Saturday, November 19, 2005

N.T.Wright and the Resurrection of the Son of God

The Gospels deny that the resurrected Jesus was a spirit. They claim the resurrected Jesus had flesh and blood and ate fish.

This contradicts the earliest writer about the resurrection, Paul, who said that Jesus became a life-giving spirit. Paul also said 'Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God', and that God will destroy both stomach and food.

The Bishop of Durham, NT Wright wrote a massive book 'The Resurrection of the Son of God', where he attempts to show that Paul and the Gospels are in unity about the nature of the resurrected Jesus.

He deals with Paul saying that the last Adam became a life-giving spirit by never quoting it in full once in his 700 plus page book.

Paul says 'The first Adam became a living soul, the last Adam became a life-giving spirit'. Wright never quotes this in full, perhaps because it contradicts the claim in the Gospels that Jesus did not become a spirit. When Wright does quote 'life-giving spirit', he quickly starts to talk about a life-giving body.

I feel that if Paul wanted to talk about a life-giving body, he would have said so. But Paul says that Jesus became a life-giving spirit, because Paul felt that Jesus had become a life-giving spirit after the resurrection.

On page 290, NT Wright destroys the Gospel idea that the risen Jesus ate fish :-

'There is that about the body which will be destroyed; in the non-corruptible future world, food and the stomach are presumably irrelevant. So, for that matter (since find and stomach point metaphorically here to sexual behaviour and sexual organs) will human reproduction be irrelevant. Paul is again treading a fine line here, since he wants to say simultaneously both that the creator will destroy the bits of the body which are being touted by some in Corinth as those to do what they like with and that there is bodily continuity between the present person, behaving this way and that, and the person who will be raised to new bodily life.'

So it would appear that the Gospels conception of what the resurrected Jesus was like totally contradicts the beliefs of the earliest Christian writer , Paul.


Blogger Don Jr. said...

Since I am not well-informed on the subject matter of this particular post, I will not comment. I just wanted to compliment you on the nice blog you have here. I don't remember how I came across it, but I see that you have blogged on a number of very interesting subjects (at least to me), such as the problem of evil, molinism, omniscience, free will, and foreknowledge. I am looking forward to your future posts.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

The word "spirit" plays a big part in Pauline theology. I would recommend reading Gordan Fee's God's Empowering Presence. Fee argues that Paul did believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

I am glad Fee has the sense to see that Paul argues for a bodily resurrection of Christ.

But it wasn't the body which went into the ground.

12:12 AM  

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