Jesus Raised Himself from the dead

I note from a number of responses on these forums, for example in the thread Can you be a Christian without believing in the resurrection? - #742 by Dale, that many individuals here seem to believe that God and Jesus are not the same person and that God raised Jesus from the dead.

My belief is that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. I take for my evidence here at least one verse in John 2

18 On account of this, the Jews demanded, “What sign can You show us to prove Your authority to do these things?”

19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.”

20 “This temple took forty-six years to build,” the Jews replied, “and You are going to raise it up in three days?”

21 But Jesus was speaking about the temple of His body. 22 After He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this. Then they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Please note, “was raised” is passive. Jesus being dead could not raise himself. There are many other verses that say God or the Holy Spirit raised him.
This is not necessarily an exhaustive list:

Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.

John 2:22 After He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this. Then they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Acts 13:34 In fact, God raised Him from the dead, never to see decay. As He has said: 'I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.'

Acts 3:15 You killed the Author of life, but God raised Him from the dead, and we are witnesses of the fact.

Acts 4:10 then let this be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

Ephesians 1:20 which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms,

Colossians 2:12 And having been buried with Him in baptism, you were raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead.


God is Trinitarian, One God in three Persons, and that means God the Father and God the Son are not the same Person.


The entity known as Jesus had ceased to exist like all humans do when they die. That entity was fully human and fully divine, the hypostatic union, from conception. By the Holy Spirit. Adjectivally God. A substance of three Persons. By nature. Not nounally God. Not very God as God is God.


The Son of God person is not coterminous with the God the Son Person. Jesus had no prior existence. What He said and thought as a man is irrelevant. Human. In error. He wasn’t YHWH.

Therefore Jesus didn’t resurrect Himself.

Unless that is understood there is nothing further that can be meaningfully said.

good answers guys. however, i have a problem with the claim that Jesus ceased to exist physically after his death…

John 20:24-28

24 Now Thomas called Didymus,d one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands, and put my finger where the nails have been, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe.”

26 Eight days later, His disciples were once again inside with the doors locked, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

27 Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!

and then Acts 1:6-11

6 So when they came together, they asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 Jesus replied, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After He had said this, they watched as He was taken up, and a cloud hid Him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”

Clearly, Jesus was very much still flesh (he asked Thomas to touch his wounds), then, Thomas made the claim that Jesus was still his Lord and NOW he finally believed that He (Jesus) was also God!

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So do I.
Maybe it’s time to cite a little Bonhoeffer again:

Someone’s God is corresponding to the someone. We can all be thankful mine doesn’t, except as I slowly grow to correspond to him.

@adamjedgar Just one question for you – how do you understand the doctrine of the Trinity?

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I don’t understand why you are conflating the entity, the person, known as Jesus with a piece of decomposing meat. All humans, human persons, cease to exist on death. That’s a brute fact. Not a claim. If resurrection occurs, it is from oblivion, non-existence, and it is delayed. None of those resurrected in the Bible had any memory of transcendent afterlife, life after death. Including Jesus. Non-existence between death and resurrection is a brute fact of the narrative if rationality applies to it. Jesus’ corpse - and a handful of those of other entities, persons, people like Lazarus - was reanimated and His personhood restored conscious to it from non-existence.

  • That’s surprising, IMO, Adam, coming from an SDA. Have you converted from Adventism?
  • I ask because I read, at What Adventists Believe About the Trinity, and I read at What Adventists Believe About God the Son.
  • In other words, it seems, IMO, that there’s enough in those two sites to put SDAs’ doctrines of God and The Son of God on equal footing with the Christian majority. Correct me if I am wrong.
  • That said, to be clear, this forum does have some confused members and the Confused are not equally confused: Some are more confused than others.
    • Welcome to “the Sandbox of the Confused”.
  • Your OP seems to arise out of your failure to recognize that “God” is a “What” and “Jesus” is a “Who”; as are the “Father” and the “Holy Spirit”.
  • Resolution of your dilemma can be accomplished, I propose, when you realize that the “Father” raised the “Son”, a.k.a. “Jesus” from the dead.
  • You create a problem for yourself when you assert that “Jesus raised Himself from the dead”, a problem that does not occur if you assert, instead, that one person–a “Who”–raised another person–another “Who” from the dead: i.e. the Father raised the Son from the dead.
  • Try that and see how it works for you.
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And the Son.

Jesus is the Son.

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  • The conundrum you find yourself tangled in is, I believe, due to your belief that Jesus was flesh and blood after his resurrection by the Father. [True, you don’t say “Jesus was flesh and blood”, but the notion of bloodless flesh is very odd, to say the least.] But Paul is helpful here when he says, in 1 Corinthians 15:
    • 35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?”
    • 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body , it is raised imperishable body ; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body .
    • 50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
  • You seem to think that all “bodies” are the same, identical stuff; but they aren’t. There are perishable, flesh and blood, natural bodies; and there are imperishable, spiritual bodies. Both are physical, but the perishable, natural body is not simultaneously an imperishable, spiritual body. So, when Thomas saw and touched Jesus’ resurrected body, he was seeing and touching Jesus’ spiritual body, not his previous natural body. Again, both were physical, but they were not the same kinds of body.

No. He is not. He was, at most, in the adjectival sense, in nature. A Person of God in which (not whom, God is not a p/Person, but a substance) infinite eternal nature existed till now, did not collapse coterminously to a Spirit spermatozoon, once for all infinite eternal nature, the trillions of inhabited worlds in this mediocre, insignificant, infinitesimal universe alone, let alone the infinity in parallel from eternity.

Before you take the mote out of @adamjedgar’s eye…

What the nature of the relation between the resurrected person Jesus the Son of Man and the God the Son Person is now can only be discussed once we get these brute facts out of the way.

Yes, He is.

Effete hyperbole.

Take a hike, peddle your wares elsewhere.
P.S. I wasn’t taking the mote out of anyone’s eye; I was pointing out some information that he didn’t appear to be taking into consideration.

We” aren’t getting anything out of the way 'cause there is no discussion where irreconcilable differences exist; and that’s a brute fact.


A good list, @Dale. I primarily see the ‘who raised Jesus from the dead’ questions as a matter of perspective with writers/speakers placing emphasis on particular persons depending on the flow of their arguments.

In wanting to emphasise Jesus’ divine authority, John speaks of Jesus raising himself. (John10:18). But Paul often attributes the resurrection to the Father (as in your list above). Except when he has more pastoral concerns as in Romans 8:11 (also above):

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. (Romans 8:11 NIV2011)

Taking these three perspectives together, I would suggest the New Testament presents Jesus’ resurrection as an event that all three persons play an active role.

So I would say that @adamjedgar thread title is accurate, Jesus did raise himself from the dead, but, in my view, that is not the whole picture, either.


That’s the whole point of the Trinity. They are not the same person.

All mainstream denominations, Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican/Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, etc. hold to the doctrine of the Trinity.

One God. Three Persons.

So an absolute pre-requisite to this discussion is at least to ensure that we are talking within the framework of Trinitarian belief.

Are we?


We are. How does the hypostatic union fit in that?

Christian orthodoxy says there is one God in three Persons, so speaking of God and Jesus as not the same Person would in fact be the orthodox Trinitarian way to speak of the situation. Not to mention that “God raised Jesus from the dead” is exactly how Scripture describes the event in numerous places: 24 Bible verses about God Raising Christ

ἠγέρθη in John 2:22 is an aorist passive. Passive voice verbs have unnamed agents and it implies something was done to him not by him. If the author wanted to communicate that Jesus raised himself, he would have used a reflexive verb not a passive verb.

Good, because nothing in the Bible indicates that Jesus ceased to exist physically after his death and Christianity teaches that his resurrected imperishable (but still physically existing) body ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God. There is no indication anywhere that the Son ever un-Incarnated. Jesus is still embodied as a human, but a human who is the “first fruit” of the resurrection into the New Creation which has already been inaugurated but has not yet been been fully established on earth.


It almost seems to me that this argument comes about by looking at the resurrection in distinctly different ways. One is to ask how was it done in a nitty gritty sciency way - how much mortification occurred. The other is to ask whose intention was instrumental in bringing it about. You probably can’t use the logic of one approach to answer objections that arise in those concerned with the other.

Edited to correct what happens when geriatric opposable thumbs are asked to text.

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  • That verse jerked me up short. “18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”
  • I sez to myself: "What? Is Jesus like a “quantum particle”, popping into and out of existence at will? So I looked at what precedes and follows that sentence preceding it and noted this one. "17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.
    And immediately after he says: “I lay it down of my own accord”, he says “I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” But then he says: "This command I received from my Father.”
  • Hello? Altogether, I read:
    • The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
    • That’s when I decided that it’s about time I find out what he’s laying down and taking up, and when he can do that. Turns out that, in Greek: “10:17 διὰ τοῦτό με ὁ πατὴρ ἀγαπᾷ ὅτι ἐγὼ τίθημι τὴν ψυχήν μου ἵνα πάλιν λάβω αὐτήν”, what Jesus lays down and picks up is “my psyche” [translated “my life”]. And Jesus does so by the command–which I liberally paraphrase as “instruction” or “order” of the Father.
  • Hold that thought while I call attention to Paul’s encounter with the blinding light on the road to Damascus. We are told this detail: Paul heard a voice asking: “Why do you persecute me?” And being blinded by the light, he asked the speaker: [Acts 9:5A] “εἶπεν δέ τίς εἶ κύριε” and the voice replied: [9:5B] “ἐγώ εἰμι Ἰησοῦς ὃν σὺ διώκεις”: i.e. “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.”
    • Paul (a.k.a. Saul) calls the Voice “Lord/Master” and the Voice claims to be “Jesus” affirming, IMO, Jesus’ continued ability to interact with earthlings for some unspecified time period after His resurrection. So it seems, if Jesus isn’t the Son, we Christians need to be thinking of becoming “quaternians”, no?
      Screenshot_2020-05-31 Don knotts - Google Search

On the other hand, if Jesus is the Son, then we can continue to be trinitarians.

  • If Jesus is not the Son, who was “the Voice” speaking to at Jesus’ Baptism? And whose voice was it? the “Father’s”, the “Son’s”, or the “Holy Spirit’s”?
  • And when the Incarnation took place, did the Son take human form? and if so, who says the embryo in Mary’s womb needed a biological human for a father?
  • My mind reels with the implications and consequences.
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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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