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How should John 10:17-18 be understood?

For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life so that I may take it back. 18 No one has taken it away from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it back. This commandment I received from my Father.” NASB

The idea that the dead Jesus somehow raised himself after the crucifixion is based on him taking back his life - apparently without any assistance from God. (According to Nigel - "...when a voice from heaven (three times) affirms that one is the 'Son of God' and when one rises from the dead, unaided...")

  • In the case of John 10:17-18, the Greek word lambanō (#2983 λαμβάνω), which generally means “take” or “receive,” occurs three times, all in the active voice.

  • But in most English versions, lambanō is translated two different ways in those two verses, while the Greek word airō (#142 αἴρω), which occurs one time, is translated in much the same way as lambanō.

  • For example, the King James Version of John 10:17-18 reads: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take [lambanō] it again. No man taketh [airō] it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take [lambanō] it again. This commandment have I received [lambanō] of my Father.

For this reason my Father loves me, because I am laying down my life in order to receive it back again. Weymouth New Testament, GNT, CEV, Aramaic Bible.

If we translate 'lambanō' consistently with the last phrase, "This commandment have I received [lambanō] of my Father," then shouldn't we also allow 'receive' instead of 'take' in 'I have power to take it again'? Only then would it align with over 30 verses stating God, the Father, raised Jesus from the dead.

If Jesus is receiving it back, someone else is giving it to him. If Jesus raised himself, based on a particular dealing with 'lambanō', then a significant contradiction is created.

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    This again is an argument from the English translation. The nuance ‘take and receive’ found in English doesn’t exist in the same way in the Greek. The very fact that this ONE word gets translated in two ways in the English should tell you that. This is a word that aligns more with receiving or accepting something δέχομαι Jun 30 at 13:12
  • @steveowen. The authority to receive his life again was given by Jesus' God, the Father. His God resurrected him. He did not resurrect himself "unaided '. John 10:18, clearly shows that he was given the authority to receive it again. This commandment he received from his Father. Very good question. Jul 1 at 0:28
  • @AlexBalilo that’s an interesting addition to the text, it seemingly could be possible without much scrutiny, were it not for the fact that it is contrasted. He says he lays his life down, and then it says that οὐδείς (no one or no thing) caused him to lay it down. This is the contrast, by inference and in the same way as he laid down his life, in like manner he picks it up, no one caused him to pick it up. You are deviating from the sacred texts when you add to the text what you want it to read because of your presuppositional precommitment to an extraBiblical preference. Jul 1 at 13:14
  • @NihilSineDeo. John 10:18 clearly says it, "This commandment I have received from my Father. . Omitting this statement make it look like Jesus resurrected himself,. Recall too his prayer in Gethsemane where he asked the Father to be spared from his suffering and death,. The source of Jesus life is his Father/God, not himself. John 6:57. Jul 1 at 14:42
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    @Jesseיִשַׁי we are here to recognise where the English has failed to adequately pass on an intended meaning from the original. Which in this case is significant and it alone is a base for unbiblical doctrine. Hermeutics strives to seek the original intention, which has been subverted into a proof-text!
    – steveowen
    Jul 1 at 22:06

5 Answers 5

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John 10:17-18 is a great text for Unitarians, Arians, Binitarians and Trinitarians! (A deliberate punctuation pun.)

Actually, there are two cardinal verbs in this passage, both extremely common in the NT and neither have uniform meanings as some simplistic exegetes would prefer. See appendix 1. Indeed, BDAG lists 10 basic means and several sub-meanings of the verb λαμβάνω, just one of which corresponds to the OP's choice. Similarly, BDAG has five basic meanings for τίθημι, and several sub-meanings.

[Recall that the word correctly translated "life" here is psuche = literally, "soul". Compare Gen 9:4, Lev 17:11, 14, "the life/soul in in the blood" and Jesus blood was shed for us, Luke 22:20, Mark 14:24, etc.]

To adduce John's intended meaning, we need only observe the obvious literary contrast between these two verbs: lay down, vs, take up/back. Thus we may translate John 10:17, 18 as (my translation):

Because of this, the Father loves Me, because I lay down my life that I might take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down and authority take it up again. This commandment I took/received from My Father.

If one wishes to translate λαμβάνω as simply "receive" then the text creates a problem because one of the emphases in this passage is Jesus willingness to voluntarily lay down His life and voluntarily take it up again.

APPENDIX 1. BDAG meanings of λαμβάνω and τίθημι

Here I will not reproduce all the voluminous material from BDAG about these two common NT words but only enough to provide the flavor of the variety and shades of meaning.

λαμβάνω

  1. to get hold of something, grasp
  2. to take away, remove
  3. to take into one's possession, take acquire [This is BDAG's preferred meaning for John 10:17, 18a]
  4. to take payment, receive, accept
  5. to include in an experience, take up, receive
  6. to make a choice, choose, select
  7. to accept as true, receive
  8. to enter into a close relationship, make one's own, apprehend/comprehend
  9. some special cases
  10. to be a receiver, get, obtain [This is BDAG's preferred meaning for John 10:18b]

τίθημι

  1. to put in place in a particular location, lay, put
  • (a) to lay away or set up
  • (b) take off, give up [this is BDAG's preferred meaning in John 10:17, 18]
  1. to lay aside/deposit, store up
  2. to assign to some task or function, appoint, assign
  3. to bring about an arrangement, establish, give
  4. to cause to undergo a change in experience/condition, make, consign

APPENDIX 2. Jesus' Resurrection

Specifying the sub-topic of Jesus’ resurrection, specifically who did it, is a perfect example of what some call “cafeteria theology”. In this case—as some argue vehemently and on the explicit basis of selective texts—these arguments niggle over whether Jesus was raised by the Father or the Holy Spirit or He raised Himself.

What are the Biblical facts?

  • Acts 2:24, 3:15, 4:10, 5:30, 10:40, 13:30, 17:31, Rom 4:24, 1 Cor 15:15, Col 2:20, Heb 13:20, 1 Peter 1:3, 1 Thess 1:10 simply say that “God” raised Jesus without specifying any specific member of the Godhead
  • Rom 6:4, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:17-20 say that the Father raised Jesus from the dead.
  • Rom 1:4 & 8:11, 1 Peter 3:18 say that the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead.
  • John 2:19-21 and 10:17, 18 both say that Jesus resurrected Himself. Further, John 1:4 & 5:26 says that the Son has “life in Himself”, that is, Jesus is not dependent on the Father for His existence. Compare 1 John 5:11 & 1:1, 2.

Such comparison invites the traps of proof-texting and "cafeteria theology". The most reasonable "Biblical" (Bible-based) conclusion here is that the entire Godhead acted to raise Jesus.

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    Up-voted +1. My original comment 'unaided' ( in regard to Jesus' resurrection) merely meant 'without the aid of any human agency on earth'. It was not meant either to include or to exclude Divine agency. Your answer is excellent and conveys what I, myself, believe regarding the Divine Agency of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Much appreciated.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 1 at 3:13
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    It amazes me how someone can ignore other passages I’m referring to you @steveowen and laser in on one verse out of context to try to make a point. The Greek doesn’t agree with you, the context doesn’t agree with you and the Bible doesn’t agree with you. Only Joseph Smith agrees with you and you with him and neither of you are authoritative in anyway. Jul 1 at 3:14
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    Oooh, you sound defensive! I’m glad you recognise the ‘laser focus’. Only a defensive approach would dv this Q.
    – steveowen
    Jul 1 at 3:31
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    @steveowen the key phrase is “out of context”. You laser focused out of context. Or more accurately without context. Trust me I ain’t defensive just because I’m not being offensive with you, so stop gaslighting. Take a look in the mirror. I initiated, you defended, that makes you defensive. Fact is, you can’t see and I’m fine with you not seeing, because you don’t want to see. You’re married to your creed which you mistakenly conflate with truth. I only care about the truth and your butchering of the text is worthy of pointing out, repeatedly. I commend the DVoters Jul 1 at 5:12
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    @Jesse yet you left the nonsense about Joseph smith and gaslighting?
    – steveowen
    Jul 1 at 22:33
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Jesus died and was dead. He died just as every man dies. His soul had gone to the unseen, His Spirit back to His Father, and body to the grave.

How would he know when to wake himself up since He is dead?

I think it's important to realize that the Father raised Christ up to show that sin has been dealt with, justification has been made complete. It is the one evidence that displays God's approval by raising him from the dead. Sin was gone!

In John 10:17 Jesus is speaking as a shepherd letting his flock know that he will get His life back again. He will not remain dead, like the rest of the shepherds did before him. Taking up his life again was reassuring to the flock because it was His right to lay down his soul and His right to take it up again. He received his authority from His Father.

17Because of this the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, that again I may take it; 18no one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself; authority I have to lay it down, and authority I have again to take it; this command I received from My Father.

It's also worth noting that the life he is talking about in the above scripture is his soul that He is laying down and His soul He will take up again.

◄ 5590. psuché ► Strong's Concordance psuché: breath, the soul Original Word: ψυχή, ῆς, ἡ Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: psuché Phonetic Spelling: (psoo-khay') Definition: breath, the soul Usage: (a) the vital breath, breath of life, (b) the human soul, (c) the soul as the seat of affections and will, (d) the self, (e) a human person, an individual.

He had committed His spirit to the Father upon his death.

"and having cried with a loud voice, Jesus said, 'Father, to Thy hands I commit my spirit;' and these things having said, he breathed forth the spirit. Luke 23:46"

The mediation was made complete between God and man. God raising Jesus as the son of man from the dead was the greatest sign ever given that sin was no longer in man, in the Second Adam, the new creation of God.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Timothy 2:5

One final thought.

God has raised this Jesus to life, to which we are all witnesses. Acts 2:32

Here is another powerful scripture stating that it was the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, who raised up Christ. (Eph. 1:17) used His mighty strength not only raise Christ from the dead, but also took Him far above every power, sovereignty , dominion, every name that is named, and seated Him at his right hand among the celestials.

That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:20,22

As a side note, the word exerted or work is ἐνέργειαν, energeian:

1754 energéō (from 1722 /en, "engaged in," which intensifies 2041 /érgon, "work") – properly, energize, working in a situation which brings it from one stage (point) to the next, like an electrical current energizing a wire, bringing it to a shining light bulb.

accomplish (1), brought about (1), effective (2), effectually worked (2), performs...work (1), work (6), working (2), works (7).

  1. intransitive, to be operative, be at work, put forth power:

(the accomplishing of) something

Again this was totally the work of God the Father raising His Son up and seating Him by His side far above any other authority.

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  • Good point about him giving up his spirit. If he is really dead as this verifies he cannot raise himself! +1
    – steveowen
    Jul 1 at 22:10
  • @steveowen perhaps you're assuming death as annihilation of the spirit too. Death only means death of flesh. Our spirit don't cease after death but move place. Flesh is a cloak. We mortals can't raise ourselves back. Calvin's have the same objection on Lazarus taking back his life by hearing Jesus' wake up word. He didn't raise himself up but was raised. Jesus raised himself on his own authority or power bec he's the author of life. God himself. biblestudying.net/history-of-judaism5.html study this whole site for trinity in the OT which is easier than the Roman doctrine to learn
    – Michael16
    Jul 2 at 4:10
  • @Michael16. I am interested in your comment "Our spirit don't cease after death but move place". What verse says this? Jul 2 at 23:45
  • Soul goes to hell/Hades after death, it doesn't cease to exist. "He gave up his spirit (ie died)" gotquestions.org/did-God-die.html "And you shall not be afraid of those who kill the body that are not able to kill the soul; rather be afraid of him who can destroy soul and body in Gehenna"
    – Michael16
    Jul 3 at 2:35
  • @Michael16. Ezekiel 18:20 ASV says, The soul that sinneth, it shall die:... Jul 3 at 8:27
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Koine Greek wasn't that technical

This is more of an addition and less of an attempt to be a full answer. Others have addressed the matter well, so this is supplemental.

From Greek for All

The Greek New Testament contains about 5,400 unique words which, combined, occur 138,020 times in the NT. The GFA Vocab App offers 1,023 of the most common words which cover 90% of all occurrences. In fact, the top 300 (all 50+ words) will appear 110,400 times in the New Testament which is about 80%.

5,400 is significantly less than the 171,146 words that BBC reports we have today.

I'm across the Pacific, in Taiwan, where I deal with similar issues, that English has at least three common verbs for "sight" (see, look, watch) while Mandarin only has one (kan). This makes English conversation difficult for Mandarin speakers who don't know which word to use and often get it wrong, creating confusion.

These technical questions about whether lambano means take or receive split hairs more than debating whether a quantity is "six" or "half a dozen". They didn't see a difference and they didn't make a distinction when they expressed ideas.

If they had such meaning, it would not be any meaning found within one word, but from an elaboration of the sentence.

So, when interpreting a Bible passage for the eventual purpose of building a theology—which is not what we do here on Hermeneutics, but what we indeed do after we finish our study here—it is essential to develop such meaning on clear, unmistakable meanings of the overall passage, not on technical translations of only a few words or passages, let alone definitions of a single word.

This is indeed a great question worth exploring. Just know from the beginning that we aren't going to measure speed to the 0.00001 of miles per hour using a normal car's speedometer that hashes in units of 5. Know the significant figures of your measuring equipment, specifically how greatly you are limited in your scope of conclusion when exploring the lexical meaning of a single word.

So, how can we translate it... "take" or "receive"? It was all the same to the ancient folk who didn't know what soap was, let alone a UV water filter with reverse osmosis—they didn't have an opinion about that either.

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    While your thesis has merit, the ancient folk didn’t need to wonder whether Jesus was going to, or did, raise himself. They didn’t need to worry about God somehow dying either.
    – steveowen
    Jul 1 at 22:25
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    I already decoded the nuance of receive/accept: it is used when a transaction taking place between two parties. Not snatch or move away or lift, as with airo but take what is available to be taken.
    – Michael16
    Jul 2 at 4:03
  • @Michael16 Good words. It's not a niche or idiosyncratic position. Thank you. Jul 3 at 10:06
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Matthew 10:8 V-AIA-2P
GRK: ἐκβάλλετε δωρεὰν ἐλάβετε δωρεὰν δότε
NAS: Freely you received, freely give
KJV: freely ye have received, freely give
Wycliffe: freely ye have taken, freely give ye.
Vulgate: gratis accepistis, gratis date.

I don't find any passive form of λαμβάνω lambano in the Bible. The passive sentence would simply use "given" instead of "having received" or any passive form of taken/receive. Let's compare Latin Vulgate translation of the word lambano: John 10:17-18

(ESV) I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
(SBLG) πάλιν λάβω αὐτήν. οὐδεὶς αἴρει αὐτὴν ἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ, ἀλλ᾽ ἐγὼ τίθημι αὐτὴν ἀπ᾽ ἐμαυτοῦ. ἐξουσίαν ἔχω θεῖναι αὐτήν, καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἔχω πάλιν λαβεῖν αὐτήν· ταύτην τὴν ἐντολὴν ἔλαβον παρὰ τοῦ πατρός μου.
(VulgCC) ut iterum sumam eam. Nemo tollit eam a me: sed ego pono eam a meipso, et potestatem habeo ponendi eam: et potestatem habeo iterum sumendi eam: Hoc mandatum accepi a Patre meo.

What I gather from the nuance of Latin accepi (accept) and receive from here, is that they are using it when there is a giving agent from the other end. We know there are no such synonyms in Greek; there is only one word lambano take/receive. When it says, I take it up again, it has no giving agent, so the Latin, English use a synonymous word receive to express a transaction. It has no passive form, but in English we can write, received by me, in passive sense.

After learning these nuance of synonyms in translation, we should have no problem understanding the passage. You can translate the word exclusively, like This commandment I have taken of my Father. (Wycliffe Bible), it will make no difference.

As for the implication on the trinity, there should be no problem in Son doing everything together in harmony with the Father, with his authority, power, permission, because he is not a different, rival god, but he is one with the Father, he can do nothing on his own or independently. The three are absolutely, really only one (monotheism). Those who have objection with such the concordant nature of the Trinity may be having a (Nicene) hyper-trinitarian view which has an ontological identity difference, or where the three are completely different beings as a whole working in team. Thus, there is no contradiction with Jesus raising himself up with the fact that whatever he does is in accordance with the Father.

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λαμβάνω
Question: If we translate 'lambanō', λαμβάνω, consistently with the last phrase, "This commandment have I received [lambanō] of my Father," then shouldn't we also allow 'receive' instead of 'take' in 'I have power to take it again'?

There are several reasons why this word should not be rendered the same.

First, λαμβάνω describes a mutual action where another participates in the process; they "make a choice."1Thus, neither "receive" or "take" will always convey the meaning in context:

The one who rejects me and does not receive (λαμβάνων) my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. (John 12:48 ESV)

Since one may choose not to receive, perhaps "take" would be better. Regardless, unless it is actively apprehended by another, there is no reception or possession.

The Immediate Context
Second, the word was used with three different inflections:

17 `Because of this doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life, that again I may receive (λάβω) it 18 no one doth take it from me, but I lay it down of myself; authority I have to lay it down, and authority I have again to receive (λαβεῖν) it; this command I received (ἔλαβον) from my Father.' (OP suggestion)

All are in the aorist active but the mood, which "is the morphological feature of a verb that a speaker uses to portray his or her affirmation as to the certainty of the verbal action or state"2is different with each use. The first is subjunctive which describes "that which is probable or desirable;" the last is indicative "that which is certain or asserted."3The second use is infinitive which corresponds to the English subjunctive and most often expresses purpose "to, in order to, for the purpose of."4

Additionally, there are two different topics in the passage: authority and the commandment. "Received" (past tense) is proper with the last use because when Jesus is speaking, He is already in possession of the commandment from His Father.

Likewise the ability to lay down and take up His life again rests on the authority He has in His possession (past tense) from His Father. Yet, the exercise of authority, however desirable (the first use), is still future and conditional:

enter image description here

Jesus must first lay down His life (the protasis); only then may He take/receive it again (the apodosis). If He fails to do the first, which is voluntary, the second will not happen. The authority in the first action is not only voluntary, it is absolute: no one takes it from Me. None may take His life and none may stop Him from laying it down. This absolute authority is best expressed by "take."

As illustrated above, "received" shifts the complexion to suggest Jesus has no part in the process. Not only is this contrary to what is described, it obscures the reality Jesus in and of Himself, with no interference of, or from another, has the authority to lay down His life.

This voluntary act of obedience is a foundation of the New Covenant:

even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28 ESV, also Mark 10:45)

Jesus' sacrifice was acceptable because it was both voluntary and without sin. Since Jesus must initiate the process before He can have His life again, "take" not only follows the lexicon and mood, it best fits the immediate context.

New Testament Context
Citing the REV Commentary, the OP states there are over 30 verses that "God, the Father" raised Jesus from the dead. Here are three examples from those the Commentary offers:

and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed. (Matthew 17:23)
Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” (Matthew 28:7)
But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” (Mark 14:28)

As is the case with almost every passage in the Gospels (see below), there is no explicit mention of God or Father. The REV commentary is driven by doctrine, not the actual texts; it assumes the passive voice of the verbs ἐγείρω and ἀνίστημι in the third person refers to God the Father.

There are significant difficulties with this assumption.

First, some statements are made by an angelic being or the narrator, not Jesus. For example, Matthew 28:7 (and 28:6) are spoken by the angel: Jesus cannot be ruled out.

Second, the passive voice may be used in a deponent sense:

230 On account of this Hellenistic tendency to use passive forms in «deponent» sense, one must beware of insisting on a passive sense for them. Thus e.g. where Paul writes to the Thessalonians (I, 1.5) οἴδατε οἷοι ἐγενήθημεν ἐν ὑμῖν δι᾽ ὑμᾶς the Vulgate is right in rendering «quales fuerimus», however much the context may suggest the passive sense (Paul's «being made» such as he was by the action of God); ἐγενήθη occurs three times in the same chapter. In 1 Cor 1.30 however, (ὃς ἐγενήθη ἡμῖν σοφία ἀπὸ θεοῦ) one may render, instead of the deponent «become», the passive «be made».

231 For the same reason one must not insist too much on the difference between ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν and ἀναστῇ, as if the passive form ἠγέρθη always and necessarily connoted the action of God the Father, for it may simply mean «arose» and is rightly so rendered («surrexit») by the Vulgate in e.g. Mk 14.28; 16.6; Mt 27.64 etc. This may perhaps account partly for the remarkable fact that while the substantive ἀνάστασις (νεκρῶν, Ἰησοῦ) occurs frequently, the verb ἀναστῆναι is found for Christ's resurrection only once in the epistles (1 Thes 4.14; but it occurs seven times in the gospels and twice in Acts) as against thirteen cases where Christ is said ἐγερθῆναι. (Note however that the resuscitation [ἐγείρειν] of Christ is in many places explicitly attributed to the Father).
So too σταθεὶς and ἐστάθη often mean simply στὰς and ἔστη;thus where Paul speaks σταθεὶς ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ Ἀρείου the passive form does not imply that someone had «set» him there (Acts 17:22). Cf. also Mt 18.16; Lk 18:11; Acts 5:20; Rom 14.4; Col 4.125

Setting aside the two verses in question, over 60% of New Testament passages6have no direct reference to means of the resurrection: enter image description here

In addition to the paucity of direct references to the Father, it is striking the only explicit reference in the Gospels are Jesus raising Himself (Matthew 27:63, John 2:19, 20, 22). These four all come from the Temple clearing incident recorded by John.

John, as narrator, gives the chronology and answer to the question, "Who raised Jesus from the dead?" and explains the meaning of something greater than the temple is here (Matthew 12:6):

Before the Crucifixion:
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. (John 2)

After the Crucifixion, before the Resurrection:
62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ (Matthew 27)

After the Resurrection:
22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. (John 2)

Finally, John also provides, without ambiguity, Jesus making a claim, before His death, to be the sole means of resurrection:

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (John 11)

Conclusion
This passage states the resurrection was the result of a mutual action of Jesus and His Father, just as Jesus had previously stated:

17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10)

19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will...25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. (John 5)

The only explanation for how the resurrection of Jesus is described in the New Testament which is consistent with the means by which it is described, is "God" has a triune nature: Father, Son, Spirit. For instance, in the letter to the Romans, only the triune nature of God allows Paul to make separate statements attributing the resurrection to God (10:9), the Holy Spirit (1;4, 8:11), the glory of the Father (6:4), or with none specific (4:24, 25, 6:9, 7:4, 8:34, 14:9). Even here, based upon John's Gospel, Jesus cannot be excluded, since the Son is the glory of the Father.


1. Fredrick William Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, The University Chicago Press, 2000, pp. 583-584
2. Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, Zondervan, 1996, p. 445
3. Ibid., p. 446
4. Ibid., p. 590
5. Maximilian Zerwick, Biblical Greek: Illustrated by Examples, Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2001, pp. 74-75
6. Other NT Verses: Matthew 16:21, 17:9, 23, 20:19, 26:32, 27:63, 64, 28:6, 7; Mark 8:31, 9:9, 31, 10:34, 14:28, 16:6, 14; Luke 9:22, 18:33, 24:6, 7, 34, 46; John 2:19, 20, 22, 20:9, 21:14; Acts 2:24, 32, 3:15, 26, 4:10, 5:30, 10:40, 41, 13:30, 33, 34, 37, 17:3; Romans 1:4, 4:24, 25, 6:4, 9, 7:4, 8:11, 34, 10:9, 14:9; 1 Corinthians 6:14, 15:4, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20; 2 Corinthians 4:14, 5:15; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:8; 1 Peter 1:21

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  • I wonder if you will passively receive life that Jesus offers in a resurrection or you will take it. What is the biblical basis. for "mutual agreement and action" ?
    – steveowen
    Jul 3 at 11:09
  • @steveowen Perhaps passive and active were not the best way to answer your question and I have edited accordingly. Nevertheless, the meaning of the Greek is the Father cannot raise Jesus to life again by Himself. The Father alone cannot restore life; only through the Son is the Father able to act: it requires mutual action. Jul 3 at 18:58
  • Ok, but again, what is the biblical basis for, ‘ The Father alone cannot’?
    – steveowen
    Jul 3 at 21:36
  • @steveowen The language is quite simple: Jesus has the authority to lay down His life and to take it up again. He must choose to exercise that authority. It is no different than giving people the authority to become children of God (1:12-3): unless a person chooses to receive and exercise that authority they do not become children of God. IOW people have the right to lay down their life and to take it up again (it's called being born again). The Father alone does not make children of God. Jul 4 at 3:40
  • You made comments that I have called you to account for, but are ignoring. "mutual agreement and action" and, "The Father alone cannot..." are not biblical ideas. Unless you can show otherwise they are opinion only.
    – steveowen
    Jul 4 at 3:45

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