Paul and the Resurrection of a Spiritual Body

QUESTION: You may have gone over this before, but do you think the earliest Christians, Peter, Paul, and Mary etc. believed in the physical bodily resurrection of Jesus, or do you think they believed his “spirit” was raised from the dead? From Paul’s writing it’s hard for me to judge. I ask this because it seems easier for me to attribute the resurrection belief to “hallucinations” if they were only experiencing visions of Jesus’ spirit. Even group “hallucinations” of Jesus’ spirit seems plausible, maybe during a group’s ecstatic experience or something. On the other hand I think there’s difficulty with the idea that several people hallucinated an experiences with a seemingly physical Jesus. RESPONSE: This is a great question. My view is that different early Christians had different views. Paul’s view for me is the most interesting. In a forthcoming book I’ve mapped out my understanding of that. Here’s what I say there: ****************************************************************************** It is striking, and frequently overlooked by casual observers of the early Christian tradition, that even though it was a universal [...]