1 Corinthians 15:36
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;

King James Bible
Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

Darby Bible Translation
Fool; what thou sowest is not quickened unless it die.

World English Bible
You foolish one, that which you yourself sow is not made alive unless it dies.

Young's Literal Translation
unwise! thou -- what thou dost sow is not quickened except it may die;

1 Corinthians 15:36 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Thou fool - Foolish, inconsiderate man! The meaning is, that it was foolish to make this objection, when the same difficulty existed in an undeniable fact which fell under daily observation. A man was a fool to urge that as an objection to religion which must exist in the undeniable and everyday facts which they witnessed. The idea is, "The same difficulty may be started about the growth of grain. Suppose a man who had never seen it, were to be told that it was to be put into the earth; that it was to die; to be decomposed; and that from the decayed kernel there should be seen to start up first a slender, green, and tender spire of grass, and that this was to send up a strong stalk, and was to produce hundreds of similar kernels at some distant period. These facts would be as improbable to him as the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. When he saw the kernel laid in the ground; when he saw it decay; when apparently it was returning to dust, he would ask, How can these be connected with the production of similar grain? Are not all the indications that it will be totally corrupted and destroyed?"

Yet, says Paul, this is connected with the hope of the harvest, and this fact should remove all the objection which is derived from the fact that the body returns to its native dust. The idea is, that there is an analogy, and that the main objection in the one case would lie equally well against the acknowledged and indisputable fact in the other. It is evident, however, that this argument is of a popular character, and is not to be pressed to the quick; nor are we to suppose that the resemblance will be in all respects the same. It is to be used as Paul used it. The objection was, that the body died, and returned to dust, and could not, therefore, rise again. The reply of Paul is, "You may make the same objection to grain that is sown. That dies also. The main body of the kernel decays. In itself there is no prospect that it will spring up. Should it stop here, and had you never seen a grain of wheat grow; had you only seen it in the earth, as you have seen the body in the grave, there would be the same difficulty as to how it would produce other grains, which there is about the resurrection of the body."

Is not quickened - Does not become alive; does not grow.

Except it die - See the note on John 12:24. The main body of the grain decays that it may become food and nourishment to the tender germ. Perhaps it is implied here also that there was a fitness that people should die in order to obtain the glorious body of the resurrection, in the same way as it is fit that the kernel should die, in order that there may be a new and beautiful harvest.

1 Corinthians 15:36 Parallel Commentaries

Fourth Sunday after Easter
Text: First Corinthians 15, 35-50. 35 But some one will say, How are the dead raised? and with what manner of body do they come? 36 Thou foolish one, that which thou thyself sowest is not quickened except it die: 37 and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but a bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other kind; 38 but God giveth it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one flesh of men,
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Small Duties and the Great Hope
'But as touching brotherly love, ye need not that I write unto you; for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 10. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 11. And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12. That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. 13. But I would not have
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Death of Death
'But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. 21. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.... 50. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, (for the trumpet shall sound;) and the dead shall
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

The Power of the Resurrection
'I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; 4. And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.'--1 COR. xv. 3, 4. Christmas day is probably not the true anniversary of the Nativity, but Easter is certainly that of the Resurrection. The season is appropriate. In the climate of Palestine the first fruits of the harvest were ready at the Passover for presentation in the Temple.
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Cross References
Luke 11:40
"You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also?

John 12:24
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

1 Corinthians 15:37
and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

James 2:20
But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

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