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1 Corinthians 15:12-34

Context
No Resurrection?

15:12 Now if Christ is being preached as raised from the dead, 1  how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty. 15:15 Also, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified against God that he raised Christ from the dead, when in reality he did not raise him, if indeed the dead are not raised. 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised. 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins. 15:18 Furthermore, those who have fallen asleep 2  in Christ have also perished. 15:19 For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone.

15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 15:21 For since death came through a man, 3  the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. 4  15:22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; then when Christ comes, those who belong to him. 5  15:24 Then 6  comes the end, 7  when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when he has brought to an end all rule and all authority and power. 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 15:26 The last enemy to be eliminated is death. 15:27 For he has put everything in subjection under his feet. 8  But when it says “everything” has been put in subjection, it is clear that this does not include the one who put everything in subjection to him. 15:28 And when all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

15:29 Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? 9  If the dead are not raised at all, then why are they baptized for them? 15:30 Why too are we in danger every hour? 15:31 Every day I am in danger of death! This is as sure as 10  my boasting in you, 11  which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord. 15:32 If from a human point of view I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, 12  what did it benefit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. 13  15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 14  15:34 Sober up as you should, and stop sinning! For some have no knowledge of God – I say this to your shame!

1 tn Grk “that he has been raised from the dead.”

2 tn See the note on the word “asleep” in 15:6. This term is also used in v. 20.

3 tn Or “through a human being” (a reference to Adam).

4 tn Or “through a human being” (a reference to Jesus Christ).

5 tn Grk “then those who belong to Christ, at his coming.”

6 tn This is a continuation of the previous sentence in the Greek text. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

7 tn Grk “then the end” or “then (is) the end.” Paul explains how the “end” relates to resurrection in vv. 25-28.

8 sn A quotation from Ps 8:6.

9 sn Many suggestions have been offered for the puzzling expression baptized for the dead. There are up to 200 different explanations for the passage; a summary is given by K. C. Thompson, “I Corinthians 15,29 and Baptism for the Dead,” Studia Evangelica 2.1 (TU 87), 647-59. The most likely interpretation is that some Corinthians had undergone baptism to bear witness to the faith of fellow believers who had died without experiencing that rite themselves. Paul’s reference to the practice here is neither a recommendation nor a condemnation. He simply uses it as evidence from the lives of the Corinthians themselves to bolster his larger argument, begun in 15:12, that resurrection from the dead is a present reality in Christ and a future reality for them. Whatever they may have proclaimed, the Corinthians’ actions demonstrated that they had hope for a bodily resurrection.

10 tn Or, more literally, “I swear by the boasting in you.”

11 tc ‡ Although the witnesses for the shorter reading (Ì46 D F G Ψ 075 0243 1739 1881 Ï) are not as strong as for the addition of ἀδελφοί (adelfoi, “brothers”) at this juncture (א A B K P 33 81 104 365 1175 2464 lat sy co), it is difficult to find a reason why scribes would either intentionally or unintentionally drop the address here. Thus, the shorter reading is slightly preferred.

12 map For location see JP1 D2; JP2 D2; JP3 D2; JP4 D2.

13 sn An allusion to Isa 22:13; 56:12.

14 sn A quotation from the poet Menander, Thais 218, which Paul uses in a proverbial sense.



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