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Jn 5:25 – the First Resurrection

There has been much discussion about what is meant by the first resurrection from Rev 20:5.

Perhaps Jn 5:25-29 has some clues as to what the 2 resurrections are.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. (Joh 5:25-29, ESV)

In v.25 we see that there is a resurrection that Jesus says “is now here” when the dead hear His voice and live. This seems to be the first resurrection, that of being born again.

In v.28-29 Jesus only says that “a time is coming,” He does not claim that it is now here as the other verse did. This is the resurrection of the just and unjust, which would be the second resurrection – the resurrection of judgement.


About theologian

I'm a child of the King, my Father who is in Heaven, by the precious blood of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ. I am married with children and currently reside in Pennsylvania. I am a Pastor with the Association of Charismatic Reformed Churches (ACRC) working as an Urban Missionary in Chester, PA. Throughout my time in ministry God has also blessed me with opportunities for formal education by which I earned my terminal degree (Doctor of Theology) from New Geneva Theological Seminary in 2013.


4 thoughts on “Jn 5:25 – the First Resurrection

  1. Very interesting comment on this passage. It is a new thought to me. I am reminded of what Meredith Kline says about the resurrections: Christians have two resurrections (soul, then body) and only one death, whereas unbelievers have the mirror image of that: one resurrection, but two deaths.

    Posted by Lane Keister | October 25, 2006, 2:58 pm
  2. Interesting, i have never read Meredith Kline. The mirror image is definitely a good point. Especially when looking at Rev 20:5-6.

    Posted by theologian | October 25, 2006, 3:21 pm
  3. I think that makes plainer sense than the premillenial interpetation, that one resurrection is “those who have done good to the resurrection of life” which is before the millenium

    and the second is: “those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. (Joh 5:25-29, ESV)” which is after the millenium.

    If I remember correctly.

    Posted by Josh | October 25, 2006, 3:38 pm
  4. Apart from Meredith Kline, I have heard it said this way: A believer has two births and one death. The unbeliever, one birth and two deaths.

    I tend to agree that the “now here” of vs. 25 is a reference to the spiritually dead being given new life. “Those who hear” have been regenerated.

    Posted by Gomarus | October 25, 2006, 4:45 pm

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