Friday, June 30, 2006

Steven Carr's resurrection debate

Incinerating Presuppositionalism has a commentary on Steven Carr's debate on the resurrection. I was going to review it awhile back, but had trouble with the download. Then I noticed the IP link was working for me. So here are some thoughts. It isn't a formal debate, which makes a blow-by-blow harder, so I'll just give general observations:

1) Carr was the only one who knew what he was talking about. Both his opponent and the callers to the show were clearly ignorant of the basics of Biblical scholarship. It a sense that was good for him, but it meant he needed to do some educating that he didn't do the best job of. His argument was that Paul's idea of resurrection was different than that of the gospels, so he needed to clearly explain the reason for giving priviledged status to Paul. He needed to say that Paul's letters were earlier, and we know that Paul really wrote certain ones of them, while the gospels are later and we aren't so sure who wrote them. He did this to an extent with some prompting, but it needed to happen at the start. On the other hand, given that it was an informal back and forth, it's not as if he could have spent the first half of a 20-minute speach explaining this point. If had, somehow, done so, that would have disabled the objections that he was being "very clever" (I could almost hear his opponent thinking "too clever") and that he was picking and choosing evidence.

2) People kept bringing up personal experience of Jesus. Carr did a good job of using this, saying that's what happened with the first disciples. However, it might have been a signal to switch to a more informal mode of debating, to shift away from rigorous historical arguments.

23 comments:

Steven Carr said...

As you point out, it was not a formal debate, so there was no time for me to say all that I should have said.

Thank you for the review.

J. J. Ramsey said...

If Carr was arguing that Paul was denying a bodily resurrection, then it was just as well for him that he had no educated opposition. The basic flaw in this argument is to presume that when Paul denies resurrection of the flesh, he denies a corporeal resurrection altogether, but this does not sync well with his use of the word "body" in the first place, nor does it quite fit with his metaphor of mortal bodies putting on immortality (like a garment).

N.T. Wright is a conservative scholar, but he can still be useful, and he points out the problems with attempts to read in a non-bodily resurrection:

"In between the passages we have just briefly examined comes the most complex part of the chapter, verses, 35 to 49. Here, Paul speaks of the different kinds of physicality between which there exists both continuity and discontinuity. In verses 36 to 38, he uses the analogy of the seed and she plant: there is both continuity and discontinuity between the one and the other. The oak is, and is not, the same thing as the acorn. Then, in verses 39 to 41, he points out that there are different sorts of physicality appropriate for different kinds of creatures each enjoying its peculiar 'glory' (doxa). These two points--the analogy of the seed, and the observation that there are different types of physicality--are the basis for the point he then makes in verses 42 to 49; the resurrection body is to the present body somewhat as the plant is to the seed, having a different mode of physicality, differing in its peculiar doxa. Mere specifically, the present body is psychikos ('natural,' KJV), the future resurrection body is pneumatikos ('spiritual,' KJV).

"What does this last distinction mean? A good many people (including at least two well-known bishops) have suggested that Paul here refers to resurrection existence in terms of what we would have to call a 'nonphysical' body, in other words, a life beyond the grave that left the grave full, not empty—a view that the NRSV's mistranslation of psychikos in verses 44 and 46 as 'physical' has doubtless encouraged them to hold. This, as is now regularly argued by a good many commentators, and almost as regularly admitted even by those who think Paul’s belief was false, is to allow into the argument a hellenistic worldview that is totally out of place in this most Jewish of chapters. Paul, remember is contrasting the present body, which is a psychikos, with the future body, which is a pneumatikos. Now, since psyche is regularly translated into English as 'soul,' we might have assumed, on a strictly hellenistic basis, that Paul would mean that the present body, too, is nonphysical--a 'soulish' body! Since that is clearly out of the question, we rightly cake both phrases to refer to an actual physical body, psychikos on the one hand--animated by psyche, 'soul'--and pneumatikos on the other--animated by 'spirit' (clearly, God’s Spirit). Having established his point, Paul in verses 44 to 49 is concerned to counteract the argument of those who were denying the resurrection: presumably they were saying that the 'spiritual body' was created first, and then the 'soulish body.' Paul insists that the order is the other way around; first the present 'soulish' body and then the future 'spiritual' one. The present body cannot be affirmed forever as it stands, but neither should it be dismissed as irrelevant. It is to be changed, transformed."

From "Early Traditions and the Origins of Christianity."

J. J. Ramsey said...

I suppose that I should add that the idea of a non-bodily resurrection seems to be part of an a attempt to present a non-apocalyptic Christianity suitable for modern consumption. Jesus is presented by the Jesus Seminar as a wise man who, in spite of what is seen in the Synoptics, was not preaching the message, "The end is coming soon, so shape up so you won't get thrown on God's garbage heap." Similarly, the resurrection, instead of being a public event that is about two thousand years late and counting, is presented as an unfalsifiable invisible event.

J. J. Ramsey said...

Sorry for the triple post, but the "resurrection" which I mentioned in the last post was the general resurrection of everyone, not Jesus' resurrection, though the latter is also presented as an event more compatible with modern sensibilities, since one is no longer claiming that Jesus' resurrection was a visible event, but something that would be unfalsifiable even if one hypothetically went back in time to the first century and didn't see an empty tomb.

Steven Carr said...

Wright's argument is totally busted resurrection article

I have always argued that Paul claimed Jesus was resurrected in a body made of spirit, and that he held that we too will be made of spirit.

So Wright is setting up a false dichotomy.

As for the seed analogy, for Paul the seed was just a marker. Paul writes that the seed dies, and God gives it a body. The seed is just there to mark the place where God has to create the new body.

Why would Paul stress that a seed dies, if not to reassure the Corinthians that they should expect corpses to die and rot? After all, the Corinthians already know that dead people die, so there was no need for Paul to stress that what goes into the ground dies.

And Paul, of course, says flat out 'You do not plant the body that will be'

This is in total contrast to the Gospels where the body that came out was the body that was planted , complete with flesh, bones and wounds.


In his 700 plus page book, The Resurrection of the Son of God', wright can't find a little bit of space to once quote in full Paul saying 'The last Adam became a life-giving spirit' Paul calling Jesus 'Adam' here, is obvious typology that we too will share in this second Adam's nature and also become life-ging spirits.

Similaly, Wright just cannot find space to quote 1 Peter 1 writing 'All flesh is grass'.

All Wright can manage is a footnote claiming that 1 Peter 1:24-27 is a 'positive passage'.

Wright dare not quote 1 Peter saying 'All flesh is grass'.

How can somebody whose world has been supposedly turned upside down by the news that flesh would be made permanent still think that the best metaphor for something temporary and perishable was flesh.

Let us not forget that 2 churches of converted Jesus-worshippers, in Thessalonica and Corinth, believed that the dead were lost, and scoffed at the idea that God would choose to breathe life into a dead corpse. (The Corinthians did not join in baptism for the dead, a sign that they thought there was no reward for the dead)

How can early Jesus-worshippers scoff at the idea of a dead corpse rising? That makes no sense on the standard Christian view, but it makes perfect sense when we realise that Paul wrote 'Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.'

One wonders why Paul never rubs the noses of these Jesus-worshippers in the fact that their very Lord and Saviour had supposedly spoken on the very subject they scoffed at....

Steven Carr said...

Let us quote Wright himself on the theory that in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is speaking of an exchange of bodies.

Wright says that such a reading is 'no doubt right'.

Though Moule is no doubt right that Paul can envisage here the possibility of 'exchange' (losing one body, getting another one) rather than 'addition', as in 1 Corinthians 15, we should not lose sight of the fact that even if such an 'exchange' were to take place the new body would be more than the present one. (N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, 2003: p. 367)

Wright, of course, contradicts himself later in his book, but even he has to concede that a reading of 'exchange' in 1 Corinthians 15 is perfectly credible.

It is very interesting that very early Christian churches, such as those in Thessalonica and Corinth, simply did not believe in bodily resurrection, and thought that the dead were lost.

How can this be, if they were evangelised with tales of resurrected Jesus eating fish , and tales of Moses returning from the grave to appear to the disciples?

To refute the earliest Christian beliefs, Paul never gives any examples of people being raised bodily from the dead.

In an amusing twist on the Da Vinci story, 2nd century Christians had to forge a rewrite of 1 Corinthians 15 (called 3 Corinthians) to make Paul say that flesh would be resurrected.

The fake Paul also gave examples of people being raised from the dead. One wonders why the real Paul never thought of doing that.


The real Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5 that our bodies would be destroyed.

The fake Paul wrote in 3 Corinthians 'he arose, body and flesh and soul and spirit'.

Who should we believe? The real Paul or the forged Paul?

Steven Carr said...

From Wright's article that you link to Wright has the following :

---------------------------
What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.

For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and thus mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body put on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled. “Death has been swallowed up m victory.” (l Cor. 15:50-54)

Here Paul states clearly and emphatically his belief in a body that is to be changed, not abandoned.

-------------------------

Notice that Wright simply adds the word 'body', a word not found in the Greek of verses 50-54, and then writes that Paul 'states clearly and emphatically his belief in a body'.

See how easy it is to prove that Paul thought of a resurrection of our present body. Simply add the word , where necessary, to Paul's writing and then point out its prescence.

And if people are still not convinced, point out the 'clear and emphatic' prescence of the word you have just added.

J. J. Ramsey said...

"As for the seed analogy, for Paul the seed was just a marker."

This looks like an attempt to sidestep Paul's implication of transformation. The seed transforms into the plant, and "dies" in the process, becoming something greater than it was.

"It is very interesting that very early Christian churches, such as those in Thessalonica and Corinth, simply did not believe in bodily resurrection, and thought that the dead were lost."

There were answers to this issue on the IIDB thread: Did Jesus preach a resurrection?

"Though Moule is no doubt right that Paul can envisage here the possibility of 'exchange' (losing one body, getting another one) rather than 'addition', as in 1 Corinthians 15, we should not lose sight of the fact that even if such an 'exchange' were to take place the new body would be more than the present one. (N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, 2003: p. 367)

"Wright, of course, contradicts himself later in his book, but even he has to concede that a reading of 'exchange' in 1 Corinthians 15 is perfectly credible."

It would be interesting to see the full context of the quote, since the metaphors in 1 Cor. 15 have to be strained to accomodate exchange.

"Wright's argument is totally busted resurrection article"

This quote from the article that you claim "totally busted" Wright shows serious sloppiness on your part:

"The earliest reference to the resurrection is in 1 Cor. 15. There we learn that the Corinthians accepted the resurrection of Jesus, but still disbelieved that a dead body could rise."

The problem here is that you are assuming that the Corinthians are merely doubting that God had the power to make a dead body rise, rather than doubting that there would soon be a mass resurrection of everyone at the day of judgment.

"Notice that Wright simply adds the word 'body', a word not found in the Greek of verses 50-54, and then writes that Paul 'states clearly and emphatically his belief in a body'."

Wright isn't adding anything. He's simply quoting from the NRSV.

Steven Carr said...

Wright should know, if he is an expert in Greek, that there is no word body in the passage.

'The problem here is that you are assuming that the Corinthians are merely doubting that God had the power to make a dead body rise, rather than doubting that there would soon be a mass resurrection of everyone at the day of judgment.'


First of all, these Corinthians were not taking part in baptisms for the dead, implying that they thought the dead had no reward.

Secondly, I shall quote Paul.

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

They were doubting the resurrection of the dead - period.

Hey, didn't their Lord and Saviour preach a resurrection of the dead in Matthew 22? I wonder why neither Paul nor the Corinthians regarded the person they worshipped as somebody whose opinion was worth quoting on the matter.

Paul is clear that different bodies are made of different materials. Why bother saying that unless he thought the resurrected body was made of a different material to the body which went into the ground? (The Gospels claim it was still made of flesh and bones, of course)

I shall quote Paul again, from 1 Corinthians 15.

5So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being" ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.

When we die , our bodies turn to dust, and Paul denies that our resurrected bodies will be formed from dust.

When Paul denies that a resurrected body will be made from dust, it is apologists like Wright who have to strain every sinew to get Paul to say that the dust will be reformed into a resurrected body.

And your ignorance of basic biology leaves a gap which I can fill.


Everybody knows that the seed case is discarded, and what emerges is what was previously invisible.

God creates new life, because the seed has died. The original body is dead. How clearly does Paul have to write , before you will accept what he says.

36How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.

37When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

You do not plant the body that will be. You just plant something which tells God what to create.

The word for seed here is related to our word 'sperm'. Perhap you believe that , because the sperm transforms into a person, no new life has been created when a person is born?

And absolutely nobody can compare the Gospel stories of the body going into the ground, and the same body coming out of the ground, and say that what happened to Jesus was just like an oak tree growing from an acorn.


Perhaps you think that Eve was the same person as Adam, because the rib was transformed. There is continuity between Adam's rib and Eve. One is a transformation of the other, so by your logic Adam and Eve were the same person.

J. J. Ramsey said...

"Wright should know, if he is an expert in Greek, that there is no word body in the passage."

However, there is no reason for him to dwell on this, especially since the choice of the NRSV translators to add "body" after "perishable" and "mortal" doesn't violate the meaning of the passage. Or do you think that when Paul is using "perishable" and "mortal" that he isn't talking about bodies of flesh?

"these Corinthians were not taking part in baptisms for the dead"

Interesting that you say this, since 1 Cor. 15:29 is ambiguous, and cannot be pressed to say that the Corinthians did not do baptism for the dead.

"Secondly, I shall quote Paul."

Who is referring to the "resurrection of the dead" as an event in the near future. Note the firstfruits metaphor that he uses. This implies that the "resurrection of the dead" is a harvest--a mas event that happens at a particular time. Note, too, that he goes on to mention the general resurrection in 1 Cor. 15:52 as a mass event at a particular time in the future.

"Everybody knows that the seed case is discarded, and what emerges is what was previously invisible."

The seed case is discarded (which is why the seed is said to "die"), but the inside of the seed becomes the plant.

"Paul is clear that different bodies are made of different materials."

Yes, and he is equally clear in 1 Cor. 15 that he is describing that one kind of material is transformed into another.

"When we die , our bodies turn to dust, and Paul denies that our resurrected bodies will be formed from dust."

Then it is passing strange that Paul describes the perishible putting on imperishibility. That implies transformation.

"Perhaps you think that Eve was the same person as Adam, because the rib was transformed. There is continuity between Adam's rib and Eve. One is a transformation of the other, so by your logic Adam and Eve were the same person."

This is a bad analogy. First, the rib is a part of Adam, not the whole thing. By contrast, Paul likens the whole soulish body to a seed. Second, Adam and Eve are separate persons, while the soulish and spiritual bodies are two forms of one person (unless you think that Paul is describing resurrection as a sucky form of immortality).

Steven Carr said...

'Yes, and he is equally clear in 1 Cor. 15 that he is describing that one kind of material is transformed into another.'

Oh, you are going to add more words to Paul, to make him say that are you, just as you add 'body' to where Paul deliberately omits it.

Let us see what Paul says about different kinds of material.

39All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

42So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.

Those Corinthians must have been kicking themselves for not realising that Paul was talking about one kind of material turning into another.

Why, people are always becoming fish, and birds often turn into animals, and who can count the number of times the sun has become a moon?

Paul hammers home to the Corinthians the discontinues between different kinds of materials, using examples of things which do not turn into each other.



And you really are going to say in public that Paul say that one kind of material turns into another?

You also write 'However, there is no reason for him to dwell on this, especially since the choice of the NRSV translators to add "body" after "perishable" and "mortal" doesn't violate the meaning of the passage. Or do you think that when Paul is using "perishable" and "mortal" that he isn't talking about bodies of flesh?'

Hey, if Paul deliberately chooses to leave out the word 'body', there are plenty of people ready to put it back in!

What a shame you just cannot find anything in Paul saying that bodies of flesh will be resurrected?

(Probably why you want to change what he wrote, and why later Christians forged a letter by Paul to make him say that flesh would be resurrected.)

Meanwhile, I can get tons of stuff by Paul saying 'the last Adam became a life-giving spirit'. 'Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God'.

And in 2 Corinthians 5, Paul is very clear that the earthly body will be destroyed, and we will get a new body, not the earthly one back.

2 Corinthians 5
1Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

You are correct that Paul says we will be transformed, but note that he never says our bodies will be transformed.

That is the point. We will be transformed into spirits, which will give us eternal life.


You can continue to flounder helplessly , and your utter failure to find anything in Paul saying that flesh will be transformed will only become more and more apparent.

But I enjoy watching people flounder helplessly, so will repeat the part of 1 Corinthians where Paul denies that resurrected people will be made of the dust that their corpses have dissolved into.

47The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

Wouldn't you just love to be able to quote Paul saying that dust will be resurrected?

But you can't, and never will.

1 Corinthians 15 is not ambiguous.

The Corinthians Paul addresses as 'you' are not the people who are baptised on behalf of the dead. Paul uses the third person to describe them. Basic grammar means that they were not the people he was addressing as 'you'.

And please do continue to try to prove that Adam and Eve were separate persons, using your logic that a transformation of bodily material is not a new creation.

And do better than say that a rib is just a part of a person, as though corpses are going to survive intact.

J. J. Ramsey said...

"And you really are going to say in public that Paul say that one kind of material turns into another?"

At the resurrection, that is exactly what is supposed to happen: Flesh is transformed into something imperishible. What part of "We will not all die, but we will all be changed" do you not understand? (Note to that the context implies that "we" includes both the living and the dead.) Furthermore, the seed metaphor implies exactly what you are denying. The seed is not wholly left behind, but is transformed.

"And in 2 Corinthians 5, Paul is very clear that the earthly body will be destroyed, and we will get a new body, not the earthly one back."

Yet this is not what is implied in 1 Corinthians. For better or worse, Paul is not wholly consistent in his imagery from letter to letter. Note, too, that though he suggests through imagery in 2 Corinthians a bodily exchange, he states flat out in 1 Corinthians that the body will be changed. Be careful about pressing any given analogy too far, especially when you are trying to justify a point that the analogy is not meant to demonstrate.

"That is the point. We will be transformed into spirits, which will give us eternal life."

It is ironic that you bring up 2 Corinthians 5, since it points in the exact opposite direction as this in verses 3 and 4:

"if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life."

Bodies are likened to clothes and dwellings. (Quite a mixed metaphor on Paul's part.) A pure spirit would be naked.

"1 Corinthians 15 is not ambiguous [regarding who is being baptized in the name of the dead].

"The Corinthians Paul addresses as 'you' are not the people who are baptised on behalf of the dead. Paul uses the third person to describe them."

This presumes that when Paul writes, "what will those people do who receive baptism on behalf of the dead?" that "those people" excluded Corinthians, since otherwise he might have said "you people" or "those people among you." Basic grammar, however, is not enough to give "those people" that kind of force. At best, it gives room for the passage to not refer to the Corinthians baptizing on behalf of their dead. Further, that Paul appeals to this practice to justify resurrection implies that he expects that they would respond to such an appeal. If he knew that they rejected the practice of baptism for the dead, that would be a rather strange expectation.

"And please do continue to try to prove that Adam and Eve were separate persons, using your logic that a transformation of bodily material is not a new creation."

This is such a transparent joke of a straw man that you should be ashamed. A "transformation of bodily material" would indeed be a "new creation" but it would also be continuous with the old. Resurrected Christians would be the same persons as before they were were resurrected--that is, they would be the same selves, same identities--but they would be changed as well.

"You can continue to flounder helplessly"

I'm not the one making empty sarcastic comments and sloppy strawmen.

Steven Carr said...

'This is such a transparent joke of a straw man that you should be ashamed. A "transformation of bodily material" would indeed be a "new creation" but it would also be continuous with the old.

Resurrected Christians would be the same persons as before they were were resurrected--that is, they would be the same selves, same identities--but they would be changed as well'



So Adam and Eve were the same person, as Eve was Adam transformed?

'Bodies are likened to clothes and dwellings. (Quite a mixed metaphor on Paul's part.) A pure spirit would be naked'

Don't you understand Paul? Don't you realise that people thought that the heavens were made of heavenly elements, which could not be found on earth, and that 'spirit' was one of those elements.

He is saying that we will have a body of spirit.

A body of spirit is not naked.

And a clothing metaphor utterly destroys a transfomation process.

If I sew up a hole in my socks, I have not changed my socks.

We change clothes by removing the old ones and putting on the new ones.

What body did Jesus 'remove' when he was resurrected and what body did he 'put on'? What body was put on to what body?

In a clothing metaphor, we would expect to still see the old 'clothes' of Jesus.

And that is exactly why Paul thinks the Corinthians are idiots. They are wondering how there can be a resurrection, when the old body is still there, and Paul tells them that is just exactly what they should expect to see.

No wonder they are idiots. It is like people denying that anybody can cook scrambled eggs, because you can still see the egg-shells afterwards.

It was just a dumb objection on their part.

Wright, of course, never explains why Paul calls the Corinthians 'fools'. Wright claims it was just Paul resorting to abuse.

Another instance of NT Wright not dealing with the text, just as he never deals with the early Christian claim that 'All flesh is grass.'

Even Wright has to concede that Paul is talking about putting on a new body, and resorts to a bizarre image of a new, glorious body on top of the old corpse.

Just try to picture that!

Steven Carr said...

Just for reference, page 368 of 'The Resurrection of the Son of God' is where Wright says we will wear a new body on top of our old body.

I quote Wright '...a new and larger suit of clothes to be put over the existing ones.'

My God! Scratch the surface of the resurrected Jesus, and Wright would expect to find a stinking , rotting , putrefying corpse underneath.

Thank God Thomas did not put his hands too deep into Jesus....

You wrote :-
'What part of "We will not all die, but we will all be changed" do you not understand? (Note to that the context implies that "we" includes both the living and the dead.)'

You still cannot find anything which says that our bodies will be transformed , can you?

Have you tried just adding in the word body where Paul doesn't use it?

As Wright does on page 357 of his resurrection book?

As for the word Paul uses for transformation, he also uses it in Romans 1:23 to describe how God was 'transformed' into an idol.

Was God really 'transformed', or did they swap God for an idol?

Or Acts 6:14, where the same word is used for how Jesus would change the laws of Moses?

Did Jesus not get rid of the old laws?

Or Hebrews 1:12 where the same word is used for how the world will be rolled up and discarded like an old set of clothes? (There is that clothing metaphor again)

The word Paul uses for 'changed' is usually used to mean 'exchanged' - getting rid of the old, and bringing in the new.

But continue floundering. It is great fun to watch.

Steven Carr said...

JJ writes '... he states flat out in 1 Corinthians that the body will be changed.'

Try quoting Paul saying that. You can't can you?

Paul states flat out, 'The last Adam became a life-giving spirit'

He states flat out 'Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God'

Paul states flat out that resurrected bodies will not be formed of the dust of the earth (which is what a corpse will become)

But you can't bluff me by saying 'he states flat out in 1 Corinthians that the body will be changed.'

J. J. Ramsey said...

Steven Carr: "But you can't bluff me by saying 'he states flat out in 1 Corinthians that the body will be changed.'"

Ahem ...

1 Cor. 15:51: "We will not all die, but we will all be changed."

"The word Paul uses for 'changed' is usually used to mean 'exchanged' - getting rid of the old, and bringing in the new."

The word used for "change," allasso, means, "to change, to exchange one thing for another, to transform." Saying that it just means "exchange" is quite selective.

Steven Carr said...

I did say 'usually'.

You still cannot find anything where Paul says that the flesh will be resurrected or even implies it.

Not even your best shots have come close.

Meanwhile, Paul's clothing analogies, his tent analogies destroy the idea that we will be living in the same clothes or the same tent after we are resurrected.

Paul thinks we will be living in new bodies, just as we change houses or change clothes by discarding the old and having new in its place.

Steven Carr said...

JJ writes 'Furthermore, the seed metaphor implies exactly what you are denying. The seed is not wholly left behind, but is transformed.'

Paul says that the seed dies....

What did ancient people think of seed analogies?

Luke 3:17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

This must have baffled people who knew that the chaff transforms into the wheat....

J. J. Ramsey said...

"You still cannot find anything where Paul says that the flesh will be resurrected or even implies it."

Paul certainly rules out that resurrected bodies are flesh--because the flesh is changed into something imperishable and suited for the kingdom of God.

"Meanwhile, Paul's clothing analogies, his tent analogies destroy the idea that we will be living in the same clothes or the same tent after we are resurrected."

I will agree that Wright goes too far in implying that "...a new and larger suit of clothes to be put over the existing ones." Paul's metaphor in 1 Cor. 15:53 isn't that developed. That said, there is nothing in that verse, or the surrounding verses, that contains imagery of removed clothing. Actually, one big difference between 2 Cor. 5 and 1 Cor. 15 is that what is being put on as clothing in the former passage is a new body, while what is being put on in the latter passage is the property of immortality itself. In 1 Cor. 15:53, Paul uses the clothing metaphor to illustrate that immortality is being added on to something currently perishable.

"This must have baffled people who knew that the chaff transforms into the wheat...."

It is this kind of nearly incoherent straw man that makes me wonder if there is any point in further debate with you.

Steven Carr said...

'That said, there is nothing in that verse, or the surrounding verses, that contains imagery of removed clothing.'

Perhaps that is why Paul felt the need to explain further to people who couldn't grasp his ideas.

2 Corinthians 5

Mind you, most people already know that to change clothing, you have to remove some clothing first.

But Paul removes all doubt in 2 Corinthians 5 :-


Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.

For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.


Of course, the fake Paul in 3 Corinthians spoke of a resurrection of the flesh.

How you must wish that letter was genuine!

I'm sorry that you feel that dialogue is not possible with me.

I enjoy debating you , because it is so easy. I simply quote Paul.

You wrote 'In 1 Cor. 15:53, Paul uses the clothing metaphor to illustrate that immortality is being added on to something currently perishable.'

True, and Paul deliberately omits the word 'body' when doing so. (Wright has to add it back in)

We are perishable, and Paul writes that we will be swallowed up.

The next verse says :-
54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory

The word is 'katapino' - to consume, devour, swallow to the last drop, so that none is left.

Can anybody say that when the body of Jesus left the grave - complete with flesh, bones and wounds, that what had been mortal about him had been swallowed to the last drop, so that none was left?

Steven Carr said...

JJ writes 'Paul certainly rules out that resurrected bodies are flesh....'

In the Gospels, Jesus declares that his resurrected body is made of flesh.

J. J. Ramsey said...

"Perhaps that is why Paul felt the need to explain further to people who couldn't grasp his ideas....

But Paul removes all doubt in 2 Corinthians 5"

The Corinthians likely read 2 Corinthians at least a few weeks after 1 Corinthians, and possibly much longer. It is unlikely that they would have viewed 2 Cor. 5 as a correction of 1 Cor. 15. Bearing in mind that, as I pointed out earlier, the implied clothing in 1 Cor. 15 and the clothing mentioned in 2 Cor 5 stand for two different things.

"You wrote 'In 1 Cor. 15:53, Paul uses the clothing metaphor to illustrate that immortality is being added on to something currently perishable.'

"True, and Paul deliberately omits the word 'body' when doing so. (Wright has to add it back in)"

Again, the word "body" was added by the NRSV, not by Wright, and unless you have good reason to say that "the perishable" isn't a reference to the flesh of human bodies, this is hardly a mistranslation.

I find it interesting that even after it has been pointed out several times that "body" was added (IMHO, rightfully) by the NRSV translators, you insist on crediting the addition of "body" to Wright. This is shear sloppiness.

"Can anybody say that when the body of Jesus left the grave - complete with flesh, bones and wounds, that what had been mortal about him had been swallowed to the last drop, so that none was left?"

Short answer: yes.

The body is not immediately recognizable, its wounds don't appear to be a handicap (or even appear to be bleeding), and it can disappear and reappear at will. It is hardly a stretch to suggest that this body, though flesh, is incorruptible.

Steven Carr said...

I don't think Ramsey has grasped what 'none was left' means, when he claims that the mortal wounds Jesus suffered were still visible.