Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

1 Corinthians 15:23

    1 Corinthians 15:23 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But every man in his right order: Christ the first-fruits; then those who are Christ's at his coming.

    Webster's Revision

    But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming.

    World English Bible

    But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ's, at his coming.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:23

    But every man in his own order - The apostle mentions three orders here:

    1. Christ, who rose from the dead by his own power.

    2. Them that are Christ's; all his apostles, martyrs, confessors, and faithful followers.

    3. Then cometh the end, when the whole mass shall be raised.

    Whether this order be exactly what the apostle intends, I shall not assert. Of the first, Christ's own resurrection, there can be no question. The second, the resurrection of his followers, before that of the common dead, is thought by some very reasonable. "They had here a resurrection from a death of sin to a life of righteousness, which the others had not, because they would not be saved in Christ's way. That they should have the privilege of being raised first, to behold the astonishing changes and revolutions which shall then take place, has nothing in it contrary to propriety and fitness;" but it seems contrary to 1 Corinthians 15:52, in which all the dead are said to rise in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. "And, thirdly, that all the other mass of mankind should be raised last, just to come forward and receive their doom, is equally reasonable:" but it is apparently inconsistent with the manner in which God chooses to act; see 1 Corinthians 15:53. Some think that by them that are Christ's at his coming, "we are to understand Christ's coming to reign on earth a thousand years with his saints, previously to the general judgment;" but I must confess I find nothing in the sacred writings distinctly enough marked to support this opinion of the millennium, or thousand years' reign; nor can I conceive any important end that can be answered by this procedure.

    We should be very cautious how we make a figurative expression, used in the most figurative book in the Bible, the foundation of a very important literal system that is to occupy a measure of the faith, and no small portion of the hope, of Christians. The strange conjectures formed on this very uncertain basis have not been very creditable either to reason or religion.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Corinthians 15:23

    But every man - Everyone, including Christ as well as others.

    In his own order - In his proper order, rank, place, time. The word τάγμα tagma usually relates to military order or array; to the arrangement of a cohort, or band of troops; to their being properly marshalled with the officers at the head, and every man in His proper place in the ranks. Here it means that there was a proper "order" to be observed in the resurrection of the dead. And the design of the apostle is, probably, to counteract the idea that the resurrection was passed already, or that there was no future resurrection to be expected. The "order" which is here referred to is, doubtless, mainly that of "time;" meaning that Christ would be first, and then that the others would follow. But it also means that Christ would be first, because it was "proper" that he should be first. He was first in rank, in dignity, and in honor; he was the leader of all others, and their resurrection depended on his. And as it was proper that a leader or commander should have the first place in a march, or in an enterprise involving peril or glory, so it was proper that Christ should be first in the resurrection, and that the others should follow on in due order and time.

    Christ the first-fruits - Christ first in time, and the pledge that they should rise; see the note on 1 Corinthians 15:20.

    Afterward - After he has risen. Not before, because their resurrection depended on him.

    They that are Christ's - They who are Christians. The apostle, though in 1 Corinthians 15:22 he had stated the truth that "all" the dead would rise, yet here only mentions Christians, because to them only would the doctrine be of any consolation, and because it was to them particularly that this whole argument was directed.

    At his coming - When he shall come to judge the world, and to receive his people to himself. This proves that the dead will not be raised until Christ shall re-appear. He shall come for that purpose; and he shall assemble all the dead, and shall take his people to himself; see Matthew 25. And this declaration fully met the opinion of those who held that the resurrection was past already; see 2 Timothy 2:18.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Corinthians 15:23

    15:23 Afterward - The whole harvest. At the same time the wicked shall rise also. But they are not here taken into the account.