In the Nicene Creed the phrase “rose again” appears related to Christ’s resurrection. Does this imply that there is more than one resurrection or is this some quirk in the translation?
Yes, it is more of a quirk in the translation and of how we speak in English. There is only one resurrection.
The English word “resurrection” comes from the similar word in Latin, “resurrexit” which can be translated “he arose” but more literally means “He stood up again,” for re=again and surrexit=he stood up. The Greek text of the Creed also uses this construction: ἀναστάντα (anastanta) means to stand up again, ana=again, stanta= to stand.
Thus when we render these concepts into English we use the word “again” to capture more the sense of the Latin and Greek texts, which speak of the resurrection in very physical terms. While in English we could simply say “He arose” or “He rose from the dead” but, in a sense this is abstract and doesn’t quite capture the Latin and Greek which emphasize the physical fact that Christ who was freely struck down in death is now standing up once again.
It is true that in English “again” can mean that someone has done something more than once, as in “He did it again,” implying that this is at least the second time he has done something. But “again” can also mean simply to return to a former state. As in “He is back home again,” meaning he who had left has now returned. It is this second sense of the word “again” that is meant when saying Jesus “rose again.” In other words, Jesus who once stood among us fully alive, is now doing so again.
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