Regarding the WT's teaching of the resurrection/recreation notice the following from the April 15, 1963 issue of the WT (see https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1963282 ).
' 34, 35. (a) Why is a question
raised regarding God’s power to re-create? (b) Who determines whether
anything of the dead soul shall live on, and what scriptures show this?
some readers will say, ‘How can God re-create souls or make the same
souls over again, if nothing physical or spiritual lives on after the
soul dies and the body goes to dust and gases?’
but there is something of the dead soul that lives on, if God chooses
to have it so, and this something lays the basis for a re-creation. What
is that? The life record of the dead soul. God can blot out the record
of a wicked soul or he can preserve the record of a righteous soul for
His own reference and use. Exodus 32:33 (AV) says: “The LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” Deuteronomy 29:20 (AV) says: “The LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.” Psalm 69:28 (AV) prays: “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” Proverbs 10:7 (AV)
says: “The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked
shall rot.” Hence God does not keep the wicked ones in his memory.
Because he blots them out of the book of the living, he will give them
no resurrection from the dead.—Matt. 10:28; Ps. 145:20.
36. How is God’s ability to preserve records of dead souls shown to be most reasonable?
about preserving records, men today make motion pictures of a person on
a film together with a sound track of his voice. This can be reproduced
over television. In fact, men today can preserve on a phonograph record
the speech and singing of a person. Even on a magnetic tape men can
invisibly preserve television pictures and the voice of an actor. If
imperfect dying men can do this because man was created in God’s image,
what can Almighty God himself do in keeping records, even in his own
memory, concerning persons for whom he reserves a resurrection from the
dead by means of Jesus Christ? So our record with God is what counts.
37. (a) What does each one’s record
with God represent? (b) How is it proved that soul according to the
pagan Grecian idea is not the seat of intelligence and thought and
37 Each one of us makes his own record with God. That record represents you! It
tells of your personality. Your personality does not altogether depend
upon your physical body. Because of the continual wearing out and
repairing of the tissues and organs of our bodies we get a completely
new body every seven years or so. Yet our personality remains as an
identification of our being the same person. Even our personalities can
change, not because our bodies are renewed, but because God’s holy
spirit or transforming force acts upon us. Each one develops his own
personality pattern, and this is stored up in each one’s brain, also in
the blood to some extent. The seat of intelligence, of thought, of
memory, or consciousness and of personality is not some pagan Greek idea
of a soul or psykhé. Pagans argue that a soul resides in each
of us and is the seat of intelligence and personality; but we know that
if the physical brain is damaged in anyone, he loses his intelligence or
sanity and no so-called soul inside him keeps him intelligent, sane or
possessed of memory and thinking ability. This disproves the pagan
theory of an immortal soul as the seat of life and thought.
38. How will God re-create dead souls, and what does Ecclesiastes 11:3 indicate regarding this?
knows all this. At his time for resurrecting the earthly dead souls
under the kingdom of his Son Jesus Christ, God can consult his records
of each one or his own memory of each one. He can give each person
resurrected to life on earth a “body just as it has pleased him,” with
its distinct type of blood. That body will have a human brain, not made,
of course, of identically the same atoms or molecules that the person
had in the brain with which he died. Yet it will be the same brain. How?
In that God will exactly reproduce the brain that the individual had at
death. He will repeat its convolutions and implant in them the record
that the individual made of himself in the former life. God will implant
the exact impressions and memories of all things that happened during
the person’s previous consciousness, his power of recognizing people and
scenes and locations, and all his personality traits, and everything
that displays his mental growth or retardation. This will be because,
when he died as a soul, he experienced no mental or personality changes
afterward in death. At what state of attainment his personality and
mentality fell in death, there they remained.—Eccl. 11:3.
39. Thus why would the person resurrected be, not some newly created person like him, but the person that died?
in the resurrection that person with that personality and brain ability
will be the individual that died, not some other person like him.
Nobody else made the record that is reproduced in this resurrected
person; and no person who is merely like him could account for having
such a record in himself since he did not work out that particular
record. So if you were to die and have a resurrection, and God provided a
body with a brain like yours and with your record at death, that
resurrected person would be you, nobody else but you. Your acquaintances would know it was you.'
Regarding the WT's teaching of resurrection of Jesus and whether he took his human body (even if spiritualized or glorified) into heaven, the article says the following.
' 4 Here some Watchtower readers
may interrupt and say: ‘That is true. But Jesus Christ himself was
raised with the very same body in which he was crucified, and that fact
sets the pattern for all the other dead who are to be resurrected. And
Jesus now has that same body in heaven to which he ascended.’ These
readers have been taught so in the religious systems that they have
attended. But does the apostle Paul agree with that? Does the apostle
Peter agree with that? In 1 Peter 3:18, 19 he says, according to The New English Bible of
1961: “For Christ also died for our sins once for all. He, the just,
suffered for the unjust, to bring us to God. In the body he was put to
death; in the spirit he was brought to life. And in the spirit he went
and made his proclamation to the imprisoned spirits.” Other modern
translations of 1 Peter 3:18, 19 read similarly.
5, 6. (a) What events on Jesus’
resurrection day does Peter’s statement help to explain? (b) Why did
Jesus have to materialize a body of flesh and bones on each occasion?
as regards Jesus’ resurrection, Peter says that “in the spirit he was
brought to life.” This explains why on the resurrection morning when
God’s angel rolled the stone from the door of the sepulcher the soldier
guards did not see Jesus rise from the dead and come out, although they
did see the materialized angel. (Matt. 28:1-4)
This explains why, when the resurrected Jesus met two disciples walking
that day to Emmaus and went along with them and started to take supper
with them, they did not know him until he began to serve the bread; and
then he disappeared.—Luke 24:13-35.
explains why, when the apostles and other disciples were met together
in Jerusalem behind closed doors for fear of the fanatical Jews, Jesus
must have come right through the walls. For he amazingly stood right in
among them, and, after eating and talking with them, he vanished from
them, but not through any unbolted door. (Luke 24:36-44; John 20:19-24) Of course,
for Jesus, who had been brought to life in the spirit, to make himself
visible to his disciples, he had to materialize on each occasion a body
of flesh and bones. Jesus himself then said: “A spirit does not have
flesh and bones just as you behold that I have.” Since the
flesh-and-bones disciples could not see what was not flesh and bones,
they could not see a spirit and they could not see the resurrected
Jesus, who was “in the spirit.”—Luke 24:39.
7. How should we explain Jesus’ not mentioning blood when telling his disciples about what a spirit does not have?
Jesus did not mention blood, he did not mean a spirit has blood like
that of a human person. When we feel a person, as his disciples then
felt Jesus, we do not feel blood, but we feel the flesh and the bones,
especially bones in the hands, the feet and the chest. A fleshly body
without bones would just collapse.
8. What explanation can be given as to why, on occasions, the disciples did not recognize the resurrected Jesus?
8 On some occasions the disciples did not know or recognize the resurrected Jesus. (Matt. 28:16, 17; Luke 24:15, 16; John 20:14-16; 21:4-12) The explanation for this is given in the words found in the Latin Vulgate, the Roman Catholic Douay Version, the German Luther Bible and the Authorized (King James) Version, in Mark 16:12. This verse in the Douay Version reads:
“And after that he appeared in another shape to two of them walking, as
they were going into the country.” The Greek word there translated
“shape” is morphé, which the Greek-English Lexicon says means
“form, shape, fashion, appearance.” But even apart from what Mark 16:12
says, a careful study of the resurrection appearances makes it clear to
the honest investigator, who does not need to be a Sherlock Holmes of a
detective, that the resurrected Jesus materialized different bodies to
suit the occasion. On at least two occasions he materialized bodies that
resembled the one in which he had been nailed to the stake. (Luke 24:38-40; John 20:20-27) On other occasions the form or shape that he materialized left the disciples in doubt for a while.
9. When Jesus ascended to heaven,
what did angels say to the onlooking disciples, but what did they not
say about Christ’s return?
some readers will now think of Jesus’ ascension to heaven, how he led
his disciples out to the Mount of Olives, where, “while they beheld, he
was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight,” and angels
said to them: “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven,
shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11, AV) In those words “in like manner” the Greek word for “manner” is, not morphé, but trópos. So
the angels did not say that this same Jesus would return in the same
form or shape but in the same manner. Neither did the angels say that
those disciples would see Jesus return.
could not take a human body through the Van Allen radiation belts and
outer space to heaven, for, in discussing the resurrection, Paul says:
“Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth
corruption inherit incorruption,” which agrees with Paul’s preceding
statement: “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.” (1 Cor. 15:42, 50, AV)
Oh! but some readers will say, he spiritualized his fleshly body in
order to take it to heaven! But, we ask, did those angels who
materialized human bodies in order to appear to the disciples on
resurrection day and on ascension day spiritualize those bodies in which
they appeared in order to return to the invisible spirit realm? Did
Jesus spiritualize the clothing in which he appeared to his disciples?
11 Jesus certainly had to materialize clothing
in which to appear, for the clothes he had on before he was impaled
were divided among the soldiers and they cast lots over his seamless
inner garment; and the bandages in which his corpse had been wrapped and
the cloth that had been upon his head were left in the sepulcher. (John 19:23, 24; 20:5-7)
If the resurrected Jesus could materialize new clothing, could he not
also materialize new suitable bodies in order to appear and then
dematerialize instead of spiritualize them? Yes!
SACRIFICE NOT TAKEN OFF ALTAR
12, 13. What would it mean if Jesus had taken his human body to heaven to enjoy there, and why so?
Jesus were to take his body of flesh, blood and bones to heaven and
enjoy them there, what would this mean? It would mean that there would
be no resurrection of the dead for anybody. Why not? Because Jesus would
be taking his sacrifice off God’s altar.
said: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if anyone eats
of this bread he will live forever; and, for a fact, the bread that I
shall give is my flesh in behalf of the life of the world. He that feeds
on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I shall
resurrect him at the last day; for my flesh is true food, and my blood
is true drink.” (John 6:51, 54, 55)
How could we eat Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood in order to have
everlasting life and at the same time Jesus himself have the flesh and
blood themselves in which to live in heaven? It is a common proverb that
a person cannot have his cake and eat it too.
14. If Jesus had his human body in
heaven, what would this mean about our knowledge of God and Christ, but
how is this disproved?
suppose that Jesus has his earthly human body in heaven. Since
clergymen who insist that Jesus has his human body in heaven teach that
he is also God himself, then we know what God looks like. He looks like
Jesus when down on earth; he is possibly six feet tall, has a Jewish
nose, possibly a beard, has man’s sex organs, and seems to weigh two
hundred pounds or around a hundred kilograms. He is maybe like the
painting by the Italian Michelangelo of the Last Judgment in the Sistine
Chapel of the Vatican. However, Jesus told the Jews: “The Father
himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither
heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape [morphé].” (John 5:37, AV)
The apostle John also said to Christians: “Beloved, now are we the sons
of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that,
when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he
is.” (1 John 3:2, AV) John’s words would not be
true if Jesus had his human body with him in heaven, for then we would
know what Christians will be like in heaven after their resurrection
from the dead.
15. If Jesus has his human body in
heaven, what does this mean as the result of his eating and drinking
with his disciples in heaven?
thing: If Jesus had his human body in heaven, then he has the entire
digestive system, including the mouth and the stomach; and his faithful
disciples, on going to heaven, would have the same things. We remember
that Jesus said to them: “I make a covenant with you, just as my Father
has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that you may eat and drink
at my table in my kingdom.” (Luke 22:29, 30)
Well, then, after eating and drinking, the food and drink would go
through their digestive systems. So what? Well, Jesus said: “Whatsoever
entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the
draught.” (Matt. 15:17, AV)
Think of it! Since the arrival of human bodies, there now have to be
draught houses in heaven, toilets, both private and public, with
separate ones for men and women. And now and forever Jesus, who the
clergymen say is very God himself, has to use a heavenly toilet,
something that he never had to do in heaven before he became a man!* This has to be true if we carry arguments to their logical conclusions!'
I noticed this WT article about a couple of days ago, and since then I have been very impressed by how thorough this very old WT article is on the topic of the resurrection/recreation, including that pertaining to Christ, and how rational an approach is used in the article. When I was an independent Christian I had read writings by evangelical Christians teaching the idea that Christ's resurrection body was a glorified version of his human fleshly body. I was persuaded by those arguments of evangelicals and thus I concluded that the WT teaching regarding the resurrection body of Christ was incorrect. But now, in reading parts of the old WT article I conclude that the evangelical teaching regarding the resurrection body of Christ, while have some great strengths, is in major conflict with a number of biblical verses and is thus problematic. I am especially impressed by the reasoning the WT used in paragraph 15 of the article.
Note that Matthew 26:16-17 says that some (not merely one) of Christ's eleven then living disciples when they saw him on the mountain top doubted that they saw him (even though the eleven worshipped him when they saw him!) - this taking place right before (according to the account) Christ stated the commission to them to "teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ..." (Matthew 28:19-20, KJV). If on that occasion they saw Christ in the human body he had at his death, how could any of the apostles have doubted it was Jesus Christ himself? Did they think that Satan was playing a trick on them, impersonating Jesus Christ?
Regarding the word "worshipped" used in Matthew 28:17 it is very important to know that the translators' note pertaining to such in the 1901 ASV Bible refers readers to their note on Matthew 2:2. The note for that verse says the following.
"The Greek word denotes an act of reverence whether paid to a creature (see ch. 4. 9: 18, 26), or to the Creator (see ch. 4. 10)." [The modern way of writing "4. 9: 18, 26" in regarding scripture citations is "4:9, 18:26" and likewise "4 .10" means "4:10".]
By the way, I am impressed by the ASV Bible's wording of Matthew 28:16-26 in contrast with the wording of those verses in the KJV Bible.