Re: Physical Resurrection (was Geoff comment)

Geoffrey Horton (
Sun, 03 Nov 1996 17:48:57 -0600

George Murphy has several good points:

> A crucial part of the question here is what one understands to
> be _physical resurrection_. Certainly the NT doesn't encourage us to
> think of Jesus' resurrection as simply a return to the familiar type of
> physical existence.


What I mean by physical resurrection is that Jesus' tomb was empty on Easter morning
(with the prior assumption that he was buried), and that the stories of His appearances
thereafter are true. It is apparent from those stories that Jesus' body after the
Resurrection was not the same sort of body it had been before (maybe this is why people
had such trouble recognizing him); Paul points to this as a precursor of our own bodies
at the final resurrection. But he remained undeniably physical--he eats and drinks,
encourages Thomas to touch him, and so forth.

> Both the very earthy world view of the OT & modern science
> insist in their own ways that we are inescapably material beings - i.e.,
> that we are not fully ourselves, or exist in a kind of mutilated way,
> without our bodies. In that light, to say then that one does not
> believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus (a better way of speaking
> than "physical" resurrection) would be to say that Jesus isn't _alive_
> in the fullest sense. And then what would it mean to say that one
> "believes in" him? As what?

This must be my week for people to fix my phrasing for me. "Bodily" resurrection, as
opposed to "spiritual" resurrection, is exactly the concept I wanted to emphasize.