resurrection of the body

Also known as

  • Latin: re, again; surgere, to rise


A substantial conversion whereby the human body resolved into its component parts by death is restored to its former condition. The resurrection is styled a conversion to distinguish it from creation by which an entirely new being comes into existence. In ancient times the resurrection was denied especially by the Sadducees, the Gnostics, the Maniehreans, and tbe medieval Albigenses and Waldenses, and is still violently attacked hy atheists, materialists, and rationalists. The doctrine is well founded in Holy Writ being contained in both the Old and New Testaments. The classic text of the Old Testament is the following from Job (19): “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth. And I shall be clothed again with my skin; and in my flesh I shall see my God.” Another passage of Scripture is that describing the vision of Ezechiel (Ezechiel 1). The prophet saw how the dry bones on the fleld of the dead began to stir, took on sinews and flesh, and were covered with skin. When they stood upright and breathed and lived, the Lord said to the prophet: “Son of man: all these bones are the house of Israel, …Behold, I will open your graves, and will bring you out of your sepulchres, O my people, and will bring you into the land of Israel.” Though this vision symbolizes the restoration of Israel, it would have been unintelligible to the Jews had they not been familiar with belief in a resurrection of the dead. In the New Testament we have the distinct assurance of Christ and the Apostles that the dead will rise again. Our Lord accused the Sadducees of ignorance because they denied the resurrection of the dead. “You err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22) He also predicted that He Himself would raise the dead to life: “The hour cometh, wherein all that, are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God. And they that have done good things shall come forth unto the resurrection of life: but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.” (John 5) The Apostles testified to the resurrection, Saint Paul especially placing the resurrection of the dead on the same level, as regards certainty, with the resurrection of our Lord; “Now if Christ be preached, that he rose again from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen again. And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain: and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15) Tradition of the early Church establishes the dogma of the resurrection, the Fathers not only referring to it, but even writing entire treatises appealing both to Scripture and reason.

MLA Citation

  • “resurrection of the body”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 August 2013. Web. 26 February 2021. <>