Because People still Marry after A.D. 70, Is This Evidence Against Preterism?

PRETERIST BIBLE COMMENTARY Forums Forum Because People still Marry after A.D. 70, Is This Evidence Against Preterism?

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    In Luke 20:28-36 the Sadducees tried to stump Jesus on the resurrection by asking Him who a widow with many husbands would marry at the resurrection. In Luke 20:34-36 Jesus responded, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.”

    At first glance, Jesus seems to suggest that people on earth would not marry after A.D. 70.  Is that really what Jesus is saying?  Remember the Sadducees asked Jesus what would happen to the widow and her husbands at the resurrection: “Now then, AT THE RESURRECTION whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her? (Luke 20:33)” [Emphasis mine.]  Jesus was answering a question about the resurrection.  After A.D. 70 the departed who were confined in Sheol or Hades were released to heaven.  Thus Jesus answers what would happen to the departed after the resurrection in the new age: “But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come AND in the resurrection[.]” [Emphasis mine.]   Notice that Jesus says that there will be no marriage for people who are worthy to take part in BOTH the age to come AND in the resurrection.  In other words, the fact that there was to be no marriage only applies to those in the age to come (the new heaven and earth of Revelation 21 after A.D. 70) who are ALSO resurrected at that time.  As stated above, the resurrection of these worthies was to take place in heaven and Jesus seems to imply this fact when He says that the saints will be “like the angels” and “can no longer die.”  Angels exist in heaven, thus it appears that Jesus is speaking about what it is like to be resurrected to heaven post A.D. 70.

    This idea appears to be confirmed in Mark 12:23-25 where the same question and a similar answer is recorded except here it is clearer that Jesus is talking about what existence is like in heaven after the resurrection: “Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.  Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise FROM THE DEAD, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven [emphasis mine].’”  Here one can see that in Mark 12:23-25 Jesus seems to imply that the resurrection is a resurrection to heaven where angels are and that the saints no longer die or are given in marriage because they are like the angels in heaven.

    The fact that the resurrection Jesus describes in Luke 20:28-36 is fulfilled in heaven, not on earth with eternal earthly bodies is also implied in Isaiah 65. In Isaiah 65:17, Isaiah looks ahead to the new Jerusalem of Revelation 21 and Revelation 22 by saying, “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.” The new Jerusalem of Revelation 21 and 22 begins with nearly identical language: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1).” However, in the description of the new Jerusalem in Isaiah 65 it is clearly stated that people will still die: “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed (Isaiah 65:20).” In Isaiah 65:20 it is clear that in the new Jerusalem–which is after the resurrection of the dead–people still die on earth. Therefore, the eternal life Jesus mentions in Luke 20:34-36 must take place in heaven, not on earth. And if people still die on earth in the new age, then it stands to reason that they will also marry as people still do today.

    Special thanks to Jason De Costa at whose article on his website furnished much of the content of this post

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