1 Corinthians 15:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 15:23, NIV: But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

1 Corinthians 15:23, ESV: But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:23, KJV: But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

1 Corinthians 15:23, NASB: But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming,

1 Corinthians 15:23, NLT: But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

1 Corinthians 15:23, CSB: But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, at his coming, those who belong to Christ.

What does 1 Corinthians 15:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is correcting a mistaken idea among some of the Corinthians that Christians will never be resurrected in bodily form. They apparently believed as taught by the culture around them: that either death is the end of a person completely or that only the spirit goes on into some vague afterlife. Paul is showing that, instead, Christians will be resurrected to full, physical life just as Christ was after His crucifixion.

Now Paul describes the order in which this will take place, starting with "Christ the firstfruits." Paul refers to Jesus this way since He was the first of the harvest of those who have died to be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:20). Sometime later, all those who belong to Christ will be resurrected at His coming or return to the earth (1 John 3:2). Jesus promised to return for His people in John 14:2–3. Paul shows that the fulfillment of that promise will include the physical resurrection from the dead of all who belong to Him (1 Corinthians 15:51).