Friday, 20 August 2010

Herman Ridderbos and Jan du Rand on the resurrection

I had a facsinating discussion with prof Jan du Rand (from Johannesburg South Africa) here at Tyndale House, Cambridge today. I was surprized to find out that prof Herman Ridderbos (arguably the most prolific Dutch New Testament scholar of his generation) was the external examiner for prof Du Rand's doctoral dissertation (prof Du Rand got a distinction for it).
One thing these two scholars have in common is their belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus. In his still cogent work Paul. An Outline of His Theology, 1975, Ridderbos discusses Paul's understanding of the resurrection body (see p 537-551). Prof Ridderbos has a very nuansed discussion on the whole issue of continuity and discontinuity of the future resurrection body. It is certainly worth reading. One point in particular was very helpful for me:
"What establishes the connection between life before and after the resurrection and what 'passes over' from the one into the other is the Spirit and being under the rulership of the Spirit . . . What 'abides' is faith, hope, and love (1 Cor. 13:13). That undoubtedly presupposes the human mode of existence, a future 'ontological' structure of man, in virtue of which even after the resurrection he can believe, hope, and love. On that account the resurrection of the body pertains to the inalienable content of the Christian kerygma" (p 551).

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