The Traditional Belief in the Resurrection of the Flesh

  • Paul Badham
Part of the Library of Philosophy and Religion book series

Abstract

Traditional Christian belief has understood Jesus’ resurrection in a quite straightforward way. As the fourth article of the Church of England puts it: ‘Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things pertaining to the perfection of Man’s nature; wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth.’ The significance of this for us was thought to be equally clear. What happened to Jesus then will happen to us at the end of time. The ‘particles composing each individual’s flesh’ will be collected together,1 the ‘sea will give up its dead’,2 the cannibal will restore the flesh he has borrowed,3 and ‘the identical structure which death had previously destroyed’ will be restored.4 This doctrine of the ‘Resurrection of the Flesh’ was incorporated in the Apostles’ Creed; it was declared de fide for the Roman Catholic by the Fourth Lateran Council; it was the traditional teaching of the Church of England as shown by the Book of Homilies and by Hooker; it was taught in Calvin’s Institutes, and in Luther’s small Catechism.5 As such it has a good claim to be regarded as part of the basic faith of western Christendom throughout the ages. But is it a credible belief today?

Keywords

Burning Furnace Dust Defend Lost 

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Notes

  1. 5.
    M. E. Dahl, The Resurrection of the Body (SCM, 1962 ) p. 37.Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    P. Geach, God and the Soul (RKP, 1969) p. 22.Google Scholar
  3. 24.
    cf. Francis Crick, Of Molecules and Man (University of Washington, 1966) pp. 31–60.Google Scholar
  4. 34.
    K. Stendahl, Immortality and Resurrection (Macmillan, 1966) p. 95.Google Scholar
  5. 35.
    A. M. Ramsey, The Resurrection of Christ (Fontana, 1963 ).Google Scholar
  6. 43.
    cf. C.R. North, The Second Isaiah (Oxford, 1964 ) pp. 16–17.Google Scholar
  7. 56.
    A.E. Harvey, Companion to the New Testament (Oxford, 1971) p. 654.Google Scholar
  8. 68.
    G. R. Driver, The Judaean Scrolls (Blackwell, 1965 ) p. 75.Google Scholar
  9. 74.
    H.W. Bartsch, Kerygma and Myth (Harper, 1961) p. 1.Google Scholar
  10. 75.
    Alan Richardson, Religion in Contemporary Debate (SCM, 1966) p. 72.Google Scholar
  11. 97.
    Zoe Oldenbourg, The Heirs of the Kingdom (Collins, 1972).Google Scholar
  12. 108.
    William Barclay, The Plain Man Looks at the Apostle’s Creed (Fontana, 1969) p. 222.Google Scholar
  13. 110.
    R. J. Rees, Background and Belief (SCM, 1967 ) p. 48.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Paul Badham 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Badham
    • 1
  1. 1.Lecturer in TheologySt David’s University CollegeLampeter, WalesUK

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