1 Corinthians 15:19-26

1 Corinthians 15:19-26
Easter C21


19 If for this lifeA only we have hopedB in Christ,C

Notes on verse 19a

A “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
B “hoped” = elpizo. From elpis (expectation, hope, trust, confidence, faith; expectation whether abstract or concrete); from elpo (to anticipate, welcome, expect; usually to anticipate positively); from elpomai (to anticipate, expect). This is to expect, trust, hope for, or to wait in an active way.
C “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.

we areD of allE peopleF mostG to be pitied.H

Notes on verse 19b

D “are” = eimi. This is to be or exist.
E “all” = pas. This is all or every.
F “people” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
G “most” = monon. From monos (alone, single, remaining, mere, desolate); from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is merely, only, simply, sole. It can also imply alone.
H “be pitied” = eleeinos. 2x in NT. From eleos (mercy, compassion, pity). This is pitiable, needing mercy, miserable. It shares a root with “kyrie eleison.”

20 But in fact Christ has been raisedI from the dead,J the first fruitsK of those who have died.L 

Notes on verse 20

I “raised” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.
J “dead” = nekros. Perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead of lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.
K “first fruits” = aparche. 8x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + arche (origin, beginning, rule; can refer to the power of a magistrate or a king; it is the first thing as being the starting point or the most important); {from archomai (to begin or rule); from archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power)}. This is first fruit or gift. It is the beginning of sacrifice – so the first crops of the season. It is also used figuratively of early converts in a specific location.
L “died” = koimano. 18x in NT. From keimai (to lie, recline, be set, appointed, destined; to lie down literally or figuratively). This is to sleep or figuratively to die.

21 For since deathM came through a human being,N the resurrectionO of the dead has also come through a human being; 

Notes on verse 21

M “death” = thanatos. From thnesko (to die, be dead). This is death, whether literal or spiritual. It can also refer to something that is fatal.
N “human being” = anthropos. Same as “people” in v19. See note F above.
O “resurrection” = anastasis. From anistemi (to raise up, rise, appear; to stand up literally or figuratively. Can also mean to resurrect); from ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + histemi (to make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand by, stand still, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is literally standing up or standing again. It is used figuratively for recovering a spiritual truth. It can be raising up, rising, or resurrection.

22 for as all dieP in Adam,Q so all will be made aliveR in Christ. 

Notes on verse 22

P “die” = apothnesko. Related to “death” in v21. From apo (from, away from) + thnesko (see note M above). This is to die off. It is death with an emphasis on the way that death separates. It can also mean to wither or decay.
Q “Adam” = Adam. 9x in NT. From Hebrew Adam (Adam); from the same as adam (human, humankind, ruddy); from adam (to be red, red in the face). This is Adam.
R “made alive” = zoopoieo. Related to “life” in v19. 11x in NT. From the same as zoon (literally a thing that is alive; so, an animal or living creature); {from zao (see note A above)} + poieo (to make, do, construct, cause). This is to bring life to something, including something that was dead. This can also be to revitalize in a literal or figurative sense.

23 But each in his ownS order:T Christ the first fruits, then at his comingU those who belong to Christ. 

Notes on verse 23

S “his own” = idios. This is something that belongs to you or that is personal, private, apart. It indicates a stronger sense of possession than a simple possessive pronoun. This is where “idiot” comes from (denoting someone who hasn’t had formal training or education and so they rely on their own understanding).
T “order” = tagma. 1x in NT. From tasso (to arrange, appoint, determine). This is order, group, arrangement, troop.
U “coming” = parousia. Related to “are” in v19. From pareimi (to be present, have come) {from para (from beside, by, in the presence of) + eimi (see note D above)}. This is presence, coming, arrival, advent. Properly, it was the term for an official visit of a king or someone else with formal authority. It is used specifically in the New Testament to refer to Jesus’s second coming.

24 Then comes the end,V when he hands overW the kingdomX to GodY the Father,Z

Notes on verse 24a

V “end” = telos. From tel– (to reach a goal or aim); This is an end, aim, purpose, completion, goal, consummation, or tax. It is completing a stage of something and everything that results from that completion. It can be literal or figurative.
W “hands over” = paradidomi. From para (from beside, by) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is literally to hand over – hence to deliver, abandon, or betray. It implies a personal involvement.
X “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
Y “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
Z “Father” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.

after he has destroyedAA everyBB rulerCC and every authorityDD and power.EE 

Notes on verse 24b

AA “destroyed” = katargeo. From kata (down, against, according to, among) + argeo (to delay, linger, be at rest, be idle, do nothing); {from argos (inactive, idle, lazy, thoughtless, useless, unemployed, unprofitable) {from a (not) + ergon (word, task, action, employment)}}. This is making something inactive or bringing it to nothing. So, it could mean making something inoperative or powerless, annulling, or severing. It can also mean to make something ineffective or invalid.
BB “every” = pas. Same as “all” in v19. See note E above.
CC “ruler” = arche. Related to “first fruits” in v20. From archomai (see note K above). Properly, this is what is first. In a temporal sense, that is beginning or origin. It can also refer to the one who ranks first, i.e. king or ruler. So, it can also be magistrate, power, or principality. It can be used more generally for what is preeminent.
DD “authority” = exousia. Related to “are” in v19 & “coming” in v23. From exesti (to be permitted or lawful); {from ek (out, out of) + eimi (see note D above)}. This is power to act or weight. It especially denotes moral authority or influence. It can mean domain, liberty, freedom, capacity, mastery, right, force, or strength.
EE “power” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.

25 For he mustFF reignGG until he has putHH all his enemiesII under his feet.JJ 26 The lastKK enemy to be destroyed is death.

Notes on verses 25-26

FF “must” = dei. From deo (to tie, bind, compel; declare unlawful). This is what is necessary or proper. It is what is needed or what one should do – a duty or something inevitable. This refers to something absolutely necessary.
GG “reign” = basileuo. Related to “kingdom” in v24. From basileus (see note X above). This is to reign as king, to rule in a literal or figurative sense.
HH “put” = tithemi. This is to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense. Properly, it is placing something in a passive or horizontal position.
II “enemies” = echthros. From echthos (hatred). This is an openly hostile person so an enemy, a foe, or a hated person. This speaks of irreconcilable hostility. It can also mean adversary and/or refer to Satan.
JJ “feet” = pous. This is foot in a literal or figurative sense.
KK “last” = echatos. Related to eschaton (end or last); perhaps from echo (to have, hold, possess). This is last, end, final. Figuratively, it can refer to the end times or life after death. It is where “eschatology” comes from.

Image credit: “I await the resurrection of the dead…” – Limoges artwork, circa 1250. Photo by Lawrence OP, 2008.

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