Monday, July 02, 2012

Did Jesus Christ Resurrect Himself? (John 10:17-18)

John 10:17-18 reports Jesus exclaiming:

10:17: Διὰ τοῦτο με ὁ πατὴρ ἀγαπᾷ ὅτι ἐγὼ τίθημι τὴν ψυχήν μου, ἵνα πάλιν λάβω αὐτήν.

10:18: οὐδεὶς ἤρεν αὐτὴν ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ, ἀλλ’ ἐγὼ τίθημι αὐτὴν ἀπ’ ἐμαυτοῦ. ἐξουσίαν ἔχω θεῖναι αὐτήν, καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἔχω πάλιν λαβεῖν αὐτήν· ταύτην τὴν ἐντολὴν ἔλαβον παρὰ τοῦ πατρός μου.

These Johannine verses are often invoked to prove that Jesus resurrected himself from the dead and even James Kleist alludes to this Johannine account in his translation of Ignatius and Clement of Rome's writings. But it seems the Bible clearly shows us that God the Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead through the agency of God's Holy Spirit. In other words,Jesus did not resurrect himself:

"Paul, an apostle--sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead" (Galatians 1:1 NIV)

"He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God" (1 Pt 1:20-21 NIV).

"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you" (Rom 8:11 NASB).

A.T. Robertson writes about Jn 10:17: "That I may take it again (hina palin labw authn). Purpose clause with hina and second aorist active subjunctive of lambanw.He looked beyond his death on the Cross to the resurrection. 'The purpose of the Passion was not merely to exhibit his unselfish love; it was in order that He might resume His life, now enriched with quickening power as never before' (Bernard). The Father raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:32). There is spontaneity in the surrender to death and in the taking life back again (Dods)."

Also concerning Jn 10:18, we read: "And I have power to take it again (kai exousian ecw palin labeinauthn). Note second aorist active infinitive in both cases (qeinai from tiqhmi and labein from lambanw),single acts. Recall [John] 2:19 where Jesus said: 'And in three days I will raise it up.' He did not mean that he will raise himself from the dead independently of the Father as the active agent (Romans 8:11). I received from my Father (elabon para tou patros mou). Second aorist active indicative of lambanw. He always follows the Father's command (entolh) in all things (Romans 12:49; Romans 14:31). So now he is doing the Father's will about his death and resurrection" (Robertson's Word Pictures).

J.H. Bernard (International Critical Commentary on John) writes about Jn 10:17-18: "That He [Jesus] had been given this latter EXOUSIA is in accordance with the consistent teaching of the NT writers that it is God the Father who was the Agent of the Resurrection of Jesus. Jesus is not represented as raising himself from the dead" (page 2:365).

Mt 16:21 also teaches that the Son of Man would be 'raised up' on the third day. Note Matthew's use of the passive in that verse (KAI THi TRITHi hHMERAi EGERQHNAI). EGERQHNAI is aorist infinitive passive. Mark, however, uses the aorist infinitive active in his account of Peter's rebuke (ANASTHNAI), but this hardly shows that Jesus would raise himself from the dead (Compare Mk 8:31). See C. S. Mann's Anchor Bible Commentary on Mark.

Sincere regards,


1 comment:

John said...

Hi Edgar:

Since you quote Romans 8:11 above, I find that this could readily be read as teaching Jesus rising bodily and that Christian will likewise have their mortal bodies quickened. Do you think Romans 8:11 teaches Jesus' bodily resurrection?

I find it relevant to the post's proposition. Regards.