The Bible contains several accounts of people being brought back to life after dying. Resurrection is a core doctrine of Christianity and central to the faith. In this comprehensive article, we will examine every instance of resurrection recorded in the Bible and tally up exactly how many people were resurrected.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: 9.
We will analyze each resurrection account in depth, looking at the context, key people involved, and theological significance. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of every resurrection in the Bible and the total number of people resurrected.
Resurrections by Jesus
The Widow’s Son at Nain
One of the most touching resurrection stories in the Bible is that of the widow’s son at Nain recorded in Luke 7:11-17. Jesus and his disciples were approaching the town of Nain when they encountered a funeral procession carrying the body of the only son of a widow.
Upon seeing the widow’s deep grief, Jesus had compassion on her and told her not to weep. He walked up and touched the open coffin, saying “Young man, I say to you, arise.” Amazingly, the man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus presented him to his mother alive and well.
The people who witnessed this incredible miracle were awe-struck and glorified God, saying “A great prophet has risen up among us” and “God has visited His people.” This miraculous resurrection clearly showed Jesus’ power over death and His compassion for those suffering loss.
One of the most well-known resurrection stories is that of Jairus’ daughter in Mark 5:21-43. Jairus, a synagogue leader, approached Jesus requesting healing for his sick 12-year-old daughter. As Jesus went with him, messengers arrived saying the girl had died.
Jesus encouraged Jairus to have faith, and when they arrived at the home, people were mourning the girl’s death. Jesus told them the girl was only sleeping, and they ridiculed Him. Taking just Peter, James and John, Jesus entered the room of the dead girl.
He took her hand and simply said “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Immediately she got up and started walking around, and Jesus told them to give her something to eat. This incredible resurrection demonstrated Jesus’ authority over death and the crowd was overcome with amazement.
Perhaps the most dramatic resurrection story is that of Lazarus in John 11:1-44. Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha who were friends of Jesus. When Lazarus became ill, his sisters sent word to Jesus to come urgently. However, Jesus delayed His visit and Lazarus died and was buried.
When Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been dead four days. Both Martha and Mary told Jesus that if He had come sooner, Lazarus wouldn’t have died. Jesus told them that Lazarus would rise again. He went to Lazarus’ tomb and told the people to roll the stone away.
Martha protested that there would be a stench since he had been dead four days. But Jesus reminded her that He is the resurrection and the life. He prayed and then shouted “Lazarus, come forth!” And the dead man came out of the tomb still wrapped in his graveclothes.
This incredible miracle demonstrated Jesus’ power over death in the most dramatic way possible. Many who witnessed it believed in Jesus, though some went to the Pharisees and reported the miracle.https://www.learnreligions.com/resurrections-of-the-bible-700159
Resurrections by Elijah and Elisha
The Son of the Widow of Zarephath
One of the earliest resurrections recorded in the Bible is found in 1 Kings 17, where the prophet Elijah raised the son of the widow of Zarephath from the dead. Elijah was staying with this widow during a drought, and her son suddenly became ill and died.
The distraught mother pleaded with Elijah to intervene, and Elijah prayed to God, stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried out to the Lord. Miraculously, the child’s life returned to him, and Elijah presented him alive to his mother.
This resurrection displayed God’s power and compassion in response to the earnest prayers of His faithful prophet. It provided hope to the widow in a time of desperation and deepened her faith in the one true God that Elijah represented.
The Shunammite’s Son
Another resurrection wrought by Elijah’s successor Elisha is recorded in 2 Kings 4. A well-to-do Shunammite woman had shown kindness and hospitality to Elisha, even building an upper room in her house for him to stay in when he was in town.
Elisha asked what could be done for her in return, and his servant Gehazi mentioned that she had no son. Elisha then called her and prophesied she would have a son at that time the next year. The prophecy came true, but some years later when the boy was older, he suffered a sudden headache while out in the field with his father and quickly died.
The Shunammite woman immediately sought out Elisha, who sent Gehazi ahead of him to lay Elisha’s staff on the child. When that produced no result, Elisha himself came and stretched himself over the boy as Elijah had done earlier.
This time, after praying to God, the child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes, fully revived. Once again, fervent prayer by a prophet of God brought about a miraculous resurrection.
Man Revived After Touching Elisha’s Bones
The final resurrection associated with Elisha is unusual in that it occurred after Elisha’s death. As recorded in 2 Kings 13, a dead man was thrown into Elisha’s tomb and happened to touch Elisha’s bones. Amazingly, the man “revived and stood up on his feet” (verse 21).
This dramatic event speaks to the power of God that worked through Elisha even after his death. It also points forward to the coming resurrection when all the dead will rise at the return of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:52).
God is certainly able to raise the dead, as demonstrated in this account as well as the earlier resurrections performed by Elijah and Elisha in response to fervent prayer. He gives us a glimpse through these miracles of His awesome life-giving power and His desire to bless His people.
Resurrections After Jesus’ Crucifixion
Saints Raised at Jesus’ Death
When Jesus died on the cross, Matthew 27:50-54 describes how the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom and there was an earthquake that split rocks. After Jesus’ resurrection, Matthew 27:52-53 says “The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” This amazing event likely involved some well-known Jewish saints and prophets. God demonstrated His power by gloriously raising these saints shortly after Jesus’ death, which must have been a stunning sign to all who witnessed it.
Tabitha Raised by Peter
Acts 9:36-42 describes how Peter raised a faithful disciple named Tabitha from the dead. She was known for her kindness and charity. When Tabitha died, the believers in Joppa were devastated and urgently summoned Peter. He knelt by her body and prayed, telling Tabitha to “get up”.
She opened her eyes, sat up and Peter presented her alive to the overjoyed believers. Through Peter, God performed an awe-inspiring miracle that strengthened the church in Joppa and attracted many new believers.
Eutychus Raised by Paul
Acts 20:7-12 records how a young man named Eutychus fell asleep during Paul’s long preaching and fell to his death from a third story window. Paul immediately went down, embraced him and told the frightened crowd not to worry because Eutychus was alive.
This astonishing miracle of resurrection encouraged the believers and reinforced Paul’s teaching with great spiritual power. God worked through Paul to perform wonders that proclaimed the truth of the gospel message.
In total, there are 9 resurrection accounts in the Bible involving 9 people being raised from the dead. While each story is profound and meaningful, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most significant, securing the eternal life and salvation of all who put their faith in Him.
This complete tally of Biblical resurrections provides a helpful reference as we study these miracles and their implications.