22 Verses From The Letters To The Corinthians About Death


Growing up, you might be most familiar with the letter to the Corinthians in the context of weddings rather than funerals. Although the seventh and eighth book of the Bible does teach us “love is patient, love is kind (1 Corinthians 13 1)“, these ancient letters also have many other messages about life and death.

Below are a collection of 22 verses from the two letters sent to the Corinthians. I’ve included some duplicates simply because the different translations give slightly different stances on the actual message from the original letter.

I have selected them because they will bring you comfort in your time of loss and are also excellent additions to a eulogy or obituary. You can also consider engraving such a verse on a headstone.

If you would like access to a free PDF with over 200 other Bible verses about life and death, please feel free to access it here.

What are the letters to the Corinthians?

The letters to the Corinthians, also called the Epistles of St. Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, are a collection of two surviving letters sent by Paul of Tarsus, Paul the Apostle, to the city of Corinth in Greece.

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These letters were sent between 53 AD and 57 AD while Paul the Apostle was in the city of Ephesus, which is located in Asia Minor and later in Macedonia.

Paul had personally converted many people in the City of Corinth and was concerned about the progress of the fledgling early church in that city. Christianity at this time was still the minority religion and many of the pagan practices which still existed in Corinth were infiltrating the church there.

Paul, along with Sosthenes (at least for the first letter), wrote to give the Corinthians advice about how to safeguard their faith and truly honor the lord.

As modern Christians, we can still learn a lot about life and death, as well as love, from the original letters that Paul sent to the early Corinthians nearly 2,000 years ago.

Verses From the first letter to the Corinthians

Saint Paul, as with other Apostles, carried out a lot of missionary work in the decades following the ascension of Christ. Paul visited many towns over several years preaching the new faith. Corinth was one such place where he converted many people to the fledgling Christian religion, which he visited in about 50 AD.

Following several years on other missionary missions, Paul received a letter from the Corinthians asking for clarification on certain things about their new faith. What we know as the first letter to the Corinthians is the reply that was written to that city in about 53-54 AD.

Verse 1

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:20-28

Verse 2

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:21-28
(alternative translation)

Verse 3

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:22

Verse 4

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15:26

Verse 5

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15:42-44

Verse 6

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15:42–44
(ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION)

Verse 7

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Corinthians 15:51

Verse 8

It’s necessary for this rotting body to be clothed with what can’t decay, and for the body that is dying to be clothed in what can’t die. And when the rotting body has been clothed in what can’t decay, and the dying body has been clothed in what can’t die, then this statement in scripture will happen: Death has been swallowed up by a victory. Where is your sting, Death?

1 Corinthians 15:53

Verse 9

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

1 Corinthians 15:54

Verse 10

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’

1 Corinthians 15:54

Verse 11

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’

1 Corinthians 15:55

Verse 12

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9

Verse 13

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9
(ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION)

Verses From the second letter to the Corinthians

St. Paul wrote a second letter to the Corinthians in 55 AD while in Macedonia. According to Britannica, it is likely that this was a letter written after Paul himself had visited Corinth again due to the references made in this document. Again, modern Christians can get just as much guidance from these words as those dealing with loss two millennium ago.

Verse 14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Verse 15

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Verse 16

who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1:4

Verse 17

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Verse 18

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18(
ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION)

Verse 19

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Verse 20

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 Corinthians 5:1

Verse 21

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

2 Corinthians 5:1
(ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION)

Verse 22

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:6

If you would like to access even more Bible verses that could be used in a funeral or during a time of recent loss, please feel free to access it here.

Also, please feel free to read through my other curated lists of quotes in the following articles:

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