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Resurrection of the body


Resurrection of the body is an important Christian belief that the body is reunited with the soul after it has been separated by death. It is revealed through scriptures although many details describing its exact occurrence are not given.

The article of faith within the Apostles' Creed was the expression of faith by the early Church in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles. It was also intended to confront the Manichaen
heresy that there is an essential antagonism between matter and spirit, that matter is by nature evil, and accordingly the soul of man is degraded by its union with the body. It was thought that such a statement of confrontation dignified the human body as well as the spirit, and both the soul and body were destined for immortality.

A summary of scripture teaching may be presented as follows: The body shall rise again. The integrity of man's being, a creature of soul and body, shall be restored. In some sense the identity shall be preserved. The body will be changed and relined so to fit its new surroundings in the future life. It will be the "glorified body" of the saints. This is believed because of the belief in Christ's resurrection, for he said, "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25).

The theological significance of the bodily resurrection is present in the New Testament and is variously expressed by God's vindicating Jesus and raising him to his right hand in heaven (Acts 2:34-36); as an anticipation of the general resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:14); as Christ's victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:57); and as the basis for a new life as Christians (Romans 4:24). A.G.H.


Sources:

Unger, Merrill F., Unger's Bible Dictionary, Chicago, Moody Press, 1966, p. 921
Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 813