What does 1 Corinthians 15:41 mean?
ESV: 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.
NIV: The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
NASB: There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
CSB: There is a splendor of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; in fact, one star differs from another star in splendor.
NLT: The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.
KJV: There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
NKJV: There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
Verse Commentary:
Paul is describing to the Corinthians how the body of a resurrected believer will differ from our pre-death bodies. In part, this is compared to the difference between a seed and the plant which grows from it (1 Corinthians 15:37). He has shown that there is a difference between all the different kinds of bodies on earth: human, animals, fish, birds, and so forth. There is also a difference between our earthly kinds of bodies and the heavenly bodies of the planets and stars (1 Corinthians 15:39–40).

He now declares that even those heavenly bodies differ in the kind of glory they possess. The sun and moon each have a different kind of glory, and the glory of each star also differs from that of the other stars. Every created thing reflects the glory of the creator, even as it bears a glory of its own given to it by God. Paul will show in the following verses how the glory of all these bodies is unique, just as it will be for the resurrected bodies of the believers.
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.
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