John 20:1-2 – The Resurrection and the History of Jewish Hope – Part 3

We have seen how the Jewish view of the afterlife and specifically, bodily life after ‘life after death’, had a trajectory that was historically destined to be completed on Easter Sunday.
·  We saw how a hope for the people and the land was expanded with exile to include a hope for return and restoration.
·  We saw how resurrection became a metaphor for this return and restoration.
·  And ultimately, the hope for return and restoration came to itself contain the idea of a literal resurrection.
·  We saw that resurrection in the O.T. is most vividly seen in Daniel 12:2-3.
o   Daniel 12:2–3 (ESV) — 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
·  Now we need to see how the idea of resurrection exploded during the 2nd Temple period which includes 1st century Palestine.
·  We will see that, “The evidence suggests that by the time of Jesus…most Jews either believed in some form of resurrection or at least knew that it was standard teaching” – N.T. Wright.

Our survey of this period will give us the info we need to explore what Martha was talking about when she talked to Jesus about “the resurrection of the last day”.
·  The importance of this will become evident when we discuss the significant changes in resurrection that occurred between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.


We are going to look at just 5 of the many examples N.T. Wright gives of 2nd Temple Judaism’s developing views of resurrection.
·  (1) The Book of 2 Maccabees.
·  (2) The Septuagint
·  (3) The Essenes at Qumran
·  (4) The Sadducees
·  (5) The Pharisees/Rabbis

 (1) 2 Maccabees:
This was written during the 2nd century oppression of the Hellenized Syrian, Antiochus Epiphanes.
·  He ruled over Jerusalem for a short time.
·  Apparently, he forged an alliance with Hellenized Jews against those who still centered their lives on temple life and YHWH.
·  As part of his rule he was forcing the traditional Jews to abandon their ways.
·  The books main thrust is the revolt of these traditional Jews under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus.
·  “This book provides far and away the clearest picture of the promise of resurrection anywhere in the period” – N.T. Wright

In one particular passage, the story is relayed of seven (7) sons who refused to abandon their ways.
·  They were then tortured and killed with their mother looking on.
·  The words of sons speak plainly of resurrection.
·  2 Maccabees 7:9 – “You accursed wretch, [said the second brother,] you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws” – N.T. Wright.
·  2 Maccabees 7:14 – “When he was near death, [the fourth brother] said, ‘One cannot but choose to die at the hands of mortals and to cherish the hope God gives of being raised again by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!’” – N.T. Wright.

(2) The Septuagint (LXX):
The Septuagint is the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible.
·  It was written in the 3rd century BC (earliest copies we have date to about 4th century AD).
·  Our Old Testaments, by the way, are based on the Hebrew Masoretic texts (from 7th century AD or so).
o   Side Note – dead sea Scrolls confirmed from 2nd century BC confirmed accuracy of MT.
·  Wright tells us that “as the Bible was translated into Greek the notion of resurrection became, it seems, much clearer, so that many passages which might have been at most ambiguous became clear, and some which seemed to have nothing to do with resurrection might suddenly give a hint, or more than a hint, in that direction” – N.T. Wright.

Some Examples of this:
·  Generally, the ambiguous texts we looked at over the past weeks from Hosea and Isaiah, “all use what became the standard ‘resurrection’ language, namely the Greek verbs anistemi and egeiro and their cognates” – N.T. Wright.
·  Hosea 13:14 provides a specific example.
·  “The Hebrew text asks, ‘Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death?’ and expects the answer ‘No’ [in context]. The LXX, however, has turned this into a positive statement: I shall rescue them from the hand of Hades, and I shall redeem them from Death” – N.T. Wright.

(3) Essenes at Qumran:
The Essenes spoke of the dry bones of Ezekiel 37 this way:
·  “I have seen many in Israel, O Lord, who love your name and walk on the paths of justice. When will these things happen? And how will they be rewarded for their loyalty? And YHWH said to me: I will make the children of Israel see and they will know that I am YHWH. And he said, Son of man, prophesy over the bones, and say, May a bone connect with its bone ... [the text continues, following Ezekiel 37] ... and they will live, and a large crowd of men will rise and bless YHWH of hosts who caused them to live” – N.T. Wright.
·  The original says – “…I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people” – ESV.
·  “Here there seems to be no question: Ezekiel 37 is being seen, not simply as a metaphor for the return from exile, but as a prophecy of actual resurrection. This is, so far as I know, the earliest post-biblical text to take Ezekiel in this way” – N.T. Wright.

(4) The Sadducees:
They were the exception to the “most Jews” that came to believe in resurrection.
·   “Basically, the Sadducees denied resurrection; it seems more than likely that they followed a quite strict interpretation of the Old Testament, and denied any significant future life at all” – N.T. Wright.
·  They held the 1-stage view of death that we discussed a couple of weeks ago.
·  This meant that they did not believe in “an age to come” as the Pharisees – N.T. Wright.
·  Their hope was in the land and the people, and Return and Restoration.
·  This, by the way, made them the conservatives of their day.

Josephus also has some insight for us into the Sadducees.
·  “The Sadducees, he says, will have nothing to do with ‘the persistence of the soul after death, penalties in the underworld, and rewards’” – N.T. Wright.
·  “More specifically, ‘the Sadducees hold that the soul perishes along with the body’” – N.T. Wright.

(5) Pharisees and Rabbis (their “heirs and successors” post 70 AD):
As we consider the beliefs of the Pharisees, we must be aware that it is from this tradition that Paul’s initial views of resurrection were formed.
·  As N.T. Wright puts it, “That is where Paul started” – JETS, 2011.
·  I don’t think it a coincidence that Jesus chose a Pharisee to articulate the radical changes and implications Easter Sunday brought to bear on resurrection.

It goes without saying that the Pharisees embraced the idea of resurrection.
·  “The resurrection is assumed to be the ultimate prize, the reward for a life of holiness and Torah-observance” – N.T. Wright.
·  They believed that resurrection would occur “in the age to come” when all things would be put right – people, land, nation, return, restoration and resurrection.
·  Some, it appears, believed the resurrection would occur only in Jerusalem or the Holy Land.
·  All believed that the God of Israel who had the power to create, give Abraham and Sarah a child, and lead Israel out of Egypt also had the power to resurrect.
·  Resurrection, “will be caused by YHWH’s power and spirit” – N.T. Wright.

They, like any resurrection believing Jew, had a 2-stage view of death.
·  They believed in an afterlife (the intermediate state before resurrection), but it wasn’t the major concern and lacked detailed development.
·  “The dead were alive in some intermediate state, place or manner”, is about as specific as we can get – N.T. Wright.
·  There are allusions to souls residing in a “temporary Paradise” or, oddly enough, “being stored away in cupboards” – N.T. Wright.

In their liturgical prayer books, there are countless references to resurrection.
·  This example is from Amidah’s “the liturgy for the Day of Atonement” and it reads “‘Thou art also faithful to revive the dead. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who revivest the dead’” – N.T. Wright.

The Targums also convey some very specific info about their resurrection beliefs.
·  The Targums are “interpretive renderings” of the OT into Aramaic – Bruce Metzger.
·  N.T. Wright highlights an example of resurrection belief found in the rendering of Hosea 6:2.
·  He says, “the Masoretic text has ‘After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his presence’, the Targum has ‘He will revive us for the days of consolation which are to come; on the day of the resurrection of the dead he will raise us and we shall live in his presence’” – N.T. Wright.

And another example is found in how the Targum renders Job 14:12, which in the MT seems to rule out resurrection.
·  Job 14:12 (ESV) — 12 so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.
·  This text “has been altered in the Targum, as in the LXX, so that it only denies the future life of the wicked, leaving the way clear for a resurrection of the righteous” – N.T. Wright.

And it was the Pharisees who attempted to answer the questions raised by resurrection (pun intended).
·  There were three main questions addressed in Pharisaic/Rabbi discourse.
·  “How will YHWH accomplish it? What will the body be like (clothed or naked; the same or changed)? and, particularly, which texts in the Bible predict it?” – N.T. Wright.

With respect to the 1st question, “…some sort of continuing personal identity, however hard it may be to describe, is necessary if the person being raised at the last day is…to be identical with the person who has died” – N.T. Wright.
·  There are even traditions that say that those who died with deformities will be resurrected with them so that they can be recognized.
o   But then later they will be fully restored.

Another question was what of those righteous that died outside of Jerusalem?
·  The apparent theory was that, “the bones of Jews buried outside the Holy Land would roll through underground tunnels in order to arrive there for the resurrection” – N.T. Wright.
·  They even had theories on what happened to the person whose bones had been burned up.
o   The power of God to create bones from clay was often cited.

Wright even says that, “there is every reason to suppose that belief in the importance of the bones for future resurrection played a significant part” in changes made to how the guilty were executed.
·  This was because, “The body was important, and its most durable parts, the bones, were to be rescued from destruction” – N.T. Wright.
·  Therefore, for example, “stoning was moderated”; the guilty were sometimes executed by “forcing burning liquid down their throat”; cremation was avoided.

And what of the question about which OT texts speak of resurrection.
·  This was “the key question which the Sadducees pressed on the Pharisees (and, it appears, on Jesus)” – N.T. Wright.
·  Specifically, “Can you find resurrection in the Torah itself?” – N.T. Wright.

One example of how the Pharisees would answer this question was by citing Deuteronomy 11:9.
·  Deuteronomy 11:9 (ESV) — 9 and that you may live long in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them and to their offspring, a land flowing with milk and honey.
·  Their logic was that “YHWH swore to the patriarchs that he would give the land to them, not merely to their descendants, the oath could only be fulfilled by their being raised from the dead” – N.T. Wright.
·  This is similar to Jesus’ response to the Sadducees criticism of resurrection.
o   He is not God of the dead, but of the living” – Matt. 12:27.

NT Picture of Pharisee-Sadducee Polemic:
Acts 23:6–9 (ESV) — 6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Br`others, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” 7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9 Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?”

As we have seen, Luke confirms for us that the Sadducees believed in neither:
·  (1) Life after ‘life after death’ (resurrection) – “there is no resurrection” (vs. 8)
·  (2) ‘Life after death’ – “nor angel, nor spirit” (vs. 8)
·  The Sadducees believed in angels or spirits, by the way, but not that dead people were angels and spirits.
·  “They did not deny the existence of angels or spirits, but they denied that the dead were in a state that could be so described” – N.T. Wright.

And Luke confirms that:
·  the Pharisees acknowledge them all” (vs. 8)

But note what else Luke show us.
·  Even though the Pharisees believed in resurrection, ““They do not suppose for a moment that Paul has actually been a witness of the resurrection itself; that is out of the question as far as they are concerned” – N.T. Wright.
·  This is because, as we have seen, resurrection, “will take place at a future date when all the righteous dead are raised to share God’s new world” – N.T. Wright.
·  This is why they suggest that Jesus presented Himself to Paul during the disembodied intermediate state as “a spirit or an angel” (vs. 9).
·  “He may perhaps have had a visitation from someone who, though not yet bodily raised, is presently in the intermediate state between death and resurrection” – N.T. Wright.
·  For them, had Jesus been bodily resurrected, all the righteous Jews from Israel’s history would have also been resurrected and Israel’s glory would have been restored.


It will help us now to summarize all that we have discussed thus far.
·  “From several angles at once we are confronted with overwhelming evidence that the small seed of Daniel 12.2-3, and the other Old Testament passages we looked at earlier, had grown into a large shrub” – N.T. Wright.

Summary Thus Far – the “Large Shrub”:
The examples we have surveyed clearly express a belief in resurrection.
·  A resurrection that, “means new bodily life, a life which comes after the ‘life after death’ that dead people currently experience” – N.T. Wright.
·  And this resurrection is also “both the personal hope of the righteous individual and the national hope for faithful Israel” – N.T. Wright.
·  And importantly, our examples place resurrection in “…the context of God’s judgment on the wicked and his vindication of the righteous” – N.T. Wright.

“Resurrection was not a strange belief added on to the outside of first-century Judaism…resurrection had been woven into the very fabric of first-century Jewish praying, living, hoping and acting” – N.T. Wright.
·  “They were telling the story of an actual people and an actual land - and an actual god, YHWH, the creator, whose covenant with Israel was so unbreakable, so powerful, that he would act in a new way to restore what had been lost in the exile, namely land, Temple and national life” – Wright.

So resurrection in 2nd temple Judaism consisted of at least 10 things:
·  (1) “Personal hope” of bodily resurrection for the individual.
o   For example, 2 Maccabees even spoke of resurrection as the “re-embodiment [of] hands, tongues, entire bodies” – N.T. Wright.
·  (2) Judgment of the wicked.
·  (3) Vindication of the righteous.
·  (4) A result of the power and spirit of YHWH.

But Wait, There Is More:
(5) Resurrection and the Age to Come
·  The literal resurrection carried with it the idea, “…as the great event that YHWH would accomplish at the very end of ‘the present age’, the event which would constitute the ‘age to come’” – N.T. Wright.
·  We will see next week that this link between resurrection and the “age to come” was very important to Paul.
o   It is what he referred to when speaking of “eternal life”.

(6) Resurrection as Metaphor
·  And yet, along with a literal bodily resurrection, talk of resurrection never lost its meaning as a metaphor for national return and restoration.
·  “The point of the whole story, they would say, was that they would return to their land. If that hadn’t happened, the prophecy remained unfulfilled…” – N.T. Wright.

What Resurrection Was Not (or what 2nd Temple Jews didn’t say):
(7) “Nobody imagined that any individuals had already been raised, or would be raised in advance of the great last day” – N.T. Wright.
·  Resurrection was always corporate in scope.

(8) “There are no traditions about prophets being raised to new bodily life; the closest we come to that is Elijah, who had gone bodily to heaven and would return to herald the new age” – N.T. Wright.
·  “However important Moses, David, Elijah and the prophets may have been, nobody claimed that they were alive again in the ‘resurrection’ sense. The martyrs were honoured, venerated even; but nobody said they had been raised from the dead” – N.T. Wright.

(9) “There are no traditions about a Messiah being raised to life: most Jews of this period hoped for resurrection, many Jews of this period hoped for a Messiah, but nobody put those two hopes together…” – N.T. Wright.
·  Easter Sunday, of course, threw a wrench into this scheme.

(10) Because resurrection has not happened, it is not yet the “age to come”.
o   “It is still ‘the present age’” – N.T. Wright.  

All of these give us the Jewish resurrection background in which Easter Sunday occurred.
·  They give us an idea as to what Martha thought of when she said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day” (John 11:24).
·  And they tell us, importantly, what Saul the Pharisee believed about the resurrection up until his Damascus road experience.

Rabbit Trail – The Issue of Lazarus:
Was his a resurrection?
·  Armed with this information, we can now answer this question.
·  The best description would be to consider it an “extended healing” or “resuscitation, like Jairus’ daughter” not a resurrection – N.T. Wright.

·  Lazarus’ new life was a “starting off again in exactly the same kind of world as at present” – N.T. Wright.
·  The age to come had not dawned.
·  The other righteous Jews had not resurrected.
·  There was no judgment of pagan enemies and vindication of righteous Jews.
·  He will die again.

And interestingly John tells us that Lazarus came out of the grave “bound”.
·  John 11:44 (ESV) — 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
·  Furthermore, Lazarus required assistance to be free of his grave clothes.
o   Unbind him, and let him go.
·  The resurrection body in the “age to come” will not be “bound”.
·  Wright suggests that with this language John wants to differentiate this “extended healing” from Jesus’ resurrection.
·  He says, “John intends the reader to see this incident as a signpost, but only a signpost, of what is to come” – N.T. Wright.
·  It is worth mentioning then, that neither Saul nor Paul would have seen Lazarus’ rising as a resurrection in either the literal Jewish sense or Christian sense.

“The world of Judaism had generated, from its rich scriptural origins, a rich variety of beliefs about what happened, and would happen, to the dead. But it was quite unprepared for the new mutation that sprang up, like a totally unexpected plant, within the already well-stocked garden” – N.T. Wright.
·  And, as we have been hinted at over the last few weeks, all these developing threads of resurrection seemed to be converging at just the right time – the Sunday after Passover week within a context of 2nd Temple Judaism.
·  All the categories of resurrection for Easter Sunday to fill and even explode were in place.
·  We will see next time, from Paul, what exactly this “well-stocked garden” of Jesus’ resurrection contained.
·  And, importantly, why Paul’s view of resurrection contains the most practical implications for the Christian life of almost any other doctrine.


John 20:1-2 – The Resurrection and the History of Jewish Hope – Part 2

Last week we were introduced to the early view of Judaism of the afterlife.
·  We learned about their 1-stage view of death, etc.
·  We saw they were concerned primarily with the land and the people.
·  Their hope was not in the afterlife, but in long life, children and the land.
·  And then during exile, the hope expanded to include return and restoration.
·  And it was within the expanding nature of their hope that their view of resurrection blossomed into a 2-stage view of death.


What is a two-stage view of death?
·  It is “a two-stage expectation (a period of waiting following the martyr’s death, and then bodily resurrection at some future date),” – N.T. Wright.
·  So it wasn’t an expansion or further development on their views of life after death – the afterlife.
o   We saw last week how unsophisticated these views were.
o   The “waiting” was simply being asleep in Sheol, the body having returned to the dust.
o   The pagans’ views, by comparison, were far more developed.
·  But it was the addition to the equation of “bodily life after ‘life after death’” – resurrection.

Quick Rabbit Trail:
I want to make a point before we begin.
·  Christians often speak of the Jews of the OT as if they spoke with one voice and were in complete agreement about theological matters.
·  In fact, they were no more homogenous than Protestants or Jews are today.
·  And OT Scripture captures many of these differences for us.

So, when we say of a text that “it wasn’t referring to this or that”, or “that the Jews took it to mean this or that”, we are saying two things:
·  (1) We are speaking about how various Jewish traditions interpreted or understood the text.
o   It is, after all, through these folks and their traditions that God choose to work and speak.
·  (2) We are not denying the objective or typological meaning of the text that God Himself intended.
o   God meant exactly what He wanted, even if some of that meaning was not visible until after the resurrection of Jesus.
o   “Typology can be defined as the study of analogical correspondences between persons, events, institutions, and other things within the historical framework of God’s special revelation, which, from a retrospective view, are of a prophetic nature” – G.K. Beale (JETS).
o   We will see several examples of this as we move forward.

BTW – It is, in my mind, evidence of God working that on that third day in Jerusalem, all the differing threads of Jewish History pertaining to death, the afterlife and resurrection were gathered together into their final resolution and clarification in Jesus.
·  God knew what He was doing.

Let’s move on.

Exile – The Fertilizer of the Resurrection Hope:
All of the following passages will leap off the page and scream bodily resurrection to us.
·  However, each passage “is set in the context of the continuing affirmation of the Jewish hope for restoration, for liberation from exile, persecution and suffering – N.T. Wright.
·  So whatever else they meant or came to mean, the foundation of their meaning was the Return and Restoration we spoke of last week.
·  The Jews’ primary concern, as we learned last week, was the Land and its People.
·  It was through them that God’s covenant with Israel was being fulfilled.

(1) The most well-known text that seems to speak clearly about bodily resurrection but referred instead to Return and Restoration is Ezekiel’s dry bones text.
·  Ezekiel 37:1–14 (ESV) — 1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. 2 And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. 3 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. 11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Clearly this was originally an exilic text.
·  The concern was Return and Restoration of the people to their land.
·  “Ezekiel is no more envisaging actual bodily resurrection than he envisaged, when writing chapter 34, that Israel consisted of sheep rather than people” – N.T. Wright.
·  And one way we know this is by the disconnect in imagery between verses 1-10 and verses 11-14.
·  Verses 1-10 show the bones of Israel’s exiled people scattered, unburied (presumably unclean), and far from home.
·  But verses 11-14 speak of the people of Israel in a grave and being raised from the grave – back to Israel.
·  Plus, it “lacks the regular language of sleepers walking, of dwellers in the dust, or of the resurrected shining with a new glory” – N.T. Wright.

But here is the interesting thing about this passage.
·  It is difficult for us to not see some reference to a literal resurrection.
o   And this is for good reason.
·  And so it was eventually with the Jews.
·  “The undoubted allegorical character of this passage did not stop it being seen, from at least the early rabbinic period, as a prediction of literal resurrection” – N.T. Wright.

(2) Our second text comes from Isaiah’s Suffering Servant passage.
·  Isaiah 53:7–10 (ESV) — 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

Here is another Return and Restoration from exile text that appears to be flirting with resurrection.
·  We see that the servant, the nation of Israel (and later Jesus, of course), was dead.
·  The power of the LORD arrives in verse 10 with “Yet”.
·  And then the servant has prolonged days and is prospering in the will of the LORD.
·  The power of God has Restored and Returned the servant – the nation of Israel.
o   Note the reference to Israel’s ancient hope – “his offspring” and “prolong his days” (vs. 10).
·  And the power of God that Returned and Restored is represented by God’s power over death.

However, as with Ezekiel, this text also became to be read as a resurrection text among many Jews.
·  “Daniel [we will see shortly] provides evidence that some people were already reading Isaiah this way; and so…does the form of the Isaiah text as we have it in Qumran” – N.T. Wright.
·  In other words, when the Qumran community copied their version of Isaiah in Hebrew, they chose to emphasize the resurrection aspect of this text.

Important Reminder:
As the Jewish view of resurrection developed on top of its hope for Return and Restoration from exile, we can’t help but to rightly see Jesus come more clearly into view.
·  This is no accident.
·  On to our third text.

(3) Our third text also comes from Isaiah.
·  Isaiah 26:19 (ESV) — 19 Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.
·  Wright says there can be no doubt, even in the original Hebrew, that this text is literally speaking of a bodily resurrection.
·  And as with our previous texts, we know that Qumran and the LXX took it as such.
·  The LXX, the Septuagint, was a Greek translation of the OT made in the 200’s B.C.
·  When they translated texts like this, they deliberately chose cognates of the Greek word for resurrection.

However, “It is still possible, of course, that here resurrection is, as we [saw] in Ezekiel, a metaphor for national restoration; but the wider passage, in which God’s renewal of the whole cosmos is in hand, opens the way for us to propose that the reference to resurrection is intended to denote actual concrete events” – N.T. Wright.
·  In other words, the idea of a bodily resurrection became a metaphor for Return and Restoration.
·  And it is likely that the idea of resurrection began to “arise” as this metaphor.
·  But, as we will see in Daniel, blossomed into much more.

(4) We will finish with the oldest, and for the Christian, the most tantalizing of the OT Return and Restoration texts.
·  Hosea 13:14 (ESV) — 14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
·  And then there is this interesting gem.
·  Hosea 6:1–2 (ESV) — 1 “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.

“Hosea offers arguably the oldest passage in OT on resurrection” – Wright.
·  These passages are dated to the 8th Century B.C.
·  And interestingly, while our Ezekiel (and, as we will see, Daniel too) text is Southern Kingdom and younger.
·  These texts, like Isaiah, come from the Northern Kingdom just before it fell to Assyria.
·  So this development of Resurrection finding a home in Return and Restoration texts was happening in two places.
·  And all the threads of resurrection developing within the varied Jewish contexts of time and place were coming together just in time for Jesus.

These Hosea exilic texts were (like our other texts) taken in the Inter-Testamental period to have resurrection overtones.
·  The Christian, of course, comes to the first and recognizes Paul’s allusion to the text from 1 Corinthians.
·  1 Corinthians 15:55 (ESV) — 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
·  Clearly Paul is teaching us that this is a resurrection text.
·  And we certainly can’t help but read the second and be struck by the phrase, “on the third day he will raise us up”.
·  At the time, Hosea was probably referring to a blessing for many that would come “in a little time, after a short delay” – AYBD.
·  But the DJG calls this a “Pre-Christian Antecendent”.
·  Some suggest that Paul alludes to it in 1 Corinthians 5:4 – AYBD.
·  Us normal folk can perhaps be a little more overt – “Jesus in the OT”.

Summary thus far:
Speaking of the texts we have looked at thus far, Wright says:
·  “What we have, in fact, in these passages can best be seen in these terms: hope for bodily resurrection is what sometimes happens when the hope of ancient Israel meets a new challenge, which might include the threat of judgment, as in Hosea and Isaiah 24—7 [by God via the Assyrians], and, more specifically, the fact of exile, as (in different ways) in Ezekiel 37 and Isaiah 53” – N.T. Wright.
·  In other words, God used the reality of exile and invasion to teach the Jew that their hope in just a Return and Restoration was short changing His power over creation.
·  He had, in fact, much bigger plans in store.

The Big Pivot:
Now let’s move on to the clearest, fullest and most obvious resurrection text in the OT – Daniel 12:2-3.
·  And Wright suggests, and cites others that argue likewise, that the two Hosea texts and the Isaiah texts we covered were of great influence to Daniel.
o   This, by the way, further reveals that these Return and Resurrection texts came to be seen as Resurrection texts as well.
·  Wright says Daniel 12 is so pivotal that to read it is “to stand on the bridge between the Bible [the OT] and the Judaism of Jesus’ day, looking both backwards and forwards, and watching the passage of ideas that went to and fro between them” – N.T. Wright.

The Hope Fully Blossoms – Daniel and Resurrection:
Daniel 12:2–3 (ESV) — 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
·  “There is little doubt that this refers to concrete, bodily resurrection. The metaphor of ‘sleep’ for death was, as we have seen, already widespread; sleeping in the dust of the earth (literally, ‘the earth of dust’ or ‘the land of dust’) was a clear biblical way of referring to the dead. It was therefore natural to continue the metaphor by using ‘awake’ to denote bodily resurrection — not a different sort of sleep, but its abolition” – N.T. Wright.
·  But interestingly, however, this text speaks only of the resurrection of some.
·  “The passage is not attempting to offer a global theory of the ultimate destination of the whole human race…” – N.T. Wright.

Wright calls this passage the crown of all that had gone before.
·  “Any second-Temple Jew who pondered the book would find in 12.2—3 not a new and outlandish idea, unanticipated and unforeseen, but the crown of all that had gone before” – N.T. Wright.
·  In other words, as we have seen, resurrection “fit” the Jewish theology of Return and Restoration.
·  And no passage makes this clearer than Daniel 12:2-3.

So this text does not abandon the Return and Restoration ideas of the previous texts.
·  But it firmly places them upon a literal bodily resurrection.
·  And not only does this text clearly speak of a bodily resurrection.
·  But, importantly, it also begins to give it a specific shape.

Shape of Resurrection in Daniel 12:
·  (1) It speaks of a glorified risen body.
o   “…Resurrection is not simply a resuscitation in which the dead will return to life much as they knew it before. They will be raised to a state of glory in the world for which the best parallel or comparison is the status of stars, moon and sun within the created order” – N.T. Wright.
·  (2) It speaks of the judgment of pagans and the vindication of martyrs.
o   “Israel’s god will reverse the actions of the wicked pagans, and raise the martyrs, and the teachers who kept Israel on course, to a glorious life. Simultaneously, he will raise their persecutors to a new existence: instead of remaining in the decent obscurity of Sheol or ‘the dust’, they will face perpetual public obloquy [public disgrace]” – N.T. Wright.
·  (3) Resurrection happens to individuals, but it is the individuals of Israel who are raised and vindicated together.
o   In other words, it is corporate in shape.
o   “…this is not something other than God’s long-promised act of vindication for the exiled nation” – Wright.

Conclusion – Two-Stage View of Death and Resurrection:
Concerning all the texts we have just covered, N.T. Wright says,
·  They all point to “…the common hope of Israel:”
·  What was the common hope of Israel?
·  “…that YHWH would restore her fortunes at last, liberate her from pagan dominion, and resettle her in justice and peace, even if it took a great act of new creation to accomplish it. This is where the solid hope of the earlier period (hope for nation, family and land) joins up with the emerging belief in the creator’s faithfulness even beyond the grave” – N.T. Wright.

And whatever the Jew thought about resurrection’s relationship to its ancient hope of Return and Restoration,
·  (1) It was not a move away from it but an affirmation of it.
o   The development of resurrection “…is not a move away from the hope which characterized all of ancient Israel, but a reaffirmation of it” – N.T. Wright.
·  (2) Resurrection, in fact, could be seen as fitting metaphor for Return and Restoration.
o   Exile itself is “the strange half-life lived after that death, and return from exile to be seen as life beyond that again, newly embodied life, i.e. resurrection – N.T. Wright.
·  (3) Like Israel’s ancient hope (and unlike the pagans), resurrection was grounded in the goodness of creation, life and the body.
o   The development of resurrection in Israel “…grew directly from the emphasis on the goodness of creation, on YHWH as the god who both kills and makes alive, and on the future of nation and land” – N.T. Wright.

And because of the way in which Resurrection depends on Return and Restoration, Wright even suggests that ultimately,
·  “…the meanings of ‘bodily resurrection for dead humans’ and ‘national restoration for exiled/suffering Israel’ are so closely intertwined that it does not matter that we cannot always tell which is meant, or even if a distinction is possible, in relation to particular passages; that is part of the point” – N.T. Wright.
·  “The either/or that has tended to drive a wedge between different interpretations of key passages (either ‘individual resurrection’ or ‘national restoration’) must be exposed as fallacious. In Daniel 12, the resurrection of God’s people (at least in the persons of the martyrs, seen as representing the nation) is the form that national restoration takes. This is the real end of the deepest exile of all” – N.T. Wright.

Having traced the development of the 1-stage view of death into, through the idea of resurrection, a 2-stage view of death, we can now come to Jesus and Easter Sunday ready to fully fathom what happened.
·  And as we do so we will look at the options available to the Jew at Jesus’ time.
o   From the Sadducees’ denial of resurrection
o   To Martha’s resurrection on the last day.
·  We will deal with this next time.