I covered this text more thoroughly with other possible interpretations in a blog from January 2010.Here's the link:
examine the texts in question:
John 2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
First ,let's establish that there is not a singular text in scripture that communicates that Christ raised HIMSELF from the dead(except an apparent misapplication of John 2:19.)After all,he was dead and therefore COULD NOT.It would be IMPOSSIBLE,simply.Unless of course there IS a literal application here only in that his body "rose" when God awoke him.That actually IS a possible meaning of it given that the greek verb egeiro can literally mean to "awake" or to "rise."Which of course could occur after God gave his spirit(breath) back to him that had left him at the cross where his spirit("breath" as opposed to a separate unkillable entity)had returned to the God who gave it which caused his breath and thoughts to cease for 3 whole days.(Ps. 146:4)
God defines those who are dead as metaphorically "sleeping"(connoting their ability to be awoke,John 11:11),having zero thoughts(as opposed to thoughts running strongly,Ps. 146:4),NOT praising Jah(as opposed to being alive to praise Him,Ps. 115:17) ,utterly silent(as opposed to loud and clear with speech,Ps. 31:17)..the list just goes on.And Christ testified that HE(his person as opposed to just some vessel that didn't have him in it at all) was DEAD,correct?If Christ had said that **HE** accomplished something,would you assume Christ the person didn't?But that his flesh without his person present within it did?If you would reasonably understand that when Christ speaks of "himself" he is talking about his entire person,then why do you throw away your logic when it comes to ***HIM*** actually dying according to GOD's(As opposed to Plato's) definition of the word?
Let us also examine the scriptures to see if it actually SOUNDS like Christ was counting on his alive self to raise a capsule that was devoid of his person.
Psalm 16:10 prophetically states:For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
In Sheol,acc to Psalm 31:17,the genuinely dead and those who've perished are SILENT.So if you don't believe Jesus was silent,sleeping,etc..his entire person,for 3 days,you have a "different Jesus."(2 Corinthians 11:4)Notice Jesus says ***you***(his father) "will not abandon my soul(which means the entire person or the life of a person) in Sheol(the common grave of mankind)",as opposed to "I can help myself if you won't even though I'm supposed to be dead."
At Hebrews 5:7 we also read:
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
Again,in no way could this possibly communicate that Christ knew anyone but the one he earnestly prayed to and reverenced,his own God and father,as opposed to himself and the supposed "person" of God's spirit,could save him and raise his soul from the tomb.God raised Christ by his spirit,which is Gods spirit and not a person of a fictional triune God.We have spirits who aren't people in our "beings."God has a spirit that is holy and indescribable but that ALSO isn't a "person" in his "being."
I could obviously give text after text(and then some) that explicitly let us know WHO raised Christ from the dead.His God and father.How come no one could communicate that Christ raised himself anywhere in all of scripture? Would it be wiser and more responsible to :
1.Take one scripture and try to make the explicit statements that contradict it all through the bible fit with it by embracing an unbiblical philosophy that scripture never deliberately communicates.
2.To take the ONE text that contradicts every single numerous other passage and see if there's biblical precedent and logical precedent for an alternative interpretation that agrees with all the rest of scripture?
NOW for YET another plausible possible interpretation of John 2:19..PLEASE check out my video "Did Jesus REALLY die for trinitarians?"(which is posted in the link to the other January blog above) for many more interpretive possibilities,as well as a number of texts written out that let us know who REALLY raised Christ.
Jesus is called the Word of God.Which is apropos because as prophet he spoke the words of God and not those of himself,not his OWN words.God spoke through him and was able to do so in the 1st person at times.There is absolutely biblical precedent for this.In revelation,God gives the revelation to Christ(which if Jesus was omniscient would have been superfluous)who gave it to an angel who gave it to John.So in revelation,anyone,from Christ to the angel to John could have said ***I*** did this or that or am this or that and it could be attributed to God as the source of the words spoken through channels.Discernment and reason are always necessary.This is the power of God's spirit.When it fills someone speaking on his behalf,that person can speak in the first person as God.Let's examine a couple examples:
Deuteronomy 29. verses 2-3:Moses summons all of Israel and says to them, "You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders"
Moses recites God's wonders and then in verse 6 says in the FIRST PERSON speaking for God.:"You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the LORD your God."
What is going on here?Is Moses Jehovah because Moses said ***I***am the LORD your God OR is the Lord HIS GOD speaking through the agency of Moses?
To quote Jason Kerrigan from "Restoring the Biblical Christ ..Is Jesus God?" p.100
"The question is not whether or not Christ spoke the words(of John 2:19),but the question is whether or not the words that Christ spoke were God's words or his own.John only states that Jesus said these words,and that does not eliminate the possibility that they were the prophetic words of God.In fact,it is normal for John to record the words of God as the sayings of the prophet through whom God spoke."
Then Kerrigan gives an example of Paul mentioning how God spoke through Isaiah,another prophet,at Acts 28:25-27:“The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
26 “‘Go to this people, and say,
You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.
So when God,by his spirit,spoke through Isaiah,was Isaiah responsible for the words out of his own lips?Could he have spoken in the first person as God since he was God's mouthpiece and prophet?Lets examine:
Hebrews 1:1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son
To quote Kerrigan again (p.100)"If God spoke through Christ the same way he spoke through the OT prophets,then why is it that every time God has spoken through Christ,trinitarians say that Christ must have spoken those things concerning himself?"
Because occasionally God's prophets slipped into first person narrative when God spoke through them,should we not occasionally likewise expect this of Jesus?I can confidently say this is POSSIBLY what is going on in John 2:19 because there aren't just a FEW texts that let me know Jesus's God and father alone raised him but I also know Jesus said that ***he***(his whole person) died.(And we've already gone over what that meant for him.)There are 100s of examples of God speaking in the first person narrative throughout Isaiah,Jeremiah,Ezekial etc..Jesus spoke the "words of God."(John 3:34)He was indeed a prophet who God spoke through,the greatest one!As if God's greatest prophet is the SAME God whose prophet he is.
John 2:22:So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.
John uses the greek verb "egerthe" for "raised" in the PASSIVE voice,that,as Kerrigan says,"identifies the subject as the RECIPIENT of an action that is performed."
John or anyone else who spoke of Christ's being resurrected could have attributed it to the Christ while he was SUPPOSED to be dead but OF COURSE they don't.Wonder why?
I'm sure one of the scriptures John believed,as mentioned in John 2:22 was that prophetic one in Psalm 16:10 where David speaks the words of Christ prophetically in the first person narrative.
To quote Kerrigan,again(p.103)"That fact that THIS is the passage of scripture that the disciples believed(And thus quoted--Ps. 16:10 quoted at Acts 2:26-27)after Christ's resurrection is very important,because it clearly demonstrates that Christ was DEPENDENT UPON GOD for his resurrection."
Now this is just ONE more possible interpretation of John 2:19..There are many more possible ones!Let scripture interpret scripture,use reason,recognize how God Himself defines death,listen to Jesus(he said ***I*** was dead),and recognize the futility of arguing that someone who had to cry profusely to another to raise him apparently wasn't conscious enough or "split personalitied" enough to raise himself while he was supposed to be unconscious in his entire being.Reason is your friend.