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House Divided Chapter Seven The Resurrection of the Dead Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 4 Acts 23:6 Paul’s Agreement With the Pharisees On a Coming Resurrection

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Seven

The Resurrection of the Dead

Part 4 Acts 23:6 Paul’s Agreement With the Pharisees on a Coming Resurrection

David A. Green

Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.


Strimple Argument #4: In Acts 23:6, Paul aligned himself with the

Pharisees regarding the resurrection of the dead. This indicates that Paul

believed with the Pharisees in a physical resurrection of the dead (296).

 

Answer: I am not aware of any evidence that the Pharisees would

have rejected a man from their party if he believed in a non-physical

resurrection of the dead. For all we know, a certain percentage of the

Pharisees (including Saul/Paul) believed in a non-physical resurrection

of the dead.

 

But even if there is evidence that belief in a non-physical resurrection

of the dead disqualified a man from being a Pharisee, the issue in

Acts 23:6-8 was not the nature of the resurrection of the dead. It was

the existence of the resurrection of the dead vs. the non-existence of the

resurrection of the dead. As we know, The Sadducees were denying that

there was any afterlife, while Paul and the Pharisees agreed that there was

an afterlife, and an imminent resurrection of the dead. Other issues connected

with the resurrection of the dead were not under consideration.

 

It has been argued by some that Paul would have had to have agreed

with every major doctrine the Pharisees taught about the resurrection

of the dead. It is argued that if he didn’t, then it would have been deceptive

for him to call himself a Pharisee in regard to the resurrection of

the dead.

 

But this argument proves too much. Are those who make this argument

prepared to say that Paul believed that the souls of dead saints

hovered over “Luz bones”? Are they prepared to say that Paul believed

in a whole host of Jewish resurrection-myths, including the myth that

the dead will be raised wearing clothes, and the myth that those who

died outside of Jerusalem would have to dig their way back to the city in

order to be resurrected?

 

But beyond such myths, we know that Paul and the Pharisees could

not have possibly agreed on every major point touching the resurrection

of the dead. Though the Pharisees agreed with Paul that the resurrection

of the dead was a true doctrine and that it was about to happen,

the Pharisees definitely did not believe that Christ Jesus Himself

was “the Resurrection” (John 11:25); and they definitely did not believe

that the resurrection “hope” of Israel was “Christ in you” (Acts 23:6;

24:15; Col. 1:27). As concerns the Christological nature of the resurrection,

Paul and the Pharisees were worlds apart. Yet Paul said he was a

Pharisee concerning the resurrection of the dead, because Paul and the

Pharisees, in contast to the Sadducees, believed in the existence of the

resurrection of the dead. With that point of agreement, Paul divided

and conquered his enemies.

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