Bombshell: How Historically Reliable are the Gospels if even Conservative Bible Scholars Believe they May Contain Fictional Stories?

Image result for image of historical fiction

Conservative (Protestant) Christianity rises or falls on the the historical reliability of the Gospels, in particular, the historical reliability of the stories about the alleged bodily resurrection of Jesus.  But just how historically reliable are these four books (and the Book of Acts, since most scholars believe it was written by the same author as the Gospel of Luke) if even prominent conservative Protestant and evangelical scholars assert that these books may contain fictional accounts?

 

Richard Bauckham, conservative Protestant scholar–believes that Matthew the Apostle did not write the Gospel of Matthew and believes that the story of the calling of Matthew the tax collector is invented fiction:

“The most plausible explanation of the occurrence of the name Matthew in [Matthew] 9:9 is that the author of this Gospel, knowing that Matthew was a tax collector and wishing to narrate the call of Matthew in the Gospel that was associated with him, but not knowing a story of Matthew’s call, transferred Mark’s story of Levi to Matthew.  The story, after all, is so brief and general it might well be thought appropriate to any tax collector called by Jesus to follow him as a disciple.  There is one feature of Matthew’s text that helps to make this explanation probable.  In Mark, the story of Levi’s call is followed by a scene in which Jesus dines with tax-collectors (Mark 2:15-17).  Mark sets this scene in “his house”, which some scholars take to mean Jesus’ house, but could certainly appropriately refer to Levi’s house.  In Matthew’s Gospel, the same passage follows the narrative of the call of Matthew, but the scene is set simply in “the house” (Matthew 9:10).  Thus, this Evangelist has appropriated Mark’s story of the call of Levi, making it a story of Matthew’s call instead, but has not continued this appropriation by setting the following story in Matthew’s house.  He has appropriated for Matthew only as much of Mark’s story of Levi as he needed.”  (bolding, Gary’s)    —“Jesus and the Eyewitnesses”, p.111

 

Michael Licona, conservative evangelical scholar–who believes that Matthew’s “Dead Saints Shaken out of the Tombs” story may be fictional:

51 and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened,
and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and
coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city
and appeared to many.  —Gospel of Matthew

“John lists none of the phenomena. Matthew’s report of the raised saints has baffled scholars for years, leaving several questions. Did Matthew intend for his report to be understood literally, allegorically, or otherwise? Or is it legend that Matthew included or invented (a la Bultmann)? Were the saints raised at Jesus’ death or resurrection? Were the saints raised in their same mortal body only to die again as was Lazarus or in resurrection bodies? Who were these saints?

…We have seen that it’s possible Matthew has already employed celestial language to be interpreted as apocalyptic symbols in Jesus’ Olivet Discourse. The same may be said of the celestial phenomena tied to the Pentecost event in Acts 2 where Luke seems to link the wonders in the sky and signs on the earth prophesied by Joel to the wonders and signs performed by Jesus and His apostles, even using the same terms in the same context to describe them. Yet, Joel lists these as blood, fire, vapor of smoke, the sun going dark and the moon turning into blood. But these phenomena apparently did not occur on that day. Moreover, Joel as repeated by Peter says that in that day “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Luke then reports Peter encouraging the Jews to call on the name of the Lord and be saved. Then he reports that about 3,000 believed that day. Thus, Peter appears to believe the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled at Pentecost. Accordingly, it’s reasonable to hold that Joel and Luke intended for these celestial phenomena to be understood as apocalyptic symbols for the divine acts witnessed at Pentecost—specifically the speaking in tongues—without intending for readers to interpret them in a literal sense. It’s somewhat similar to us saying the events of 9/11 were “earthshaking.” Far be it for a historian a thousand years from now to conclude that an earthquake occurred that day that was felt around the world. Could we be making a similar mistake when reading apocalyptic language in a literal manner? Matthew 24 and Acts 2 are just two examples of what may be apocalyptic
symbols in the biblical literature.

…So, for now, I remain undecided pertaining to how Matthew intended for his readers to understand the raised saints. And I’m not alone.

…I hope that it has become clear in this paper that my intent was not to dehistoricize a text Matthew intended as historical. If I had, that would be to deny the inerrancy of the text. Instead, what I have done is to question whether Matthew intended for the raised saints to be understood historically.”

–Source:  here

 

William Lane Craig, conservative evangelical historian and apologist–believes that Matthew’s Raising of the Dead Saints Story may be fictional:

Responding to Jesus Seminar fellow Robert Miller—who claimed that Matthew freely added to Mark’s Gospel the story of the resurrection of the saints, a story which Matthew did not take literally, but included it as a figurative expression of the apocalyptic significance of Jesus’ death—William Lane Craig said:  “Dr. Miller’s interpretation of this passage [Matthew’s Raised Dead Saints Story] strikes me as quite persuasive, and  probably only a few conservative scholars would treat the story as historical.” “Will the Real Jesus Stand Up”, edited by Paul Copan, pp. 164-165

In a debate between conservative Christian apologist William Lane Craig and New Testament scholar James Crossley captured in this Youtube video recording here (see minute 1 hour 33 minutes) regarding the Resurrection of Jesus, Dr. Craig was asked if the passage from the Gospel of Matthew regarding the Raising of the Dead Saints should be understood literally. Craig quotes a fellow historian who believes that this passage is a legend.  Craig agrees that an apocalyptic legend is a legitimate possibility…BUT…he goes on to emphasize that this event was connected to the crucifixion and therefore has nothing to do with the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.  He states that even if Matthew’s Raising of the Dead Saints story is legendary it wouldn’t affect the evidence for the resurrection whatsoever!  What???  Actually, what it shows, Dr. Craig, is that first century Christians were perfectly capable and willing to invent stories about the events surrounding Jesus death!

 

Craig Blomberg, conservative evangelical scholar–questions the historicity of the Temple Curtain Splitting Story and the Raised Saints Story:

“All kinds of historical questions remain unanswered about both events [the temple curtain splitting and the raised saints story].” –Blomberg, C. (2001). Vol. 22: Matthew (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (421)

 

NT Wright, conservative Protestant scholar–questions the historicity of several stories in the Gospels, Acts, and the Old Testament:

Wright questions the historicity of the Raised Saints Story:

[I]t is better to remain puzzled [regarding Matthew’s Dead Saints Shaken Out of the Tombs Story] than to settle for either a difficult argument for probable historicity or a cheap and cheerful rationalistic dismissal of the possibility. Some stories are so odd that they may just have happened. This may be one of them, but in historical terms there is no way of finding out.”  “The Resurrection of the Son of God”, p. 636

Wright questions the historicity of the Gospel accounts of King Herod fearing that Jesus was John the Baptist come back from the dead:

What does this story tell us about the world of second-Temple Jewish belief?  If we assume that Herod and his courtiers really did say something like this, it seems to be an exception to the general rule, that ‘the resurrection of the dead’ would happen to all the righteous dead simultaneously, not to one or two here and there. ” –“The Resurrection of the Son of God”, p. 413  (emphasis, Gary’s)

Wright questions the literal depiction of Hell in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus:

“I stressed in the earlier volume that the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is to be treated precisely as a parable, not as a literal description of the after life and its possibilities.  It is therefore inappropriate to use it as prima facie evidence for Jesus’ own sketching (or Luke’s portrait of Jesus’ sketching) of a standard post-mortem scenario.  It is, rather, an adaptation of a well-known folk-tale, projecting the rich/poor divide of the present on to the future in order to highlight the present responsibility, and culpability, of the careless rich.”The Resurrection of the Son of God, p. 437

Wright seems to question the historicity of Jesus’ predicting his own death and resurrection:

“It is out of the question, for a start, that the disciples were simply extrapolating from the teachings of Jesus himself.  One of the many curious things about Jesus’ teaching is that though resurrection was a well known topic of debate at the time we only have one short comment of his on the subject, in reply to the question from the Sadducees–a comment which is itself notoriously cryptic, like some of its companion pieces in the synoptic tradition.  Apart from that, there are the short repeated predictions of Jesus’ passion and resurrection , which many of course assume are vaticinia ex eventu, and two or three other cryptic references. “  —NT Wright, Gregorianum, 2002, 83/84, 615-635

Wright also states in The Resurrection of the Son of God that he believes that the reason for the three seemingly contradictory accounts in the Book of Acts regarding what exactly the associates of Paul saw or heard on the Damascus Road is due to the author doctoring the story to stimulate the interest of the reader!

Wright believes that the Book of Daniel has a fictional setting:

The immediate context of the passage [Daniel 12:2-3] is martyrdom:  the martyrdom which occurred during the crises of the 160’s [BCE], and in particular, the martyrdom of faithful Israelites under the persecution of Atiochus Epiphanes.  …considering the exilic theme of the whole book [of Daniel]—the fictive setting is of course Babylon, and the historical setting is that of the ‘continuing exile’ of 9:24, under various pagan rulers climaxing in the Syria of Antiochus—the most obvious biblical precursors are those which themselves speak of exile and restoration. The Resurrection of the Son of God, pp. 113, 115  (emphasis, Gary’s)

 

Raymond Brown, Roman Catholic scholar (deceased)–believed in the bodily resurrection of Jesus (so hardly a liberal scholar) but doubted the historicity of Matthew’s Raising of the Dead Saints Story:

“I find the special material [material unique to Matthew; not found in any other gospel] that Matthew has grouped around the birth and the death of Jesus a consistency that suggests a source, but one of another nature than Mark and Q—a source that reflects popular dramatization through storytelling, much like expanded birth and passion narration ever since.  …With regard to the common Synoptic passion narrative  I argued that OT allusions or citations did not create the basic passion narrative sequence but helped to fill in the established, skeletal preaching outline.  In the instance of the Matthean special material, however, the OT background may have actually generated the stories, eg., of the manner of Judas’ death.”  –The Death of the Messiah, pp. 60-61

 

Gary’s Conclusion:  So if even very conservative Christian scholars question the historicity of some of the stories in the Gospels, should we view the Gospels and Acts as historically reliable documents?   Should we trust that every story told in these books is historically true?  Or, should we treat them as we do modern works of historical fiction:  We tease apart the facts from the fiction?

Isn’t it, therefore, very probable that even though Jesus was a real historical figure, that he was a first century apocalyptic preacher, that he was crucified and buried, and that shortly after his death some of his followers sincerely believed that he had appeared to them in some fashion—that the stories of walking on water, feeding thousands of people with a few fish and a few loaves of bread, healing leprosy, and stories of people seeing his walking, talking,  broiled fish eating, into outer space levitating corpse is just more fiction???

Image result for image just say no to superstitions

 

 

 

End of post.

 

 

 

40 thoughts on “Bombshell: How Historically Reliable are the Gospels if even Conservative Bible Scholars Believe they May Contain Fictional Stories?

  1. re: “Isn’t it, therefore, very probable that even though Jesus was a real historical figure, that he was a first century apocalyptic preacher, that he was crucified and buried, and that shortly after his death some of his followers sincerely believed that he had appeared to them in some fashion—that the stories of walking on water, feeding thousands of people with a few fish and a few loaves of bread, healing leprosy, and stories of people seeing his walking, talking, broiled fish eating, into outer space levitating corpse is just more fiction???”

    What if one completely ignores the Gospels? After all, the Gospels weren’t even around until about 70CE (at the earliest), but most assuredly, there were Christians around during the 35-40 year period after Jesus’ crucifixion and before the first Gospel was written. And Paul certainly believed in a resurrected Jesus. Of course, from what I can tell, a resurrected person is NOT a “walking, talking corpse” at all. From what I can tell, that “original body” is gone, in the same fashion that the bodies of those that are currently living on the day of the “general resurrection” will also be “gone” — “transformed” is the word. Bodies transformed from their current state to a state capable of eternal life. No “corpse” involved at all.

    UNLESS, Gary, you have definitive info to the contrary. I’m just going by what Paul says (and, what did he know, right?).

    I’m still waiting on you to give an in-depth description of what a resurrected person looks like, so that way, we can all know that this “resurrection thing” didn’t happen with Jesus.

    And, my best guess is that you must somehow know that a resurrected person is a re-animated corpse, right?

    But – that’s all another issue.

    At this point, regarding the historicity of the miracles attributed to Jesus — a whole bunch of them might be theological constructs. But, it doesn’t therefore follow that the resurrection of Jesus was a theological construct at all. After all, that story had preceeded the Gospels for decades.

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    1. Ft: You are not a conservative Trinitarian Christian. This post (and my entire blog) is addressed to conservative Trinitarian Christians. Not liberal Christians. Not non-Trinitarian Christians. Conservative Trinitarian Christians believe that Jesus’ original body came back to life and was transformed. You believe that Jesus’ original body disappeared and was replaced with a supernatural body. I have no idea what that kind of body would look like.

      I am not addressing your resurrection perspective in this post.

      I am addressing the resurrection perspective of the millions of Trinitarian Christians who believe that Jesus’ original body came back to life, was transformed, and was given supernatural powers. Conservative Trinitarian Christians believe that Jesus appeared to his disciples in bodily form; a bodily form that resembled his original body enough that most of his disciples could recognize him, see him, touch him, and poke their fingers into his wounds. It is this perspective that I am trying to debunk for the simple reason that there is no undisputed eyewitness testimony of anyone claiming to have seen such a body. I do not doubt for a second that some of Jesus’ early followers believed that he appeared to them…in some form or another. What I question is whether or not we have any good evidence of anyone claiming to have seen the transformed original body of the dead Jesus.

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      1. Gary –

        I happen to believe that Jesus did, in fact, appear in “bodily form” – a form that could be touched, recognized as Jesus, etc.

        I also believe that the same “resurrected Jesus” appeared differently to various individuals.

        You say that I believed that the body of Jesus just “disappeared” – and, this would be correct, in a manner of speaking. What I mean is that the corpse of Jesus ceased to exist — it was transformed, just like Paul says other (even living) bodies will be transformed. That’s what resurrection is – a trans – formation – essentially, a re-creation of an existent, temporal body (if it still happens to exist) – into a new “spiritual body” (as Paul describes it). Whether the old body – the corpse – “disappears” (ceases to exist) due to natural decay processes (dust to dust, eaten by worms, etc) or whether it “disappears” (ceases to exist) due to an immediate transformation, either way, the old body (the corpse of a dead person) “goes away”.

        Paul says absolutely nothing different. He uses exactly this language – “transformation” – “in the wink of an eye” – “spiritual bodies” – a body “sewed in one fashion, raised up in another” – and so on.

        Now, as to trying to debunk some notion regarding eyewitnesses who saw (as you put it) a walking, talking, fish-eating corpse – I’d say “go for it”. Those concepts are indeed the concepts of the most simple-minded among us. Especially those who haven’t pondered (for even a moment) what Paul is talking about in 1 Cor. If you’re shooting for that level of “believer”, then you’ve got easy targets. Because of their ignorance.

        But, I don’t think you can handle a real-life conversation with someone who believes Jesus was bodily raised, but, that his body had indeed been transformed – changed state – into something that was as spiritual as it was natural. And yet, that’s exactly what Paul says. And, what Paul says is infinitely more important than what the gospels say.

        So, OK, I get where you’re coming from.

        But, please, don’t try to “manhandle” me into some category that doesn’t fit your criteria, thus eliminating the need for you to address my points. Just be intellectually honest and say you’re not prepared to address those points. It would be more fitting of a man of your education.

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        1. My goal for this blog is to debunk one particular fear-based religious superstitious belief system—that of conservative Trinitarian Christians. I do not have the time or interest to debate every theist on every theistic belief. Nothing personal.

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          1. Well, that’s OK. I don’t know what being Trinitarian has to do with it, though. That’s not part of this topic (bodily resurrection of Jesus).

            Here’s what a fairly well known Baptist theologian, John Piper, has to say about it: “”The old body will become a new body. But it will still be your body. There will be continuity. God is able to do what we cannot imagine. The resurrection is not described in terms of a totally new creation but in terms of a change of the old creation” (Future Grace, 372).

            As far as I can tell, Baptists are pretty Trinitarian, and pretty conservative and evangelical.

            Here’s what Dan Vander Lugt, of “Our Daily Bread Ministries” (a decidedly conservative, Trinitarian organization) says about resurrection:

            “A body buried in a wooden casket would normally be entirely decomposed after a few hundred years, depending upon the conditions of the soil. Similarly, a seaman buried at sea would leave no traces. (Not a trace seems to remain of all of those who went down with the Titanic, for instance.)

            The apostle Paul made it clear that our new body, though possessing some identity with our mortal body, will be a new “spiritual body” ( 1 Corinthians 15:35-44 ). God will not need to gather up the scattered molecules of our earthly bodies. (Remember that the bodies of many Christians have already decomposed, been completely destroyed by fire, or have been devoured by animals.) Therefore, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 doesn’t refer to a bizarre scene in which the ashes in funerary urns or decayed bodies in earthly graves are suddenly reconstituted. Rather, the resurrection is the wonderful occasion in which believers who have died will again be granted full bodily form, this time in a glorified heavenly body that can never again die or experience decay.”

            Here’s my guess: I seriously doubt you’ll find any credible Trinitarian scholar or theologian that thinks that somehow God is going to re-assemble all the cells, the molecular structure, of bodies that ceased to exist 5000 years ago due to decay. “Our bodies” may indeed be “our bodies”, but, our bodies change in both cellular and molecular structure throughout life. I seriously doubt that I have ANY of the cells I was born with (and if I do, it’s a scant few, I’m pretty sure).

            The fact is this: If you’re trying to debunk an idea that somehow our very same, earthly, molecularily-structured bodies somehow come back together at resurrection time, then, I’d say “debunk away”. Unfortunately, though, I get the very strong idea that that is exactly how you yourself think of resurrection. And, of course, it isn’t true. In other words, you’re just fighting your own mis-beliefs, while recognizing that there are others who still have the same mis-beliefs. You have not, on the other hand, ever sought to correct your own mis-beliefs.

            So, I might not be Trinitarian, but in regards to the resurrection – and the fact that “our” bodies will still be “ours”, but, not at all necessarily made of the “same stuff” we had when we died – then frankly, I’m pretty mainstream….

            [deleted]

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  2. In case Robertson won’t allow it pout of moderation… here’s my response to Kilpatrick.

    John.K: ”Who says that the Gospels are in no way whatsoever to be considered as historical documents?”

    Ark: ”Oh, but they most certainly are historical documents , John. I would never deny this .
    The crucial point you to struggle to come to terms with is that they do not reflect a real history.
    And I fear your faith will not allow you to accept this fact, even though the evidence, or rather complete lack of evidence is there for all to see. Well, all those who are not encumbered by faith, of course.”

    And he seems to have forgotten I wrote historical accounts , not documents.
    He doesn’t usually slip like that. I think you have him rattled, Gary!

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      1. I find it hilarious that they are immune to the fact people like you, Jim, Ben, Neil, and Bruce and every fundamental deconvert have all been where they are and have heard ALL the excuses and lame apologetics – and used them yourselves when they / you were neck deep in this nonsense.

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  3. Geisler went after Licona after he wrote about the Risen Saints in his 2010 book and eventually Licona was forced to resign his position as he would not issue a retraction. He used a term for the Raising Saints story in a debate with Ehrman, but I forget what the term was.

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  4. Gary,

    I find that out of all these six supposed Christian New Testament “scholars” of resurrection, saints and saintliness, immortality, and all happenings after the human heart, lungs, and brain stop functioning… have no real clue what they are babbling on about, especially when NONE OF THEM discuss these ascribed Gospel, Epistle, and other testament writers within their historical and religious context. Every single presumed character in these debates and contradictions are among at least FOUR distinct subcultures of belief: 1) Second Temple Syro-Palestinian-Nabotean Judaism/Messianism, 2) Hellenic Jewish Diaspora, 3) Hellenic Pagan Roman, and 4) Hellenic Persian/Arabian with Mystic themes.

    None of these six narrow-minded scholars take the time and effort to examine the historical roots and seeds of these afterlife subjects the canonical (or non-canonical) New Testament writers in question are drawing upon, i.e. #1 and #2 above. Here is one example of their glaring ignorance:

    The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is a matter of philosophical or theological speculation rather than of simple faith, and is accordingly nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture. As long as the soul was conceived to be merely a breath (“nefesh”; “neshamah”; comp. “anima”), and inseparably connected, if not identified, with the life-blood (Gen. 9:4, compare. 4:11; Leviticus. 17:11), no real substance could be ascribed to it. As soon as the spirit or breath of God (“nishmat” or “ruaḥ ḥayyim”), which was believed to keep body and soul together, both in man and in beast (Gen. 2:7, 6:17, 7:22; Job 27:3), is taken away (Ps. 146:4) or returns to God (Eccl. 12:7; Job 34:14), the soul goes down to Sheol or Hades, there to lead a shadowy existence without life and consciousness (Job 14:21; Ps. 6:6 [A. V. 5], 115:17; Isa. 38:18; Eccl. 9:5, 10). The belief in a continuous life of the soul, which underlies primitive Ancestor Worship and the rites of necromancy, practised also in ancient Israel (I Sam. 28:13 et seq.; Isa. 18:19; see Necromancy), was discouraged and suppressed by prophet and lawgiver as antagonistic to the belief in Yhwh, the God of life, the Ruler of heaven and earth, whose reign was not extended over Sheol until post-exilic times (Ps. 16:10, 49:16, 139:8).

    As a matter of fact, eternal life was ascribed exclusively to God and to celestial beings who “eat of the tree of life and live forever” (Gen. 3:22, Hebr.), whereas man by being driven out of the Garden of Eden was deprived of the opportunity of eating the food of immortality (see Roscher, “Lexikon der Griechischen und Römischen Mythologie,” s.v. “Ambrosia”). It is the Psalmist’s implicit faith in God’s omnipotence and omnipresence that leads him to the hope of immortality (Ps. 16:11, 17:15, 49:16, 73:24 et seq., 116:6-9); whereas Job (14:13 et seq., 19:26) betrays only a desire for, not a real faith in, a life after death. Ben Sira (xiv. 12, xvii. 27 et seq., xxi. 10, xxviii. 21) still clings to the belief in Sheol as the destination of man. It was only in connection with the Messianic hope that, under the influence of Persian ideas, the belief in resurrection lent to the disembodied soul a continuous existence (Isa. 25:6-8; Dan. 12:2)
    — Immortality of the Soul, Jewish Encyclopedia

    I don’t find any of these six “lost” men of Christianity offering any degree of accuracy about their Christian resurrection, saints and saintliness, or immortality of anybody! Back then or today! However, I do rather like your conclusion Gary. It makes a hell of a lot more sense than these six stooges. 😉

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      1. You are welcome. I have always found your posts and perspective VERY refreshing, challenging/stimulating, and less arrogant or pompous than mainstream Christological apologists such as these!

        Because they have always refused to look outside Hellenic influences, and intimately into Second Temple Sectarian Judaism/Messianism they have no idea their retro-graded Greco-Roman Apotheotic invention has very little or nothing to do with Yeshua’s/Jesus’ Nasoraean Judaism/Messianism. A great start for them is to spend many years studying/understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran and other independent non-Christian sources.

        Sadly, 2,000+ years of indoctrination and peer-assimilation is difficult to penetrate, much less open their eyes and minds. 😉

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  5. Oh dear, Gary! Your trolling over at the post about Harvest Bible Chapel got a nibble here. Lol! I could be described as a traditional Trinitarian Christian. My observation is your beef is really only with a distinctly modern (post 19th century) strain of Protestant sectarian fundamentalism. Your argument does very little to unsettle the traditional Christian faith of most of the previous 2000 years, which does not rely on inerrantist arguments about Scripture, but the received Apostolic tradition and a patristic (not Gnostic or Nasoraean), spiritual hermeneutic of Scripture.

    ftbond is also quite right in his observations about the meaning of Christ’s bodily resurrection according to the NT as that teaching has been traditionally received within the Church.

    From the perspective of traditional classical Christian faith, what you present here is pretty much a “nothing burger.”

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    1. Hi KW,

      If the Gospel authors invented some of their stories, as even conservative Bible scholars say may be the case, how do we know they didn’t invent the “Appearance Stories” in Matthew, Luke, and John? Without alleged eyewitness claims of anyone seeing a walking, talking corpse, your resurrection belief is no more believable than an Elvis sighting.

      (What you call “trolling”, I call evangelism) 🙂

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    2. Just curious: Ft believes that the original body of the righteous dead does not come back to life in a resurrection. In ft’s view of resurrection, the original heart, lungs, and individual cells of the original body do not come back to life. The original body disappears and is replaced by a heavenly, supernatural body. Would you kindly point me to the Statement of Faith or Confessional Statement of ANY major Trinitarian denomination who holds this view?

      Thank you.

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      1. Here is the position of the Catholic Church:

        “Because, as Paul tells us, the Christian faith cannot exist without this doctrine, it has been infallibly defined by the Church. It is included in the three infallible professions of faith—the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed—and has been solemnly, infallibly taught by ecumenical councils.

        The Fourth Lateran Council (1215), infallibly defined that at the second coming Jesus “will judge the living and the dead, to render to every person according to his works, both to the reprobate and to the elect. All of them will rise with their own bodies, which they now wear, so as to receive according to their deserts, whether these be good or bad [Rom. 2:6–11]” (constitution 1).” (emphasis, Gary’s)

        Source: https://www.catholic.com/tract/resurrection-of-the-body

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      2. Westminister Confession of Faith (Presbyterians, some Calvinistic Baptists, other Reformed), chapter 32:

        “i. The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption: but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them: the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect of holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. And the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. Beside these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.

        ii. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed: and all the dead shall be raised up, with the self-same bodies, and none other (although with different qualities), which shall be united again to their souls for ever. (emphasis, Gary’s)

        Source: http://www.reformation21.org/confession/2013/08/chapter-32.php

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      3. Southern Baptist Convention:

        Resurrection of Jesus

        According to Southern Baptist belief, Jesus Christ died on the cross. Three days later, he was resurrected. They believe that Jesus physically rose from the dead. His dead body came back to life, according to Southern Baptists. They believe that Jesus’ body was now ‘glorified.’ This glorified body functioned just as it did before the crucifixion. Southern Baptists believe that the marks of the crucifixion, including the wounds created by the guard’s spear and the nail holes in Jesus’ wrist, were still visible in this glorified body.

        Source: https://classroom.synonym.com/southern-baptist-resurrection-beliefs-12084976.html

        Gary: ORIGINAL body comes back to life, just with new properties. Original body does NOT disappear. Ft is a non-Trinitarian.

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  6. Dang, Gary – I was kind of hoping YOU might be able to produce some Statement of Faith or Confessional Statement of ANY major Trinitarian denomination who holds the view that the “resurrection body” would be just a re-animated corpse.

    You see, I keep finding stuff like this:

    “There will be some type of physical connection between the natural body and the resurrection body. However the material identity will not be exactly the same. ” (Don Stewart, writing for Blue Letter Bible)

    “I think this means we each will have a body that looks like the one we have now, but it won’t be exactly the same. It will be better. ” (Randy Frazee, writing for Faith Gateway)

    “Paul didn’t believe that the same body you had at death is what is raised. It has continuity with your original body, but it is different. It’s the same body only…different.” (Kraig Keck, Baptist)

    That last point above – speaking of “continuity” – is what Paul was talking about when he was using his “seed” analogy. Our current physical bodies are like the “seed” that is raised up into something “glorified”.

    Just reading what Paul says:

    “But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?…All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. . .So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

    I really don’t understand your “disconnect”, Gary. Going back to Paul (and, even before that, to Pharisaic ideas), this idea that a resurrected body is somehow supposed to be just a re-animated, or re-constituted corpse is just not there.

    I truly don’t know where you get that idea from.

    So, maybe YOU should give us some Grand Doctrinal Statement of some major denomination that states something like “your resurrected body will be the same cells and molecules as your present body”.

    Otherwise, I’m inclined to think this is just representative of either some really bad teaching you had earlier on, or, that you may simply have been incapable of understanding that a resurrected body is something quite different than a resuscitated body.

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    1. Do you believe that the original heart, lung, and cells of the original body will come back to life, yes or no?

      If you say, no. You do not hold a Trinitarian view of the Resurrection. I am in full agreement with you that Trinitarians teach that the original body is given new supernatural properties, so, yes, it is different from the original body, but the original body does come back to life. The dead brain cells, heart cells, lung cells, ect. of Jesus came back to life, according to Trinitarians. Trinitarians do NOT believe that the original body disappears and is replaced by the supernatural (heavenly) body.

      Trinitarians believe that the original body of a believer whose body was blown into millions of pieces in war, will be reconstituted in its entirety and brought back to life, while at the same time being “transformed” with supernatural powers.

      FYI: All of the quotes you list above agree with the Trinitarian position: same original physical body, but with new properties.

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    2. “I was kind of hoping YOU might be able to produce some Statement of Faith or Confessional Statement of ANY major Trinitarian denomination who holds the view that the “resurrection body” would be just a re-animated corpse.”

      I have never claimed that Trinitarian Christians ONLY believe that the corpse of Jesus was reanimated. I have always said that Trinitarians believe that the Jesus original body was reanimated and at the same time transformed. That is Trinitarian teaching. And I usually refer to this Trinitarian concept as a “resurrected corpse”, not “reanimated corpse” because I know that Trinitarian Christians will object to that description as being incomplete.

      reanimated + transformed = resurrected

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  7. I think you misunderstand the use of phrases like “same body”. And, I think you fail to understand that “resurrection” is a process of transformation

    For example, you quote the Catholics statment of “All of them will rise with their own bodies, which they now wear, so as to receive according to their deserts, whether these be good or bad ”

    Does this mean “the same cells and molecular structure we currently have”? It can NOT mean that. I don’t have, in this moment, the same cellular or molecular structure that I had when I read your post. Some cells have died and been replaced.

    Nor can it mean “the same cells and molecular structure” because this body which I currently have will decay, but my resurrection body will not. Whatever it’s made of, it will be incorruptible stuff. There is nothing in this present body I have that is not corruptable.

    So, a body which has undergone the resurrection process can NOT be the “same body” at all – not even one with (simply) “different properties”. It is that “same” in that it is “MY” body. But, it is MY body with a very radical change. Nonetheless, it is MY body, even though it’s changed radically.

    This is why the Catholic doctrine points out “so as to receive according to their deserts, whether these be good or bad”. So, the body with which I am raised up will indeed be intrinsically and individually MY body – the one that I shoplifted with, the one that I committed adultery with, the one that I attacked someone with – but, just as my body is now different than it was before I started writing this post, it will be far more radically different after undergoing the process of transformation that we call resurrection.

    This same concept holds true, even in this statement which you quoted: “and all the dead shall be raised up, with the self-same bodies, and none other (although with different qualities),

    Yes, MY body will still be MY body – the self-same body – but – with “different qualities”. And, the devil is definitely in those “different qualities” detalis. “Different qualities” means incorruptible (not corruptible, as my current body), immortal (not mortal, as my current body). This is *radically^ different, although, yes, it will be MY body. But, this resurrected body may not have even one single cell or molecule in common with the body I currently have. And why should it? My current body doesn’t have one single cell or molecule in it that I was born with. And this, incidentally, is what I mean when I say the “old body” will “cease to exist”. I mean it will have been ^transformed^ (as I have said REPEATEDLY, and as Paul says repeatedly).

    You are utterly STRAINING to make the case that people are resurrected into the same cells and molecules, but, the same as WHAT? As when you were born? As when you were 21? As when you died? (who would want that???)

    You seem to be stuck on the idea that the only available material that a body – this body, MY body – can be made of is it’s current cells and molecules. Yet, the current cells and molecules are both destined to decay and corruption, and whatever my resurrected body will be constructed of, it will NOT be corruptible or mortal. It will be “spiritual”. Yet, still, it will be MY body, even “this” body (if you will) – because it’s not going to be YOUR body that I’m raised with. It will be THIS body that undergoes the process of transformation called “resurrection”. That is to say, it will be ^this^ body that is transformed into something quite different: “made immortal and incorruptible”. ^After* undergoing this transformation (resurrection), it’s NOT GOING TO BE THE SAME OLD THING, Gary. It will have been changed, “glorified”, made immortal and incorruptible.

    You pull short quotes out of various writings, yet, fail to dig deeper to find out what is meant by what is written in those documents.

    I guess I just fail to understand why you don’t understand words like “transformation”, or phrases like “sown in corruption, raised up in incorruption”. You don’t really see the “before and after” difference at all. You don’t see that the very purpose of resurrection is to change “this current body” into “something else”. You can’t see how a lump of clay can become a beautiful vase, yet still be that clay – only in a very different form.

    I just don’t get that.

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  8. Gary –

    re: “Do you believe that the original heart, lung, and cells of the original body will come back to life, yes or no? If you say, no. You do not hold a Trinitarian view of the Resurrection.”

    This. Right here. This tells me you flat-out do not understand the resurrection concept at all.

    My original heart, lungs, and cells – WILL undergo the transformation of resurrection. Once that transformation is complete (which will be done “in the wink of an eye”) – those “cells of the original body” will have been TRANSFORMED. (duhhhh).

    You really don’t get the “before and after” picture, nor the concept of “undergoing transformation”. changed from corruptible to incorruptible.

    What about a body that is no longer heart, lungs, and cells? What about a body that has turned to dust, it’s molecules now part of some snail, and a tree, and a handful of worms, and maybe some in the grass and weeds, and some of that, eaten by cows, and now, those molecules are now in a cow turd? Do you think that somehow, at resurrection-time, all those molecules are going to be grabbed up to reconstruct my cellular structure, only then to be transformed into something that is NOT a corruptable structure?

    Even if I am uttedly decayed after 500 years in the grave, yet my body will undergo transformation. And, the thing that it is transformed in to may not have any of the original materials in it at all. After all, those were all corruptible (obviously), and the transformed body will be incorruptible.

    You really need to grasp this “transformative” nature of “resurrection”, because that’s what it is: a transformation. When Jesus’ body was resurrected, it was transformed (because, that’s what resurrection is). It changed from being the lifeless, “crude molecular matter” into something glorified – something beyond crude molecular matter. A “spiritual” body.

    So, to answer your question, I say my original heart, lungs, and other bodiy parts will be transformed. They don’t get “transformed” and then just remain the same. That wouldn’t be a transformation at all. They get transformed, Gary. That’s what Paul says.

    So, yeh, my original body parts will all get transformed into a resurrected state. Will I have lungs? Will I have intestines? Probably. But they sure won’t be made of the same stuff I died with. Paul says they’ll be transformed, and, I think he’s probably right. They’ll be different.

    And, what I’ve said above (in that last statement) is exactly no different that what you posted as “Trinitarian beliefs”.

    One last comment: You say “Trinitarians believe that the original body of a believer whose body was blown into millions of pieces in war, will be reconstituted in its entirety and brought back to life”.

    I say this is patently false. There may be some Trinitarians that hold that view, but, it is not at all an “across the board” thing, and it is most certainly not something that eminates from being Trinitarian. After all, Jews – who were clearly not Trinitarians – came up with the resurrection idea in the first place.

    I suspect, though, that most Trinitarians, and clearly, you, suffer from trying to support some kind of Aristotelian view of resurrection – meaning, same cells. But, one of the big problems with this concept is this: An adult person has an entirely different set of cells than he did as a kid. Thus – if your concept (which now appears to be Aristotelian to me) – is correct, then God could resurrect the “kid” that I was, even while I (the adult) am living.

    And, I suspect that a lot of Trinitarian thinking (most of which originated with Catholic views) is somewhat tainted by Aristotelian notions.

    As I pointed out earlier, this quote from Dan Vander Lugt is much more typically the view of Christians (“Trinitarian” or not):

    “A body buried in a wooden casket would decompose completely after a few hundred years, depending upon the conditions of the soil. Similarly, a seaman buried at sea would leave no traces. Not a trace seems to remain of all of those who went down with the HMS Titanic, for instance.

    The apostle Paul made it clear that our new body, though having a great deal in common with our mortal body, will be a “spiritual body.”[1] God will not need to gather up the scattered molecules of our earthly bodies. The bodies of many Christians and believers from before Christ have already decomposed, been completely destroyed by fire, or have been devoured by animals. Therefore, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 doesn’t require us to imagine a scene in which the ashes in funerary urns or decayed bodies in earthly graves are suddenly reconstituted. Rather, the resurrection is the wonderful occasion in which believers who have died will again be granted full bodily form, this time in a glorified body that can never again die or experience decay.”

    Clearly, Vander Lugt does not see any necessity for gathering up all the scattered molecules of our earthly bodies. And, I very VERY strongly suspect that if you look at the actual doctrinal studies of the various denominations, you’ll find that beneath the more simplistic “declarations of faith”, there is much more detailed discussion of the whole nature of resurrection.

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    1. “You say “Trinitarians believe that the original body of a believer whose body was blown into millions of pieces in war, will be reconstituted in its entirety and brought back to life”. I say this is patently false.

      —Well, try asking a few Trinitarian theologians and they will tell you that you don’t know what you are talking about.

      “Do you think that somehow, at resurrection-time, all those molecules are going to be grabbed up to reconstruct my cellular structure, only then to be transformed into something that is NOT a corruptable structure?”

      —That is EXACTLY what all major Trinitarian denominations teach. I’m not going to debate you further on this issue.

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      1. Gary – when you use the term “Trinitarians”, are you talking about the average, church-going, Christian that maybe reads something out of the bible once a week (while sitting in the pews at the Antioch Baptist Church) and otherwise, who gets their “bible knowledge” from watching re-runs of “Touched by an Angel”? Yeh, sure, THEY might believe all your individual cells are brought together, and then, in that same instance, turned into something else that is not corruptible.

        You say “I have never claimed that Trinitarian Christians ONLY believe that the corpse of Jesus was reanimated. I have always said that Trinitarians believe that the Jesus original body was reanimated and at the same time transformed”

        And, I believe this is your own big misunderstanding: you can’t have re-animation and transformation at the same time. Either the dead corpse is coming back to life again (ie, Lazarus) – and will then turn around and die at a later time – OR – it is transformed into something that will live an eternity.

        Resuscitation does not lead to an eternal body. The transfromation of having been resurrected does.

        Will it be your body that is transformed, so your spirit will be joined with your body, not the body of a cow. The actual state of your physical (then) corpse is virtually irrelevant. In fact, it is understood that it is very likely to have decomposed completely.

        This simple statement is, I believe, indicative of what the commonly-held view of Christian theologians is:

        “There is a difference between resurrection and resuscitation, or re-animation. Resurrection refers to putting on a new, glorified body, while re-animation, or resuscitation, mean raising the person in the old, mortal body in which they died.”

        This is from Pope Benedict XVI: “Now it must be acknowledged that if in Jesus’ Resurrection we were dealing simply with the miracle of a resuscitated corpse, it would ultimately be of no concern to us. For it would be no more important than the resuscitation of a clinically dead person through the art of doctors. For the world as such and for our human existence, nothing would have changed. The miracle of a resuscitated corpse would indicate that Jesus’ Resurrection was equivalent to the raising of the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:22-24, 35-43 and parallel passages), and Lazarus (John 11:1-44). After a more or less short period, these individuals returned to their former lives, and then at a later point they died definitively.”

        But, there is this Big Question: What about a body that was vaporized in a nuclear explosion? Do all the “original cells” come back together to form the “original body”?

        The answer is “no”.

        An entire body can be constructed from just the “knowledge” held in nothing but a strand of DNA – the “blueprint” for the organism. Is it possible that this “blueprint” is also held in the mind of God, such that God could, in fact, do a complete reconstruction of *you& that used none of the original materials at all? Yes, that is entirely possible.

        But, even then, I don’t think that is an accurate picture, because that would simply mean that the same, corruptible body (the one that died in the first place) has been recreated. The new body – the one that has risen up from the “seed” that Paul talks about – will be fit for an eternal life. Whatever “matter” it’s made of, it will be quite different from the original.

        From a Presbyterian site: “Many persons (even many Christians), upon hearing this talk about the resurrection of the body, become concerned about this Christian affirmation. In claiming to believe in the resurrection of the body, are Presbyterians saying that God will resuscitate or reanimate dead, decaying bodies—bodies which have long since decomposed and returned to the dust of the earth? Will God revive us in the very physical bodies with which we originally died? Will God resurrect us into the same physical bodies which will once again decay and perish as they did before (as do all physical bodies according to the laws of physics)?

        To these questions, we Presbyterians must say “No.” We believe that the resurrection of the body is a resurrection of a body quite different from the one which we have in this life.”

        As far as I can tell, Presbyterians are Trinitarians. So is the Pope. And I would suggest that once you get past the simple formulations of doctrinal statements, and into the discussions of the theologians that ultimately formed, or contributed to the forming of that statement, you’ll find that none of them really think all our cells and molecules are necessarily brought back together in some process that you call “re-animated and transformed”.

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        1. A resuscitated body (in the view of doctors, which I am one) is a body in which the heart has stopped beating but there are still living, functioning cells in the body, in particular, the brain. If the heart can be “jump started” before a critical number of these cells die, the person can be resuscitated (brought back to life) because he or she still has living, functioning cells. A body in which all of the cells are dead, as all Christians claim was the case with Jesus, cannot be resuscitated.

          A “resuscitated” body in Trinitarian theology is different. In the story of the raising of the son of the widow of Nan, he had been dead for some time, probably more than a day. So this was not a “resuscitation” in the medical definition of that term as all the cells of his body would be dead with the passing of that much time. This event (if it occurred, which I of course doubt) was a supernatural act that no doctor could perform. But in Christian theology, this was not a resurrection, because the widow’s son came back to life with the same exact body, without that body being supernaturally transformed. It could get sick, get old, still required food and water, and it would die again.

          In Trinitarian theology, the son of the widow of Nan was “raised from the dead”: His original dead body was brought back to life, in the state it was immediately prior to his death. He was not resurrected.

          In Trinitarian theology, Jesus was “resurrected from the dead”: his original body at the point of his death, all those cells, began to function again. They were brought back to life. However, at the same time, all those cells, tissues, and organs of Jesus’ original body were given supernatural properties that made them very different from his original cells, tissues, and organs. So “resuscitated” (in the theological, non-medical sense) AND transformed. That is Trinitarian doctrine.

          Trinitarians do NOT believe that Jesus original body vanished into thin air and was replaced by a spiritual body. The body was the same…just with new supernatural properties and powers. The fact that you cannot imagine resuscitation and transformation happening at the same time is inconsequential. As Trinitarians would say…”It is a mystery of God”.

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  9. re: “In Trinitarian theology, Jesus was “resurrected from the dead”: his original body at the point of his death, all those cells, began to function again. They were brought back to life. However, at the same time, all the cells, tissues, organs of Jesus’ original body were given supernatural properties that made them very different from his original cells, tissues, and organs”

    I’m still looking for some (any) definitive doctrinal statement of any “size-able” denomination that talks about Jesus cells being brought back to life.

    When you say ” all the cells, tissues, organs of Jesus’ original body were given supernatural properties that made them very different from his original cells, tissues, and organs”, you’re saying his “resurrected cells (et al)” were very different than the originals.

    This just looks like some very serious hair-splitting to me. If those cells are different, then they’re different. In fact, they could have been different enough such that they weren’t even made of the “same stuff” as the originals.

    I myself cannot imagine what kind of change you could make in a typical human cell to turn it into something that’s going to work for an eternity, and if you’re a doctor (as you claim to be), I’d be utterly amazed if you could tell me what aspect of that cell you could change to make that same cell function properly for an eternity.

    It would therefore seem to me that the change – the transformation – had to have been so complete as to amount to a “new” body – one that is immortal and incorruptable.

    Bottom line, though, is that I have – as of yet – to find any doctrinal statement that talks about our actual cellular structure being brought back together, and somehow those same cells each being made immortal and incorruptable.

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      1. Desiring God blog, owner: John Piper, Baptist theologian:

        Often when referring to the resurrection, Christians will speak of receiving their “new” body. That way of speaking is not necessarily wrong if the meaning is that our current bodies will be renewed so that they are “as good as (or, better than) new.” But we should not think of the resurrection as the reception of a new body in the sense that we are given a different body disconnected from the body we had on earth. Instead, the Bible teaches that the resurrection is a transformation of the same bodies we had on earth.

        Source: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/do-we-receive-the-same-body-we-had-on-earth-at-the-resurrection

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        1. The Writings of the early (Trinitarian) Church Fathers:

          These persons, to wit, say that many bodies of those who have come to an unhappy death in shipwrecks and rivers have become food for fishes, and many of those who perish in war, or who from some other sad cause or state of things are deprived of burial, lie exposed to become the food of any animals which may chance to light upon them. Since, then, bodies are thus consumed, and the members and parts composing them are broken up and distributed among a great multitude of animals, and by means of nutrition become incorporated with the bodies of those that are nourished by them — in the first place, they say, their separation from these is impossible; and besides this, in the second place, they adduce another circumstance more difficult still. When animals of the kind suitable for human food, which have fed on the bodies of men, pass through their stomach, and become incorporated with the bodies of those who have partaken of them, it is an absolute necessity, they say, that the parts of the bodies of men which have served as nourishment to the animals which have partaken of them should pass into other bodies of men, since the animals which meanwhile have been nourished by them convey the nutriment derived from those by whom they were nourished into those men of whom they become the nutriment. Then to this they tragically add the devouring of offspring perpetrated by people in famine and madness, and the children eaten by their own parents through the contrivance of enemies, and the celebrated Median feast, and the tragic banquet of Thyestes; and they add, moreover, other such like unheard-of occurrences which have taken place among Greeks and barbarians: and from these things they establish, as they suppose, the impossibility of the resurrection, on the ground that the same parts cannot rise again with one set of bodies, and with another as well; for that either the bodies of the former possessors cannot be reconstituted, the parts which composed them having passed into others, or that, these having been restored to the former, the bodies of the last possessors will come short.

          Chapter 5. Reference to the Processes of Digestion and Nutrition

          But it appears to me that such persons, in the first place, are ignorant of the power and skill of Him that fashioned and regulates this universe, who has adapted to the nature and kind of each animal the nourishment suitable and correspondent to it, and has neither ordained that everything in nature shall enter into union and combination with every kind of body, nor is at any loss to separate what has been so united, but grants to the nature of each several created being or thing to do or to suffer what is naturally suited to it, and sometimes also hinders and allows or forbids whatever He wishes, and for the purpose He wishes; and, moreover, that they have not considered the power and nature of each of the creatures that nourish or are nourished.

          Source: Source. Translated by B.P. Pratten. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0206.htm

          Gary: This is absolute proof that Trinitarian Christians believe that at the Resurrection, God will reconstitute the bodies of persons whose bodies have been blown apart in war, eaten by wild animals, or have decomposed on the ocean floor to be eaten by fish, which are then eaten by other humans, and therefore become part of another human’s body!

          Weird stuff, but that is what Trinitarian’s believe. THE END.

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  10. Gary – in a kindly-intentioned post, I’d like to suggest we end this back and forth.

    I believe I now realize what the issue is, and it shows up most readily in the Catholic statement about being resurrected in “this flesh”: The issue here is that you don’t understand how “this flesh” is defined by Catholics (and I do not say that to try to accuse you of any ignorance).

    Here is the Catholic Theologian Karl Rahners explanation:

    “‘Body’ (Fleisch) means the whole man in his proper embodied reality. ‘Resurrection’ means, therefore, the termination and perfection of the whole man before God, which gives him ‘eternal life.’ Man is a many-sided being which in (and despite) its unity stretches, as it were, through several very different dimensions— through matter and spirit, nature and person, action and passion, etc. And so it is not surprising that the process of man’s perfecting and the entrance into this perfection
    is not in itself a simple and identical quantity in every respect. “

    Regarding Cardinal O’Connor’s understanding, one author writes:

    Thus, if one asks “What has made me what I am?” O’Collins’s answer is “my particular embodied history and
    not, for instance, merely the millions of molecules which in a passing parade have at different moments constituted my particular physical existence…. [M]y whole bodily history is much more ‘me’ than the body
    which breathes its last at seventy or eighty years of age.” O’Collins concludes that it is the particular bodily or embodied history, “which makes up the story of every person,” that will be raised from the dead and brought to new life: “In a mysterious, transformed fashion the risen existence will express what embodied persons were and became in their earthly life.” In that view, “we will rise with our integral history,” shaped by our sex, language, culture and other factors.
    “My remaining in resurrection the particular person I had been depends on my particular embodied history being raised from death to new life.”

    My point here is NOT to “prove” anything, but rather, to say — these statements (above) are part of the ongoing discussion as to “how” resurrection works.

    Thus, while the Catechism does indeed say “this flesh”, one has to understand what they – Catholic theologians – mean by the term. And, above, you can see that it is a topic still under great consideration.

    This will be my last post on this matter.

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  11. It’s always winter but never Christmas with Christianity. Everything’s perpetually in the future: a future resurrection, a future judgement, a future Kingdom on Earth, a future eternal life… None of these things ever actually happen.

    So, as Ark says, who cares what these poor deluded souls believe about what a resurrected body is like. They might as well be discussing whether the tooth fairy wears a pink dress or a blue one.

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      1. Did you notice that KiIpatrick has dragged out bloody Ramsay for the gods’ sake!
        I am not sure if my reply in response to that comment will make it out of mod – always a submit and pray, yes …lol!
        FWIW – Ramsay was convinced that all of Paul’s letters were authentic.

        Robertson loves to leave asinine comments about not using Wiki but the passage Kilpatrick has included as if he has read the chuffing book is copied and pasted directly from Wiki – and.the schlenter didn’t even even credit it.

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