Mark 12:27
He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: you therefore do greatly err.
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12:18-27 A right knowledge of the Scripture, as the fountain whence all revealed religion now flows, and the foundation on which it is built, is the best preservative against error. Christ put aside the objection of the Sadducees, who were the scoffing infidels of that day, by setting the doctrine of the future state in a true light. The relation between husband and wife, though appointed in the earthly paradise, will not be known in the heavenly one. It is no wonder if we confuse ourselves with foolish errors, when we form our ideas of the world of spirits by the affairs of this world of sense. It is absurd to think that the living God should be the portion and happiness of a man if he is for ever dead; and therefore it is certain that Abraham's soul exists and acts, though now for a time separate from the body. Those that deny the resurrection greatly err, and ought to be told so. Let us seek to pass through this dying world, with a joyful hope of eternal happiness, and of a glorious resurrection.How in the bush - At the burning bush. See Exodus 3:16. The meaning is, "in that part of the book of Exodus which contains the account of the burning bush. When there were no chapters and verses, it was the easiest way of quoting a book of the Old Testament "by the subject," and in this way it was often done by the Jews. 27. He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living—not "the God of dead but [the God] of living persons." The word in brackets is almost certainly an addition to the genuine text, and critical editors exclude it. "For all live unto Him" (Lu 20:38)—"in His view," or "in His estimation." This last statement—found only in Luke—though adding nothing to the argument, is an important additional illustration. It is true, indeed, that to God no human being is dead or ever will be, but all mankind sustain an abiding conscious relation to Him; but the "all" here means "those who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world." These sustain a gracious covenant relation to God which cannot be dissolved. (Compare Ro 6:10, 11). In this sense our Lord affirms that for Moses to call the Lord the "God" of His patriarchal servants, if at that moment they had no existence, would be unworthy of Him. He "would be ashamed to be called their God, if He had not prepared for them a city" (Heb 11:16). It was concluded by some of the early Fathers, from our Lord's resting His proof of the Resurrection on such a passage as this, instead of quoting some much clearer testimonies of the Old Testament, that the Sadducees, to whom this was addressed, acknowledged the authority of no part of the Old Testament but the Pentateuch; and this opinion has held its ground even till now. But as there is no ground for it in the New Testament, so Josephus is silent upon it; merely saying that they rejected the Pharisaic traditions. It was because the Pentateuch was regarded by all classes as the fundamental source of the Hebrew religion, and all the succeeding books of the Old Testament but as developments of it, that our Lord would show that even there the doctrine of the Resurrection was taught. And all the rather does He select this passage, as being not a bare annunciation of the doctrine in question, but as expressive of that glorious truth out of which the Resurrection springs. "And when the multitude heard this" (says Mt 22:23), "they were astonished at His doctrine." "Then," adds Lu 20:39, 40, "certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said"—enjoying His victory over the Sadducees. "And after that they durst not ask Him any [question at all]"—neither party could; both being for the time utterly foiled.

The Great Commandment (Mr 12:28-34).

"But when the Pharisees had heard that He had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together" (Mt 22:34).

See Poole on "Mark 12:19" He is not the God of the dead,.... This is our Lord's reasoning upon the passage; showing from hence, that since God is the God of these persons, they must be now alive in their souls, for God is not the God of the dead; and that their bodies must rise again, or he will not be the God of their whole persons;

but the God, of the living: the word "God", in this clause, is omitted in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, but retained in the Persic and Ethiopic versions; See Gill on Matthew 22:32;

ye therefore do greatly err; signifying, that it was not a slight mistake, an error of small importance, but a very great one; inasmuch as it was contrary to the Scriptures, and derogated from the power of God, and destroyed that covenant interest, which God has in his people, and particularly in the principal men of their nation, who were the fathers and founders of them.

He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
Mark 12:27. πολὺ πλανᾶσθε, much ye err. This new and final assertion of ignorance is very impressive; severe, but kindly; much weakened by adding ὑμεῖς οὖν.27. He is not the God of the dead] Our Lord thus taught them that the words implied far more than that God was the God, in Whom Abraham and the patriarchs trusted and worshipped.

but the God of the living] Jehovah could not have called Himself the God of persons who do not exist, and over whom death had completely triumphed. The patriarchs, therefore, though their bodies were dead, must themselves have been still living in the separate state, and awaiting the resurrection.Mark 12:27. Οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ Θεὸς νεκρῶν, ἀλλὰ ζώντων) This is a reading midway between the extremes.[2] Starting from it, some have repeated Θεὸς before νεκρῶν, others after ἀλλὰ.—[ὑμεῖς οὖν, ye therefore) viz. ye Sadducees, the doctrine of the resurrection is the primary one.—V. g.]—πολὺ greatly) An antithesis to this follows at Mark 12:34, not far [from the kingdom of God].

[2] The margin of Ed. 2 supports this reading, as also the Germ. Vers., although the larger Ed. does not approve of it.—E. B.

BDLΔ omit the before Θεος. A supports it, as does the Rec. Text. Orig. in different passages gives it differently. ABCDabc Vulg. Orig. 3, 829; 4, 69; 341 omit the θεὸς, inserted in Rec. Text before ζὼντων without any adequate authority.—ED. and TRANSL.Verse 27. - Ye therefore do greatly err. The Greek is, omitting the οϋν, simply ὑμεῖς πολὺ πλανᾶσθε, Ye greatly err. The omission is more consistent with St. Mark's usual style. The Sadducees entirely misunderstood the meaning of their own Scriptures. Ye do greatly err

An emphatic close, peculiar to Mark.

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