Re: Seeing a life-giving spirit with a camcorder

From: Dr. David Campbell <>
Date: Tue Oct 18 2005 - 18:30:57 EDT

> The Gospels deny that the resurrected Jesus was a spirit.
> They maintain that flesh and blood did inherit the kingdom of God.

Not sure exactly how you are defining spirit, or perhaps you mean that
Jesus was not exclusively a spirit. The Gospels portray the
resurrected Jesus as having both flesh and spirit.
> Anybody like to defend the idea that Paul thought our destroyed ,
> decayed bodies would inherit the kingdom of God when he declares in 2
> Corinthians
> Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we
> have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by
> human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our
> heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found
> naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened,
> because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our
> heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by
> life.
> Nobody who wrote that could have believed that a resurrected body was
> the earthly body transformed into Wright's new form of matter -
> transphysical matter . (incidentally, isn't this terminology of
> Wright's meaningless?)

The metaphor of being clothed suggests some sort of continuity. 1
Corinthians 15:51 (We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be
changed) is not a warning to prospective nursery workers but rather an
assertion that some sort of transformation of our earthly natures is
involved in our future existence. Paul certainly thought that the
destroyed, decayed aspects of our bodies were not lasting-there's no
worry about the physical state of a corpse translating into the
condition of the resurrected individual. Yet there is something more
than a purely spiritual existence envisioned, as evidenced by the poor
reception of the idea of a resurrection in Athens. Christianity
rejected the "matter bad spirit good" duality of some Greek thought.
A complicating issue is the multiple uses of "flesh"-sometimes Paul
uses it figuratively in reference to the sinful nature and the attempt
to earn salvation by our own works. That won't continue into heavenly
existence, but this does not tell us about the relationship between
the current and future body.

> And nobody who had experience of a body of Jesus which could be
> touched or knew people who had touched Jesus would have ommitted such
> recollections when trying to describe to the Corinthians what a
> resurrected body could possibly be.

Paul did refer to Jesus' resurrection a few verses earlier in ch. 15.
There's also the open question of whether Jesus' body as observed
between the resurrection and the ascension is exactly the same as what
the standard resurrection body will be. There's no obvious reason to
expect a difference but no assertion that they're the same.

The exact nature of the resurrection body and its connection to the
present one is not spelled out. It's different and better, but that's
most of what can be said with certainty.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections Building
Department of Biological Sciences
Biodiversity and Systematics
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0345  USA
Received on Tue Oct 18 18:32:03 2005

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