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Resurrection

Christ’s Resurrection: Bodily or Only Spiritual?

The earliest testimony we have about the Resurrection comes from St. Paul’s letters, and they describe Jesus undergoing a bodily resurrection from the dead.

Trent Horn – Catholic Answers Article –

Some atheists reject the resurrection accounts because they say the first Christians only believed that Christ’s spirit rose from the dead. They then explain all the evidence for the resurrection as grief-induced visions or hallucinations while Jesus’ body rotted away in the tomb. For example, atheist Dan Barker claims:

It is perfectly consistent with Christian theology to think that the spirit of Jesus, not his body, was awakened from the grave, as Christians today believe that the spirit of Grandpa has gone to heaven while his body rots in the ground. In fact, just a few verses later Paul confirms this: “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” The physical body is not important to Christian theology (294-295).

The earliest testimony we have about the Resurrection comes from St. Paul’s letters, and they describe Jesus undergoing a bodily resurrection from the dead. Barker tries to get around this fact by claiming Paul used a Greek word for Jesus’ resurrection that refers only to the resurrection of the spirit rather than the resurrection of the body. Specifically, he claims Paul used the word egeiro, which means simply “rise” or “wake up” and that “Paul did not use the word ‘resurrection’ (anastasisanistemi) here, though he certainly knew it.”

However, St. Paul says Jesus was “designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection [Greek, anastaseos] from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). So, contra Barker, Paul does describe Jesus rising from the dead with a form of the Greek word anastasis. Moreover, Paul uses egeiro and anastasis interchangeably when speaking about the relationship between our future resurrection from the dead and the reality of Christ’s resurrection..

Read the full article on Catholic.com