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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Are Some Inadequate Views of He Resurrection of the Body?

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Don Stewart
There have been a number of inadequate views that have been put forward with respect to the resurrection of the body. These include the following.

1. No Resurrection Body

Some object to the idea of the bodily resurrection of believers because the New Testament never uses the phrase "resurrection of the body." Moreover the Bible says the dead will receive a "spiritual body" as opposed to a natural body.

It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44).

This, they argue, shows the Bible does not teach a bodily resurrection.


Though the exact phrase "resurrection body" is not found in the Scripture, the teaching certainly is. It is quite clear that believers will receive a new body at the resurrection - a body that is incorruptible.

Characterized By Spirit

The idea of it being a spiritual body, as opposed to a natural body, does not mean it has no physical form. It means the new body will be characterized by the new spiritual nature instead of the old sinful nature. The new nature is sinless, while the old nature could only sin. It is in this sense that believers will have a physical body.

2. Angelic Bodies

It has been proposed that the bodies of believers will be the same nature as angels. Some have thought that this is the case from a statement from Jesus.

Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection (Luke 20:36).


Jesus was saying we will be as angels in two senses.

1. We are deathless in the eternal state.

2. There is no marrying in heaven.

He did not say that believers will have angel-like bodies. Angels are spirits who have no bodily form. Believers will be clothed with a resurrected body.

3. Reanimation Of Old Body

It has been taught that the resurrection of believers is simply the reanimation of the old molecules such as happened to Lazarus. It is the original body brought back to life.


The Bible says that resurrection is not the simple reanimation of the old molecules. The new body will be transformed with characteristics the old body did not have.

4. Natural Forces

Could the resurrected body of the believer be merely the result of natural forces working on the body? Some people believe this is the case.


The resurrection of the body will not be the result of natural forces working upon the body. It will be a supernatural work of God. This type of change could never happen naturally.

5. Molecule For Molecule The Same

The bodies of believers will be molecule for molecule the same body that was put in the grave. Though it will be a glorified body, it will be the exact same body that was buried.


It will be the same body, in some sense, but the body will be a transformed, imperishable body. There is no need to insist it will be molecule for molecule the same.

6. A Flesh And Blood Body

It has been thought that the body of the believer is a flesh and blood body, like the one we have now. The only difference is that it acquires some new powers.


Flesh and blood speaks of our present human nature. The new body of believers will not be made up of the same flesh and blood like our present bodies. The Bible is specific about this.

Now this I say brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption (1 Corinthians 15:50).

The Bible says the life of the flesh is in the blood.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for your souls (Leviticus 17:11).

The new body we receive will seemingly have a different type of life source. The new body may be bloodless. There is no need for nourishment in the new bodies because the new bodies will never break down. The phrase, flesh and blood, speaks of these current bodies.


In an attempt to understand the nature of the resurrected bodies of believers, there have been a number of inadequate theories put forward. None of these properly treats what the Bible has to say on the subject. The new body of the believer will be a glorified, resurrected body that is, in some sense, the old body, but, in another sense, a brand new body.
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