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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians

6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

Paul now sets forth proof that Jesus’ resurrection was not spiritual but corporeal (15:5-9). Paul lists the first witnesses in verse 5: Peter and the twelve. Now we have 500 witnesses at one occurrence, James, all the apostles, then Paul himself.

6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once,

Jesus appeared bodily to “over five hundred brethren at once.” This is the only record of this event in the New Testament and may have occurred on the day of Pentecost.

of whom the greater part remain to the present,

The resurrection occurred about 23 years before Paul wrote First Corinthians, so the majority of these eyewitnesses witnesses were still alive at the point of writing.

but some have fallen asleep.

Some of the 500 had died within those 23 years.

PRINCIPLE:

There is overwhelming documentation to the resurrection of Christ.

APPLICATION:

Every Easter national television proposes the theory that Jesus’ resurrection was not corporeal but spiritual. Sometimes it is asserted that the disciples hallucinated and imagined that they saw Him resurrected. The problem with these theories is the number of people who saw the resurrected Christ, over a period of time, and under different circumstances. It would be a stretch to imagine that 500 people in one meeting hallucinated about the resurrected Christ. You might be able to fool some of them but not over 500. You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all the people all the time. 

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