1 Corinthians 15:37 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 15:37, NIV: When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

1 Corinthians 15:37, ESV: And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.

1 Corinthians 15:37, KJV: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

1 Corinthians 15:37, NASB: and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

1 Corinthians 15:37, NLT: And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting.

1 Corinthians 15:37, CSB: And as for what you sow--you are not sowing the body that will be, but only a seed, perhaps of wheat or another grain.

What does 1 Corinthians 15:37 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is directly addressing those who have been saying that there is no resurrection from the dead for believers (1 Corinthians 15:12). Using an anticipated question, he reveals how some of them look at the concept of a resurrected human body exactly backwards. They imagine, perhaps, a reanimated corpse. Or, they struggle to see how a burnt or turned-to-dust body could function. In short, these critics picture something inferior to a living, breathing body that once flourished before death. Instead, Paul is using the metaphor of planting a seed to show that the resurrected body is the ideal version, and the point of the process.

What is sown or planted in the ground is not the plant but a "bare kernel." He compares this to our pre-death physical human bodies. These bodies that we know and are familiar with are like a seed compared to the plant in full bloom that grows from it. As he wrote in the previous verse, the seed—meaning these bodies—must die in order for the plant to spring to life as intended.