Re: Jesus was a spirit

From: <>
Date: Thu Oct 20 2005 - 07:09:29 EDT wrote:


> Not so easily in the pagan world. We can see well enough that Paul had to
> fight the Gnostics, the Platonists, and the ascetics on these counts. But
> what makes this especially telling is that a physical resurrection was
> completely unnecessary for merely starting a religion. It would have been
> enough to say that Jesus' body had been taken up to heaven, like Moses' or
> like Elijah's.

Moses died surely. Was he not resurrected at the Transfiguration? Did he not return from the grave, or was he still dead?

All of Holding's article is irrelevant, as the issue is not bodily/non-bodily resurrection.

Paul certainly preached a bodily resurrection.

A spiritual body is still a body.

But his conception of a spiritual body was entirely different to the Gospels conception of a flesh and blood body which could eat food and still had wounds.

The Corinthians were querying the resurrection of the dead, although they accepted the resurrection of Jesus. Paul calls them idiots.

This could not be because they believed instead in the immortality of the soul.

Or else Paul would have corrected that wrong belief. But when he says they were idiots, he does not attack them for believing that the body died, but the soul lived on.

Dead bodies rot or are burned or eaten and vanish. They could hardly have been ‘idiots’ for wondering how God could transform a body that had vanished into a spiritual body. They realised God can transform water into wine, but you are by no means an ‘idiot’ for wondering how God can transform water into wine , when there is no water.

If the Corinthians were fools for doubting the resurrection of the dead, then they must have completely missed the point by wondering how God could transformed a decayed, rotting corpse into a living thing. Such questions must have been utterly irrelevant (which explains why Paul never addresses them.)

He calls them idiots for thinking the body died, and so could not be resurrected, when they did not realise that there were two bodies.

 Of course the fleshly body dies, says Paul, but there is also a spiritual body. There is a body given to us by God to replace the flesh and blood body which perishes and can be destroyed.

Paul regards us being composed of ‘spirit’ (pneuma) , ’life’ (psyche) and body ‘saka’. As many have pointed out, there is no idea of a soul in Paul’s thought. God breathed life (psyche) into a body (as he did with Adam) and this body is then alive. Before then it was dust. After death, when it has lost its life or ‘psyche’, it will return to dust.

A natural body will lose its life (because of sin). When you die, your body no longer has ‘psyche’ - no longer has life.

People who rely on the ‘psyche’ - life -, have a psyhicon, or natural body, and that will perish. There is no hope in a natural body. Such people are not in Christ and have no pneuma – spirit.

However , those with spirit (pneuma), also have a spiritual (pneumatic) body, and this will be given to us at the resurrection (2 Cor. 5 explains that it is already prepared for us in Heaven). This is what Paul has hope in. Not in the visible body , which will perish, but in the invisible, which is eternal.

Our visible bodies are dominated by ‘psyche’ – life, and life will be lost.

But there is also ‘pneuma’, and this cannot be lost , as it is already in Christ.

Just as ‘psyche’ cannot exist by itself, and needs a body, ‘spirit’ cannot exist by itself and needs a body. Paul says again and again that a spiritual body is a body.

Hence all of Paul’s talk of 2 bodies – a natural and a spiritual body, and his berating the Corinthians for not realising that there was no problem in the decay and rotting of natural bodies, as that was to be expected.

Such fools. What on earth did they expect to see when they saw a body that had lost its psyche? They saw dust.

The psyche was not going to be restored to the dead dust, or else they would have their natural body back again. Only an idiot wants to get their natural body back again.

The pneuma had not been lost, and that was what they were going to get.
And that must have been what Jesus had, in Paul’s view. Not dust given life ‘psyche’ again, but a spiritual body made in Heaven.

Received on Thu Oct 20 07:11:51 2005

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