What does 1 Corinthians 15:5 mean?
ESV: and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
NIV: and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.
NASB: and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
CSB: and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
NLT: He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.
KJV: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
NKJV: and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
Verse Commentary:
Paul is reminding the Christians in Corinth of what they believed when they became Christians. He is reminding them of the content of the gospel in order to show that it involves faith both in Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Apparently, the truthfulness of the resurrection, or at least the resurrection of Christians, was being challenged or misunderstood by some in Corinth. Paul wants them to understand not only that the resurrection really took place, but that faith in that truth is essential in order to be saved.

Now Paul begins to do two things. First, he wants to establish that he's far from the only apostle to teach that Jesus walked out of his tomb physically alive in a physical body. This same truth is taught by all the apostles, because they all saw Christ in person after He died.

Second, Paul wants to remind them of the historical reality of the resurrection. These first-century Christians did not need to clear too high of a hurdle to believe in Jesus' death and resurrection. Eyewitnesses still existed. They saw Jesus die, and they saw Him alive again, because Jesus revealed Himself to them.

First, Jesus showed Himself to Cephas—the original Aramaic name for Peter—and the rest of His inner circle of disciples. He didn't stop there, though.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 15:1–11 describes the gospel as it was delivered to Paul and as he delivered it to the Corinthians. It begins with the death of Christ on the cross for our sins, but it continues to His burial and, significantly, His resurrection. The alive-again Christ appeared to many people still alive at the time Paul wrote his letter. Paul establishes that the Corinthians believed the gospel, including faith in the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Paul will connect that faith to belief in the resurrection of all believers from the dead.
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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