The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The First Epistle of the Blessed Apostle Paul to the Corinthians
Here, brethren, is an account of the gospel I preached to you. It was this that was handed on to you; upon this your faith rests;
through this (if you keep in mind the tenor of its preaching) you are in the way of salvation; unless indeed your belief was ill founded.✻
The chief message I handed on to you, as it was handed on to me, was that Christ, as the scriptures had foretold, died for our sins;
that he was buried, and then, as the scriptures had foretold, rose again on the third day.
That he was seen by Cephas, then by the eleven apostles,
and afterwards by more than five hundred of the brethren at once, most of whom are alive at this day, though some have gone to their rest.
Then he was seen by James, then by all the apostles;
and last of all, I too saw him, like the last child, that comes to birth unexpectedly.✻
Of all the apostles, I am the least; nay, I am not fit to be called an apostle, since there was a time when I persecuted the church of God;
only, by God’s grace, I am what I am, and the grace he has shewn me has not been without fruit; I have worked harder than all of them, or rather, it was not I, but the grace of God working with me.
That is our preaching, mine or theirs as you will; that is the faith which has come to you.
If what we preach about Christ, then, is that he rose from the dead, how is it that some of you say the dead do not rise again?
If the dead do not rise, then Christ has not risen either;
and if Christ has not risen, then our preaching is groundless, and your faith, too, is groundless.
Worse still, we are convicted of giving false testimony about God; we bore God witness that he had raised Christ up from the dead, and he has not raised him up, if it is true that the dead do not rise again.
If the dead, I say, do not rise, then Christ has not risen either;
and if Christ has not risen, all your faith is a delusion; you are back in your sins.
It follows, too, that those who have gone to their rest in Christ have been lost.
If the hope we have learned to repose in Christ belongs to this world only, then we are unhappy beyond all other men.
But no, Christ has risen from the dead, the first-fruits of all those who have fallen asleep;
a man had brought us death, and a man should bring us resurrection from the dead;
just as all have died with Adam, so with Christ all will be brought to life.
But each must rise in his own rank; Christ is the first-fruits, and after him follow those who belong to him, those who have put their trust in his return.✻
Full completion comes after that, when he places his kingship in the hands of God, his Father, having first dispossessed every other sort of rule, authority, and power;
his reign, as we know, must continue until he has put all his enemies under his feet,
and the last of those enemies to be dispossessed is death.✻ God has put all things in subjection under his feet; that is,
all things have been made subject to him, except indeed that power which made them his subjects.
And when that subjection is complete, then the Son himself will become subject to the power which made all things his subjects, so that God may be all in all.
Tell me, what can be the use of being baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise again? Why should anyone be baptized for them?✻
Why do we, for that matter, face peril hour after hour?
I swear to you, brethren, by all the pride I take in you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that death is daily at my side.
When I fought against beasts at Ephesus with all my strength, of what use was it, if the dead do not rise again? Let us eat and drink, since we must die to-morrow.✻
Do not be led into such errors; bad company, they say, can corrupt noble minds.✻
Come back to your senses, like right-minded men, and sin no longer; there are some, I say it to your shame, who lack the knowledge of God.
But perhaps someone will ask, How can the dead rise up? What kind of body will they be wearing when they appear?
Poor fool, when thou sowest seed in the ground, it must die before it can be brought to life;
and what thou sowest is not the full body that is one day to be, it is only bare grain, of wheat, it may be, or some other crop;
it is for God to embody it according to his will, each grain in the body that belongs to it.
Nature is not all one; men have one nature, the beasts another, the birds another, the fishes another;
so, too, there are bodies that belong to earth and bodies that belong to heaven; and heavenly bodies have one kind of beauty, earthly bodies another.
The sun has its own beauty, the moon has hers, the stars have theirs, one star even differs from another in its beauty.
So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown corruptible, rises incorruptible;
what is sown unhonoured, rises in glory; what is sown in weakness, is raised in power;
what is sown a natural body, rises a spiritual body. If there is such a thing as a natural body, there must be a spiritual body too.
Mankind begins with the Adam who became, as Scripture tells us, a living soul;✻ it is fulfilled in the Adam who has become a life-giving spirit.
It was not the principle of spiritual life that came first; natural life came first, then spiritual life;
the man who came first came from earth, fashioned of dust, the man who came afterwards came from heaven, and his fashion is heavenly.
The nature of that earth-born man is shared by his earthly sons, the nature of the heaven-born man, by his heavenly sons;
and it remains for us, who once bore the stamp of earth, to bear the stamp of heaven.✻
What I mean, brethren, is this; the kingdom of God cannot be enjoyed by flesh and blood; the principle of corruption cannot share a life which is incorruptible.✻
Here is a secret I will make known to you; we shall all rise again, but not all of us will undergo the change I speak of.✻
It will happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds; the trumpet will sound, and the dead will rise again, free from corruption, and we shall find ourselves changed;✻
this corruptible nature of ours must be clothed with incorruptible life, this mortal nature with immortality.
Then, when this mortal nature wears its immortality, the saying of scripture will come true, Death is swallowed up in victory.✻
Where then, death, is thy victory; where, death, is thy sting?✻
It is sin that gives death its sting, just as it is the law that gives sin its power;
thanks be to God, then, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Stand firm, then, my beloved brethren, immovable in your resolve, doing your full share continually in the task the Lord has given you, since you know that your labour in the Lord’s service cannot be spent in vain.
The Holy Bible