Saturday, December 02, 2006

The resurrection of Jesus

Redated to get it to the top of my blog.

The earliest Christians believed Jesus was still alive, but that his body had been left behind.

The earliest reference to the resurrection is in 1 Cor. 15. There we learn that the Corinthians accepted the resurrection of Jesus, but still disbelieved that a dead body could rise.

This is impossible to explain, if they had been taught that Jesus dead body had risen. After all, modern Christians have no problem with the idea that God can raise dead bodies, because they have heard stories of how the body of Jesus was raised.

The Corinthians worry is easy to explain if they believed that Jesus was a god. Jesus had been a spirit before he became a human , and became a spirit again after he died. Gods can do that. However, we are not gods, and so the Corinthians wondered how we could follow Jesus , when our bodies , like the body of Jesus, would stay in the ground.

The Corinthians knew that God could breathe life into dead matter. God had breathed life into clay and created Adam as a living person. So if they believed God could make dead matter live, why did they believe God would choose not to make their dead bodies alive?

They must have had good evidence that God had not made dead matter alive in the case of the resurrection. They must have had good evidence that the dead body of Jesus had not been made alive. Only this explains their wondering how they would be resurrected, as it appeared to them that God did not want to make dead bodies live again.

So far this is speculation, although reasonable speculation. If the Corinthians believed God could make dead matter live, and had heard stories of the dead bodies of Jesus, Lazarus, the daughter of Jairus etc, being made alive, how could they doubt that God would make their dead bodies live again? Answer. They had not heard these stories, and had good evidence that a resurrection did *not* involve a dead body being made alive.

We have to turn to 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul answers the objections of the Corinthians.

Paul calls the Corinthians idiots for wondering how dead bodies would be raised. And he immediately stresses that dead bodies are dead. ‘You fools! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed.’

If Paul thought the Corinthians were idiots for wondering how dead bodies could be raised, when it was child’s play for God to raise dead bodies, he would have told them so. He could have used such passages as Ezekiel 37, or talked about how God breathed life into dead matter to make Adam.

Instead, he thinks the Corinthians are idiots for wondering how dead bodies could be raised, as they have totally missed the point about a resurrection.

Dead bodies will not be raised. Instead, we will get a new body, made of spirit.

The Corinthians were as idiotic for wondering how dead bodies would be raised in the resurrection, as somebody would be idiotic for wondering whether we still have to take our library books back after the resurrection.

Such questions were irrelevant, which is why Paul never answers the questions of how corpses could get back missing limbs, or how a corpse destroyed by fire could be reconstituted from smoke and ash etc.

Paul goes so far as to contrast , Adam, with Jesus. ‘The first Adam became a living being, the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.’

The Corinthians were idiots for not realising that we would follow Jesus and leave our dead bodies behind. We are made from the dust of the earth, but like the resurrected Jesus, we will be made from heavenly material.


The whole chapter only makes sense when we take seriously Paul’s view that it is idiotic to wonder how a dead body could be raised. It won’t be raised. It is a non-problem. Paul says clearly ‘You do not plant the body that will be’, and talks about different kinds of bodies. Paul says there is first the natural body and then the spiritual body. The Corinthians presently have their natural bodies, and then they will have spiritual bodies.

Here is an analogy for how Paul writes. If you wonder how a magician can produce an egg from your ear, after you have seen him crack the egg open, then you are an idiot for not realising that there are two eggs. Paul writes the same way.

Why wonder how a dead body can be transformed into a resurrected body, when there are two bodies? In 1 Cor. 15, Paul stresses how there are different bodies made of different materials. Why stress that there are different bodies, if he is trying to tell us how the magician put the egg back together again?

English translations of 1 Corinthians 15 often mask Paul’s idea that after our natural body has died, we will get a body made of spirit. Just like Jesus, we will become ‘a life-giving spirit.’ People of that time believed that celestial things were made of entirely different substances to earthly things. Paul shares that view and emphasises it in 1 Corinthians 15. This makes no sense if he is supposedly teaching the Corinthains that their resurrected bodies would be made from flesh and blood, which is what the Gospels claim Jesus resurrected body was made of.

It does make sense if Paul is teaching that the resurrected body would not be made from the flesh and blood of our earthly bodies.

Paul is very explicit in 2 Corinthians 5 that we will leave this present body behind and receive a heavenly body. A new body to replace the old body. He often uses a clothing analogy. At the resurrection we will get a new set of clothes.

This means that the old set of clothes will be discarded.

The earliest reference to the resurrection, Paul’s writings, clearly indicate that the earliest Christians did not believe Jesus flesh and blood body rose from the grave.

48 Comments:

Blogger Martin Lack said...

Steven,

You directed me here, after not really answering my question about the historicity of "the empty tomb" in another forum, apart from to question, in a roundabout way, why the disciples took six weeks to "go public" with their message, and to suggest that, by then, the Jewish leaders would not have been able to touch (or identify) a corpse, even if it would have aborted the foetus of what was to become the worldwide community of the Christian faith.

Are you seriously asking me to believe that the body of Jesus was left to rot in a cave, despite the fact that producing it would have stopped the earliest Christians dead in their tracks?

Martin Lack
Author of http:\\www.geosus.org.uk

6:10 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Martin shows that he has not bothered reading the blog entry that he is meant to be commenting on.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Martin Lack said...

Steven,

Yes I did read the article, but I chose to ignore what I consider to be the “silly” part of your argument, as in your opening remark “The earliest Christians believed Jesus was still alive, but that his body had been left behind.”

However, if we are to follow that line of argument, I presume that you therefore dismiss any reference in the Gospels to an “empty tomb”, as revisionism (be that 60AD or 360AD)?

Whichever, I am not disputing the fact that the greek audience to which Paul wrote, would have probably, at least initially, laughed at the suggestion that a dead body “came back to life”. I accept, as does the present Bishop of Durham that, to them, the afterlife was populated by spirits, not bodies.

However, are we therefore also to assume that you consider the account of Paul’s presentation of the Gospel to the learned men of Athens (Acts 17:31-32) as an invention of a later generation? You might as well claim that, apart from the Pauline letters, the NT is not historically reliable and that many early Christians died for something they knew to be false.

In my humble opinion, which I believe I share with the vast majority of Biblical scholars, the message of Paul’s letters (and the synoptic Gospels) taken as a whole, is that Jesus was – and claimed to be – God in human form. Furthermore, given the mainstream Christian understanding of the Trinity - 3 manifestations of One God – I see no excuse for your line of argument, which appears to be maily founded upon one phrase in I Cor 15:45…

Furthermore, it is also my understanding that, although Paul described Jesus as “the firstfruits” of the resurrection (I Cor.15:23), he did believe that - unlike everybody else - the body of Jesus had and did escape the corruption of the grave, as is generally understood to have been prophesied in Psalm 16:10 “you will not let your Holy One see decay”.

Now do you accept that I have read your article?

1:23 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Martin ignores the teachings of the Bible.

The earliest Christians did not believe that dead bodies will rise again. Paul says so, and he was there.

Martin ignores what Paul says and why Paul says it, because it does not fit in with his preconceptions.

Martin has to rely, not on people who were there, but anonymous documents, written by people who never name sources.

Take a modern analogy.

If historians 2,000 years ago found a letter written by a Moonie claiming that the Reverend Moon was the Messiah, they would have proof that Moonies believed Moon was the Messiah.

Same with Paul. We have proof that many early Christians (in a big church in a big town ) did not believe in the resurrection of dead bodies.

If historians , 2000 years in the future, find an anobymous biography of Moon, written by a Moonie who never reveals his sources, and who shows no signs of evaluating any conflicting stories about the Reverend Moon, they would treat it with suspicision, especially if it teaches a party line different from what we knew Moonies believed.


Or another analogy, if we found letters by early Mormons claiming that the Golden Plates did not exist, this would cast huge doubt on the official Mormon line.

It is just the same with Paul. He reports early Christians who did not believe dead bodies could rise.


And Martin continues to repeat the big lie that early Christians died for a resurrection.

Why should we listen to people who lie for their faith?

5:33 AM  
Blogger CJD said...

If the Corinthians believed God could make dead matter live, and had heard stories of the dead bodies of Jesus, Lazarus, the daughter of Jairus etc, being made alive, how could they doubt that God would make their dead bodies live again?

SImple. Because they were Greeks who derided matter and thought it despicable that the one, true God would meddle in affairs like raising literal bodies from decay and death.

One wrong turn is all it takes.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

So that is why some of the earliest Christians converted to a religion which preached a bodily resurrection from the dead, and whose Old Testament had many stories of bodies rising from the dead.

Because they thought such a religion was despicable, they decided to convert to Christianity.

Perhaps Paul shared the view that God would not interfere in raising literal, flesh and blood bodies from decay and death.

'The last Adam became a life-giving spirit'

'Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God'

12:36 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

And perhaps the Greeks (the ones who converted to Christianity) derided matter and thought it despicable that the one true God could take on flesh?

12:38 AM  
Blogger CJD said...

Paul's Hebraic polemic in Corinthians is aimed precisely at this greekish tendency.

The fact that these Greeks would have carried over into their new allegiance of faith these tendencies is neither unusual or remarkable; it most probably occurred as it does with any "convert."

11:54 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

So why did they convert to a religion which supposedly preached resurrections of dead bodies?

What arguments could conceivably have converted them to Christianity?

And, of course, Paul shared the same distate for flesh rising that Greeks did. He said that Adam was made of the dust of the earth.

Paul insisted that new bodies would be made of heavenly material.

If you read Sanhedrin 90b, Jews did not think people were idiots for wondering how dead bodies could be raised. They answered the question, using all kinds of arguments that Paul just never uses.

12:02 PM  
Blogger CJD said...

What arguments could conceivably have converted them to Christianity?

They became convinced that the one, true God of creation worked decisively through this Jewish messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, to subdue the chaos of the world in the forthcoming eschaton (aka, "renewed creation"). Jesus was Lord now, not Caesar. This meant, among other things, that they personally would be put right with a holy God (aka, "sins forgiven") and freed up to obey him in a life of worship.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Hadn't these converted Christians realised before that the LORD was the true Lord, and not Ceasar?

Surely the idea that the LORD was the true Lord and not Ceasar long predated Christianity?

Can you name any converts (in the last 50 years) to Christianity who did not believe in a bodily resurrection of Jesus after their conversion?

If they had converted to Christianity, and Christians had preached a bodily resurrection of Jesus, that is what they would have converted to.

After all, that *is* what converts to Christianity believe.

9:42 AM  
Blogger the fonz said...

Steven,

How would you interpret Rom. 8:11?

"If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you."

8:13 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

It is generally agreed that Romans 8:11 is talking about our present life, and not about a future resurrection.

Paul is saying that without Christ, we are just 'dead men walking'.

Romans 8:1-11 is about how the spirit has been given to Christians.

The spirit has been given to our mortal bodies, and the spirit is life-giving.

Paul often talks as though we weree dead through sin, but made alive now through the Spirit, and Romans 8 is part of that talk.

See Ephesians 2:3 '...even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ...'

So it is not about a resurrection, but about having the life-giving spirit within our mortal bodies in the here and now.

10:24 PM  
Blogger Martin Lack said...

Steven,

It really bugs me the way you quote from the Bible as if it holds some meaning for you and (almost) as if you would want others to think that you yourself are a Christian.

Notwithstanding the fact that your enormous website gives "little away" about you as a person, you are clearly a very scholarly academic/theologian. However, given what you appear to believe, I do not see how you could be a "Christian" in the way St Paul would have understood that term.

Therefore, as someone else has previously asked you, what is your motivation for wanting to highlight supposed evidence of the lies and deception of the Early Church?

Please get off the fence; step out of the closet, and make a plain statement for once in your life, rather than just trying to tie everyone up in knots with words.

5:21 AM  
Blogger CJD said...

The Jewish Christians would always thought Yahweh was Lord over Caesar, but they anticipated the time when his representative would bring that to bear (on earth as it is in heaven, etc.).

Can you name any converts (in the last 50 years) to Christianity who did not believe in a bodily resurrection of Jesus after their conversion?

Borg and his kind. Just because he and the others who think like him are flat-out wrong on this point doesn't make them non-Christians.

It's simply not true that the ancients necessarily converted to "the bodily resurrection." Reducing Christian faith to that point alone is not credible (even if I would be prone to do it).

Moreover, your line of thinking treats conversion as an overnight experience, which hardly accommodates the complex sociological nature of faith and conversion. It is not remarkable to suggest that many people who were turned off by a bodily resurrection nonetheless considered themselves within the community of faith. Once again, part of "Paul's Hebraic polemic in Corinthians is aimed precisely at this greekish tendency."

Maybe after a lifetime of refusing to acknowledge that God raised Jesus in his body (Rom. 10:9) would lead us to say they were no converts at all. But in the interim, let's be a bit more rational about sociological baggage and how people convert to faiths that run deeply contrary to their assumptions.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Borg is a 'convert' to Christianity? Borg believes the stories of Jesus eating fish and being touched, but denies bodily resurrection?

As well as the Corinthian Christians, the Thessalonian Christians also seemed to be worried about their dead brethren.

In 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul reassures them that the dead are not lost. That the dead will also be resurrected.

But even there Paul never states that dead *bodies* will be raised or transformed.

That makes 2 very early churches with such important doubts about bodily resurrection that Paul had to write to tell them that the dead will be resurrected, that the dead were not lost

Clearly there was something about the resurrection of Jesus which made it prima facie unlikely that dead bodies would be raised.

But there is nothing in the Gospel stories to raise such doubts.

Or in the stories of Lazarus being raised from the dead.

Indeed, if Paul , or any of the early Christians had known such stories, doubts about resurrection would nevre arise.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

CJD writes 'Maybe after a lifetime of refusing to acknowledge that God raised Jesus in his body (Rom. 10:9)'

I do get really sick and tired of people putting the word 'body' into places where Paul omits it. It does make you wonder if people can read the Bible.

Here is Romans 10:9 says 'That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.'

It is good to know that people can only argue that Paul says God raised the body of Jesus by changing the Bible to make it say that.

10:23 PM  
Blogger CJD said...

I get really sick and tired of dunderheads who, in their desire to be spectacular, strive against the plain sense of the meaning of words.

Simply put, if the eschatological "resurrection" by definition means that the people will be literally walking around on two tangible legs on terra firma, then it is no stretch to paraphrase Paul's comments (in Rom. 10:9, among other places) as "raised in the body.

And to suggest that doubts would not arise if certain stories had been known is just plain stupid. Consider yourself. What do you doubt about the biblical stories you've heard?

5:36 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

The point is that Paul refuses to define a resurrection as a flesh and bones body walking around on two legs. He spurns every chance to say that, even when you would expect him to.



The Paul who does say that is the fake Paul of 3 Corinthians. The real Paul never does.



In fact, none of the early creeds have a resurrected Jesus walking the earth.



Paul says, very clearly so that even a dunderhead like me can understand, ‘The last Adam became a life-giving spirit’.



A spirit, by definition, does not have a flesh and blood body , which can walk around on two legs.



Of course, I do doubt Bible stories that I’ve heard.



That is why I am not a recent convert to Christianity, unlike the churches in Thessalonika and Corinth, who converted to Christianity and still worried that the dead were lost, because nobody had told them that dead , decaying corpses rise again. They probably agreed with 1 Peter that ‘All flesh is grass’, and so were worried about their dead comrades. I’m sure Lazarus could have put them straight…..



Paul writes as though people are idiots for thinking the idea of a dead, decaying corpse rising again was even relevant to a resurrection. He tells them that that goes into the ground dies, and that the body that will be is not the body that is planted.

As for dictionary definitions, Paul hardly uses them.

What is the dictionary definition of 'circumcision'? Why does Paul use the phrase 'circumcision of the heart'?

11:07 AM  
Blogger CJD said...

Um, let's see:

1) Wrong. Especially when "resurrected" by defintion means "in the body."

2) That's nice.

3) Don't know what creeds you're speaking of.

4)–5) The word there is "life-giving pneumatikos" not psychikos, which is the very word a Greek reader would have expected to see if he was being led toward a contrast between a physical and non-physical resurrection.

A life indwelt by the Spirit of God is the general gist there (versus an ordinary human life). Even a dunderhead can see that.

6) Folks in Thessaloniki and Corinth worried about the dead because of what they thought should have already taken place hadn't yet (i.e., the return of the king and, therefore, no death). Talk about straight-jacketing the text to make it say exactly what you want (I'm rolling my eyes at you, Steven).

7) Paul writes to tell them it's not a matter of mere resuscitation. What is corruptible and dead will be made incorruptible and given new life, which necessarily implies an overarching continuity between the two, even while there are certain discontinuities between them.

8) Paul uses "cirmucision of the heart" for the very same reason his ancient forebears did: "Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn" (Deut. 10:16).

That goes for you too, Steven.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

CJD continues to peddle the claim that Jesus was God Incarnate before the resurrection, and was only 'indwelt by the Holy Spirit' after the resurrection.

How can somebody be God made flesh and still not be indwelt by the Holy Spirit?

And 'the last Adam became a life-giving spirit' is not a claim that Jesus received the Holy Spirit at resurrection, not by any standards of twisting words.

The OT does use circumcision of the heart, yet circumcision is apparently defined as nothing to do with the heart.

CJD has merely proved that Jews did not take everything as literally as he does.

And , once again, CJD rewrites the Bible. Paul does not say that what is corruptible will be 'made' incorruptible.

He says that it will be 'swallowed up'.

The word means consumed to the last drop, devoured. When you drink water, you do not make the water anything. You swallow the water, and it is no longer visible.

Can anybody really say that when Jesus was resurrected, what had previously been mortal about (his flesh, bones, wounds) had been 'swallowed up', so thatno more of it remained?

10:49 PM  
Blogger David Wilkerson said...

I'm with Steven on the nature of the resurrection for the most part here. Look at Luke 24:37-39. 'Spirit' clearly means non-physical ghost-like apparition. Luke denies Jesus is a spirit and instead uses the word 'flesh' to describe him, the very word Paul rules out.

In 2 Cor 5, Paul calls the body a tent in which we live. While we are in the body we are away from the Lord. He still envisions some sort of new house, but it's not the old one.

For what it's worth, 1 Cor 5:5, envisions an immoral man having his flesh destroyed so his spirit can be saved in the last day. Perhaps yet another indication about the irrelevant fate of the body.

1 Corinthians 6:13 'food' and 'stomach' are for each other but God will destroy both. Eating is not forseen in the resurrected body. And yet Luke again goes out of his way in chapter 24:42-43 to have the risen Jesus eating fish.

Peace

9:31 PM  
Blogger David Wilkerson said...

But Stephen, only 'some' in Corinth deny the resurrection in v.12. So it is possible some believed something like the gospel accounts if one could read Paul as supporting them. I can't, but others are trying.

And why does Paul argue in 15:13 that if there is no resurrection/continued existence (in whatever form for the dead friends) then Christ is not raised? You have argued that Paul's readers could already see Christ pulling off the continued spirit-life thing without them. So how would this be persuasive? They would just say "Well Christ is special, he's a god". Paul seems to be saying if they don't get up/continue to exist, then Christ couldn't either. That seems to work best as an argument if the two parties both have something in common like being bound to a physical bodily existence. So Paul would be saying if our physical bodies which are asleep aren't getting up, Christ's isn't either.

Do you see what I'm getting at? I would like to hear your take on v.12-19.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Your points are very good, and I would have discussed them in the article , if I had had space.



Some in Corinth did believe in a resurrection of the dead. Paul contrasts the resurrection-deniers with those who baptise for the dead.



However, all seemed to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. They were Christians , after all. Further confirmation is that Paul tries to argue that if they keep denying the resurrection, they will end up at the conclusion that Jesus was not resurrected.



So they were not starting from the position that Jesus was not resurrected.



You were quite right that they would just have said ‘Jesus was special. He was a god’. I’m sure that was the view of many of them.


It would be a bit like people believing Zeus could turn into a swan and back, but still denying that anything special could happen to ordinary swans.

Jesus, being God, could easily turn back into the spirit he had been, but how could mortals live on after their death?



Paul’s argument was that what happened to Jesus would happen to us, as we also partake of a spirit.

We have not only a natural (psychikon) body, but also a spiritual (pneumatic) body. The resurrection deniers had missed this.

Denying the resurrection meant denying the existence of spiritual bodies , which meant denying the existence of the resurrected spiritual body of Jesus.

4:11 AM  
Blogger the lost message said...

Steven,

I assume you have read N.T. Wrights seminal trilogy on the new testament including one volume devoted to the resurrection.

Wright, through painstaking research, goes through the early afterlife beliefs of those in the ancient world to appreciate the new testaments understanding of resurrection - especially in Paul's thought.

I commend this book to you as you seem to be making sweeping generalisations in Paul's understanding and the understanding of resurrection in second temple jewish thought.

Regards,
Simon

2:48 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Wright , of course, never quotes in full 'the last Adam became a life-giving spirit', nor does he ever quote 1 Peter saying 'All flesh is grass'. Perhaps because Wright knows that even his readers can spot that Paul intends us to think that we will share in the second Adam's nature and become a life-giving spirit, and because Wright knows that it is impossible for the author of 1 Peter to think that all flesh is grass and also to teach that flesh will be made eternal.

Wright is simply wrong about what Paul says. One reason why he never quotes all of the relevant bits of 1 Corinthians 15, and when he does, he adds words not in the text, like 'body', which he adds to places where Paul deliberately left it out.

People have tried to use Wright's arguments, and they hit a brick wall of quotes from what Paul says.

Even Wright has to concede (on page 280 of his resurrection book, if I remember rightly), that it is 'no doubt right' that 1 Corinthians 15 speaks of an exchange of a body , rather than a reforming of the body.

Not even Wright can totally spin away Paul's words.

4:14 AM  
Blogger the lost message said...

Thanks Steven for your kind reply. I took the time to go through your blog and have noticed your attention to detail in many places, so sorry, if in my tone at least, I jumped the gun.

I think the great asset of Wright's book is putting afterlife beliefs and language within the context of second temple judaism and hellenism. As you are aware, some have attempted to hellenise Pauls Christology - however Wright puts Paul strongly with a Jewish framework.

The dualism within Greek thought, matter is bad, spiritual is good, is not found in Paul and of course develops into the later 'heresies' of gnosticism. For the Jew matter is good and infact in the created order 'very good'. With strong themes of eschatological redemption, all things coming under Christ, even creation (matter), suggests the physical is not bad.

If Jesus, by his resurrection is the 'first fruits' of this resurrection (eschatologically) then interpretating the text as a non-physical body, is unsupported. As Wright has suggested, Paul seems to be straining at the borders of language in attempting to define and convey the 'Christ event'. I would consider, along with Wright, that this can only be unnderstood in terms of a physical resurrection. However I know the text is more than this, as Jesus isn't just brought back to life, he is 'the risen one' - the resurrection - the first fruits.

The phrase 'life-giving spirit' is interesting. Wright argues for a spiritual body in 1Cor and then draws on the extended Lukan narrative of this 'body' in action. I see no reason why 'life giving spirit' in light of a spiritual body, need to be taken in purely spiritual non-bodily sense. One can affirm both.

Perhaps because Wright knows that even his readers can spot that Paul intends us to think...

Wright is a new brand of scholars who are attempting to go with the evidence. He is not in the realm of apologetics - and one can see, especially in his dialogue with Marcus Borg, that Wright argues for the case which he thinks is most convincing as an historican first. He is controversial both to liberals (affirming the historicity of the synoptic gospels) and traditional evangelicals (challenging the reformation view of justification language). This places him in an unique position in Christian scholarship and not one where he is attempting to dupe the reader.

I haven't read back over this so I understand it is a jumble of mess.

Do you write for infidels.org? I am sure I recognise your name and have read you before??

Simon

5:39 AM  
Blogger the lost message said...

Hi again,

I found your blog through Michael Pahl where you were attempting to wind him up for a debate! I read you website a few years back now, especially the debate with Motyer and found it engaging and interesting. I hope you will being to browse the biblioblogs on the web.

There is plenty of scholarship out there which isn't about apologetics and point scoring, but rather reasoned debate from a range of Christian positions (conservative and liberal and inbetween). Although the points you raise are vaild and important, it seems to me you may fail in understanding the full range of scholarship and debate outthere. You have a considered agenda, (judged by your comment on Michaels blog!) and are looking to pick a fight rather than enter dialogue. Although I conceed your email exchange with Moyter was a dialogue.

It would be good to see you engage on the biblioblogs with those currently writing doctrates and Professor in universites. You rblog would be a welcome addition to the community.

Michael points to a range of sites but the king of them all is ntgateway.com

Regards,

Simon

8:55 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

SIMON
I think the great asset of Wright's book is putting afterlife beliefs and language within the context of second temple judaism and hellenism. As you are aware, some have attempted to hellenise Pauls Christology - however Wright puts Paul strongly with a Jewish framework.

CARR
Paul describes his former beliefs as 'garbage'. Paul rejected them so thoroughly that he even ate unclean food - unthinkable to a second Temple Jew.

SIMON
The dualism within Greek thought, matter is bad, spiritual is good, is not found in Paul...

CARR
Paul describes our current body as a 'body of death' and wants to be rescued from it. (Romans 7)

Paul has a much simpler dualism, which he outlines in 1 Cor. 15. Heavenly things are made out of different materials to earthly things. Hence we will get a new body, made out a new material.


SIMON
... and of course develops into the later 'heresies' of gnosticism. For the Jew matter is good and infact in the created order 'very good'.

CARR
Where does Paul say that? And stereotyping Jews is not very polite.

The author of Hebrews says the current world will be rolled up and discarded, in the way that you change clothes.

SIMON
If Jesus, by his resurrection is the 'first fruits' of this resurrection (eschatologically) then interpretating the text as a non-physical body, is unsupported.

CARR
Paul thought the body was physical, as physical as other celestial bodies, such as the sun or moon.

But naturally not made out of earthly materials, just as the subn or moon were not made from materials found on earth.

SIMON
As Wright has suggested, Paul seems to be straining at the borders of language in attempting to define and convey the 'Christ event'. I would consider, along with Wright, that this can only be unnderstood in terms of a physical resurrection.

CARR
And 'physical' is Wright throwing sand in people's eyes, as Paul considered spirit to be just as much an element as air, earth , fire and water.

SIMON
The phrase 'life-giving spirit' is interesting. Wright argues for a spiritual body in 1Cor and then draws on the extended Lukan narrative of this 'body' in action. I see no reason why 'life giving spirit' in light of a spiritual body, need to be taken in purely spiritual non-bodily sense.

CARR
More false dichotomies. Paul is clear that the resurrected Jesus had a body. But one made from spirit.

SIMON
Wright is a new brand of scholars who are attempting to go with the evidence. He is not in the realm of apologetics


CARR
Oh please....

SIMON
- and one can see, especially in his dialogue with Marcus Borg, that Wright argues for the case which he thinks is most convincing as an historican first. He is controversial both to liberals (affirming the historicity of the synoptic gospels) and traditional evangelicals (challenging the reformation view of justification language).

This places him in an unique position in Christian scholarship and not one where he is attempting to dupe the reader.

CARR
Then why does he devote 700 pages to proving Christians believed flesh would be made eternal, and never quote 1 Peter saying 'All flesh is grass'. (There is a footnote, saying 1 Peter 1:24-27 is a 'positive passage', but no quotes or reasoning why it is 'positive'.

10:49 AM  
Blogger the lost message said...

Paul is clear that the resurrected Jesus had a body. But one made from spirit.

I think I am beginning to see where you are coming now. I would affirm this. Paul uses seed language. This physical body is sown and a spiritual body is reaped.

Can I ask how you envisage this body? What do you understand by spiritual?

1:28 PM  
Blogger the lost message said...

Then why does he devote 700 pages to proving Christians believed flesh would be made eternal

1Cor 15.53-4 raises this issue. perishable body putting on imperishability. Also it is the Pauline concern of the redemption of all creation in Col 1.15-20(Wright would argue this is a Paul text- although I am not entirely convinced).

I am not a Pauline scholar although my friend Chris Tilling (do a google blog search on his name and you will find him) is. He is currently working through 1Cor and may shed light on Pauls understanding of 'spiritual'and the redemption of all creation.

About the matter of the Alpha course you attended. It is a shame. Christians are often not there own best advert. We have arrogant fundamentalists amongst our ranks. We work hard on Alpha to avoid the very response you got. Also, like you I am not the biggest fan of Nicky Gumbel!

Kind Regards

Simon

1:45 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

'Paul uses seed language.'

He uses seed language to demonstrate to the Corinthians the foolishness of not realising that what goes into the ground dies.

They are wondering how a corpse (perhaps burnt to ash) can be revived, and they don't realise that that is just a seed which dies, and is no more than a marker to tell God what kind of body to create.

1 Corinthians 15 says :-

35But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?"


36How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.

37When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

38But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.


'You do not plant the body that will be'.

To Paul, it was just a seed. Just as a wheat seed dies, and God knows to create wheat from the type of seed which died, a human body dies and God knows to create a human body.

The point is that Paul thinks the Corinthians are foolish not to realise that dead bodies are dead. The body has died. It is not the body that will be. It just tells God what sort of thing to create, either wheat, or something else, or a human body.

What do I mean by spiritual? It is what Paul means by spiritual in this context, and the context is of heavenly material.

Paul tells the Corinthians about the different sorts of materials in the cosmos (using examples of things which do not turn into each other), and then flat out denies that resurrected people will be made from the dust that corpses dissolve into.

47 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.

48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.

49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

Remember, the resurrection deniers in Corinth accepted that God could breathe life into dead matter.

Paul tells them about the creation of Adam, fully expecting them to accept it.

So the stories of the resurrectio n of Jesus must have given them doubts that God would choose to makde dead matter live.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

'1Cor 15.53-4 raises this issue. perishable body putting on imperishability.'

Wright might like adding the word 'body' to verses 53-54, but Paul deliberately leaves out the word 'body'.

Should we respect his wishes? Not if we want to defend the present-day Christian faith.....

And why would he not write the word 'body' , except for the obvious fact that he doesn't believe that our perishable body will put on imperishability?

12:38 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

I couldn't help noticing that Simon never interacted with any of the ideas in the article, such as why the Corinthians doubted, or how Paul's words were supposed to allay their doubts.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Steven, you appeal to "The whole chapter", 1 Corinthians 15, but have you read the whole chapter? In verses 3 to 7 of this chapter Paul clearly teaches that Jesus' body was raised from the dead and appeared to many - and reminds the Corinthians that he had preached this to them before. Yet you claim that "They must have had good evidence that the dead body of Jesus had not been made alive."

The juxtaposition "that he was buried, that he was raised" in v.4 makes it very hard to argue that Paul taught that Jesus' body was buried but something other than his body was raised. The clear implication of this passage is that Paul believed in the empty tomb, that the body of Jesus was not left to rot but was transformed into a new body.

Indeed this seems to be made explicit with regard to the general resurrection in vv.52-53, where we read that "we shall be changed. For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable..." (RSV). It is not that the perishable perishes and the imperishable replaces it; rather the perishable is transformed into the perishable. This is also supported by the analogy of the seed in vv.36-38, for a seed does not rot in the ground but is taken up into and transformed into the body of the plant.

Yes, Paul doesn't answer all the tricky questions about this. But why should he?

12:45 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Thank you for your comments. I do appreciate them.

I can't find the word 'body' in 1 Corinnthians 15:3-11

It is simply begging the question to claim that Paul meant that the body of flesh was raised. It is nowhere stated or implied.

'He was buried' 'He was raised', means no more than that Jesus was buried and that Jesus was raised.

It does not mean that Jesus was raised in the body he was buried in.

In fact Paul states flat-out 'You do not plant the body that will be', and implies the Corinthians are foolish for thinking that somehow that is what ought to happen.


And the word 'opththe' in 1 Cor. 15:3-11 for when Jesus 'appeared' is usually meant in the New Testament for a trance or vision (such as when the man from Macedonia appeared to Paul in Acts)



Why does Paul ever even bother to talk about the subject of resurrected bodies in such generalities, if simply pointing to the example of Jesus ressurected body would have settled the matter once and for al?

THE SEED ANALOGY


You or I might think that a seed transforms into the plant, but Paul says that the seed dies.

There is a seed-case, which is discarded.


The Corinthians didn't realise that the body was just there to tell God what sort of thing to create, either wheat if a seed of wheat is planted, or a resurrected being if a corpse is planted.

The seed has nothing of its own. It is 'bare' or 'naked', as Paul puts it.

QUESTIONS WHICH REMAIN

And , once again, a commentor totally ignores the arguments in the article.

Why did the Corinthians scoff at the idea of a corpse rising?

Why did they convert to Christianity?

Why does Paul call them fools for wondering how a corpse could be raised, and then not tell them how a decayed, rotting corpse is reformed?

Why does Paul refuse to say that the flesh is saved or raised, but instead tells the Corinthians of this heavenly material that resurrected bodies are made of?

Why does Paul talk totally differently to other Jews when faced with the question of with what sort of body a corpse is raised, when it has dissolved into the dust of the earth?

Why does Paul deliberately contrast the Adam made from the dust of the earth with the Adam who became a spirit that gave him life?

Questions which are impossible to answer on the hypothesis that Paul is teaching that dust will be raised.

Indeed, commentors on this article cannot bring themselves to ask such questions, and prefer to look for the word 'body' in passages which lack it.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Oh, and when Paul says 'we will be changed', he uses the same verb as in Romans 1:23 where God is 'changed' into an idol.

Clearly the word can also mean 'exchanged', just as it can in Romans 1:23 where people exchanged God for idols.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Custard said...

It's worth of course remembering CS Lewis's comments on the nature of the resurrected body.

I don't have Lewis to hand, but a rough summary is that Biblically the resurrection body is indeed different in character to the current physical body - it is transformed (as Paul says), but that does not make it any less real or less physical. In fact, it makes it more real, more physical, more solid than the matter we are used to.

You seem good at spotting the details Steven, but sometimes I fear you miss the wood for the trees.

2:08 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Custard is of course putting words in Pauls mouth when he says Paul claims the body will be 'transformed'

Even the word 'alasso' that Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 15 is used elsewhere by Paul to mean 'exchanged' , rather than 'transformed'.

Unless Custard thinks God was 'transformed' into an idol in Romans 1:23.....

2:14 AM  
Blogger Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

This is an interesting discussion of I Cor 15. My problem is that Steven sounds a bit too much like the Sadducees who adamantly refused to understand the concept of resurreciton at all, trying to impose their own categories of what is and is not permissible upon something that is outside any and all pssibility of ocmprehension because it is outside our experience - until Jesus is raised from the dead, that is. Jesus teaches us about reusrrection the only way one can, by doing it. The "spirit/body" dichotomy Steven insists upon is a misreading because it creates an "either/or" where Paul was saying "both/and" transcending our normal ways of udnerstanding. We can sit and parse words back and forth, win and lose arguments, feel superior or inferior. Or, perhaps, we can let it be what it is, a maystery, but one that offers hope and promise, and exists independent of anything we can say about it.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

It is Paul who creates the dichomoty between a body made of earthly materials and a body made of spirit.

But I shall let Paul explain, and tell how the dichotomy is as stark as that between a fish and the Moon.

1 Corinthians 15

39 All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.

40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another.

How much more clearly than Paul create a dichotomy than by saying that heavenly bodies are one thing and earthly bodies are another.

That is what creating a dichotomy means - saying one thing is one thing, while another thing is a different thing.

And these things are as different as a man is from a fish, and a fish is different to the sun.

Paul is saying that the Corinthians are foolish for thinking that a corpse turns into a resurrected being, and wondering how that could happen.

As foolish as somebody who thinks a fish can really turn into the sun, but is puzzled as to how that happens.

It is Paul who creates the dichotomy.

He is no more explaining to the Corinthians how the corpse can turn into a 'life-giving spirit' than he is explaining to them how a fish can turn into the moon.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

That is not a "dichotomy" because there are multiple distinctions Paul is making; and the distinctions are not those Paul made up, but are rather a kiind of popularized Platonzed Aristotleanism that was the popular metaphysics floating around the eastern Med in the first century. What Paul is trying to tell the Corinthians is that they are thinking about death and resurrection all wrong; it isn't body/soul business. It is a whole new way of conceiving the question of identity. It isn't that hard to understand unless you want to get bogged down in the semantics, and also if you don't want Paul to say something. It is so easy to create a situation that becomes either logically or rationally unintelligible - it is called setting up a straw man, in this case, a straw-Paul. Since Paul doesn't say what you insist he hasy, I'm not sure there is an argument here, or an explanation, or much of anything else.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

'That is not a "dichotomy" because there are multiple distinctions Paul is making...'

That is what 'dichotomy' means.

And Paul never attacks belief in an immortal soul. There was no body/soul dichtomy in the Corinthians thought.

The Corinthians simply did not have such a belief. They did not take part in baptism for the dead, implying that they thought that the dead had no reward.

So , while you claim Paul was telling the Corinthians that it was not a body/soul thing (I notice you can't find Paul saying that), Paul wasn't , because the Corinthians never imagined it as a body/soul thing.

They just said that dead bodies were dead, presumably because they had seen no evidence to suggest otherwise.

Paul is telling them that the Corinthians thinking that resurrection involves the raising of a corpse is wrong.

I can quote him 'But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?" How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else...'

It is foolish to wonder how the seed comes back. It is dead. It has to die. You do not plant the body that will be.

Paul continues '38But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body'

God will give it a body. God will create a new body. The seed is just there as a marker. Perhaps a wheat seed, perhaps a corpse. It is just there to tell God what sort of body to create.

Paul then explains how things are different , just as a fish is different from the moon, and then says 'So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.'

The resurrected body is as different from a corpse as a fish is different to the moon.

And Paul *never* says that the corpse will change into the resurrected body. That would be like saying a man could change into a bird.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Okay. I stumbled across this blog entry entirely by accident. I am no biblical scholar, but I wanted to give my view of this account, so I beg your patiene if I'm just repeating something that's been discussed and discarded, or misreading the translation involved.

Stephen, your argument is pretty well set up, and you back yourself up well. It took me several readings of these and the previous blog entry, along with all the comments, to try and get an idea of where you were coming from. My problem is with your initial assumption - that Paul was arguing against the idea that God could resurrect people bodily. You seem to assume that the Corinthians had trouble with the idea that Jesus was raised bodily. I'm going t try and answer this b sidestepping it a little.

Now imagine this setup. The Corinthians knew the story of Jairus' daughter and Lazarus. They also knew that Jesus was raised bodily from the dead. The thing about these incidents is that they were finite - Jairus' daughter still died, as did Lazarus, eventually, and Jesus left them. However, it seems to me necessary for Jesus to have been raised bodily from the dead, and to appear in bodily form, because the evidence then becomes irrefutable, and not the mass hallucination caused by grief that many people would no doubt have liked to explain it. I see no reason why that physical body might not later be transformed into something spiritual, as Elijah's must have been, if you are to believe that he was taken bodily into heaven AND that the heavenly body is spiritual.
I agree that Paul thinks that the resurrected body is transformed, or exchanged, for something much more than the physical body. I can't see that you would read it in any other way. BUT given that we know very little about the spiritual, I wouldn't rush to draw any conclusions. You mentioned that he argued that there ae many different types of flesh, but even animal, human and fish flesh share many things in common, not least 50% of our DNA! Of course,before someone jumps on that and completely derails the whole discussion with some facetios comment, Paul wasn't ware of the nature of DNA, but there are other parallels, observable to even a first century Roman. Therefore, we can't draw many conclusions about the nature of our new bodies, except that they will be the same in some ways, different in others and imperishable.

What I have issue with is that, from Paul's argument, you conclude that the Corinthian stance is diametrically opposed, and then you read more into Paul's argument than he writes. Paul is talking about our bodies being more than merely physical, you draw from that that the Corinthians thought that all resurrection is bodily, that if they knew that about the instances of bodly resurrection they wouldn't be asking these questions, and also, that by what Paul DIDN'T say, he had no concept of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Despite your thorough aproach, this stil admits a large number of assumptions.

Would it not be just as fitting that the Corinthians were busy arguing about hose petty irrelevances, such as the destruction of bodies and limbs, and who would be married to who in heaven, and that Paul was writing in response to those petty squabbles. It would fit the rest of his letter, as he tends towards calling them children, and wonders how they could possibly grasp the "whole food", when they're sruggling with the milk he has given them. Jesus had the same thing - people are stupid,and we tend to get bogged down with the immediate and the irrelevant. The questons they are asking are the same that Bart Simpson asked in Sunday school, and tend to copletely miss the point. Paul cannot use the resurrection of Jesus in this argument, as
1) He was God
2) he had other reasons for appearing bodily e.g. so people who know beyond a doubt of his resurrection, and not just claim it was a bunch of visions and fabrications.
3)He went away, and we don't know whether he kept his body or not. All we know is that he lived.

I have no more evidence than you that this was the case, but do you not think it fits the scriptural evidence? It seems to me that your whole argument is set up to show,not whether bodies are physical or spiritual, but that bits of the Bible were added, therefore the Bible is wrong, God doesn't exist, the whole thing is a dangerous myth. I don't see that, in this case, you have any kind of contradiction. At best, you have the vague possibility of one, which cannot be substantiated.

4:28 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Thanks for your insightful comments, to which I have a few responses.


ANNA
Now imagine this setup. The Corinthians knew the story of Jairus' daughter and Lazarus. They also knew that Jesus was raised bodily from the dead. The thing about these incidents is that they were finite - Jairus' daughter still died, as did Lazarus, eventually, and Jesus left them.

CARR

If that was the difference that was causing the Corinthians problems, then why didn't Paul contrast the forthcoming resurrection with the resurrections of Lazarus and the girl, to resolve the differences?


Why should we assume that either the Corinthians or Paul knew of these stories and also assume that all the people raised by Jesus had died by the time Paul wrote?

After all the girl was only 12 when she was raised.

She would only have been about 35 at the time of the letter.

Also , early Christians saw no difference between the resurrections of Lazarus and Jesus.

I think it was Tertullian who said the resurrection
of Lazarus was an outstanding model of the resurrection of Jesus.



So that is three big assumptions which have to be made, and even
granting those assumptions still does not explain why Paul does not
contrast those resurrections, if it was the contrast in the
resurrections that puzzled the Corinthians.

Remember Paul also had to
write to the Thessalonians telling them not to grieve like people who
had no hope for the dead

ANNA

However, it seems to me necessary for Jesus to have been raised bodily from the dead, and to appear in bodily form, because the evidence then becomes irrefutable, and not the mass hallucination caused by grief that
many people would no doubt have liked to explain it.

CARR

Well, Paul did not produce 'irrefutable' evidence that any resurrected Jesus walked the earth in a flesh and blood body.

ANNA
I see no reason why that physical body might not later be transformed into something spiritual, as Elijah's must have been, if you are to believe that he was taken bodily into heaven AND that the heavenly body
is spiritual.

CARR

This is not what Paul says, and if that was a solution to the
Corinthians difficulties, he would have explained it along the lines
that you just did.

ANNA
I agree that Paul thinks that the resurrected body is transformed, or
exchanged, for something much more than the physical body. I can't see
that you would read it in any other way.

CARR

Exchanged is how I read it.

ANNA
BUT given that we know very little about the spiritual, I wouldn't rush to draw any conclusions. You mentioned that he argued that there are many different types of flesh, but even animal, human and fish flesh share many things in common, not least 50% of our DNA!

Of course,before someone jumps on that and completely derails the whole discussion with some facetious comment, Paul wasn't aware of the nature of DNA, but there are other parallels, observable to even a first
century Roman.

Therefore, we can't draw many conclusions about the
nature of our new bodies, except that they will be the same in some
ways, different in others and imperishable.

CARR

Paul also had no idea what a resurrected body would really be like, which explains the obscurity of his writing and his inability to use first-hand knowledge.

It was Paul, not I, who came up with the categories of different things, fish, men, birds and animals. He believed these did not transform into each other.

He also used the examples of the sun and the moon, clearly trying to
convey the impression that a resurrected body and the 'body of death' that we inhabit now are as different things as a fish and the sun are different things.


But why explain that there are such different categories of things, if all the Corinthians were puzzled about is why Jesus did not die again?

Why the talk of totally different *substances* if Paul is explaining
that the revived body has the *same* substance , but made immortal?

ANNA
Would it not be just as fitting that the Corinthians were busy arguing about those petty irrelevances, such as the destruction of bodies and
limbs, and who would be married to who in heaven, and that Paul was
writing in response to those petty squabbles.


CARR
It seems to me this is precisely what the Corinthians were worried
about. How could a corpse that was missing a limb , be made to live
again? How could a corpse burned to ash and smoke, be revived , when it has disappeared?

ANNA
It would fit the rest of his letter, as he tends towards calling them children, and wonders how they could possibly grasp the "whole food", when they're sruggling with the milk he has given them.

Jesus had the same thing - people are stupid,and we tend to get bogged down with the immediate and the irrelevant. The questons they are asking are the same that Bart Simpson asked in Sunday school, and tend to copletely miss the
point.

CARR
Such questions are not simplistic at all. They are the sort of questions that would occur to anybody.

My blog gives examples of later Christians asking and answering exactly those questions.

2 Baruch also gives an example of a Jew answering almost exactly the
same questions that Paul was asked, but answering them in entirely the opposite way. Far from stressing that the resurrected body will be entirely different, perhaps as different as a fish is from the moon, the
author says the resurrected body will be restored in exactly the same form that it was went it died.

I agree with you that Paul thinks such questions completely miss the
point, even if later Christians and Jews were very concerned with such questions.

He regards the 'body of death' as history. It is dead. 'You do not plant the body that will be'. He regards it as foolish to worry what will happen to the natural body, because there is also a spiritual body.

See 2 Corinthians 5 where Paul tells the same Corinthians that it
doesn't matter if the earthly body is totally destroyed.


ANNA
Paul cannot use the resurrection of Jesus in this argument, as
1) He was God

CARR
But Paul does use the resurrection of Jesus. He says The first Adam
became a living being, the last Adam a life-giving spirit'.

Clearly he wants to tell the Corinthians that what happened to Jesus will happen to them - they too will become life-giving spirits.

ANNA
2) he had other reasons for appearing bodily e.g. so people who know beyond a doubt of his resurrection, and not just claim it was a bunch of visions and fabrications.

3)He went away, and we don't know whether he kept his body or not. All we know is that he lived.

I have no more evidence than you that this was the case, but do you not think it fits the scriptural evidence? It seems to me that your whole argument is set up to show,not whether bodies are physical or spiritual, but that bits of the Bible were added, therefore the Bible is wrong, God
doesn't exist, the whole thing is a dangerous myth. I don't see that, in this case, you have any kind of contradiction. At best, you have the vague possibility of one, which cannot be substantiated.


CARR
I don't think so. The Corinthians were worried about what would happen to their corpses, and Paul says such questions are foolish, because you will get a new body, made of spirit, to replace the destroyed body.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Frank Walton said...

Looks like Stevie thinks he has something profound to say.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Ab Truth said...

no frank he doesn't

he makes more of 'possible' ambiguities than are reasonable.

if you head to the areas he has touched on (a disproof of God?) that rely more on logic you will find his own arguements fail on first read..

his other work relies as i said on 'possible' ambiguities... just beacuse something is possible does not mean it is likely or reasonable

5:21 PM  
Blogger Ab Truth said...

Steven ..its now the 10 Feb 2007 and you havent responded or changed anything for months... have you abandoned you blog or have you changed your mind???

2:14 AM  

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