Reformed Reflections

Raised Immortal. Resurrection and Immortality in the New Testament
by Murry Harris;
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
Grand Rapids, Miich.,1985; Softcover, 305 pp.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ truly happened. There are compelling historical evidences that encourage and validate the belief that, at the latest, some thirty-six hours after his burial, Jesus rose from the dead in a transformed bodily state. As one of the evidences, Harris mentions the Church. Only the resurrection explains her existence and survival. He says, "It was not the Church that mothered the Resurrection; it was the Resurrection that mothered the Church". But Harris does not limit his study to the resurrection as a theme by itself. He also, and more importantly, relates it to the New Testament teaching on immortality. Immortality is the resurrection state. "The Christian doctrine of immortality", states Harris, "as immediate and permanent participation in the eternal divine life, leading to incorruptibility and deathlessness prevents resurrection from being regarded simply as an isolated punctiliar event."

To demonstrate that the resurrection and immortality are inseparable ideas Harris takes up first, in part one, the various aspects of the resurrection of Christ, the resurrection of the believers, and the concept of "general resurrection".

In part two, he discusses the immortality of God and man in the New Testament, and compares the New Testament concept of immortality with Plato's views. In part three, he examines the relation between resurrection and immortality.

Raised Immortal is a splendid and thorough study... solid work. Pastors will find the careful exegesis of many pertinent Scripture passages of the theme particularly useful in the preparation of funeral or Easter sermons. The book contains 27 pages of notes, two appendixes, one on the terminology of Resurrection in the New Testament, and the other on the terminology of Immortality in the New Testament. It also has a select bibliography and indexes of modern authors, subjects, references, inter-testamental and other Jewish literature, other ancient authors and writings, and principal Greek words.

Murray J. Harris was Professor of Biblical Greek and New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity school in Illinois, and in now Warden of Tyndale House, Cambridge.

Johan D. Tangelder