In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul says the Rapture will happen at "the final trumpet." Isn't this a reference to the last of the Trumpet Judgments in Revelation? And wouldn't this mean the Rapture happens in the latter half of Tribulation?
In 1Cor 15 Paul is explaining the manner of our resurrection, sometimes called the "rapture:"
Paul says the moment of our transformation into our new physical bodies will happen instantaneously at "the last trumpet." Since Paul calls this trumpet the "last" trumpet, there must have been earlier trumpet sounds that preceded the last trumpet.
Elsewhere in Revelation 11 we read about the seventh (and final) trumpet of the seven Trumpet Judgments sounding during Tribulation:
These two events are different events, which happen at different times, though both involve the use of a trumpet, and though both scenes involve the use of a trumpet, these are very different trumpets. In fact, there are numerous difference between the two moments.
The trumpet referenced in 1Corinthians 15 is one of the trumpets traditionally blown during the Jewish feast of Rosh Hashanah (also called the Feast of Trumpets for that reason). The last trump refers to this feast and to the Jewish practice of blowing trumpets at this feast each year. During the ceremony, there is a series of short trumpet sounds concluding with one long trumpet blast called the "tekiah gedolah," which means “the great trumpet blast.” This is what Paul meant by the last trump.
Paul is teaching that the trumpet blasts of Rosh Hashanah were a picture of – and will be fulfilled by – the Rapture of the Church. This trumpet blast is traditionally blown by a Jewish man standing in Israel in keeping with the feast's requirements.
In contrast, the trumpets of the seven Trumpet Judgments are blown not by men on earth but by angels in Heaven during the latter half of Tribulation. These are not used as signals of the Rapture. Rather, they are signals to warn unbelievers of impending judgment. These judgments will be the final opportunities for unbelievers on Earth in Tribulation to be saved before the final wrath of God poured out on earth in the Bowl Judgments.
Secondly, the historical order of authorship for the New Testament letters precludes any interpretation that views the last trumpet mentioned in 1Corinthians to be the same as the seventh Trumpet Judgment described in Revelation. In Paul's first letter to Corinth, he taught that the resurrection of the Church occurs at "the" last trumpet. Paul's use of the article "the" in describing the trumpet indicates to us that Paul expected his audience to know and recognize what trumpet blast he was referencing.
So what trumpet was Paul describing when he said "the" trumpet? We know Paul could not have meant the Trumpet Judgments of Revelation, because the book of Revelation hadn't been written at that time. In fact, the knowledge that there would even be Trumpet Judgments in a future day was not available to anyone, including Paul, until John wrote the book of Revelation nearly 40 years after Paul wrote his letter to Corinth.
Therefore, at the time Paul wrote 1Corinthians, the only trumpet blasts the Church could have considered when reading Paul's letter were the trumpets blown at the feast of Trumpets. Therefore, we must conclude that Paul was speaking of the final trumpet blast of the Feast of Trumpets, not the seventh Trumpet Judgment of Revelation. You can read more about the relationship between the Rapture and the Feast of Trumpets by reading our article, Will the Rapture Occur on Rosh Hashanah?
In summary, we cannot use 1Corinthians 15 as evidence to support the view that the Rapture will occur during Tribulation. On the contrary, the Bible is consistently clear in teaching that the Rapture occurs prior to the Tribulation. You may also find the following articles helpful to understanding the timing of the resurrection of the church:
We also encourage you to listen to the entire Revelation study available on our website to understand the precise timing of the end times events according to scripture, including the timing of the Rapture and the various Tribulation judgments.