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 The Principles of Theology - Article 4

by W.H.Griffith Thomas


Of the Resurrection of Christ.
Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again His body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature; wherewith He ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until He return to judge all men at the last day.
De Resurrectione Christi.
Christus vere a mortuis resurrexit, suumque corpus cum carne, ossibus, omnibusque ad integritatem humanæ naturæ pertinentibus, recepit; cum quibus in cœlum ascendit, ibique residet, quoad extremo die, ad judicandos homines reversurus sit.

Important Equivalents
From death = a mortuis
To the perfection of man’s nature = ad integritatem humanæ naturæ

This Article is virtually the same now as it was in 1553, but there is nothing corresponding to it in the Confession of Augsburg, or the Articles of the Concordat of 1538. It is the natural sequel of the preceding Articles on the Person and Work of Christ. Its purpose was evidently to emphasise the truth of the Resurrection and the reality of our Lord’s humanity in the face of primitive and subsequent denials. The Docetism of the early Gnostics had been revived in the sixteenth century, and some taught that the flesh of Christ had not been real, and is now so deified as to have lost all real humanity.[1] On this account it was felt essential to emphasise the real and actual physical resurrection[2] which would show that our Lord did not lay aside His humanity when He arose from the grave and ascended into heaven.

But as with previous Articles, so with this, there is no doubt that the Reformers wished to emphasise their agreement with the fundamental teaching of the universal Church concerning our Lord’s Resurrection. Then, too, there seems to have been a special reference to certain eucharistic views associated with the ubiquity of our Lord’s humanity, which this Article would indirectly but effectively meet and controvert.[3]

>> Part 1. The Teaching Of The Article

[1] Hardwick, History of the Articles of Religion, p. 99.

[2] See Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, De Hæresibus, c. 5, De duabus naturis Christi. This sentence of it is particularly important, though the entire section should be consulted: Quidam verbum in carnis naturam conversum asserunt, quam, quamprimum a morte in cælum fuit recepta, rursus volunt in naturam divinam reversam et absorptam esse.

[3] See also on Article 29.



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Article 2

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>> 1 - Divine Nature of Christ

>> 2 - Incarnation of Christ

>> 3 - Death of Christ

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>> Index

>> Preface by J I Packer

>> Introduction

>> 1 - Trinity

>> 2 - Christ

>> 3 - Descent into Hell

>> 4 - Resurrection

>> 5 - Holy Spirit

>> 6 - Holy Scripture

>> 7 - The Old Testament

>> 8 - The Three Creeds

>> 9 - Of Original or Birth Sin

>> 10 - Of Free Will

>> 11 - Of the Justifcation of Man




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