Comparing the Teaching on the Resurrection in I Corinthians and the Thessalonian Letters
The purpose of this paper is to compare the teaching on the resurrection of Jesus Christ as it is noted in Paul's letter to the Corinthians and Thessalonian letters. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the primary doctrines of study in the Bible because it reveals the victory that believers have over death, hell and the grave. However, the belief in a bodily resurrection has been the central focus of controversy since the death of Jesus Christ.
So, before we begin with our comparison of Paul's teaching on the resurrection, we need to begin by understanding the definition or the literal biblical meaning of the word, resurrection'. Webster's Dictionary tells us that the word, resurrection' means, "a rising from the dead, or coming back to life" (Neufeldt 1145). In the biblical sense the word, resurrection' is taken from the Greek word, anastasis, which refers to a raising up, or rising. So, from these two definitions, we should be able to see that the basis for believing in a bodily resurrection is believing that one can die and be brought back to life.
Paul believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and he understood, at least to the point of human comprehension that one could die and be raised from the dead. This was his understanding and one of the reasons why he needed to write about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul spoke a great deal about the risen Christ, but there are some key passages that reveal Paul's understanding of the resurrection. If there is a section of Scripture in the Bible that provides us with a detailed description on the subject of the resurrection, it is I Corinthians chapter 15. This chapter is known as the "Resurrection Chapter." Within this chapter, Paul explains the difference between the natural body and the spiritual body, and how each fits into God's plan for a bodily resurrection. However, in order for us to understand the basic elements for a resurrection, we must consider the following statement. "The spirit or the soul does not die, and therefore the spirit or soul cannot be raised. Only the body can lie down in death, and only the body can stand up in the resurrection" (McGee 396). This means that our body is only a temporary dwelling place because it will one day give way to corruption. The main teaching of the early followers was of Christ dying for the sins of mankind, and then being resurrected on the third day.
So, in order to understand the difference between the teaching on the resurrection in the letter to the Corinthians and the Thessalonian letters, we must understand that the primary difference is not found in the reality of a literal resurrection, but in the...