Job 19:25| Resurrection of the Flesh? #3
We have demonstrated that Job 19:25 when properly translated, does not support the idea of a future resurrection of the fleshly body. In fact, it is not, in all likelihood, an eschatological prophecy at all. The translational issues are daunting, to say the least. In spite of these issues, I shared with you that in my 2012 formal debate with Joel McDurmon of American Vision, Joel placed a major emphasis on Job as proof of a future physical resurrection of a fleshly body.
It was obvious even then that McDurmon was running a tactical bluff, hoping to convince the unwary and unlearned that there are no problems with Job, and that it does predict such a fleshly resurrection. His claim that the Hebrew of Job 19:25 is actually “a piece of cake” is nothing but empty verbiage.
Here is another scholarly citation that testifies to how far removed from Hebrew scholarship McDurmon’s claims really were. (This citation was sent to me by Mike Bennett, so my thanks to him for calling our attention to it).
Scholarship and Job 19:25
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature by Rev. John McClintock and James Strong: Vol. VIII, (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1970)1053:
<<Resurrection (anastasis) OF THE BODY, the revivification of the human body after it has been forsaken by the soul, or the reunion of the soul hereafter to the body which it had occupied in the present world. This is one of the essential points in the creed of Christendom.
I. History of the Doctrine. — It is admitted that there are no traces of such a belief in the earlier Hebrew Scripture. It is not to be found in the Pentateuch, in the historical books, or in the Psalms; for Psalm 49:15 does not relate to this subject; neither does Psalm 104:29, 30, although so cited by Theodoret and others. The celebrated passage of Job 19:25 sq. has indeed been strongly insisted upon in proof of the early belief in this doctrine; but the most learned commentators are agreed, and scarcely any one at the present day disputes, that such a view of the text arises either from mistranslation or misapprehension, and that Job means no more than to express a confident conviction that his then diseased and dreadfully corrupted body should be restored to its former soundness; that he should rise from the depressed state in which he lay to his former prosperity; and that God would manifestly appear (as was the case) to vindicate his uprightness. That no meaning more recondite is to be found in the text is agreed by Calvin, Mercier, Grotius, Le Clerc, Patrick, Warburton, Durell, Heath, Kennicott, Doderlein, Dathe, Eichhorn, Jahn, De Wette, and a host of others. That it alludes to a resurrection is disproved thus:
1. The supposition is inconsistent with the design of the poem and the course of the argument, since the belief which it has been supposed to express, as connected with a future state of retribution, would in a great degree have solved the difficulty on which the whole dispute turns, and could not but have been often alluded to by the speakers.
2. It is inconsistent with the connection of the discourse; the reply of Zophar agreeing, not with the popular interpretation, but with the other.
3. It is inconsistent with many passages in which the same person (Job) longs for death as the end of his miseries, and not as the introduction to a better life (Job 3; 7:7, 8; 10:20-22; ch. 19; 17:11-16).
4. It is not proposed as a topic of consolation by any of the friends of Job; nor by Elihu, who acts as a sort of umpire; nor by the Almighty himself in the decision of the controversy.
5. The later Jews, who eagerly sought for every intimation bearing on a future life which their Scriptures might contain, never regarded this as such; nor is it once referred to by Christ or his apostles.
6. The language, when exactly rendered, contains no warrant for such an interpretation; especially the phrase “yet in my flesh shall I see God,” which should rather be rendered “out of my flesh.” >>
Take particular note that the authors firmly believe in the resurrection of the body. Yet, in spite of their view on that, they reject Job as a prediction of such a resurrection! You know full well that if they believed that Job supported the doctrine, they would have cited it as proof, but they did not. They not only reject it, but, they cite other leading Hebrew scholars of the day who likewise rejected Job 19 as a prediction of a future resurrection. This more than a little telling.
So, from a linguistic perspective, Job 19:25 is far from “a piece of cake.”
This information, from one of the most well recognized Bible encyclopedias, serves as a powerful illustration of how difficult it is– virtually impossible– to appeal to Job 19:25 to prove a future resurrection of the fleshly body. But there are more problems, many more problems with such an appeal and we will take a look at that in our next installment.
Be sure to order your copy of my debate with McDurmon. You will be amazed at the material covered in that discussion.