Full List of Resurrections in the Bible
I have previously discussed how many future resurrections there are in the Bible, focusing specifically on the theology behind resurrection. However, I also thought it would be helpful to list all of the resurrections that are mentioned in Scripture for reference.
- Resurrection of the widow’s son in Zarephath (1 Kgs 17:17–22)
- Resurrection of the Shunammite’s son (2 Kgs 4:18–37)
- Resurrection of the man thrown into Elisha’s grave (2 Kgs 13:20)
- Resurrection of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:41)
- Resurrection of the young man at Nain (Luke 7:14)
- Resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:38–44)
- Resurrection of unknown saints during the crucifixion (Matt 27:52–53)
- Resurrection of Christ (Matt 28:1-6)
- Resurrection of Tabitha/Dorcas (Acts 9:36–42)
- Resurrection of Eutychus (Acts 20:7–12)
- Resurrection of the Church (i.e., Rapture, 1 Thess 4:13-18; 1 Cor 15:23)
- Resurrection of the Two Witnesses (Rev 11:7–11)
- Resurrection of OT Saints and Martyrs (Revelation 20:4)
- Resurrection of the Wicked (Revelation 20:5)
Given the helpful feedback I received on the list, I have also decided to include a list of “honorable mentions” which I personally don’t think are resurrections but have been thought so by some.
- Jonah and the fish (Jonah 1–2)
- Paul in the city of Lystra (Acts 14:19–20)
- The beast/head of the beast (Rev 13:3)
A couple notes of clarification on this list of possible (but unlikely) resurrections. First, some people assume Jonah may have been resurrected because of the connection Jesus makes in Matthew 12:40-41. However, the connection does not depend on the death of Jonah. Rather it is the time spent in the fish. There is nothing in Jonah or the gospels which make clear reference to the resurrection of Jonah. Yet, it of course remains possible.
Second, the story of Paul’s stoning in Acts 14. Although most people would argue against this being a true account of death and resurrection, the arguments for this as a resurrection could be summarized as follows. (1) When stoning is practiced, it was most often to the death. (2) The Jews would not have stopped until they were sure Paul was dead since they had been trying for awhile (cf. Acts 14:5).
Alternatively, it is probably easier to argue that Paul did not die in Acts 14 and was more likely a recipient of a divine healing instead. The text seems to go out of the way to tell us that Paul’s enemies left him “supposing that he was dead.” It seems it would have been much more clear for Luke to record that Paul had died if that was indeed the case!
Third (and finally), the “mortal would” spoken of in Revelation 13:3 is not spoken of in absolute finality, but “as if” it had received a mortal wound. It is unlikely that this speaks of a resurrection, but I can see how this could be interpreted that way.
On another note, obviously a non-dispensationlists will likely reject the episode of the two witnesses in Revelation 11 as an actual resurrection. But, it seems to me there is no reason to reject the expectation of a revivification of two future prophets.
It is my goal that these lists approach a complete list of all the resurrections found in the Bible. So, if I’m missing anything please let me know so I can add it!
Photo by Moira Dillon on Unsplash
Moses was bodily resurrected – because Jude 9 states that there was a fight for the body
Gerard J Haughey
Paul died on the road to Damascus and was resurrected. Allow me to show this.
Acts 9: 4 He (Saul/Paul) fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord; Paul (post-resurrection name) replied?”
Paul says “Lord” because he is in the presence of Jesus – (see 2 Cor.5:8)
No one can see God and live (Exodus 33:20 for no one may see me and live).
Paul becomes the most influential writer and devoted preacher of Christ and the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus- This conversion of Saul to Paul is accomplished by God almost instantaneously barring the time of the visit with Him.
So, what is it to die and be returned that made the difference with Paul’s conversion? Scripture clearly tells us the answer.
John 12:24 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
What is John 12:24 saying here? Draw your attention to the words “except a man die”, “it abideth alone”, and “bringeth forth much fruit”. These words speak to a “resurrection” taking place. The order these words are spoken are reveal a return from death and not just a return but also “a return no longer alone”. What does this refer to? The man who died and is returned returns with the Holy Spirit indwelling – the person is no longer alone. This is a scripturally revealed way that God anoints His preachers and true priests. The fruit of resurrected men anointed by God is to preach the Gospel ad nauseam because God is in them.
All things aside, Eternal Life is the only thing worth living for and God knows this and Jesus is the only Way to Eternal Life. Jesus is “the Life” and “the Resurrection”.
How about Moses?
He was at the transfiguration of Jesus with Elijah,
so he must have been resurrected.
That’s a great thought and certainly possible! My thought though is that he was appearing in spirit and will be united with his body during the final resurrection.
Wouldn’t the “Resurrection of the Church” and the “Resurrection of OT Saints and Martyrs” be the same resurrection? Especially in reference to 1 Corinthians 15:23 “But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”
That just seems like that would include everyone at the same time.
Thanks for reading, Paul. It depends on one’s eschatological viewpoint. Many people would view the resurrections in 1 Cor 15:23 as a once for all resurrections (cf. Dan 12:3). Some, like myself, would hold to a multi-stage resurrection, where 1 Thess 4:13-18/1 Cor 15:23 are the church, Rev 20:4 speaks of another resurrection, and Rev 20:5 speaks of another. There are debates around that, certainly, but it does seem to be different circumstances.
This is a helpful list, Peter.
What about the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel?
Thanks for the input, Chad. I agree that is talking about resurrection, but since it is talking about the nation of Israel itself I decided to not include it. Perhaps I should have, or maybe I need to retitle the post, individual resurrections!
You missed a resurrection.
I’ll have to take your word for it! Let me know which one when you get a chance.
The 8th resurrections was Jesus’ and 8 is Jesus’ number. There are 14 in all which is God’s number (7) times two.
Jesus’ Resurrection was actually #7 because the saints in Jerusalem weren’t resurrected until after Jesus was resurrected. Still great because the #7 means spiritual perfection (attained completeness) God’s Seal, Fulness.
That would assume Matthew is talking about the resurrections out of order, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
I’ve heard that Jonah may have experienced a death and resurrection while in the fish. Thoughts??
I have actually heard that bought up from time to time and even had a friend who was quite convinced of that. However, I’m not convinced–yet I’m thinking about adding it to my list since some people do say so!
I think it mainly hinges on the comparison that Jesus himself makes between himself and Jonah. Some people say the comparison would have to assume that Jonah died so that the “sign of Jonah” would be the death and resurrection after 3 days. However, the sign is apparently the connection with the 3 days and not the death. It would have been very easy to point out Jonah had died in either Jonah or the gospels if that had been the case. That’s my quick thought process at least. It certainly seems Jonah is alive and praying the psalms while he is in the fish.
Hope you are doing well! Really good to hear from you.
Thomas H Franseen
There are actually indications in the Psalms I think it is that Jonah actually died – you would have to do the research.
I guess I’ll have to take your word for it, Thomas.