Evolution and the Eschaton - Resurrection Bodies

After a textual study of Genesis 1–3, making use of scholars such as Walton, Waltke, Van Ee, Heiser, Longman and others, I moved to an understanding of the text which has it answering ‘why’ questions, not ‘how, when, where’ questions.

This allowed me to begin studying the current scientific position on biological evolution and to arrive at a tentative theistic evolutionary position. I’m not a scientist, and struggled with biology, so it’s mostly a curiosity for me.

However, I have been studying 1 Thessalonians 4–5 in particular, and the Christian hope of the resurrection in general and it got me thinking about the relationship between our resurrection bodies and science.

I have a largely underdeveloped view on how resurrection bodies will work/look, but minimally it seems they will be transformed, incorruptible, immortal (probably still dependant immortality), exulted, glorified, redeemed, like Christ (categories taken from Dictionary of Paul and His Letters).

I wonder have any of you considered the following lines of thought before, or could point me in the direction of good resources on the topic?

  1. One of the reasons many give against YEC arguments is that the ‘appearance of age’ we see in our universe would be disingenuous or misleading if the world is not old. How would a ‘transformed’ body of a resurrected saint avoid this charge in the future? Presuming they aren’t ‘reborn’ through a natural process, then their bodies may appear old even though they aren’t.

  2. Is a resurrection body a de novo creation? Or could resurrected bodies still have some sort of link to the current evolutionary tree?

  3. Are there biological mechanisms that could be reversed/tinkered with to allow for incorruptibility in a human body that is made of the same sort of DNA as we currently have, or would it need to be a totally new sequence?

These may be ‘silly’ questions to some, but I’m interested in finding a way to think through the resurrection in less etherial terms than I’ve previously encountered!



Hello Matthew, and Welcome to Peaceful Science. :slight_smile:

I can honestly say this is a discussion topic I have never encountered before. It’s also one where I don’t think I have much of anything useful to offer. However, I will forward a speculation.

To the extent that we know anything about resurrection bodies at all, that knowledge is constrained to human conception. Resurrection bodies could be anything, and (IMO) could well be beyond our current ability to understand. Unconstrained speculation is not useful, but you might consider that constraint apply, if any?

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Thanks Dan, I’ve been lurking for a while!

Like you, it’s one I haven’t come across before but I wonder if the implications of ‘the end’ in Christian theology may inform some thoughts on ‘the beginnings’ too.

You’re right that in some sense the bodies could be ‘anything’ and ‘beyond our current ability to understand’, but I wonder how far we can go if we grant they would be ‘similar, yet different’ rather than, ‘entirely different’.

Maybe some research in the limits of biological enhancement would be interesting here, but I guess maybe we’re a long way off even knowing the limits of our current makeup.


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My guess is there will be nothing we will be able to know about “resurrection bodies”, including whether such a thing ever has or even could have existed, until we have one of these things and can directly investigate it.

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If you like to read science fiction, I recommend “To Your Scattered Bodies Go” (The Riverworld series) by Philip Jose Farmer, and “Kiln People” by David Brin. Both have an interesting science fiction take on the human soul.

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