Bodily Resurrection and 1 Corinthians 15:42-54

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Bodily Resurrection and 1 Corinthians 15: 42-54

One of the most significant issues concerning nearly all religions, Christianity among them, concerns the fate of men following their death. Believing in an inevitable resurrection of the body among the faithful, Paul, a principle founder of Christianity, asserted his beliefs on the nature of bodily resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15: 42-54. As eternity tends to last a long time, believing Christians (even agnostics such as myself) would likely be somewhat eager to arrive at an accurate interpretation of Paul's message found in the above verses, so as to glean insight as to what might await them following their last heartbeat. The approach I will take in analyzing 1 Corinthians: 42-54 will be to: 1) explain how the verses fit in with the overall structure of the book; 2) to explain and paraphrase the meaning behind the passage; 3) relate the verses to similar passages expressed elsewhere by Paul; 4) and lastly to touch upon some of the controversy associated with the verses.

1 Corinthians was written around 54 C.E. and was addressed to the congregation which was made up primarily of gentiles and was located in Corinth. At the time, Corinth was a highly urbanized and religiously diverse city which made it very conducive to the early Christian movement. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians was written as a response to a letter he had received (which did not survive) from the Corinthians in which Paul was asked to settle various disputes that were arising within the struggling congregation. Writing in apostolic fashion to the congregation he had founded, Paul's letter while pastoral, answered numerous questions and demanded numerous changes ranging from: the rich eating with the poor at the church suppers (11:18-22); to curbing the acceptance of sexual immorality (5:1-13); to...