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

(Tim) #21

Is the answer to our body after death not found in Genesis 1? If God viewed humans as perfect the first day God created them, why not give them that very same body they had then. I realize all the implications of evolution and change, and that may be another reason we will not have offspring in the next rendition of the physical universe. In the beginning they must have had some painless way to multiply that involved procreation as we know it today, or some hybrid method that would allow even virgins to conceive outside of the physical act. According to Genesis, it was Eve’s punishment that changed how humankind would procreate that would have seemed drastic for that time. Even with our modern technology and understanding, I do not see us any where near understanding what actually happened before Eve was physically changed. We do not even have a firm grasp on the virgin birth of Jesus. I am sure some think they are in the know. I am not sure how important or life changing such knowledge would be if we could put such knowledge to use. If Christians have been such a let down in spreading the gospel which we were commanded to do, why offer some practical physical thing that would be even more impossible than salvation itself. I realize that can be taken as God once again keeping us from perfection in the here and now, but sounds better than wicked people turning it around and using such perfection in a way that would turn more humankind from God instead of towards God.

(Dominik Kowalski) #22

I have neither the time nor the theological knowledge to give a satisfying answer, but quickly on this passage.

If that were true, then Judaism wouldn´t have such a hard time formulating what afterlife means for them. As far as I know, their picture of it resembles rather a platonic, than a material/bodily realm.

(Tim) #23

Just because the Hebrews had 5 books given to them by Moses does not mean they took them to heart and attempted to understand their mysteries. They seemed to have forgotten them in the time of the Judges, in the kingdom years, and in captivity. By the time Judaism took hold there was a totally seperate oral tradition along with all the other writings of the kingdom years and the prophets, Genesis was just another ANE creation account. There was also a lot of mysticism and philosophical influence so taking Genesis 1 as even literal was probably unheard of. They did have ideas on angels and the abode of God, but the “resting place” in Abraham is about their extent of an after life. They were still waiting for a Messiah.

(Mitchell W McKain) #24

The Bible never uses the phrase “transformed body.” The words Paul uses are “spiritual body.” Nor does it say that the body is transformed. Instead it says…

“It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body.”
“If there is a physical body, then there is also a spiritual body.”

The picture it paints repeatedly is not one of transformation but of the physical body being a seed from which the spiritual body grows.

Paul does say that there will be an exception for some people using the same language often used for “the rapture” it says that some will be changed instantly from one to the other.

Paul is pretty emphatic about there being a bodily resurrection. But… there is nothing to say that we are confined to a fixed form and think there are some things which suggest otherwise in the experience of the resurrected Jesus.

The resurrected Jesus insists that he is “flesh and bone” and not like a ghost.
Yet Paul insists that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
I think this points to a lack of scientific terminology and and you have nailed right there. Jesus means that he has all the reality, substance and tangibility that He had before, but Paul means something like (using modern scientific lingo) the chemical basis of physical life and all of its limitations has nothing to do with the resurrected body which is “spiritual” rather than “natural.”

I would want to be free to choose. Perhaps to visit childhood friends in my childhood body and to visit my friends of my last years in my aged body. After all recognition would really be the most important point of having a body.

Shock!!! You cannot be serious!!! I guess you are not familiar with the Mishna and Midrash, which is a rather large body of writings doing just that and this is in addition to the Nevi’im and the Ketuvim which comprise the rest of what we call the Old Testament. I think it is safe to say that the Jews were always ahead of the Christians in the area of religious literature, though the Christians often made this difficult when slaughtering and torturing Jewish families while robbing and vandalizing their property. I guess that shows us what the Christians were good at.

Of course that would be Philo’s picture of it since he was a Helenistic Jew and thus very much influenced by Plato as were many Christians. But the truth is that there was no single view on the subject of life after death and some of the disputes are even reported in the New Testament, such as between those who believed in resurrection and those who did not.

(Phil) #25

Sort of reminds me of how some ancient people though vision worked, in that they thought the eyes sent out light or something gave the image. (
Perhaps in the life after death, you will be seen as you are remembered by people, not as any one particular physical form, with no choice on your part.

(Mitchell W McKain) #26

Say rather that being free to choose doesn’t necessarily include choosing their perception of you. But that sidesteps the whole issue of recognition in the first place. I would certainly prefer seeing people as they choose to present themselves to me and not forcing my preconceptions on them, let alone being confined to some previous perception or preconception - which sounds a little deathly and hellish to me. So I would not rule out the possibility, but I sincerely hope not! Visual appearance is a form of communication after all, and what you suggest sounds more like an obstacle to communication than helpful.


We can infer that our bodies will be transformed.


The Greek words in “it is sown a natural body, raised spiritual” don’t actually imply anything to do with the substance of the resurrection body. Our resurrection body will be as physical as ever.

(Mitchell W McKain) #29

Nonsense. I am not buying it, for I have looked at the Greek and it changed absolutely nothing. Making up stuff doesn’t change the fact that you are choosing to ignore what Paul says. He speaks of the differences at length in detail in 1 Cor 15 leaving absolutely no doubts about what he means.

It is sown a ψυχικόν (translated as natural or physical) body.
verse 42 perishable
verse 43 weak and dishonored in death (food for bugs and worms)
verse 44-46 first, before, and prerequisite for the spiritual
verse 47-49 made of the stuff of the earth like dust (which is matter)
verse 50 flesh and blood which cannot inherit the kingdom of God

It is raised a πνευματικὸν (translated as spiritual) body.
verse 42 imperishable
verse 43 powerful and glorious in resurrection
verse 44-46 second, after, and follows from the physical
verse 47-49 made of the stuff of the heaven
verse 50 not flesh and blood so it can inherit the kingdom of God

In verses 47-48 Paul speaks specifically of what each of these are made of, so your claim that this is not about what the body is made of just will not fly. You are of course free to believe what you want and reject the words of Paul. I can probably find a few words in one of the epistles attributed to Paul (though whether he actually wrote it is doubtful) where I would disagree with “Paul” too. Though, frankly, I think the real Paul would disagree with that one also.

Thayer’s Definition

  1. of or belonging to breath
    a. having the nature and characteristics of the breath
    the principal of animal life, which men have in common with the brutes
    b. governed by breath
    the sensuous nature with its subjection to appetite and passion

Thayer’s Definition

  1. relating to the human spirit, or rational soul, as part of the man which is akin to God and serves as his instrument or organ
    a. that which possesses the nature of the rational soul
  2. belonging to a spirit, or a being higher than man but inferior to God
  3. belonging to the Divine Spirit
    a. of God the Holy Spirit
    b. one who is filled with and governed by the Spirit of God
  4. pertaining to the wind or breath; windy, exposed to the wind, blowing

(Tim) #30

The concept is still in the NT, even if you think that humans originated it or it was always a universal law. There is a physical body prior to death. When Jesus talked to Mary, she saw a body, but it could not be touched, because it was a ghost, and had no physical properties. Then later Jesus had a physical body again that could be touched, and had the scars from the original. Three different states of a biologically physical body.

Now this could just be made up fiction of a concept. Or it could be a concept of the actual law and property of human biolgy from the beginning of the universe. The humans created in Genesis 1 had mature bodies possibly around the age of 33. These bodies did not change over time in a degradation manner. If anything they may have just became bigger, as in giant humans. Bones increasing in size, without any harmful factors preventing them. The issue would be if we had eternal bodies would we need a biological adjustment or we would grow so large it would become impossible to live. We would need to find larger planets to move around on.

(Mitchell W McKain) #31

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.

(Tim) #32

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

(Mitchell W McKain) #33

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

(Tim) #34

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.

(Mitchell W McKain) #35

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.

(Tim) #36

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.

(Mitchell W McKain) #38

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?

(Mitchell W McKain) #40

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.


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.