The forger of Matthew 27:52b and 53a: A Sunday School Lesson

By Sidney Terhune - Religion Columnist

Last week on Oct. 16, the Record-Herald graciously published my Lesson that dealt with Matthew 27:51a, KJV. Today, AFTER we move on and study Verses 52 and 53, please take a pen and scratch them from all your Bibles. They are very early heinous forgeries and not God-breathed words of God. They were added by scribes.

Even a cursory reading will draw the attention of the Biblical student because of the apparent contradictions of verse 52 and 53 with other scriptures.

And the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints which slept arose. And came out of the graves after his resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared unto many.

The Word of God clearly states that Jesus Christ is the “first-fruits” of the “sleeping ones.” 1 Corinthians 15:20 teaches, “But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first-fruits of them that slept.” Jesus was the first man whom God raised from the dead never to die again. Here, “first-fruits” (Greek word is aparche), refers to the first portion of anything. For example, read Romans 16:5 and 1 Corinthians 16:15 which refer to the first convert or group of converts in Achaia.

Note, “…saints which slept…” the sleeping ones, are people who have died. This is the major usage of the word and this usage is clearly illustrated in John 11:12-14. 1 Corinthians 15:22, 23 gives us more information about who will rise after Jesus, the first-fruits. There is an order to God’s raising of the dead. The first group will be those that are Christ’s, and they will be raised at his second coming. Those that are Christ’s are Christians. The dead saints buried around Jerusalem were not Christians; they were Israelites and will be raised separately in the future at the resurrections of The Just and The Unjust. Therefore, Matthew clearly contradicts Corinthians. Not only this, but “the saints which slept” appear to have risen when the earth quaked and the temple veil and rocks were rent, before Jesus’ resurrection. The polysyndeton gives all the connected parts an equality. Here, the equality is in time and thus we have another contradiction because no one was raised before Jesus.

The oldest forgery read, “And came out of the graves after their resurrection….” W. C. Allen in his book International Critical Commentary asks, “If Christ was the first-fruits of them that slept, how could His resurrection have been preceded by that of these saints?” Apparently, later on some scribe “editor” caught the same ill logic and changed “their” to “his” so that the bodies arose after Jesus was resurrected.

Another clue of the forgery is, “…and many bodies of the saints which slept arose…and went into the holy city…” If God is no respecter of persons (as we learned from Peter’s great revelation in Acts 10:34), why didn’t He raise all the bodies so that all the Zombies could walk into the city. After the graves were opened, would God pick and choose which bodies would rise? But no, for God is not a respecter of persons as He proves in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17, and 1 Corinthians 15:22, 23, the two things that happen when Christ returns. First, ALL the dead Christians (no exceptions), shall rise first. Next, ALL the bodies of Christians living at that time (no exceptions), will be changed instantly for space travel. If God had actually raised the Zombies, He would have had to raise all of them so as not to be a “respecter of persons.”

One of the biggest fallacies taught in Christian Seminaries is that the moment Grandpa dies, he goes instantly to heaven, and when Grandma dies 5 years later, she goes instantly to heaven and is greeted by Grandpa who went before. Therefore, Grandpa receives his crown of glory 5 years before Grandma. This is exactly the opposite revelation revealed in the aforementioned Epistles that teaches Grandpa and Grandma are not in heaven but are sound asleep (dead) and both will be awakened when Christ returns and go to heaven at the same time. Amen.

Sidney Terhune

P. O. Box 6, Wash. C. H., OH

By Sidney Terhune

Religion Columnist