What does 1 Corinthians 15:8 mean?
ESV: Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
NIV: and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
NASB: and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
CSB: Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me.
NLT: Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.
KJV: And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
Verse Commentary:
Paul is emphasizing to the Corinthians that to believe the gospel means believing in both the death and resurrection of Christ. This requires faith, yes, but Paul is making the point that the faith of the Corinthians is not a blind faith. After Jesus died, Paul has written, He was seen alive again by Cephas—the apostle Peter, whom the Corinthians knew. He was seen by the twelve disciples trained and sent out by Jesus, and more than 500 eyewitnesses at one time. Jesus also appeared to His half-brother James and even more eyewitnesses. Most of those were still alive at the time this letter was written, meaning that they continued to be available to describe it.

Finally, Paul now writes, Christ appeared to him. Paul describes himself as someone who was "untimely" or "abnormally" born. He is likely referring to being born again, coming into relationship with Christ, after all these others had come to know Him during Jesus' time on earth. Paul only came to faith in Christ after Jesus had already ascended back to heaven, when the Lord appeared to Him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3–6; 22:6–11). In that way, Paul is a prototype of the modern believer: one who learns of Christ through the resurrection, looking back, as opposed to the other apostles, who learned of Christ before the resurrection.

Paul includes himself among the eyewitnesses to Jesus' post-death life, meaning that it really was the Lord "in the flesh" who confronted Paul's unbelief in Christ's deity and the resurrection.
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.
Accessed 4/17/2024 8:38:34 PM
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