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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton
The Fourfold Gospel (1914)


CIX.
JEWISH RULERS SEEK TO ENSNARE JESUS.
(Court of the Temple. Tuesday, April 4, A. D. 30.)
Subdivision B.
SADDUCEES ASK ABOUT THE RESURRECTION.
aMATT. XXII. 23-33; bMARK XII. 18-27; cLUKE XX. 27-39.

      a23 On that day there came {bcome} unto him ccertain of the the Sadducees, they that {bwho} say there is no resurrection [As to the Sadducees, see p. 71. We may regard their attitude toward Christ as expressed by their leader Caiaphas, see p. 528]; and they asked him, saying,   19 Teacher, Moses wrote unto us [See @Deut. xxv. 5, 6. The object of this law was to preserve families. But the custom was older than the [email protected]Gen. xxxviii. 6-11], cthat bIf a man's brother die, chaving a wife, and he be childless, {band leave a wife behind him, and leave no child,} that his brother should take his {cthe} wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. aMoses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.   25 Now there were ctherefore awith us seven brethren: and the first ctook a wife, amarried and deceased, band dying left no seed; {cand died childless;} aand, having no seed left his wife unto his brother:   b21 And   a26 In like manner the second also, btook her, and died, leaving no seed behind him; and the third likewise: ctook her; aunto the seventh. cand likewise the seven also left no children, {bleft no seed.} cand died.   32 Afterward [600] bLast of all   a27 And after them all, bthe woman also died.   a28 In the resurrection therefore whose wife shall she be of the seven? {bof them?} for the seven aall had her. bto wife. [This was evidently a favorite Sadducean argument against the resurrection. On the assumption that the marital state is continued after the resurrection, it makes the doctrine of a resurrection appear ridiculous, because, seemingly, it involves difficulties which even brothers could hardly settle amicably, and which even God would have in a sense to settle arbitrarily.]   c34 And {a29 But} Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do not err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. bIs it not for this cause that ye err, that ye know not the scriptures, nor the power of God? [The relevancy of these statements will be discussed in the treatment of verse 38 below.]   a30 For cthe sons of this world marry, and are given in marriage:   35 but they that are accounted worthy to attain to that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:   b25 For when they shall rise from the dead, ain the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as angels in heaven.   c36 for neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the sons of God, being the sons of the resurrection. [This favorite argument of the Sadducees could not be successfully answered by the Pharisees because they could not refute the assumption that marriage is continued in the future world. But Jesus does refute it on his own authority.]   a31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, cthat the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the place concerning the Bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, bhave ye not read in the book of Moses, athat which was spoken unto you by God, bhow God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?   c38 Now aGod is not cthe God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. bye do [601] greatly err. [The disbelief of the Sadducees manifested itself in a triple form, for they denied the resurrection and the existence of angels and spirits (@Acts xxiii. 8), but the basal principle of their infidelity was the denial of spirits. It was, as it were, the tree trunk from which their other errors sprang as branches. If there were such things as spirits, it was not worth while to deny that there was an order of them known as angels. If man had a spirit which could survive his body, it was reasonable to believe that God, having so fashioned him that a body is essential to his activity and happiness, would in some manner restore a body to him. Jesus therefore does not pursue the argument until he has proved a resurrection; but rests when he has proved that man has a spirit. Jesus proves that man has a spirit by a reference from the Pentateuch, that part of Scripture which the Sadducees accepted as derived from God through Moses. The reference shows that God was spoken of and spoke of himself as the God of those who were, humanly speaking, long since dead. But the Sadducees held that a dead man had ceased to exist, that he had vanished to nothingness. According to their view, therefore, God had styled himself the God of nothing, which is absurd. The Sadducees could not thus have erred had they known or understood the significance of this Scripture, and they could not have doubted the resurrection had they known the absolute power with which God deals with material such as that of which the body is formed. See verses 24 and 39 supra.]   a33 And when the multitude heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.   c39 And certain of the scribes answering said, Teacher, thou hast well said. [Some of the scribes of less bitter spirit could not refrain from expressing their admiration at the ease with which Jesus answered an argument which their own wisdom could not refute.] [602]

[FFG 600-602]



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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton
The Fourfold Gospel (1914)

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