How Many People In the Bible Were Raised from the Dead?
Jesus is at the top of our list but there are a number of people in the Old Testament and New Testament that show the authority of our God over death itself.
This is the only resurrection that is permanent, the one that all others point to. In John 14:19 Jesus promises us that "Because I live, you also will live." It proves His authority and is our invitation to eternal life, a spiritual resurrection when we have bodily passed away.
2. Zarephath’s son (The widow's son)
1 Kings 17:17–24
In the middle of a drought, Elijah shows kindness (and his credentials as a prophet) to a widow by raising her son back to life after he became sick and died.
3. The son of the Shunammite woman
2 Kings 4:18–37
In a miracle paralleling his master Elijah's ministry, Elisha raised the Shunammite woman’s son from the dead.
4. The man thrown into Elisha's grave
2 Kings 13:20–21
During a Moabite raid, a dead man was hastily thrown into Elisha's grave as a temporary measure. Verse 21 tells us that “when the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet."
5. The young man of Nain
The first recorded resurrection performed by Jesus occurred in the village of Nain. Jesus intercepted and interrupted a funeral procession, raising a young man back from the dead in the process of announcing the arrival of the Kingdom of God.
6. Jairus’ daughter
Jesus was approached by Jairus, a member of the normally aloof synagogue leadership. Jairus ventured out to beg Jesus to visit on behalf of his deathly-ill twelve-year-old daughter, who passed away during the errand. Mark 5:21-43 intensifies the suspense of the story by interrupting with the healing of a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. Jesus gave these two women care and dignity unheard of in the Jewish and Roman worlds.
7. Lazarus of Bethany
Jesus intentionally delayed visiting his friends in Bethany, just outside of Jerusalem, when they sent word that the brother Lazarus had become sick. After he had arrived and greeted the sisters Mary and Martha, He announced in verse 25, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die." Commanding the stone blocking Lazarus' tomb to be rolled away, Jesus called Lazarus out. Our running total is at 7.
8. Holy People
At the exact moment death of Jesus, Matthew tells us that graves were broken open. This is a beautiful picture what Jesus' sacrifice means for our redemption from death. The lack of punctuation in the original text means that the resurrection of these holy people could have been at the crucifixion, as the NIV translates, or simultaneously with Jesus' resurrection as most other translations render it. The distinction is inconsequential, as there's no significant doctrine built on it. Because there's at least 2 people resurrected here, our total just became indefinite. Let's call it 9+.
9. Dorcas, also known as Tabitha
Tabitha was dear to her church community in Joppa, well liked for her generosity. At the believers' pleading, the apostle Peter raised her from the dead, quickly helping her to her feet after he prayed for her. The news reverberated in the city and led to many conversions.
Eutychus fell out of an upper story window, nodding off to sleep as the apostle Paul taught a late night study in the town of Troas. The young man died from the impact, but Paul went down to the street and threw his arms around him. Eutychus came back from the dead, had a meal, and the meeting continued into the morning!
We can safely say that at least 11 people have been raised from the dead in scripture in 10 different instances. We might also say that it is dangerous to fall asleep in church. Finally, no grave will hold our God. If we believe in Jesus, that same eternal life is promised to us.