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ESCHATOLOGY IN 1 CORINTHIANS

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Eschatology In 1 Corinthians

By :  Michael J. Sullivan

Copyright 2007 Michael J. Sullivan 

(TLM  Editorial note:  This material has not been edited yet nor completed.  Some of this has  been cut and pasted from other projects I have been writing.  Lord willing I will get some time in the near future to  finish and edit this so it flows better.  Hopefully, you can still get edified from the material that is here  - as is).

 

1)  1 Corinthians 1:5-8:  “that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

 

The Corinthians were “eagerly” awaiting or “waiting expectantly” for Christ’s return because they were taught by Christ Himself that He would return in their generation and in some of their lifetimes.  This waiting expectantly was further confirmed by the inspired apostles to be an “at hand” and “about to” event for some of them to experience (Rms.8:18-23YLT; Phil.3:20-4:5; Heb.9:26-10:25, 37).  Of all the gifts (charismata) that were given to the Corinthian church, they prized speaking and knowledge the most.  Paul will later warn the church that these were not given to them so that they could divide the body and be puffed up; but just the opposite--to edify/buildup and unite the corporate body.  Here Paul reminds them that the gifts of the Holy Spirit and Christ Himself would “confirm them unto the end” so that they would be “blameless” or “guiltless” when Christ returned for them.  As I have covered before, one of the purposes of Jesus sending the Holy Spirit was to serve as a miraculous “defense” in times of persecution before His return in their generation.  This would be when the rulers of their old covenant “this age” sought to condemn and bring “guilt” or “blame” upon them by dragging them before rulers and kings (1Cor. 1:20; 2:6-8; Mt.10:17-23; Mt. 24; Acts).  I believe Paul’s use of Isa.29 within the immediate context bears this as the emphasis to be (cf. Isa. 29:20-21). The charismata served its “confirming” purposes in the “last days” as both a defense in times of persecution and to empower and bear witness through signs and wonders in fulfilling the great commission and bringing a close to the end of old covenant age in A.D.70 (Mrk.16:17-20/Mt.28:18-20; Acts 2). 

 

In this same chapter Paul instructs the Corinthians that the wicked of their old covenant “this age” were “perishing” while they were being “saved” and quotes (Isa.29:14) as the judgment he is alluding to.  Paul is consistent with Jesus who used (Isa.29:3) to be teaching the imminent judgment of A.D. 70 as virtually all futuristic commentators would concede in (Lk.19:43-44; Mt. 22:7).  Or how about (Mt.15:8-13/Isa.29:13)?  When were the Pharisees pulled up by their roots and judged?  Jesus had already taught that the weeds to be pulled up are referring to the judgment at the end of the old covenant “this age” and the disciples understood his teaching (Mt.13:24-30, 39-43, 51).  Paul is not using the judgment concerning their old covenant “this age” in (Isa.29) any differently than Jesus did in the gospels!  If Paul is, then the burden of proof is upon Mr. Mathison to demonstrate otherwise.  This solidifies the imminence in this chapter.  But there is one more point.  Paul closes chapter 1 with a quote from (Jer.9:23) which in context, is a judgment upon the desolation of Jerusalem (vs.11) through the instrumentation of gentile nations (vss.25-26/Lk.21:20ff.).  The second coming and judgment in chapter one that is associated with (Isa. 29 & Jer. 9) has nothing to do with an end of time judgment.  Mr. Mathison, isn’t the coming of the Lord and judgment in this chapter dealing with the coming of the Lord in A.D.70 at which time the confirming of the charismata would cease and Jerusalem would be made desolate?   

 

In chapter 2 Paul quotes (Isa. 64:4-66) to describe the “things” and “glory” God had been preparing for the Church 2:7-10.  The “glory” of these “things” are the new creation and New Jerusalem.  This is not describing a judgment for the wicked or salvation for the church at the end of time because according to the prophecy of Isaiah, evangelism continues in the new creation and is the purpose of it being established!  Paul goes on to teach in this chapter that the realities of the new creation are spiritual and can only be discerned by Christians whom have been given the mind of Christ.  Paul will now tell us when these new creation “things” will fully come. 

 

2)  1 Corinthians 3:22:  “Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things about to be—all are yours,” (1Cor.3:22 YLT, note similar language to Rms. 8:38). 

 

Here it is clear that the “glory” and “things” of the new creation (2:7-10/Isa.64-66) were “about to be” theirs and realized at Christ’s return just addressed in chapter one or “the Day” of judgment in (vs.13)!  In chapter 3 Paul is combining the Garden of Eden and Temple imagery in Genesis to describe the Church as God’s new restored creation.  The foundation of this new covenant temple/creation is Christ and His redeemed people described as gold, silver, and costly stones (vs.11-12; cf. Rev.21:14-22).  This is in contrast with those who would seek to build upon the old covenant promises apart from the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles.  This is described as building with wood, hay, and stubble.  The new creation things and judgment day were “about to” come and test to see who were truly God’s people and new creation.  In A.D.70 this fiery judgment occurred and the Church stood glorified.  Towards the end of this chapter Paul introduces  a corporate body motif – “you are the temple of God” (vss.16-17) and to seek to defile the corporate Body/Temple will result in ones demise. 

 

In chapter 4 we have another mention of the second coming and judgment that has been addressed in the previous context (vs.5/4:13, 1:7-8, 18-19).  In chapter 5 we have but yet another mention of the second coming to chasten or judge a contemporary in their church in 5:5.  Here is now an example of a professing member of the corporate Body/Temple who’s actions are defiling the new covenant temple mentioned in 3:17.  But here Paul uses the corporate illustration of a little leaven (the man sleeping w/ his stepmother) leavening the whole lump (vs.7-8, cf. 10:14-17).  They needed to turn the man over and isolate him to the vanity of Satan and the flesh in hopes that he will repent and his spirit will be saved at Christ’s return.  Christ’s return and judgment in A.D.70 has to do with the saving of the soul or spirit of man and cleansing it before God.  Paul picks this “one and the many” corporate body theme back up in chapter 6:13-20.  Christians and professing Christians need to know that to be sexually immoral is not just something that affects them, but affects the corporate body.  Being joined to an unbeliever is to be joined and participate in another corporate harlot body.  To do such is to sin against the corporate body of Christ and to forget that God had “bought” them as a corporate wife (vs.18).[1]  Contrary to such men as Gundry and Strimple, Paul and the Corinthians were well aware of the Hebraic corporate body concept for soma before getting into it in chapters 10-15 when the resurrection would be in view.  As God had raised Jesus up conquering the spiritual death of Adam, so too would he raise up the corporate “members” of the one Body of the Church (vs.14) at His parousia.                

 

3)  1 Corinthians 7:26-27, 29-31:  “I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress––that it is good for a man to remain as he is:  Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife.”  “But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.”

 

The persecutions and distress predicted by Christ to be coming within their generation in (Lk.21:12-17, 23) was a “present” reality to be faced by Paul and the Corinthian church.[2]  Because Christians would be martyred for their faith it was not a good time for widows or widowers such as Paul (vss.7-8) or virgins either “bound” by a promise of betrothal or a virgin seeking to be married, to marry.  However, Paul said that to marry was not sin for any of these parties whom may be burning and seeking companionship with other believers in the Lord (vss.27-28, 39-40).  Paul’s statement, “the time is short” and the “form of this world is passing away” has to do with an imminent coming and judgment of the Lord that has been discussed up to this point in the letter.  The “world” that was passing away in Paul’s day is not referring to the second law of thermal dynamics in referring to the passing of the literal dirt and rocks, but rather the old covenant world identified with Promised Land and temple.  Those who “bought” land needed to live as if they did not “posses” it (vs.30), because it would soon be made desolate in the coming wars with the Jewish factions and the war with Rome.  Not to mention after A.D.70 it would have no covenantal significance.                              

 

4)  1 Corinthians 10:11:  “Now all these things happened to them as examples (or “types” DARBY), and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” 

 

The NCV translates the text, “…They were written down to teach us, because we live in a time when all these things of the past have reached their goal.”  The NLT, “…They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.”  And although mello is not in the text, the GNT has the right idea as far as imminence is concerned, “…For we live at a time when the end is about to come.”  Some have translated “age” in the plural “ages” which is fine too.  The Jews did understand that there were previous ages (the ages of Abraham & David for example) that fell underneath the umbrella of the one Mosaic old covenant “this age” that would precede the Messianic new covenant “age to come.”  Paul is developing the new exodus motif and in no uncertain terms is saying that he and his first century audience were living at the close of the old covenant age and therefore was “about to” 3:22 inherit the new covenant things prepared for them through the prophets (2:9/Isa.64-66).  Mathison nor any of the authors of WSTTB? offer any kind of exegesis of the passage which at this point is no surprise.  This is obviously an imminent time text and no where is there any exegetical evidence to insert a delayed concept of the end or double fulfill or insert two different ends of the ages (one in A.D.70 & the Christian age) into the text!  Some translations render “ends” and “ages” in the plural, but again these fall under the umbrella of the one Mosaic old covenant age.  Since other postmillennial partial preterists such as Gentry, Jordan, and DeMar concede that the new covenant age came into a “consummated” or “inaugurated” form with the passing of the old covenant age/world in A.D.70, the text nor our critics can have Paul discussing the end of the new covenant age which had just begun and was about to come in its fullness with the then present passing of the old which was ready to disappear (Heb.8:13)!   

 

In chapters 10:14-17 and 11:23-26 communion and the second coming of Christ is addressed.  The Corinthian church is exhorted to partake of the Lord’s Supper for in doing so they “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”  But post A.D.70, Paul and the Church as a corporate Body is no longer filling up what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ (Cols.1:24).  The Church is not in a suffering/dying/rising phase but rather in a victorious resurrection phase since Christ has come.  I do not cast judgment upon other Christian’s either futurists or preterists, whom desire to continue partaking of a transitionary covenant ritual.  There are good arguments for the continuance of the Lord’s Supper post A.D.70 and good ones for the cessation of it at Christ’s parousia and that we now partake of it “anew” inwardly in the Kingdom (Mt.26:29).  Since Christ’s eternal redemptive Day has come, everyday is a Sabbath rest and celebration of all that Christ has accomplished in redemption.  All religious days and rituals have been realized “in Christ” for the believer now.  If one desires to continue in observing the Sabbath or partaking of the Lord’s Supper, I think Paul’s comments in 1Corinthians and Romans would be applicable – there is “freedom” to do such.  But to impose such duties as commands upon others as a test case for fellowship with brothers that do not observe such a day or ritual on a regular basis - I do not believe can be supported from Scripture.         

 

5)  1 Corinthians 13:8-12:  “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

 

At this time I would like to develop the consummation of the marriage theme a bit more as the time of the resurrection, “the end,” and parousia of Christ within the previous context leading into Paul’s discussion of the resurrection and “the law” (1Cor.13-15).  This will likewise entail the related subject of when the miraculous gifts of the Spirit ceased.  Mathison only mentions (1Cor. 13:10 & Ephs. 4:13) in stating that “hyper-preterists” believe the “perfect has come” but offers NO exegesis of his own on these passages (WSTTB? p.xiv).      

Isa.52:8/1Cor.13:10-12/Rev.21-22:4 Connections

1Corinthians 13:8-12 teaches that the miraculous gifts of the Spirit would “cease” at Christ’s return to bring in the New Creation – “that which is perfect.”  Mathison fails to acknowledge that he and the reformed community as a whole, have not responded in any kind of exegetical way to Preterists or the Charismatics within his own Reformed  community such as John Piper on this passage.  Mathison is silent on this text.  John Piper graciously mocks the attempts of his fellow reformed theologians such as Richard Gaffin when he writes, 

“There is no text in the New Testament that teaches the cessation of these gifts. But more important than this silence is the text that explicitly teaches their continuance until Jesus comes, namely, 1 Corinthians 13:8-12.

 

So the key question is: When does the "perfect" come which marks the end of the imperfect gifts like prophecy?  The answer is plain in the text if we follow Paul's line of reasoning. Verse 8 says, "Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away" (RSV). Why are these gifts temporary? The answer is given in verse 9: "For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect." So the reason these spiritual gifts are temporary is their incompleteness or imperfection.

 

How long then are they to last? Verse 10 gives the answer: "When the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away." But when is that? When does the perfect come? The answer is given in verse 12: "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood." The "now" of incompleteness and imperfection is contrasted with the "then" of seeing face to face and understanding even as we are understood.

 

“So the answer to the question of when the perfect comes and when the imperfect gifts pass away is the "then" of verse 12, namely, the time of seeing "face to face" and "understanding as we are understood." When will this happen?

 

Both of these phrases ("seeing face to face" and "understanding as we have been understood") are stretched beyond the breaking point if we say that they refer to the closing of the New Testament canon or the close of the apostolic age. Rather, they refer to our experience at the second coming of Jesus. Then "we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2) The phrase "face to face" in the Greek Old Testament refers to seeing God personally (Genesis 32:30; Judges 6:22). Thomas Edwards' hundred-year-old commentary is right to say, "When the perfect is come at the advent of Christ, then the Christian will know God intuitively and directly, even as he was before known of God" (First Epistle to the Corinthians, p. 353, italics added).

 

This means that verse 10 can be paraphrased, "When Christ returns, the imperfect will pass away." And since "the imperfect" refers to spiritual gifts like prophecy and knowledge and tongues, we may paraphrase further, "When Christ returns, then prophecy and knowledge and tongues will pass away."

 

Here is a definite statement about the time of the cessation of spiritual gifts, and that time is the second coming of Christ. Richard Gaffin does not do justice to the actual wording of verse 10 when he says, "The time of the cessation of prophecy and tongues is an open question so far as this passage is concerned" (Perspectives on Pentecost, p. 111). It is not an open question. Paul says, "When the perfect comes [at that time, not before or after], the imperfect [gifts like prophecy and tongues, etc.] will pass away."[3]

Obviously, there are some problems with how reformed theologians defend that (1Cor.13:12) teaches the cessation of the gifts while at the same time admitting that the text refers to the second coming.  The reformed community oddly looked to Richard Gaffin Jr. to go into a written debate with Pentecostals and Charismatics stating,

“Such knowledge will not cease until the arrival of “perfection” (v.10), at Christ’s return;81 only then, in contrast, will full “face to face” knowledge by ours (v.12).” In n.81, he states, “To argue, as some [Kenneth Gentry] cessationists do, that “the perfect” has in view the completion of the New Testament cannon or some other state of affairs prior to the Parousia is just not credible exegetically.”[4]    

And now our opponent, Kenneth Gentry’s “exegetically un-credible” interpretation: 

“But verse 10 speaks of something which was coming, which would contrast with the piecemeal, bit-by-bit revelation of that age.  That which was to supercede the partial and do away with it was something designated “perfect.”  “But when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.”  It is difficult to miss the antithetic parallel between the “partial” thing and the “perfect” (“complete, mature, full) thing.  Since the “partial” speaks of prophecy and of God” (Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., The Charismatic Gift of Prophecy A Reformed other modes of revelational insight (v.8), then it would seem that the “perfect,” which would supplant these, represents the perfect and final New Testament Scripture…” “In other words, there is coming a time when will occur the completion of the revelatory process[5]

So far Richard Gaffin, a reformed theologian, states that Gentry’s exegesis is not “exegetically credible” all the while giving the farm away to the Charismatics by admitting the text finds its fulfillment at the second coming.  Now one of my former charismatic Pastor’s Chuck Smith, considers Gentry’s view or exegesis as “expositional dishonesty” and “prejudicial blindness-not at all scholarly or conclusive” and on this point I would agree:

"The idea that the Greek word teleios, translated "perfect," referred to the full Canon of Scripture did not occur to some of the greatest of all Greek scholars from the past century.  It is more of an invention or creation of recent vintage to counteract the modern tongues movement. Thayer, in his Greek-English Lexicon, says of teleios as used in 1 Corinthians 13:10, "The perfect state of all things to be ushered in by the return of Christ from heaven." Alford, in his New Testament for English Readers, says of it, "At the Lord's coming and after." When the only Scriptural basis for rejecting the validity of speaking in tongues rests on such a questionable and tenuous interpretation of the Greek word teleios, which was wrested from the context in which it is used, one has to sincerely challenge the expositional honesty of such scholarship. To be kind, I will say that, at best, it is prejudicial blindness-not at all scholarly or conclusive"[6]

Since charismatics offer a better exegesis than Gentry and the rest of our reformed opponents, I will allow them to make our case on “that which is perfect”:

"There is not a single verse in the Bible where the Greek adjective teleios ("that which is perfect"-1 Cor. 13:10) refers to the completed New Testament." "The related noun, ... telos refers to an end, perfection, or consummation. Here again, as with the related adjective teleios, not one instance refers to the completion of the written Scriptures. But significantly, there are several passages where telos does refer to the end of this age, when Christ shall return. And even more significantly, two uses of telos refer to Christ Himself, the "end" or "consummation" of God's plan" (ibid. p.178). The writer goes on to quote:

1)   Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end [telos] come.

2)     1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end [telos], that ye may be  blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3)     1 Peter 4:7 But the end [telos] of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 4) Revelation 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega , the beginning and the end [telos].

"The related... verb form of teleios is teleioo, "to perfect." It is used 24 times in the New Testament. And, as with its companion word teleios, not one usage of teleioo refers to the completed New Testament. In fact, the only instance that is even remotely connected with the Scriptures is John 19:28: "After this, Jesus knowing that all things were not accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled [made complete or perfect], saith, 'I thirst'." This verse is not talking about completing the Scriptures by writing them, but rather by fulfilling them. To be ‘completed’ in this sense, the New Testament will have to be fulfilled. This will not happen until the kingdom of God is fully ushered in..."[7]

The above charismatic argument is exegetical but fails to acknowledge that Jesus taught  that:  1) all the Scriptures would be fulfilled when 2) He returned in power and great glory, which was when 3) the kingdom would come in 4) His “this generation” (Lk.21:22, 27, 31-32).    

In (1Cor.13:10) Paul develops the marriage motif as he does throughout his letters.  His expression of “knowing” God and “being fully known” by Him is clearly an intimate knowing leading to that expression in the marriage union (Holland, ibid. 120).  Reformed theologians correctly understand this Greek word (ginosko) in this way when it comes to being “foreknown” of God in election and predestination (Rms.8:28-29).  This is not just a knowledge of facts about the person being known, but an “experiential” knowledge as in affection leading to the consummation of that affection and love.  The illustration being, “Now Adam knew Eve and she conceived and bore Cain,…” (Gen.4:1).  Strong’s gives ginosko a meaning of, “the Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman.”  Paul and John in Revelation, are echoing Isaiah’s teaching that when Israel sees their God “eye to eye” (thus “face to face”) is when the new Jerusalem (“the Bride” Rev.21:2) will be “redeemed” and the new-covenant temple completed or “glorified” (Isa.52:8-9; Ephs. 2 & 5/Isa.60; Isa.65-66; 1Cor.13:10; Rev.21-22:4).[8] 

When Israel sees God “eye to eye” is when the new creation has fully come, the marriage consummated, and Israel is completely established and restored.  The message of (1Cor.13:10-12/Rev.17-22:4) is that the New Jerusalem is the New Creation and Bride of the Lamb which comes down to earth AFTER the first and old-covenant Jerusalem/Harlot Bride/Heavens and Earth have passed away in the judgment of A.D. 70. 

All futurist positions (Charismatics or not) are very reluctant to connect this “face to face” seeing in (1Cor.13:12) with the transformation and seeing God through a mirror in (2Cor.3-4).  The reason being, the contrast of covenants and the passing of the old (which demand an A.D. 70 fulfillment) and the spiritual and metaphorical seeing of God is not a literal or biological seeing in (2Cor.3-4).  Charismatics are just as afraid to make the connections as are reformed cessationalists.  One would think that the exegete and student of hermeneutics would want to find similar themes and language elsewhere used by Paul (especially to the same church at Corinth) to understand what kind of “seeing” is involved here. 

In (1Cor.13:8-11) prophecy, knowledge, and tonuges are described as supernatural gifts that were “in part” (not fulfilled), a child maturing into manhood, and would thus be done away when that which is perfect comes to fulfill and complete that which was “in part” and would thus bring to maturity the child state.  This “in part,” (unfulfilled) and child like state of maturing, is described as “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.”  Therefore, the child was growing into maturity and manhood by viewing the “face” or image of this “perfect thing” in a mirror (1Cor.13:12). This Greek word for “perfect” is teleios and means to bring to maturity, to reach the goal, bring to its end, finished.  These miraculous gifts were brought about by the Holy Spirit in Israel’s old covenant “last days” to reveal it’s near end, maturity, and fulfillment as found “in Christ”  the mediator of the new and better covenant.  The old covenants “in part” status had a “goal” and “maturity” process that needed to be fulfilled by the new covenant work of Christ in His redemption performed in the cross and parousia.  It is not enough to say that “that which is perfect” is the complete written word of God, because it is the fulfillment of that perfect word of God that is in view.  This will get clearer as we deal with related texts.       

 

In 2 Corinthians 3 & 4, the old covenant glory is described as the fading glory of Moses face.  The old covenant glory in and of it’s self was incomplete in that it could only bring death (2 Cor.3:6).  Therefore, “the glory” of this system was “passing away” (2 Cor.3:11) because the glory of the new covenant system was in the process of fulfilling the old.  It is only at the end of this overlapping of covenantal ages that the old glory is done away by the new fulfilling and completing it.  The mirror theme is likewise present here,

 

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Cor.3:8)

 

In context it is clear what the earlier church was beholding in a mirror: 

 

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Cor.4:6)

 

In Context, this transformation from “glory to glory” and beholding the Lord’s face has to do with the transformation of the old and new covenants and this transformation has nothing to do with a fleshly resurrection transformation finding it’s fulfillment in the after life!  It is addressing a period in which the old and new covenants are existing side by side and we know when the old would pass and all of the promises to Israel fulfilled – A.D.70.  What many fail to recognize is that this passage is teaching the same identical thing as (1Cor.13:8-12).  The gifts of tongues, knowledge, and prophecy were given to bring to maturity and fulfill the old covenant “in part” status with the return of Christ whereby the face of Christ would be seen clearly.  But how would Christ’s glorious face be seen?  Well, the same way it was being seen in (2Cor.3 & 4)!  Thus it is obvious why so many futurists -  charismatics and those seeking to prove the gifts have ceased avoid the correlation between these two passages!  To equate these two passages is to describe the nature of fulfillment (not literal) and find a clear time and nature of fulfillment:  1)  the passing of the OC which has an obvious “end” in AD 70 with 2) seeing Christ’s face not in a literal way, with 3)  the second coming brining about the consummation of this process.  The only one I have seen that attempts to make the correlation is Budgen in quoting Judisch.  He does make the correlation to seeing “face to face” with “seeing Christ face to face” in (2Cor. 3 & 4):

 

“Those who want “the complete thing” of verse 10 to be the state of eternal glory argue that the first clause of verse 12 is referring to seeing Christ in a dim way throughout this life and that the second clause speaks of seeing Christ face to face in a literal sense in heaven.  Such as interpretation is dubious, however, for two reasons.  First, it takes the “dimly” (ainigmati) of the first clause figuratively, but the “face to face” (prosopon pros prosopon) of the second clause literally; a more consistent approach to the intended contrast seems preferable.  If we thought that the object of the verb blepomen (“see”) were Christ, we should note that the concept of seeing Christ face to face occurs elsewhere in the Corinthian letters in a figurative sense (2Cor. 3:18; 4:6).”[9]

 

Gentry apparently is afraid to bring up (2 Cor. 3 & 4) in regards to seeing Christ’s face in

this text and not only doesn’t cite the passage, but tries to lightly brush off the idea,

 

“The most that can be said is that God as the object of seeing must be inferred” (ibid. p.57).    

My friend and editor David Green, has produced a good chart on the harmony of these passages given to the Church at Corinth as well as tying in some other related N.T. texts:   

“In both passages Paul speaks of certain things being nullified and other things remaining: In II Cor. 3:7-14, he tells us that the old-covenant world was in progress of being nullified (done away), and in I Cor. 13:8-11 he predicts the nullification (doing away) of the revelatory gifts. Is it unlikely, in view of this initial comparison, that the "childish" (I Cor. 13:11; cf. Gal. 4:1-7) revelatory gifts were nullified at the same time that the prophetic old-covenant age was nullified in A.D. 70?

In I Cor. 13:13, "faith, hope and love" are said to remain or abide. In II Cor. 3:11 it is the New Covenant that remains or abides. The New Covenant in Christ’s blood is the very fulfillment and establishment of God’s "faith, hope and love" among mankind.

Note also the striking parallel between I Cor. 13:12 and II Cor. 3:18: In I Cor. 13:12, Paul says that the Church of his day was seeing (God) "in a mirror," but that when "That which is perfect" (mature) would come (cf. Eph. 4:13), then the Church would see (Him) "face to Face." (Rev. 22:4 reveals that the face-to-Face Presence of God is that which the saints in Christ realized in the New-Covenant world in A.D. 70.)

In II Cor. 3:18, Paul reiterates what he said in I Cor. 13:12, saying that the church of his day, though worshiping God with "unveiled face," was yet seeing Him only "as in a mirror," and was in progress of being transformed into His Image. There should be little question that the predicted seeing of God "face to Face" in I Cor. 13:12 should parallel the consummated transformation into His Image (cf. I Cor. 15:49) which the church realized in A.D. 70.

Now when we attempt to harmonize the teachings of I Cor. 13:8-13 and II Cor. 3:6-18, we find that the two passages are in truth complimentary dissertations on a common New-Testament theme; and that theme is covenantal transformation:

Old-Covenant Age (Moses - A.D. 30)

Covenantal Transformation (A.D. 30-70)

New-Covenant Age (A.D. 70 - Forever)

Old-covenant imposed

Old covenant being nullified

Old covenant/revelatory gifts nullified

Veiled faces

Unveiled face, as in a mirror, transforming

Face to Face

Slave-Child (Gal. 4:1-7)

Adopted Child (I Cor. 13:9-12; Gal. 4,4,5)

Man (I Cor. 13:11; Eph. 4:13)

New Covenant prophesied

New Covenant ratified in Jesus’ blood and old passing Heb.8:13/Heb.9:8/Heb.10:25, 37

New Covenant remains/faith, hope, love remain

[10]

One can see the difference between the traditional Reformed position offered by Kenneth Gentry and his inability to allow Scripture to interpret Scripture and our view in refuting Charismatic and Pentecostal false teaching. 

We shall now examine another text in which the same Greek word is used for “perfect” in (1Cor.13:10) and note some parallel themes once again:

 

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect (Greek teleios as in 1Cor.13:10) man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” (Ephs.4:11-13)

 

This “perfect” thing is to be the goal, maturity, and fulfillment of something that is described as developing into manhood (1Cor.13:11).  The “perfect” and “stature of the man” is the bringing to maturity the body of Christ - the Church.  This same concept is described as the “unity of the faith.”  Both in 1Corinthians (1Cor.10:16-17; 1Cor.12:13; & 1Cor.15:28) and throughout Ephesians (Ephs.1:22-23; Ephs.2:11-16; Ephs.3:3-6) the maturing and bringing to fullness the new covenant Body of Christ is described as the unity of Jew and Gentile – when God would be “all in all.”  Paul both describes this Jew / Gentile unity as “the unity of the faith” and earlier in the context as “the mystery” (Ephs.3:6-9).  The fulfillment of “the mystery” was the fulfillment of the Great Commission, which was a near sign of Christ’s parousia which Paul defines as “Christ in you the hope of glory”:

 

“if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.  I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Cols.1:23-27)

 

This maturity process of the “perfect man” (the Church - Body of Christ) was the “mystery of Christ” in which both Jews and Gentiles would become fellow citizens and be mutually built up as the new covenant temple

 

      “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a HOLY TEMPLE  in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephs.2:19-22). 

 

In (2 Cor.6:16) Paul quotes and refers to (Ezekiel 37:25-28) as seeing Israel’s new covenant temple being built up spiritually as the Body of Christ - the Church.  Peter likewise taught this in fulfillment of the Psalms and prophets as did the Jerusalem council witnessing the Gentiles being baptized into the Holy Spirit and thus partaking of Israel’s promises (Acts 4:11/1Pet.2:4-10; Acts 15:8, 16-17).  As the Holy Spirit was poured out and enabled the Israelites to erect the tabernacle in the wilderness, the Holy Spirit was poured out in a miraculous way in order to build up the Church into a living temple, tabernacle, or dwelling place of God whereby He would be “all” (all of the promises of God) and “in all” (Jew & Gentile)” (Ephs.1:13-14; 22-23; 1Cor.15:28).  It is not only inconsistent but not exegetically sound to say that the Church is still in its maturing infant state and at the same time claim that the gifts have ceased.  Nor is it proper to claim that the Church has reached maturity by the completion of the cannon.   In Paul’s theology, it is not the writing of prophecy of “that which is perfect” or the bringing to maturity of the “perfect man,” through the giving of the Scriptures, but rather it is the fulfilling of those prophecies and Scriptures that brings the maturing man to his face to face completion.  All of these concepts of the maturing of the Perfect Man/Church and seeing “face to face” point us to the second coming of Christ where Christ would dwell in His people in the temple and new Jerusalem.  In studying our word “perfect” and staying with this theme of the temple we shall now cover one last passage in the NT where telios is used.

 

“And the lesson which the Holy Spirit teaches is this—that the way into the true Holy place is not yet open so long as the outer tent still remains in existence. And this is a figure—for the time now present—answering to which both gifts and sacrifices are offered, unable though they are to give complete freedom from sin to him who ministers. For their efficacy depends only on meats and drinks and various washings, ceremonies pertaining to the body and imposed until a time of reformation.  But Christ appeared as a High Priest of the blessings that are soon to come by means of the greater and more perfect (Greek telios) Tent of worship, a tent which has not been built with hands—that is to say does not belong to this material creation” (Heb. 9:8-11WEY).

 

Once again we encounter the “perfect” (Greek telios) in the context of contrasting the old covenant with the new.  In this particular context in Hebrews, it is a contrast of covenants either in the form of the old covenant tabernacle/temples contrasted with the new covenant temple that was in the process of soon to come, or that the old covenant represents the Holy Place while the new covenant is represented by the Most Holy Place – in which complete access was “soon to come.” Also the theme of seeing God’s face is implied since when access into the Most Holy Place would be granted is when this perfect face to face experience would be realized.  A futurist interpretation of the later  contrast can be found in the comments of the JFB commentary, 

 

“the first tabernacle—the anterior tabernacle, representative of the whole Levitical system. While it (the first tabernacle, and that which represents the Levitical system) as yethas a standing” (so the Greek, that is, “has continuance”: “lasts”), the way to heaven (the antitypical “holiest place”) is not yet made manifest (compare Heb 10:19, 20). The Old Testament economy is represented by the holy place, the New Testament economy by the Holy of Holies. Redemption, by Christ, has opened the Holy of Holies (access to heaven by faith now, Heb 4:16; by sight hereafter, Is 33:24; Rev 11:19) to all mankind.

[11]

Some Greek scholars do support that the text is communicating that the old covenant had an “imposed” “legal” “standing” (symbolized by the presence of the Holy Place) until the time of reformation which would “soon” be upon the Hebrew audience.  This validates the earlier context of the validity and readiness of the passing of the law (Heb.8:13) and what Jesus taught of the legal validity of all the jots and tittles of the law to be in force until all had been fulfilled (Mt.5:17-19).  The veil or the “elements” which separated the two covenant worlds or compartments would soon be completely taken away and the new covenant Most Holy Place spiritual new covenant creation would be left having the final resurrection standing.  This is what we see in (Rev.21:15-16 - 22) in that the New Jerusalem/Bride does not need a temple because the entire City is a perfect cube as the Most Holy Place was – communicating that the entire City is the Most Holy Place of God to and for His people whereby they see His face (Rev.22:4).  

 

6)      1 Corinthians 15 

 

Since David Green will be giving an more detailed exegesis of 1Corinthians 15 in our book in response to Strimples chapter, my comments will not be brief.  Mathison has appealed to (1Cor.15) quite a bit in his chapter which was supposed to be devoted to developing imminence.  However as we saw in Romans and in Corinthians, Mathison has mastered the art of avoidance.  Mathison claim of (Hos.13:14) “…the restoration of Israel is spoken of in terms of resurrection from the dead (Ezk.37:1-14; Hos.6:1-2; 13:14).”  (WSTTB? p.160).  Since Mathison appeals to (1Cor.15) (WSTTB?, pp.183-184, 192-193, 203) in order to prove an alleged casket resurrection at the end of time, a putting down of all evil/enemies/the devil, along with the restoration of creation; I will address some issues in (1Cor.15).   

Mathison correctly believes that the time of Israel’s “restoration” would be the time of the “restoration of creation” and of course we agree.  There are many parallels with Jesus’ teachings and Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and the prophetic book of Hosea.  Virtually every motif found in Jesus’ parables on the teachings of the “mysteries of the kingdom” can be found in Hosea’s prophecy alone.  Don K. Preston’s thesis of Paul using Hosea 6 – 13 as an inclusio and working outline in (1Cor.15) has much warrant to it: 

Hosea: The Outline for Paul’s Resurrection Hope!

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Hosea

1 Corinthians 15

Hosea 6.1-3: “He has torn but he will heal, After two days He will raise us up.”

Christ rose 3rd Day according to the Scriptures

Paul introduces Hosea at the very beginning of his discourse– and he closes his discourse by quoting Hosea

Israel the Seed (Jezreel–God sows): Israel sown in the earth (2.23)

Except a Seed– “That which you sow is not quickened unless it die” (Jhn. 12)

Israel destroyed/died (1.5– I will cause to cease the house of Israel):  Continuity/discontinuity Israel destroyed–Israel restored

You do not sow that which shall be (v. 37)

That which you reap is not what you sow–that which is spiritual is not first, but the natural

Israel of Old carnal, sinful

It is sown a natural body (v. 42f)

Israel sown in the earth (2.23)          

As we have borne the image of the earthy

Harvest appointed for Judah when I return my people (6.11)

Jesus the first fruits (Jesus of Judah), of those who slept; OT saints i.e. Israel!! (15.12f)

Time of the harvest= resurrection (13.14)

Resurrection when Hosea fulfilled (15:54-56)

Israel like the first fruit (9:10)

Christ the first fruit of Israel (15:20f)

 

They transgressed the covenant (6.7; they died, (v. 5; 13.1-2, 10)– Death for violating the Covenant

The strength of sin is “the law.” (15.56)–Death for violating the Law

                                                                       

New Covenant of Peace (2:18; Cf. Ez. 37:12, 25f)—> Covenant is covenant of marriage

15:25– sit at my right hand...Heb. 10:14f-- time of the New Covenant (Rm. 11:26f)– The marriage, thus, the Covenant —>Rv. 19:6

Israel restored in the last days when “David”  rules (3.4-5)

End of the ages has arrived (10.11), “then comes the end (15.20f) Christ on the throne (15.24f)

Hosea 13:10- I will be your God. I will be your king!

1 Corinthians 15:28 (God shall be all in all)

Resurrection= restoration to fellowship

Resurrection when “the sin,” the sting of “the death, removed.”

 

Therefore, the exegete needs to examine the context of Hosea, and ask what “death” is Hosea concerned with and how and when does Paul say Hosea’s prophecy of death being overcome will take place?  And what of the other eschatological corporate and covenantal themes that are present in Hosea?  Does the N.T. posit a fulfillment in A.D. 70 or a 2,000+ years of a “delayed” (Heb.10:37) fulfillment?

Israel throughout her history did not “guard” and “keep” God’s law and became idolatrous just like Adam.  Israel would die a spiritual covenant death (like Adam) and be cast out or scattered eastward (as Adam and Cain were) toward the gentile nations such as Assyria and Babylon (Hos.2, 8, 13:1, 14; Isa.24-28; Ezk.37).  According to the theology of Hosea, the ten Northern Tribes of Israel committed spiritual idolatry and adultery and were thus sown as a seed in the lands of their gentile captors.  They wanted to be married to Baal and disinherited from the two southern tribes, so God divorced them and allowed them to be married to Baal with the promise that in THEIR “last days” He would betroth and marry her again in the desert.  The “death” in (Hos.13:1, 14) is a corporate, covenantal, and spiritual one which corresponds to the other corporate body metaphors of divorce/re-marriage and being sown/being raised in and out of the ground of the captors of the gentiles/death.  As a corporate body they died spiritually and their richest and most beautiful were as the walking dead, carried away outside the life and light of their land and city into the death, darkness, and slavery of the Gentile beasts of the field.  Even when left in the Land God would bring drought (thus laboring with weeds and thorns) communicating that spiritually their hearts had turned into a wilderness and they were in need of repentance and restoration.

Yet none of these O.T. texts Mathison appeals to are describing physical corpses coming out of the ground at the close of history!  Mathison admits these texts are describing “national resurrections” which were metaphorically described, but believes the N.T. authors use them in a totally different way than their original contexts state – individual biological resurrections at the end of time.  We also acknowledge an O.T. type of these restoration and resurrection texts being partially fulfilled in the O.T. with there N.T. anti-type fulfillments being the focus of debate.  But the main difference between our view is that our exegesis has more continuity in honoring the O.T. context and developing the corporate and spiritual fulfillment that Jesus and the N.T. authors give them than does the futurist paradigm.[13]  This is further supported by honoring the N.T.’s time frame of fulfillment.  Typological national resurrections and gatherings back into “the land” of Israel under Nehemiah and Ezra were fulfilled through a gathering “In Christ” through the personal ministry, and redemption performed on the cross and parousia by A.D.70.    Jesus and Paul preached the gathering good news of the “Kingdom of heaven” to the scattered ten northern tribes of Israel that had been assimilated during the Assyrian deportation throughout the then present Roman Empire, along with Jews in Jerusalem, and the gentiles by A.D. 70 (Mt.4:14-17; Cols.1:5-6, 23). 

 

The “already and rising” of the resurrection Body in (1Cor.15)

 

Israel had been sown in death and captivity but she was in the process of being raised, united together, and transformed through the good news of the new covenant.  Israel’s process of being transformed and being sown and rising from old covenant glory into new covenant glory in (1Cor.15 & 2Cor.3) should be viewed together.  This brings up another issue that Mathison, Strimple, and their co-authors do not address in (1Cor.15) when it comes to the Greek and grammar being in the present passive indicatives rendering a more probable translation of “if the dead are not rising,”(vss. 16, 29, 32), “the death being destroyed” (vs.26), “But God is giving it a body,” (vs.38) and,  “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is being sown in corruption; it is being raised in incorruption:  It is being sown in dishonour; it is being raised in glory: it is being sown in weakness; it is being raised in power:  It is being sown a natural body; it is being raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (vss.42-44).  Gordon Fee in his work on (1Cor.15) puzzles over this,

 

“The grammar of this sentence is somewhat puzzling…” “The sentence literally reads, “The last enemy is being destroyed.”

[14]

 

There is nothing puzzling about this when we realize that the body that is in the process of being raised, transformed, and restored is the Church or the new Israel of God.  There is likewise no confusion over the last enemy of “the death” being destroyed during Paul’s day when we realize that this death was being produced and magnified through Israel’s old covenant Torah - “the law” or “administration of death” (1Cor.15:56-57; 2Cor.3).  Wherever “law” has the definite article “the” in front of it – as it does here in 1Cor.15:56, it is referring to Israel’s old covenant Torah.  No futurist paradigm sufficiently explains what Israel’s old covenant law being in power and working together with “the death” in 1Cor.15 has to do with an end of the creation and a resurrection of physical corpses at the end of the Church or new covenant age.  Richard Pratt in his commentary on 1&2 Corinthians, throws up his hands,

 

“The emergence of the second theme regarding the law, however, seems to have no real antecedent in this letter.”[15] 

 

This is an amazing statement!  Did not Paul state of his teaching, “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:” (Acts 26:22)?  And throughout Acts was not Paul’s teaching on the resurrection defined as “the hope of Israel”?  Are not the two main passages Paul quotes to substantiate his teaching on the resurrection (Hos.13:14 & Isa.25:8) which are found in the “prophets” and thus “the law” of Israel’s Torah?  Had not Paul earlier said the “end” of the previous old covenant age or ages (which obviously included the law and the prophets) had come upon him and his first century audience (1Cor.10:11)?  

 

Paul’s Consistent Use of words, terms, and language

 

Remember Reformed theologians Tom Holland and how he understood Paul to have a system of theology and terms and phrases that he used throughout his letters? 

 

“Can Paul’s rationale be discovered, or is there no overall system of theology that Paul draws on?”  “Also, it seems quite inconceivable that a man of Paul’s intellectual caliber should be so haphazard as to be indifferent to these alleged inconsistencies.  At Paul’s instruction, his letters were being passed around the churches (Col. 4:16).  Was he not concerned with consistency?”[16]

  

If the new corporate covenant body of Christ or new Israel is described as “the new man” in the process of putting off the old man, a child growing to maturity or manhood, a temple being built up, then there shouldn’t be a problem with the body in (1Cor.15) as in the process of being sown and rising up!  And since Paul does not use his terms of the unholy trinity of “the sin,” “the death,” and “the law” in Romans to be referring to a casket resurrection at the end of time, neither does Paul intend to use them in (1Cor.15:56) in this way.  “The death,” who’s power was given through “the law,” which was in the process of “being destroyed” in Paul’s day, was the defeat of “the [spiritual] death“ Adam brought to man and which Christ defeated for those found “in Him” through faith. 

 

I am encouraged with Holland’s scholarship and if we can get him and the authors of WSTTB? (along with the rest of the reformed community) to see Paul’s consistency with his terms and subject matter in Romans with (1Cor.15) along with his consistency of an imminent return of Christ, judgment, and resurrection, then we will continue to win the exegetical battle with the “Hyper-Creedalists” and uphold the reformation cry, “reformed and always reforming.”       

Israel’s corporate body de-creation/death and re-creation/resurrection is described in (Isa.24-28, cf. also Isa.65-66).  In these chapters, God would one day blow the trumpet--raising them from the dead from their Gentile and Jewish persecutors and captives whom had “ruled over them” and “killed” or “struck them down” dead.  There would be an earth/city shaking and earth/city burning that was the result of Israel breaking her old covenant law (Isa.24-25).  Most reformed amillennial futurists and evangelicals see the themes within these chapters of Isaiah as:  1) the judgment burning of the earth, 2) the wedding feast, and 3) the trumpet call / gathering and resurrection to be fulfilled in (Mt.24-25; 2Pet.3; 1Cor.15; 1Thess.4, and Rev.21-22) as referring to one eschatological coming of Christ at the end of time.  Mathison sensing the problem and realizing all of these themes are interwoven and exegetically linked to each other concerning the same judgment and event doesn’t have much to say of “Isaiah’s little apocalypse”[17] but does admit that (Isa.24:19-20) is a local (not universal) judgment using apocalyptic (non literal) language describing a judgment upon Israel (WSTTB? p.162).  He then arbitrarily decides that (Isa.25:8) is “…the ultimate destruction of evil and the restoration of God’s creation” (WSTTB? p.161) apparently because Paul quotes this passage in (1Cor.15:54).  But once again, there is nothing within the immediate context to support Mathison’s interpretation.  The de-creation and “restoration of creation” language in the previous chapter Mathison tells us is figurative and not literal. 

Exegetically, within the immediate context of (Isa.25:8), one cannot separate the time of the Messianic wedding (pictured here with the feast that followed the wedding) and destruction of the old covenant law (vss.6-7)!  Jesus clearly tells us that the Messianic feast/wedding/resurrection would occur when Jerusalem was “burned” by the “armies” He would send (Mt.22:7), which is a text inconsistently virtually all futurist commentaries apply to Jerusalem’s destruction in A.D. 70.  Most even accurately cross reference (Rev.19) as the same wedding, feast, and judgment! 

How many N.T. eschatological weddings/resurrection feasts are there to occur at the destruction of Jerusalem when God sent His armies and burned her city in A.D. 70?  In Jewish weddings, the feast always followed the wedding – correct?  Since Mathison sees the Dispensational teachings of Dwight Pentecost to be a viable option in (Mt.24-25) over the united and exegetical one of “Hyper-Preterits,” does he “Wrongly Divide the People of God” in creating two different Messianic weddings as Dispensational teaching does?     Is the Messianic wedding feast, judgment, and resurrection of (Mt.22, Mt.24-25, & Rev.19-22) different eschatological events?  Please explain.  Is there a 2,000 + years delay or gap between the wedding feast and the destruction of the old covenant law/death in (Isa.25:6-8/1Cor.15:54-56) in your exegesis of these texts?    

According to Mathison and Gentry, “Babylon” the “Great” and “Harlot” “City” in Revelation is old covenant Jerusalem that was burned and judged by the Roman armies God sent in A.D. 70.[18]  There seems to be some creedal reluctance on Mathison’s part in acknowledging that when the second sister of old covenant Israel (Jerusalem/Harlot/Wife) is judged in A.D. 70, is when the wedding and thus consummation of the new covenant Wife/Church takes place: 

Chapter 19.  Revelation 19:1-6 is a glorious vision of rejoicing in heaven over the judgment of God upon Jerusalem.  In verses 7-9, John reveals that even as the harlot is being judged, the bride of Christ is preparing herself for the wedding feast.  With the destruction of the old temple comes the establishment of the new temple (cf. 1Cor.3:16; 2Cor.6:16; Eph. 2:21).  The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple was the final redemptive act in the entire complex of events which inaugurated the present age.”[19]      

Mathison misses that the “final redemptive act in the entire complex of events” includes the consummation and marriage of the new covenant wife, which necessitates the resurrection!  There is rejoicing not just because of the destruction of God’s old covenant Bride/Jerusalem, but because the judgment and destruction of the old marks the time of the wedding/consummation of the New!  Contrary to Mathison and Gentry, the “present age” for the Church is not the betrothal “inaugurated” period, but the consummation and feasting phase of the “age to come.”  Through the death and resurrection of Christ along with the dieing of the believers to the old law, God broke the legal bond between Satan (the former husband) and those He came to redeem under the power of the death, the sin, and the law in order to take His wife (Rms.5-7).  At this stage in redemptive history, the Church began breaking free from these enslaving powers and was betrothed and purchased with a dowry payment (the blood of Christ) to her new husband (2Cor.11:2; Eph.5:22-27).  During this Jewish betrothal period Christ was considered her “husband” just as Joseph was considered Marry’s “husband” (Mt.1:19) even before their consummation.  Because of his dowry down payment (of the Holy Spirit) they had entered into this legal first phase of their marital covenant.  Paul in the Corinthian letters is filled with new exodus and marriage themes as we have seen.  Paul’s statement, “you were bought at a price” in (1Cor.6:13-20) is not referring to slave purchase but to wife purchase according to Holland.  Paul uses the corporate body concept in relation to the new-covenant temple which is inseparable to the marriage theme (Eph.2:19-20; Eph.5:13-30/Isa.60).  Again, Paul in (1Cor.15) says that the body/seed was in the process of “being raised” and in Ephesians and Colosians the new-covenant temple community was in the process of being “built up” and “putting on” their wedding garments through the resurrection life of Christ! 

Mathison assumes what he needs to prove of Paul quoting (Isa.25:8) to be “the ultimate destruction of evil and the restoration of creation.”  Paul is using the Isaiah quotation in the way it was used in the O.T.--  to be referring to a corporate resurrection for the remnant [the Church] of Israel.  Paul states that at Christ’s parousia with it’s attended trumpet call and gathering, there would be an “end” or fulfillment of the old covenant “the law” (Torah) which would bring about victory over “the death” it magnified and produced (1Cor.15:54-56/Isa.25:8; 1Cor.15:52/Isa.27:13) for the Christian. 

Mathison’s postmillennial partial preterism causes him to eisegetically invent two different trumpet calls, gatherings, and parousias of Christ in (Mt.24-25) and (1Cor.15/2Thess.2:1/1Thess.4) which are exegetically grounded in the O.T. prophecy of (Isa.24-27:13) -- which again Mathison conveniently avoids.  Therefore according to Mathison, the trumpet call, the parousia, the judgment, the de-creation and gathering in (Mt.24:1-34) are metaphorical and spiritual events fulfilled in A.D. 70; but some of the same motifs and events described in (ICor.15/1Thess.4) are allegedly literal and concern the “restoration of [literal] creation” and the resurrection of corpses at the end of time.  This has to be the worst case of “Scripture interprets Scripture” that we have ever seen!

Paul’s Theology and Use of the O.T.

As we have seen Hosea is a contemporary of Isaiah and both prophets discuss God divorcing Israel and remarrying her under a restored Israel in the NC.  In Hosea’s description of God’s divorcing Israel we have noted that exile from the land and captivity under the gentiles equals “death.”  But in Hosea the theme of God sowing Israel in the land of the gentiles is equivalent to the picture and time frame of God divorcing Israel and sending her out of the land.  Therefore, within the theology and context of Hosea God describes both His divorcing Israel and Him sowing her in the land of the gentiles as “death.”  In the immediate context and theological context of the Isaiah quote and in Paul’s context in (1Cor.15:54-56) the overcoming of “THE DEATH” is only when the power of the THE LAW has been dealt with.  And in the theological and immediate context of the quote taken from (Isa.25:7-8), is the wedding supper theme (vs.6).  In Jewish hermeneutics during the time of Jesus and Paul when the Rabbi’s quoted or alluded to OT passages the entire context and theological themes and contexts surrounding that quote were meant to surface in the ears of the audience.    

Futurist Richard Hays, lists a couple of observations that are pertinent to our study when he exhorts his readers to study the overall context of an OT quote or allusion (“echo”) made by a NT author:

“Thematic Coherence How well does the alleged echo fit into the line of argument that Paul is developing?  Does the proposed precursor text fit together with the point Paul is making?  Can one see in Paul’s use of the material a coherent “reading” of the source text?  Is his use of the Isaiah texts consonant with his overall argument and/or use made of other texts? (Hays, ibid. p.38)

“Satisfaction  Does the proposed intertextual reading illuminate the surrounding discourse and make some larger sense of Paul’s argument as a whole?  “…A proposed intertextual reading fulfills the test of satisfaction when we find ourselves saying, “Oh, so that is what Paul means here in passage x; and furthermore, if that’s right, then we can begin to understand what he means in passage y and why he uses these certain words in that place.”  (Hays, ibid. p.44)

I could not agree more with the above quotes.  It is sad though that Mr. Hays does not apply his own interpretive principals when Paul refers to (Hos.13) and (Isa.25) in (1Cor.15).  We must ask “what in the world does a biological death and thus a future casket resurrection of believers have to do with overcoming “THE LAW” and “THE DEATH” in (1Cor.15:54-56) per Hays and all futurists interpretations?!?  How has physical death been in the process of being destroyed for over 2,000 + years now (1Cor.15:26)?  Shouldn’t we analyze the resurrection from “death” and issues of law in (Isa.25:7-8)?  Does “death” in Isaiah have anything to do with biological death and thus a casket resurrection from it?  Even within the theological context of Isaiah’s little apocalypse (Isa.24-28) does Israel’s national resurrection depicted in chapter 26 have anything to do with God someday restoring the atoms of our physical bodies with our spirits someday?  Well, then how about Hosea, what “death” is he describing in his original context (Hos.13:1; 14)?  In both passages that Paul quotes from the “death” that is under consideration is a death produced by breaking God’s law and going after other gods – thus they are sent into bondage and exile from the land – experiencing “death” while physically alive.  Breaking covenant and the law produces spiritual death!  Well, how about other hermeneutical questions we need to be asking the text in (1Cor.15) such as what does being “in Adam” or “in Christ” have to do with overcoming and experiencing victory over “the law” and “the death”?!?  And aren’t we suppose to be looking for other similar subject matters within Paul’s writings to help us understand what he is saying in (1Cor.15) with these phrases and terms?  Does not Paul address “the law,” “death,” “resurrection,” and being “in Adam” or “in Christ” in Romans 5 – 6?  Is not the “death” produced by Adam spiritual and the “justification of life” that is a gift of God being “in Christ” a spiritual soteriological resurrection life in (Roms.5)?  How about “the law” in this passage – was it added so that physical death may abound and to magnify the point that we are dead physically or that we will die physically?  Is not the death that is being overcome here continued in chapter 6 where being “dead to sin” has nothing to do with physical death?  In (Rms.6:4-5) is not the believers resurrection in the “likeness” of Christ associated with “walking in newness of life” in the here and now?  Again the “likeness” and resurrection from death here is spiritual and soteriological and is not dealing with the resurrection of an individual fleshly corpse.  

Previously in discussing the corporate resurrection or the “redemption of the body” and  the creation that was groaning in Romans 8 as OC Israel, I quoted N.T. futurist scholar Tom Holland where he emphasized that Romans 5-7 was addressing two corporate bodies one “In Adam” and another “In Christ.”  Holland argued that Paul was being consistent with the OT Scripture and a Hebraic world view.  Romans 5 – 7 according to futurist Tom Holland is not addressing a resurrection of individual men’s biological fleshly corpses but their covenantal standing before God.  A lot of Pretersts have been making these same arguments for years now, but we simply see the corporate body and creation being not only addressed in (Roms.5-7), but in chapter 8 and then when Paul again picks up the two creations of Adam and Christ in (1Cor.15) that he is addressing the same soteriological resurrection issues from spiritual death that he had in Romans.   However, Paul in Corinthians does extend his resurrection doctrine found in Romans to those whom had died in Christ.  We are simply not only agreeing with futurists such as Holland that Paul had a consistent theology of terms and phrases from letter to letter, but we agree with futurist Richard Hays that when Paul quotes an OT passage that we need to honor the context and meaning of that OT quote, echo, or allusion.          

Paul’s theme’s of being in a corporate body, whether in “Adam” or “Christ” in (Roms.5-6) and (1Cor.15) and being raised in the likeness of Christ or experiencing deliverance from “law” (Adam in the garden) or “THE law” (Israel groaning under the Mosaic law) in (Roms.5 – 8 & 1Cor.15) has nothing to do with a casket resurrection from biological death for believers.  This is a soteriological resurrection from the spiritual death we inherited from Adam and this spiritual death was magnified by the giving of “THE law” to Israel.  This was the “death” that Christ came to deliver His people from. 

Paul in referring his readers to (Isa.25:7-8) in (1Cor.15:54-56) is discussing the covering of the OC law and the spiritual “death” that it brought and magnified.  Again, I must ask if physical death is man’s ultimate enemy and the focus of his resurrection in (1Cor.15) then how has it been in the process of being destroyed under Christ’s reign now for over 2,000 + years (1Cor.15:26)? 

Paul in using the seed analogy in (1Cor.15) is echoing the context of Hosea and explaining how Israel would be eschatologically transformed, restored, and raised in the NC at Christ’s return in A.D. 70 when “the law” would finally be fulfilled.  In the meantime as the OC law was in the process of passing away and being destroyed, so too was the spiritual death it magnified (1Cor.15:26; 2Cor.3; Heb.8:13).  The time of the harvest, “gathering,” fruit bearing and blossoming of this resurrected Israel of God is at the end of the OC age in which Jesus lived and predicted the end of (Mt.13; Mt.24).  The “death” and “sowing” that Hosea is addressing is a spiritual corporate and covenantal death not an individual biological corpse death that would be defeated. (These 7 points were inspired by Don Preston’s tape series on Hosea:  eschatology.org)

1Corinthians 15:1-15

Paul lays forth the historical resurrection of Christ in the beginning of the resurrection conflict at Corinth NOT because the resurrection deniers at Corinth denied Jesus’ resurrection, but because the Gentile Christians were pridefully and ignorantly denying the resurrection of a Jewish sect – in a similar fashion of what Gentile believers were doing in the Church at Rome (see Romans 11).  One group or party was denying the resurrection of the other.  The schisms of the various groups at Corinth (1Cor.1:10 – 3:23) reach their main conflict here in chapter 15 in which Paul now desires to set straight.  Paul being the leader of the erring gentile party whom boasted both of Paul as their leader and themselves humbles, seeks to correct this arrogant spirit by humbling himself among the Apostles (vss.7-9) and ties his gospel message in as being ONE with the leaders of the Jewish leaders (v.11-12). 

The gospel message was not just united and agreed upon in the preaching of Christ’s resurrection by all parties, but both groups were undoubtedly taught that the “about to be” resurrection was rooted in Israel’s promises or as Paul would proclaim throughout his preaching tours – “the hope of Israel.”  And it was this concept that the gentile believers were becoming puffed up in and loosing sight of (as in the Roman Church Rms.9-11) when it came to Israel’s role in the future resurrection. 

Perhaps some of their misunderstandings and arrogance began as early as (Acts18) when they heard Paul say, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean.  From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”  I believe that a misunderstanding of Paul here and perhaps some of his teaching that gentiles were one body with the Jews and that a true Jew was one who had been circumcised of heart led to a denial of Jews in the near future resurrection.  After humbling himself and showing his solidarity with the Jewish leaders in preaching the same doctrine, Paul now begins to correct their error. 

1Corinthians 15:12-19

Paul uses the belief and agreed upon “common ground” of Christ’s resurrection with the resurrection deniers to prove that they could not logically “…say that there is no resurrection of the dead” (v.12).  Again, it was not Christ’s resurrection that they denied, but it was how His resurrection guaranteed the resurrection for a certain group – the Jews (“the dead”) is what Paul seeks to correct.  Since the resurrection deniers affirmed with Paul that:  1)  Christ rose, 2)  Paul’s preaching was NOT in vain, 3)  their faith was NOT in vain, 4)  Paul and the Apostles were NOT false witnesses, 5)  they were NOT still in their sins, and 6)  that those Christians who had recently died WOULD NOT perish, 7)  they were to NOT be pitied of all men – Paul uses these agreed upon points to prove that the group whom they were denying resurrection for  - “the dead” needed to be affirmed and corrected.  If it was not corrected then by logic and the teaching of the gospel, they would need to deny the seven above affirmations they claimed to believe along with Paul. 

1Corinthians 15:20-28

Paul is going to now further his argument in inseparably tying Christ’s resurrection with that of Israel’s by using the first fruit analogy.  As I noted earlier in (Mt.13), the harvest/resurrection was to take place at the end of the OC age (“this age”) and Jesus came at just the right time at the end of the OC age to appear a second time to consummate and fulfill all of it’s promises in regards to putting away the sins of His people (Hebs.9:26-28).  We have also noted the imminent nature of the resurrection and therefore Christ was not the “firstfruits” of a resurrection that started in the OC age and would terminate at the end of time and history and thus at the end of the NC age, but rather a “firstfruits” resurrection that began at the end of the OC age and would consummate at the “end” of Israel’s age.  Whenever the firstfruits were offered up as a pledge this was a symbol that not only the harvest was guaranteed but that it was already ripe and being cut.  Paul uses this argument of Christ being the “firstfruits” resurrection to teach that He controls the destiny of Israel’s harvest at the end of the OC age.  How could the gentiles deny Israel’s role in the resurrection when they themselves along with the believing Jews were apart of the firstfruits awaiting the harvest at Christ’s return (Jms.1:18, Rms.8, Rev.14)?  Paul’s statement “…afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming” ties both groups together into the firstruits illustration awaiting the same imminent future harvest/resurrection.  Paul’s point is to show the unity and solidarity of their resurrection hopes which were not just tied to Christ’s, but to the rest of the rest of the firstfruits and harvest “the dead”/Israel - which was the “hope of Israel.”  To deny “the dead” /  Israel’s future role in the resurrection was akin to theologically denying Christ’s and theirs.  In Romans the Gentile arrogance over against the Jews was illustrated with a olive tree, branches, and the root to demonstrate the solidarity of the Gentiles with Israel’s resurrection (Rms.11).  Here the illustration of unity is “firstfruits” and the harvest.   

What seems to be missed by most exegetes is that Christ’s death and resurrection entailed much more than just a physical and biological death and resurrection.  Just as “flesh” and “spirit” within Paul’s writings entails much more than just physical skin and bones of individual bodies, but refers to the two covenantal modes of existence - the OC being that of a corporate body of “flesh,” “death,” and “sin,” and the NC being Christ’s body of “spirit,” “life,” and “righteousness;” so we must understand Christ’s “death” to be not merely a biological death and resurrection (of which it was), but an overcoming of the spiritual death and separation that came through the first Adam.  In this sense Christ’s resurrection was truly the “first” by way of being the “firstfruits” or the “firstborn from among the dead” (Cols.1:18).  God had raised many in the past but Christ was the “first” in that His resurrection overcame the spiritual death that Adam brought about in the garden and was thus the only one qualified to usher in the process of eternal life.  Spiritual death entailed separation from the Father and that is what Christ was made and experienced in some way on the cross in “becoming sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2Cor.5:21).     

It has been traditionally argued that Jesus’ resurrection was the “first” in the sense that He had a “glorified body” that was able to defy the laws of the natural realm of which we one day will get as well.  “Won’t it be cool to fly and be able to do things this natural body can’t do now” is unfortunately the traditional understanding of Jesus’ resurrection body in relation to the continuity of believers.  Those who argue this, point to the fact that Jesus’ post resurrection body apparently went through walls and appeared and disappeared to the disciples for 40 days etc.  However, Jesus’ body before His resurrection also defied the laws of natural realm by walking on water and walking through crowds etc.  So this restricted and traditional understanding of a Jesus’ death and resurrection in relation to the “likeness” that Christians were in the process of partaking of and would at the harvest - I do not believe this is Paul’s point here in (1Cor.15) or in his other writings on the death and resurrection of Christ (such as Rms.5-6).  Jesus rose on a biological level for evidential purposes, as was the case and purpose of all His other miracles, but they all were signs that He had the power to forgive sins and thus overcome man’s ultimate enemy/death – spiritual death and separation from God.

As I quoted earlier in my points on the resurrection in (Rms.8) in quoting NT and Pauline theologian Tom Holland as stating:  1)  the major problem in the NT is the Jew Gentile oneness (arrogance and misunderstanding between each of the parties) and the Judiazer threat to that oneness, and 2)  Paul has a well developed and consistent use of terms, phrases, and concepts that he uses throughout all his letters to the churches.  Both of these now come into play here in (1Cor.15).  I along with others argue that what Paul teaches on the “likeness” of Christ’s resurrection to that of believers in (Rms.5-6) and his “in Adam” or “in Christ” teaching is in essence what he is teaching here in (1Cor.15). 

The “end” here in this section is the same “end” as that of (Dan.9:24-27) which Jesus taught would come in His generation (Mt.24:1-34).  It is the end of Christ’s millennial reign whereby He was ruling over His enemies (Ps.110:1 - primarily the Pharisees Mt.23) that had rejected Him and were persecuting His body – the Church.  The last enemy was spiritual “death” that was brought about by Adam and magnified by OC Mosaic “the law” (1Cor.15:26/56).  In the New Jerusalem there are no more gentile militaristic kingdoms that can assail and trample under foot the heavenly city/kingdom for in her city all God’s enemies and theirs have been conquered.  At the “end” of this pre-second coming reign of Christ, He would deliver the kingdom up to the Father and it’s process of being changed (2Cor.3) would be complete and consummated into it’s heavenly form.  God would now be “all in all” in that He would satisfy every need of both Jew and Gentile when He and the Son came to indwell and make their home in the hearts of believers (Lk.17:20-21ff.; Jn.14:2-3, 23, 29; Cols.1:27).         

1Corinthians 15:29-34

Paul’s point on baptism is in essence  - why are you even baptizing since it is a sign that Israel “the dead” is going to be restored and raised if you don’t think Israel is going to be raised?  And if Israel had no future in the resurrection, then why should Paul and the rest of the Apostles risk their lives in preaching the gospel to them?  If Paul and the rest of the  Apostles who were Jewish, only had hope in “this life” (the OC life of existence), then they were of most men to be pitied for being persecuted in preaching a resurrection that was the “hope of Israel” – of which some at Corinth were denying.  Paul was wasting his time in being persecuted if the dead did not rise.  Paul exhorts them to not fellowship with those who would deny what he was willing to die for and what Christ died and rose in order to accomplish for Israel and the salvation of the “world” (Rms.11). 

Although Paul’s physical persecutions are involved in his argument, the greater reality though was that he and the Jewish believers (the “we”) were “dying daily” to the OC age so that the gentile believers (the “you”) could experience life (2Cor.4:11,12,14 – “us” Jews and the “you” gentiles).   

1Corinthians 15:35-58

Much has been said and debated in recent years in regards to Paul’s use of “body” (Greek soma) in his various letters.  Many would insist that the “body” being sown and raised here in this section is strictly an individual corpse of decaying flesh raised and united to the spirit at the end of time when Christ comes again.  As I sought to point out in my section on the resurrection and new creation in (Rms.8) many are beginning to see Paul’s Hebraic mindset as being rooted in the OT Scriptures and see a resurrection into a corporate body of Christ which is a newness of life in the Spirit within the NC creation.  These concepts are being seen and developed in the book of Romans but have not fortunately been applied to Paul’s theology here in (1Cor.15) and (Rms.8) because of futuristic biases imposed upon these passages.             

In Paul’s seed analogy the seed is sown first and then the process of dying and rising simultaneously take place.  Most try and see the “natural body” being “sown” here as ones physical body.  However, this cannot be because in that case the physical body dies first and then is planted in the earth.  In Paul’s illustration the seed or “natural body” is sown in the ground while still alive and undergoing a dying and rising process.  Some have taken notice of Paul’s words and have admitted that the sowing comes before the dying and so they claim that it is the process of man’s physical birth and death in this world that covers the “sowing” process.  However, it is the Jews or Paul’s “dying daily” process that is involved and not man’s physical death or the process of man’s physical existence that constitutes the sowing and death that Paul has in view here. 

The Natural Body

In the rest of the NT and within 1Corinthians it’s self, “natural” does not have the meaning of a fleshly body or physicality:

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  (1Co 2:14

 

This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” 

(Jas 3:15) 

 

“These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” 

(Jude 1:19) 

The point of contrast is not the physical substance of man but rather man’s relationship to God under the realm of a covenant of death or being filled with the Holy Spirit walking in the newness of life under the NC.             

 

Summary of the imminence and eschatology in 1 Corinthians.  An imminent second coming of Christ, judgment, and end of the age are inseparably connected throughout these letters to the Corinthians.  What is also inseparably connected to the second coming and judgment is the confirming and cessation of the charismata/gifts by A.D.70.  The Hebraic mind and the Corinthians were well aware of the corporate body concept within Judaism.  Even within Paul’s first letter long before we get to (1Cor.15) the corporate body theme permeates the letter.   We agree with such scholars as Tom Holland that Paul was concerned with “consistency” in his use of various terms such as “the body” and “the sin” “the death” and “the law.”  We also agree with such theologians as Richard Hay’s and G.K. Beale that tell us we need to pay attention to the O.T. context and theology when a N.T. author cites an O.T. passage.  Hermeutically, I believe I have honored the Olivet Discourse as being the foundation to the imminence in both Romans and 1Corinthians and at the same time have honored the contexts and theology of O.T. passages quoted in the new.  It is Mathison’s non-exegesis of very important passages and his “shallow” mention of others that continue to be a problem for him as we make our way through the N.T. time texts.   

 



[1] Holland, ibid., pp.116-139. 

[2] DeMar, Last Days Madness, ibid., pp. 29, 323 n.21.  See also Gentry, Before Jerusalem Fell, ibid., p.235n.8.    

[4] Multi-authored debate Edited by Wayne A. Gruden and Stanely N. Gundry, ARE MIRACULOUS GIFTS FOR TODAY?, debated by:  Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Reformed Cessationalist view), Robert L. Saucy (Open but cautious view), C. Samuel Storms (Third Wave View), and Douglas A. Oss (Pentecostal/Charismatic View), p.55, Zondervan pub., 1996, parenthesis and emphasis added.  

[5] Kenneth L. Gentry Jr., Response to Wayne Gruden, pp. 53-54, Foot Stool Publications, 1989, emphasis added.

[6] Chuck Smith, Charisma vs. Charismania, p. 122-123, Harvest House Pub., 1983.

 

[7] Donald Lee Barnett, Speaking In Other Tongues: A Scholarly Defense pp. 176, 178-179, emphasis added. 

[8] Special thanks to Don Preston for showing me the (Isa.52:8/1Cor.13:10) connection. 

[9] Victor Budgen, THE CHARISMATICS and the word of God a biblical and historical perspective on the charismatic movement, p. 80, Evangelical Press Pub., 1989, emphasis added. 

 

[10] David Green, “A Response to With Unveiled Face By Richard Leonard http://www.preteristcosmos.com/unveiled.htm 

[11]Jamieson, Robert ; Fausset, A. R. ; Fausset, A. R. ; Brown, David ; Brown, David: A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997, S. Heb 9:8

[12] Don K. Preston, 2005, 2712 Mt. Washington Rd.Ardmore, Ok.  Although I agree with practically all of Preston’s views on the resurrection, I believe Don’s defense of Arminianism and the role of water baptism in regards to regeneration and justification are not Biblical. Don is not the first to identify that it is Israel that is being sown and raised in (1Cor.15).  The first to go into any detail on this view would be Max R. King in his book, THE CROSS  and THE PAROUSIA OF CHRIST The Two Dimensions Of One Age-Changing Eschaton, 1987.  Unlike Preston, King became a consistent Arminian and is now a Universalist.  Some such as Tim Martin and Preston believe the corporate body view of election and resurrection somehow necessitates Arminianism.  We challenge these propositions and firmly believe that God is completely sovereign in electing and glorifying the Church and the individual sheep known by name that compose the Body of Christ throughout all redemptive ages.  David Green and myself gladly welcome Max King, Don Preston, or Tim Martin to a written debate on these subjects.          

 

[13] Richard Hays, The CONVERSION of the IMAGINATION Paul as Interpreter of Israel’s Scripture, pp. 38 & 44, Eerdmans pub., 2005.  See “thematic Coherence” and “Satisfaction” heremeutical questions one should be asking O.T. texts which are quoted in the N.T.  Hays needs to practice what he preaches when it comes to Paul quoting Hos.13 and Isa.25 in 1Cor.15 and likewise needs to demonstrate how Christ’s parousia brings an end and fulfillment to Israel’s old covenant law/Torah at the end of time and history.    

[14] Gordon D. Fee, THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, p.756, Eerdmans pub., 1987, emphasis added.  For a more detailed explanation of the Greek here please see, Sam Frost, Exegetical Essays On The Resurrection of the Dead, pp.47-65, Truth Voice pub., 2004.  Although I agree with Sam on many things I do not share his ecumenicalism such as the Pope being a “brother in Christ,” or support the views of the publisher of Sam’s book. 

[15] Richard L. Pratt, Holman New Testament Commentary I&II Corinthians, 272, Holman Reference pub., 2000. 

[16] Holland, Tom, CONTOURS IN PAULINE THEOLOGY, see pages 90 – 107 for this discussion and quotes above are taken from pp.106-107, Mentor Imprint Christian Focus Pub., 2004, emphasis MJS

 

[17] He even totally ignores them in his book on Postmillennialism. 

[18] Mathison, ibid., Postmillennialism An Eschatology of Hope, pp.152-153. 

[19] Mathison, ibid, p.154. 

 

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