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Old 07-18-2009, 10:47 PM
Amanda S.'s Avatar
Amanda S. Amanda S. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: TN
Posts: 177

1st Corinthians 13 is about charity. Everything in the entire chapter is.

1 Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

This verse doesn't say anything about death -- that can only be inferred by the reader.

Since Paul already talks about our bodies being living sacrifices it isn't a stretch to make that connection here.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

We know that burning is a proper mode of sacrifice in the Old Testament. The words burn and sacrifice (including the various word forms of burn) appear together in 97 verses in the Bible.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego "yielded their bodies" to be burned rather than forsake God.

Daniel 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

It may be that Paul isn't talking about being a living sacrifice in the verse in question, but he doesn't say anything about giving his body to someone -- that is speculation. I can think of a few martyrs who gave their bodies to be burned.

Anyway, I don't see how this verse in 1st Corinthians could be used to support or condemn cremation.
Phenomenal! You did that with such ease!? Oh if only I could present my thoughts in such a manner. But I am learning. Ever learning.

Here is an example of at least partial cremation in the Bible, which I seemed to have missed before:

1 Samuel 31:12-13 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 Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

They burned the bodies then buried the bones. Now everybody should be happy.
But even this instance boiled down to motive. To keep the Philistines from having their way with the bodies and desecrating them.