Christian burial (1)

New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:


Just saw this verse the other day, reinforcing how bad it is not to have a burial:

If a man fathers a hundred [children] and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a [proper] burial, [then] I say, “Better the miscarriage than he…” - Ecclesiastes 6:3


I was struck last night while reading to my sons about the death of Saul.

1 Chronicles 31:8-13 describes the treatment if Saul and his sons following their deaths. It speaks of “valiant men who rose and walked all night” to return their bodies from ridicule to respect. Though they burned them, they then buried the bones under a tamarisk tree. This is a sort combination burning/burial on the surface (which may have been a common burial then, I don’t know) but it required much concern and care, even courage and putting their lives in danger. Concern for burial was certainly taken. Then in 2 Chronicles 2:4-6, David pronounces a blessing upon them because of the deed.

I’ve never thought much about burial or cremation until just recently. My father in law is aging and requests to be cremated. He is not a believer. I guess we will honor the request. Still we pray for his salvation.


I’ve been following Tim on Twitter for awhile and he’s posted a wealth of verses that deal with this subject. From these it has become apparent to me that burial is a recurring note in Scripture.

There are at least a few of us that have not considered burial to have much importance.

To be completely honest, before Tim had brought this up, I have had conversations with my wife telling her to get rid of my corpse as cheaply as she can. If I’m dead, I don’t care. (Of course, she’s never agreed to just dump me in a ditch, regardless of county ordinances.)

Is Scripture just placing emphasis on the idea of the resurrection or does how we take care of our dead really matter?

Can our decisions here become sinful by way of Exodus 20:12, dishonoring our parents? (What if they request cremation?)

I immediately think of John Wycliffe, who was declared a heretic by the Catholic Church. “Wycliffe’s corpse was exhumed and burned and the ashes cast into the River Swift.” - Per Wikipedia.