“Raised On The Third Day According To The Scriptures”: Resurrection Typology In The Genesis Creation Narrative -- By: Nicholas P. Lunn

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 57:3 (Sep 2014)
Article: “Raised On The Third Day According To The Scriptures”: Resurrection Typology In The Genesis Creation Narrative
Author: Nicholas P. Lunn


“Raised On The Third Day According To The Scriptures”: Resurrection Typology
In The Genesis Creation Narrative

Nicholas P. Lunn*

* Nick Lunn is a translation consultant with Wycliffe Bible Translators, Wycombe Road, Saunderton, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4BF, United Kingdom.

I. Introduction

In the face of certain difficulties at the church of Corinth Paul commences his treatment of the bodily resurrection with several lines that are generally taken as reflecting a creedal-type formula used by the early believers:1

Now I make known to you, brothers, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, through which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom remain until now, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. (1 Cor 15:1–8)

For our purposes here we only note the two balanced lines specifically dealing with the death and resurrection: “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (v. 3), and “he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (v. 4). Each of these elements consists of a grammatical subject having reference to Christ, of whom is predicated a verbal phrase involving a verb and two prepositional phrases. The last of these prepositional expressions is identical in each, κατὰ τὰς γραφὰς, “according to the Scriptures.” The confession therefore states that both the fact of Jesus having “died for our sins” and the fact that “he was raised on the third day” are two events that each occurred in accordance with the declarations of the holy writings. These latter, of course, can at this early stage only have comprised the books of the old covenant.

The event of his resurrection “on the third day” was also prominent in the teaching of Jesus himself (e.g. Matt 16:21; 20:19; Luke 9:22; 18:33

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