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The Witness of the Epistles.
pp. 121 - 127
There are, in the N.T. twenty-one epistles. Fourteen by Paul, three by John, two by
Peter, and one each by James and Jude. Jude so closely follows the witness of II Pet. 2:,
that we can allow his epistle to pass, and II & III John are too short and too personal to
provide a witness to the Resurrection, except by implication. Let us take the testimony of
James, Peter, John and Paul in their order.
The Witness of James.
"There is little doubt . . . . . that the writer was James `the Lord's brother' (Gal. 1:19),
he who was one of the `pillars' (Gal. 2:9), he who gave the `judgment' of the apostles and
elders of the church at Jerusalem (Acts 15:13, 19)." The Companion Bible, p.1847.
This "brother" of the Lord wrote:
"My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with
respect of persons" (2: 1).
Other believers were to James "my brethren", but He Who in the days of His flesh was
"the brother of James", is referred to by him as "The Lord of glory"; yet no writer in the
N.T. is so severely practical as James. Later he urges patience "unto the coming of the
Lord" (5: 7, 8), so while the doctrine or the historic fact of the resurrection does not
appear, James evinces no hesitation in acknowledging the Lord, Who could have no
second coming had He remained in the tomb.
The Witness of Peter.
Peter, however, introduces the Resurrection in the opening of this epistle saying:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His
abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus
Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not
away, reserved in heaven for you" (I Pet. 1: 3, 4).
The words "begotten", "lively", "incorruptible", "in heaven" are meaningless and
cruel, if Christ be not risen from the dead. Neither could Peter urge patient endurance of
manifold temptations in view of "the appearing of Jesus Christ" if Christ had not risen
from the dead. In the same chapter Peter affirms that the spirit of Christ that was in the
"testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" (I Pet. 1: 11),
and links this testimony on to the preaching of the gospel. Those who believe in God,
believe that "He raised Him (Christ) up . . . . . and gave Him glory" (I Pet. 1: 21). While
Christ was "put to death in the flesh", He was "quickened by the Spirit . . . . . the