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.

Randall Larr's picture

Jesus speaking with Moses & Elijah

Thanks for pointing out that Jesus was speaking with the dead. Although Peter spoke to Jesus only (Luke 9:33), I believe you are right in saying that Jesus had a conversation with Moses & Elijah. (Luke 9:30). Your observation that Jesus didn't use a medium to contact the dead is well taken. It does not seem that Jesus was trying to exercise control over the dead by calling them to contact the living as a medium would; they simply appeared in order to encourage Him regarding His death in Jerusalem. The same is true of the dead raised after the crucifixion. No medium was used & no human control was exercised over them. God was in direct control of both events. If you find any early Christian writings expounding these events, please let us know.
Thanks again,