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2 Tim 1:10 says,

and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished [Strong's # g2673] death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

Yet Paul says in 1 Cor 15:25-26

For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed [Strong's # g2673] is death.

So in one verse death appears to already have been abolished/destroyed and in the other death remains to be abolished/destroyed.

How should we reconcile?

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    Death is abolished in his own people. Those who reject him will yet suffer death. Both aspects are true.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 12:03
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    Consider Timothy to mean that he abolished the certainty of death by bringing the possibility of immortality to light. Consider Corinthians to refer to the "there shall be no more death" mentioned in Revelation 21:4, when death is eliminated at the end of the Millennium. Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 13:53

3 Answers 3

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We know it was sin that brought death. Christ of course condemned sin in the flesh and overcame it and therefore brought life out of death.

"The crucifixion of Christ is the furthest limit to which sin can go. The vivification of Christ is the first step in the abolition of death. He can die no more. At His coming advent the saints will triumph over death and receive eonian life. It's final abolition, however, is at the end of the eons, called the consummation." Concordant commentary

We know God calls things that are not there as though they were and here's another example of God saying everything has been subject to Christ but we still don't see it yet.

You have put in subjection all things under his feet. For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing unsubject to him. But at present not yet do we see all things having been subjected to him. Hebrews 2:8

Death will be totally abolished, We will see it happen in stages, Including the second death will totally be annulled.

This is what happens to death as 1 Corinthians 15:26 states.

2673 katargéō (from 2596 /katá, "down to a point," intensifying 691 /argéō, "inactive, idle") – properly, idle down, rendering something inert ("completely inoperative"); i.e. being of no effect (totally without force, completely brought down); done away with, cause to cease and therefore abolish; make invalid, abrogate (bring to nought); "to make idle or inactive" (so also in Euripides, Phoen., 753, Abbott-Smith). ["2673 (katargéō) means 'to make completely inoperative' or 'to put out of use,' according to TDNT (1.453)" (J. Rodman Williams, Renewal Theology "

abolished (4), abolishing (1), bring to an end (1), did away (1), do away (1), done away (4), fades away (1), fading (1), fading away (1), nullified (1), nullify (4), passing away (1), released (2), removed (1), render powerless (1), severed (1), use (1).

Christ triumphed over sin and death.

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In the mind of the Bible writers, both are correct. Many times, Bible writers speak of the future of God's sure providence as an accomplished fact. This is the familiar "now but not yet" idea that runs throughout Scripture.

Here is another example from John 6:50, where Jesus describes Himself as the bread of heaven that gives eternal life:

This is the bread coming down from heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die.

The context here is "eating Jesus' flesh and drinking His blood" to have eternal life. Here Jesus promises that this who eat his flesh - the bread from heaven, will not die. Jesus says something similar in John 5:24 -

Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment. Indeed, he has crossed over from death to life.

That is, Jesus teaches that we may have eternal life now, even though we die before receiving eternal life. See John 11:25 for the same idea.

In 2 Tim 1:10, Paul uses the same idea -

and now having been made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, having abolished death and having brought to light life and immortality through the gospel (BLB)

Thus, the devoted follower of Jesus possesses eternal life now. That is, Jesus has abolished (to those who accept) eternal death, not temporary death. This eternal death that Jesus abolished is also called, the "second death" as per, Rev 2:11, 20:6, 8, 14.

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I think 1 Timothy is primarily referring to death being deactivated in his own body, whereas 1 Corinthians 15 head the wider scope of deaths influence on humans in general.

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  • This seems quite plausible. Would like to plus 1 this answer. Can you provide better hermeneutical support for your position?
    – Austin
    Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 13:15
  • Sure. The previous verse says that we are given purpose and grace "in Christ Jesus". This appars to be a locative argument that identifies a specific sphere in which we receive grace and purpose, and are also saved and called. The fact that immortality is "brought to light through the gospel" implies that it is something that is revealed to us by his own personal resurrection, not something we are fully participating in right now. Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 14:25
  • So from that perspective, the flow of thought in the surrounding verses appears to be focused on what is revealed to us by what happened in Christ himself, conveyed to us through the story of the gospel. 1 Corinthians 15, however, is speaking of a future event when death will be abolished in all of us through our consummated participation in Christ's resurrection. The abolishing of dearth in 1 Cor 15 is something that is explicitly described as happening to all those who are in Christ, but at a future point in time. Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 14:30
  • Hence his metaphor of Christ as the "first fruits", implying a future resurrection of those in Christ. There is a consistent rhetorical strategy in Paul's writings of God accomplishing something first in Christ (new humanity), and then by the Spirit we begin to participate in what God has already accomplished in Christ in a measured, first fruits, down payment kind of way. Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 14:31

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