John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 15:23 - 15:23

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John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 15:23 - 15:23

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1Co 15:23. Ἕκαστος-ἀπαρχὴ-ἔπειτα) In this verse we must thrice supply ἐστὶ or εἰσί. In 1Co 15:24 is must likewise be supplied.-τάγματι) in order divinely constituted. τάξις, however, is the abstract; τάγμα, the concrete. The conjugate, ὑπέταξεν, occurs in 1Co 15:27.-ἀπαρχὴ, first fruits) The force of this word comprehends the force of the word ἀρχὴ beginning, to which the end corresponds as its opposite.-ἔπειτα-εἶτα) Ἔπειτα is more disjunctive; εἴτα more copulative, 1Co 15:5-7. Ἔπειτα, afterwards, Latin, posterius, the comparative being opposed to primum, ‘first,’ 1Co 15:46; of which first the force is contained in first fruits, in this passage: εἴτα, afterwards, is used in a more absolute sense. The disjunctive power of the ἔπειτα, and the copulative power of the εἶτα is clear in 1Co 15:5-7. For the twelve are joined with Cephas by εἴτα; The five hundred are disjoined [from the Twelve and Cephas] and James from these; but the Apostles are coupled to the last named person by εἴτα. Therefore those, who are introduced by ἔπειτα, are put in between, as it were, by parenthesis. But here 1Co 15:23 the matter seems to be ambiguous. If we make a twofold division, we may either insert Christ and those who are Christ’s into the one member of the division, and τὸ τέλος, the end, into the other; or we may put Christ alone [by Himself] as the principle person, and join to the other side those who are Christ’s, and afterwards τὸ τέλος the end. By the former method, Christians are the appendage of their head; by the latter Christ everywhere retains His prerogative, and all the rest of persons and things are heaped together in one mass. By the former method, a comma is put in the text after χριστὸς,[136] by the latter also a colon; and so ΕἾΤΑ retains a more absolute sense, and yet its copulative power more than the ἜΠΕΙΤΑ. Paul describes the whole process of the resurrection, with those things that shall follow it, and therefore he renders the resurrection itself the more credible. For this resurrection is necessarily required to produce this result, that God may be all in all.-ΟἹ ΤΟῦ ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ, those who are Christ’s) A pleasant variety of cases, Polyptoton, Χριστὸς, ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ, Christians are, so to speak, an appendage to Τῆς ἈΠΑΡΧῆς, the first fruits. The ungodly shall rise at the same time; but they are not reckoned in this blessed number.-ἐν τῆ παρουσίᾳ, at His coming) then it shall be the order of Christians [their turn in the successive order of the resurrection]. They shall not rise one after another [but all believers at once] at that time. Paul does not call it the judgment, because he is speaking of and to believers.

[136] This is the punctuation of Lachmann and Tischendorf. The former, however, puts a comma between τέλος and ὃταν: the latter does not.-ED.