5

In John 5:25-29 we read:

“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. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

(John 5:25-29 ESV emphasis mine)

Are these intended to refer the same "hour" or are they two different hours? My inclination is to see them as two distinct hours, but at the same time the language is so similar I'm not sure.

  • Considering the action of speaking, if resurrection implied the beginning of speaking with the mouth, the occurrence of this event occurs truly often. – Decrypted Jul 11 at 14:14
4

I'd say they are referring to the same event. It is common in Hebrew language and when thinking like a Hebrew to duplicate ideas. Notice how they parallel:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, (A)
an hour is coming, and is now here, (B)
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, (C)
and those who hear will live. (D)
For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 
Do not marvel at this, (A)
for an hour is coming (B)
when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice (C)
and come out, (D)
those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment."

They aren't saying exactly the same thing. The second one has more details about what they will be resurrected to while the first details that it will be the son who does the judging.

You can see examples of this thought parallelism in any piece of Hebrew poetry. Open to a random Psalm and you will see how they repeat thoughts.

2

This is a great question as it forces a closer look at a familiar text. The evidence is strong that there are two "hours" being described in that the first is said to already have come while the other has clearly not yet occurred:

“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. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

(John 5:25-29 ESV emphasis mine)

This suggests that the first "hour" describes the hearing of faith while the second "hour" suggests a future general resurrection.

  • 1
    Good observation, only one is now here. Also, the first is conditional, "those who hear will live", while the second is absolute, "all...will hear." – Joshua Jun 21 '16 at 17:26

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