2 Cor 5:1-8 ~ Resurrection or Intermediate? – JAM

The question for your consideration is: Does 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 describe the coming resurrection of the body or an intermediate state between death and the 2nd Coming and resurrection? My Nelson NKJV has “Assurance of the Resurrection” above this section of verses. This is typical of Bibles with topical headings added. JFB, the Bible Knowledge Commentary, the Evangelical Commentary, and others interpret these verses as resurrection. Even N. T. Wright, noted English theologian, gives it this meaning. However, I believe the primary focus of these verses (as does F. F. Bruce, New Century Commentary and others) is the state of saints between death and the 2nd coming. Leading into this section, Paul was talking about the “outward man perishing”. What happens if the outward man perishes, if our “earthly house, this tent, is destroyed?” We have “a building from God a house not made with hands.” One is destroyed, another is provided. The one is not the other; whereas, in the resurrection Paul emphasized the continuity of the body (“it is sown . . ., it is raised . . .” – the same one sown is the same one raised). While we are in this body, “we grown” (twice: v 2 & 4). Why? We put up with its limitations, looking forward to what God has in store for us (whether resurrection or intermediate). Paul raises the proposition of a “naked” bodiless spirit. Since such a possibility is impossible in life and in the resurrection, he must be speaking of the intermediate. But even then, God will provide clothes. Greatly preferred is the resurrection, “mortality . . . swallowed up by life”. We have the Spirit as a guarantee that God will provide eternal life. Thus, while in the body, we are absent from Jesus’ actual presence. But if we are absent from the body (this certainly mitigates against resurrection), we are in the direct presence of our Lord! I hope something here will provoke thought, consideration and study.

#intermediate, #just-a-minute, #n-t-wright, #resurrection