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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Haven't People Apart from Jesus Come Back from the Dead?

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Don Stewart

While the Bible speaks of the resurrection of Jesus it also speaks of a number of others that have come back from the dead. If these accounts are true then what make the resurrection of Jesus unique?

Resurrection Is Not The Same As Resuscitation

The biblical idea of resurrection is the raising to a new body that will never die again. Paul wrote to the church at Rome:

Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him (Romans 6:9).

Paul also wrote that Jesus was raised in a spiritual body.

It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44).

In the New Testament there are a number of examples of resuscitations or reanimations. They include: the son of the widow at Nain, Jairus' daughter, Lazarus, Tabitha (Dorcas) and Eutychus

The Only Son From Nain

Jesus raised the only son from a woman from Nain.

Young man, I say to you, get up!" The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe (Luke 7:14,15).

Jairus' Daughter

The daughter of a man named Jairus was raised from the dead.

He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!"). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished (Mark 5:41,42).


Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead after he was four days in the grave.

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go. (John 11:43,44).

Tabitha (Dorcas)

Peter brought a woman named Dorcas back from the dead.

But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive


Paul raised Eutychus from the dead.

Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "He's alive!" (Acts 20:9,10).

Their Experiences Were Not The Same As Jesus

Though they were brought back to life, they all died again. This is not the same as what happened to Jesus. He was raised immortal in a new body - never to die again.


The Bible lists a number of people who had actually died and then come back to life apart from Jesus. They include Lazarus, Jairus' daughter, the son of the widow of Nain, Tabitha and Eutyches. However there is a huge difference between the resurrection of Jesus and the different resuscitations or reanimations that are listed in the New Testament. All of the people who came back to life eventually died again. Jesus was raised from the dead in a glorified body never to die again. He is the first of many who will follow.

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