hum in tines) "How do some in the midst of or among you assert." Are you so skeptical as to call all these witnesses liars?

3) "That there is no resurrection from the dead?" (hoti anastasin nekron ouk estin) "that a resurrection of dead bodies or persons exists not or is not so?" This "no resurrection" philosophy of Greek gnosticism was the same, held by a few, as that of Sadduceeism, Acts 23:8. These were the self-esteemed "wise" among them, 1 Corinthians 1:20; 1 Corinthians 1:26; 1 Corinthians 3:19.

Verse 13

1) "But if there be no resurrection of the dead," (ei de anastasis nekron ouk estin) "Now if there is not a resurrection of dead persons (bodies)." As Greek gnosticism and Hebrew Sadduceeism contended - the antithesis of the syllogistic reason - the result would be.

2) "Then is Christ not risen:" (oude christos egergertai) "Neither has Christ been raised," or the abstract negative would be "there is no risen Christ (in existence)." Without His resurrection the spell of death is not broken and this would render the prophecies of His return and the resurrection of the righteous farcical, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.

Verse 14

1) "And if Christ be not risen," (ei de christos ouk egegertai) "What, is more, if Christ has not been raised," If the fact of the resurrection of dead persons (bodies) is not true, then the testimonies of Jesus, all the apostles, and the church were false. See?

2) "Then is our preaching vain," (kenon ara to kerugma hemon) "Then (at this moment) our heralding, proclamation, or preaching of the gospel is empty, a sham, or vain." Preaching the resurrection and a future existence is (Gk. kenon) avoid, hollow, empty witness and a sham, if Christ is not resurrected.

3) "And your faith is also vain." (kene kai he pistis humon) "And your faith is vain, empty, or a sham also." Empty, unfruitful, ineffectual is your system of teaching, your pragmatic faith; you are building on nothing, and your life is like Shakespeare’s "tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing," if Christ be not raised. Such is your heritage, like a mirage, if Christ be not risen. Is this attitude satisfying, helpful, beneficial, or hopeful or worthy of toil, the old apostle quizzes them?

Verse 15

1) "Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God;" (euriskometha de kai pseudomartures tou theou) "And we are even found (to be) false or lying witnesses of God" - or that false witnessing is about God, the worst kind of an impostor.

2) "Because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ;" (hoti emarturesumen kata tou theou hoti egeiren ton christon) "Because we witnessed (that) as to God he raised up Christ." Paul vowed that God had raised Jesus. Were he and all the other apostles liars, impostors, hallucinating, or ignorant?

3) "Whom he raised not up," (hon ouk egeiren) "Whom he did not raise up." But he did, Acts 2:36; Romans 1:4. The syllogistic dilemma submits that the resurrection was a fact or the mass of witnesses lied, inescapably.

4) "If so be that the dead rise not." (eiper ara nekroi ouk egeirontai) "if dead persons (bodies or corpses) are not raised up," as some skeptics among you in Corinth and other churches claim. John 5:28; John 11:25; Luke 24:46; Romans 8:11.

Verse 16

1) "For if the dead rise not," (ei gar nekroi ouk egeirontai) "Because if dead persons (corpses) are not raised from the dead," as (Gk. tines) "certain ones" among them were teaching, note the inevitable, intolerable conclusion.

2) "Then is not Christ raised;" (ouden christos egegertai) "Neither has Christ been raised," If the witnesses were untrue, the resurrection claim was untrue; if on the other hand the witnesses were truthful, then the inevitable conclusion and effects of the resurrection of Christ and others who were resurrected and walked in the streets of the city of Jerusalem, validates prophetic and apostolic claims and hope for every believer, Matthew 27:52-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 22:12.

Verse 17

1) "And if Christ be not raised," (ei de christos ouk egegertai) "Moreover, if Christ has not been raised." The hypothetical or supposition consequences of a non-risen Christ are calamitous, destructive of any hope of salvation, now or hereafter, John 14:3.

2) "Your faith is vain;" (mataia he pistis humon [estin] ) "Useless, or of no benefit or practical value, is your faith." The legal term is "null and void," concerning one’s faith for present and future deliverance from sin and death, if the resurrection is a hoax.

3) "Ye are yet in your sins." (eti este en tais hamortiais humon) "Ye are-still in your sins." The Christ who "died for our sins," also arose for our justification and to intercede and mediate for us. If He did not come forth, then His claims to mediation are also farcical. See? Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 7:25,

Verse 18

1) "Then they which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." (ara kai ho koimethentes en christos apolonto) "What is more, those having fallen asleep in Christ perished." Such befalls those who die in their sins, John 8:21; John 8:24. For if He did not rise He could not justify or acquit men of sin’s charges before God, Romans 4:25; Acts 13:37-39.

Verse 19

1) "If in this life only we have hope in Christ (ei en te zoe taute en christo elpikotes esmen monon) "If we exist in this life, having hoped only in Christ," then He be found to be a fraud, an impostor; if there is no hereafter, as some claimed, we are fools, Hebrews 10:32-39.

2) "We are of all men most miserable." (eleeinoteroi panton anthropon esmen) "We are more pitiful than all men." We are more than all people of earth to be pitied, if our hope in Christ ends with death. How futile to forfeit, give up all material things in this life and to find that death ends all! Not so!! 1 Corinthians 15:55-57.

Verse 20

ORDER OF THE RESURRECTION (Forlorn Hope of Heathen Religions)

1) "But now is Christ risen from the dead," (nuni de egegertai ek nekron) "But now and henceforth forevermore, in time and eternity, has Christ been raised from among dead bodies." The testamentary and experimental reality of the resurrection of Christ has now been established by Paul and he proceeds to declare to affirm the resurrection of all Christians.

2) "And become the firstfruits of them that slept." (aparche ton kekoimemenon) -(as) firstfruit of the ones having fallen asleep, in death." Christ arose not for an hermitage alone in glory, but as a firstfruit out of the resurrection harvest, a progressive raising of the righteous dead, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; Revelation 20:1-6. This perhaps refers to the first harvest sheaf, Leviticus 23:10; Matthew 13:39; Revelation 14:13-20; by Him shalI all of His own be brought to Him, in His order of the harvest.

Verse 21

1) "For since by man came death," (epeide gar di anthropou thanatos) Through humanity (of the Adam) death came to the whole of man bearing his image, Romans 5:12, out of and as a finished fruit of sin and depravity, James 1:15; Hebrews 9:27.

2) "By man came also the resurrection of the dead." (kai di anthropou anastasis nekro) "Through humanity of the second Adam order, begotten sinless, by the Holy Spirit, came to be the assurance of the resurrection of dead bodies,"

Verse 22

1) "For as in Adam all die," (hosper gar en to adam apothneskousin) The first Adam received life, but lost it through disobedience, Genesis 2:7; Romans 5:14-17. The second Adam (Christ) was life, the fountain of it, John 1:4; John 5:21; John 10:10; 1 John 5:12.

2) "Even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (houtos kai en christo pantes zoopoiethesontai) The first flesh creation, in the first Adam, acquired death. The second creation, in Christ by the Spirit, assures of life from among dead flesh corpses, 1 Corinthians 15:45; John 3:6; Romans 8:11; Romans 8:23.

Verse 23

1 ) "But every man in his own order:" (hekastos de en to idio togmati) "But each one in his own order or rank," shall be resurrected. The first resurrection, of the righteous, shall be consummated, in orderly time and rank, as God wills over a period extending from the resurrection of Christ, through the millennium, Revelation 20:1-6.

2) "Christ the firstfruits;" (aparche christos) "The firstfruit (was) Christ." The term (Gk. aparche) "firstfruit" is singular, denoting that his was the first "fruit-body," of the first-fruits (bodies), of the first resurrection.

3) "Afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming." (epeita hoi tou christou en te parousia autou) "Afterward those of Christ at the presence or presentation of him." The second coming of Christ is to effect at His coming, the resurrection of all the righteous. But as it took time at His first coming to effect all that pertained to His bringing salvation -some thirty years -- so at His second coming a time element of some one thousand three and one half years will be required to effect completion of the first resurrection that began when He was raised from the dead -- the firstfruit from the dead, Revelation 20:5.

Verse 24

1) "Then cometh the end," (eita to telos) "Then the finish, completion, or consummation," alluding to Christ’s reign over the Davidic kingdom for 1,000 years, leading to its delivery to the Father, Revelation 11:15; Revelation 20:9.

2) "When he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father;" (hotan paradidou ten basileian to theo kai patri) "Whenever he delivers or presents the kingdom of God, even the Father." The end of "the world order," which occurs "at His coming," and the "end of all things," requires time, in time, for effecting at the coming of our Lord.

3) "When he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power." (hotan katargese pasan archen kai pasan eksousian kai dunamin) "When he abolishes all rulership, authority, and enabling power or dynamics," of depraved and deranged earthly rule. Our Lord’s initiative and administrative putting down "all things that offend," begins with His appearance bodily in the air, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, and is consummated in rank and order of persons and time to the finish of His kingly work.

Verse 25

1) "For he must reign," (dei gar auton) "Because it becomes him" (basileuein) "to reign," infinitive of progressive action. To fulfill His prophetic plan, will, or purpose with the Father, He must yet reign on the earth, 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Luke 1:31-32; Revelation 11:15.

2) "Till he hath put all enemies under his feet." (achri ou the pantas tous echthrous hupo tous podas autou) "Until he places all of the enemies of him under his feet or rule." Psalms 110:1; Matthew 22:44; Hebrews 2:7-10. Every foe under our Lord’s universal charter of reign must one day bow to Him, Romans 14:14; Revelation 5:5-12.

Verse 26

1) "The last enemy that shall be destroyed" (eschatos echithros katargeitai) "The last enemy abolished or put down." One day death will be rendered without power, conquered, or subdue, -- O Happy Day, Paul affirmed, 1 Corinthians 15:55-56. This putting down of death, at His coming, is consummated at the White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:14. Death is the last enemy to be put down.

2) "Is death." (ho thanatos) "Is the death (enemy). ’ The grim reaper of life, who sends to the grave, will one day be banished by the power of the resurrection in Christ, Hebrews 2:14. When death and hell are cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, His earthly reign shall end and His eternal reign in the New Jerusalem under the Father continues, Revelation 21:1-9.

Verse 27

1) "For he hath put all things under his feet." (panta gar hupetaksen hupo tous podas autou) "Because all things he (God) subjected under the feet or jurisdiction of him." This occurred in the purpose of God and has been revealed, Psalms 8:6. Man by sin and death lost dominion over all things, but what he lost Christ restores, Hebrews 2:5-9; Hebrews 2:14. Christ became the anti-type of Adam for us, Romans 5:9-10.

2) "But when he saith all things are put under him" (hotan de eipe hoti panta hupotetaktai).’Yet whenever he says that all things have been subjected." This shall be His attestation to the Father of the

fulfillment of Psalms 8:6, when death is subdued, Revelation 20:14.

3) "It is manifest that he is excepted," (delon hoti ektos) It is clear that he is excepted or excluded." That clear to Paul, should be clear to us, "that God the Father was never put under the rule of His Son, but was excluded."

4) "Which did put all things under him." (tou hupotaksantos auto ta panta) "The one having placed all things under him." God the Father, having loved the Son for His love for the universe, committed all things to Him, John 3:35.

Verse 28

1) "And when all things shall be subdued unto him,” (hotan de hupotage auto panta) "But whenever all things are subjected to him," by virtue of our Lord’s jurisdictional reign over the earth, Revelation 11:15; Revelation 20:6; 2 Timothy 4:1-3.

2) "Then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him," (tote kai autos ho auto ho huios hupotagesetai) "Then the Son himself will also be subject to him," Thereafter God the Father shall be upon the eternal throne with His Lord-Son, reigning with Him, Revelation 21:3; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 21:22; Revelation 22:1; Revelation 22:3; Revelation 22:5.

3) "That did put all things under him," (to hupotaksanti auto ta panta) "To the one (God the Father) who subjected to Him (Jesus Christ for a time) alI things," John 3:35; Colossians 1:19.

4) "That God may be all in all." (hina he ho theos panta en pasin) "in order that (purpose) the trinitarian God may be all things, in all things;" by Jesus, through the Bride, the church, He shall receive glory forever, Ephesians 3:21; Revelation 21:9-22.

Verse 29

1) "Else what shall they do," (epei ti poiesousin) "Otherwise, (if there be no resurrection) what will the ones do." Should those who have been baptized to express their faith and hope in the resurrection simply abandon, turn their back on, their Christian profession?

2) "Which are baptized for the dead," (hoi baptizomenoi huper ton nekron) "The ones being baptized on behalf of the dead corpses?" The term (Gk. huper) "On behalf of" refers to the resurrection hope held by those who had died, expressed in baptism, a symbol of death, burial, and the resurrection.

3) "If the dead rise not at all?" (ei holos nekroi ouk egeirontai) "If actually dead persons (bodies) are not raised up." What shall all having been baptized on behalf of their faith in the future resurrection of the dead do? "You tell me," gnostics, deniers and doubters, Romans 6:1-5.

4) "Why are they then baptized for the dead?" (Ti kai hemeis kindunemomen pasan horan) "Why are they baptized on behalf of them?" Evidently, the Corinth church was continuing to baptize people, expressing a pictorial faith in the resurrection, while some disputed the fact of the resurrection.

Verse 30

1) "And why stand we in jeopardy," (ti kai hemeis kinduneuomen) "Why-also do we even stand in danger?" If there is no resurrection? Why jeopardize our jobs, our lives, and our reputations as a minority among the heathen, if there is no resurrection? "Furnish me the answers," Paul chided, 2 Corinthians 4:10.

2) "Every hour?" (pasan horan) "Each and every hour?" In no contextual or subject matter sense may this passage be rightly interpreted to refer to a living person’s being baptized for the vicarious physical benefit of any person who has already died. Baptism was never procurative of pardon from sins for any person, but symbolical, Romans 14:11-12; Ephesians 2:8-9.

Verse 31

1) "I protest" (kath) Paul protested the resurrection rejecting gnosticism of unbelieving Jews and Greeks; To him the joy in Christian hope and the moral and ethical changes for God and good in lives of Christians validated the gospel witnesses.

2) "By your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ne ten humeteran kauchesan adelphoi) "`By your boasting, brethren" (hen echo en christo iesou to kurio hemon) "Which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord." Paul shared with the Corinth Christians a joy in Christ that he never had in Phariseeism or unbelief.

3) "I die daily." (hemeran apothnesko) "Daily I die." With joy, Paul exposed himself daily to execution in Ephesus, as he preached the good news of salvation, involving the resurrection and baptism, a picture of its proclaimed hope, at the peril of death, 2 Corinthians 4:10; 2 Corinthians 11:23; Romans 8:36.

Verse 32

1) "If after the manner of men," (ei kata anthropon) "If according to man." Hypothetically Paul set forth the necessary inference that as men do not jeopardize their lives without strong evidence that they would receive pay, or rewards, neither did he.

2) "I have fought with beasts at Ephesus." (etheriomachesa en epheso) "I fought with wild beasts in Ephesus." This alludes to the street mob of Ephesian shrine-makers who sought to take his life in Ephesus, Acts 19:23-41.

3) "What advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?" (ti moi to ophelos; ei nekroi ouk egeirontai) "What profit have I if dead persons are not raised?" Desperation, a "what is the profit of defeatism?" dogs the life and demotivates actions of one who has no hope in the resurrection.

4) "Let us eat and drink;" (phagomen kai piomen) "Let us eat and let us drink." Paul does not advocate this amoral or immoral attitude, but states the sensual, reckless, moral disposition that is bred by the absence of hope beyond death.

5) "For to morrow we die." (aurion gar apothneskomen) "For tomorrow we die." This was the attitude of the stoics, the Greek philosophers of doubt. This philosophy breeds moral and ethical garbage among men.

Verse 33

1) "Be not deceived:" (me planasthe) "Be ye not led astray," or seduced, by these specious demoralizing philosophies, fruits of gnosticism, skepticism, and the conclusions of those who teach there is no life after death, 2 Corinthians 5:10-11.

2) "Evil communications corrupt good manner”

(phtheirousin ethe chresta homiliai kakai) "Evil communications corrupt good manners or associations." The fruit of bad talk is bad behavior, of evil teaching is evil practice.

Verse 34

1) "Awake to righteousness," (eknepsate dikaios) "Become ye sober righteously." Awake out of your drunken, moral stupor, to righteous conduct, a higher level of behavior, Romans 13:11-14.

2) "And sin not;" (kai me amostanete) "And do not sin . and miss ye not the mark of holy living." Doubt of a future life breeds low morals or sanctions no morals. This concept sharpened by fumes of intellectual pride tended toward gross immorality.

3) "For some have not the knowledge of God:” (agnosian gar theou tines echousin) "For some have ignorance of God." Some maintained ignorance of God and His character, like heathens. They had not grown in Him as they should, 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 3:18.

4) "I speak this to your shame." (pros entropen humin lalo) "I speak to your shame." That the Corinth brethren, among whom Paul lived for so long, and whom he taught, should be ignorant of the holy nature of God was humiliating to him and a shame to them. From this ignorance and shame Paul sought to arouse them to moral and ethical behavior and spiritual service to God, 1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Romans 13:11-14. Future hope calls for holy living, 1 John 3:1-3.

Verse 35

1) "But some men will say," (alla erei tis) "But someone will raise the question." Some will object, on natural, rational grounds that it is an impossibility for one and all to be raised.

2) "How are the dead raised up?” pos egerontai hoi nekroi?) "How are the dead bodies raised?" In what. bodily forms do we picture them coming out of the decay of corpses, another will interject, with specious skepticism.

3) "And with what body do they gone?" (poio de somai erchontai) "Moreover with what make, form, or fashion body do they come?" Such questions express the limited comprehension the doubter has of God. The resurrection, like salvation, is accounted for, not on natural grounds, but supernatural grounds, John 5:28-29; Romans 8:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:14.

Verse 36

1) "Thou fool," (aphron) "Thou storehouse of stupidity," propounder of mentally stupid, incompetent inquiries, Matthew 12:36-37.

2) "That which thou sowest is not quickened," (su ho speireis, ou zoopoiertai) "What thou sowest is not made alive." The stupid gnostic question regarding the resurrection of dead bodies no more destroys the reality of the fact than to raise a question of doubt of intelligence in one who sows seed in a garden. Life rises from the dying seed, planted in the earth, and brings forth a body -- so in the resurrection.

3) "Except it die " lean me apothane) "Unless it dies." The seed must die, mature, ere its life is extended in a higher form of being. So in the resurrection. This our Lord by clear implication taught, John 12:23-25.

Verse 37

1) "And that which thou sowest," (kai ho speireis) "And what thou sowest." What stupidity would be considered in a person who seeing another sowing grain or planting seed would object, "Don’t you know that grain will rot?"

2) "Thou sowest not that body that shall be," (ou to soma to genesomenon speireis) "Thou sowest not the body that is going to come (forth), "actuality of the lower- resurrection of grain to plant-body life established a valid principle of necessary inference for the human body-resurrection.

3) "But bare grain.” (alla’ gumnon kokkon) "But a naked or uncovered grain or kernel," is all that is sown, differing in appearance, but little from rock and sand, except it has the germ of life.

4) "It may chance wheat, or some other grain: " (ei techoi sitou he tinos ton loipon) "it may be (a naked wheat grain) or someone of the rest (of grains)." No matter what the grain of seed, the life after its kind, is inherent in the grain. Even so the life of every man, on the higher plane, requires a body fitted for its habitation after death and the resurrection, Daniel 12:1-2.

Verse 38

1) "But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him," (ho de theos didosin auto soma kathos etheiesin) "Yet, God gives to it (each seed) a body as he willed or purposed." Not "as he wills" (present tense), but "as he willed" (decreed in creation), for plant life and man’s continued, renewed, everlasting existence, Genesis 1:11; Acts 26:8.

2) "And to every seed his own body." (kai hekasto ton spermaton idion soma) "And to each of the seeds its own body." The corn seed bears a corn stalk; the wheat, a wheat plant; and the cotton its own stalk; each differs, validating the divine decree of order and continuity of "everything after its own kind," accounted for not merely on natural, but supernatural grounds. So also the resurrection.

Verse 39

1) "All flesh is not the same flesh:” (ou pasa sarks he aute sarks) "Not all flesh is the same (kind of) flesh." Having disposed of the premise and its conclusions that all seed are not the same in form and kind, yet are continued after a divine pattern. Paul then presented the parallel premise regarding flesh -and its continuity -- after a divine decree or pattern.

2) "But there is one-kind of flesh" (alla alle men) “ But other (flesh) indeed." Four patterns or kinds of flesh life were introduced in creation, by divine decree, Genesis 1:20-23, fish and fowls; then Genesis 1:24-25, beasts; and fourth and last, man after his own kind, Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7. This is God’s order and any other order is out of order!

a) "Of men" (anthropon) "of human beings, humanity." Ma was created "man-flesh," to remain till death. He did not evolve into human flesh.

b) "Another flesh of beasts," (alle de sarks ktenon) "And another (kind or order) of flesh of animals or beasts," Genesis 1:24-25; one who sexually lay with beast flesh was to be put to death, Leviticus 18:2-3; Leviticus 20:15-16; Deuteronomy 27:21.

c) "Another of fishes." (alle de sarks ptenon) "Yet another (kind or order) of flesh of birds or fowls." Genesis 1:20-23; Romans 1:22-23.

d) "And another of birds," (alle de ichtheon) "and another of fishes." Romans 1:21-23. Thus four (4) kinds or orders of biological flesh life are ranked or classified each "after his kind." There is Divine peace, order, and purpose for continuity in God’s universe, for all of His creation. Blessed are those who recognize and respect it.

Verse 40

1) "There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial:" (kai somata epourania, kai somata epigeis) "And there are heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies," bodies fitted for earth’s habitation and bodies fitted for heaven’s occupancy.

2) "But the glory of the celestial is one." (alla etera men he ton epouranion doksa) "But the glory of the heavenly (bodies) is one (kind of) glory." The glory of the light bodies heavenly; Sun, Moon and Stars; lifeless bodies, yet bodies, is one kind of "body-glory," heavenly. This is an example in the resurrection of the dead (people’s) bodies." This summarizes logical conclusions that may be drawn from 1 Corinthians 15:36-41, Universal splendor has graduating degrees of glory.

Verse 41

This verse describes the heavenly bodies

Verse 42

1) "So also is the resurrection of the dead." (houtos kai he anastasis ton nekron) "Just like this or

2) "It is raised a spiritual body." (egeiretai soma pneumatikon) "It is raised up, brought forth, or exalted a spiritual body," Romans 8:11.

3) "There is a natural body," (ei estin soma puchikon) "There exists a natural, depraved, corrupt physical body, of the old nature of birth." Sowing to the Spirit in the natural body will bring reaping to the Spirit in the spiritual body, Galatians 6:7-8.

4) "And there is a spiritual body." (estin kai pneumatikon) "There exists also a spiritual body, to be." 2 Corinthians 5:1-7. This body decreed for resurrection glory is likened to the glory-body of Jesus Christ. Believers look for, await it in full assurance of faith, Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2.

Verse 43

1) "It is sown in dishonour;" (speiretai en atimia) Rejected, unwanted by men, in its decaying state, as a perishable body, a body of dishonor, it is cast into the earth.

2) "It is raised in glory:" (egiretai en dokse) In the purpose, plan, and decrees of God the dead corpse is raised up, exalted in glory -- as if the act had already occurred. 2 Corinthians 10:17.

3) "It is sown in weakness;" (speiretai en astheneia) "Like seed, it-is sown in sickness, Weakness, or anemic appearance." Genesis 3:19.

4) "It is raised in power:" (egeiretai en dunamei)

It is brought forth, exalted in dynamic power." That the glory may be of God and to God, the new body is raised in power, 2 Corinthians 9:7; Luke 20:34-38.

Verse 44

1) "It is sown a natural body;" (Speiretai soma psuchikon) "it is sown in the earth a natural, depraved, putrefying body."

3) "And the glory of the terrestrial is another." (hetera de ton epigeion) "Yet the glory of the earthly (bodies) is another (kind of) glory." The earthly body; human bodies, beast bodies, fish bodies, and fowl bodies; is another -- these are all tied to earthly time, shall pass away, but man, made in the image and likeness of God, shall have an heavenly body, 2 Corinthians 5:1-6.

Verse 45

1) "And so it is written," (houtos kai gegraptai) "Thus also it has been written." Genesis 2:7. Paul sanctions the accuracy of the Genesis account of the origin of humanity.

2) "The first man Adam was made a living soul;" (egeneto ho protos anthropos adam eis pouchen zosan) "The first Adam-man became into (unto) a living soul." Had there been a Neanderthal, Piltdown, or cave man in existence prior to Adam, the mathematical definitive term (protos) "first," an ordinal number, could not have, would not have been used by the Holy Spirit of inspiration. Adam was the first man.

3) "The last Adam was made a quickening spirit." (ho eschatos adam eis pneuma zoopoioun) "The last Adam-man (became) into or unto a life-making or life-giving spirit." Jesus was the second, last, final man (humanity), the giver of eternal life and assurance of the bodily resurrection of all men, John 10:27-28; Revelation 1:18.

Verse 46

1) "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual," (all’ ou proton to pneumatikon) the spiritual body was not first in order." Man did not have spiritual pre-existence prior to life conception into a physical, depraved body.

2) "But that which is natural." (alla to psuchikon) "But the natural (body) was first in order or rank." The natural body pre-exists the spiritual body and is the tabernacle of the soul from conception, Genesis 2:7.

3) "And afterward that which is spiritual." (epeita to pneumatikon) "After or succeeding (the natural body) came to be the spiritual." Grace purposed and provided the new body, after, and as a consequence of, the fall and ruin of the first body, John 14:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8.

Verse 47

1) "The first man is of the earth, earthy:" (ho protos anthropos ek ges choikos) "The first man was out of earth (earth bodies), earthy." This was Adam and involved are all his offspring in the consequence of his transgression, Romans 5:10-20. This term "earthy" refers to elemental body structure as to origin and substance.

2) "The second man is the Lord from Heaven." (ho deuteros anthropos eks ouranois) "The second man was out of heaven." Ephesians 4:8-10. His resurrection body possessed life and attributes of spiritual nature. He came down from heaven and bodily returned to heaven in resurrection glory, a revelation glow of what awaits the redeemed in the resurrection, Acts 1:8-11.

Verse 48

1) "As is the earthy," (hoios ho choikos) "Such as is the earth, in sin, polluted in ruin," doomed to death, decay, Ecclesiastes 9:5-6; Hebrews 9:27.

2) "Such are they also that are earthy:- (toioutoi kai hoi choikoi) "Such also are the earthy ones (bodies) under the law of sin and death." Romans 5:12; Romans 5:17; Romans 5:19. To die in earthy weakness is man’s destiny, but to be raised in His power is also decreed for His own, Philippians 2:8; 1 Peter 3:18.

3) "And as is the heavenly," (kai hoios ho epouranios) "And such as is or exists the heavenly man, the second Adam, Jesus Christ, with a resurrected, glorified, spiritual body, 2 Corinthians 13:4.

4) "Such are they also that are heavenly." (toioutai kai hoi epouranioi) "Such also the heavenly ones," bodies that await the redeemed ones, in full redemption from the grave to eternal life for the new bodies, Romans 8:23.

Verse 49

1) "And as we have borne the image of the earthy,"(kai kathos eporesamen ten eikona tou choikou) "And just as we bore the image (sinful likeness) of the earthy first man Adam." Even as we in earthly bodies sit in heavenly places (of worship) and service, let us bear the heavenly image of God, Ephesians 2:6.

2) "We shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (phoresomen kai ten eikona tou eporaniou) We shall or let us now bear (in the resurrection) the image (holy, sinless, glorified body likeness) of the heavenly man (the second Adam, Jesus Christ." 1 John 3:2; Philippians 3:21; Our vile bodies shall be changed like unto their Lord; What a deliverance victory!

Verse 50

1) "Now this I say, brethren," (touto phemi, adelphoi) "And this I further assert, brethren, beloved." This is an emphatic reassertion of fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and all men; its ultimate fruit is victory.

2) "That flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;" (hoti sarks kai haima basileian theou kleronomesai ou dunatai) "That flesh and blood (bodies) have not power of dynamics to inherit or receive an heir-setting in the domain of God’s administrative government reign," Matthew 16:17; Matthew 25:34; Romans 3:21.

Verse 51

1) "Behold, I shew you a mystery;" (idou musterion humin lego) "Let me have your rapt attention, while I tell you a mystery," a mystery told becomes a revelation, 1 Timothy 3:15. After logical proof had been submitted, 1 Corinthians 15:15-50, to adduce a valid conclusion that the resurrection of dead bodies was reasonable and necessary, Paul turned to his inspired revelation to declare it.

2) "We shall not all sleep " (pantes ou koimethesometha) "We shall not all fall asleep," (in our deathly bodies) in natural death. This alludes to those saints living when Jesus returns to the earth. They who look for Him are to be raptured bodily while yet living when he comes Hebrews 9:28.

3) "But we shall all be changed," (pantes de allagesometha) All saints shall be changed -- Whether in normal process of death and dead corpses one is brought forth, or whether the Lord catches him away bodily, before natural death, like Enoch and Elijah, each shall be changed from an evil, corrupt to an holy, incorruptible body, 2 Kings 2:11; Matthew 17:3; Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5.

Verse 52

1) "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," (en atoma, en kripe ophthalmou) "The bodily change is to be in an instant," not evolutionary, when God’s time for the change in each comes. "In an atom of time, the rip of the eye," or "the batting of an eye." But let it be noted that the body changes of all the redeemed are not said to occur at the "same moment" See 1 Corinthians 15:23-24.

2) "At the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound," (en te eschate salpiggi; salpisei gar) "At the last trump; for a trumpet will sound." This is the trumpet call or signal for closing ranks for the Gentile age, as the end of the age signally comes to a close; the righteous dead remaining are raised, first in order or rank at that period, second those who live and remain, shall be changed, and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Thereafter, before the millennium begins another order who were beheaded for Christ, appears, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; Revelation 20:4.

3) "And the dead shall be raised incorruptible," (kai ho nekroi egerthesontai aphtartoi) "And the dead bodies of men shall be raised up, in an incorruptible state." Both the nature and deeds of corruption of the first man shall I be no more, Isaiah 1:4-5; Isaiah 1:18.

4) "And we shall be changed," (kai hemeis allagesometha) "We shall even be changed or exist in another state or condition of being," apart from and without corruption. Revelation 1:4 asserts that "the former things (of corrupt nature) are passed away." Revelation 21:27.

Verse 53

1 ) "For this corruptible must put on incorruption," (dei gar to phtharton touto endusasthai aphthassian) "For it becomes this corruptible to be dressed in (put on) incorruption." Job affirmed this view, Job 19:23-26; Abraham expressed this faith, Hebrews 11:17-19; Genesis 22:4.

2) "And this mortal must put on immortality." (kai to thneton touto endusasthai athanasian) "Even this dying (body) to dress up in (put on) an undying or deathless body," a body that cannot die, the new body, that awaits the saint, 2 Corinthians 5:1-7.

Verse 54


1) "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption," (hotan de to phtharton endusetai aphtarsian) "And whenever this (body that) is corruptible shall dress up in (or put on) a body of immortality."

2) "And this mortal shall have put on immortality," (kai to thneton touto endusetai athanasian) "And this mortal shall dress up in or put on immortality, an undying body." This marks the consummation of the last enemy for one -- death is conquered.

3) "Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written," (tote genesetai ho logos ho gegrammenos) "Then will come to be realized the word which has been written." Death is not the victor, but the resurrection of the body through Jesus Christ, is victory, Isaiah 25:8.

4) "Death is swallowed up in victory." (katepothe ho thanatos eis nikos) "The death (of the old man) was swallowed up into victory," by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who holds the keys (power or control of administration over death and hell), Revelation 1:18.

Verse 55

1) "0 death, where is thy sting?" (pou sou thanate to kentron?) ’ Where (is) the victory of thee, O death?" This is a rapturous song of triumph, similar to Hosea’s song of parallelism of triumph, prophecied for Israel’s national resurrection from the grave, Hosea 13:14.

2) "0 grave, where is thy victory?" (Pou sou thanate to nikos?) "Where (is) the sting of thee, O death?" Death that came by sin and the Law has now had provisional abolishment, annulment from its eternal consequences provided by Jesus Christ, assuring both Israel’s resurrection and the individual’s resurrection over the serpentine sting of sin and the grave, Romans 8:3-4; Ezekiel 37:1-28.

Verse 56

1) "The sting of death is sin;" (to de kentron to thanatou to hamartia) -Now the sting of the death is the sin," of the old man, the Adamic nature. Death is personified as a poisonous creature inflicting physical death, Romans 5:17; Romans 5:21.

2) "And the strength of sin is the law," (he de dunamis tes hamartias ho nomos) "And the dynamics of the sin (sin nature), what measures sin and makes it stand out, is the law," Romans 4:15; Romans 5:20; Galatians 2:16.

Verse 57

1) "But thanks be to God," (to de theo charis) "But thanks to God, or let gratitude be to God," as expressed also in Romans 7:25; Romans 8:1.

2) "Which giveth us the victory," (to didonti hemin to nikos) "The one giving or delivering over to us the victory the victory over death, corruption, and the grave," and Law, Sin, and Death -- This one dissolves, strikes off the chains of handcuffs that bind men.

3) "Through our Lord Jesus Christ." (dia tou kuriou hemon iesou christou) "Through the Lord (master) of us (our Master) Jesus Christ." The word of the cross, God’s power to save and transform, is bodily perfected through faith in the resurrected and exalted Christ, Romans 1:16; Romans 1:18.

Jesus is our refuge from the power of death and the grave, as set forth in the grand old hymn:


Wesley and Holbrook

Other refuge have I none; Hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, 0 leave me not alone, Still support and comfort me: All my trust on Thee is stayed, All my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defenseless head With the shadow of Thy wing. Hide me, 0, my Savior hide, ’Till the storm of life is past, Safe into the Haven guide, 0 Receive my Soul at last!

Verse 58

1) "Therefore, my beloved brethren," (hoste, adelphoi mou agapetoi) "As a consequence, dearly beloved brethren," turning away from strife, divisions, immorality, skepticism, and matters that lead to a life of defeat, Paul exhorted them!

2) "Be ye stedfast, unmoveable," (edraioi ginesthe, ametakinetoi) "Become ye firm, unmoveable." Do not waver like a leaf in the wind; become firm as a rock, in moral, ethical, and doctrinal truth; become a landmark; stability and perseverance are Christian virtues.

3) "Always abounding in the work of the Lord," (perisseuontes en to ergo tou kuriou pantote) "Always -pressing on, like a soldier in combat, or a workman in the field, in the work of the Lord," Joshua 1:6-9; Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:3.

4) "Forasmuch as ye know that" (eidontes hoti) "Perceiving," that your tedious and painful labor, or knowing or comprehending as you do; This implies assured knowledge that springs from confirmation of faith, based on factual truth, such as the resurrection set forth in this chapter, 2 Corinthians 5:1.

5) "Your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (ho kopos humon ouk estin kenos en kurio) "Is not empty, vain, a sham, or to be unrewarded in (the) Lord," 2 Timothy 4:7-9; 2 John 1:8; Revelation 22:12.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.