Paul’s Gospel and the Resurrection of Christ

15 Now I make known to you, brothers, the gospel which I proclaimed to you, which you have also received, in which you also stand, by which you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the message I proclaimed to you, unless you believed to no purpose. For I passed on to you as of first importance[a] what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised up on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve, then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, the majority of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all, as it were to one born at the wrong time, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been in vain, but I labored even more than all of them, and not I, but the grace of God with me. 11 Therefore whether I or those, in this way we preached, and in this way you believed.

Concerning the Resurrection of the Dead

12 Now if Christ is preached as raised up from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ has not been raised either. 14 But if Christ has not been raised, then[b] our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain. 15 And also we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if after all, then, the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised either. 17 But if Christ has not been raised, your faith is empty; you are still in your sins. 18 And as a further result, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have put our hope[c] in Christ in this life only, we are of all people most pitiable.

20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since through a man came death, also through a man came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own group: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s at his coming, 24 then the end, when he hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when he has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For it is necessary for him to reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished is death. 27 For “he subjected all things under his feet.”[d] But when it says “all things” are subjected, it is clear that the one who subjected all things to him is not included. 28 But whenever all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected[e] to the one who subjected all things to him, in order that God may be all in all.

29 Otherwise, why do they do it, those who are being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why indeed are they being baptized on behalf of them? 30 And why are we in danger every hour? 31 I die every day—yes indeed, by my boasting in you,[f] which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord! 32 If according to a human perspective I fought wild beasts at Ephesus, what benefit is it to me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.[g] 33 Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals.”[h] 34 Sober up correctly and stop sinning[i], for some have no knowledge of God—I say this to your shame.

Questions Concerning the Resurrection Body

35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what sort of body do they come?” 36 Foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body which it will become, but you sow the bare seed, whether perhaps of wheat or of some of the rest. 38 But God gives to it a body just as he wishes, and to each one of the seeds its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same, but there is one flesh of human beings, and another flesh of animals, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish, 40 and heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. But the glory of the heavenly bodies is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly bodies is of another kind. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, for star differs from star in glory.

42 Thus also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruptibility. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”;[j] the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, made of earth; the second man is from heaven. 48 As the one who is made of earth, so also are those who are made of earth, and as the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the one who is made of earth, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

50 But I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood is not able to inherit the kingdom of God, nor can corruption inherit incorruptibility. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: we will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For it is necessary for this perishable body to put on incorruptibility, and this mortal body to put on immortality. 54 But whenever this perishable body puts on incorruptibility and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will take place:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?

56 Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 58 So then, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because you[k] know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:3 Literally “among the first things
  2. 1 Corinthians 15:14 Some manuscripts have “then both”
  3. 1 Corinthians 15:19 Literally “we are having put our hope”
  4. 1 Corinthians 15:27 A quotation from Ps 8:6
  5. 1 Corinthians 15:28 Some manuscripts have “also will be subjected”
  6. 1 Corinthians 15:31 Some manuscripts have “in you, brothers,”
  7. 1 Corinthians 15:32 An allusion to Isa 22:13; 56:12
  8. 1 Corinthians 15:33 A quotation from the Greek poet Menander’s comedy Thais, 218
  9. 1 Corinthians 15:34 Literally “do not sin”
  10. 1 Corinthians 15:45 A quotation from Gen 2:7
  11. 1 Corinthians 15:58 Here “because” is supplied as a component of the participle (“know”) which is understood as causal

The Resurrection of Christ

15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel(A) I preached to you,(B) which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved,(C) if you hold firmly(D) to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received(E) I passed on to you(F) as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins(G) according to the Scriptures,(H) that he was buried,(I) that he was raised(J) on the third day(K) according to the Scriptures,(L) and that he appeared to Cephas,[b](M) and then to the Twelve.(N) After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.(O) Then he appeared to James,(P) then to all the apostles,(Q) and last of all he appeared to me also,(R) as to one abnormally born.

For I am the least of the apostles(S) and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted(T) the church of God.(U) 10 But by the grace(V) of God I am what I am, and his grace to me(W) was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them(X)—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.(Y) 11 Whether, then, it is I or they,(Z) this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead,(AA) how can some of you say that there is no resurrection(AB) of the dead?(AC) 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised,(AD) our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.(AE) But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.(AF) 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep(AG) in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.(AH)

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead,(AI) the firstfruits(AJ) of those who have fallen asleep.(AK) 21 For since death came through a man,(AL) the resurrection of the dead(AM) comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.(AN) 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits;(AO) then, when he comes,(AP) those who belong to him.(AQ) 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom(AR) to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.(AS) 25 For he must reign(AT) until he has put all his enemies under his feet.(AU) 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.(AV) 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c](AW) Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.(AX) 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him,(AY) so that God may be all in all.(AZ)

29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?(BA) 31 I face death every day(BB)—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts(BC) in Ephesus(BD) with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,

“Let us eat and drink,
    for tomorrow we die.”[d](BE)

33 Do not be misled:(BF) “Bad company corrupts good character.”[e](BG) 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God(BH)—I say this to your shame.(BI)

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone will ask,(BJ) “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”(BK) 36 How foolish!(BL) What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.(BM) 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.(BN) 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor,(BO) the moon another and the stars another;(BP) and star differs from star in splendor.

42 So will it be(BQ) with the resurrection of the dead.(BR) The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;(BS) 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory;(BT) it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.(BU)

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f];(BV) the last Adam,(BW) a life-giving spirit.(BX) 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.(BY) 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth;(BZ) the second man is of heaven.(CA) 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.(CB) 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man,(CC) so shall we[g] bear the image of the heavenly man.(CD)

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood(CE) cannot inherit the kingdom of God,(CF) nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.(CG) 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery:(CH) We will not all sleep,(CI) but we will all be changed(CJ) 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound,(CK) the dead(CL) will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable(CM) must clothe itself with the imperishable,(CN) and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[h](CO)

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”[i](CP)

56 The sting of death is sin,(CQ) and the power of sin is the law.(CR) 57 But thanks be to God!(CS) He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.(CT)

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,(CU) because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.(CV)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:3 Or you at the first
  2. 1 Corinthians 15:5 That is, Peter
  3. 1 Corinthians 15:27 Psalm 8:6
  4. 1 Corinthians 15:32 Isaiah 22:13
  5. 1 Corinthians 15:33 From the Greek poet Menander
  6. 1 Corinthians 15:45 Gen. 2:7
  7. 1 Corinthians 15:49 Some early manuscripts so let us
  8. 1 Corinthians 15:54 Isaiah 25:8
  9. 1 Corinthians 15:55 Hosea 13:14

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