1 Corinthians 15:40
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
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(40) There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial.—It is held by many that this is a distinct illustration from that which occurs in the next verse, and that the “celestial bodies” here spoken of are the bodies of angels, whose appearances on earth are accompanied (see Matthew 28:3; Acts 12:7) by a blaze of glory or light. It is better, perhaps, to regard it as a general statement of what is expanded in 1Corinthians 15:41. The force of the three analogies introduced in this whole argument is that identity of matter is preserved amid variety of form, and on this point the difference between angelic bodies and human bodies would have no bearing. Between the earthly things and the heavenly things, such as the sun, moon, and stars, there is an identity of substance, but an infinite variety of form and of glory.

15:35-50 1. How are the dead raised up? that is, by what means? How can they be raised? 2. As to the bodies which shall rise. Will it be with the like shape, and form, and stature, and members, and qualities? The former objection is that of those who opposed the doctrine, the latter of curious doubters. To the first the answer is, This was to be brought about by Divine power; that power which all may see does somewhat like it, year after year, in the death and revival of the corn. It is foolish to question the Almighty power of God to raise the dead, when we see it every day quickening and reviving things that are dead. To the second inquiry; The grain undergoes a great change; and so will the dead, when they rise and live again. The seed dies, though a part of it springs into new life, though how it is we cannot fully understand. The works of creation and providence daily teach us to be humble, as well as to admire the Creator's wisdom and goodness. There is a great variety among other bodies, as there is among plants. There is a variety of glory among heavenly bodies. The bodies of the dead, when they rise, will be fitted for the heavenly bodies. The bodies of the dead, when they rise, will be fitted for the heavenly state; and there will be a variety of glories among them. Burying the dead, is like committing seed to the earth, that it may spring out of it again. Nothing is more loathsome than a dead body. But believers shall at the resurrection have bodies, made fit to be for ever united with spirits made perfect. To God all things are possible. He is the Author and Source of spiritual life and holiness, unto all his people, by the supply of his Holy Spirit to the soul; and he will also quicken and change the body by his Spirit. The dead in Christ shall not only rise, but shall rise thus gloriously changed. The bodies of the saints, when they rise again, will be changed. They will be then glorious and spiritual bodies, fitted to the heavenly world and state, where they are ever afterwards to dwell. The human body in its present form, and with its wants and weaknesses, cannot enter or enjoy the kingdom of God. Then let us not sow to the flesh, of which we can only reap corruption. And the body follows the state of the soul. He, therefore, who neglects the life of the soul, casts away his present good; he who refuses to live to God, squanders all he has.There are also celestial bodies - The planets; the stars; the host of heaven; see 1 Corinthians 15:41.

And bodies terrestrial - On earth; earthly. He refers here to the bodies of human beings, beasts, birds, etc.; perhaps, also, of trees and vegetables. The sense is, "There is a great variety of bodies. Look upon the heavens, and see the splendor of the sun, the moon, and the stars. And then look upon the earth, and see the bodies there - the bodies of people, and brutes, and insects. You see here two entire classes of bodies. You see how they differ. Can it be deemed strange if there should be a difference between our bodies when on earth and when in heaven? Do we not, in fact, see a vast difference between what strikes our eye here on earth and in the sky? And why should we deem it strange that between bodies adapted to live here and bodies adapted to live in heaven, there should be a difference, like that which is seen between the objects which appear on earth and those which appear in the sky?" The argument is a popular one; but it is striking, and meets the object which he has in view.

The glory of the celestial is one - The splendor, beauty, dignity, magnificence of the heavenly bodies differs much from those on earth. That is one thing; the beauty of earthly objects is another and a different thing. Beautiful as may be the human frame; beautiful as may be the plumage of birds; beautiful as may be the flower, the fossil, the mineral, the topaz, or the diamond; yet they differ from the heavenly bodies, and are not to be compared with them. Why should we deem it strange that there may be a similar difference between the body as adapted to its residence here and as adapted to its residence in heaven?

40. celestial bodies—not the sun, moon, and stars, which are first introduced in 1Co 15:41, but the bodies of angels, as distinguished from the bodies of earthly creatures.

the glory of the celestial—(Lu 9:26).

glory of … terrestrial—(Mt 6:28, 29; 1Pe 1:24).

There are also celestial bodies; such are the sun, the moon, and the stars.

And bodies terrestrial; men, beasts, birds, fishes, the elements, stones, &c.

But the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another; now between these two species of bodies, in respect of qualities, there is a very great difference; the glory of the heavenly bodies is much greater than the glory of the earthy bodies that are compounded of the elements. There are also celestial bodies,.... Or bodies in the heavens, as the sun, moon, and stars:

and bodies terrestrial; or bodies on earth, animate and inanimate, men, beasts, trees, minerals, &c.

But the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another: though both sorts are bodies, yet their qualities differ, and there is a greater glory in the one than in the other. This is another similitude, serving to help our ideas of this doctrine of the resurrection of the body; that though it is the same in substance, yet different in qualities; and does not design any difference between the bodies of good men and bad men, elect and reprobate; as if the one were intended by the celestial bodies, and the other by the terrestrial; and much less degrees of glory in the saints themselves, who, imagine them in as low a form as can be, can never be compared to terrestrial ones; but it shows the difference there will be between the raised bodies and the present ones; which will be as great as that which now is between celestial and terrestrial bodies.

There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
1 Corinthians 15:40. The possibility of a future body unimaginably diff[2494] from the present is indicated in the contrast suggested by the diff[2495] regions of the two: “Bodies also heavenly there are, and bodies earthly”. The σὰρξ of 1 Corinthians 15:39 is now dropped, for it belongs only to the σῶμα ἐπίγειον. What does P. mean by his σώματα ἐπουράνια? The previous context and the tenor of the argument lead us to think of bodies for celestial inhabitants, sc, the angels (Luke 20:36, Matthew 28:2, etc.), as suitable to their condition as the σώματα ἐπίγεια are for the forms of terrestrial life just enumerated (so Mr[2496], D.W[2497], Al[2498], El[2499], Sm[2500]); moreover σῶμα is never used elsewhere in Bib. Gr[2501], and rarely in cl[2502] Gr[2503], of inorganic bodies. On the other hand, 1 Corinthians 15:41 in connexion with 1 Corinthians 15:40 b strongly suggests the sun, moon, etc., as the “heavenly bodies” in Paul’s mind (so Bg[2504], Hf[2505], Hn[2506], Ed[2507], Bt[2508], Gd[2509], and most moderns). The former considerations preponderate, esp. when we find P. in 1 Corinthians 15:47 ff. (see notes) resuming the same contrast in the antithesis between “the earthy man” and “the heavenly”. Paul is thinking of the risen Christ whom he had seen, more than of the angels, as supplying the type of the σῶμα ἐπουράνιον; cf. Php 3:20 f. Gm[2510], Hilgenfeld, Holsten, Everling (Die paul. Angelologie u.s.w., pp. 46 ff.) combine the above interpretations by attributing to P. the belief of Philo and the Jewish mystics that the stars are animated, and are to be identified with the O.T. “angels,” as by the heathen with their gods. This notion is wanting in Biblical support. P. asserts that there are “bodies” for heavenly beings, just as there are tor earthly (cf. 49); the adj[2511] ἐπουράνια supplies the ποιότης desiderated in 1 Corinthians 15:35. The heavenly and earthly bodies, alike as being “bodies,” are far diff[2512] in “glory”.—ἀλλὰ ἑτέρα κ.τ.λ. traverses the mistaken inference as to the identity of nature in the two kinds of organism, which might be hastily drawn from 1 Corinthians 15:39 b: “But the glory of the heavenlies is indeed one (glory), and the (glory) of the earthlies another”.—ἑτέρα (cf. note on 1 Corinthians 12:8 ff.) implies a diff[2513] wider, or at least more salient, than that connoted by the ἄλλη of 1 Corinthians 15:39; 1 Corinthians 15:41; where the two are distinguished in cl[2514] Gr[2515], ἄλλος marks a generic, ἕτερος a specific diff[2516] How utterly diff[2517] was the glory of the risen Lord, who appeared to P. (Acts 26:13), from that of any earthly Potentate!

[2494] difference, different, differently.

[2495] difference, different, differently.

[2496] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[2497].W. De Wette’s Handbuch z. N. T.

Alford’s Greek Testament.

[2499] C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.

[2500] P. Schmiedel, in Handcommentar zum N.T. (1893).

[2501] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.


[2503] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[2506] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[2507] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.2

[2508] J. A. Beet’s St. Paul’s Epp. to the Corinthians (1882).

[2509] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

[2510] Grimm-Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the N.T.


[2512] difference, different, differently.

[2513] difference, different, differently.

[2514] classical.

[2515] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

difference, different, differently.

[2517] difference, different, differently.40. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial] The principle is now further extended to the heavenly bodies, and another argument thus drawn from the close analogy which subsists between the kingdom of nature and the kingdom of grace. Meyer, De Wette, and Alford consider the heavenly bodies to be those of angels. But we nowhere read of angels having bodies, though we read of their assuming visible forms. Chrysostom refers the phrase to the resurrection bodies. This is unquestionably the meaning of ἐπουράνιος in 1 Corinthians 15:48 : but here it would seem to be in more strict opposition to ἐπίγειος, that which exists on the earth, since the Apostle refers to the sun, moon, and stars as ‘heavenly bodies’ in the next verse.

but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another] The celestial body is superior to the terrestrial. In like manner, and to a similar extent, shall the risen body surpass the present human organism.1 Corinthians 15:40. Ἐπουράνια, CELESTIAL bodies) The sun, moon, stars.—ἑπίγεια, terrestrial bodies) vegetables, animals.—ἑτέρα δὲ, but is one) Concerning the glory of terrestrial bodies, comp. Matthew 6:28-29; 1 Peter 1:24.Verse 40. - There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial. The words are often misunderstood. The "celestial bodies" are not the sun, moon, and stars of the next verse - for that would be a false antithesis to "bodies terrestrial" - but bodies (or organisms) which belong to heavenly beings, such as the resurrection body of our Lord and of glorified saints, or even in some sense of angels (Matthew 22:30). Celestial bodies (σώματα ἐπουράνια)

Not angels. For the meaning of σώματα bodies is not limited to animate beings (see 1 Corinthians 15:37, 1 Corinthians 15:38), and "the scoffers who refused to believe in the existence of the future body would hardly have admitted the existence of angelic bodies. To convince them on their own ground, the apostle appeals exclusively to what is seen" (Godet). The sense is, the heavenly bodies, described more specifically in 1 Corinthians 15:41.

Bodies terrestrial (σώματα ἐπίγεια)

Looking back to 1 Corinthians 15:39, and grouping men, beasts, birds, fishes under this term. It is to be observed that the apostle makes two general categories - terrestrial and celestial bodies, and shows the distinctions of organization subsisting between the members of each - men, beasts, fishes, birds, and the sun, moon, stars; and that he also shows the distinction between the two categories regarded as wholes. "The glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is different."

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