Did Jesus come back from the dead, or should we look deeper for the truth of resurrection?
An addition to the BHT, containing the earliest account of the post-resurrection appearances of Christ in the New Testament, where Paul describes his witness of the resurrection and what it means to be resurrected into Christ consciousness. This seems to be an excellent summary of the Christian Gospel, or “good news,” but it is something which I think we’ve generally misunderstood in Christianity for centuries. I feel that this is one of the most important translations of the BHT that I have been given the Grace to work out yet—yet not I. I was in tears by the end.
I’ve been reading about the post-resurrection appearances of Christ, and the description of the earliest written records and development of the early Christian resurrection narrative is quite intriguing. It seems to show that there was a significant change of the meaning of resurrection beginning in the very first few decades of Christianity, between the time of Paul and when the gospels were written.
I listened to a conversation between Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris in Vancouver on June 23, 2018, where Harris asked this seemingly simple question (which had been previously asked of Peterson): “Was Jesus literally resurrected?” Peterson said it would take him 40 hours to answer that question. Harris offered his own succinct answer: “Almost certainly not.”
It seems to me that there are at least four types of resurrection, or at least four stages of the process of being resurrected, or events that could be considered resurrection.
The Methodist biblical scholar, Margaret Barker, wrote a book published in 1996 titled The Risen Lord in which she proposed that “the original understanding of resurrection may in fact be Jesus’ mystical experience at his baptism, when he was raised up and transformed into the divine Son.”
The following are excerpts from a discourse given by the Byzantine Christian monk and poet, Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022 AD), to the monks of the Monastery of St. Mamas.
An addition to the BHT, a passage in which Paul talks about coming to know Christ directly within one’s Self, which is the resurrection. (The painting above is “Saint Paul Writing His Epistles,” attributed to Valentin de Boulogne, dated 1618-1620.)
Resurrection is an awakening from mortal consciousness to an infinite consciousness. But what does this mean for our physical body?
I don’t think there is any evidence in nature that bodily resurrection can happen. I think this is a misunderstanding of the resurrection.