Do any of the Christians here believe the resurrection is metaphorical?

Well, we do agree about the church being up and running in the 30s…and remember that Paul was converted not long after and got his theology from those who already shared that faith…and his letter to the Corinthians dates 25 years +/- afterwards. But people did memorize the statements of rabbis and others could and did take notes. Whatever and whoever Q was — ? maybe he was a notetaker. At any rate, Boyarin cites Mark (or whomever wrote it) as testimony to the antiquity of some Jewish customs.

But we don’t agree on the statement “I and the Father are one” not having some Triune significance. M Heiser described the phrase “I and the Father are one” as “equative language”. When Jesus, in Mark 14 said to the high priest “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” – Flusser noted “the high priest correctly understood by Jesus’ words that he was confessing that he was the Messiah” (see Sage from Galilee, p 145) and Samuel Lachs in his book on a rabbinic view of the New Testament said the same.

Yes…the church being up and running as soon as it was – is significant. Agree there

It had no triune significance to its audience, chroniclers. Jesus being the Messiah has nothing whatsoever to do with the Trinity. A meaningless concept for early Jewish Christians. Trinitarians making it so millennia after the event are twisting simple words to their prism in the wrong end of the telescope.

Thanks for your thoughts. And yes the concept of a Trinity is an intriguing one…and perplexing. Hard to wrap your mind around, I must admit.

But there is data that indicates that the Judaism of that era ( 1st century BC/AD and thereabouts) was entertaining a concept of the complexity of God – in that case, something of a bi-unity although not stated that way. I actually first encountered this detail by reading the recent writings of some Jewish scholars — I believe Boyarin is one. Others give some credit to Philo of Alexandria which, in that case, would mean cultural influences outside the realm of the biblical text that existed at the time.

Within the realm of biblical studies, this concept of a complex nature to a single-not-polytheistic deity began to develop as a consequence of the prophetic “Son of Man” visions in Daniel and some Intertestamental writings that also worked that way. There is discussion elsewhere of this stage of theological development. Judaism abandoned this idea in the second or third centuries A.D./C.E. once they saw what the earliest Christians had made of it…

Ignatius of Antioch made the first sort of written connection between the three members of the Trinity in a letter of 110 C.E… But it was Tertullian in 213 C.E. who first used the term trinitas…although some sources seem to think a Theophilus, the 7th bishop of Antioch in late 2nd century, deserves some credit.

At any rate, I don’t think that 213 C.E. is “millennia after the event” even if by “event” you might mean Daniel’s “Son of Man” visions which occurred, at earliest, in mid sixth century B.C.E.

See below for the remark by Ignatius in 110 C.E./A.D.

that so all things, whatsoever ye do, may prosper both in the flesh and spirit; in faith and love; in the Son, and in the Father, and in the Spirit; in the beginning and in the end

Heiser, Flusser and Lachs are millennia after the event.

The apocalyptic book of “Daniel” wasn’t finished until 164 BCE. The Maccabean writers refer to the auctorial presence 93 times as the son of man, ben-'adam. It never refers to the Messiah by that title, as it doesn’t in the other 14 OT references.

This does, but not as son of man;

Daniel 7:13–14

13 I saw in the visions of the night, and behold with the clouds of the heaven, one like a man (kibar 'anash) was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days [and who’s this? Unique to Daniel. = The Eternal, YHWH] and was brought before Him.

14 And He gave him dominion and glory and a kingdom, and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall serve him; his dominion is an eternal dominion, which will not be removed, and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.

that Jesus alluded to, deliberately segueing via son of man. His conversation with Caiaphas in Matthew 26 blurs that all the way to Son of God. Not God (the Son).

None of this has any bearing whatsoever on the economic Trinity.

If you have any links to any pre-Christian, BCE Jewish writings blurring the Shema, that would be of interest.

The son of man and son of God were, and remain, not coterminous with God the Son. Except in obsolete Greek thinking retained by the vast majority of Christians to this day, untouched by science and rationality.

PS However the Messianic Jews of Jesus’ time related the anciently highly evolved OT concept of an implicitly single Person God to the Messiah, they show no evidence whatsoever of proliferating entities in God, in making God complex. They were unitarian. To a man. Not that the concept could have existed on the spectrum of poly-heno-mono-theism.

The Persons of God are a much later, over 300 years, Greek Christian concept, derived from NT statements about God that nobody integrated at the time. Nobody thought about it. No Jew. How could they? They just unexaminably accepted the paradoxes, the Christian ones. The mystery. As the vast majority of Christians still do. Here.

The fact that Jesus was not simultaneously, concurrently, a Galilean carpenter and creator of eternal nature and transcendent being. Neither did the latter completely become the former. Neither can the former be unique as an incarnation of God. Incarnation is mediocre.

Who said what about who being what apart from those facts predicated on mediocre human incarnation is irrelevant.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I thought you were talking about the concept of the Trinity. You said

Jesus being the Messiah has nothing whatsoever to do with the Trinity. A meaningless concept for early Jewish Christians. Trinitarians making it so millennia after the event are twisting

Boyarin, Lachs, Flusser are not trinitarians. All three are/were Jewish. They were not making something up. They were commenting on the historical intersection between a Jewish concept (abandoned later) that flowed into Christian thinking. And it flowed into Christian thinking rather quickly – re-read what Ignatius said in 110 C.E.

And Lachs is someone I referred to only as having noted–as a non-Christian source-- that Jesus did claim to be divinity. Heiser also. Heiser is not Jewish.

Have you even read Boyarin? When a Jewish writer of today points to comments Jesus made and says He (Jesus) made a claim of divinity — this writer is essentially acknowledging the implications of what Jesus, speaking 2000 years ago, said.

That is all he is doing. And he is not making a new observation. Evidently, the meaning of Jesus’ statement was clear at the time…got Him crucified.

The information about a Judaism that entertained the concept of a complex deity is known data preserved from writings of the 1st centuries BCE/CE — it is not adhered to by the Judaism of today.

These writers were simply commenting (today) on a historical piece of information–known to have been part of Jewish thinking 2000 years ago. That was all. Read them. It would be like saying that a Huron Indian once told Cartier about an amazing land named Saguenay. Just data. The Indian made the statement up because he was amusing himself at the expense of the European travelers in the late 16th century C.E. —It would not mean the Indian himself believed what he said.

The Huron didn’t by the way.

Same thing with this. What Boyarin, Flusser, and Lachs believe about Jesus or about God themselves personally today in 2022 — is a separate issue. (Actually I think Flusser passed away a couple years ago.) The context of Boyarin’s remarks was in discussing the Jewishness of the Christian gospels – something anyone should find interesting,

OK…all for now. Again, sorry for the confusion.

No problem. Where is the pre-Christian Jewish source material on a complex God? I can’t find any Ignatian reference to it.

ok…read the writers I just cited

Not good enough.

A physical resurrection from the dead is the only thing that makes sense. Otherwise the authorities could have easily produced Jesus’ physical dead body. But they couldnt because it was no longer in the tomb, He had risen. The resurrection appearances emphasize His physicality, even if there are also indications of His body being now ‘more’ than purely physical. It is a transformed body, more than Lazarus’ resuscitated body after Jesus raised him. Lazarus would die again, not so Jesus.

I am primarily a Christian because of the physical resurrection of Jesus. And after many years I have yet to see a persuasive argument that would make me doubt. I have found all such arguments (hallucinations, lies etc) simply dont make sense of the facts of history.

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You might also see if your library gives its patrons access to Academic Search Premier. You’ll have access to hundreds of scholarly journals and you can use it from home. It’s a wonderful resource.

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The tomb was empty. ******
Not… Oh we kind of think he’s with us in some way like “my dog Omar lives on” in memory or something.
Not… Let’s make up a story about an empty tomb to help build the movement, comrades.

I don’t subscribe to the simplistic dichotomy of spiritual OR physical meaning that if it isn’t ‘physical’ in exactly the same way as we have encountered and physics has explored then it must be ‘spiritual’. It’s physical because the tomb was empty, the body was transformed. Corinthians says different but still the body, not a ghost. Perhaps physical in a way that made our apparition-like physicality generated from particles in fields easy to pass through since he passed through walls. But "a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.’

If you want to create your own version from your wonderful intellect and limited perspective of all possible existence be my guest but you won’t impress me at all.


We should expect physics to be different when you add in a dimension or several which we cannot detect.

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What does (I) Corinthians (15) say different?

Where, when had ‘he passed through walls’?

1 Corinthians 15:35 onwards and I’m following the main way this was interpreted down the ages until materialism influenced theology. The resurrection body is not the same he says. He doesn’t say we become a spirit.

The second is I agree debatable. That’s ok. John 20:19-20. Doors locked, Jesus appears, not Jesus stood at the door and knocked. The language suggests it, Jesus appearing in their midst in luke 24:36. On road to Emmaus he disappeared on breaking bread which I don’t read as he ran off.
But all four gospels are unmitigatingly clear he was NOT a spirit, but physical. A body.
In conjunction with Paul’s text I read that the resurrected body is physical, real, but possibly changed so that it is not subject to the limitations of our bodies. At particle level we are quantum excitations of fields. Perhaps there is a different physicality beyond the repercussions of big bang or alternative.

Paul is right, the resurrected glorified body of ordinary humans is not the same. Whether resurrection occurs on irreversible death - in which case the physical remains… remain, even if burnt - or after the extinction of humanity. Jesus’ resurrection is unique, it was of His actual exsanguinated and coelomic fluid emptied corpse, revivified and glorified in one miracle, ‘by the Spirit’. I wonder where the body fluids came from? The dirt of Calvary? Or otherwise? The magic word is glorification.

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