AT THE APPEARING OF CHRIST.
ψυχηζωσαIn the days of Paul, he, or some of his adherents, had succeeded in creeping in among the saints at Corinth unawares. They seem to have been very forward in talking about things they did not understand. They ran wild in speculation, until they came to deny that there is any anastasis, or standing up, of dead ones at all. Paul began with them at this point, and completely demolished their tradition. He declared that, if there were no future resurrection of saints, there had been no past resurrection of the Christ; and that, if he were still among the dead, the doctrine he (Paul) preached was false; and there was eternal life for none. But, in opposition to the traditions of these disciples of the Old Man (whom he charged with being destitute in the knowledge of the Deity, to their shame), he testified that the Christ had been raised; and that his resurrection was the earnest of the resurrection of those he left sleeping; and of those who shall be his at his coming. Thus Paul taught. Nevertheless, they were incredulous; for they could not perceive how one who had been nonexistent for ages, could be built up and made immortal. They said, "How are the dead ones rebuilded? And for what body (ποιω σωματι) do they come forth?" Paul put their difficulty into this form of words. He did not say, as in the English version, "with what body do they come?" There is no word for "with" in the original. The words are in the dative case, the sign of which is to or for. They are to come forth from their graves for something. Are they to retain the body emergent from the ground; or, is this to be changed into some other kind of body? Is this other kind of body that for which they come forth? As Paul put the inquiry, it was not to know "with what body," they come forth; but "for what body," when the building shall be completed.
In considering Paul's treatment of these questions, it should be remembered that he is speaking of resurrection, or anastasis; and not analusis, or dissolution. His point of departure in his argument, is not burial; it is not the putting a body into the ground; but the bringing of an entirely new body out of it. His discourse in illustration of the questions proposed, has to do with this new body, and with that which is to succeed it. The old body buried is done with. It has answered its purpose as a medium through which a character might be developed. It dies, is buried, and dissolves, leaving only a residuum of dust. It is no more a body; so that whatever comes forth must be a new creation, after the similitude of the first Adam in his original formation.
Paul's proposition in relation to resurrection, is, that "there is a psychical body like the first Adam's; and a pneumatical body, like the last Adam's." The former he styles ψυχη ζωσα, a living breathing