Hymenaeus and Alexander and their fellows were confused about time—ahead of time—when they said that the resurrection had already occurred. The Galatians misunderstood the dispensations by making so much of circumcision now.
Therefore, all who have established a sect of some religion, even a false one, wishing that they be believed, have not been able to deny this resurrection of human souls. All have agreed on that, but many have denied the resurrection of the flesh and have said that resurrection has already taken place in faith…. They said that resurrection had already taken place but in such a way that another was not to be hoped for; and they reproached those who hoped for the resurrection of the flesh, as though the resurrection which had been promised was already fulfilled in the human soul by believing.
Saying: That the resurrection is past already. It is uncertain what these heretics meant. Some say they held no resurrection, but that by which some died and some were born. Others that they admitted no resurrection but that by baptism from sin. Others that they called what is related in the gospel, that many bodies of the saints rose, at Christ's death, the only resurrection. (Witham)
The fall of Hymenæus and Philetus, who seduced by the false reasonings of Simon Magus had abandoned the faith of the Church, convinced St. Paul of the great importance of opposing the profane novelties of heretics. It is for this that he insists so much on this subject, as well in this as in his first epistle to Timothy. The ancients expressly tell us, that Simon the magician did not believe in the resurrection of the body, but only that of the soul; meaning its resurrection from sin to grace. (Epiphanius)
If the resurrection is already past, not only do we suffer loss in being deprived of that great glory, but because judgment is taken away and retribution also. For if the resurrection is past, retribution also is past. The good therefore have reaped persecutions and afflictions, and the wicked have not been punished. On the contrary, they live in great pleasure. It would be better to say that there is no resurrection than that it is already past.
Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some.
He has well said, They will increase unto more ungodliness. For it appears indeed to be a solitary evil, but see what evils spring out of it. For if the Resurrection is already past, not only do we suffer loss in being deprived of that great glory, but because judgment is taken away, and retribution also. For if the Resurrection is past, retribution also is past. The good therefore have reaped persecutions and afflictions, and the wicked have not been punished, nay verily, they live in great pleasure. It were better to say that there is no resurrection, than that it is already past.
And overthrow, he says, the faith of some.
Of some, not of all. For if there is no resurrection, faith is subverted. Our preaching is vain, nor is Christ risen; and if He is not risen, neither was He born, nor has He ascended into heaven. Observe how this error, while it seems to oppose t...