Jesus and the Resurrection -- What will our bodies be like?

No the resurrected Jesus was never a ghost, which is a dead spirit. The variability in the encounters with Jesus point to the fact that a spiritual body is not defined by the laws of physics. The very fact that Jesus had wounds (not scars) later points to the fact that Jesus could appear in whatever way He required for the only reason to have wounds was because Thomas expected them. Otherwise you are suggesting that we are resurrected as ashes, rotting remains or carrying our severed heads in our arms.

It is just not well thought out.

Or the laws of physics and biology has nothing to do with the spiritual body which Paul says we have when resurrected.

It is spiritual bodies which are imperishable not physical bodies. Read 1 Cor 15.

Now you are indulging in science fiction and fantasy.

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I just hope my science fiction is just as good as Jules Verne.

How ambitious! For my science fiction books, I only hope that people will find them worth reading.

Is there an inherent difference between a spirit and a ghost? Jesus was still a ghost in all sense of the use of the word in ancient times. He explained that he had not been to heaven yet to stand before God. The indication that the need for a spiritual body is to appear in heaven. It is not the means neccessary from the standpoint of sin and the human condition. It is the method of existence in heaven itself. Before the Flood the humans created on day six had the same spiritual body, even though they lived here on earth. Being in the physical universe does not negate a spiritual physical body. It was physical because it could be touched, and it could consume physical substances. Having a spiritual physical body would be the only way God could visit us looking like another human and eating physical food. The Greeks wrote about that ability in the half human half devine beings living in Olympus. They were not wrong in their concepts. They may have been a little off on describing humans before the Flood who avoided death. Being immortal meant living forever, not necessarily free from dying. Immortals could still die, they just had no need to end their life, nor did their bodies degrade over time. Paul explained the afterlife taking into consideration that he was taught about where all the souls, who were worthy of staying in Abraham’s bosom, who were in Paul’s day, no longer there. What changed Paul’s undestanding from accepting there once was a location known as Abraham’s bosom to going immediately to heaven? It was the resurrection of Jesus. Once the requirement of restoring to Adam’s fallen offspring their spiritual bodies those in Abraham were united with their spiritual bodies this is the first resurrection. Now when we die, our physical bodies are not resurrected upon death. Our soul and spirit go to heaven in our spiritual bodies. Before Christ, Paradise was the place of the soul ie ghost.
If the day when Jesus led all the ghost free from the power of death, they did not receive their spiritual bodies, then they had to “die” physically again. Their ghost only rejoined their physical bodies and it was half a resurrection because they did not enter heaven yet, then they are still awaiting the first bodily resurrection. Or they like Paul taught received their spiritual bodies and their physical bodies were never re-constituted. The physical is still waiting for the first bodily resurrection. The third option is the physical bodies will never be re-constructed. We all get a spiritual body that just resembles what we used to look like at the time our physical body dies, without the death look, and way better than a human can dress up the body after death. Or we will have generic bodies and only our names will jog the memory of what the physical appearance was. In the new heaven and earth even our names will change and we will not remember anything from this current universe, or at least that is alledged.

Those humans not in Abraham’s bosom, are still in the place of the dead as ghost. Ghost are not demons. Demons are the spiritual forms of Ghost. The you or soul is the ghost, the spirit of you, separated at the fall is only connected in the mind. It can either be lost “forever” a demon, rejoined in hell, or rejoined in heaven. The physical part of humans ends up where ever it does. Now we are taught that the physical body will reconstitute even if nothing is left. Paul even teaches both ways or both were attributed to Paul. Paul must not have been around many dead bodies, because if at death we get a new physical body to appear in heaven, we will never again need our dead ones. If we have to wait for our dead bodies to raise from the dead in the future, what bodies are the physically appearing ones in heaven? Our spiritual bodies already have access to heaven even while alive. They will not be dead until the second and finale death when God says, "Depart from me, I never knew you. God will wipe from an all knowing state, any memory of ever being with one’s spiritual part while one’s physical body was active on earth.

Now enter soul sleep. The soul does not sleep. The spirit may. The soul is who we are. The spirit is how God communicates in a limited way. Unless it is our spirit after direct communication with God puts thoughts into our mind. Jesus could communicate with the spirit. He talked to the lost demons that terrorized humans while the humans own spirit was powerless to prevent them. Only Jesus could remove them. Demons or spirits know the truth about God, even though we seem to not be able to. God no longer has to struggle with our spirit, because the spirit itself has no will or volition. The only way a spirit has volition is if a human is dead and the spirit is now a demon. Then God tolerates to a certain point. It is possible also that demons only exist where humans have not heard of Christ nor any knowledge of God’s saving grace prior to the resurrection of Christ and to this day. Or we empty our minds to the point where satan is allowed to send a demon into our minds to the point of control, and we are willing to loose all control. To give God control is just the opposite. We are to fill our mind with the knowledge of God and the Holy Spirit through the Word. At the resurrection though, it seems to be that all or some of the ghost were witnessed by some humans like Jesus was witnessed by Mary. The bodies were still the way they ended up over the thousands of years since the Flood. They were joined with their spirit in a new spiritual body that represented their physical one just the same way we die now, and join with our spirit, as Paul described, that upon death we are with God in a spiritual body. The majority of the dead in Christ has happened after Paul died. Paul thought he would live to see heaven before he physically died, at least up till the days or hours he actually died at the Romans hands. As should all Christians. We are both ready to die and to live in Christ at all times.

The only reason our dead physical bodies need to come back to life, would be to witness to those who have not accepted nor rejected Christ at a given time. Paul taught that the dead in Christ would have a bodily resurrection including those who died before the resurrection of Jesus because even they are now in Christ unless the first resurrection already happened in Christ. The second resurrection is for all the dead who are not in Christ. If those in Abraham’s bosom are not in Christ, then they are the ones who stand as believers by the throne, never having been resurrected at all. There is no bodily resurrection for them. If not as a witness for those on earth, there is no need of a bodily resurrection at all. The ghost at Jesus ’ resurrection were only as witnesses of the Power of Christ to restore the lost condition of Adam. Those who bore witness were then admonished to tell others, and make disciples out of those who accepted the message. After awhile it was necessary to seal up a canon, when humans would no longer accept generational witnesses. It was not just a need to record the accounts of the witnesses, but to prevent what happened to change at the whims of human thoughts. It is hard enough to accept a canon of Scripture after the fact. If there had been no early record, it would have become myth within a few generations.

Yes, very much so. In Luke 9:60, Jesus said “let the dead bury their own dead,” because there are those who are spiritually dead… some more so than others. But Jesus was spiritually alive to the fullest. A ghost is a dead spirit and often little more than a shadow with little substance or character. But God is a spirit so we know that spirit is the ultimate reality and capable of far more than anything merely physical. Thus as it says in 1 Cor 15, when Paul is explaining the nature of the resurrection, the second Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving spirit, and thus Jesus says that He is no ghost.

As for the rest… I don’t believe in most of that stuff: people with different bodies before the flood, half divine half human beings, sleeping souls. It all sounds like a science fiction story to me.

1 Corinthians 15:45 says Adam was made a living soul, and Jesus was made a quickening spirit.

At what point was Jesus a quickening spirit?

Adam was made a soul for animation of the physical body. He was given a spiritual body to be in the image of God and to have direct communication with God. We do not place Adam as a son of God for purposes that we only remember him as a fallen human. The Bible says we are in Adam’s image. For as one man, Adam, sin entered the world and death by sin. Adam did not loose his soul (who he was) nor his physical body (what he looked like). He lost connection with his spirit. That is why Jesus was made a quickening spirit. Jesus was still going to die (his physical body) still retain his soul (who he was), and he always had connection with God in Spirit. All that has little to do with the time of his death. His physical body was never found. His Ghost was only seen by Mary and could not be touched. He was reunited with the Spirit upon returning to God. At the point of death on the cross the Spirit was given to God, God forsook him. It was after the physical body was gone. And after Mary could not touch the ghost, that Jesus then descended where the flesh cannot go, led those in captivity, out of the hands of death. Then he was reunited to God and the Spirit. God and the Spirit, and humans in the flesh do not go to where death and separation exist. A ghost or soul (who you are) can only go and come from death and separation from God. Those in Christ do not even suffer such death and separation. Paul said in Philippians 1 and 2nd Corinthians 5, that upon physical death we would immediately be with Christ. Not in Christ’s death. But in the place where Christ is with God. The Spiritual physical body that Jesus had that the disciples could touch did not die to enter heaven. It simply was here and then was not. It was said that Jesus rose up into the sky. I am not sure if going a certain direction means anything technically. There is no inherent need for direction or any outside technical source.

Amen. This is the orthodox Christian belief.


No, actually the Eastern Orthodox agree with Paul. This is purely a western distortion coming from the middle ages.

I didn’t capitalize the o in orthodox, so I wasn’t referring to the Eastern Orthodox Church. But I’m sure the Eastern Orthodox believe in a physical resurrection. Hey @GJDS, doesn’t your church believe in a physical resurrection?

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Again we are dealing with the two different definitions of “physical.” Paul says the resurrection is physical in the sense of bodily but not to a physical body in the sense of natural, perishable, made of the stuff of the earth, but to a spiritual body, imperishable, made of the stuff of heaven. When I look up the Eastern Orthodox position they quote 1 Cor 15 just as I do. And thus they make that distinction even though you refuse to do so.

From The Resurrection and the Rise of Christianity - Orthodox Church in America

Yet, there is a great deal of transformation in the Risen Lord: He appears and disappears at will, and closed doors are not obstacles to those appearances (John 20:19, 26; Luke 24:31). Saint Mark even informs us that He appeared “in another form” (Mark 16:12). When we take into account the complementary aspects of continuity and discontinuity revealed in the Risen Lord, then to speak of His “physical” resurrection can be misleading and open to skeptical dismissal.

This is because a “physical” resurrection can be misconstrued as a “mere” resuscitation —and hence resumption —of earthly existence as we experience it in the here and now of this world. And that was the case when Jesus raised to life the daughter of Jairus, the son of the widow of Nain, and his dear friend Lazarus. They all died again, after being brought back to life by the restorative power of Christ. The Lord, however, was resurrected to undying and eternal life: “For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him” (Romans 6:9).

For this reason, it is much more biblically sound to speak of the “bodily” resurrection of Christ, so as to maintain the essential distinction between resurrection on the one hand, and mere resuscitation on the other, that may be attached to the term “physical.”

The term “bodily” will also serve to strengthen the reality of transformation that occurs in the resurrection, for the Lord is raised from death in a “spiritual body” according to the theologically nuanced expression of the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:42-50).

I was well aware of this and I am asserting that the Eastern Orthodox have a better claim to orthodoxy than any of the western church. Anybody can take any two bit cobbled set of beliefs and plaster the label “orthodox” on them but the the truth is that the majority of those who do so are cults like the JWs who declare all Christianity of history to be apostate because they alone have the true and original belief. I don’t play that game of rhetoric. I know what I believe and I know what the Bible says and I know the full spectrum of Christianity as well as the history of Christian belief – making me quite capable of calling people out when they employ this rhetoric.

Though the truth is that part of the conservatism of the Eastern Orthodoxy is that they don’t indulge in so much systematic theology but tend to stick with the Bible as is.

Mitchell has given a good summary of the resurrection - I believe that Christ is the resurrected body (the same body that we would be changed into, and those asleep raised) which could move amongst us, and not subject to corruption and sin as we are. I would summarise this as more than physical as we understand the term, but as a new body, just as the new creation would be a greater type than the present.

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Transformed yes, but still physical, correct?

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Nice googling and backtracking.

True. If he he isn’t still flesh and blood he wouldn’t have established the sacrament of the Lord’s supper/Holy Communion/the Eucharist

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“Still Physical” in the sense that He would function when amongst His disciples in the same way that they (and us) would, but transformed in that He is not limited in the sense that we as physical bodies are to this world.

when we speak of a transformed body, we mean a total and complete transformation. It is difficult for us to discuss this in detail that we would when we speak of our bodies. The bible is clear, that Christ would walk and talk to His disciples, and sit and eat with them, and these are functions that we are familiar with and understand why and what these are.

We are not in a position to describe the functionalities of a transformed Christ, and from this discuss how any resurrected body would be and act in toto. We are saved in Christ and the last supper shows this is completely so now, and in the new creation.

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There is no backtracking involved here just reading what Paul wrote in 1 Cor 15! Some of us actually care what the Bible says.

1 Cor 15:35 But some one will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is alike, but there is one kind for men, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 50 I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

But stupid me I bother try to understand YOUR problem with what Paul says and point out that the word “physical” has more than one definition. BUT obviously that doesn’t satisfy your utter determination to make this into a fight… as always!

I have read some more material posted here and I think another point should be made. The physical body of Christ in the tomb was resurrected, and there is no ambiguity on this point, and that body did not see (or experience) corruption. The physical body was transformed, and as it says in the bible, this is a mystery, in that the transformation for all of those saved in Christ provides a new body, a new person that is you and me, and us.

I cannot think of any other point of debate, but if you can we can discuss this further.


Paul makes the nature of the resurrected body crystal clear…
physical as in bodily? YES.
physical as in natural? NO.
physical as in perishable? NO.
physical as in made of the stuff of the earth? NO.
physical as in flesh and blood? NO.

But we can add from the encounters with Christ…
physical as in capable of being touched? YES.
physical as in capable of eating food? YES.
physical as in not a ghost? YES.
physical as in being flesh and bone? YES.
physical as in having a fixed appearance? NO.
physical as in unable to enter a room without opening a door? NO.
physical as in living the rest of your life on the earth like everyone else? NO.

How about physical as in capable of being crushed, burned, chopped into pieces, vaporized, infected, drowned, poisoned, smothered…?
I think not! Maybe beaglelady thinks otherwise. (shrug)
How about physical as in made of these things called atoms and molecules that operate according to rules of physics and chemistry?
I conclude from the previous conclusions that the answer must be no, since that is exactly where all these vulnerabilities come from. Maybe beaglelady thinks otherwise. But I could care less.
As a physicist that means the body of the resurrected Jesus is not physical. For Joe-blow for whom the word “physical” just means bodily and nothing else, I can well understand that this means the resurrected Jesus is physical. But clearly different meanings of the word “physical” are involved. Understanding and clarifying is NOT backtracking! And stubborn refusals to acknowledge distinctions is most certainly NOT understanding - let alone making a decent attempt at good communication.

The tomb was empty. But do we have any information about the process by which the body disappeared and by which the resurrected Jesus acquired the body with which he appeared to others? No we do not. Nada. Zip. Nothing! No information whatsoever.

I am struggling to find some point to debate :grinning:. A transformation is just that - so if we use the term ‘physical’ within this context, than it cannot be so - it is obviously ‘other-than’ what is was before the transformation. As a chemist, I cannot discuss the transformed body as a bunch of molecules since the physical composition has been transformed.

I had thought these matters were obvious, and the discussion centred on how a transformed body would function amongst us.

I agree that we cannot discuss how the body of Christ was resurrected, but we all affirm He was raised from the dead and His body was not in the tomb.

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beaglelady dragged you into this because she insisted that a physical resurrection to a physical body is the “orthodox” Christian belief and I responded with the position I got from EO websites since I consider the EO a better example of “orthodoxy” than Western Christianity. And I tend to agree with the EO on a number of theological issues even though I am an evangelical, since I read the Bible for myself and make up my own mind on these things rather than buying a package at the door. My position on this issue is simply to quote Paul 1 Cor 15 and it seems to me that most EO websites do the same. How can you get more orthodox than that?

Part of the problem seems to be that words mean different things particularly to different people, as does the word “physical” to a physicist like me. And that is why some flexibility with language is a good idea. But when people are taught religion in a very inflexible way then this can be difficult for them.

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