Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Christian Exegesis of The Resurrection

BEFORE, we can get to a Scriptural discussion we have to discuss presuppostions. It is the presupposition of hyperpreterism that God, Jesus, the hand-picked apostles, and the Holy Spirit were such ineffective teachers, that the day before AD70 and the day after AD70, Christians believed and taught basically the same thing we Christians believe today -- and hyperpreterists say that is wrong. Hyperpreterists are like magicians who try as they might with sleight of hand and delusion to try to get people to ignore DEALING WITH the hyperpreterist presupposition.

Over and over again, we've seen the hyperpreterists display outright disdain for historic Christianity and Christians in general as if there has been 2000 years of dummies running around, YET hyperprets want to claim their hyperpret version of "god" should be trusted??? YET they want to claim that we should read the bible from their hyperpret version of "god". The hyperpret version of "god" couldn't maintain truth so why would we trust anything that would be in the Bible???

THANKFULLY, the Christian God, the God of the Bible DOES and HAS sustained basic understanding of His plan. For 2000 years, Christians have UNITEDLY believed and taught that SAME THING on the eschatological basics since day one. Hyperpreterists come along, after Max King gets them started and try to get us Christians to join their little dog and pony show they claim is "exegesis". They want us to ignore God the Sustainer and instead follow them along in their TWISTED interpretations.

Now, looking at the discussion between Jesus and Martha, from a CHRISTIAN perspective, but FIRST let's actually quote the text:

John 11:23-27
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
We know Lazarus, Martha's brother had perished, physically. Jesus proclaims to Martha that her brother will rise again. Martha affirms the basic Jewish idea of the resurrection, which is demonstrably physical (see source). Jesus DOESN'T correct her but "enlarges upon" the basic idea. Telling Martha that it isn't merely about physically raising but a "rebirth" -- see the discussion Jesus had with Nicodemus (John 3).

The problem hyperpreterists have is they see a word and shoehorn it to death to always mean the same thing. For example, the word "come" as in "coming in/with/on the clouds". Take a look at Dan 7:13 -

"I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him."
Note that the One like the Son of Man was coming on the clouds, not back to earth but coming before the Ancient of Day, God the Father in Heaven. YET hyperprets see the phrase, "Jesus is about to come in/with/on the clouds" and they rightly see the immediacy but wrongly equate it to Him coming back, claiming He must have come back in AD70.

Back to Martha and Jesus' discussion. Jesus, as He did with Nicodemus was talking about MORE than the physical resurrection. He was even talking about MORE than the resurrection hyperpreterists claim happened in AD70. Jesus was talking about an INSTANTANEOUS resurrection at the very moment of belief. So, that even if a person were to expire physically, they through Jesus still live. Jesus WASN'T denying Martha' belief in a future physical resurrection.

The hyperpreterists are virtually gnostics because they see the physical body as useless to the complete restoration of man. Interestingly, the human body was created BEFORE God breathed in the spirit.

Gen 2:7
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
So, hyperprets don't want this cycle completed. They want resurrection to exclude any original physicality. They want the "life" restored to simply be bodiless, disconnected spirits. Odd, since "the breath of life" came AFTER the forming of the body.

Lastly, Christian theologians all through history have interpreted the Martha and Jesus convo as Jesus "enlarging upon" Martha's correct understanding of the resurrection.
To enlarge Martha's expectations, our Lord declared himself to be the Resurrection and the Life. In every sense he is the Resurrection; the source, the substance, the first-fruits, the cause of it. The redeemed soul lives after death in happiness; and after the resurrection, both body and soul are kept from all evil for ever. -- Matthew Henry
Jesus saith unto her, thy brother shall rise again. Christ knew what she meant, and accordingly gave her an answer, and yet in such general terms, that she could not tell whether his meaning was, that he should rise now, or at the general resurrection...The Jews were divided about the doctrine of the resurrection, the Sadducees denied it, the Pharisees asserted it; and on this latter side was Martha; she believed there would be a resurrection of the dead; that this would be at the last day, or at the end of the world; and that her brother would rise at that general resurrection: wherefore, if Christ meant no more than that, this was what she always believed...Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life,.... Signifying, that he was able of himself to raise men from death to life, without asking it of his Father; and that he could do it now, as well as at the general resurrection; at which time Christ will be the efficient cause of it; and which will display both his omniscience and his omnipotence; as his resurrection is the earnest and pledge, and will be the model and exemplar of it. -- Gill
Christ seems, at first sight, to discourse about spiritual life, for the purpose of withdrawing the mind of Martha from her present desire. Martha wished that her brother should be restored to life Christ replies, that he is the Author of a more excellent life; and that is, because he quickens the souls of believers by divine power. Yet I have no doubt that he intended to include both favors; and therefore he describes, in general terms, that spiritual life which he bestows on all his followers, but wishes to give them some opportunity of knowing this power, which he was soon afterwards to manifest in raising Lazarus. -- Calvin
If Jesus were merely satisfied to make a statement about some supposedly bodiless resurrection, why then should He go on to physically resurrect Lazarus? Could He not have made the "spiritual resurrection only" point more powerfully if He'd left the corpse of Lazarus lie and instead repeated to all that the resurrection is merely about raising spiritually? Rather, Jesus demonstrates that though He CAN resurrect physically, the Jews needed to understand that the restoration is about more than JUST that. In this same way, we see the theme repeated throughout Jesus' ministry. When the Jews think of just a physical restoration of Israel, Jesus points to a more glorious kingdom. When the Jews speak of how a person can be "restored" by keeping the law or changing outwardly actions, Jesus speaks of the change of the heart, the inner man.

See, hyperpreterists want to disconnect all of this and make it ONLY about "spiritual" stuff. They corrupt the point Jesus was making as much as Dispensationalist do the other way. Indeed, former hyperpret Todd Dennis has called hyperpreterism, an AD70 Dispensationalism.

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