"So pneuma probably wasn't for them a "different kind
of physicality from any known on earth". It was probably rather, an
ODD FORM of physicality known on earth."
I did not say "pneuma" was for them a "different kind of physicality from
any known on earth". I said "soma pneumatikos" was that *for Paul*. I
suspect Paul to be stretching the language here in order to express a
complex idea - as many scholars and indeed poets do regularly. I have no
problem, however, with the idea that it may be an odd form of physicality
which may have been known on earth.
Mike also wrote:
"As far as this goes, then, it would be jumping to an erroneous conclusion
to think that, for Luke, when Jesus was in heaven, he was in human form."
I'm not sure it would be an erroneous conclusion, but it is certainly not a
necessary one. You rinterpretation is certainly possible, and I am not sure
that anyone has any "knock-down" evidence on this one. For myself, I tend to
date Luke/Acts early (it would be too long a digression to go into why right
now), and on that basis I could not accept your interpretation. Your
interpretation seems to be founded more on Greek philosophical ideas, which
came very much to the fore later in the NT period: I see Luke/Acts as
exhibiting many characteristics of an early work (e.g. low christology,
somewhat naive view of miracles, undeveloped doctrine of the atonement) and
such a mindset would, I think, be more likely to interpret the ascension in
a more literal fashion, which would imply that Jesus was in some sense human
in heaven. This whole matter is, of course, open to wide debate.
JOHN E STATON
Penistone, Sheffield UK