Did Jesus resurrect only in spirit or in bodily form?

JWs teach that Jesus resurrected only in spirit because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

Did Jesus resurrect only in spirit or in bodily form?

1 Cor 15:50 But I tell you this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s Kingdom, nor does corruption inherit incorruption.

Christians response:

The Bible doesn’t teach that we will become spirits but it does teach that we will have spiritual bodies that are incorruptible.

1 Corinthians 15:42-44 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual (Greek word “pneumatikos”) body.

The Greek word “pneumatikos” is translated as “spiritual” in this verse and translation but also has the meaning of “supernatural”, “heavenly”.

1 Cor 10:1-4

Now I want you to know, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea and all got baptized into Moses by means of the cloud and of the sea, and all ate the same spiritual (Greek word “pneumatikos”) food and all drank the same spiritual (Greek word “pneumatikos”) drink. For they used to drink from the spiritual (Greek word “pneumatikos”) rock that followed them, and that rock meant the Christ.

The food, drink and rock were all physical, but they had supernatural and heavenly properties.

The Bible teaches in many places that Jesus’ resurrection was physical and not spiritual. Jesus had a physical body as can be seen from these verses.

Matt 28:9 And look! Jesus met them and said: “Good day!” They approached and took hold of his feet and did obeisance to him.

John 20:27 Next he (i.e. Jesus) said to Thomas: “Put your finger here, and see my hands, and take your hand and stick it into my side, and stop doubting but believe.”

Luke 24:30 And as he was dining with them, he took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and began handing it to them.

JWs say: “It is true that Jesus appeared in physical form to his disciples after his resurrection…Jesus evidently materialized bodies on these occasions” (Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1989, Pg 215)

However, we could see from the verse below that Jesus specifically said these things to refute the misconception that he is a spirit.

Luke 24:39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you see that I have.” 

1 Cor 15

3  For among the first things I handed on to you was what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; 4  and that he was buried, yes, that he was raised up on the third day according to the Scriptures; 5  and that he appeared to Ceʹphas, and then to the Twelve. 6  After that he appeared to more than 500 brothers at one time, most of whom are still with us, though some have fallen asleep in death. 7  After that he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.

Did so many people have hallucinations thinking that they saw Jesus when he was actually only a spirit?

These are other arguments brought up to show that Jesus was resurrected as a spirit.

Jesus came out of the burial cloth without disarranging them.

John 20:5-7 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. {6} Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, {7} as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.

Jesus could walk through walls and closed doors.

John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

He could disappear suddenly.

Luke 24:31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

Rather than showing that we are resurrected as a pure spirit, these verses show that the spiritual body has these abilities that our old physical bodies do not have.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,

This verse only says that Jesus was raised by the Spirit (see also Rom 8:11). It does not say that Jesus was raised as a spirit.