1 Corinthians 15:50 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 15:50, NIV: I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

1 Corinthians 15:50, ESV: I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

1 Corinthians 15:50, KJV: Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

1 Corinthians 15:50, NASB: Now I say this, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

1 Corinthians 15:50, NLT: What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.

1 Corinthians 15:50, CSB: What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor can corruption inherit incorruption.

What does 1 Corinthians 15:50 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This extensive section—all of chapter 15—was written to correct the thinking of some in Corinth about the resurrection of Christians from the dead. Some in that church claimed it would never happen. They either believed life simply ended at death, or that the spirit alone continued into the afterlife without any more need for a body.

One possible reason for skepticism towards resurrection was because a then-popular idea that human bodies are not fit for life "in the heavens." This view was not entirely wrong, though it falsely imagined heaven as a non-material place in the sky somewhere. The idea was also moral. Many philosophers of the first century held that physical bodies contain all that is evil in a person. They are morally corrupt and deeply imperfect. Such things, those philosophers argued, could never exist in a perfect afterlife.

Paul recognizes at least some truth in this idea, as he states clearly here. "Flesh and blood" can't inherit the kingdom of God. By flesh and blood, Paul means our corrupt, temporary bodies that are of the earth. That which is dying, "perishable," cannot exist in the deathless realm of eternity with God.

The solution, Paul will reveal, isn't that human spirits will exist without physical form in some vague afterlife. The answer is transformation; the old body will be gone and a new, glorified body will take its place.