Sunday, May 6, 2012

Raymond Brown on the Resurrection of the Body

"Doubting Thomas" by Caravaggio (ca. 1571 - 1610) 

Well-known Roman Catholic Biblical scholar, Father Raymond Brown S.S. (1928 - 1998), wrote these words about the resurrection of the BODY of Jesus in his book The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus (pp 128-129). They are significant, as Brown's scholarship, groundbreaking in many areas, is generally thought of as being neither "conservative" nor "liberal." In this paragraph, Brown makes quite clear the connection between the resurrection of Jesus and the transformation and renewal of the whole of creation: 

"In our anticipation of God’s ultimate plan, one of two models is usually followed: the model of eventual destruction and new creation, or the model of transformation. Will the material world pass away all be made new, or will somehow the world be transformed and changed into the city of God? The model that the Christian chooses will have an effect on his attitude toward the world and toward the corporeal. What will be destroyed can have only a passing value; what is to be transformed retains its importance. Is the body a shell that one sheds, or is it an intrinsic part of the personality that will forever identify a person? If Jesus, body corrupted in the tomb so that his victory over death did not include bodily resurrection, then the model of destruction and new creation is indicated. If Jesus rose bodily from the dead, then the Christian model should be one of transformation. The problem of the bodily resurrection is not just an example of Christian curiosity; it is related to a major theme in theology: God’s ultimate purpose in creating."


Anonymous said...

Yes we are already in the process of the great healing and transformation now! Times of destruction are part of the cleansing process, as we cannot have the new creation without suffering or so it seems. It is also the time of ultimate choice out of great contradiction. To accept the new creation and live with the Lord, or to accept the other, and be sweep away in the destruction and cleansing.
The clue is to remain boyant as a cork in the wild ocean, waiting for the storms to pass and the new calming See to prevail.
Our attitude is born out of flexible approaches, like the reed bending in the wind to the ebb and flow of creation.
Yes what is destroyed is expendable. What remains will always carry the matrix or stamp of the divine, which remains incorruptable, perfect and without blemish or fault.
So the corporeal body is just a vehicle for our subsistence here. As as astronaut needs a covering shell(body)to keep out intense cold, heat and space junk, so we need the body. It's our means of learning of that which is important, from that which is not, and to allow us progressive evolution of the species under the matrix of Jesus.
Our bodies are corruptable and expendable, while the Lord's being (Begotten) Will always resurrect back to the perfect and the divine.

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