1 Corinthians 15:50
Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(50) Now this I say.—This is the phrase with which the Apostle is wont to introduce some statement of profound significance. (See 1Corinthians 1:12; 1Corinthians 7:29.) The statement so introduced here is that flesh and blood, being corruption, cannot enter into the heavenly state, which is incorruption. This is still part of the answer to the question, “With what bodies do they come?” but the reply is no longer based upon any analogy. It comes now as a revelation of what he had been taught by the Spirit of God. Flesh and blood are indeed corruption. Blood is everywhere the type of this lower animal life. Blood is the life of the flesh; and so, though Jews might eat the flesh, they might not eat the blood, which is the life thereof (Genesis 9:4). All offerings which typified the offering up and sacrifice of “self”—the lower sinful self—were sacrifices by shedding of blood, without which was no remission (Hebrews 9:22). When the supreme Sacrifice was made on Calvary the blood was shed—once for all. So when Christ showed His resurrection body to His disciples He did not say, “A spirit hath not flesh and blood, as ye see Me have;” but “A spirit hath not ‘flesh and bones,’ as ye see Me have.” The blood of Christ is never spoken of as existing after His crucifixion. That was the supreme sacrifice of Self to God. The blood—the type of the human self—was poured out for ever. It is to be noticed also that the phrase “of His flesh and of His bones” (not His “blood,” which the Eucharistic Feast would have suggested) was evidently in ordinary use, as it was interpolated in Ephesians 5:30.

The blood, as the type of our lower nature, is familiar in all popular phraseologies, as when we say, for example, that a “man’s blood is up,” meaning that his physical nature is asserting itself. One characteristic of the resurrection body, therefore, is that it shall be bloodless.

1 Corinthians

THE DEATH OF DEATH

1 Corinthians 15:20 - 1 Corinthians 15:21
; 1 Corinthians 15:50 - 1 Corinthians 15:58.

This passage begins with the triumphant ringing out of the great fact which changes all the darkness of an earthly life without a heavenly hope into a blaze of light. All the dreariness for humanity, and all the vanity for Christian faith and preaching, vanish, like ghosts at cock-crow, when the Resurrection of Jesus rises sun-like on the world’s night. It is a historical fact, established by the evidence proper for such,-namely, the credible testimony of eye-witnesses. They could attest His rising, but the knowledge of the worldwide significance of it comes, not from testimony, but from revelation. Those who saw Him risen join to declare: ‘Now is Christ risen from the dead,’ but it is a higher Voice that goes on to say, ‘and become the first-fruits of them that slept.’

That one Man risen from the grave was like the solitary sheaf of paschal first-fruits, prophesying of many more, a gathered harvest that will fill the great Husbandman’s barns. The Resurrection of Jesus is not only a prophecy, showing, as it and it alone does, that death is not the end of man, but that life persists through death and emerges from it, like a buried river coming again flashing into the light of day, but it is the source or cause of the Christian’s resurrection. The oneness of the race necessitated the diffusion through all its members of sin and of its consequence-physical death. If the fountain is poisoned, all the stream will be tainted. If men are to be redeemed from the power of the grave, there must be a new personal centre of life; and union with Him, which can only be effected by faith, is the condition of receiving life from Him, which gradually conquers the death of sin now, and will triumph over bodily death in the final resurrection. It is the resurrection of Christians that Paul is dealing with. Others are to be raised, but on a different principle, and to sadly different issues. Since Christ’s Resurrection assures us of the future waking, it changes death into ‘sleep,’ and that sleep does not mean unconsciousness any more than natural sleep does, but only rest from toil, and cessation of intercourse with the external world.

In the part of the passage, 1 Corinthians 15:50 - 1 Corinthians 15:58, the Apostle becomes, not the witness or the reasoner, as in the earlier parts of the chapter, but the revealer of a ‘mystery.’ That word, so tragically misunderstood, has here its uniform scriptural sense of truth, otherwise unknown, made known by revelation. But before he unveils the mystery, Paul states with the utmost force a difficulty which might seem to crush all hope,-namely, that corporeity, as we know it, is clearly incapable of living in such a world as that future one must be. To use modern terms, organism and environment must be adapted to each other. A fish must have the water, the creatures that flourish at the poles would not survive at the equator. A man with his gross earthly body, so thoroughly adapted to his earthly abode, would be all out of harmony with his surroundings in that higher world, and its rarified air would be too thin and pure for his lungs. Can there be any possibility of making him fit to live in a spiritual world? Apart from revelation, the dreary answer must be ‘No.’ But the ‘mystery’ answers with ‘Yes.’ The change from physical to spiritual is clearly necessary, if there is to be a blessed life hereafter.

That necessary change is assured to all Christians, whether they die or ‘remain till the coming of the Lord.’ Paul varies in his anticipations as to whether he and his contemporaries will belong to the one class or the other; but he is quite sure that in either case the indwelling Spirit of Jesus will effect on living and dead the needful change. The grand description in 1 Corinthians 15:52, like the parallel in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, is modelled on the account of the theophany on Sinai. The trumpet was the signal of the Divine Presence. That last manifestation will be sudden, and its startling breaking in on daily commonplace is intensified by the reduplication: ‘In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’ With sudden crash that awful blare of ‘loud, uplifted angel trumpet’ will silence all other sounds, and hush the world. The stages of what follows are distinctly marked. First, the rising of the dead changed in passing through death, so as to rise in incorruptible bodies, and then the change of the bodies of the living into like incorruption. The former will not be found naked, but will be clothed with their white garments; the latter will, as it were, put on the glorious robes above the ‘muddy vesture of decay,’ or, more truly, will see the miracle of these being transfigured till they shine ‘so as no fuller on earth could white them.’ The living will witness the resurrection of the dead; the risen dead will witness the transformation of the living. Then both hosts will be united, and, through all eternity, ‘live together,’ and that ‘with Him.’ Paul evidently expects that he and the Corinthians will be in the latter class, as appears by the ‘we’ in 1 Corinthians 15:52. He, as it were, points to his own body when he says, recurring to his former thought of the necessity of harmony between organism and environment, ‘this corruptible must put on incorruption.’ Here ‘corruption’ is used in its physical application, though the ethical meaning may be in the background.

The Apostle closes his long argument and revelation with a burst, almost a shout, of triumph. Glowing words of old prophets rush into his mind, and he breathes a new, grander meaning into them. Isaiah had sung of a time when the veil over all nations should be destroyed ‘in this mountain,’ and when death should be swallowed up for ever; and Paul grasps the words and says that the prophet’s loftiest anticipations will be fulfilled when that monster, whose insatiable maw swallows down youth, beauty, strength, wisdom, will himself be swallowed up. Hosea had prophesied of Israel’s restoration under figure of a resurrection, and Paul grasps his words and fills them with a larger meaning. He modifies them, in a manner on which we need not enlarge, to express the great Christian thought that death has conquered man but that man in Christ will conquer the conqueror. With swift change of metaphor he represents death as a serpent, armed with a poisoned sting, and that suggests to him the thought, never far away in his view of man, that death’s power to slay is derived from-or, so to say, concentrated in-sin; and that at once raises the other equally characteristic and familiar thought that law stimulates sin, since to know a thing to be forbidden creates in perverse humanity an itching to do it, and law reveals sin by setting up the ideal from which sin is the departure. But just as the tracks in Paul’s mind were well worn, by which the thought of death brought in that of sin, and that of sin drew after it that of law, so with equal closeness of established association, that of law condemnatory and slaying, brought up that of Christ the all-sufficient refuge from that gloomy triad-Death Sin, Law. Through union with Him each of us may possess His immortal risen life, in which Death, the engulfer, is himself engulfed; Death, the conqueror, is conquered utterly and for ever; Death, the serpent, has his sting drawn, and is harmless. That participation in Christ’s life is begun even here, and God ‘giveth us the victory’ now, even while we live outward lives that must end in death, and will give it perfectly in the resurrection, when ‘they cannot die any more,’ and death itself is dead.

The loftiest Christian hopes have close relation to the lowliest Christian duties, and Paul’s triumphant song ends with plain, practical, prose exhortations to steadfastness, unmovable tenacity, and abundant fruitfulness, the motive and power of which will be found in the assurance that, since there is a life beyond, all labour here, however it may fail in the eyes of men, will not be in vain, but will tell on character and therefore on condition through eternity. If our peace does not rest where we would fain see it settle, it will not be wasted, but will return to us again, like the dove to the ark, and we shall ‘self-enfold the large results of’ labour that seemed to have been thrown away.1 Corinthians 15:50-52. Now this I say, brethren — This I offer to your consideration as a great and important truth, that we must first undergo an entire change; for flesh and blood — Such as we are now clothed with; cannot inherit the kingdom of God — Cannot enter that happy place which Christ hath gone to prepare for the reception of his people, (John 14:7,) cannot possess that kingdom which is wholly spiritual, because it affords no objects suited either to the senses or to the appetites of such a body. Neither doth corruption — This corruptible body; inherit incorruption — That incorruptible kingdom. Spirits, clothed with corruptible bodies like our present bodies, cannot enjoy objects that are incorruptible. They are not capable of enjoying the divine vision, nor of performing the exalted services, nor of relishing the pure pleasures, which constitute the glory and felicity of the kingdom of God. Behold, I show you a mystery — A truth hitherto unknown, and not yet fully revealed to any of the sons of men. We — Christians: the apostle considers them all as one in their succeeding generations; shall not die — Suffer a separation of soul and body; but we shall all — Who do not die; be changed — So that this animal body shall become spiritual; in a moment — Amazing work of omnipotence! in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump — Blown by the divine command. For the trumpet shall sound, &c. — At the giving of the law from Sinai, there was heard a great noise, like the sounding of a trumpet, exceeding loud, which sounded long, and waxed louder and louder. In like manner, at the descent of Christ from heaven, a great noise called the trump of God, (1 Thessalonians 4:16,) will be made by the attending angels, as the signal for the righteous to come forth from their graves. And this noise being made at Christ’s command, it is called by himself, his voice, John 5:25. After the righteous are raised, the trumpet shall sound a second time; on which account it is called here the last trumpet. And while it sounds, the righteous who are alive on the earth shall be changed. And the dead shall be raised incorruptible — Though this expression be general, yet, as appears from 1 Corinthians 15:51, and indeed from the whole latter part of the chapter, it is evident it must be restricted to the dead in Christ, of whom alone the apostle is discoursing. Besides, as appears from 1 Thessalonians 4:16, the wicked are not to be raised at the same time with the righteous.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.Now this I say, brethren - "I make this affirmation in regard to this whole subject. I do it as containing the substance of all that I have said. I do it in order to prevent all mistake in regard to the nature of the bodies which shall be raised up." This affirmation is made respecting all the dead and all the living, that there must be a material and important change in regard to them before they can be prepared for heaven. Paul had proved in the previous verses that it was possible for God to give us bodies different from those which we now possess; he here affirms, in the most positive manner, that it was indispensable that we should have bodies different from what we now have.

Flesh and blood - Bodies organized as ours now are. "Flesh and blood" denotes such bodies as we have here, bodies that are fragile. weak, liable to disease, subject to pain and death. They are composed of changing particles; to be repaired and strengthened daily; they are subject to decay, and are wasted away by sickness, and of course they cannot be suited to a world where there shall be no decay and and no death.

Cannot inherit - Cannot be admitted as heir to the kingdom of God. The future world of glory is often represented as an heirship; see the note on Romans 8:17.

The kingdom of God - Heaven; appropriately called his kingdom, because he shall reign there in undivided and perfect glory forever.

Neither doth corruption ... - Neither can that which is in its nature corruptible, and liable to decay, be adapted to a world where all is incorruptible. The apostle here simply states the fact. He does not tell us why it is impossible. It may be because the mode of communication there is not by the bodily senses; it may be because such bodies as ours would not be suited to relish the pure and exalted pleasures of an incorruptible world; it may be because they would interfere with the exalted worship, the active service, and the sleepless employments of the heavenly world; it may be because such a body is constituted to derive pleasure from objects which shall not be found in heaven. It is adapted to enjoyment in eating and drinking, and the pleasures of the eye, the ear, the taste, the touch; in heaven the soul shall be awake to more elevated and pure enjoyments than these, and, of course, such bodies as we here have would impede our progress and destroy our comforts, and be ill adapted to all the employments and enjoyments of that heavenly world.

50. (See on [2296]1Co 15:37; [2297]1Co 15:39). "Flesh and blood" of the same animal and corruptible nature as our present (1Co 15:44) animal-souled bodies, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Therefore the believer acquiesces gladly in the unrepealed sentence of the holy law, which appoints the death of the present body as the necessary preliminary to the resurrection body of glory. Hence he "dies daily" to the flesh and to the world, as the necessary condition to his regeneration here and hereafter (Joh 3:6; Ga 2:20). As the being born of the flesh constitutes a child of Adam, so the being born of the Spirit constitutes a child of God.

cannot—Not merely is the change of body possible, but it is necessary. The spirit extracted from the dregs of wine does not so much differ from them, as the glorified man does from the mortal man [Bengel] of mere animal flesh and blood (Ga 1:16). The resurrection body will be still a body though spiritual, and substantially retaining the personal identity; as is proved by Lu 24:39; Joh 20:27, compared with Php 3:21.

the kingdom of God—which is not at all merely animal, but altogether spiritual. Corruption doth not inherit, though it is the way to, incorruption (1Co 15:36, 52, 53).

Flesh and blood do not here signify sin, the unrenewed nature, (as some would have it), but our bodies, in their present natural, corruptible, frail, mortal state; so the terms signify, Ephesians 6:12 Hebrews 2:14. Flesh and blood shall inherit the kingdom of God, (else our bodies could not be glorified), but our body, as in its present state, till changed and altered as to qualities, till it be made a spiritual body, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. The latter words give a reason why

flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; because it is corruption, that is, subject to natural corruption and putrefaction, and the heavenly state of incorruption; the bodies of believers therefore must be raised up in that state of incorruption mentioned 1 Corinthians 15:42, before they can be capable of inheriting the kingdom of God. Now this I say, brethren,.... Upon the whole, I assert this, and observe it to you, out of a truly Christian respect for you, as brethren in the Lord, that

flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God: this shows the necessity there is of a difference between the body that now is, and that which shall be, which the apostle has so largely insisted on, and so clearly proved and explained, in the preceding verses; because the body, as it now is, is not capable of possessing the heavenly glory; was it to be introduced into heaven, in the condition it is now, it would break in pieces, and crumble into dust; it would not be able to bear the glory of that state and place: by flesh and blood is meant, not human nature as to the substance of it, or as consisting of flesh and blood, for that can and does inherit the kingdom of God; witness the human nature, or body of Christ, the bodies of the saints that rose after his resurrection, and those of Enoch and Elijah, who were translated body and soul to heaven; so that this passage makes nothing for those that deny the resurrection of the same body, and plead for a new and an aerial one: but the human nature, or body, so and so qualified, is here meant; either as corrupted with sin, for without holiness and righteousness no man shall see the Lord, or enter into and possess the kingdom of heaven; or flesh and blood, or an human body, as it is now supported in this animal life, with meat and drink, &c. and as it is frail and mortal, and subject to death, in which sense the phrase is used in Scripture; see Matthew 16:17 and often by the Jews; so Abraham is represented by them as saying (i),

"I am , "flesh and blood", tomorrow I shall depart out of the world, or die:''

it would be endless to give the many instances that might be produced of this use of the phrase with them, and in which sense it is to be taken here: and the meaning is, that saints in their frail mortal bodies, such as they now are, are not capable of enjoying the heavenly glory; which is called "the kingdom", because of its riches, glory, grandeur, and magnificence; and the kingdom "of God", because it is of his preparing and giving; and what he calls his people to, and makes them meet for, and in which they will reign with him for evermore: heirs of it they may be, and are now whilst in this frail and mortal state; but inherit, possess, and enjoy it, they cannot, as not without holiness of soul, so not without immortality of body; and therefore it is necessary that the body should rise different in qualities from, though the same in substance with, the present body; that it should rise incorruptible, glorious, powerful, and spiritual; that it may be fitted for, and be able to bear the exceeding weight of glory in the other world:

neither doth corruption inherit incorruption: by corruption is not so much meant sin, or the corruption of nature, or man as corrupted by sin, though it is true of such an one, that he does not, and cannot inherit incorruption; the incorruptible crown, the crown of glory that fadeth not away, the incorruptible inheritance, reserved in the heavens, those riches which moth and rust corrupt not; but the body, as it is generated in corruption, is supported by corruptible things, and is subject to corruption and worms; in such a situation it is unfit for, and incapable of inheriting eternal glory; it must be different from what it is; it must put on immortality, and be clothed with incorruption: the word inherit in both clauses shows, that the heavenly glory is an inheritance, and belongs to children only; is their heavenly Father's bequest unto them; is not bought or acquired by anything of theirs; and is what they enter into and upon, in virtue and consequence of the death of the testator, Christ.

(i) Bemibdar Rabba, sect. 11. fol. 202. 3.

{28} Now this I say, brethren, that {c} flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

(28) The conclusion: we cannot be partakers of the glory of God unless we put off all that gross and filthy nature of our bodies subject to corruption, that the same body may be adorned with incorruptible glory.

(c) Flesh and blood are taken here for a living body, which cannot attain to incorruption, unless it puts off corruption.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 15:50. The discussion regarding the nature of the resurrection body is now closed with a negative axiom, which serves to confirm the φορέσομεν τ. εἰκ. τ. ἐπουρ.[88] But this (in order to add yet this general statement in confirmation of what has just been said) I assure you of. Comp. 1 Corinthians 7:29. The sense of a concession (for the spiritualistic opponents, so Usteri, Billroth, Olshausen) is imported into the context and the simple φημί. According to van Hengel, Paul writes to obviate a misapprehension; his readers were not to think that the φορέσομεν κ. τ. εἰκόνα τοῦ ἐπουρανίου consisted in the fellowship of the flesh and blood, which Christ had before and after His resurrection. But there was no occasion presented for such an opinion, since the Christian belief was assured that the heavenly Christ has a glorified body (Php 3:21). Hofmann (following Beza) refers τοῦτο to what precedes, and takes ὅτι as introducing the ground, why the apostle has uttered 1 Corinthians 15:46-49. But this ground is of a positive nature, and does not lie in the merely negative thought 1 Corinthians 15:50, but much deeper, namely, in the Scriptural (1 Corinthians 15:45) relation of the bodily condition of the earthly and of the heavenly Ada.

σὰρξ κ. αἷμα] i.e. the bodily nature which we have in this temporal life, the chief constituents of which are flesh and blood,[89] the latter as the seat of life. Τὴν θνητὴν φύσιν καλεῖ· ἀδύνατον δὲ ταύτην ἐτι θνητὴν οὖσαν τῆς ἐπτουρανίου βασιλείας τυχεῖν, Theodoret. Comp. 1 Corinthians 6:13. Σ. κ. αἷμα is just as little to be taken in the ethical sense, which σάρξ by itself elsewhere has, as is φθορά afterwards (in opposition to Chrysostom, Theophylact, al.).

οὐδέ] and not, still dependent upon ὅτι. This second half of the verse forms with the first a parallelism, in which the first clause names the concrete matters, and the second one the general class (the categories in question), to which the former belong. The φθορά, i.e. according to the context (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:42), the corruption (and to this category flesh and blood belong, which fall a prey to corruption), inherits not the incorruptibility, to the realm of which belong the relations of the Messianic kingdom, and in particular the glorified body of the sharers in the kingdom. The abstract nouns instead of τὸ φθαρτόν and τὸ ἄφθαρτον have a certain solemnity. Comp. Dissen, ad Pind. p. 476: “Sublimitatem et πάθος adjuvant abstracta sic posita pro concretis.” Regarding κληρονομ. of the entrance upon the Messianic possession, comp. 1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 3:29. The present sets what is sure and certain before us as present.

[88] According to Tischendorf and Ewald, ver. 50 begins already the new section, and would thus be the introduction to it. Likewise suitable; still at 1 Corinthians 7:29 also τοῦτο δὲ φημί serves to confirm what has preceded it.

[89] It is not to the body as such that participation in the Messianic kingdom is denied, but to the present body consisting of flesh and blood. Jerome says well: “alia carnis, alia corporis definitio est; omnis caro est corpus, non omne corpus est caro.” In harmony with our passage we should have to read in the third article [of the “Apostles’ Creed”] “resurrection of the body,” instead of “resurrection of the flesh.” The conception “glorified flesh” is for the apostle a contradictio in adjecto, which cannot even be justified from his doctrine of the Lord’s Supper.1 Corinthians 15:50-58. § 56. VICTORY OVER DEATH. The second part of the argument of this chapter has now reached the same platform as the first (cf. §§ 51 and 54). The Resurrection of the Body, it has been shown, is an essential part of the Divine world-plan and necessary to the fulfilment of God’s kingdom through Christ (1 Corinthians 15:20-27); and the transformation of the earthly into the heavenly, of the psychic into the pneumatic form of being, is involved in the present constitution of things and accords with the lines of development traceable in nature and revelation (1 Corinthians 15:36-49). In a word, P. holds the Christian resurrection to be grounded in the person and mission of Christ, as He is on the one hand the Son of God and mediatorial Head of His kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), and on the other hand the Second Adam and Firstborn of a spiritual humanity (1 Corinthians 15:22 f., 1 Corinthians 15:45-49). He finds the key to this great controversy, as to so many others, in the supremacy of Christ, the “one Lord, through whom are all things and we through Him” (1 Corinthians 8:6). It remains for him only to state the practical conclusion of this reasoning (1 Corinthians 15:50), to describe our anticipated transformation and victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:51-57), and to urge his readers in this confidence to accomplish worthily their life’s work (1 Corinthians 15:58).50. Now this I say, brethren] We enter here upon a new phase of the argument. The Apostle now tells us how this great result shall be accomplished. We cannot inherit eternity as we are: a change is necessary. And this change will in the end be a sudden one, but will consist rather in the modification of the external conditions of the body than in any destruction of its essential properties. See note on 1 Corinthians 15:53.

that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God] It is not the material particles of our body which endure for ever. They are subject to corruption and dissolution. It is the spiritual principle of life which abides, and like the seed, attracts to itself such material particles as shall serve it for a suitable habitation. (See notes on 1 Corinthians 15:37-38.) The early heretics mentioned above, 1 Corinthians 15:12, caught eagerly at this verse as disposing of the idea of a material resurrection. But the early Fathers of the Church shewed conclusively that it was not to be so understood. They cited St Luke 24:39 to prove that Jesus Christ had ‘flesh and bones’ after His Resurrection. And we may observe, moreover, that in St Paul’s language ‘flesh and blood’ stood for our ordinary humanity, as distinguished from everything of a spiritual nature. See Romans 8:1-10; Galatians 1:16; Ephesians 6:12.

neither doth corruption inherit incorruption] An additional proof of what has just been stated. Our ordinary flesh and blood is by its very nature destined to corruption. It is not with such flesh and blood that we can become partakers of the incorruptible life.1 Corinthians 15:50. Σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα, flesh and blood) An abstract phrase, [meaning man, as far as the circulation of the blood quickens his flesh.—V. g.] as φθορὰ, corruption. The one is applied to those, who live in the world, the other to the dead. Both of these must become altogether different from what they have been previously. The spirit extracted from the dregs of wine does not so much differ from them, as the glorified man from the mortal man.—βασιλείαν Θεοῦ, the kingdom of God) which is altogether spiritual, and in no respect merely animal [natural]. A great change must intervene, until man is made fit for that kingdom.—οὐ δύνανται, cannot) This is a Syllepsis[147] of number, for it denotes the multitude of those, who are flesh and blood.—οὐδὲκληρονομεῖ, nor—obtains by inheritance) It is not said, cannot receive by inheritance. Flesh and blood are farther distant [from the inheritance], than corruption itself; and it is evident from its very nature, that corruption cannot obtain this inheritance, although it is certainly the way to incorruptibility, 1 Corinthians 15:36. The meaning of the present may be gathered from 1 Corinthians 15:52 at the beginning.[148]

[147] See App. The sing. subject had gone before. But the plural was mentally intended.—ED.

[148] So D(Λ) corrected later, d f Hilary 91,315, and Latin MSS. in Jerome 1,810c, read παντες ἀναστησόμεθα, οὐ πάντες δὲ ἀλλαγήσομεθα.—ED.Verses 50-58. - Conclusion and exhortation. Verse 50. - Now this I say. This sums up my meaning. Flesh and blood. Our mortal nature and human organism; our "earthly house of this tabernacle" (2 Corinthians 5:1; Luke 20:35). Inherit incorruption. A body liable to corruption, with all its loathly accompaniments, cannot enter into the "inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away" (1 Peter 1:4).
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