O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Hi everybody, a new member with the same old questions here. I have been aware of preterism for a couple of years now and though I find much of it appealing I however have challenges with primarily 2 issues, one being the resurrection and the other being the end of the old covenant. These may even be the same question. Searching for discussions about these issues has led me here, Im sure it will be beneficial, so just bear with me guy.


How is 1 Cor 15:12-13 " Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been raised" to be understood 

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Hi Jefrey

Prior to Jesus' return in 70AD, all who died went to Hades. Hades is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament word Sheol

Psalm 86:13

For Thy kindness [is] great toward me, And Thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest Sheol.

The writer was expecting that he would "go" to Sheol after he died physically, but this is also a prophecy of the coming Messiah 

At Jesus return, all of those in Sheol or Hades were resurrected to life

Revelation 1:18

I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Revelation 20:13
The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done
The 70AD resurrection was not a physical resurrection. Only Jesus was resurrected physically for the purposes of substantiating eye-witness evidence of the yet future resurrection and in fulfillment of the prophecy he made in Matthew 12:39
Does this answer your question?

I think I'd answer this question a little differently.  The phrase, "how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead" is a tricky one.  By saying, "there is no resurrection" it is either saying that there is an ongoing present tense resurrection of the dead, or that it is now an ongoing possibility to have one.  The grammar is not clear.  But, the way you asked the question implies that the timing of the resurrection isn't your problem, it's the reality of it.  I'm guessing that you have heard that preterists have to say that there is no resurrection (because it already happened and the bodies are still in the ground, so it's discounted - or something similar to this).

The biggest single problem in eschatological studies on the resurrection is a failure to appreciate the materiality of the term pneumas in the New Testament.  I would strenuously encourage you to read "The Corinthian Body" by Dale Martin,

to clarify this point.  He goes into great detail in explaining that the promise of a pneumatic body resurrection (usually translated "spiritual body") is simply a promise the resurrection of the invisible, most sanctified part of you.  It's the real you.  And, it's as material as any other type of material.  But, it's invisible.  Remember, when Jesus was talking with Nicodemus he described the pneumas as like the wind - with effect and invisible, but real.  It's the same with the resurrection body.  It wasn't until the Enlightenment that invisible or unmeasureable was considered unreal.  Before that there was no such thing as unreal or paranormal.  In the 1st Century all thing were considered real, whether you could see, smell, or measure them or not.

We've failed to understand how this works because our view of science and anthropology is so different from their that it's like apples and oranges. 



Thanks Doug and Euripides


Let me rephrase the question. In terms of the tradition view, the verse could be understood as following:

 Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised "biologically" from the dead, how say some among you that there is no "biological" resurrection of the dead? But if there is no "biological" resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been "biologically" raised


The question is how this verse is to be understood since preterism says there is no "biological" resurrection.

A rephrasing of the verse in preteristic understanding would help.

I think that your addition of the word "biologically" to the text is a demonstration of the fact that the traditional view has simply assumed it should be so.  Since the text doesn't say that, it's worth thinking about whether their entire paradigm is skewed.  However, as I mentioned in my post, the is a sense in which pneumatic, invisible elements of your body are just as biological as the flesh on your arms.  So, though we wouldn't understand the pneumatic body as biological these days they would have at the time of the writing of the New Testament.


Okay, lets take it a step back, what is the preteristic understanding of resurrection?

The tradition view says its the reanimation of dead bodies. What then is your definition of resurrection? Following your definition of resurrection how then would you rephrase 1 Cor 15:12-13. I had added "biological" as an example and a means by which to understand what the text is saying. My question is meant to give insight into what the verse is supposed to be saying in the preterist paradigm.  


There was no resurrection of the dead but that of Israel. And that resurrection was for both the condemned and the faithful. Other than that the believers resurrection is at the time the person becomes a believer. All others stay dead, just as those outside of Israel (pre-Christ) ceased to exist upon death.

The thing is I dont know what resurrection is in the preteristic paradigm, hence I still dont understand your answers, which is why I had asked for a definition of resurrection.


To make you understand what Im looking for, I will rephrase the text and give an example of the answers I am looking for.


Text rephrased:

 "Now if Christ is preached that he is a widget, how say some among you that there are no widgets? But if there are no widgets, neither is Christ a widget"


My questions:

1) What is a widget

2) What does Paul mean in these verses?


Sample answer based on traditional view:

1) A widget is a reanimation of a physically/biologically/literally dead corpse.

2) Paul is saying that if Christ has been presented to them as having literally been reanimated from biological death, it is silly for the Corithians to say literally dead corpses do not reanimate because if that fact held (i.e. if dead corpses in fact do not reanimate) then Christ couldn't have and hence would not have reanimated from the dead. But if they have already believed the message that Christ physically reanimated from literal death by implication they should accept that dead corpses do indeed reanimate and in fact they have already accepted it.


This is the type of answer I am requesting for.


Maybe I can help...

In Genesis, was the death of Adam an immediate physical death? No, it was not. Instead, Adam suffered a "spiritual" death, in that his relationship with God was broken, in need of a Savior who would take his place for the sin he committed. Of course, that Savior was Jesus.

Fast forward to today. The broken relationship has been repaired and we are now one in Christ. Our own lives are gone, hidden, dead. We have become brothers with Christ.

When we were baptized, we symbolically "died" to ourselves, but became alive to Christ. In Him we are counted as He is, and He is immortal, alive forever.

So, since we were dead, and then became alive in Christ, we have experienced the resurrection to eternal life already. The resurrection is not about a physical renewal of our bodies, any more than the death of Adam was about the death of his physical body. He needed TRUE life, not physical life. We also need TRUE life, and we now have it (not at some future date) because we are in Christ.

There may be some nuances as to how others who are preterists understand resurrection, but I think this is a generally agreed upon definition of resurrection amongst preterists.

All that said, you should also understand that not everyone believes that when you are "saved"  that it is a done deal. What I mean is that some believe that salvation doesn't come until death. I do not believe that. I believe salvation in full comes the moment one truly believes and is baptized. The implication of that of course is that I have immortality already. Otherwise, my salvation would be conditional, and so would my resurrection. I don't believe the bible teaches conditional immortality.

Does that help?

Hi Doug


If I understood you correctly, your answer to my first question, what is a widget, is: restoration of the broken relationship, the giving of TRUE life.


Your answer to my second question would thus be: the Corithians where denying that the spiritually dead would have the broken relationship restored?


Kindly clarify.



Doug, in this application do you mean that the resurrection when we first believe is what Revelation calls the First Resurrection?  If so, then what of the Second Resurrection? 


My understanding at the moment is that we have to let the bible define itself.

So, if one believes that the "first death" is the death sentence we have passed upon us when we first sinned (just as Adam's death was when he first sinned), then we have to know what the second death is.

I ask myself "How can I die twice"? Obviously the first death is the one that happens when we sin first. The second death is a permanent one, and happens after this body is destroyed. You don't want to be in the second death, and you won't be if you accept Jesus.

So, if the first resurrection applies to the first death sentence, so too would the second resurrection apply to the second death. If you interpret death correctly, you will interpret resurrection correctly.

Thank you Doug for your reply.  I have to tell you from where I am coming with my questions.  I am almost in a state of shock right now as I have been devouring some of the replies to Jefrey on a few different threads here.  I came into this website at first to try to understand how in the world anyone could think the resurrection and the judgment had already occurred as I could not see how it was possible, even though my firm partial preterist thinking was threatening to force me down that path anyway and that scared me.  I figured I would find some sort of flimsy explanations of how ALL scripture has been fulfilled... but quite the opposite, as it is not flimsy at all!  I have to say though, I am fearful of fully accepting what seems to me now to be like an avalanche of truth coming upon me.  Therefore, I continue to read more and more here and then take it to my bible to check for myself.  

I have already been struggling to find a church I can agree with and now I fear it will be impossible.  I am not calvinist in my understanding of salvation and so that has been another reason it has been hard to find a church that is partial preterist and yet not Calvinist. I see that most here seem to be Calvinist.  In light of the full preterist view of scripture I am not sure how that will affect my calvinist/arminian view of salvation however.  I am not actually arminian either, I don't believe, but see it more like the Molinist views of William Lane Craig or Molina himself perhaps?  Some of my family will no longer talk to me about matters of faith when I left the dispensational mode for amillennialism… I can only imagine what they will say if I tell them I am now a full preterist. If I were to become Calvinist I am sure they would disown me!  Just joking…. uh maybe….

Not saying that I am just yet a full preterist and I am sure I will try my best to find a way to keep some of my old beliefs about scripture, at least the view that Christ will break through the clouds visibly one day and catch our Spiritual resurrected bodies up to Him in one final day of the Lord and this world of sin will be no more... (but maybe that will happen when I die physically, and we will no longer see or be touched by the sin in this world, so as it was written that the old things would no longer come to mind)? Is that the second resurrection, when our physical bodies die and our souls are given a new spiritual body immediately upon death (even though for believers there is no second death since death in these contexts is purely spiritual)?  So, the first resurrection being when I was born again?  When I die, I will see Him break though and catch me up with "spiritual eyes", though it won't be as a collective body of Christ but I alone at my death joining to the body of Christ?  Or am I even a part of the body of Christ, the Bride, or am I a child of the heavenly union of Christ and His Church?  Wow, there is just so much to unpack!!   

Back to my original question, I do remember reading somewhere that the first resurrection may be that of the martyred saints prior to AD70 and the second resurrection is the rest of humanity from AD70 until whenever? Either saved or unsaved, some who will go to heaven and eternal life, and others to experience the second death (that of their souls) Is that plausible at all?  If so then that would mean the first resurrection is not one of conversion and so we only receive eternal life upon our physical death… if we persevere and overcome.  This would be an argument for potential loss of salvation whereas if we receive eternal life at conversion (first resurrection) seems that would be an argument for the "once saved always saved doctrine"?  My head is swimming with so many things to rethink and study!

I remember how I felt, almost three years ago now, when I first let go of the premillennial view I had been indoctrinated with in the baptist church.  When it was first compelled upon me by the Holy Spirit to do so I was afraid and prayed for help to do so if that were truth… once I let go it was very freeing and I was excited to see more of scripture actually make sense with fewer seeming contradictions… I feel it will be the same with this as well as I already see so much more of scripture making so much more sense now… but it is scary too!  How must those first century Jews have felt!!! The Old passing away and the New coming upon them, that is sort of what I feel like right now!!

I will agree with the Holy Spirit though when He gives me peace to accept what truth is and I will be open to Him leading me to that truth, so in time if Scripture and the Spirit shows me, I won't be afraid to accept it, but I find it a bit hard to breath at times when I let the impact of what a full preterist view does to the understanding of all of God's word wash over me.  Not that it is bad, but just that I have to come to a whole new understanding of so much of the bible and what that means for life in the physical here and now.  It is going to be a journey… but one I am ready to embark upon and I am grateful to have found this site and thank all who can help me in my travels!  I need to repack my suitcase it seems! 


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How the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled in the first century.
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