Food For Thought: Immaterial vs. Bodily Resurrection

Today, in our study on comparitive religions, I want to briefly talk about the claims of Jehovah's Witnesses in connection with the Resurrection (I will talk about the Mormon's view next time). I would like to preface this by saying that, as with all my posts on comparative religions, this is just one of may points that could be examined; on it's own, each point is not meant to fully discredit any religion -- rather, we are examining this piece-by-piece in comparision with the Bible in order to reach a conclusion of each religion as a whole. That said, let's move on...

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus was not bodily resurrected from the dead. Instead, they believe that Jesus' body was destroyed in the tomb and His resurrection was immaterial as a result. Do the Scriptures support such an idea? Let's examine a few Scriptures to find out:

Peter Preached a bodily Resurrection:

Acts 2:25-32 states, "For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men [and] brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses."

Here, Peter preaches the bodily resurrection of Christ when he says that Jesus’ body did not decay like David’s did, and He points out that God raised Him up and that this was a fulfillment of the prophesy in Psalm 16:10. Peter further reports later in Acts that Jesus ate and drank with the disciples. If Jesus body were destroyed in the tomb and then resurrected as an immaterial body, why does Peter clearly states that Jesus body "did not see corruption"?

Paul preached a bodily Resurrection:

In Acts 13:34-37, Paul restates Peter's point of view, saying that Jesus’ body did not decay like David’s did; but it was raised and there were many witnesses to this event. Again, I ask: Does the Scriptural teaching about Jesus' body not decaying support the view that Jesus' body was "destroyed" in the tomb as Jehovah's Witnesses teach? Additionally, could numerous witnesses see an immaterial resurrection -- all at the same time (i.e. through a hallucination)?

Jesus spoke of His bodily Resurrection:

Jesus predicted His own resurrection many times, and He always referred to it as a bodily resurrection. For example, He said, "'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up'.... But He was speaking of the temple of His body..." (John 2:19, 21). Even after His resurrection, when He appeared to his disciples, Jesus debunked the notion that He was a spirit by stating, "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have" (Luke 24:39).

There are many other Scriptures which the skeptics put forth in support of their view that Jesus' Resurrection was immaterial, but we will get into those at a later time. For now, we should note how clear the Scriptures are on the matter -- Does this support an immaterial Resurrection? Does the JW's view seem plausible? What do you think?


  1. The JW's view is not plausible at all. "Destroyed" in the tomb? Who was there to destroy it? Certainly not the soldiers. Why would the Jews have made up a lie for the soldiers to tell Pilate, if the truth was so simple?
    Great post! I see the food for thoughts are getting a little longer. :D That's a good thing, though! :)


Post a Comment

All comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Please keep in mind that the topics are not open to debate; however, I do allow (and encourage) friendly discussion and dialogue. Check out the comment policy for details before commenting. Thank you for visiting!

Popular Posts

Did Pontius Pilate actually exist?

April Fools

Quote of the Week: Ravi Zacharias On The Problem of Evil