It’s hard to believe that we’ve been on this one chapter for a week. Bear with me! We are nearing an end!
Tonight, the question is what is meant by resurrection. I would definitely recommend as helpful to anyone on this reading Guthrie’s work “Soma in Biblical Theology.” Guthrie makes a strong case that when the Bible uses the word Soma, it refers to a body and not to a person. There is one exception and the exception is what proves the rule, and that’s slaves. It doesn’t take much pondering to see why. Slaves would not be seen as persons but simply bodies.
So what about the idea of flesh and blood not inheriting the kingdom of God? It’s amazing that Loftus doesn’t see the problem in this for someone who studied apologetics. Flesh and blood was a common idiom of the time in Jewish thought. It did not refer to a physical nature but rather it referred to the sinful nature of humanity. Our human bodies as they are cannot inherit the kingdom. It doesn’t mean we take on an immaterial nature.
While Paul does speak of spiritual bodies, he does say that the spiritual man inherits all things in 1 Cor. 2:15, the very same letter. He surely does not mean the immaterial man. What he refers to in each case is that which is dominated by the Spirit rather than the flesh. When the Jews heard about a body, they would think of a physical body.
What about being like angels in Heaven? Jesus says how they will be like angels. He says that they will not marry or give in marriage. He does not say they will become immaterial. In Christian thought, the body is a good thing. God was not being foolish when he created our bodies. How they will work in the new kingdom is something we’ll have to wait to find out, but we will have them.
Loftus refers to the 1 Cor. 15 appearance to 500 and how Robert Price refers to it as an interpolation. I have a good friend though who happened to talk to Bart Ehrman and present this view to him and got told that “Well, if he wants to believe that.” It can be claimed that it is a good case, but a case that will not receive credibility in the scholarly world.
Loftus wants to know then how to reconcile the physical actions in the gospels with what Paul says. It’s really simple. You simply reject the modern view of a spiritual body and understand the text as it was meant to be written.
Unfortunately, what we have afterwards is simply a repeat of the same arguments and as has been said before, there is not much credibility given to someone who considers Spong an authority.