What does 1 Corinthians 15:35 mean?
ESV: But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?"
NIV: But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?"
NASB: But someone will say, 'How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?'
CSB: But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have when they come?"
NLT: But someone may ask, 'How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?'
KJV: But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
NKJV: But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?”
Verse Commentary:
This passage gives instruction about the reality to come for every believer in Christ: a resurrected body after physical death. Some among the church in Corinth claimed there is no resurrection from the dead, perhaps parroting cultural beliefs of the day (1 Corinthians 15:12).

Now Paul imagines one of these objectors asking what sounds at first like reasonable questions, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" Some believers who had died had by this point been dead for quite a while. Others were killed in gruesome ways that didn't leave the body in very good condition. So, what shape will their bodies be in by the time the resurrection happens? Perhaps the Corinthians were imagining cultural stories of reanimated corpses. Those brought to life by superstition or magical lore often came back in whatever was left of their physical corpse, only moving and self-aware.

The idea that these are sincere questions is made much less likely by Paul's harsh response in the following verse. Most likely, Paul's experience told him these were questions to expect, but not earnest ones. Rather, they were challenges meant to ridicule and reject (Mark 12:18–24).
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 15:35–49 describes how the resurrected bodies of believers will be different from our current bodies. Resurrected bodies will not be reanimated corpses or some lesser version of our pre-death frame. The opposite is true. Our current, corrupt bodies are like seeds that are sown to bring to life the plant. These forms are temporary, dishonorable, and weak. Our transformed bodies will be eternal, glorified, and powerful, made from the materials of heaven, not earth, and built for an eternity with God.
Chapter Summary:
Paul provides thorough teaching about the resurrection of Christians from the dead. This is a direct counter to some group of Corinthians who did not believe in such a resurrection. He shows that natural death is not the end of life for Christians; it is the last step before receiving a glorified, resurrected body like that of the risen Christ. That ''spiritual'' body will be as different from our current bodies as a star is from a fish. In that moment, for all who have believed in Christ, living and dead, death will be defeated for good.
Chapter Context:
In chapters 12, 13, and 14, Scripture focused on the concept of spiritual gifts and how best to use them. This follows several other ideas where Paul corrected errors in the Corinthians' thinking. Chapter 15 contains extensive teaching on one last issue about which some Corinthians were confused or misled. Apparently, they harbored some doubts about the physical resurrection of Christians from the dead. After clearing up these confusions, Paul will address various other items, of a less doctrinal nature, and close out his letter.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
Accessed 6/16/2024 2:41:10 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.