Immortality of the Soul (Platōn) and Bodily Resurrection (Paul) — Any Rapprochement?
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It is a usual assumption among New Testament scholars that in his discussion of the resurrection of the dead, Paul holds to the Jewish view of the resurrection of the body, not to the Hellenic (Platonic) view of the immortality of the soul. As this question impinges on the question of anthropology, it is further stated that according to the Hellenic view man has a body — which, moreover is conceived as a tomb of the soul (Orphics) — whereas according to the Jewish view man is a body. A careful investigation of the Hellenic and OT-Jewish evidence shows that it is a methodological miss to confuse views in Homēros and the Orphics with later views in Sokrates and Platōn. Moreover there never was a “Jewish view” of the resurrection. There were five/six views. The resurrection of the body was a minority view. The Pauline texts show that Paul speaks of the resurrection of the dead but never of the resurrection of the body as well as that man has a body. It is thus intriguing to compare Paul’s view of resurrection with Platōn’s view of the immortality of the soul and see how far apart they are from one another.