Resurrection of the dead
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Resurrection of the dead is a common component of a number of eschatologies, most commonly in Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian eschatology. The phrase refers to a specific event in the future — multiple prophecies in the histories of these religions assert that the dead will be brought back to life at some point in the future.
A minority claim this has already happened in the past or is occurring now without most knowing it. Most eschatologies believe in a universal resurrection of all of the dead, while a minority, such as the Christadelphians, believe that only a select few will be resurrected. Some Protestants interpret the Book of Revelation to indicate two resurrections of the dead - at either end of a millennium.
Zoroastrian belief in an end times renovation of the earth, frashokereti including some form of revival of the dead can be attested from the 4th Century BCE. As distinct from Judaism this is the resurrection of all the dead to universal purification and renewal of the world.
Frashokereti is the Zoroastrian doctrine of a final renovation of the universe, when evil will be destroyed, and everything else will be then in perfect unity with God (Ahura Mazda). The term probably means "making wonderful, excellent".
The doctrinal premises are (1) good will eventually prevail over evil; (2) creation was initially perfectly good, but was subsequently corrupted by evil; (3) the world will ultimately be restored to the perfection it had at the time of creation; (4) the "salvation for the individual depended on the sum of [that person's] thoughts, words and deeds, and there could be no intervention, whether compassionate or capricious, by any divine being to alter this." Thus, each human bears the responsibility for the fate of his own soul, and simultaneously shares in the responsibility for the fate of the world.
Hebrew Bible 
The earliest reference in the Hebrew Bible to raising from Sheol is found in the Song of Hannah. However this is usually understood by commentators to be read figuratively not a literal expectation of God bringing down to Sheol and raising up. Resurrection passages prior to Daniel are primarily taken as dealing with national resurrection as in Isaiah's (26:19) "Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise." This passage in Isaiah later became a touchpoint for rabbinical discussion on the resurrection. Temporary resurrections of individual dead people are found in the Hebrew Bible, such as Elijah and the widow's son at Zarephath: "Behold your son lives." (1 Kings 17:23); Elisha and the Shunammite woman: "Take up your son." (2 Kings 4:36) and contact with Elisha's bones reviving a dead man: "as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet." (2 Kings 13:21)
National resurrection is found in Ezekiel's Vision in the Valley of Dry Bones reads, "Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live". (Ezekiel 37:5)
Second Temple period 
- 530 BCE to 70 CE
In the Second Temple period the concept of resurrection of the dead is found in 4Q521 among the Dead Sea scrolls, Josephus records it (Antiquities 18.14; Jewish War 2.163), and the New Testament records that the Sadducees did not believe in an afterlife, but the Pharisees believed in a literal resurrection of the body. Resurrection of the dead appears in detail in the extra-canonical books of Enoch, Jubilees, Apocalypse of Baruch, 2 Esdras and the Maccabees.
Rabbinical period 
The belief is a core belief of the Mishnah. The belief in resurrection is expressed on all occasions in the Jewish liturgy; e.g., in the morning prayer Elohai Neshamah, in the Shemoneh 'Esreh and in the funeral services. Maimonides made it the last of his thirteen articles of belief: "I firmly believe that there will take place a revival of the dead at a time which will please the Creator, blessed be His name."
New Testament teachings 
According to the New Testament, Jesus argued with the Sadducees over the doctrine of the resurrection. These passages are Mark 12:18-27, Matthew 22:23-33, Luke 20:27–40. See also Mark 12. The Gospel of John also contains teachings about the resurrection of the dead (5:25-29, 6:39-59).
The "Sign of Jonah" (Matthew 12:38-42, 16:1-4, Luke 11:29-32, cf. Mark 8:11-13) may be about the resurrection of the dead. From the Jesus Seminar's Scholars Version (commonly known as "The Five Gospels") translation of Matthew 12:38-42: "...At judgment time, the citizens of Ninevah will come back to life along with this generation ... At judgment time, the queen of the south will be brought back to life along with this generation ..."
In Acts of the Apostles, the Apostles and Paul of Tarsus argued in support of the doctrine: 4:2, 17:32, 23:6-8, 24:15, 24:21. In 1 Corinthians 15:13 Paul argues: "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised." 2 Timothy 2:18 warns of some "who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some." Additional verses are Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:12-13; 2 Corinthians 4:14; 2 Corinthians 5:1-2; Philippians 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16; 2 Timothy 2:11; Hebrews 6:2.
Nicene Creed and Early Christianity 
Most Christian denominations profess the Nicene Creed, and most English versions of the Nicene Creed in current use include the phrase:
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. - King James Version
The Christian writers Irenaeus and Justin Martyr, in the 2nd Century, wrote against the idea that only the soul survived. Martyr insists that a man is both soul and body and Christ has promised to raise both, just as his own body was raised. He wrote: "Seeing as ... the Saviour in the whole Gospel shows that there is salvation for the flesh, why do we any longer endure those unbelieving and dangerous arguments, and fail to see that we are retrograding when we listen to such an argument as this: that the soul is immortal, but the body mortal, and incapable of being revived? For this we used to hear from Pythagoras and Plato, even before we learned the truth. If then the Saviour said this, and proclaimed salvation to the soul alone, what new thing, beyond what we heard from Pythagoras and Plato and all their band, did He bring us? But now He has come proclaiming the glad tidings of a new and strange hope to men."
Jesus appears to have been in general agreement with the position held by some Pharisees, as illustrated by his response to a question regarding marriage at the resurrection (Matthew 22:23-32, Mark 12:18-27 and Luke 20:27-40). While the Christian doctrine of resurrection is based on Jewish belief, how the emphasis on this involving the actual flesh increased parallel with Christianity succeeding among the Greek populace may connect to traditional Greek beliefs that true immortality always had to involve both body and soul. Although the Greeks held that a few individuals had been resurrected to physical immortality, there was no ancient Greek belief in a general resurrection of the dead. Indeed they held that once body had been destroyed, there was no possibility of returning to life. A number of early Church Fathers, like Pseudo-Justin, Tatian, Irenaeus, and Athenagoras of Athens, argues about the Christian resurrection beliefs in ways that answer this traditional Greek scepticism to post-mortal physical continuity.
Most Christian Churches continue to uphold the belief that there will be a general and universal resurrection of the dead at "the end of time", as described by Paul when he said, "...he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world..." (Acts 17:31 KJV) and "...there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." (Acts 24:15 KJV).
In Roman Catholicism 
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia: ""No doctrine of the Christian Faith", says St. Augustine, "is so vehemently and so obstinately opposed as the doctrine of the resurrection of the flesh"... This opposition had begun long before the days of St. Augustine."
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church the body after resurrection is changed into a spiritual, imperishable body:
999How? Christ is raised with his own body: "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself".553But he did not return to an earthly life. So, in him, "all of them will rise again with their own bodies which they now bear," but Christ "will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body," into a "spiritual body."
- Impassibility (immortal / painless) — immunity from death and pain
- Subtility (permeability) — freedom from restraint by matter
- Agility — obedience to spirit with relation to movement and space (the ability to move through space and time with the speed of thought)
- Clarity — resplendent beauty of the soul manifested in the body (as when Jesus was transfigured on Mount Tabor)
In Lutheranism 
Although Martin Luther personally believed and taught resurrection of the dead in combination with soul sleep, this is not a mainstream teaching of Lutheranism and most Lutherans traditionally believe in resurrection of the body in combination with the immortal soul. According to the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), on the last day, all the dead will be resurrected. Their souls will then be reunited with the same bodies they had before dying. The bodies will then be changed, those of the wicked to a state of everlasting shame and torment, those of the righteous to an everlasting state of celestial glory.
However, there are many theologians, such as Thomas Oden, popular Christian writers, such as Randy Alcorn and Christian scholars, such as the Anglican Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright who have defended the primacy of the resurrection in Christian faith.
Interviewed by Time in 2008 senior Anglican bishop and theologian N. T. Wright spoke of “the idea of bodily resurrection that people deny when they talk about their ‘souls going to Heaven,'" adding: “I've often heard people say, ‘I'm going to heaven soon, and I won't need this stupid body there, thank goodness.’ That's a very damaging distortion, all the more so for being unintentional.” Instead, Wright explains: “In the Bible we are told that you die, and enter an intermediate state." This is "conscious," but "compared to being bodily alive, it will be like being asleep." This will be followed by the resurrrection into new bodies, he says. "Our culture is very interested in life after death, but the New Testament is much more interested in what I've called the life after life after death."
Evangelical belief 
Early 20th century American preacher Billy Sunday epitomizes the focus on "going to heaven" in his sermon “Heaven: A Wonderful Place; Where There is No More Death; Blessed Hope of the Christian.” In the message Sunday characteristically explained the feelings of his audience by saying “Everybody wants to go to Heaven. We are all curious. We want to know, where Heaven is, how it looks, who are there, what they wear, and how to get there!” Sunday speaks of many aspects of the afterlife such as the nice weather and eternal health, although there is no mention of a resurrection of the dead. He ends with an illustration about a man who dies and goes to heaven exclaiming “Home, home at last!” as if he had arrived at the end of his eschatological journey.
The emphasis on the immortality of the soul in heaven rather than the resurrection of the dead continues largely in the 21st century through popular charismatic and evangelical preaching. Jesus is often spoken of as “the way to heaven” and personal eschatology is generally seen in terms of whether or not a person gets into heaven when they die, rather than how they will fare at the resurrection of the dead.
Two resurrections of the dead 
Conditional immortality 
Several churches, such as the Anabaptists and Socinians of the Reformation, then Seventh-day Adventist Church, Christadelphians, Jehovah's Witnesses, and theologians of different traditions reject the idea of the immortality of a non-physical soul as a vestige of Neoplatonism, and other pagan traditions. In this school of thought, the dead remain dead (and do not immediately progress to a Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory) until a physical resurrection of some or all of the dead occurs at the end of time. Some groups, Christadelphians in particular, consider that it is not a universal resurrection, and that at this time of resurrection that the Last Judgment will take place.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) all those who have lived on the earth will be resurrected, regardless of their righteousness, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22, see also Acts 24:15). Those who are righteous will be resurrected at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This is a part of the First Resurrection ( KJV) which commenced at the resurrection of Jesus Christ (the first to be resurrected). Those who are not righteous will wait until the end of the Millennium, after which they too will be resurrected ( KJV).
Before the resurrection, the spirits of the dead are believed to exist in a place known as the spirit world, which is similar to yet fundamentally distinct from the traditional concept of Heaven and Hell. It is believed that the spirit retains its wants, beliefs, and desires in the afterlife ( KJV).
The resurrection is believed to unite the spirit with the body again, and the LDS Church teaches that the body (flesh and bone) will be made whole and become incorruptible, a state which includes immortality. After His resurrection, Christ stated to his disciples: "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."(Luke 24:39) This is a departure from the Trinity doctrine established by the Nicene Creed; for Christ is now a resurrected personage, different in substance from His Father, to whom Christ went after His resurrection. He said to Mary, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." (John 20:17). After Christ was resurrected, he ministered for 40 days among the people (Acts 1:3), and was seen by more than 500 (1 Cor 15:6). He continues to have His resurrected body of flesh and bones, for He will return to this earth just as he left it, "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11). It should be noted that God created mankind in His image and after His likeness (Gen 1:26,27)--it is not God who transforms himself into the image of man. And so our resurrected bodies have an eternal purpose, just like our Father's who is in heaven.
According to LDS doctrine, Jesus Christ was the first to be resurrected into incorruptibility (1 Cor 15:20), followed by many church members who were also dead. (translation, and these individuals are believed to have retained their bodies in a purified form, though they too will eventually be required to receive resurrection. Enoch ( KJV), Moses ( KJV), and Elijah ( KJV) are frequently cited as examples of this.KJV). There is also a belief in LDS doctrine that a few exceptional individuals were removed from the earth "without tasting of death." This is referred to as
Modern de-emphasis 
Early church fathers defended the resurrection of the dead against the pagan belief that the immortal soul went to the underworld immediately after death. Currently, however, it is a popular Christian belief that the souls of the righteous do go straight to heaven.
At the close of the medieval period, the modern era brought a shift in Christian thinking from an emphasis on the resurrection of the body back to the immortality of the soul. This shift was a result of a change in the zeitgeist, as a reaction to the Renaissance and later to the Enlightenment. Dartigues has observed that especially “from the 17th to the 19th century, the language of popular piety no longer evoked the resurrection of the soul but everlasting life. Although theological textbooks still mentioned resurrection, they dealt with it as a speculative question more than as an existential problem.”
This shift was supported not by any scripture, but largely by the popular religion of the Enlightenment, deism. Deism allowed for a supreme being, such as the philosophical first cause, but denied any significant personal or relational interaction with this figure. Deism, which was largely led by rationality and reason, could allow a belief in the immortality of the soul, but not necessarily in the resurrection of the dead. American deist Ethan Allen demonstrates this thinking in his work, Reason the Only Oracle of Man (1784) where he argues in the preface that nearly every philosophical problem is beyond humanity’s understanding, including the miracles of Christianity, although he does allow for the immortality of an immaterial soul.
Influence on secular law and custom 
Formerly, it was widely believed that to rise on judgement day the body had to be whole and preferably buried with the feet to the east so that the person would rise facing God. A Parliamentary Act from the reign of King Henry VIII stipulated that only the corpses of executed murderers could be used for dissection. Restricting the supply to the cadavers of murderers was seen as an extra punishment for the crime. If one believes dismemberment stopped the possibility of resurrection of an intact body on judgement day, then a posthumous execution is an effective way of punishing a criminal. Attitudes towards this issue changed very slowly in the United Kingdom and were not manifested in law until the passing of the Anatomy Act in 1832. For much of the British population it was not until the 20th century that the link between the body and resurrection was finally broken as cremation was only made legal in 1902.
In Islam, Yawm al-Qiyāmah (Arabic: يوم القيامة "the Day of Resurrection") or Yawm ad-Din (Arabic: يوم الدين "the Day of Judgment") is believed to be God's final assessment of humanity. The sequence of events (according to the most commonly held belief) is the annihilation of all creatures, resurrection of the body, and the judgment of all sentient creatures.
The exact time when these events will occur is unknown, however there are said to be major and minor signs which are to occur near the time of Qiyamah (End time). Many Qur'anic verses, especially the earlier ones, are dominated by the idea of the nearing of the day of resurrection.
Scientific theory 
In his 1994 book The Physics of Immortality, physicist Frank J. Tipler, an expert on the general theory of relativity, presented his Omega Point Theory which outlines how a resurrection of the dead could take place at the end of the cosmos. He posits that humans will evolve into robots which will turn the entire cosmos into a supercomputer which will, shortly before the big crunch, perform the resurrection within its cyberspace, reconstructing formerly dead humans (from information captured from by the supercomputer from the past light cone of the cosmos) as avatars within its metaverse.
See also 
- For example Christian Full Preterism
- For example Christian Idealism or Realized eschatology
- Tennant, H. Christadelphians - What they believe and teach Birmingham, CMPA 1977
- See Ben Witherington ref below
- Richard N. Longenecker - Life in the Face of Death: The Resurrection Message of the New Testament p48 1998 "Franz König, for example, concludes that the earliest attestation of Zoroastrian belief in a resurrection cannot be dated before the fourth century BC (cf. Zarathustras Jenseitsvorstellungen und das Alte Testament [Vienna: Herder, ."
- R. M. M. Tuschling - Angels and Orthodoxy: A Study in Their Development in Syria and ... - 2007 p23 271 " While admitting that Judaism and Zoroastrianism share a belief in resurrection, he points to a significant difference between them: in Iranian religion all are resurrected and purified as part of the renewal of the world."
- Boyce, Mary (1979), Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 27–29, ISBN 978-0-415-23902-8
- The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: 4 p145 Geoffrey W. Bromiley - 1995 "..only indicates Yahweh's power to intervene victoriously, and it should not be seen as an adumbration of resurrection."
- Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament: 9 p156 G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren, Heinz-Josef Fabry - 1998 "Such resurrection means primarily national restoration.24 b. Yahweh/Israel.25 Yahweh's promise "Your dead shall live" is accepted with "
- Theological Dictionary of Rabbinic Judaism: Part Three p293 Jacob Neusner - 2005 "26:20) - the dead buried in the land where I have my desire will live, but the dead of the land in which I have no desire won't live." B. Objected R. Abba bar Mammal, '"Your dead shall live, my dead bodies shall arise' (Isa."
- "Resurrection". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- Pecorino, Philip (2001). "Section 3. The Resurrection of the Body". Philosophy of Religion. Dr. Philip A. Pecorino. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- Jacob Neusner World Religions in America: An Introduction 2009 Page 133 "D. He who says, the resurrection of the dead is a teaching which does not derive from the Torah, "...[Neusner] Excluded are those who deny the resurrection of the dead, or deny that the Torah teaches that the dead will live, "
- "Resurrection: Jewish Creed or Not?". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- "Justin Martyr on the Resurrection". Mb-soft.com. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- Dag Øistein Endsjø. Greek Resurrection Beliefs and the Success of Christianity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2009.
- "Catholic Encyclopedia: General Resurrection". Newadvent.org. 1911-06-01. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- "CCC - PART 1 SECTION 2 CHAPTER 3 ARTICLE 11". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- The Catholic Catechism by Father John A. Hardon, p. 265
- Evangelical Lutheran intelligencer: Volume 5 -1830 Page 9 Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Maryland and Virginia "Every one of those committed to our care is possessed of an immortal soul and should we not exceedingly rejoice, that we in the hands of the Supreme Being, may be instrumental in leading them unto "fountains of living water."
- John 6:40, John 6:54
- John 5:21, John 5:28-29, Matthew 25:32, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Acts 24:15
- Romans 8:11, Philippians 3:21, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Job 19:26, 1 Corinthians 15:44, 1 Corinthians 15:53, John 5:28, Revelation 20:12
- Daniel 12:2, Matthew 25:41-46, John 5:29
- Daniel 12:1-2, John 5:29, 1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 1 Corinthians 15:49-53, Philippians 3:21, Matthew 13:43, Revelation 7:16Graebner, Augustus Lawrence (1910). Outlines Of Doctrinal Theology. Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. pp. 233–ff.
- Van Biema, David (2008-02-07). "Christians Wrong About Heaven, Says Bishop ". Time. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- Billy Sunday “Heaven: A Wonderful Place; Where There is No More Death; Blessed Hope of the Christian” A Sermon reprinted in The Sword of the Lord Vol. 71, no. 21 October 7, 2005. p. 1, 20-21.
- Ben Witherington Revelation p291 2003 "In short John affirms two resurrections of the dead: one is blessed, the other not blessed; one is before the millennium, the other after it.5 It is then proper to conclude that John believes in a future millennial reign upon the earth ..."
- Ashton, Michael. Raised to Judgement Bible Teaching about Resurrection & Judgement Christadelphian, Birmingham 1991
- Resurrection, "Gospel Study: Study by Topic", LDS.org (LDS Church)
- "Do Souls Go To Heaven?". Mindspring.com. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- Hereafter[dead link]
- Will We Be Reunited with Children Who Have Died?[dead link]
- Encyclopedia of Christian Theology Vol. 3, “Resurrection of the Dead” by Andre Dartigues, ed. by Jean-Yves Lacoste (New York: Routledge, 2005), 1381.
- The Encyclopedia of Unbelief, Vol. 1, A-K, “Deism,” Edited by Gordon Stein (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1985), 134.
- Barbara Yorke (2006), The Conversion of Britain Pearson Education, ISBN 0-582-77292-3, ISBN 978-0-582-77292-2. p. 215
- Essex, Mass. - Cemetery: The Old Burying Ground, Essex, Mass.I. Description and History "Up until the early 1800s, graves were marked by pairs of headstones and footstones, with the deceased laid to rest facing east to rise again at dawn of Judgement Day."
- Grave and nave: an architecture of cemeteries and sanctuaries in rural Ontario "Sanctuaries face east, and burials are with the feet to the east, allowing the incumbent to rise facing the dawn on the Day of Judgment"
- The history of judicial hanging in Britain: After the execution "Henry VIII passed a law in 1540 allowing surgeons 4 bodies of executed criminals each per year. Little was known about anatomy and medical schools were very keen to get their hands on dead bodies that they could dissect"[dead link]
- Miriam Shergold and Jonathan GrantThe evolution of regulations for health research in England(pdf) Prepared for the Department of Health, February 2006. Page 4. "For example, the Church banned dissection and autopsies on the grounds of the spiritual welfare of the deceased."
- Staff. Resurrection of the Body Catholic Answers, Retrieved 2008-11-17
- Fiona Haslam (1996),From Hogarth to Rowlandson: Medicine in Art in Eighteenth-century Britain,Liverpool University Press, ISBN 0-85323-640-2, ISBN 978-0-85323-640-5 p. 280 (Thomas Rowlandson, "The Resurrection or an Internal View of the Museum in W-D M-LL street on the last day", 1782)
- Mary Abbott (1996). Life Cycles in England, 1560-1720: Cradle to Grave, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-10842-X, 9780415108423. p. 33
- "Department for Constitutional Affairs". Dca.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- Shaykh Ahmad Ali. "Major Signs before the Day of Judgment by Shaykh Ahmad Ali". Inter-islam.org. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- firstname.lastname@example.org. "Signs of Qiyaamah". Inter-islam.org. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- Isaac Hasson, Last Judgment, Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an
- L. Gardet, Qiyama, Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an
- Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead (New York: Doubleday, 1994), ISBN 0198519494. 56-page excerpt available here.