By Guest Nicole
CHRIST’S BODILY RESURRECTION ‘I have power to take it again’Jn 10:18
Watchtower Teaching: ‘Jesus was raised to life as an invisible spirit. He did not take up again that body in which he had been killed . . .’ ‘Let your Name be sanctified.’ (p.266).
The Watchtower teaches that Jesus’ body was disposed of by God.
The NWT mistranslates I Peter 3:18 as ‘being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit’ to teach merely a spiritual resurrection of Christ.
Bible Teaching: I Peter 3:18 refers to when Christ died. His Spirit went and preached to spirits in prison (v. 19,20). After three days, Christ’s physical body was raised.
I Peter 3:18 (KJV) correctly reads: ‘being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.’
Which Scriptures best teach Christ’s bodily resurrection?
1. ‘They were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.’ (v.37) He said unto them, ‘Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.’ (Luke 24:37, 39)
Notice that the resurrected Christ says here that:
(1) He is not a spirit;
(2) His resurrection body has flesh and bones;
(3) His physical hands and feet are proof of His physical resurrection;
Jesus is trying to convince them that He, ‘I myself’ has a permanent physical body which still had the nail scars in His hands and feet. This is opposite to the WT teaching that Christ’s body was disposed of and that He became only a spirit. If the WT claim was correct, then
Jesus would be deceiving the disciples here in showing them His body.
2. ‘Then saith he to Thomas, . . . reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.’ (John 20:27)
Here Jesus says that He has a physical side that He challenges Thomas to touch.
3. ‘Neither did his flesh see corruption.’ - Acts 2:30,31
Notice the following:
a) God promised David that ‘according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ’ to sit on his throne.’ (v.30). This is a bodily resurrection of Christ, not spiritual. The NWT omits this because of its corrupt Westcott-Hort Greek text. Well over 38 manuscripts have it.
b) ‘neither did his flesh see corruption’ (v.31) means that Christ’s body did not decay.
Why? Because Jesus was raised from the dead in a material, fleshly body.
4. ‘I will raise it up . . . he spake of the temple of his body.’ - John 2:19-21
‘Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (v.19). But he spake of the temple of his body.’ (v.21)
Jesus here promised that He Himself would raise up His own body after three days.
Notice how Jesus uses the word ‘body’ meaning a bodily resurrection, not a spiritual resurrection.
5. Christ promises to eat of the fruit of the vine in the Kingdom. Only a body can eat.
‘I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the Kingdom of God shall come.’(Luke 22:18)
Jesus here showed that his resurrected body would be able to eat and drink even in the Kingdom of God. Notice that a non-material spirit cannot eat and drink. Jesus promised the disciples in Luke 22:30 ‘that ye may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom.’
Question: If Jesus expected to become an immaterial spirit, why would He promise the disciples that they would eat and drink with Christ at His table in His Kingdom?
6. Christ ate a broiled fish and a honeycomb in front of them. Luke 24:41,42.
7. ‘he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies’. Rom. 8:11
As Christ’s body was raised physically from the dead, so shall our mortal bodies be raised.
8. His resurrection body could ‘breathe on them’(John 20:22). A spirit cannot breathe, can it?
9. ‘His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives...’ Zechariah 14:4
A spirit does not have feet. Only a physical body has feet as Jesus has at His second coming.
10. ‘One shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands?’ Zechariah 13:6
Question: How can a non-material spirit have wounds in his hands which can be observed?
11. The resurrected, glorified Christ touched John, laying his right hand on him. Rev. 1:17
Watchtower Objection: JWs quote I Corinthians 15:44,50 to support their claim that Jesus was raised from the dead as a spirit creature:
a) ‘It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.’ (v.44)
b) ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.’ (v.50). JWs claim that Jesus must have had a spiritual resurrection, because flesh-and-blood bodies cannot exist in heaven.
They claim that mortality and corruption belong to the fleshly body.
a) The Greek word for body, ‘soma’ (4983), always means a material body, an organised whole made up of parts, when used of a person (Zodhiates, NT Word Study,p.1358). The spiritual
body in I Cor.15:44 is not an immaterial body, but a supernatural, spirit-dominated body.
It is a body directed by the spirit, as opposed to a body under the dominion of the flesh.
There are no exceptions to Paul using ‘soma’ for a material body.
Paul even refers to a believer as a ‘spiritual’ man who judges all things (I Cor. 2:15), yet Paul did not mean an immaterial invisible man with no physical body.
He meant a spirit-controlled man with a flesh and blood body.
QUESTION: In I Corinthians 2:15 (‘He that is spiritual judgeth all things’), is Paul discussing an invisible spirit creature or a material, flesh-and-blood human? Can you see that being ‘spiritual’ does not demand a non-material body? The same is true in I Corinthians 15:44.
b) Key: In v.50 ‘flesh and blood’ is an idiom meaning that mortal, perishable, earth-bound
humans, as we are now, cannot have a place in God’s glorious, heavenly Kingdom.
c) ‘this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.’v.53
Nothing is taken away from us (materialness). Instead immortality is ‘put on’ or added to us.
Question: Don’t the words ‘put on’ mean adding something to humanity (that is immortality),
not taking away something from humanity (our material body)?
Conclusion: Since Christ’s resurrected body could eat, drink, breathe (John 20:22), show His hands and feet with scars (Luke 24:40), be touched, and have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), it is certain that this body was a material body. This is especially true since Jesus corrected the disciples’ misconception that they had seen a spirit (Luke 24:37).
For the JWs to say that a body is not a body, is their last resort of redefining common words.
By Guest Nicole
No one likes to talk about terminal illness, but the stigma surrounding this subject is being punctured a bit by a growing realization: In the U.S. these sorts of tragic situations are exacerbated by a lack of planning beforehand, unnecessary medical procedures and associated discomfort, and — less important — a great deal of expense that does little or nothing to improve outcomes. We “do” death worse than a lot of other wealthy countries.
How can we improve this? One answer has to do with where people who are dying spend their final hours and days. There’s a growing pile of evidence suggesting it’s better to die at home, where you’re more likely to be surrounded by friends and family and be relatively comfortable, and less likely to be subjected to pointless invasive medical interventions.
This is an area where there haven’t been a great deal of large, careful studies, though, which is why a Japanese one just published in the journalCancer is so important. (There isn’t yet a link up, but I’ll add one once it is.)
A large team of Japanese researchers led by Jun Hamano of the University of Tsukuba examined the records of 2,069 patients who died of cancer — 1,607 in the hospital and 462 at home. They were curious whether this would make a difference for survival time, measured from when they were first referred to the hospital in question for treatment. “To the best of our knowledge,” the authors write, “this is the first large-scale, prospective, multicenter study” asking this question. And it’s an important question to ask: If patients who spend their final days in a hospital live longer, after all, it would complicate the argument that dying at home is a preferable outcome: Different patients and families might have different opinions on whether an extra, say, ten days is “worth” a little more pain, potentially invasive procedures to extend life, and so on.
What the researchers found, though, was that patients who died at home actually lived longer, or at least as long, as patients who died in the hospital. This has important ramifications for medical decision-makers in terms of how they frame the options available to patients and their families: The finding “suggests that an oncologist should not hesitate to refer patients for home-based palliative care simply because less medical treatment may be provided.”
Importantly, the authors highlight two factors that could account for the fact that staying in a hospital didn’t increase survival time: Those who died in the hospital were given significantly more parenteral hydration (IV drips to keep them hydrated) and antibiotics. Neither treatment seemed to impact survival time, which tells a familiar story of hospitals doing procedures that might seem effective but that don’t actually extend patientlife.
This was a study that took place only in Japan, so it could be the case that things work differently in the U.S. or elsewhere. Still, we have a trend on our hands here: Most of the evidence on end-of-life care seems to be pointing in the same direction, which is that deaths in nonhospital settings, when feasible, offer better outcomes. Not that this is an easy thing to discuss.
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