The sons of the resurrection

Ahanu

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,095
Reaction score
515
Points
108
After reading Jesus' reply to the Sadducees, I have always had trouble with these verses. However, I came by a commentary by Geza Vermes, a Jewish scholar, that helps me understand what is going on here. The story revolves around the biblical law on leviratic marriage (Dt 25:5-6).

Also, not only did the Sadducees not believe in the resurrection of the material body, this aristocratic group also believed that the soul perished with the body. Jesus says the Sadducees are in error (Mark 12: 18-25; Luke 20: 27-40).

During the time of Jesus, I learned that Palestinian Jews were adopting the belief in the reunion of the body and soul after death, while Hellenistic Jews said the body decomposed and the soul was released from its prison.

Now we come to my question; I could not find any reliable information online yet. Here is what Geza Vermes said:
"The 'sons of the resurrectio' were thought to be bodiless and resemble the 'angels of God' or the 'songs of God.' The picture is paralleled in contemporaneous Jewish literature such as the First Book of Enoch, whose author, like Jesus in the Synoptics, compared the resurrected righteous to the 'angels in heaven' (1 En 51:4). The Second Book of Baruch also speaks of the glory of the risen just that is similar to, and even surpasses, the splendor of the angels (2 Bar 51:5, 10, 12). So for Jesus, or at least for his later disciples, the sons of the resurrection had an angelic noncorporeal quality. If so, the diea of marriage, with its bodily implications, was inapplicable to them."
With the referrence to "the sons of the resurrection," is Jesus promoting the belief in a resurrection without the reunion of the body and soul in this passage?
 
Regarding Jesus' argument:

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God of the living --> therefore Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will rise.

To me this means Jesus teaches 'God of the living' implies resurrection, but suppose that souls in Jesus' opinion separate from the bodies (which rot) and are considered alive for that reason. Now Jesus' argument looks like this:

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God of the living --> therefore Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob live incorporeally

What does resurrection have to do with this argument, and why was resurrection even part of the dialogue in that case? Perhaps the question 'Do the dead rise?' was a misquote or just thrown in as a red herring? I would say probably-not and probably Jesus was talking about physical resurrection.
 
Last edited:
What does resurrection have to do with this argument, and why was resurrection even part of the dialogue in that case?

OK. Here is my personal opinion. . .

Yes, "In the resurrection whose wife will she be?" Now the Sadducee creed says this: THERE IS NO RESURRECTION. My question asks, What kind of resurrection? To me, the answer is to inform the Sadducees about the continuation of the soul; for they would surely deny that the soul did rise from the tomb of the body, or that a material body would rise. I have established that both would be denied. Hey, Jesus could be basically saying, "since they are 'sons of the resurrection,' they will be bodiless, so the women will not marry any of them."
35But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection.
This makes sense, but I do not know. From what I have read, some groups of Jews who did not believe in a bodily resurrection were using the term "rise" to refer to the souls of the righteous too. Geza Vermes said:
"The spirit of the just will live and rejoice and their memory will remain with God (1 En 103:4), and in the Parables of Enoch (chapters 37-72), the risen righteous will be 'like the angels in heaven' (1 En 51:4), reminiscent of Jesus' similar sayings in the New Testament" (Mk 12:25; Mt 22:30; Lk 20:36).
Jesus goes on saying:
37But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord 'the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.'[c] 38He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."
39Some of the teachers of the law responded, "Well said, teacher!" 40And no one dared to ask him any more questions​
It seems to me that the discussion of resurrection in late Judaism is not old, but a new hot topic. As Jesus quotes Moses, Jesus is riding on some new school of thought here. I just do not know if it is the resurrection of the body or soul. I do not see how the rising of Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob would negate the idea of simply the resurrection of the soul only.
 
As Jesus quotes Moses, Jesus is riding on some new school of thought here. I just do not know if it is the resurrection of the body or soul. I do not see how the rising of Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob would negate the idea of simply the resurrection of the soul only.

Also, I would like to comment on this a little more too. I was going to quote the Hellenistic work of the Fourth Book of Maccabees, but I had not yet read the quotes there yet. It talks about being with the Patriarchs too.
"They join the choir of their fathers, having recieved from God 'pure and deathless souls' in exchange for their mortal coil" (4 Mac 16:25; 18:23)
If anybody wants to take a peek, I included the URL. This is just speculation. I find it interesting that Jesus' interpretation of Exodus 3:6 is not original, but it comes from some variation of Judaism. For example, 4 Mac 16:25 says, "They knew also that those who die for the sake of God live in God, as do Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the patriarchs." Still, as Dream says, Jesus is probably talking about physical resurrection :)o).
 
With the referrence to "the sons of the resurrection," is Jesus promoting the belief in a resurrection without the reunion of the body and soul in this passage?
Short answer, no, He's not.

Thomas
 
Back
Top