The Holy Bible, I Corinthians* 15: 51 – 56
Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but all be changed.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin°; and the strength of sin is the law.
* Corinthians: Paul is writing to Christians in Corinth and addressing their questions about what they have been taught.
° Sin: Error, mistake. Literally, “to miss the mark.”
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Well, we certainly have some code! Paul is telling the Corinthians that he is speaking in code when he says that he is going to show them a mystery.
In verse 51, assuming the translation is accurate, he says “show.” He does not say that he is going to “tell” them a mystery, or “write” one. So that’s the first clue. What is this mystery about, what is its theme?
He then says, “We shall not all sleep.” What does he mean by “all” and by “sleep,” and who is “we”? Is he referring to this group in Corinth as “all” or are we to take “we” to mean everyone at large? Or something else altogether? Does it imply that not everyone will “sleep” but that some will? Will those who “sleep” not be be changed? Will those who do not sleep be the only ones to be changed? Now, what does “changed” mean? You can’t get past the first verse of this example before we are confronted with several mysteries to sleuth out. What fun!
You have six verses here to play with and to discuss. I would consider this a homework assignment, but I think that might spoil the fun, though I am hoping that you will take me up on this challenge and enjoy it.
I look forward to reading your thoughts. Do have fun!
P.S. Don’t forget the footnotes.
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