James Chastek, over on his wonderful, compelling blog, Just Thomism, writes in Note on resurrection arguments:
If you define resurrection as an act that can only be done by a God-man, then an actual resurrection would count as proof of an actual God-man. This isn’t what I chiefly had in mind, but rather the resurrection arguments given by a large number of orthodox Christian English speaking philosophers and theologians (N.T. Wright, The McGrews, R. Swinburne, W.L. Craig, or anyone who researches the Shroud of Turin). This is a big field in apologetics, even to the point of being the defining argument of contemporary English-speaking apologetics. I don’t deny the power of the argument, but I want to analyze its power into a part that is largely dialectical, historical and contextual. Such an argument leads to orthodox Christianity only because of many artificial parameters of what counts as a proof for orthodox Christianity. (bolding mine)
Definition might be the problem here. Is the revival or resuscitation of the daughter of Jairus a resurrection? The raising of Lazarus? And what about Tabitha revived by Peter and Eutychus revived by Paul? Don’t expect to get a clear answer from Wikipedia.
Picture is Resurrection of Christ by Noel Coypel, ca. 1700.
I always understood the distinction as resurrection being something that Jesus does under his own power to Himself whereas “raising from the dead” is an Act of God upon one of His children. I don’t see Lazarus as resurrected but raised. Jesus acted upon him. Jesus is resurrected because He, even while His physical body was dead, acted upon Himself.
The obvious point of these miracles, especially the Resurrection, is that anyone who has power of death enough to not only raise others from it but Himself is surely someone that can rescue any man from death. It is this rescue that Christ offers to man through the forgiveness of sins.
Very nicely said Chris, this as always been my interpretation also.
Yes. Jesus restores Lazarus to life in this world, and Tabitha is likewise restored to life in this world, thus demonstrating Jesus’ power over life and death.. But, in the Synoptics at the Resurrection of Jesus, it is something else. Jesus has now left his mortal life on earth behind, but somehow he still seems able to be physically present in this world if/when he so determines. He is not always recognisable as such, and so we must look for the risen Christ and find where he may be present, In Matthew, Magdalene clasps his feet, and likewise in the other Synoptics he is represented as being tangible – he can be touched. In John however, Magadalene is told not to cling to him as he has not yet gone to the Father. In all four gospels, Jesus seems able to be present both in the physical, here and now world, and also in the supernatural world of the Father, all at will. Paul develops this idea further when he describes the general resurrection of the body: “We shall all be changed.”
I agree wholeheartedly with Daveb and add that Jairus’ daughter was raised to life by Jesus to continue again and die again in human terms. Jesus died only once.
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