AT THE APPEARING OF CHRIST.
then quickened, or made alive; and, thirdly, it springs forth, or is born. All this is of the earth, earthy; and, without the further spiritual influences of heaven, such as air, rain, and sunshine, this terrestrial and inglorious body would never become a raised body bearing fruit. It would fade, shrivel up and die.
And "so also," says Paul, "is the anastasis, or standing-up of the dead ones" (1 Cor. xv. 42); and, speaking of the sprout-body (for there is no other body in the premisses), he adds, σπειρεται εν φθορα, εγειρεται εν αφθαρσια. This word speiretai, he associates with corruption, dishonour, weakness, and naturality; while egeiretai, is connected with incorruption, glory, power, and spirituality. In the active voice, σπειρω signifies to scatter, as when seed is cast upon the earth; but, in the passive voice, it signifies "to spring or be born." In 1 Cor. xv. 42–43, speiretai is passive, and used in this sense. The antithetic word egeiretai is also passive, and relates to the same body as speiretai; for it is the sprout-body that is transformed; there being no other body in the grave, nor out of it, for transformation. When, therefore, it can be affirmed that the sprout-body has become incorruptible, glorious, powerful, and spritual, the word egeiretai will be applicable. It can then be said to have been raised, or built, incorruptible. "Destroy this temple," said the Spirit, "and in three days I will raise it up (εγερω αυτον)." The Jews retorted, "forty and six years was this temple in building, and in three days wilt thou rear it up (εγερεις αυτον)?" "But this spake He of the temple of His body" (John ii. 19–21). In this text, the same verb is used as in 1 Cor. xv. 42, and in relation to resurrection. To raise, rear up, or build, is the correct idea; and every one ought to know that such an operation is progressive, not instantaneous.
This passage, then, in 1 Cor. xv., so little understood by them who quote it most, should be read, "the resurrection-body speiretai, springs, is sprouted or born, in corruption: egeiretai, it is built, reared up, or raised, in incorruption; it is sprouted in dishonour; it is reared up in glory: it is sprouted in weakness; it is built up in power: it is born (of the earth) a natural body; it is reared up (or transformed by Spirit into) a spiritual body." This is the sense of the passage, and in strict harmony with "the form of sound words" used by the apostle.
But the analogy of nature in resurrection is not confined to the sprouting or germinating, and the ripening into "the fruit of righteousness," which is incorruptibility and life (Rom. viii. 10). It is seen in a field of newly-sown grain. When the seed scattered therein has lain certain days in the earth, if germinable, it sprouts, or springs,