Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Corinthians 15:42

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

So also is the resurrection of the dead - That is, the bodies of the dead, though all immortal, shall possess different degrees of splendor and glory, according to the state of holiness in which their respective souls were found. The rabbins have some crude notions concerning different degrees of glory, which the righteous shall possess in the kingdom of heaven. They make out seven degrees: -

    "The first of which is possessed by צדיקים tsaddikim, the just, who observe the covenant of the holy, blessed God, and subjugate all evil affections."

    "The second is possessed by those who are ישרים yesharim, the upright; whose delight it is to walk in the ways of God and please him."

    "The third is for תמימים temimim, the perfect: those who, with integrity, walk in the ways of God, and do not curiously pry into his dispensations."

    "The fourth is for קדושים kedoshim, the holy ones; those who are the excellent of the earth, in whom is all God's delight." Psalm 16:3.

    "The fifth is for תשובה בעלי baaley teshubah, the chief of the penitents; who have broken through the brazen doors, and returned to the Lord."

    "The sixth is for ht si rof רבן בית של תינוקות tinukoth shel beith raban, the scholars and tender ones; who have not transgressed."

    "The seventh is for חסידים chasidim, the godly: and this is the innermost of all the departments." These seven degrees require a comment by themselves.

There is a saying among the rabbins very like that of the apostle in this and the preceding verse Siphri, in Yalcut Simeoni, page 2, fol. 10: "The faces of the righteous shall be, in the world to come, like suns, moons, the heaven, stars, lightnings: and like the lilies and candlesticks of the temple."

It is sown in corruption - The body is buried in a state of degradation, decay, and corruption. The apostle uses the word sown to intimate that the body shall rise again, as a seed springs up that has been sown in the earth.

It is raised in incorruption - Being no more subject to corruption, dissolution, and death.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

So also is the resurrection - In a manner similar to the grain that is sown, and to the different degrees of splendor and magnificence in the bodies in the sky and on the earth. The dead shall be raised in a manner analogous to the springing up of grain; and there shall be a difference between the body here and the body in the resurrection.

It is sown - In death. As we sow or plant the kernel in the earth.

In corruption - In the grave; in a place where it shall be corrupt; in a form tending to putrefaction, disorganization, and dust.

It is raised in incorruption - It will be so raised. In the previous verses 1 Corinthians 15:36-41 he had reasoned from analogy, and had demonstrated that it was possible that the dead should rise, or that there was no greater difficulty attending it than actually occurred in the events which were in fact constantly taking place. He here states positively what would be, and affirms that it was not only possible, but that such a resurrection would actually occur. They body would be raised “in incorruption,” “uncorruptible” 1 Corinthians 15:52; that is, no more liable to decay, sickness, disorganization, and putrefaction. This is one characteristic of the body that shall be raised, that it shall be no more liable, as here, to wasting sickness, to disease, and to the loathsome corruption of the grave. That God can form a body of that kind, no one can doubt; that he actually will, the apostle positively affirms. That such will be the bodies of the saints is one of the most cheering prospects that can be presented to those who are here wasted away by sickness, and who look with dread and horror on the loathsome putrefaction of the tomb.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.
Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 87


The seed dies to spring forth into new life, and in this we are taught the lesson of the resurrection. All who love God will live again in the Eden above. Of the human body laid away to molder in the grave God has said, “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.” 1 Corinthians 15:42, 43. COL 87.1


Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Education, 110

More than this: as we impart the blessings of this life, gratitude in the recipient prepares the heart to receive spiritual truth, and a harvest is produced unto life everlasting. Ed 110.1

By the casting of grain into the earth, the Saviour represents His sacrifice for us. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die,” He says, “it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:24. Only through the sacrifice of Christ, the Seed, could fruit be brought forth for the kingdom of God. In accordance with the law of the vegetable kingdom, life is the result of His death. Ed 110.2

So with all who bring forth fruit as workers together with Christ: self-love, self-interest, must perish; the life must be cast into the furrow of the world's need. But the law of self-sacrifice is the law of self-preservation. The husbandman preserves his grain by casting it away. So the life that will be preserved is the life that is freely given in service to God and man. Ed 110.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 270-1

We are not like the heathen, to have days and nights of mourning when nothing is heard but dismal chanting for the dead, for the purpose of arousing human sympathy. We are not to clothe ourselves with mourning clothing and wear a mournful countenance, as though our friends and relatives were forever parted from us. John exclaims, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:12, 13). 2SM 270.1

How appropriate are the words of John in the case of these loved ones who sleep in Jesus. The Lord loved them, and the words spoken by them in their life, the labors of love which will be remembered, will be repeated by others. Their earnest wholeheartedness in the work of God leaves an example for others to follow, for the Holy Spirit has worked in them to will and to do of His good pleasure. 2SM 270.2

“But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by is Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:11). O how precious are these words to every bereaved soul! Christ is our Guide and Comforter, who comforts us in all our tribulations. When He gives us a bitter draught to drink, He also holds a cup of blessing to our lips. He fills the heart with submission, with joy and peace in believing, and enables us to say submissively, Not my will, but Thy will, O Lord, be done. “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). With this submission hope is resurrected, and the hand of faith lays hold upon the hand of infinite power. “He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:11). 2SM 270.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1092-3

6. Sacred Facts Immortalized—After His resurrection, Christ did not show Himself to any save His followers, but testimony in regard to His resurrection was not wanting. It came from various sources, from the five hundred who assembled in Galilee to see their risen Lord. This testimony could not be quenched. The sacred facts of Christ's resurrection were immortalized (Manuscript 115, 1897). 6BC 1092.1

Countenance as the Face of God—After His resurrection, Christ met with His disciples in Galilee. At the time appointed, about five hundred disciples were assembled on the mountainside. Suddenly Jesus stood among them. No one could tell whence or how He came. Many who were present had never before seen Him; but in His hands and feet they beheld the marks of the crucifixion; His countenance was as the face of God, and when they saw Him they worshiped Him (Letter 115, 1904). 6BC 1092.2

Read in context »