RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD: Basis of the Doctrine. The Christian hope of a renewal of life after death was to a certain extent anticipated by the expectation of redemption current among the Jews before the time of Christ; but its real basis is found in the teaching of Christ and in his own resurrection, though it is true that the Christian exposition of the doctrine presupposes the Jewish. While a thorough investigation of the history of the latter is rendered difficult by the uncertainty which prevails in regard to the age of the sources, a tolerably clear idea of the nature of the hope may be gained by a comparative study of the passages which relate to the subject.
Hebrew and Jewish Representation. The first trace of an expectation that some dead men (not the dead in general) will rise is found in Isa. xxvi. 19 (Hos. vi. 2, xiii. l4; Ezek. xxxvii. 1-14, refer to the restoration of the national and spiritual life of Israel). In this passage the hope of a resurrection appears in connection with that of a glorious future for Israel. The prophet anticipates a time when the righteous Israelites shall awake from death to a share in the blessings of the period of redemption. A fuller conception is found in Dan. xii. 2, where for the first time is contemplated a resurrection of both just and unjust, though still only of Israelites. Upon this follows a judgment, which will assign to the just eternal life in the Messianic kingdom, and to the wicked exclusion from that kingdom, "shame and everlasting contempt." Here again the close connection between the Messianic hope and that of resurrection is to be noted. Frequent attempts have been made to adduce passages from the Psalms (such as xlviii. 14, lxviii. 20, xvi. 10-11, xvii. 15, xlix. 15); but a careful examination will show that they can not be pressed. In the deutero-canonical and extra-canonical Jewish writings of the pre-Christian era the doctrine is not strongly expressed. To conclude that it was not extensively held among the Jews of that age would be rash, but it probably had no uniform and well-defined shape: The Psalms of Solomon speak of a resurrection of the just to endless life in the Messianic kingdom, and predict everlasting death for the ungodly. Josephus (War, II., viii. 14) ascribes the same view to the Pharisees. On the other hand, II Macc. xii. 43-45, vi. 26, express the belief that both just and unjust Israelites shall rise and be judged. The authors of Enoch (li. 1), II Esdras (vii. 32), and the Apocalypse of Baruch (xxx. 1-5, 1. 1 sqq.) expect a universal resurrection, either before or at the end of the Messiah' s reign.
The New-Testament Doctrine. The doctrine proclaimed by Christ and the New-Testament writers, while having points of contact with the foregoing, develops along its own lines. In the discussion, with the Sadducees (Matt. xxii. 23-32) Jesus offers a special proof of the resurrection of the righteous (who alone are considered here); but in other sayings of his the resurrection of the ungodly is taken for granted (Matt. xi. 24). Apparently he treats both as simultaneous (cf. also John v. 28, 29); only in Luke (xiv. 14, xx. 35) is there an apparent separation, and this may be the effect of Paul's influence on Luke. Paul himself distinguishes two resurrections, or rather three-that of Christ, that of those who have died believing in him, which takes place at his second coming, and that of the other dead (I Cor. xv. 21-24). He does not define the interval between the two latter; the Apocalypse places a thousand years between them (Rev. xx. 4). Of more importance than the question of time are the proofs which Christ and Paul offer of the fact. The former, in the passage of Matthew cited above, demonstrates the resurrection of the righteous by the fact that God calls himself the God of the patriarchs, which can mean only that they will return to life, and that life, to be complete, must be a bodily life. What is true of them, is true also, as Luke puts it with a slight change of thought (xx. 38), of all the righteous. In John (xi. 25) Jesus bases his statement about the resurrection of the just on the fact that he himself is the bringer of life; the life that he now communicates to them is the pledge of their future resurrection. The argument for resurrection, and now of all the dead, is carried to its height by Paul, who finds his warrant for this in the accomplished fact of Christ's resurrection (I Cor. xv. 21-22; I Thess. iv. 14). In and by it, men are objectively freed from the guilt of sin (I Cor. xv. 17-18); and this carries with it the annulment of the penalty of sin, which is death. The New-Testament writers accordingly have no doubt of the certainty of a future resurrection; the Epistle to the Hebrews enumerates it (vi. 1) among the first "principles of the doctrine of Christ."
The Agent. The agent in this resurrection in all the Pauline passages is God the Father (Rom. iv. 17, viii. 11; I Cor. vi. 14; II Cor. i. 9); in John v. 21, the Son is named as cooperating with the Father, and in John vi. 39, 40, 44, is the sole agent. These two conceptions are reconciled in that of the relations of God and Christ. All the dead in rising again experience the power of God (I Cor; vi. 14; Heb. xi. 19); but in the case of the ungodly this is a purely external operation, while in the righteous it is the result of the working the spirit of life within them. This working must not, however, be limited to the maturing of a seed of life already within; the New-Testament conception is rather that to the spiritual life already begun a corresponding bodily life is added (cf. Rom. viii. 11), and so life in the full and complete sense is reestablished.
The Resurrection Body. As to the nature of the resurrection body, both Christ and Paul tell something. Both, however, speak exclusively of that of the righteous (Matt. xxii. 30; I Cor. xv. 35 sqq.; II Cor. v. 1 sqq.; Phil. iii. 21). Christ says that a higher bodily existence than before shall be bestowed, referring it, in order to make it credible, to the power of God (Matt. xxii. 29), and asserting that the methods of reproduction employed here shall no longer prevail there-though he does not assert that difference of sex shall disappear. Paul gives fuller indications. The origin of the resurrection body is from heaven (II Cor. v. 1 sqq.); it is a spiritual body (I Cor. xv. 44), "fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body" (Phil. iii. 21; I Cor. xv. 49). The designation of the body as pneumatic does not imply that spirit forms its substance, for this would not harmonize with the parallel "spiritual body" of I Cor. xv. 44, but that it is a body entirely adapted to express the spiritual life possessed by the risen saints. It is no longer an obstacle to the knowledge of God face to face (I John iii. 2; Matt. v. 8; Rev. xxii. 4); it makes possible unrestricted intercourse with the other saints, and the exercise of authority over the world (I Cor. iv. 8; Rom. v. 17; Rev. xx. 4, 6). A whole series of contrasts follows between this and the present natural body (I Cor. xv. 42 sqq.). Dishonor, consequent upon the weaknesses of the present body, gives place to glory; weakness to strength; it has not even the material substance of the present (I Cor. xv. 50). What its substance is, Paul does not tell; but his insistence on the differences between the two must not be pressed. If the new body were conceived as a wholly different body, there would be no real victory over death, which would then have its prey, God repairing the loss by a new creation. In I Cor. xv. 36-38, Paul describes the relation between the two under the analogy of the grain which "is not quickened except it die." But what is the kernel of the new body contained in the old? Since it is obviously not the substance of the old, it can scarcely be anything but the individual, characteristic form, which has remained constant throughout all the changes of the earthly life. Paul's view would thus be that God develops this form to meet the needs of a new corporal existence which shall correspond to the spiritual life of the risen soul. As noted above, he gives no indication of the nature of the bodies to be assigned to the wicked at the resurrection. It is clear, however, that a "pneumatic body" can not be bestowed upon them, if only because this is an imperishable body, incapable of being touched by the "second death." His idea probably is that those who did not die in the faith and fellowship of Christ will rise in the same bodies which they formerly possessed-those of them who are justified at the judgment then receiving their spiritual bodies, while the rejected go down, body and soul, to the second death. See ESCHATOLOGY, § 6.