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What passages in the Pentateuch are commonly believed by Christians to teach the resurrection of the dead?


Background for this question:

After the Jewish people returned from Babylon most of them no longer spoke Hebrew and began to speak in Aramaic. Samaritans in Palestine argue that because the Jews lost their ability to speak Hebrew they could no longer correctly interpret the Pentateuch, which at that time was written with new alphabet. During the time of Jesus Christ, the Sadducees argued that the doctrine of resurrection of the dead was foreign to the early Israelites. To answer their allegation, Jesus quoted from Exodus 3:6,

[F]or the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, "I am (Gk. ἐγώ εἰμι) the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob"? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. (Matthew 22:31-32)

But in the Samaritan Pentateuch there is no present indicative such as ἐγώ εἰμι,

I [am] the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. (Exodus 3:6, Samaritan Pentateuch)

Samaritans to this day argue that Rabbinical Judaism inserted new doctrine into Aramaic Targum to develop man made tradition unknown to the early Israelites prior to Babylonian captivity.

By the labour of thy hands thou shalt eat food, until thou turn again to the dust from which thou wast created: for dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return; for from the dust it is to be that thou art to arise, to render judgment and reckoning for all that thou hast done, in the day of the great judgment. And Adam called the name of his wife Hava, because she is the mother of all the children of men. (Genesis 3:19-20, Palestinian Targum, my emphasis)

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mr. Bultitude, fredsbend, bruised reed, David Stratton Mar 17 '15 at 4:34

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • From whose perspective? You are going to have to be more specific as to a Denomination or sect of Christianity since answers will vary widely. – BYE Mar 12 '15 at 17:34
  • From Christianity because it presupposed later post-exilic Judaism. Unless there is a sect within Christianity who deny resurrection which I'm not aware of. – Adithia Kusno Mar 12 '15 at 18:34
  • Can you maybe rephrase the question in terms of Hebrew. – gideon marx Mar 12 '15 at 20:16
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    Christians by definition take Jesus' words as gospel (no pun intended). So the fact that he cites Genesis to support the doctrine of resurrection makes this a "yes" from a Christian perspective. I think you'll have to further refine your question: Do you mean to ask What passages in the Pentateuch are used to support resurrection? It appears that you're asking, "Who's right in the Samaritan/Sadducee vs. Pharisee debate?" which is off-topic. – Mr. Bultitude Mar 12 '15 at 22:37
  • I'm asking the former, is it expressed in Pentateuch? – Adithia Kusno Mar 13 '15 at 2:27
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Ressurection is mentioned many times in the Bible. Job also said "And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God" (Job 19:26).

According to this article, the Sadducees based their doctrine only from the Torah(Pentateuch), rejecting all Jewish Oral Laws and gave no importance to the writing of the Prophets.

In Matthew 22:23-33, Sadducees wanted to test Jesus on the topic of resurrection. Knowing that they accepted only the Pentateuch, Jesus replied them from the Pentateuch itself that resurrection is mentioned(perhaps indirectly). This reply from Jesus silenced the Sadducees.

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: (Matthew 22: 34-35, NIV)

Their silence would probably mean that Jesus was quoting correctly from the same Scripture that Sadducees were reading. Otherwise they should have argued about the tense used in the Scripture like the one you mentioned from the Samaritan Pentateuch. Also there was no reason why Sadducees would read from the Samaritan Pentateuch because Jews at that time abhorred the Samaritans.

So, to answer your question, "Is the Doctrine of Resurrection of the Dead expressed in Pentateuch?", the answer is definitely YES! according to Jesus or Christian Scripture. But if you ask "Is it mentioned in the Samaritan Pentateuch?", the answer could be 'No' but I think that is irrelevant for Christians because our Scripture is different from what the Samaritans have.

  • Both Hebrew and Samaritan Pentateuch don't have present indicative "am" in the sentence. It can be assumed but it will bring Jesus' reading of that passages as merely His own opinion. – Adithia Kusno Mar 14 '15 at 15:58
  • @AdithiaKusno I'm not expert in Hebrew. They say that there are no tenses in Biblical Hebrew. If your question is related to tenses, then I think you should ask in hermeneutics.stackexchange.com – Mawia Mar 16 '15 at 5:55
  • I'll ask a hermeneutic question there, here is focusing on the underlying doctrine. – Adithia Kusno Mar 16 '15 at 12:45

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