Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Level Of Detail In 1 Corinthians 15:6

Jesus' resurrection appearance to more than 500, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:6, tends to get underestimated in our day. But there's a lot to commend it and warrant assigning the passage more significance than people often do.

One of the reasons why the passage should be held in higher regard is the level of detail it includes about significant issues. Paul is briefly summarizing several of Jesus' resurrection appearances, yet a series of important details about the appearance under consideration are included even in that brief summarizing context. Paul refers to the relative chronology of the appearance ("After that"), the number of people involved, saying "more than" instead of just leaving it at a rough estimate of 500, specifies their gender ("brethren"), recognizes the significance of their having seen Jesus "at one time" and the importance of mentioning that detail, and followed their lives since the time of the appearance enough to know that "most" are still alive and the value of their still being alive. (See here regarding the likelihood that some non-Christians were present during the appearance.) Paul not only experienced a resurrection appearance himself, but also had a lot of interest in and knowledge about the appearances to others. And the details he shows interest in in 1 Corinthians 15:6 reflect well on him, since they're such significant ones.

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