Jesus' Physical Resurrection = Take the Ransom Back?

by InterestedOne 64 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cameo-d

    sd-7: " not to mention entering a locked room without opening the door. "

    What? I missed that part. When did he do the Casper?

    Ding: "So why didn't his followers recognize him at every post-resurrection appearance?"

    uh, because he was pale?

  • cameo-d

    Please visit the link for greater detail on the two theories which are excerpted below.

    Vision Theory

    Thus, the belief in the resurrection could have originated when some followers of Jesus imagined that he was using visions to communicate with them. Then later, as the message was carried to people in other communities, stories about visions could have gradually evolved into stories of a real physical resurrection.

    Spiritual Resurrection Theory

    Some modern Christians, and even a few theologians, believe in a spiritual (rather than bodily) resurrection of Jesus. According to this view, his human body either vanished or was removed by God, and he reappeared in his eternal spiritual form.

    Some scholars think that this was also the original belief of the earliest Christians, and that the idea of a bodily resurrection didn't appear until later. Possible evidence for this can be found in some of the earliest writings, including the letters of Paul and the Gospel of Thomas. Surviving writings of the gnostics indicate that this group of early Christians may have believed in a spiritual resurrection. In fact the evidence suggests that different groups of early Christians disputed this very matter, and some scholars suspect that several passages in the gospels may have been invented to try to refute the idea that Jesus arose in spiritual form.

  • InterestedOne

    My JW handler uses these two verses to prove that the "Bible teaches" a non-physical resurrection of Jesus:

    1 Peter 3:18 and 1 Corinthians 15:45

  • Ding

    The NIV translates 1 Peter 3:18 as "He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit..."

    1 Corinthians 15:45 is an example of the WTS ripping a verse out of its context to prove something it isn't even talking about. That verse contrasts the first Adam with the last Adam (Jesus), but it is NOT talking about their resurrections. It coudn't be because the first Adam hasn't been resurrected. It is talking about where they came from. The first Adam was from the earth. The last Adam (Jesus) was from heaven. That this is the meaning is evident from the summary in verse 47: "The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven."

  • Ding

    Nobleheart wrote:

    So he was made of flesh and bones. Is that a physical or spiritual body?

    A "shiny car" is not a "shine." It is a CAR that has a shine. Likewise, a "spiritual body" is not a "spirit." It is a BODY that is empowered by spiritual, rather than natural, processes.

    "Physical body" and "spiritual body" are not opposites. A spiritual body is a special kind of physical body. In the Bible, a "spiritual body" is still a BODY that has physical characteristics. How do we know this? Because that's what Jesus demonstrated his spiritual body was like. The resurrected Jesus specifically said he was NOT a spirit. He had flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). Yet Paul says a resurrected body is a "spiritual body." (1 Corinthians 15:44) The Greek word for "body" there is "soma" which means a physical body.

    Putting this together, I believe a spiritual body has been transformed by the Holy Spirit. It is still a physical body but it is empowered by spiritual forces of heaven rather than natural processes of earth. Jesus said specifically that a spirit doesn't have flesh and bones, yet he did. Yet it was not the natural. limited body we are used to, empowered by natural processes because it was a glorified body not subject to sickness and death or other limitations.

    And another thing. If Christians who receive the resurrection or survive, will have spiritual bodies like that of Jesus' resurrected body, how come the scripture below says that 'flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom' (if Jesus said he was made of flesh and bones after being resurrected)

    Context. Context. Context.

    "Flesh and blood" is a figure of speech that means "our unchanged, natural body." All Paul is saying here is that the resurrection body will have to be transformed in order to live forever because our natural body is perishable.

    Here is how the NLT translates 1 Corinthians 15:50: "What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever."

    The following verses show that this is the correct context. Notice how many times the word "transformed" [I've put them in CAPS] in the following verses that explain that the Christian's natural, perishable body will one day be transformed into an imperishable body [body, NOT spirit] that will never die: "51 But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be TRANSFORMED. 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with TRANSFORMED BODIES. And then we who are living will be TRANSFORMED so that we will never die. 53 For our PERISHABLE earthly BODIES must be TRANSFORMED into heavenly BODIES that will never die."

    Don't let "heavenly" throw you off. The transformed bodies are BODIES, not incorporeal spirits (same as Jesus). But they derive their imperishable nature not from natural processes of earth but from spiritual power which originates in heaven.

  • InterestedOne
    The NIV translates 1 Peter 3:18 as "He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit..."

    Not that I know in the slightest how to translate Biblical Greek, but I looked in the kingdom interlinear, and it says "to spirit." I have no idea which translation is correct, NIV, NAS, etc.

    Regarding 1 Cor 15:45, I agree that it must be taken in context. I haven't done a deep study of that section, but I can see that it is contrasting the physical with the spiritual as the writer describes the "resurrection of the dead" (see v.42). Using the NWT wording there are the following contrasts: corruption - incorruption ... dishonor - glory ... weakness - power ... physical body - spiritual body ... first Adam living soul - last Adam life-giving spirit ... first is physical - afterward spiritual ... first man out of earth - second man out of heaven ... as the one made of dust is, so are those who are made of dust - as the heavenly one is, so are the those who are heavenly ... just as we have borne the image of the one made of dust - we shall bear the image of the heavenly one ... flesh and blood cannot inherit God's kingdom ... corruption cannot inherit incorruption ...

    Verse 45 in the kingdom interlinear says:

    "Became the first man Adam into soul living; the last Adam into spirit making alive."

    Off the top of my head, I get the sense that the section is talking about a transformation from physical to spiritual. Whether or not it has any bearing on whether or not Jesus rose physically, I have no idea.

  • Nobleheart

    Ding thanks for your valuable input.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Citing specific references, esp. out of context, does not help, IMO. Almost any statement can be construed in any way. Context gives many clues as to what a speaker meant. Studying the civilization of the time and its tensions helps, too. Sometimes, the meaning can not be inferred.

    There are important, nonBiblical concerns for a physical bodily resurrection. A bodily resurrection emphasizes that we are biological creatures, grounded in our bodies. I've had horrendous problems with mine. The thought of a restored, nondefective body here on earth is important to me. Heaven is completely unknown to me. Heaven cannot mean up in the sky with angels with harps. Like God, it is hard to conceive of heaven. Jesus and a physical body are easier to appreciate. The Gnostic belief in a lesser god of creation which views creation as bad pre-existed Christianity. I was taught they believed our true home was out there someplace, a divine spark. I feel the existence of such a spark. Somehow I am more than the sum of my parts. I am alienated on this planet. Both teachings have attraction.

    Since God is not human in Judaeo-Christian teachings, with the exception of Christ, maybe Jesus appeared in flesh and spirit. Just b/c I can't conceive means God can not. Relativity theory is interesting b/c what we perceive as solid are mere collections of atoms with collections of subatomic particles. Someone mentioned that Jesus could have shifted the atoms in his body to achieve different states. Indeed, maybe humans have this ability but don't know to harness it.

    Why can't Magdalene embrace him b/c he is not yet risen to the Father, while Thomas could touch his very wounds. Strange. It had to strike people in the first century as strange, too. One thing we tend to not discuss are the mystery religions, such as the one where they paraded around with pigs and were reborn in an elaborate ritual. They were strong in Rome. Obviously, the writers were not concerned with doctrinal purity. I wonder why they were not. Paul is very full of doctrine. Interesting shift, doctrine, beliefs set forth to narrative of Jesus with conflicting details. Strange. If the Bible were straightforward, I would not find it so compelling.

  • Ding


    I've sent you another PM.

  • brotherdan

    Ding, that was a GREAT argument. I used to struggle with the flesh and bone comment at one time. You gave a great, simple explanation.

    However, I do have a question for you. You said:

    He had flesh and bones (Luke 24:39)

    But he was already transformed, right? How does that fit?

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