He Has Risen or He Is Risen – Which Is Grammatically Correct?

The question of whether “he has risen” vs “he is risen” is grammatically correct has caused much debate among English speakers & religious people. Some people argue that “has risen” should be used because it shows the completed action, while others maintain that “is risen” is better because it emphasizes the ongoing nature of Christ’s resurrection.

So which is the right way to say it? In this post, we’ll break down the difference between these two phrases and teach you which is grammatically correct.

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Should It Be “He Has Risen” or “He Is Risen”?

Man wondering if Jesus christ "he is risen" vs "he has risen"

Both “He has risen” and “he is risen” can be used correctly in the English language. However, in most cases “he has risen” should be used. Although both phrases have the same meaning, this is the technically correct way to use the past tense vs past participle of the verb rise.

He Has Risen” – Grammatically correct past tense version of rise in the modern English language. This phrase is considered incorrect by the Bible as it indicates that Jesus Christ has risen and is no longer rising today. “Is” is considered an eternal truth. They believe Jesus has risen and remains risen today. Words like burnt or burned also have similar grammar rules.

He Is Risen” – Should only be used in reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

When picking your phrase, pay close attention to your audience.

  • If you’re addressing a group of Christians on Easter Sunday, “he is risen” would be more appropriate.
  • However, if you’re discussing the matter with your English teacher, “he has risen” would be the better choice.

Takeaway: The two forms of this phrase can both be used correctly. Use the phrase “he is risen” only when referring to Jesus’ resurrection.

How To Use “He Is Risen”

“He is risen” is a common refrain during the Easter season. But what does it actually mean? According to the Christian faith, Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross. But on the third day, he rose from the dead, defeating death itself (Bible, King James Version). Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ place of death, but her was not there! It is also important to remember your capitalization rules when using “Jesus” in your writing.

  • For example, the priest may say “Jesus Christ died, and he is risen today!”

So how can you use “he is risen” in your everyday life?

  • It’s a great way to spread some holiday cheer. Whether you say it to a friend or stranger, those three simple words can brighten someone’s day.
  • Additionally, you can use it as a reference to Jesus Christ and his teachings. After all, his resurrection is a powerful symbol of hope and triumph over adversity.

Sentence Examples Using “He Is Risen”

Here is a list of 5 sentences using the phrase “he is risen” correctly. Remember, this phrase is almost exclusively used in a religious context in reference to the rising of Jesus Christ.

  1. On Easter morning, the church joyfully exclaimed, “He is risen!” as they celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  2. With tears of happiness, Mary Magdalene spread the good news, declaring, “He is risen! I have seen the Lord!”
  3. The faithful believers gathered in the church, lifting their voices in unison and proclaiming, “He is risen indeed!”
  4. As the sun emerged over the horizon, casting its warm glow on the empty tomb, the disciples rejoiced, exclaiming, “He is risen, just as He said!”
  5. The timeless phrase “He is risen” serves as a powerful reminder of the triumph of life over death and the hope it brings to all who believe.

Is This Common?

The phrase “he is risen” is not very popular today. In fact, there is data that shows it is being used less and less over the past few decades. In modern English, this rule holds true for both casual and formal writing.

This can be attributed to two main reasons.

  1. Religion is less prevalent today than in previous years.
  2. “He Has Risen” is considered grammatically correct in modern English for native speakers.

Just like we saw in our analysis of the words monkies vs monkeys, writers often make simple spelling mistakes!

Present Perfect Tense

The present perfect tense is a verb tense used to indicate that an action or event has happened at some point in the past, and often continues to happen in the present. You have to master the present perfect tense if you want to ace the SAT grammar section!

  • For example, “I have played tennis.”

The key to using the present perfect tense correctly is understanding when to use it. First, you should ask the question “what has happened?” With a specific time frame, then you can use the present perfect tense.

  • For example, “I have played tennis this week.”

If you cannot answer the question with a specific time frame, then you should use the past simple tense.

  • For example, “I saw the lord lay on the bench yesterday.”

Our post on have vs has grammar rules also illustrates how to use the present perfect tense correctly in your writing!

Takeaway: The present perfect tense is formed by using the present tense of the verb “have” and the past participle of the main verb.

What Are English Verbs Of Motion?

When you think of verbs, the first things that come to mind are vivid verbs & “ACTION” words like jump, run, or hit. But there’s another kind of verb in English that describes motion without any action taking place.

Motion verbs show movement from one place to another, and they can be used to describe both physical and mental movement.

  • For example, you can use a verb of motion to talk about someone leaving a room (“She walked out of the room”) or to describe an idea moving from one person’s mind to another (“The thought occurred to him”).

In some cases, verbs of motion can also be used to describe changes in state or condition (“The food turned cold”).

Here are popular examples of motion verbs in English grammar.

  • Walk, run, jump, dance, fly, go, drive, ride, swim
  • Enter, exit, leave, return
  • Appear, disappear
  • Grow, shrink, fade
  • Burst, explode

Takeaway: Motion verbs are used to describe all kinds of different types of movement or change or location.


Q: Has or have risen?

It is correct to say “has” when referring to a singular subject. It is correct to say have when referring to plural subjects. For example, “the cats have risen from their long sleep”.

Q: Where in the Bible does it say he has risen?

In Matthew 28:5-6 the Bible claims that Jesus Christ died and has risen from the day. This Bible section discusses Jesus’ resurrection and eternal life. This is consistent with the text of “King James Bible”.

Q: Is risen verb tense?

“Risen” is the past participle form of the verb “rise.” When used in the past tense, as in “he had risen,” it indicates that something has happened in the past. After someone had fallen asleep, and then woke up…you might say “look, he is risen”.

Q: When to use is or has?

The words “is” and “has” can be tricky. These are some guidelines to help you use them correctly. When you’re talking about general truths, use “is.” For example, “the sky is blue.” When you’re talking about possession, use “has.” For example, “she has a dog.” When you’re talking about location, use “is.” For example, “the library is on the first floor.”

Q: What is past tense vs present tense?

Past tense refers to events that have already happened, while present tense refers to events that are happening right now.

The Bottom Line

Now you know how to choose between the phrases “he is risen” vs “he has risen” in your writing and conversation. You have to look at the context of the situation to choose the correct phrase. If you are writing about Jesus’ resurrection, go with “he is risen”! Use these tips to improve your writing skills. And if you need some extra grammar help, try ProWritingAid or Grammarly grammar checkers.