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I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?a God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Bible see other translations
a[32]
From Exod. 3:6. The Hebrew text of Matt. adds “Yahweh.”

“I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Jesus uses this verse to show that the Torah teaches a resurrection from the dead. God did not say that He “had been” the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but rather that he was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That is, that he was still their God, and would actively be so when they were raised from the dead. Some would say that the present tense of the verb proves that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were alive in heaven at that time (and now), but the context is clearly “the resurrection,” (used four times in the context: Matt. 22:23, 28, 30, 31).

“God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” The Greek word translated “living” is a participle, and in this context, the participle is not defining a current state of being, but rather a state of being that has occurred or will occur at some point in time. In this case, the dead people are not “living” now, but because God is the God of the living, He is saying that the people will be alive in the future. In the future, at the resurrection of the dead, dead people will hear the voice of the Son of God and be resurrected in a physical body just like Christ had a physical body (John 5:25-29; Luke 24:39; 1 John 3:2; Phil. 3:21). Jesus used the example of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to prove that God would raise the dead because if those men were dead and gone forever, God would not say He was their God, He would say He had been their God.

The noted New Testament scholar, N. T. Wright, wrote about this record about Jesus and the Sadducees discussing resurrection, which occurs in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Concerning what Christ taught. Wright wrote, “People are easily confused here. I frequently hear ‘resurrection’ used to mean simply ‘life after death’; and since many imagine life after death taking place in a disembodied state called ‘heaven’ where (among other things) angels may be found, they understand a passage like this to be saying after death you will go to heaven, and be a disembodied spirit like an angel—and that will be resurrection. That is precisely what this passage, and the New Testament teaching about resurrection in general, does not mean. The whole point of the Jewish doctrine of resurrection was that it meant a new embodied life, a life that would be given at some future date…. Saying that the resurrected dead will be ‘like angels in heaven’ does not mean they will be like them in all respects, including disembodiment. They are like angels in this respect only: that they will not marry. This is Jesus’s first point: resurrection, which he affirms, will not simply reproduce every aspect of our present humanity. It will be a recognizable and reembodied human existence…. Second, Jesus finds a passage at the heart of the Pentateuch, acknowledged by the Sadducees as authoritative, which, he claims, demonstrates that the dead will indeed be raised. When God meets Moses at the burning bush, he introduces himself as Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God and Jacob’s God. If this is how God chooses to reveal himself, argues Jesus, it cannot be the case that the patriarchs are dead and gone for ever. This again can be misunderstood. Jesus is not simply saying that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are still alive in the presence of God, and that their present afterlife is what is meant by ‘resurrection’. Everybody knew that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had not yet been raised from the dead. The point is precisely that they are ‘dead’ at present, but that since God desires to be known as their God he must be intending to raise them from death in the future. ‘Resurrection’, in other words, is not another, somewhat nicer, description of ‘being dead’. It is the reversal of death, the gift of a new body to enjoy life in God’s new world.”a

[For more about dead people being dead in every respect and not alive until the resurrection, see Appendix 4, “The Dead are Dead.”]


a)
N. T. Wright, Mark for Everyone, 167-69.

Commentary for: Matthew 22:32

 
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