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Old 10-02-2001, 06:45 AM   #1
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Post The 'purely spiritual' concept of Jesus' resurrection doesnt cut it as an explanation

Its an interesting concept, but I don't see how it goes along with history. I have a number of objections to it, but will confine them to two major areas:

First, if Jesus' resurrection was merely spiritual, then this means his body went nowhere, while only his spirit was resurrected. Why then do the epistles speak so highly of it? "The Resurrection this" "the Resurrection that", they make it out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. But if it merely meant Jesus' spirit was raised, why would it be considered to be so great? Such a thing would be no different than the concept of a ghost, which itself has been believed in by many cultures, for thousands of years. Its nothing extraordinary, given what people believed then, in fact by many a ghosts appearance would probably be expected after death. You don't go around proclaiming your God-man hybrid to have done something that most people already believed happened to the dead (had your soul taken from the body, and transported into a spiritual home). Thats nothing great. In fact, if just a spirit was claimed to have appeared to people after Jesus died, many would probably use the excuse that it was a demon in disguise (Jesus was thought to be deceiving people from Judaism, and thus considered 'evil'). If its a bona fide body that came to life, however, its much more extraordinary (it would really be the body of Jesus, and thus be him, instead of just being a spiritual being of some sort that could 'fake' its appearance).

Secondly, the wording of the epistles doesn't go along with a purely spiritual resurrection, IMHO. They call it 'The Resurrection'. What other Jewish authors label ghosts (which is essentially what Jesus would have been in the purely spiritual resurrection model) as part of some 'resurrection'? What culture at the time would do such a thing without constantly stating: "his resurrected spirit" or "his raised soul", or something like that? A resurrection, when preached so constantly, doesn't seem to cohere with anything other than a truly raised, physical body.

I do agree that the original resurrection concept was different from that of the Gospels, but it makes far more sense to assume Jesus was raised, spirit AND body, into a perfect, immortal, flawless body that was almost 'spiritual' in appearance (described as such because spirits are perfect), which is contrary to the food-ingesting, wound-bearing, raised Jesus of the Gospels.

Feel free to post your comments, questions, or whatever. I'd enjoy seeing others opinions on this.
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Old 10-02-2001, 09:45 AM   #2
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I agree, Jesus's ressurection would have had to have been a physical and Spiritual one.

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I do agree that the original resurrection concept was different from that of the Gospels, but it makes far more sense to assume Jesus was raised, spirit AND body, into a perfect, immortal, flawless body that was almost 'spiritual' in appearance (described as such because spirits are perfect), which is contrary to the food-ingesting, wound-bearing, raised Jesus of the Gospels
I think that the reason that Jesus appeared as more of a regular human was more for the benefit of the Apostles than for himself. Remember, Thomas said that he would not believe in the resurrection unless he but his hands throw the nail holes. It seems to me that the Disciples would have expected him to be more human than you think that he would have appeared. I think that Food-ingesting would be vital in proving that he was not a ghost, or a figment of their imagination. You can think that you see someone, and you can think that that person is touching you. But if you give him a peice of fish, if he isn't real then it would just drop on the ground, wouldn't it?
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Old 10-02-2001, 02:28 PM   #3
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Oh please. Everyone in ancient Christianity disagreed on the nature of the post-Easter Jesus. Some gospels claim he had a physical body, others just a spiritual one. Lots of writings, lots of interpretations. The canonicity of the four particular NT gospels (note that Mark supports either interpretation) reflects the victory of one faction in the political struggles between various the various factions.

Michael

[ October 02, 2001: Message edited by: turtonm ]
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Old 10-02-2001, 03:35 PM   #4
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It seems pretty clear to me that Mark does not support the idea that Jesus's resurrection was just a Spiritual one. Mark says that "he is not here, he has risen, look were they laid him....He is going ahead to Galilie. There you will see him, just as he told you." It seemed pretty clear that he was not there.
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Old 10-02-2001, 07:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deathscyth Hell:
<STRONG>It seems pretty clear to me that Mark does not support the idea that Jesus's resurrection was just a Spiritual one. Mark says that "he is not here, he has risen, look were they laid him....He is going ahead to Galilie. There you will see him, just as he told you." It seemed pretty clear that he was not there.</STRONG>
Sure, he wasn't there. Do me one favor, though. Find me a passage in Mk 16:1-8* that says precisely where Jesus' body is. From the NIV:
  • 1
    When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body.
    2
    Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb
    3
    and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
    4
    But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.
    5
    As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
    6
    "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.
    7
    But go, tell his disciples and Peter, `He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'"
    8
    Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

There isn't a single word about the final disposition of Jesus' body. It could be with Jesus, or it could be magically destroyed. There are no grounds for deciding, based on Mark alone. Thus, Mark supports either interpretation.

You have to be careful about reading back into the text the assumptions of orthodox christianity you've grown up with. According to Iraneus, Mark's gospel was prized by the Gnostics. They would hardly have loved it if it gave the same robust confirmation that Jesus had a body after the Resurrection that Luke, Matthew and John did.

Also, let me remind you, the a great many gospels written about Jesus that deal with his life after the Resurrection do not claim that he was resurrected with a body. Most of them are gnostic, and favor his rising with a spiritual body.

Michael

* 16:9-20 is a later addition not in the original gospel.
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Old 10-03-2001, 07:26 AM   #6
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Most Gnostic Gospels were written 100 years later though.
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Old 10-03-2001, 08:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Sure, he wasn't there. Do me one favor, though. Find me a passage in Mk 16:1-8* that says precisely where Jesus' body is. From the NIV
There is no such passage. He is not here seems quite clear that he rose, otherwise his body would have remained in the tomb were they laid it.


If you are going to use "see the place were they laid him" I recommend that you don't. That is easily refuted. All you have to do is think logically about it.

1. The Women were going to annoint Jesus's Dead body. So obviously they went to the tomb, were they laid him.

2. He was not there. See, the place were they laid him means the same thing as "look, were he was laid, there is nothing there"
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Old 10-03-2001, 10:06 AM   #8
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I agree there is no such passage. So where is the body? Either it is with Jesus, or it has magically disappeared. The text supports either interpretation.

As for the gnostic gospels, Thomas may even be earlier than Mark, and Mark may be much later than you think. It is obviously after 70, and earlier than 180. Where would you put it?

Michael

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Old 10-03-2001, 12:26 PM   #9
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Why do you say that mark must be after 70?

Actually, I put mark at about 75.

Matthew and luke around 85-95.

John around 95-110

I don't think that you can put any of the 4 gospels after 130, unless you decide that John was finished first. The earliest manuscript dates to 130, at least that is the earliest that I know of. That manuscript is in egypt, so you have to allow time for john to have been written, then traveled from patmos to egypt.

I'm not sure when thomas was written, maybe around 150-165? I don't think that jesus said that we all had to become men to be saved though. Nor did he say that he was going to turn his mother into a man. At least, I don't think so. Paul's letters don't really support Gnosticism anyway. Paul clearly states that Salvation is based on grace through faith. Gnostics believe that it was because of some secret knowledge.
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Old 10-03-2001, 12:30 PM   #10
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I'll have to reread mark to see if Jesus ever refered to a physical resurrection when talking about his resurrection. If it does talk about it, then mark can't be used by gnostics.

I wander what the Gnostics thought of the Pauline letters?
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