Re: [XTalk]: Physical bodies in heaven
- --- John Sabatino wrote to me:
> I don't know what you mean specifically by "resurrection in spirit"As to what this has to do with 1 Peter, I refer you to 3:18-19,
> and what that has to do with 1 Peter, or how we know that Luke
> knew of this and perceived it as "not good enough", but I'd be
> appreciative if you could clarify.
which I mentioned in a previous note. I'm not, of course, claiming
that Luke knew 1 Peter, but simply that resurrection as pneuma
wasn't good enough for Luke's target audience.
> I'm trying to understand what your overall theory is, and it looksYep, you got it. (I thought it was rather clear, actually.)
> like you're saying that the original resurrection stories were
> rendered more physical by Luke (among others) in an attempt to
> make them seem more real -- to further establish that Jesus'
> resurrection had indeed actually occured.
> If this is the case, and you think that Lk 24:39 is the proof ofAfter reading the material that follows this in your note, and
> this, I think you're begging the question.
supposedly supports it, I still don't see it. Perhaps you can
explain more briefly how you think I've begged the question.
> Firstly, we should note that *if* Luke's goal in this passage isMy guess is that Luke and/or his audience had some compunctions
> to present evidence to those who disbelieve Jesus' resurrection
> based on the supposition that the disciples merely saw a phantom,
> then it is odd that he doesn't have the disciples follow through
> and actually touch Jesus' body in disconfirmation.
about anyone actually touching the Holy Body. Be that as it may,
ISTM that this textual feature actually supports what my view
implies - namely, that it was _touchability_ that was of primary
importance - however that could be established. In Luke's mind, the
mere offer to be touched (issued as it was by He-who-cannot-tell-a-
lie) was apparently enough. But this may have been felt to beg the
question, and so we get the further evolution in GJn, where actual
touching IS involved, and where the connection with doubts about the
resurrection is made plain. For Thomas (serving as stand-in for all
those who doubted the resurrection), seeing was not believing.
> But, many commentators have presented other interpretive optionsWhich is to say that my view might be wrong. Sure it might. Almost
> 1. Luke 24:39 may not be at all about presenting stronger
> apologetic proofs *that* the resurrection *had occurred*.
anything is possible. It's a question of what's more likely.
> Though admittedly the uncritical stance of more conservativeTo my mind, this is certainly NOT "equally possible".
> commentators like Bruce and Morris (and none the less likely
> for that), it is equally possible that Luke thought this is
> actually *how* it all occured.
> 2. If an apologetic motif is present, it may be that Luke isBut if one set of competing views chronologically succeeded and
> answering those who *over-spiritualize* the resurrection -- not
> doubt that it occurred. This still wouldn't imply any evolution
> in the tradition, just competing views.
supplanted another, wouldn't you call that 'evolution'?
> 3. Ernst, Grundmann, and others have seen in these passages anGiven the claims of docetism that J's body was always mere
> anti-docetic tendancy.
appearance, ISTM that an easier, more direct, and more effective
defense against it would have been to show that J had a normal
physicality PRIOR to the resurrection. But if one argues that
docetism arose in the first place because the resurrection had
orginally been presented as "in the spirit", and so Luke was trying
to correct that weakness, then I think my case is made.
> 4. Luke may have a purely didactic purpose in mind here relatedWell, I think that this possibility is quite remote, but if it were
> to the community's concerns about how they themselves [would] be
true, what would that imply about their thinking? That they couldn't
imagine being in heaven without having bodily (as opposed to mental)
sensations? But that again seems to make my case, because that would
seem to imply that physical was more real to them (not necessarily
to Luke) than spiritual.
> 5. Brown (1991:54) points out that "Luke's primary interest isI believe that there's some question about the authenticity of
> in the identity of the risen Jesus ("It really is I")..." and
> that such emphasis on his bodily aspects may not be "too different
> from having the two disciples at Emmaus recognize Jesus in the
> breaking of bread." Jesus appears out of nowhere, his appearance
> frightening/startling the disciples, after having entered into
> his heavenly glory (Lk 24:26), and now must reveal his continuity
> with their former teacher, presenting his wounds immediately
> after the invitation to touch.
24:40, but in any case, I marvel at Brown's ability to avoid the
obvious by elaborate misdirection. The eating and the offer to be
touched are proofs of physicality, not proofs of identity.
> So given that this deduction (more accurately labeled an opinion)I don't think the case is much hurt by a double negative asserting
> of your's regarding Lk 24:39 doesn't leap right off the page at
> us, it doesn't follow that we're not committing an anachronism
> when we assume that Luke would bother emphasizing physicality to
> enhance the proofs of the resurrection.
mere logical possibility ("it doesn't follow that we're not
committing an anachronism"), since that doesn't go at all toward
showing that "we" ARE comitting an anachronism, but I notice that
you continue to use the word "assume", and that is certainly not
the right word to use in this situation. I believe that in fact the
proof of physicality DOES "leap right off the page at us"; you
believe that it does not. In either case, we're assessing the
obviousness of a possible implication, not making an assumption.
> Indeed, in order to further convince a Greek audience of the(Plato, and Riley on Plato, are then quoted)
> reality of the resurrection, he might do the exact opposite,
> given that some would have seen the soul as more "real" than the
> body, and certainly a more likely candidate for postmortem
Yes, I agree that for an intellectual who held to Plato's view of
the psyche, it would be as you say, but I don't quite see how
psyche, or Plato's view of it, enters the picture at this point.
Luke's physical proofs were directed against pneuma, not psyche,
and for Paul, psyche was associated with corruptibility, i.e.,
normal or earthly physicality, if you will. That's the one part of
my response; the other would be that I simply don't buy it that a
general "Greek audience" would have seriously believed that a
spiritual substance was "more real" than a physical substance.
Maybe they believed that demons were AS REAL AS coins, but ask your
typical Greek shop-keeper of the time whether he'd accept heavenly
coin in return for his goods, and you'd find out pretty quick which
kind of coin he took to be more real. (The relevance to Luke being
that a physical human body was evidently more real to his audience
than a pneumatic entity in the form of a human body.) I think it's
safe to say that ordinary Greek folks of the time probably agreed
with the contemporary playwright-critic of Plato, that the
philosopher's head was "in the clouds". Now if Luke had been writing
just for Platonistic philosophers, or for folks who wouldn't bite a
coin to see if it was genuine, he might have done as you suggest.
But he wasn't, so he didn't.
> Was the Holy Spirit that filled and empowered the disciples atDo you mean, was Holy Pneuma less real for him than physical bodies?
> Pentecost really any less real to Luke than the resurrected Jesus?
I suppose one would have to say not - even if quickly to add that
the proof of the presence of the HS was always physical. Note, for
example, that the evidence that Luke presents for the HS being at
work in the disciples was that they went out in public and spoke in
tongues. Without that, how could one show that the disciples really
had the HS? And without normal physicality, how could one show that
J had actually been resurrected? The first attempt was via various
"appearances", but that evidently didn't work for most folks.
> But putting that aside, the problem is that the conditions of thisOK, let me back-and-fill a bit here. The text certainly doesn't
> general principle have not been met. You've simply assumed that
> writer X believed Y.
support a claim that Luke himself believed that the resurrection
necessarily involved normal human physicality, and if I said or
implied that, I'll have to eat my words. What I thought I was saying
was that the text shows (to my mind rather clearly) that he and/or
his target audience believed that there was a need for physical
proof. Now I think that the only counter-argument that has any force
is to show that, IN SPITE OF what the text SEEMS to imply, it
actually doesn't. But you're evidently unwilling to grant even that.
As near as I can make out, what you seem to be saying is that the
text COULDN'T HAVE BEEN in the nature of a physical proof (because
Luke and his audience were X's, and X's had certain beliefs contrary
to that), therefore it CAN'T EVEN SEEM TO BE a physical proof. But
that's such a bad argument, I have to assume that that's not what
Mt. Clemens, MI
- On Dec 31, 2004, at 10:44 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:
> The difference that most Christians would ascribe toI would take a different tack: that Jesus was the "first fruits" of the
> Jesus is that he is divine, being one person of the
> triune Godhead, whereas everyone else who will be
> resurrected (whether physically or spiritually) is
> human, all too human.
general resurrection and that, by raising him from the dead, God has
promised to do likewise for those who are "in" Christ. I take this to
be Paul's take as well (see 1Cor 15.12-20).
However, I doubt that that this is the average pew-sitter's view, at
least in Evangelical circles. In my experience, their emphasis would
be on Jesus' crucifixion resurrection as an act of atonement, and what
was unique about Jesus was his innocence. That is, Jesus was a perfect
sacrifice, without sin, who could therefore atone for the sins of all
mankind. Those who take this point of view tend not to think of
"heaven" in terms of resurrection, and even Jesus' resurrection would
be emphasized much less than Jesus' crucifixion. Even the Left-Behind
crowd talks about the general resurrection of the dead as being "raised
up" or something, reserving the term "resurrection" for Jesus himself.
Patrick Narkinsky - patrick@...
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."
- Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan