Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


THE MAGICAL & GLORIOUS RESURRECTION BODY OF JESUS

The central doctrine of Christianity is how Jesus rose again by his own divine power in a body that was very different from what he was like before. It needed no food, it could go through walls, it was immortal and free from the risk of sickness and it could change form. Not a single text in the Bible says that anybody witnessed to this.

 

The gospels do not stress that it was Jesus himself raised him.  John says he raised himself but gives no evidence.  Jesus rising does not prove that he was responsible.   You would wonder when John says that the disciples baptising is the same as Jesus doing it when he did not literally baptise could mean that saying Jesus did something may not be literal.  What if he thinks that something raising Jesus from the dead is the same as Jesus doing it?  If the resurrection were credible as a sign of salvation and a sign that Jesus the saviour he said he was then there would be more stress on and clarity regarding Jesus bringing himself back to life.

 

Despite the fact that ancient ghost stories are rife with people touching spirits Christians stress how Jesus must have risen and not been a mere ghost for he was touchable. The fact remains that the New Testament fails to eliminate any concerns that it sir sexing up a ghost story.

 

Matthew 28:9 says Jesus could be touched: Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

 

By the way they were not likely to do that if Jesus had injuries from being nailed in his feet or from carrying a heavy cross. It would be suspicious if Jesus was wearing something to cover his feet. Was this a man pretending to have been a crucifixion victim?

 
John 20:27 allegedly agrees with Matthew about a touchable Jesus for Jesus asks Thomas to touch him.  But it does not say he did feel him.  John 20:17 has Jesus telling Mary not to touch him for he was going up to God. The text does not say she actually did touch him. Some say it’s a gay hint that from now only men could touch him. Some say 20:17 is not about touching but holding. Thingano means hold not touch. Mary was told by Jesus not to hold him. But that is splitting hairs as if anybody cares if it was a firm touch or a light one. Some think her vision was a trick by some spirit which didn't want her touching him for he was not the risen Jesus.

The touching is inherently spurious and the way the story is told adds more doubts.

 

The apostles, at least John and Peter, seem prone to seeing apparitions of "men."  "And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9.30).  The vision was of men as if they had bodies.  Oddly the New Testament never records a glorious Jesus, except during this vision which happened long before the resurrection, and here we have glorious Moses and glorious Elijah as well.

 

The angels who talked and ate with Abraham and acted like men show that the Bible imagines beings without a body can seem to have one - see Genesis 18:1,2; Heb 13:2.

 

The gospels say that the risen Jesus did not look the same and showed up in locked rooms. But that is not the same as saying he had the power to alter his features by magic and pass through walls. All they saw was a man who ate and who seemed normal. Paul speaks of seeing a glorious Jesus but it is to be expected that when apparitions are reported that one person at least will think they see something supernatural. Knock, Fatima and Lourdes had trouble from people who tried to imitate the "real" visionaries who saw Mary and reported some odd things. And besides what did Paul mean by seeing Jesus? Did he just see a light? And the Christians did not necessarily interpret glory as meaning anything supernatural. The gospel of John says that Jesus showed his glory at Cana when it came to the knowledge of some that he had turned water into wine. It is not talking about his appearance.


I wrote elsewhere that the New Testament says Jesus was an apparition not a man. There is no contradiction. If the early Church interpreted their experiences of a normal Jesus as apparitions then there is no contradiction. You can have an apparition of what seems to be a normal man.

 

The Church has known for centuries that the notion of Jesus being a mere resuscitated corpse is not going to appeal to anybody or make much of a spiritual

difference to their lives. And part of us wants bodies that are not prone to sickness and weakness and death. We want to think Jesus got a body like that and will give us similar bodies. That is why the Church invented a new doctrine about the magical glorious body of Jesus.

 

According to Christianity, “The Bible says that Jesus was radiant and healthy and happy after he left his tomb after he died. He wouldn’t have been if the swoon theory, the thought that Jesus survived the crucifixion and met up with his disciples again, were right. If the disciples saw a sick and bleeding Jesus they would not believe that he really rose from the dead.” The doctrine that the resurrection requires the resuscitation of the whole body of Jesus is wrong. Nor does the New Testament ever say that Jesus looked well after his resurrection. There are no accounts of him being bathed in light in the gospels following his crucifixion or of how beautiful and angelic he looked.

 

Lets assume that the swoon theory is right. The disciples probably surmised that God was up to one of his plans that look like madness in human eyes if they saw a Jesus who looked like a crucifixion survivor. They might have thought that that God left Jesus in the state a survivor of crucifixion would be in if that was the kind of Jesus they saw. Jesus had made them more than familiar with and used to that idea about God’s mysterious plans.

 

The New Testament never says that Jesus was glorious and free from weakness and bleeding when his disciples saw him after he rose though Paul described him as glorious when he appeared to him. John says he had wounds and Luke says he still ate. He looked so ordinary to the men he went with to Emmaus that to say that the gospels support the view that Jesus behaved magically after his comeback from the dead is to be delusional.  The time the men walked with a man to Emmaus and then decided it was Jesus is interesting for it means they walked with him for perhaps hours and still did not realise it was Jesus.

 

All the Bible says is that Jesus was immortal after his resurrection (Romans 6:9). Even Paul’s statement that Jesus has a spiritual body now does not refute me for Jesus might have had a spiritual body that materialised and behaved exactly as a normal one would. Perhaps it was a normal body then and had gradually evolved into a spiritual one. The stories about Jesus appearing and disappearing never actually say he came and went back into thin air. They can be read more naturally so they should be. For example, if you say your friend instantly disappeared people know what you mean and it is not a dematerialisation. There is nothing to persuade us that Jesus was not just a crucifixion survivor. Many say that the ascension story could be interpreted as Jesus walking up a mountain into a cloud. The idea that he levitated is not there at all.

 

The apostles might have thought that it was a good thing to lie or tell what they thought was the truth about Jesus being raised even if it did not look that way.

 

If Jesus really rose from the dead or survived the Jews and Romans would have looked for him even if it was just to discredit the supernatural resurrection story. Why then is this not mentioned in the gospels? What were they hiding?

 

Matthew 28:17 tells us that when the disciples saw the risen Jesus some doubted and would not worship him. We do not know if they doubted that it was Jesus or that Jesus was really raised from the dead and had survived naturally. Bearing in mind their credulity in relation to things miraculous, and the testimonies that Jesus rose that would have impressed them, it is probably the latter. But at least it shows that Jesus looked like an ordinary man and not like the holy pictures. He looked so tangible and human that they doubted.

 

John’s Jesus tells Mary Magdalene not to touch him for he had not ascended into Heaven to his Father. He did not mean that she was not good enough to touch him for he was not like that according to John. And if he did then she would be less right to touch him if he ascended to God. He may have meant that she was hurting him for he had not ascended bodily to God to get that body turned into a perfect magical body. He says he will get one but not when. Or perhaps he did have the magical body which makes this fit Paul and that body was kept subject to ordinary conditions because he would not transform its behaviour and qualities until he went to Heaven.

 

I stated  in another page, Keep in mind that in theology, resurrection is not the same thing as revival or resuscitation. It is salvation of the body and giving it eternal life. In the John Gospel, Jesus tells Magdalene not to touch him. John does not tell us what he meant by saying, “Don’t touch me for I have not gone to the Father yet.” To the unbiased theologian Jesus talks as if he is only a revived corpse at that point in time. Going to the Father is possibly a way of saying God has not changed his body into the resurrection body that Paul talks about that is more like a spirit body than an ordinary one. The way is opened to saying that the spiritual body doctrine was not based on anything but theology and hypothesis for all the apostles said they met was a ordinary man back from the dead.

 

Jesus tells her he is ascending to my father and your father and my God and your God.  Christians say that he means he is actually God's only real son which is why God is his God and his father in a way that is different from her.  God then is her adoptive God and her adoptive father.  John 1:18 says Jesus is the sole begotten child of God.

 

When Jesus ate fish before his friends according to Luke he seems to have had an ordinary body that needed food. He told them he was not a ghost and did this and asked them to touch him to prove it. It would not prove it if he could materialise a body and go through walls at will. I stated that none of this proves the physical resurrection of the whole body of Jesus and I still stand by that. The risen body could have been miraculously multiplied from some cells of the old one lying in the tomb and seemed to be the whole physical body revived. Perhaps it became a spiritual body later.

 

John says that Jesus entered the room where the apostles were hiding though the doors were locked. You don’t need a body that can pass through solid wood for locks to be unable to keep you out. This was probably the upper room where Jesus had held the last supper for there was no place else (he was not as popular as the Gospels say!) So Jesus could have had a key. They were so excited to see him that they might not have even thought about asking how he got in.

 

Hebrews 4 says that Jesus is able to sympathise for us now in Heaven because he knows what it was like to be a vulnerable man. Not only does this tell us that Jesus was not God for God incarnate could not be described as vulnerable even if he lets people hurt him for letting people hurt you is not like being hurt and unable to do anything about it but it also tells us that Jesus suffers the pain of compassion for us now through his recollection of what suffering is like. Only an ordinary body could undergo that pain.

 

The magic body doctrine is in the Bible but no evidence from the resurrection visions is offered for it. It cannot be found clearly in the gospels. It is just an interpretation. It is possible that when the apostles could not recognise the risen Jesus it could be because Jesus was sick and dying. Christians will object that he did a lot of walking for a man who was dying but how do they know there was nobody wheeling him around – somebody that the apostles knew nothing about?

 

When the Bible says that prophecy rather than witnesses verifies the resurrection it follows that all the witnesses agreed that they could have been deceived but it all depended on them interpreting prophecy right.

 

The Gospel of John purports to be the record of a witness to the resurrected Jesus. It is assumed that this person was claiming to be John the apostle.

 

Whoever it was, he later wrote: “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he [Christ] shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Clearly he had not seen the risen Jesus at all. He was indicating that nobody did. If the author had seen Jesus as “he is,” he would have known what we would be like when in the resurrection we are made like him.

 

Paul wrote that we will resurrect like Jesus and we will have bodies that are copies of his glorious body. It does not say that glory is intrinsic to the body. Indeed there would need to be some glory in the resurrection for us to be motivated to want resurrection!

 

Conclusion

 

Nothing in the accounts about the risen Jesus indicate that it was a body that was INTRINSICALLY unbound by nature.  Jesus was able to walk on water and shine like the sun as a normal living man so its hard to see what advantage the resurrection supposedly gave him.

The case for Jesus having a magic body is pure speculation. The bottom falls out of the Christian hope for a miracle and immortal and beautiful body patterned after that of Jesus.