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Old 02-09-2001, 08:27 PM   #21
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:

First of all, I never gave soma one definition. I was saying that soma does NOT have just one definition, which is what one of SecWebLurker's sources was seeming to argue. Gundry, who he quoted seemed to argue that soma had to have flesh, and that is simply not true.</font>
Hmm... I read Gundry a bit differently, and note that he was primarily interested in proving that soma to Paul meant a physical body. If all that's left to argue about is what that body was made out of, then no worries. We can all move on.

The key here, as I have said before, is so long as Paul accepted the empty tomb (and there is no reason to think that he didn't), and the empty tomb is clearly the oldest tradition we have from the 1st Century Church, then we are arguing semantics. And semantics bore me most of the time.

I guess I should have asked this before, but are you arguing that Paul would have, or did reject the empty tomb account in the Resurrection story?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Secondly, where did you get gnostics? We don't know if it is to gnostics that Paul is referring or not; it is something read into the text by people who want to blame "those crazy gnostics" for the theological disputes.</font>
Perhaps you are unfamiliar with gnosticism, and I don't really want to sidetrack the thread more than is needed already.

One of the heresies that was very common in the first century was centred on gnostic beliefs, and this had a large following in Greece in particular. Corinth was especially susceptible to this set of beliefs, and there is little doubt that Paul had to argue against it (or he would not have felt the need to talk about Jesus' physicallity at all). Remember, Paul's reason to write his letters was to correct doctrinal errors, not to recite history that was already well known to his readers.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> It could in fact reflect a conflict in the Corinthain church. When Paul speaks of resurrection of the dead (nekros), it could easily have been construed as a reference to resurrection of fleshly bodies.</font>
Perhaps, but given the complete lack of belief in a physical resurrection within Greek thought, this would be unlikely. In any event, Paul needed to demonstrate that the bodies we are all walking around in right now is definitely NOT going to be the body that we will get at our own Resurrection. And as we see from the Gospels, they go out of their way to show this as well (along with making sure the readers understood that Jesus was not a ghost).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Because to many it is ridiculous to think that a fleshly (mortal) body can inherit a heavenly kingdom, they denied the resurrection. It is quite possible that he goes into great lengths to explain the nature of the resurrection in order to calm any suspicions that he belives in a corpreal resurrection. No, gnostics aren't necessary at all.</font>
As I said, either option is possible, but the error of a fleshy resurrection that merely reanimates our current body without some kind of profound change is extremely unlikely given Greek philosophical thought at the time.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Furthermore, what the second century Christians believed is very important.</font>
Not in this discussion it isn't le pede. Perhaps you would like to start another thread to talk about 2nd Century theological debates, but Paul and the Gospels are definitely 1st Century creatures.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Where did they get this idea and then feel the need to vociferously defend it if it weren't in the tradition somewhere?</font>
Too big a topic, but the 2nd (and later) century apologists had to defend against just about every wing-nut heresy we can conjure up. Even most of what we see (including the vast majority of philosophical and theological questions of the modern sceptic) was voiced by someone at least 1700+ years ago. There really isn't much new under the sun I'm afraid.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> This looks like a straw man, and I'm not going to attack it. I don't have to argue that Paul didn't think that the resurrected body would be a "physical body."</font>
Cool. So you accept that Paul knew of and accepted the empty tomb?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> The difference between a body with sarx and pneumatic body is quite significant, and not just being "hung up in semantics."</font>
Just to put your mind at ease, Christian orthodox theology teaches that our resurrected bodies are going to be very different from our current bodies, and yes, Paul plays a big role in that belief. Of course, so does the Gospels.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> And we really don't know what Peter or any of the disciples "would have" thought of Paul. Peter doesn't leave any writings nor do the rest of the disciples.</font>
Hmm... how I do love unsupported assertions.

We'll get to this question on the "Dating of the NT Canons" thread le pede. Feel free to contribute, but don't believe everything you read from a few scholars.

Thanks for the thoughts.

Nomad
 
Old 02-09-2001, 08:32 PM   #22
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Nomad:Paul tells us that Jesus had a physical body after the Resurrection, and the Gospels said He had a physical body.

Hopefully, the following will shed some needed light on this subject:

According to the anonymous writer of Acts, Saul of Tarsus [Paul] experienced a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus. There are three versions of this incident; I will give the first to appear in the book.

"Now as he [Saul]journyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?' And he said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And he said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.' The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank." (9:3-9)

It should be obvious to any reader that what Saul experienced was a "light" and a voice, not a physical Jesus. (Curiously, while those with Saul purportedly heard a voice, they DID NOT see the light.)

Now let's read what the writer of "Luke" wrote about the resurrected Jesus:

"Jesus himself stood among them. But they [the disciples] were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. And he said to them, 'Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in hour hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as see that I have.' And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, 'Have you anything here to eat?' They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them." (24:36-43)

Any impartial reader can clearly see that Saul's resurrected Jesus is absolutely, unequivocally dissimilar to the resurrected Jesus depicted in "Luke." Saul "saw" a light; the disciples "saw" a physical Jesus who had flesh and bones. Jesus even had an appetite. (Why he would need nourishment has never been explained.)

How can any rational person argue that Saul/Paul believed that Jesus had a physical body after his alledged resurrection? Perhaps Nomad has textual evidence that contradicts the vision Paul had on his way to Damascus.

Nomad: That it was different from what we know to be a standard body like we are used to in our biology classes is a given. Paul therefore calls it a "spiritual body" to show that it is different.

With the NT, nothing is "a given." Paul believed that the resurrected Jesus was not a physical entity, but a bright light that spoke.

Nomad: Try not to get tripped up on semantics please.

Nomad should try not to get tripped up by his illogic.

Nomad: If you want to argue that Paul disagreed with the Gospels, you must demonstrate that he would have rejected the empty tomb, or that Jesus had a physical body. You have done neither, so you are reaching pretty badly here le pede.

Nomad apparently has not read the Acts. Paul's "vision" of Jesus obliterates Nomad's argument.


 
Old 02-09-2001, 09:23 PM   #23
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It is unclear whether or not Paul accepted the empty tomb tradition. All that I argued was that Paul's pneumatic resurrection was different than the gospels' idea of the resurrection. To me, the empty tomb tradition is immaterial because we can't really know what Paul thought about this. He never mentions anything about a tomb or the women at the tomb, so we can't really know. I would suggest that he was not aware of "the" empty tomb tradition because there is no mention of it in his letters. Paul could have believed that Jesus was "raised" from a flat grave. There seems to be nothing we can construe from Paul's letters to show that he was aware of the tradition.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Paul needed to demonstrate that the bodies we are all walking around in right now is definitely NOT going to be the body that we will get at our own Resurrection. And as we see from the Gospels, they go out of their way to show this as well (along with making sure the readers understood that Jesus was not a ghost).
</font>
The gospels actually go out of their way to show that Jesus' body is corpreal. Luke specifically says that Jesus has flesh (sarx) (Lk. 24:34). 1 Cor. 15 also goes out of its way to show that something corruptible, (which sarx is) cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It also specifically says "flesh and blood" cannot inherit the kingdom of God. As much as people want to take away the implications of the "flesh" part of that statement, it just won't work because the reason that flesh is used as a metaphor for mortality is because to Paul, flesh, by its very nature is corruptible.

You also said that the view of a bodily resurrection was not widespread in Greek thought. That's not completely true--the idea was not widely accepted, but it was certainly known. Whether or not there was widespread acceptance, the idea was prevalent. The idea is in Greek mythology and Ascepelus and Apollinus was said to have raised bodies.

And I still hold that the beliefs of the 2nd century Christians, who, as you say were defending against heresies, were very significant. If there was such widespread and unswerving belief in Paul's pneumatic resurrection, how in the world did the 2nd century church get the idea that it was corpreal?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">We'll get to this question on the "Dating of the NT Canons" thread le pede. Feel free to contribute, but don't believe everything you read from a few scholars.</font>
I do not believe everything I read from a few scholars, and I find the insinuation patronizing and insulting--an attempt to cast your views (in your own mind) as more logical and mine as just "believing what I read from a few scholars." Like I said, we don't know what they would have thought (or if they cared) because we don't have any of their opinions.




[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited February 09, 2001).]
 
Old 02-09-2001, 10:06 PM   #24
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penatis, you oversimplify the situation too much. Paul did not believe in a "fleshly" resurrection (i.e. the raising of the body), but believed in a pneumatic one. Pneuma, to many of the ancients was what the heavenly bodies like stars and (to some even the gods) were made of. Did Paul's resurrection involve a "body?" Well, yes--sort of. As a matter of fact to the ancients, pneuma, was part of the human makeup. Paul suggests that the "pneuma" would be raised and transformed into a "pneumatic body." So, because "heavenly" bodies can be made of pneuma, that Jesus spoke from the heavens is not an indication that Paul did not believe that Jesus' body was not "solid" or "a body."

Look at it like this: to the Greeks, their gods were made of pneuma. But to the Greeks their gods also had "bodies" (soma) and they were "solid." To Paul, Jesus' "body" was like that of a god's. Luke on the other hand suggested that Jesus had sarx (flesh). But to Paul, mortality (represented by sarx kai haima--flesh and blood) cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

 
Old 02-09-2001, 11:13 PM   #25
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:

It is unclear whether or not Paul accepted the empty tomb tradition. All that I argued was that Paul's pneumatic resurrection was different than the gospels' idea of the resurrection.</font>
This is the whole problem though, and why I have said you have gotten caught up in what looks like a semantic quibble.

Paul's Jesus had a physical body. The Gospel's resurrected Jesus had a physical body. Your only claim is that Paul speculated that the "material" that this body was constructed from was different from our original issue human flesh.

Given that the Gospel accounts have Jesus entering locked rooms, ascending into the sky, and popping up all over the place and disappearing and reappearing at will, it certainly looks like the Gospel writers thought it was a very new and different kind of body as well.

The only difference so far as the tomb is concerned is that Paul does not talk about it, saying only that Jesus was buried, but since it has been established that Jesus was buried in a tomb (see Jesus Christ: Worth Burying in a Tomb where Metacrock, SecWebLurker and I cover this off in considerable detail), unless we can prove that Paul did not believe in an empty tomb, it is most reasonable to assume that this account is the one that was taught to Paul during his stay in Jerusalem (c. 35-39AD).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> ...I would suggest that he was not aware of "the" empty tomb tradition because there is no mention of it in his letters.</font>
This is simply an argument from silence though, as I am sure you will admit.

Paul saw a physical body of some type, as you have noted. The empty tomb tradition dates back to the beginnings of the Church, and if Paul had rejected it, then he would have definitely argued against it (since that is the view that would have dominated any Church founded by any of the Apostles).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Paul could have believed that Jesus was "raised" from a flat grave.</font>
For Paul to believe this theory, we would need evidence that ANYONE believed this theory before him, since Paul does tell us that he was taught the traditions of the Church during his stay in Jerusalem after his conversion. The only tradition we have is that of the empty tomb, so it is most reasonable to believe that this is the one that he was taught.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> There seems to be nothing we can construe from Paul's letters to show that he was aware of the tradition.</font>
Of course we can. In Acts, and in Galatians we see that Paul was taught by Peter, James and the other Apostles in Jerusalem, and his teachings on the resurrection corresponds with that of the Gospels.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You also said that the view of a bodily resurrection was not widespread in Greek thought. That's not completely true--the idea was not widely accepted, but it was heard of. Whether or not there was widespread acceptance, the idea was prevalent. The idea is in Greek mythology and Ascepelus and Apollinus was said to have raised bodies.</font>
Paul was run out of town in Athens and other Greek towns for teaching about a physical resurrection.

Acts 17:16-20 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean."

A resurrection in which the body would look only like what the Greek's thought a god's body would be like would hardly be strange would it?

Remember from before:

Acts 14:11-13 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.

Clearly the Greeks thought they knew what a resurrected God would look like and be like. So why were the Athenians confused by Paul's message? Because his story of the resurrected body was not like anything that they had heard before. It was completely knew, foreign, and quite ridiculous.

So after Paul explained the gospel and the resurrection to the Athenians:

Acts 17:31-33 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." At that, Paul left the Council.

It is plainly obvious what Paul is talking about here. Jesus (the "man" in his message here) lived, died, and was resurrected. This resurrection was physical, and the Athenians (or at least the great majority of them) sneered at this concept.

Not much changes eh?

1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

Paul knew what he was talking about, and fully understood why so many were rejecting his message.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And I still hold that the beliefs of the 2nd century Christians, who, as you say were defending against heresies, were very significant. If there was such widespread and unswerving belief in Paul's pneumatic resurrection, how in the world did the 2nd century church get the idea that it was corpreal?</font>
The Church believed that the resurrection was corpreal because Paul and the Gospels taught that it was corpreal. That is the whole point. Your question about the exact composition of the physical body is beside the point really.

The reason the need to argue for the physical resurrection arose in the 2nd Century was because the gnostics especially, rejected all things of physical bodies to be evil, and therefore rejected a corpreal resurrection. Paul and the Gospels provided more than enough ammunition to refute this heresy.

Nomad
 
Old 02-10-2001, 01:28 AM   #26
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The reason that I am making the distinction between a pneumatic resurrection, and a "fleshy" one is because the gospels and Paul disagree on this point. Luke says Jesus had flesh (Luke 24:39) contrasting himself with a "pneuma," and Paul says that Jesus became a "pneuma" (1 Cor. 15:45). That's a big deal. Just because Paul believed that Jesus' body was "physical" doesn't mean that his body is anything like the gospels' body. The gospels' "physical" reality of Jesus' body is much different than Paul's.

Jesus' body had "ghost-like" functions before his resurrection (i.e. walking on water and the disciples thinking they saw a ghost). As a matter of fact, I think that's what the gospels were arguing. Before his resurrection, Jesus' body was immortal. That's why he didn't stay dead.

It follows, then, that the second century church fathers argued for the resurrection of a flesh and blood body. Tertullian's On the Resurrection of the Flesh is quite crude in its proposal for the resurrection. Justin Martyr, Athanagoras, Hermas, Iranaeus and Clement of Alexandria's writings on the subject also argue for a "fleshy" resurrection.

And like I said, we don't know what the earliest traditions were. It's not unreasonable to think, that if the nature of Jesus' body changed, then the empty tomb story also changed. We have have no evidence of an empty tomb tradition before the gospels at all. All we have is the gospels' heresay about what Christians believed. There could very well have not been an empty tomb tradition when Paul was converted.

And you read way too much into Acts 17. It is important to keep in mind that Acts was written after Paul, and of course reflects a corpreal ("fleshy") resurrection. The same person that wrote Luke (which vociferously argued for a corpreal resurrection) wrote Acts.

Also, Acts is brazen-faced Christian propaganda and quite frankly, I don't trust its characterization of the Athenians. Like I said, knowledge of resurrection of bodies (that is fleshy ones) was in Greek literature and folk-lore and was known.

And anyway, why should we take the Athenians' statements in Acts as confusion about the nature of Jesus' body? They could have "wanted to know" about a whole host of things like monotheism, why vicarious atonement was necessary, why Christians didn't sacrifice, the relations between Jews and Gentiles. It doesn't say anything about the nature of Jesus' body.


[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited February 10, 2001).]
 
Old 02-10-2001, 05:59 AM   #27
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Le pede:
penatis, you oversimplify the situation too much. Paul did not believe in a "fleshly" resurrection (i.e. the raising of the body), but believed in a pneumatic one.

I don't disagree with your view; I merely demonstrated the contrast between Paul's resurrected Jesus in Acts and the disciple's resurrected Jesus in "Luke." (It is not necessarily pertinent that the same person may have written both books. Logical consistency was not one of the writer's strengths.)

I think Paul was greatly influenced by contemporary apocalyptic tradition, i.e., ideas contained in I Enoch, for example.

In the Similitudes of I Enoch, the protagonist, Enoch the son of Jared, is given a "vision of wisdom" by the "Lord of Spirits." It begins this way:

1. When the congregation of the righteous shall appear, And sinners shall be judged for their sins, And shall be driven from the face of the earth:
2. And when the Righteous One shall appear before the eyes of the righteous, Whose elect works hang upon the Lord of Spirits, And light shall appear to the righteous and the elect who dwell on the earth, Where then will be the dwelling of the sinners, And where the resting-place of those who have denied the Lord of Spirits? It had been good for them if they had not been born.
3. When the secrets of the righteous shall be revealed and the sinners judged, And the godless driven from the presence of the righteous and elect,
4. From that time those that possess the earth shall no longer be powerful and exalted:
And they shall not be able to behold the face of the holy, For the Lord of Spirits has caused His light to appear On the face of the holy, righteous, and elect... (38)

13. And here my eyes saw all those who sleep not: they stand before Him and bless and say: Blessed be Thou, and blessed be the name of the Lord for ever and ever.'
14. And my face was changed; for I could no longer behold.'"
(39)

Whether Paul's vision was the result of an epileptic seizure, heat stroke, or ecstasy, his INTERPRETATION of the vision was probably influenced by a belief in the "Light of the Righteous One" similar to that presented in the above passage. Note that in (14) that Enoch was blinded by the excessive light of the presence of the "Lord." Paul was said to have been blinded for three days.

Now, with respect to what Paul thought the resurrected body would be like, let's look at another section of I Enoch where Enoch receives a vision depicting the final judgement:

"And all the unrighteous are destroyed from before his face...How he sits on the throne of glory, and the righteousness is judged before him...Then shall pain come upon them as on a woman in travail...When they see that Son of Man Sitting on the throne of glory...For from the beginning the Son of Man was hidden, And the Most High preserved him in the presence of His might, And revealed Him to the elect...And the righteous and elect shall be saved on that day...And with that Son of Man shall they eat And lie down and rise up for ever and ever. And the righteous and elect shall have risen from the earth, And ceased to be of downcast countenance. And they shall have been clothed with garments of glory, Ahd these shall be the garments of life from the Lord of Spirits: And your garments shall not grow old..." (62)

The "garments of glory" are alluded to by Paul in 2 Corinthians: "For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling, so that by putting it on we may not be found naked." (5:2)

Paul further explains his beliefs in 1 Corinthians: "There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another...So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory...It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body...I tell you this brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable." (15:40f)

Close to the end of I Enoch, the writer tells of another book "which Enoch wrote for his son Methuselah." An angel [speaking for the Lord] tells Enoch, "And now I will summon the spirits of the good who belong to the generation of light, and I will transform those who were born in darkness, who in the flesh were not recompensed with such honour as their faithfulness deserved. And I will bring forth in shining light those who have loved My holy name, and I will seat each on the throne of his honour. And they shall be resplendent for times without number; for righteousness is the judgement of God."(108) Surely, this is what Paul had in mind when he spoke of the resurrected body being "raised in glory."

In my view, Paul clearly believed the resurrected body would be, as Le pede states, a body composed of and clothed in celestial elements, not physical elements (flesh and bones/blood). Further, I think Paul was influenced by I Enoch, among other contemporary traditions and beliefs.


Le pede: Pneuma, to many of the ancients was what the heavenly bodies like stars and (to some even the gods) were made of. Did Paul's resurrection involve a "body?" Well, yes--sort of. As a matter of fact to the ancients, pneuma, was part of the human makeup. Paul suggests that the "pneuma" would be raised and transformed into a "pneumatic body." So, because "heavenly" bodies can be made of pneuma, that Jesus spoke from the heavens is not an indication that Paul did not believe that Jesus' body was not "solid" or "a body."

Agreed. See above.

[This message has been edited by penatis (edited February 10, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by penatis (edited February 10, 2001).]
 
Old 02-10-2001, 07:04 AM   #28
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:

The reason that I am making the distinction between a pneumatic resurrection, and a "fleshy" one is because the gospels and Paul disagree on this point. Luke says Jesus had flesh (Luke 24:39) contrasting himself with a "pneuma," and Paul says that Jesus became a "pneuma" (1 Cor. 15:45). That's a big deal.</font>
I'm sorry le pede, but it really isn't a big deal to anyone except you. Christians do not have any fixed definition of what the resurrected body will be like for any of us, outside of accepting that it will be physical. We leave the rest to God.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Just because Paul believed that Jesus' body was "physical" doesn't mean that his body is anything like the gospels' body.</font>
It doesn't mean that the two are different either.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> The gospels' "physical" reality of Jesus' body is much different than Paul's.</font>
No it isn't.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Jesus' body had "ghost-like" functions before his resurrection (i.e. walking on water and the disciples thinking they saw a ghost).</font>
Do you mean He could walk on water, and so could Peter? What was Peter transformed into when he did that?

That's the whole problem with your argument le pede. You have started with the assumption that Paul was talking about something different, but you have yet to support what substantial thing was different about his account and the Gospels'.

Maybe you can give us an example of how the difference of "flesh" and "body" are significant to you, since I see no instance where the Gospels say that "flesh" will inheret the Kingdom of God.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> As a matter of fact, I think that's what the gospels were arguing. Before his resurrection, Jesus' body was immortal. That's why he didn't stay dead.</font>
That is a HUGE reach, and although some heresies did try to make the case that Jesus was not fully human, it cannot be proven from the Bible. Quite the opposite is the case in fact.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">It follows, then, that the second century church fathers argued for the resurrection of a flesh and blood body. Tertullian's On the Resurrection of the Flesh is quite crude in its proposal for the resurrection. Justin Martyr, Athanagoras, Hermas, Iranaeus and Clement of Alexandria's writings on the subject also argue for a "fleshy" resurrection.</font>
Let's take a look at some of these opinions, shall we?

"Let us consider, beloved, how the Master is continually proving to us that there will be a future resurrection, of which he has made the Lord Jesus Christ the firstling, by raising him from the dead. Let us look, beloved, at the resurrection which is taking place seasonally. Day and night make known the resurrection to us. The night sleeps, the day arises. Consider the plants that grow. How and in what manner does the sowing take place? The sower went forth and cast each of the seeds onto the ground; and they fall to the ground, parched and bare, where they decay. Then from their decay the greatness of the master's providence raises them up, and from the one grain more grows and bring forth fruit"
(Clement I, Letter to the Corinthians 24:1-6 [A.D. 95]).

"Let none of you say that this flesh is not judged and does not rise again. Just thing: In what state were you saved, and in what state did you recover your [spiritual] sight, if not in the flesh? In the same manner, as you were called in the flesh, so you shall come in the flesh. If Christ, the lord who saved us, though he was originally spirit, became flesh and in this state called us, so also shall we receive our reward in the flesh. Let us, therefore, love one another, so that we may all come into the kingdom of God"
(Second Clement 9:1-6 [A.D. 150]).

"The prophets have proclaimed his two comings [of Christ]. One, indeed, which has already taken place, was that of a dishonored and suffering man. The second will take place when, in accord with prophecy, he shall come from the heavens in glory with his angelic host, when he shall raise the bodies of all the men who ever lived. Then he will clothe the worthy in immortality, but the wicked, clothed in eternal sensibility, he will commit to the eternal fire along with the evil demons"
(Justin Martyr, First Apology 52 [A.D. 151]).

"Indeed, God calls even the body to resurrection and promises it everlasting life. When he promises to save the man, he thereby makes his promise to the flesh. What is man but a rational living being composed of soul and body? Is the soul by itself a man? No, it is but the soul of a man. Can the body be called a man? No, it can but be called the body of a man. If, then, neither of these is by itself a man, but that which is composed of the two together is called a man, and if God has called man to life and resurrection, he has called not a part, but the whole, which is the soul and the body"
(Justin Martyr, The Resurrection 8 [A.D. 153]).

"For the Church, although dispersed throughout the whole world even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and from their disciples the faith in . . . the raising up again of all flesh of all humanity, in order that to Jesus Christ our Lord and God and Savior and King, in accord with the approval of the invisible Father, every knee shall bend of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue shall confess him, and that he may make just judgment of them all"
(Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1:10:1-4 [A.D. 189]).

"God will raise up your flesh immortal with your soul; and then, having become immortal, you shall see the immortal, if you will believe in him now; and then you will realize that you have spoken against him unjustly. But you do not believe that the dead will be raised. When it happens, then you will believe, whether you want to or not; but unless you believe now, your faith then will be reckoned as unbelief"
(Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus 1:7-8 [A.D. 181]).

"In regard to that which is called the resurrection of the dead, it is necessary to defend the proper meaning of the terms 'of the dead' and 'resurrection.' The word 'dead' signifies merely that something has lost the soul, by the faculty of which it formerly lived. The term 'dead' then applies to a body. Moreover, if resurrection is of the dead, and 'dead' applies only to a body, the resurrection will be of a body. Again, the word 'resurrection' applies to nothing else except that which has fallen. 'To rise' may be said of that which never in any way fell, but which was always lying down. But 'to rise again' can only be said of that which has fallen; for by 'rising again' that which fell is said to 're-surrect.' The syllable 're-' always implies iteration [happening again]. We say, therefore, that a body falls to the ground in death . . . and that which falls, rises again"
(Tertullian, Against Marcion 5:9:3-4 [A.D. 210]).


Now, except for Paul's silence on the "flesh" being a part of the composition of the resurrected body, what do you have?

Perhaps you think these men did not understand Greek (since it was their language)?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And like I said, we don't know what the earliest traditions were. It's not unreasonable to think, that if the nature of Jesus' body changed, then the empty tomb story also changed.</font>
There is a very good thread on this exact topic. It is on this board. If you want to argue with our presentation of the facts, then please do so there. Otherwise you are being quite pedantic on this point.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> We have have no evidence of an empty tomb tradition before the gospels at all.</font>
Look at the thread. I am not going to retype everything here.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">All we have is the gospels' heresay about what Christians believed. There could very well have not been an empty tomb tradition when Paul was converted.</font>
Hmm... conjecture unsupported by anything on your part? How dogmatic of you.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And you read way too much into Acts 17. It is important to keep in mind that Acts was written after Paul, and of course reflects a corpreal ("fleshy") resurrection. The same person that wrote Luke (which vociferously argued for a corpreal resurrection) wrote Acts.</font>
Oh oh. Is it time to make more unsupported claims? What if Luke/Acts was written when Paul was still alive?

Besides, watching you pick and choose your way through the Bible is educational, but hardly even handed of you.

Don't go fundamentalist on me please.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Also, Acts is brazen-faced Christian propaganda and quite frankly, I don't trust its characterization of the Athenians. Like I said, knowledge of resurrection of bodies (that is fleshy ones) was in Greek literature and folk-lore and was known.</font>
Umm... are we going to argue the Bible or what here le pede? If you don't like Acts, just say so, and tell me what I am aloud to use as evidence. It's hard enough for a poor apologist to keep up with you sceptics on what I am aloud to say and not to say.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And anyway, why should we take the Athenians' statements in Acts as confusion about the nature of Jesus' body?</font>
Well for one thing, the text keeps bringing up "the resurrection" and how the Athenians responded to it. It also happens to be Christianity's central doctrine, so when I get to listen to a sceptic telling me that Christians have never really understood what our own Apostles had to say on the subject, well, I find that quite amusing.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> They could have "wanted to know" about a whole host of things like monotheism, why vicarious atonement was necessary, why Christians didn't sacrifice, the relations between Jews and Gentiles. It doesn't say anything about the nature of Jesus' body.</font>
Does it mention ANY of the other things you have listed BESIDES it's OBVIOUS and clear references to the resurrection?

Be serious please.

Nomad



[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited February 10, 2001).]
 
Old 02-10-2001, 10:19 AM   #29
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I'm sorry le pede, but it really isn't a big deal to anyone except you. Christians do not have any fixed definition of what the resurrected body will be like for any of us, outside of accepting that it will be physical. We leave the rest to God.</font>
The gospels do not just say the body will be "physical." It says it will be made of "flesh" (Lk. 24:39). Paul says that "the last Adam became a life giving pneuma" (1 Cor. 15:45). I do not have to show the difference between "flesh" and "body," only "flesh" and "pneuma." And do not mischaracterize my views about Paul. Paul is not just silent about "flesh," he specifically says that the resurrected body cannot be flesh (1 Cor. 15:50)!

Your citation of 2 Clement proves my point exactly! Clement clearly says that the dead will be resurrected in this flesh. The point of Clement is that people should keep their "flesh" pure because Christians will be resurrected in it!

Hermas, in Similitudes 5:7: "'Keep this flesh pure and stainless, that the Spirit which inhabits it may bear witness to it, and your flesh may be justified. See that the thought never arise in your mind that this flesh of yours is corruptible, and you misuse it by any act of defilement. If you defile your flesh, you will also defile the Holy Spirit; and if you defile your flesh [and spirit], you will not live.'"

Justin Martyr in 1 Apology 18 says, "since we expect to receive our own bodies, though they be dead and cast into the earth, for we maintain that with God nothing is impossible."

Iraneus in Against the Heresies, 5.33.1 says, "He promised to drink of the fruit of the vine with His disciples, thus indicating both these points: the inheritance of the earth in which the new fruit of the vine is drunk, and the resurrection of His disciples in the flesh. For the new flesh which rises again is the same which also received the new cup. And He cannot by any means be understood as drinking of the fruit of the vine when settled down with his [disciples] above in a super-celestial place; nor, again, are they who drink it devoid of flesh, for to drink of that which flows from the vine pertains to flesh, and not spirit.
"

It's odd that you quoted Tertullian but didn't quote from his most important writing on the subject--On the Resurrection of the Flesh:

"Existence, however, it will have, when it is restored in order to be punished. To the flesh, therefore, applies everything which is declared respecting the blood, for without the flesh there cannot be blood. The flesh will be raised up in order that the blood may be punished. There are, again, some statements (of Scripture) so plainly made as to be free from all obscurity of allegory, and yet they strongly require their very simplicity to be interpreted. There is, for instance, that passage in Isaiah: "I will kill, and I will make alive." Certainly His making alive is to take place after He has killed. As, therefore, it is by death that He kills, it is by the resurrection that He will make alive. Now it is the flesh which is killed by death; the flesh, therefore, will be revived by the resurrection. Surely if killing means taking away life from the flesh, and its opposite, reviving, amounts to restoring life to the flesh, it must needs be that the flesh rise again, to which the life, which has been taken away by killing, has to be restored by vivification."

Tertullian's On the the Flesh of Christ is also interesting. The tradition of the church fathers is more than clear. To them, Christians will be resurrected in this flesh (i.e. the one that is on earth). Paul says nothing of the sort, and the gospels' tradition is closer to the church fathers' tradition. I know of no records in which people who were arguing for a body made of a completely different substance (Paul's resurrection) disputed with the beliefs of the church fathers. If there was an evolution in theology between Paul and the church fathers with little fuss, it is not inconcievable that there was an evolution of theology between Paul and the gospels with little fuss.

Finally, reading "confusion about the nature of Jesus' body" into Acts 17 is not justified. The text says Paul was preaching "Jesus and the resurrection..." I suspect the story is fictitious, but "Luke" says Paul was generally talking about "Jesus" and that could mean that he was talking about Jesus' teachings, his relation to the Israelite God or his relation to messianism. I don't think that it is necessary to read that he was just talking about the general topic of "resurrection of the dead" and not putting it in context of Christianity. Notice also in verse 32, when Paul specifically talks about the resurrection, no one was confused. They just sneered and said they wanted to hear him again.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Umm... are we going to argue the Bible or what here le pede? If you don't like Acts, just say so, and tell me what I am aloud to use as evidence. It's hard enough for a poor apologist to keep up with you sceptics on what I am aloud to say and not to say.</font>
To answer your unecessarily patronizing and sarcastic question, considering all the other evidence about Greek literature and folk lore, your citation of Acts 17 (a story designed to buffer theology and so which very well may have presented a stereotypical and inaccurate view of the Athenians) is not by any stretch of the imagination the final word on what the Greeks knew. Your arrogance is misplaced.


[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited February 10, 2001).]
 
Old 02-10-2001, 04:55 PM   #30
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Time for some semantic hair splitting eh? Well, I told you that I hate doing this stuff, but I will since you keep insisting that it is important. So let's do it.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Le pede:

The gospels do not just say the body will be "physical." It says it will be made of "flesh" (Lk. 24:39).</font>
Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

The key expression is "flesh and bones" or sarx kai osteon.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Paul says that "the last Adam became a life giving pneuma" (1 Cor. 15:45).</font>
1 Corinthians 15:45 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Here the key expression is "flesh and blood", NOTE: NOT just FLESH!

Sheesh.

So what is it in the Greek?

sarx kai haima

The two expressions, "flesh and bones", and "flesh and blood" are two very different things, so there is no contradiction between Paul and the Gospels.

You have been so hung up on the word "flesh", you have completely missed the critical context and difference between the ideas of "bones" and "blood". Now get over it le pede. This kind of minutae is mind numbingly boring.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I do not have to show the difference between "flesh" and "body," only "flesh" and "pneuma."</font>
Let me help you here again. Paul's "resurrected body is clearly animated by something quite new. He calls it "Spirit" or pneuma. This is EXACTLY what Christian theology teaches, and is entirely consistent with the portrayal of what Jesus' body is like after the Resurrection.

Now, if you really want to prove that the Gospel writers couldn't figure this out for themselves, perhaps you could answer my question on what Peter's body was changed into when he walked on water. After all, you have cited this as an example of something important, and clearly the Gospel writers think that the water walking IS important too. But did Peter NOT have a body when he stepped out of the boat?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> And do not mischaracterize my views about Paul. Paul is not just silent about "flesh," he specifically says that the resurrected body cannot be flesh (1 Cor. 15:50)!</font>
He says FLESH AND BLOOD! Do not try and paper over the critical details. Paul tells us we have one kind of body prior to the resurrection, and a new body after the resurrection. The Gospels show that Jesus' body is also quite different after the Resurrection, so this looks very consistent.

When you look for genuine contradictions, please try and find real ones please. Forced "contradictions" only weakens your credibility when you come up with crap like this.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Your citation of 2 Clement proves my point exactly! Clement clearly says that the dead will be resurrected in this flesh.</font>
Le pede? All of my citations said that flesh was a part of the resurrection. It is a synonym for "body", so this makes sense. Do any of these 2nd Century writers mention "flesh and blood"?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Hermas, in Similitudes 5:7: "'Keep this flesh pure and stainless, that the Spirit which inhabits it may bear witness to it, and your flesh may be justified. See that the thought never arise in your mind that this flesh of yours is corruptible, and you misuse it by any act of defilement. If you defile your flesh, you will also defile the Holy Spirit; and if you defile your flesh [and spirit], you will not live.'"</font>
Yes, this is in complete agreement with Paul and the Gospels. The Spirit animates the new body or flesh. Thank you. Without this Holy Spirit, we will die.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Justin Martyr in 1 Apology 18

Iraneus in Against the Heresies, 5.33.1

It's odd that you quoted Tertullian but didn't quote from his most important writing on the subject--On the Resurrection of the Flesh:

"Existence, however, it will have, when it is restored in order to be punished. To the flesh, therefore, applies everything which is declared respecting the blood, for without the flesh there cannot be blood. The flesh will be raised up in order that the blood may be punished.</font>


Did you read this quotation le pede? It has just proven my point exactly. The "flesh" that is being raised is NOT "flesh and blood". It will be the Spirit (pneuma) that will animate the body after the resurrection rather than the blood. The blood will be punished, just as Paul told us it would.

1 Corinthians 3:13-17 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

And as any Christian will tell you, the body is the Lord's Temple, and it is that temple that God will raise on the last day.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Tertullian's On the the Flesh of Christ is also interesting. The tradition of the church fathers is more than clear. To them, Christians will be resurrected in this flesh (i.e. the one that is on earth).</font>
Yes, after it has been purified. No doubt they had also read 1 Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 15:52-53 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.

Our body will be resurrected and purified. This is basic Christian theology.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Paul says nothing of the sort,</font>
He just did. See 1 Corinthians above.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> If there was an evolution in theology between Paul and the church fathers with little fuss, it is not inconcievable that there was an evolution of theology between Paul and the gospels with little fuss.</font>
Or there was no evolution at all. Please stick with the simpler explanations. Occam's Razor and all that.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Finally, reading "confusion about the nature of Jesus' body" into Acts 17 is not justified. The text says Paul was preaching "Jesus and the resurrection..." I suspect the story is fictitious, but "Luke" says Paul was generally talking about "Jesus" and that could mean that he was talking about Jesus' teachings, his relation to the Israelite God or his relation to messianism. I don't think that it is necessary to read that he was just talking about the general topic of "resurrection of the dead" and not putting it in context of Christianity.</font>
Are you reading the plain text here or what le pede? Do you usually play this kind of double game when using Scripture, preferring plain reading when it suits you, and reading into the text, or tossing it all together when it doesn't support your argument?

Be consistent.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Notice also in verse 32, when Paul specifically talks about the resurrection, no one was confused. They just sneered and said they wanted to hear him again.</font>
And they sneered because...?

Don't forget that in Acts 14 the Greeks had already thought Paul and Barnabas were gods, so if all Paul was talking about was Jesus in his resurrected divine (ie. non-flesh) body as you have claimed, then why should they sneer?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Umm... are we going to argue the Bible or what here le pede? If you don't like Acts, just say so, and tell me what I am aloud to use as evidence. It's hard enough for a poor apologist to keep up with you sceptics on what I am aloud to say and not to say.

To answer your unecessarily patronizing and sarcastic question, considering all the other evidence about Greek literature and folk lore, your citation of Acts 17 (a story designed to buffer theology and so which very well may have presented a stereotypical and inaccurate view of the Athenians) is not by any stretch of the imagination the final word on what the Greeks knew. Your arrogance is misplaced. </font>
I figured you would think so. On the other hand, as I showed, Acts 14 shows that the Greeks had no problem with the idea of a god in human form (ie. non-flesh). But in Act 17 the sneer at Paul's description of the true resurrected body of Jesus, which is clearly unlike anything they have imagined before.

It is important to read the Scriptures in their entirety le pede. Then you would not be so easily confused on issues like this.

Paul tells us that we get a new body after the resurrection, and it will not be made up of "flesh and blood" alone, but of "flesh and the Spirit". The Gospels tell us the same thing, by showing that Jesus' body was very different after His Resurrection than it was before. That is the message of hope for the Christian faith, and the 2nd Century Fathers show us that they understood it very well.

Quick question please. Do you read Koine Greek as well as the Father's did?

Nomad
 
 

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