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House Divided Chapter Seven The Resurrection of the Dead Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 3 Carnal Jewish Hopes

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Seven

The Resurrection of the Dead 

Part 3 Carnal Jewish Hopes


David A. Green

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may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher
or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except
in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Strimple Argument #3: Mainstream Jews in the time of Jesus believed

in a physical resurrection of the dead. Martha reflected that

“standard Jewish hope” when she said that Lazarus would “rise again in

the resurrection on the last day” (John 11:24) (295-296).


Answer: Preterists are not the only ones who differ with the Jews

in the time of Jesus. Strimple also disagrees with them. As far as we

know, mainstream Jews at that time believed in the shadowy realm of

Hades. Strimple apparently rejects that doctrine. It is also likely that

the Jews in the time of Jesus erroneously believed that “the Christ” and

the Prophet” were two different people (John 1:25). It is probable that

Strimple rejects that mainstream Jewish doctrine as well. The Jews further

believed that the Messianic kingdom would be a literal, nationalistic

kingdom. Strimple disagrees with that “standard Jewish hope.”


More importantly though, many or most of the Jews at that time

believed the resurrection and judgment of the living and the dead were

about to happen. In fact, we know that most Christians in the time of

Jesus believed that very same doctrine, because there is no doubt that

the authors of the New Testament books believed it. Yet Strimple and

all other futurists categorically reject the doctrine that the resurrection

and judgment were about to happen in the apostolic generation, despite

the sure, prophetic, and authoritative word of Jesus and the Apostles:


The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with

His angels; and will then recompense every man according to

his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are

standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son

of Man coming in His kingdom [to recompense every man according

to his deeds]. (Matt. 16:27-28)


He has fixed a day in which He is about to judge the world in

righteousness. . . . (Acts 17:31)


There is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the

wicked. (Acts 24:15)


As he was discussing . . . the judgment about to come. . . .

(Acts 24:25)


The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

(Rom. 16:20)


Christ Jesus, who is about to judge the living and the dead. . . .

(2 Tim. 4:1)


Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. . . .

(1 Pet. 4:5)


Evidently, Strimple feels that he is at liberty to reject the consensus

of the Jews and even of the church and of the apostles themselves in the

time of Jesus regarding the timing of the prophesied consummation. Yet

at the same time, Strimple believes that the consensus of Jews in the time

of Jesus can serve as legitimate contributing evidence against preterism.

Strimple is here using an unjust weight to judge preterism.


Regardless of the majority view of the Jews in Jesus’ day,[1] if we assume

that Martha did express a belief in a physical resurrection of the dead, we

can only interpret Jesus’ response to her as a correction of that belief:


I am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in Me shall

live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me

shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)


Biological reanimation is not the resurrection and the life. Jesus

is the Resurrection and the Life. To “live” (i.e., to be resurrected) is to

believe in Him. We who put our trust in Christ’s sin-atoning blood in

the new covenant world today are in “the Life,” and we shall “never die.”

As we will discuss in more detail below, since the consummated death

of the Adamic, old covenant “man” in AD 70, the universal church is

now and forever the resurrected, living, and “spiritual body” of Christ.

[1] According to Keith Mathison, the prevailing belief of the Jews in Jesus’

day was that “when Israel was restored in the age to come, those faithful Jews

who had died would be raised to participate in it” (172). Mathison believes

that Israel was restored in the first century (169). If we accept Mathison’s

timeframe for the restoration of Israel, and if we must accept the “prevailing

belief” of the first century Jews, then we must conclude that the resurrection

of the dead took place in the first century.


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Mike Sullivan