For ages, many Christians have been perplexed by whether a burnt body may rise from the dead. Some believe that cremation is expressly forbidden in the Bible and that persons who are cremated cannot be resurrected.
Others contend that the Bible is silent on the subject and that the notion of a burnt body being unable to resurrect is merely a myth.
This article will examine the Bible’s teachings on cremation and resurrection to see if a cremated body can rise from the dead following Christian beliefs.
Does The Bible Say A Cremated Body Can’t Rise
The Bible is clear that death is an inevitable part of life. In Genesis 3:19, God says to Adam, “for dust you are and to dust you will return.” This verse affirms that the body, which was made from the dust of the earth, will eventually return to the earth. However, the Bible also teaches that death is not the end. In John 11:25-26, Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” This passage assures us that even though we die, we will rise again.
Some believe that cremation contradicts Christian beliefs and that a cremated body cannot rise. In contrast, others believe that the manner of burial has no bearing on a person’s ability to be resurrected. To answer whether the Bible says a cremated body can’t rise, we must explore what the Bible says about death, burial, and resurrection.
Regarding burial, the Bible provides examples of various forms of burial. In the Old Testament, burial was the norm, and cremation was not practiced. The Bible provides examples of those buried, such as Abraham (Genesis 25:9) and Sarah (Genesis 23:19). However, in some instances, cremation was used as punishment. For example, Leviticus 20:14 says, “If a man marries both a woman and her mother, it is wicked. Both he and they must be burned in the fire, so that no wickedness will be among you.”
Cremation Bible Verses
1. Genesis 3:19
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
All the valiant men arose and went all night and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned them there.
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4. Joshua 7:25
And Joshua said, “Why did you bring trouble on us? The Lord brings trouble on you today.” And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones.
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee
6. Amos 2:1
Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because he burned to lime the bones of the king of Edom.
Then he said, “What is that monument that I see?” And the men of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted these things that you have done against the altar at Bethel.” And he said, “Let him be; let no man move his bones.”
So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria. And Josiah removed all the shrines also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the Lord to anger. He did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel. And he sacrificed all the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem. And the king commanded all the people, “Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” …
Who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
9. 2 Chronicles 16:13-14
And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. They buried him in the tomb that he had cut for himself in the city of David. They laid him on a bier that had been filled with various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer’s art, and they made a very great fire in his honor.
10. Romans 8:38-39
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Cremation Bible Verses
11. 1 Sam. 31:11-13
But when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men arose and went all night and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. And they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted seven days
12. Genesis 23:19
And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.”
13. Genesis 25:10
“The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.”
14. Genesis 49:31
“There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.”
15. 2 Samuel 19:37
“Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold thy servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good unto thee.”
16. Acts 2:29
“Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.”
17. John 20:11:12
“But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.”
18. Daniel 12:2
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
19. 1 Corinthians 15:50-57
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
20. John 19:41-42
Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
21. Mark 13:27
And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
22. 1 Corinthians 15:1-58
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. …
23. 1 Corinthians 15:42
So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.
24. Philippians 3:1-21
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also.
If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; …
25. 1 Corinthians 15:35
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?”
Is it a sin for a Christian to be cremated
No, it is not a sin for a Christian to be cremated. There is no specific instruction in the Bible that prohibits or mandates cremation. Burial and cremation are both considered acceptable means of disposing of a body.
Some Christians believe that burial is more in line with the Biblical tradition and the belief in the resurrection of the body. However, cremation is becoming more widely accepted and is a personal choice for individuals and families.
Ultimately, the decision to be cremated or buried should be based on personal preference and circumstances. It should be made with sensitivity and respect for the deceased and their loved ones.
First Person Cremated In The Bible
However, there are a few instances where the burning of human remains is described in the Bible.
One example is in the book of Amos, where the prophet Amos is delivering a message from God to the Israelites. Amos 2:1 says, “This is what the Lord says: ‘For three sins of Moab, even for four, I will not relent. Because he burned to ashes the bones of Edom’s king.”
Another example is found in 1 Samuel 31:11-13, where it is described that the bodies of Saul and his sons were burned after they were killed in battle. However, it is not explicitly stated that they were cremated.
Overall, while the Bible does not provide information on the first person to be cremated, it does describe instances where human remains were burned.