The Resurrection Of The Body -- By: James B. Miles

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 026:104 (Oct 1869)
Article: The Resurrection Of The Body
Author: James B. Miles


The Resurrection Of The Body1

Rev. James B. Miles

Dr. Hedge remarks, “The doctrine of Protestant sects in relation to this point — of those I mean which hold the resurrection of the body, and do not admit the intermediate world—is painfully confused and wavering.” And he adds, “This diversity and confusion in the doctrine of the church is due in part to the conflict of the views represented in the

New Testament itself…..It is impossible, I believe, to deduce from the scriptures of the New Testament a doctrine of the life to come, which shall fit all the texts and satisfy all the demands of the subject, which shall harmonize the apocalyptic vision of the “new earth “and the New Jerusalem upon it, with Paul’s conception of being raised from the dead and caught up into the clouds to dwell with the Lord in the air; which shall harmonize any doctrine of final resurrection with the words of Jesus to the thief on the cross: “This day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” 2

Now, that the doctrine of Protestant sects in relation to the resurrection is painfully confused and wavering, we are

obliged to admit. We must also acknowledge an unreasonable prejudice against endeavors to gain definite and consistent views on this subject to some extent prevails. There is, however, no doctrine of our faith in respect to which confusion is more fruitful of evil consequences, and in relation to which clear and consistent views would not exert a more salutary influence. But that the diversity and confusion in the doctrine of the church are due at all to the conflict of views represented in the New Testament itself we deny. We maintain that it is possible to deduce from the scriptures a doctrine of the life to come which shall fit all the texts and satisfy all the demands of the subject. It may be true that no Protestant sect holds a doctrine of the resurrection that meets what are now thought to be all the demands of the subject. But are we sure that even in this day of advanced biblical and scientific learning, all the demands of the subject are fully known? Indeed are we sure any sect has drawn from the scriptures all the knowledge they contain on this point? When the New Testament is charged with presenting conflicting views on this subject, we can but ask: Is it not possible that more light in respect to the doctrine of the resurrection is to be derived both from the scriptures and from the book of nature than has yet been gained by any religious sect or school of philosophers? Is it not possible that the views presented seem to some persons to be conflicting, simply beca...

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