Resurrection Debate – Question #2 From Tim With Vocab’s Response

Q2. You mention in your rebuttal the fair and true point that creeds evolve over time, and that the pertinent question is not when the faith started, but when a particular *idea* within a faith came about. The earliest christian writings, i.e. Paul and Mark 1:1-16:8, make no mention of bodily resurrection. Indeed, Paul speaks to Jesus only in an ethereal vision. Later writings become more and more emphatic about the “fleshiness” of the resurrected Jesus, to the point of groping his feet and wounds and feeding him fish. This indicates to me that the bodily resurrection is a later addition to the resurrection story. Can you provide me with solid evidence that the concept of a BODILY resurrection has been present in Christianity since its inception?

A2. It is incorrect to say Paul makes no mention of a bodily resurrection, as the previous answer demonstrates. Furthermore, Jewish belief at the time does not allow for any other kind of resurrection except a physical ‘standing up among the corpses’ type of resurrection. All one needs to do to see what kind of resurrection Paul meant is refer to a Greek lexicon. To see this point being illustrated superbly in a debate, check out the pertinent section in Richard Carrier’s debate against William Lane Craig at Northwestern Missouri State University in 2009. You will see it is hopeless to argue against the physicality Paul uses in regards to Jesus’ resurrection.

Further, Mark does mention the resurrection! He mentions Jesus’ resurrection 4 times explicitly – Mark 8:31, 9:9-10, 9:31, 10:34 – and two times implicitly – Mark 14:28 and 16:6. A notable fact about some of these resurrection related statements is that a number of them include the phrase ‘Son of Man,’ which is undoubtedly a phrase that goes back to Jesus himself.[1] Another indicator that certain portions of Mark are ultra early is the pre-Markan Passion narrative. Here, Mark talks about the high priest but does not mention him by name (14:53-63) – this makes it likely that Caiaphas was still the high priest when this section originated so there would be no need to state his name. The latest date for this tradition is 37 AD because Caiphas was the high priest from 18-37 AD.

Lastly, Tim makes it plain in his question he thinks Mark and Paul leave out bodily resurrection but that Matthew, Luke and John include it. Is he seriously asking us to believe that bodily resurrection managed to simply creep into Christianity between the years of 65 (when Mark was written) and 70 (when Matthew was written)?

[1] This phrase – Son of Man – even passes all of the idiosyncratic criteria laid out by the Jesus Seminar. Nonetheless, they reject it because it suggests a Messianic consciousness, which they will not ‘allow’.

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About Kazz

My name is Shawn Esplin and I am an advocate of Free Thought and general good sense and thought in general. To that end, I encourage people to seriously question the things that they have been taught, especially as children, because many of these things - religious and secular - are taken on faith until we actively choose to seriously examine them for ourselves.

One thought on “Resurrection Debate – Question #2 From Tim With Vocab’s Response

  1. Here’s a brief excerpt from an article on the nature of the resurrection body I’ll use as an addendum for my answer:

    Paul’s word for “body” can have no other meaning than a physical body. … [Robert] Gundry’s landmark study of the word used for “body” (soma) makes it quite clear that something physical is intended. In ‘Soma in Biblical Theology’, Gundry examines the use of “soma” in other literature of the period and shows that it refers to the physical “thingness” of a body. It is often used in a sense that we would say, “We need a body over here” with reference to slaves who are used as tools; to soldiers who are on the verge of death, to passengers on a boat, and to people in a census. In other places it is used to refer to a corpse…

    Xenophon (Anabasis 1.9.12) refers to the people entrusting Cyrus with their possessions, their cites, and their “bodies” (somata). Plato refers to the act of habeus corpus in terms of producing a “soma”. Aristophanes refers to the throwing of a “soma” to dogs. It is used by Euripides and Demosthenes to refer to corpses.

    source -

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