Here's the verse in question (NKJV):

So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. [The body] is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.

In the original Greek, is "dead" singular or plural? If plural, does it refer to dead people? I'm asking as it could have implications against full preterism, as I'm not under the impression that full preterists believe 1 Corinthians 15 to be about dead bodies being raised.

1 Answer 1


The word in 1 Cor 15:42 translated "dead" is νεκρῶν which is Genitive Masculine Plural.

Most of the verbs in 1 Cor 15 are future tense and thus discuss a future event. The event is ably described in the next few verses:

V42-44 - So will it be with the resurrection of the dead: What is sown is perishable; it is raised imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

Then again in V51-53 -

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must be clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

Again, note the future tenses of the verbs describing a future event. The Bible teaching on this can be summarized as follows:

  • The source of our eternal life at the resurrection is Jesus and His resurrection. 1 John 5:11, 12, 11:25, Rom 1:4, 6:5, 1 Cor 15:12-21, Phil 3:10, 11, 1 Peter 1:3, 3:21, etc.
  • The resurrection of the dead will occur at the end of time when Jesus returns. Matt 22:30, 31, Mark 12:23, Luke 14:14, 20:33-36, John 11;24, 25, 1 Thess 4:16, 17, 1 Cor 15:21, 22, 46-55.
  • There are two resurrections – one of the righteous and the wicked. Rev 20:5, 6, John 5:28, 29, Acts 24:15, Heb 11:35. See also Rev 1:7.
  • People receive their rewards at the resurrection, Luke 14:14, Rev 22:12, 13.
  • People receive real bodies at the resurrection, albeit different from what we have now; 1 Cor 15:35-54.
  • People are “sleeping” in the grave until awakened by the resurrection, Acts 2:29-31, 34, Matt 9:24, Mark 5:39, Luke 8:52, John 11:11, 12, Acts 7:60, 13:36, 1 Cor 7:39, 11:30, 15:6, 18, 20, 51, 1 Thess 4:13-17, 5:10, 2 Peter 3:4, etc.
  • The teaching about bodily resurrection is also found in the OT; Job 19:25, 26, Isa 26:19, Dan 12:2, 13. See also 1 Sam 2:6, Job 14:14, Ps 17:15, 49:15, Hos 13:14 (which is quoted by Paul in 1 Cor 15:55).
  • I was looking for the answer to whether or not "dead" was plural in 1 Corinthians 15:42, and you gave the answer. Thank you!
    – The Editor
    Dec 10, 2020 at 20:19

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