Christians speaking to the dead

trueseek1's picture

Had never thought of it this way, until I found a book on the shelf expounding on one of the well known passages of the Holy Scriptures: The Transfiguration passage. Jesus has a live visit from Moses and Elijah and in the presence of the other fallible men, a couple of apostles, he enters into conversation with these two "dead saints". The author also highlighted another instance when God rose the dead and they went into the cities to show themselves as alive in Christ. I had read these passages many times before, and heard countless evangelical sermons on them, but in all my previous readings of the last couple of hundred years of evangelical commentaries, I had never heard of the reality that these visitations represented. Does anyone know how did the faithful early Church fathers who honored God, in the nonheretical Church, view these passages?

Also, the author differentiated clearly between using a medium to reach the dead as Saul did to talk to Samuel, and both these passages, with the understanding that Christ revealed clearly that it is not sinful to have a conversation with a live saint, but evil if one tries to use mediums as the ungodly do.

Thanks for all insights on these passages.

Aimenviro's picture

The Transfiguration


I appreciate the question that has been raised and in particular the reference to the Transfiguration. I don't see any reference to Jesus actually entering into a conversation with Moses and Elijah so I don't think I would go so far as to apply this passage to the idea of speaking to the dead. However, if I may, I would like to offer an alternative insight on the event of the Transfiguration as referenced in II Peter 1: 16 to 21. The vision witnessed by Peter, James and John directs our thoughts to the majesty of the Lord Jesus and our glorious hope in the gospel. The Transfiguration is a confirmation of prophecy. The old testament saints had the prophetic word but this vision establishes that we have "the word of prophecy more sure...". This speaks to the glorious hope and of the coming and kingdom of our Lord Jesus. At the Mount of Transfiguration we have the dead saints represented as risen in Moses; the translated saints seen in the person of Elijah; and the Lord Jesus the head and centre of all majesty and glory. Peter, James and John represented the living saints in unchanged bodies. The whole group, therefore, is a confirmation of what the old testament prophets had given the people of God to expect. Thus we have, as he says, "the Word of God more sure (or confirmed), where unto ye do well that ye take heed as to a lamp that shineth in a dark place. Thanks for introducijg the subject.