16. John 11 - The Resuscitation of Lazarus

Rethinking Scripture

27-09-2021 • 26 mins

Rethinking Scripture Podcast -

Episode 16: The Resuscitation of Lazarus (John 11)

September 27, 2021 - Host: Dr. Gregory Hall

In John chapter 11, several questions arise out of how Jesus handles the death of his good friend, Lazarus. But a logical look at the assumptions we have, about this chapter, may cause us to rethink what we thought we already knew about  Lazarus’ new lease on life.

Referenced Resources:

  • Links to Jewish thoughts on lingering souls:
    1. https://reformjudaism.org/glimpses-afterlife - Zunz dates it to the middle of the 7th century.
    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviticus_Rabbah  - The Encyclopaedia Judaica and Jacob Neusner date it to the 5th century.
    3. The Zohar, which is one of the texts that make up the Kabbalah, is composed of the teachings of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who was a second-century Talmudic mystic. After being passed along by oral tradition for centuries, the Zohar was finally published in the late 13th century. The belief that the soul lingers for three days after death seems to have emanated from the texts that make up the Kabbalah, notably the Zohar. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shemira)
    4. In his book "Jewish Views of the Afterlife," Simcha Paull Raphael says: "Immediately following death, there is a period known as Hibbut Ha Kever, pangs of the grave. During this period, the soul is confused, lingers around the body and tries to go back to his home to be with his loved ones. After this, there is a maximum period of 12 months in Gehenna, which is a realm described as fiery, where the soul is purified of its sins." After the twelve-month period, it is believed the soul rests permanently in the afterlife. (https://classroom.synonym.com/jewish-belief-that-the-spirit-lingers-for-three-days-12087774.html)
  • Regarding Jesus needing to name Lazarus specifically.
    1. A quaint Puritan writer said that if Jesus had not named Lazarus when He shouted, He would have emptied the whole cemetery! (Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 337.)
    2. Jesus shouted only three words: Lazarus come out! Augustine once remarked that if Jesus had not said Lazarus’ name all would have come out from the graves. (Edwin A. Blum, “John,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 315.)
    3. MAXIMINUS [The Arian; 360-65...frequently argued w/Augustine]: For all the dead, most beloved, would have arisen out of their graves [on hearing] that one voice if he had not called out that single name. Therefore he spoke in particular, “Lazarus, come forth.” … It is also in this singular name that he called, I say, that we see in a single instance what is to be understood more generally of all in the future. SERMON 14.3.(Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (pp. 29–30). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.)

Show Music:

  • Intro/Outro - "Growth" by Armani Delos Santos
  • Transition Music - produced by Jacob A. Hall

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