15:1 Moreover, 1 brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which
I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and
wherein ye a stand;
(1) The sixth treatise of this epistle, concerning the
resurrection: and he uses a transition, or passing over
from one matter to another, showing first that he brings no
new thing, to the end that the Corinthians might understand
that they had begun to swerve from the right course. And
next that he does not go about to entreat of a trifling
matter, but of another chief point of the Gospel, which if
it is taken away, their faith will necessarily come to
nothing. And so at the length he begins this treatise at
Christ's resurrection, which is the ground and foundation
of ours, and confirms it first by the testimony of the
scriptures and by the witness of the apostles, and of more
than five hundred brethren, and last of all by his own.
(a) In the profession of which you still continue.
15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I
preached unto you, b unless ye have believed in vain.
(b) Which is very absurd, and cannot be, for they that
believe must reap the fruit of faith.
15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the c twelve:
(c) Of those twelve picked and chosen apostles, who were
commonly called twelve, though Judas was put out of the
15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at
d once; of whom the greater part remain unto this
present, but some are fallen asleep.
(d) Not at several different times, but together and at one
15:82 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born
out of due time.
(2) He maintains along the way the authority of his
apostleship, which was required to be in good credit among
the Corinthians, that this epistle might be of force and
weight among them. In the mean time he compares himself,
under divine inspiration, in such a way with certain
others, that he makes himself inferior to them all.
15:123 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead,
how say some among you that there is no resurrection of
(3) The first argument to prove that there is a resurrection
from the dead: Christ is risen again, therefore the dead
will rise again.
15:134 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is
Christ not risen:
(4) The second by an absurdity: if there is no resurrection of
the dead, then Christ is not risen again.
15:145 And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching
vain, and your faith [is] also vain.
(5) The proof of that absurdity, by other absurdities: if
Christ is not risen again, the preaching of the Gospel is
in vain, and the credit that you gave to it is vain, and we
15:166 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
(6) He repeats the same argument taken from an absurdity,
purposing to show how faith is in vain if the resurrection
of Christ is taken away.
15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; 7 ye
are e yet in your sins.
(7) First, seeing death is the punishment of sin, in vain
should we believe that our sins were forgiven us, if they
remain: but they do remain, if Christ did not rise from
(e) They are yet in their sins who are not sanctified, nor
have obtained remission of their sins.
15:188 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are
(8) Secondly, unless it is certain that Christ rose again, all
those who died in Christ have perished. So then, what
profit comes of faith?
15:199 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of
all men most miserable.
(9) The third argument which is also taken from an absurdity:
for unless there is another life, in which those who trust
and believe in Christ will be blessed, they are the most
miserable of all creatures, because in this life they would
be the most miserable.
15:2010 But now is Christ risen from the dead, 11 [and]
become the f firstfruits of them that slept.
(10) A conclusion of the former argument: therefore Christ is
(11) He puts the last conclusion for the first proposition of
the argument that follows. Christ is risen again:
therefore will we the faithful (for of them he speaks)
rise again. Then follows the first reason of this
conclusion: for Christ is set forth to us to be considered
of, not as a private man apart and by himself, but as the
firstfruits: and he takes that which was known to all men,
that is, that the whole heap is sanctified in the
(f) He alludes to the firstfruits of grain, the offering of
which sanctified the rest of the fruits.
15:2112 For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the
resurrection of the dead.
(12) Another confirmation of the same conclusion: for Christ is
to be considered as opposite to Adam, that as from one man
Adam, sin came over all, so from one man Christ, life
comes to all. That is to say, that all the faithful, who
die because by nature they were born of Adam, so because
in Christ they are made the children of God by grace, they
are made alive and restored to life by him.
15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be g
(g) Will rise by the power of Christ.
15:2313 But every man in his own order: Christ the
firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his
(13) He does two things together: for he shows that the
resurrection is in such sort common to Christ with all his
members, that nonetheless he far surpasses them, both in
time (for he was the first that rose again from the dead)
and also in honour, because from him and in him is all our
life and glory. Then by this occasion he passes to the
15:2414 Then [cometh] the h end, when he shall have
delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he
shall have put down i all rule and all authority and
(14) The fourth argument with which also he confirms the other,
has a most sure ground, that is, because God must reign.
And this is the manner of his reign, that the Father will
be shown to be King in his Son who was made man, to whom
all things are made subject (the promiser being the only
exception) to the end that the Father may afterward
triumph in his Son the conqueror. And he makes two parts
of this reign and dominion of the Son in which the
Father's glory consists: that is first, the overcoming of
his enemies, in which some must be deprived of all power,
as Satan and all the wicked, be they ever so proud and
mighty, and others must be utterly abolished, as death.
And second, a plain and full delivery of the godly from
all enemies, that by this means God may fully set forth
the body of the Church cleaving fast to their head Christ,
his kingdom and glory, as a King among his subjects.
Moreover he puts the first degree of his kingdom in the
resurrection of the Son, who is the head: and the
perfection, in the full conjunction of the members with
the head, which will be in the latter day. Now all these
tend to this purpose, to show that unless the dead do rise
again, neither the Father can be King above all, neither
Christ the Lord of all. For neither should the power of
Satan and death be overcome, nor the glory of God be full
in his Son, nor his Son in his members.
(h) The conclusion and finishing of all things.
(i) All his enemies who will be robbed of all the power
that they have.
15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies k under
(k) Christ is considered here as he appeared in the form
of a servant, in which respect he rules the Church as
head, and that because this power was given to him
from his Father.
15:26 The l last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.
(l) The conclusion of the argument, which is taken from
the whole to the part: for if all his enemies will be
put under his feet, then it will necessarily be that
death also will be subdued under him.
15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, m then
shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put
all things under him, that n God may be all in all.
(m) Not because the Son was not subject to his Father
before, but because his body, that is to say, the
Church which is here in distress, and not yet wholly
partaker of his glory, is not yet fully perfect: and
also because the bodies of the saints which are in the
graves, will not be glorified until the resurrection.
But Christ as he is God, has us subject to him as his
Father has, but as he is Priest, he is subject to his
Father together with us. Augustine, book 1, chap. 8,
of the trinity.
(n) By this high type of speech is set forth an
incomprehensible glory which flows from God, and will
fill all of us, as we are joined together with our
head, but yet in such a way that our head will always
preserve his preeminence.
15:2915 Else what shall they do which are baptized o for
the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then
baptized for the dead?
(15) The fifth argument taken of the end of baptism, that is,
because those who are baptized, are baptized for dead:
that is to say, that they may have a remedy against death,
because baptism is a token of regeneration.
(o) They that are baptized to this end and purpose, that
death may be put out in them, or to rise again from
the dead, of which baptism is a seal.
15:3016 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
(16) The sixth argument: unless there is a resurrection of the
dead, why should the apostles so daily cast themselves
into danger of so many deaths?
15:31 I protest by your p rejoicing which I have in Christ
Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
(p) As though he said, "I die daily, as all the miseries I
suffer can well witness, which I may truly boast
of, that I have suffered among you."
15:3217 If q after the manner of men I have fought with
beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead
rise not? 18 let us r eat and drink; for to morrow we
(17) The taking away of an objection: but you, Paul, were
ambitious, as men commonly and are accustomed to be,
when you fought with beasts at Ephesus. That is very
likely, says Paul: for what could that profit me, were
it not for the glory of eternal life which I hope for?
(q) Not upon any godly motion, nor casting my eyes upon
God, but carried away with vain glory, or a certain
(18) The seventh argument which depends upon the last: if there
is no resurrection of the dead, why do we give ourselves
to anything else, except for eating and drinking?
(r) These are sayings of the Epicureans.
15:3319 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good
(19) The conclusion with a sharp exhortation, that they take
heed of the wicked company of certain ones. And from this
he shows where this evil sprang from: warning them to
be wise with sobriety to righteousness.
15:3520 But some [man] will say, How are the dead raised up?
and with what body do they come?
(20) Now that he has proved the resurrection, he demonstrates
their doltishness, in that they scoffingly demanded how it
could be that the dead could rise again: and if they did
rise again, they asked mockingly, what manner of bodies
they should have. Therefore he sends these fellows, who
seemed to themselves to be marvellously wise and
intelligent, to be instructed of poor rude farmers.
15:3621 [Thou] fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened,
except it die:
(21) You might have learned either of these, Paul says, by
daily experience: for seeds are sown, and rot, and yet
nonetheless they are far from perishing, but rather they
grow up far more beautiful. And whereas they are sown
naked and dry, they spring up green from death by the
power of God: and does it seem incredible to you that our
bodies should rise from corruption, and that endued with a
far more excellent quality?
15:3822 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and
to every seed his own body.
(22) We see a diversity both in one and the self same thing
which has now one form and then another, and yet keeps its
own type: as it is evident in a grain which is sown bare,
but springs up far after another sort: and also in
different types of one self same sort, as among beasts:
and also among things of different sorts, as the heavenly
bodies and the earthly bodies; which also differ very much
one from another. Therefore there is no reason why we
should reject either the resurrection of the bodies, or
the changing of them into a better state, as a thing
impossible, or strange.
15:4223 So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is s
sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
(23) He makes three manner of qualities of the bodies being
raised: first, incorruption, that is, because they will be
sound and altogether of a nature that can not be corrupt.
Second, glory, because they will be adorned with beauty
and honour. Third, power, because they will continue
everlasting, without food, drink, and all other helps,
without which this frail life cannot keep itself from
(s) Is buried, and man is hid as seed in the ground.
15:43 It is sown in t dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is
sown in weakness; it is raised in u power:
(t) Void of honour, void of glory and beauty.
(u) Freed from the former weakness, in which it is subject
to such alteration and change, that it cannot maintain
itself without food and drink and such other like
15:4424 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual
body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual
(24) He shows perfectly in one word this change of the quality
of the body by the resurrection, when he says that a
natural body will become a spiritual body: which two
qualities being completely different the one from the
other he straightway expounds, and sets forth diligently.
15:4525 And so it is written, The x first man Adam was made
a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a y quickening
(25) That is called a natural body which is made alive and
maintained by a living soul only in the manner that Adam
was, of whom we are all born naturally. And that is said
to be a spiritual body, which together with the soul is
made alive with a far more excellent power, that is, with
the Spirit of God, who descends from Christ the second
Adam to us.
(x) Adam is called the first man, because he is the root
as it were from which we spring. And Christ is the
latter man, because he is the beginning of all those
that are spiritual, and in him we are all included.
(y) Christ is called a Spirit, by reason of that most
excellent nature, that is to say, God who dwells in
him bodily, as Adam is called a living soul, by reason
of the soul which is the best part in him.
15:4626 Howbeit that [was] not first which is spiritual, but
that which is natural; and afterward that which is
(26) Secondly, he wills the order of this twofold state or
quality to be observed, that the natural was first, Adam
being created of the clay of the earth. And the spiritual
follows and came upon it, that is, when the Lord being
sent from heaven, endued our flesh, which was prepared and
made fit for him, with the fulness of the Godhead.
15:47 The first man [is] of the earth, z earthy: the second
man [is] the Lord from a heaven.
(z) Wallowing in dirt, and wholly given to an earthly
(a) As Adam was the first man, Christ is the second man;
and these two are spoken of, as if they were the only
two men in the world; because as the former was the
head and representative of all his natural posterity,
so the latter is the head and representative of all
the spiritual offspring: and that he is "the Lord from
heaven"; in distinction from the first man. (Ed.)
15:4827 As [is] the earthy, such [are] they also that are
earthy: and as [is] the heavenly, such [are] they also
that are heavenly.
(27) He applies both the earthly naturalness of Adam (if I may
so say) to our bodies, so long as they are naturally
conversant upon earth, that is, in this life, and in the
grave. And also the spirituality of Christ to our same
bodies, after they are risen again: and he says that the
former goes before, and that this latter will follow.
15:49 And as we have borne the b image of the earthy, we shall
also bear the image of the heavenly.
(b) Not a vain and false image, but such a one as indeed
had the truth with it.
15:5028 Now this I say, brethren, that c flesh and blood
cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption
(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
15:5129 Behold, I shew you a d mystery; We shall not all
sleep, but we shall all be changed,
(29) He goes further, declaring that it will come to pass that
those who will be found alive in the latter day will not
descend into that corruption of the grave, but will be
renewed with a sudden change, which change is very
necessary. And he further states that the certain
enjoying of the benefit and victory of Christ, is deferred
to that latter time.
(d) A thing that has been hid, and never known before now,
and therefore worthy that you give good care to it.
15:52 In e a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be
raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
(e) He shows that the time will be very short.
15:5830 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast,
unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in
the f Lord.
(30) An exhortation taken from the profit that ensues, that
seeing they understand that the glory of the other life is
laid up for faithful workmen, they continue and stand
fast in the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection of
(f) Through the Lord's help and goodness working in us.