John 5:24-29| Two Resurrections?- A Look At Daniel 12
It is ironic, to say the least, that one of the objections to Covenant Eschatology is that it goes against the grain of scholarly consensus. After all, we are challenged, “What scholar accepts the full preterist view?” Or, “Where in church history do we find the full preterist view?” (As if popular consensus or opinion is the criteria of truth!!)
But, there is a strange thing happening. Those who castigate preterists for being outside the mainstream are themselves, increasingly outside the mainstream of scholarly opinion when it comes to many of the major eschatological texts and prophecies. Here is what I mean.
There is widespread and historical agreement that Daniel 12 lies behind John 5 and Jesus’ prediction of the resurrection. There is likewise almost universal agreement that Daniel 12 foretold the eschatological resurrection. Pitre notes: “According to the OT, the resurrection itself would be preceded by a period of great tribulation”… Daniel 12, which is the most explicit prophecy of resurrection in the Hebrew books of the Old Testament. Strikingly, this description of the resurrection is preceded by the Great Tribulation” (Brant Pitre, Tribulation, (Grand Rapids, Baker Academic, 1975)187).
Likewise, Schmisek, says, “J. J. Collins sums it up best by saying, ‘there is virtually unanimous agreement among modern scholars that Daniel was referring to the actual resurrection of individuals from the dead, because of the explicit language of everlasting life. This is, in fact, the only generally accepted reference to resurrection in the Hebrew Bible.” (Brian Schmisek, Resurrection of the Flesh or Resurrection From the Dead, (CollegeVille, Min. Liturgical Press, 2013)54). Note that Schmisek makes the same mistake as most scholars in assuming that Daniel was speaking of the raising of corpses out of the ground. It should be noted that some scholars such as N. T. Wright also sees Daniel as predictive of the vindication of the martyrs. Fascinatingly, Wright, Schmisek and most commentators completely ignore Daniel 12:7.
We could give numerous citations like this, but it is not necessary. The point is that there is virtual universal and unanimous agreement in history and in scholarship that Daniel 12:2 foretold the “final” resurrection. Now, if this is true, and I have not seen any evidence to suggest otherwise, this means that if one posits John 5:28-29 as the “final” resurrection, then Daniel 12 not only serves as one of the key sources of John 5, but, becomes the crux interpretum for when John 5:28-29 was to be fulfilled.
Furthermore, if / when one says that Acts 24:14-15, or 1 Corinthians 15, or 2 Corinthians 5, or 1 Thessalonians 4, or Revelation 20, or whatever text speaks of the final resurrection, then if Daniel 12 foretold the final resurrection, then Daniel 12 likewise becomes the determinative hermeneutical key for when those key eschatological texts would be (were) fulfilled. You simply cannot admit that Daniel 12 foretold the eschatological consummation without surrendering any futurist eschatology!
John 5:24-29, Daniel 12 and the Argument Stated Simply
The argument is very simple:
If it is the case that Daniel 12:2 foretold the final resurrection (as virtually all of church history and all of scholarship agrees),
If it is the case that Acts 24:14-15 / 1 Corinthians 15 / 2 Corinthians 5 / 1 Thessalonians 4, or Revelation 20 all foretold the final resurrection,
If it is the case that Daniel 12 posits the (final) resurrection at the time of Israel’s destruction in AD 70,
Then, it must be true that the final resurrection of Acts 24:14-15 / 1 Corinthians 15 / 2 Corinthians 5 / 1 Thessalonians 4 / Revelation 20 occurred at the time of Israel’s destruction in AD 70.
It is the case that Daniel 12 foretold the final resurrection.
Therefore, it must be true that Acts 24:14-15 / 1 Corinthians 15 / 2 Corinthians 5 / 1 Thessalonians 4 / Revelation 20 were all fulfilled in AD 70.
The only way for anyone to counter this argument is to be able to prove, conclusively and positively, that Daniel 12:2 did not, after all, predict the final resurrection. (I am currently working on a book in which I demonstrate– definitively– that Daniel did foretell the final resurrection, and not some imagined typological foreshadowing resurrection. And as I state at the outset of that book, if Daniel 12 foretold the final resurrection– and it does– then all futurist eschatologies are falsified– period).
John 5:24-29, Daniel 12 and the Preterist Hermeneutic. What is the Problem?
Sam Frost, former preterist, commented on a blog by Kenneth Gentry. He was explaining the preterist hermeneutic, as he held to it at one time. Frost commented how preterists see the connection between Daniel and Acts 24:14 because Paul anticipated the resurrection of the just and unjust, and Daniel is the only OT prophecy that specifically foretold the resurrection of the just and unjust. Frost then says:
“First, since Acts 24 uses “just and unjust” and “mello” – then Acts 24 MUST be referring to Da 12.2 (first stated premise). Why? Because Da 12.2 uses “just and unjust” – suppoedly (sic) the ONLY place where a resurrection of ‘just and unjust’ theme is used. Conclusion: Acts 24 must be referring to the “near” (mello) resurrection of Rev 20.11-15 (as well as Da 12.2); and this can be the ONLY resurrection fulfillment in the ENTIRE OT and NT. That’s the Hyper Preterist argument.”
Well, yes, I plead guilty of that hermeneutic. But notice that Frost offers not one word of contextual, exegetical, or proof or reasoning for why that hermeneutic is flawed and improper. All he says is “This is the hermeneutic when I was a preterist.”
Okay, that is fine. But, once again, all he does is ridicule the hermeneutic, without offering so much as a syllable of proof for now rejecting that principle. This is less than scholarly, less than convincing.
Now, since Jesus’ source for his eschatology was the Old Covenant, and since in John 5 he spoke of the same thing as Daniel, the resurrection of the just and the unjust, where is the fallacy of making the connection between Daniel and John 5? I have yet to read or to hear a single word, a single syllable from any futurist, Amillennialists or Postmillennialist, to justify such a dichotomy. And the reason is simple: there is no difference.
And since this connection is firm and undeniable, since Daniel posited the resurrection of the just and the unjust at the time “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered” this serves as prima facie, irrefutable proof that the resurrection of John 5:24-29 was fulfilled in AD 70.