Rising of the Saints when Jesus Died?

Remember in the New Testament when Jesus had died on the cross, and the Bible speaks of many saints rising that had been dead and walking the streets?

Matthew 27: 52 – 53:

“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

It never said what happened after that or if they returned back to their graves or went on to heaven. I was wondering what some of you think about it.

Asked by Fawnna (Lisa)

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  1. Hi Lisa, good question.

    No, the bible didn’t mention what happened to the spirits afterwards, maybe because it would have had to defy its own teachings and say that people were spirits and actually went to heaven. You see, it also doesn’t say where Jesus was in those three days before he was resurrected. The Apostle’s Creed say he descended into hell, and I think he did too, to free everyone there, but we have no proof. 1 Pet. 3:18-20 does say he went and made ‘proclamation to the spirits in prison’ from the time of Noah, a long time before his death, so they couldn’t be living people – must have been somewhere .. probably hell. Revelation 1:18 quotes Jesus saying, after his resurrection, that he now had the ‘keys of death and hell’. When did he get them if he didn’t got to hell after he died ..

    My personal opinion is that he took all the spirits, who had been trapped in hell before his coming, with him when he went back to God. In the meantime, I think the world was very haunted for the short time be was hanging around before his ascension. :-)

    Love & Peace

  2. Hi Lisa (Fawnna)

    This is one’s cynical mind at work again :-( .

    If these wondering spirits emerged after the death of Jesus, it would seem the author of these accounts is attempting to make a point rightly or wrongly. It seems Matthew?? is insinuating they were released from the twilight zone by Jesus (who has the power over all in the spirit and physical worlds) so that the Catholic Popes can canonize those they deem worthy of sainthood. Why? perhaps to enhance the church’s status, authority and power in the eyes of it’s subjects. And, once canonized, the Catholic church have a collection of associates in the afterlife. What a powerful way of impressing (for the most part) ignorant, gullable and superstious followers.

    Also don’t ever forget, both the new and old testaments have been tampered with by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in days gone by, making it impossible for modern man to authenticate much of it’s contents. So I wouldn’t dwell too much on what is and what is not in these books.

    These are my thoughts.

    • Actually, the gospels were written before there was a Catholic church or even a fully recognised Pope. They might have been adapted along the way, but if the church wanted to make such a big point of it, to have saints to canonize, I would think they would make the ‘saints rising’ a full story and not just two lines of information (Matt 27:52-53). Thinking we can know their motives is just another form of misinterpreting what was written.

      Just for once I get to step on my other foot and say that I think that modern theologians are doing just fine in their attempts to ‘authenicate’ everything they can of the bible, through sources like the dead sea scrolls and the nag hammadi library. I advocate a time machine. LOL

      Love & Peace

      • Hi Ama,

        Mis-interpreting is and has been going on by different Christian demoninations for many moons now.

        The fact the gospels were written before there was a Catholic Church doesn’t mean they weren’t tampered with in the aftermath. The gospels were written after Christ Jesus’ exit – yet the Catholic Church/Christianity(perhaps not labelled thus at the time), was formed when Jesus said to Simon Peter (apostal) and I quote from the Catechism/Christian Doctrine – ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall never conquer it. And to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven’. Matthew ch.16 vs.18-19

        Jesus was still very much alive when this took place and, who was the first Pope of the Christian Roman Catholic Church – non other than the apostal Simon Peter.

        On the question of the gospels and other biblical books being tampered with by the ‘Church’ R.C., there was a time in history, when reading of the bible by ordinary people was forbidden by the ‘Church’. If one was found with a copy of the bible, death was a certainty. It was during that time, the shaping of the bible more or less as it is today was taking place. That is to say there were additions and deletions made to suit the very powerful collators/compilers/hierarchy of the ‘Church’, after deliberations/collaborations and final adaptations for eventual consumption by those outside the camp. Once that was done, copies were slowly disseminated to authorised personnel and so on and so forth.

        I don’t think they foresaw a time when they would lose the power they held then and mankind would strip and question the bibles contents as is being done presently.

        Have you read the dead sea scrolls? weird how they were conveniently found intact by this shepherd!!

        Are you still balancing having stepped on the other foot Ama?

        • Hi Pat,

          The name Christian .. mostly from what I have read, appeared after Jesus died, before that only his followers believed him to be the Christ. I am not sure what the group was called beforehand, but probably something like ‘the followers of Iesu ben Joseph’.

          I wonder what the church would be like today if Peter had actually been Pope, and not just labelled Pope after he was dead? Paul and James, usually arguing or ignoring each other, were more the leaders. Most theologians agree that Peter was not really a strong enough (charismatic) character to be seen as a leader. It is more likely that Jesus was talking about Peter’s faith in Him as the ‘rock’ of the church, rather than his capabilities.

          You are right, an heretical bible was banned in 1229 by the Inquisition/Council of Toulouse .. it seems people were inventing bibles even then, or changing them .. or even simply trying to understand it. If there was not a priest present to interpret the book, people were banned from reading it. http://biblelight.net/banned.htm .. It was still written in Latin in 1229, and there were not many ordinary people who could 1) read in those times, or 2) read Latin …??

          Here’s a potted history of the history of the creation of the bible people use today http://www.essortment.com/christianity-history-modern-bible-21245.html

          The dead sea scrolls were not found intact .. they were, in fact, found in pieces .. 972 ‘lots’ of pieces, and people are still trying to put that jigsaw together today. I don’t think there was any conspiracy involved in their finding, but I can understand the authorites wanting to keep them safe from anyone but theologians in the beginning. These days you can read them on the internet.

          Here’s the history:

          Somebody said, the other day, that the dead sea scrolls had proved that some of the gospels etc were correctly translated .. was it you Pat?

          Anway, everything is up for interpretation. LOL

          Love & Peace

          • Hi Ama

            LOL I think Not.

            Are you disputing the fact Simon Peter (regardless of his lack of strength in charactor) was in fact the 1st Pope heading the Roman Catholic faith? If this is incorrect, there’s a big question mark once again in info disseminated by the R.C.

            I have a very long list of R.C. popes from the beginning of Christianity as we know it presently, including the periods when the church plodded along without one, I got it some years back when Pope John 23rd visited Africa.

            Perhaps if we google ‘List of Roman Catholic popes’, we should find this to be so.

          • I absolutely do not believe that Peter was the first Pope, nor did he have anything whatsoever to do with Catholicism at all.

            “In 380, Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire by the decree of the Emperor.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Catholic_Church

            Think about it. The State Religion of Rome? We know quite a bit about Roman history. 380 AD? That was long after Peter had died.

            “They” went back into the past and claimed the ‘patronage’ of dead men and inherited POWER and AUTHORITY as a result! The propaganda so well influenced and controlled the beliefs of the people that they would believe whatever the state church taught. I could go on with this but, as usual I am short on time and gotta get……

          • Hi Pat,

            I am noting that we have no actual recorded history of Peter being the head of anything, and, as you agree, the Catholic Church is more than able to invent things as they go along. I have a number of books of lists of the entire collection of Pope’s, including when the church split in two groups and there were two Popes running it for many years. A list is just a list. I could put myself into it .. I probably already am .. there’s a pope called John who died in unusual circumstances, and a very interesting ‘history’ of a female Pope in exactly the same time period! :-) Her name was Joan. Why is it before a Pope becomes the Pope he has sit in a special chair and have a quick check be made to make sure he’s a man? The chair has a hole in the seat. I’m sure you can work out what he has to do. :-) Seems kinda silly if all the pope’s had been men. :-)

            Love & Peace

          • I agree with you, CT. There’s no point in saying everything the Catholic Church claims is true, simply because we know its not. There’s an old saying ‘history is written by the victors!’ Luckily for us not everything written got lost, so now we have the Apocrypha and a variety of other ‘books’ to check with to ‘confirm’ or ‘deny’ as much as we can think is real.

            I checked the links, all but one are the book I have here on the desk, with different covers.

            And Pat, if the only thing you can find on the internet is the quote I gave .. maybe that’s because its the only thing the man ever wrote on Jesus. No conspiracy there. Like so many others from biblical times, things are ‘attributed’ to them, they didn’t actually write them.

            Love & Peace

        • Hi Caretaker

          Nice to see you involved in this discussion/debate and thanks for the interesting link.

          There you go, the R.C. church is adamant they have followed the Simon Peter lineage with Christs instruction. Perhaps the earlier Christians were heretical in their beliefs and the R.C. church did some shaving here and there and, no matter if it was much later on, they still claim Simon Peter was appointed as head by Christ in the aftermath of his death. I would say, the R.C. brand of Christianity may have developed years later but is still a continuation of the direct instructions from Christ. This brand of Christianity continued even during the periods when they didn’t have a head of church.

          So it’s not for anyone else other than the R.C. church to confirm/recognise that Simon Peter was appointed the first head of the R.C. church.

          • Hi Caretaker,

            I meant to add too, it’s very much like the different brands of Christianity with Christ being the main focus – having developed branches for whatever reasons, or even the Islam religion, they also have different brands of Islam but having Mohammed as their main focus.

          • Yes, but if I started a club today and then claimed that someone long dead was its first CEO…

          • OK, here is my two cents LOL … Peter said to Jesus Thou are the Christ son of the living God, Jesus told Peter son of Jona you shall be Cephas (stone), Jesus was expressing to Peter, that upon this rock (petra, means great rock) I will build my church, not Peter, Peter only preached to the circumcised and it was Paul who went and preached to the Gentiles (non Jewish), and it is written no man comes unto the Father except by Christ, Christ is the middle man, he is our mediator between God and man, thats only one of the reasons for his crucifixion, Jesus’s mother was an earthly vessel, used by God, but she is not a mediator between God and man, thus… no man cometh unto the Father except my me Jesus…

          • Yes, there is nothing I have seen in the Bible that would lead me to the notion that it was OK to pray to Mary.

          • I agree, Lisa & CT. I was taught it was only ok to pray to Jesus, not even to God. I am a naughty person. I ‘talk’ to God direct, and ask help from Jesus as well. Very churchlike of me .. covering all my bases. LOL

            Love & Peace

  3. Hi Fawnna (Lisa)

    “The dead arose” could also mean either spiritually dead, or too afraid to speak out against the Pharasee’s & the Romans theology. In other words, not to be taken literally.

    I personally think this refers to folk boldly spreading Jesus’ word across the Middle East and beyond. In other words, Jesus’ teaching did not die with him, rather it has lived on – to date, it has lived on 2000 odd years.

    (I hardly ever take the Bible literally .. lol!)


    • Matt 27:52-53 – “The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered into the holy city and appeared to many.”

      Sounds more like necromancy to me. :-) I don’t see anyone spreading the word of Jesus anywhere but Jerusalem?

      Love & Peace

      • Hi Ama,

        Maybe it was just for that area for those who witnessed the death of Jesus, like doubting Thomas, who Jesus showed his hands, feet and side. He had preached and taught all around there, so maybe it was for those who doubted and did not believe.

        • You know the other thing I wonder, Lisa, is where the apostles were when Jesus was crucified. None of them were there, or waited under the Cross while he suffered.

          Who was waiting .. three Mary’s – his mother, his aunt and his wife.

          Love & Peace

          • Good example of how we women folk more times than not, stick it out to the very end… I would have been right there with my child too. When Jesus was in the garden praying and the soldiers came I believe that is when they fled and from that action denied him… even before Peter openly denied him 3 times before the cock crowed, in leaving him in the garden, he and all the others in that action alone had already denied Jesus

          • They were lying low as they were associates of Jesus and didn’t want to be arrested and jailed or killed by the authorities until it seems, after the resurrection when they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

          • Depends on which version of the gospels you believe in, Pat. John is said to have been under the cross too .. but he’s also described as the ‘beloved disciple’ .. or the disciple that Jesus most loved .. which I think actually refers to Mary M. But that’s just my opinion, and thousands of other people’s too. LOL

            Love & Peace

      • Oh Yes Ama :-) ,

        There is a very strong Christian presence in Jerusalem, perhaps not amongst the Palestinian or Jewish followers, but they are there and why shouldn’t they be?

        • Hi Pat,

          I wasn’t talking about current times, I was reading it in the bible as I wrote it. As for now, all religions are spread all over the world, and so they should be, IMO. God is the whole world.

          Love & Peace

          • Hi Ama

            LOL ‘beloved John’ and Mary M??? Could this imply ‘Bi’?

          • Hi Pat,

            How about a hemophrodite, if we are really going to go off on this tangent?

            No, Mary M was one person, and John was another .. the church could not allow women to have power, so ‘she’ became a ‘he’, even in paintings. It led to people wondering if Jesus was bisexual or gay, because of their interpretation of John 21:20, rather than saying that the disciple ‘reclining’ next to him was a woman.

            So sad .. but interesting to know that the church feared the power of women so much they had to squash them.

            Love & Peace

      • Hi Ama

        “�The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered into the holy city and appeared to many.�

        Sounds more like necromancy to me.”

        Sounds more like a B-rate zombie movie, than necromancy, to me – hahaha!


        • That’s probably where Hollywood etc got the ideas from, AJ. LOL :-)

          Love & Peace

    • Hi AJ’
      Yes, the Christian bible is riddled with metaphors and your point is very interesting, however one has to look at what was actually said – thus:

      Matthew 27: 52 � 53:

      �And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.�

      Especially when the word ‘slept’ or ‘are asleep’ is referred to in other biblical writings – meaning lying low in the afterlife awaiting judgement day or the second coming. Also the words ‘appeared unto many’ smacks of ghostal apparitions which, one would associate with spirits.

      On the question of the ‘spiritual dead’ possibly living people who were afraid to speak out against the pharasees and Roman theology, I wonder about that? I think there is mention somewhere in the New Testament where the the Holy Spirit in the form of flamed tongues, hovered over the heads of the apostles thus giving them the courage, wisdom and oral glibness to spread the word, so that may nullify your thoughts in that area.

      I don’t really know if there was a theological uprising against authority by ordinary people after the death(?)of Jesus. There is mention however, in seemingly extracts of Josephus’ writings (I understand his writings have also been either side-lined or destroyed) where he labels Jesus a political agitator because he stirred up emotions amongst the oppressed underclasses and made a disappearing act with his disciples before the authorities turned up to quell the riots.

      There are predominantly literal accounts/teachings and numerous figurative too.

      • No, Pat, Josephus’ writings are very popular and I quoted them to you on another site. Let me quote it again:

        “Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works – a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousands other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

        That is literally all Josephus said on the subject. Where does it label Jesus a political agitator? Whomever you were reading that says Josephus said he was .. invented it.

        Love & Peace

  4. Ha, using my real name because I felt bad using my alter name :)

    These are some things to ponder, I happen to go along the lines of what Ama wrote. And then we have Lazarus who had been dead a few days and seemed happy to stay that way, because he told Jesus that by now he was stinking, and the poor guy had to rise up from the grave and later on die all over again.. Now I don’t know much about Catholic religion, but I don’t believe the KJV came from them, thats just me tho, and I do have a strange hint of humor and usually find it in a lot of my every day life, I have to say that God must have a good deal of it too, I just don’t picture Him all brimstone and ashes and brow beating people to death like some preacher like to do LOL… look at all of man kind, :) So, we have spirits walking around as far back as Biblical days and on… just like today..

    • Thank you Lisa,

      I am not fond of pseudonyms and love it when people come out of
      ‘hiding’, even if they only do it in private to me.

      No, the KJV didn’t come from the Catholics. It was commissioned for the new Church of England in 1604 and finished in 1611. It’s known to not be a very good translation of the original languages of the bible.

      So .. let me interpret the book a bit (hehe) … before Jesus people were warned not to talk to ‘spirits’, probably because there were not any loose and roaming about, only really nasty entities like fallen angels and lesser demons … then we have Saul and Samuel, which puts a lie to the whole concept, unless Samuel was actually a demon and not a saint? After Jesus .. spirits rose from where they had been ‘sleeping’ and roamed the world (or Jerusalem anyway). According to the powers that be, those spirits are still awaiting the ‘second coming’ before going into heaven. Where are they waiting? Some would be ‘sleeping’ in the ground, depending on their belief system, but what about all the rest?

      I would rather they were in heaven and not making trouble for people on earth, which sad, angry people are inclined to do for each other, regardless of whether they have a living body or not. We don’t stop being people after we die, we either go into heaven, reconnect to source energy (God by whatever name) or we stay here, and have to find food (energy) some other way. Perhaps that’s where the ‘hell on earth’ belief came from? And what about hell? It’s not an OT subject, but the concept does frighten people, usually thanks to ‘hellfire and brimstone’ type priests and ministers, as you said, Lisa .. which is totally at odds with ‘God loves you’. We can only really have ‘hell’ if God only loves you if you love him .. even when he’s smiting you. Not a lot of smiting going on these days? Not a lot of ‘God’ either. Perhaps he should bring the smiting back? LOL

      Oh dear, why do people only learn through adversity? Why can’t we all simply be saints? .. hmm.. hang on a minute, most of the ‘saints’ were not actually that nice a group of people, or were inventions, like Saint Christopher! Sigh.

      Love & Peace

      • The School of Hard Knocks… I graduated from there hehe… I don’t recall ever meeting a saint, but I had an ex sister-in-law who came close…lol..shew what a fella she had.
        I have something else on my mind, but that will have to be put on a different post.. :)

      • Hi Ama

        Please hold onto your words ‘Oh dear, why do people only learn through adversity?’ and apply this to another post :-)

        • Hi Pat,

          Sometimes people don’t listen even when the truth is yelled into their faces. We can try talking quietly too, but if the mind is closed .. the whispers fall on deaf ears.

          How do we change a person’s mind who is set on believing only their ‘own’ truth and will allow ‘nothing but’?

          “An open mind is a lovesome thing” .. that’s a quote, but I can’t remember from where. LOL

          Love & Peace
          Ama :-)

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