Does God have a Body?

by Matt Slick

This dialogue touched on issues of God's nature and physical manifestation. I've dealt with this before with many cult groups, so I was able to recall a lot of scriptures and insert them into the dialogue as we were talking. Memorizing verses sure does have its advantages.


Tony: Hey Matt!
Matt: Hi.
Tony: Are you busy?
Matt: I've got about 5 minutes . . . what's up?
Tony: Love your site!
Matt: Thanks . . . it's a lot of work . . .
Tony: Yes I can see!!!
Matt: Shoot.
Tony: Do you think God has a body? Or is he Spirit only like it says in john (I think).
Matt: The Bible says that god is spirit (John 4:24). In Luke 24:39 Jesus says that a spirit does NOT have flesh and bones. We do not know what spirit is, but we do know what it is not.   Also, God is everywhere. If he had a body, He could not be everywhere . . . A body would mean that he has material, Matter, etc. Time is a function of the existence of Matter. Since God is outside of time, eternal, He could not be material. Therefore, He cannot have a body because he could not then be omnipresent.
Tony: What about Steven when he looked up and saw Jesus sitting on the right hand of the Father . . . ?
Matt: It was a vision.
Tony: Hmmmm
Matt: Was Jesus LITERALLY sitting ON God's right hand?
Tony: God gave him a vision of himself . . . ?
Matt: Yep.
Tony: Why did God do that?
Matt: Not sure really. Good question. But God reveals Himself to those who seek Him. With Stephen maybe it was because he was the first Christian martyr.  Now, let me ask this again. Was Jesus LITERALLY sitting ON God's right hand?
Tony: I think so. The disciples wanted to sit on his right hand.
Matt: Then does that mean that God could not use His right hand because someone was sitting on it?
Tony: Ha Ha I though you were trying to say that but wasn't sure . . .
Matt: What does it mean to sit ON God's right hand?
Tony: Power?
Matt: Yes, and authority. If you/someone says that God has a body, then does He have genitalia too?
Tony: If a body then I guess so . . . but didn't God wrestle with Abraham in the Old Testament? Or was that just an angel of the Lord?
Matt: An angel of the Lord. Angels often manifested human form (Gen. 18:1 and following is a good example).  God is invisible and dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16-17).
Tony: I'll read it . . .
Matt: Are you a Mormon?
Tony: No, I'm born again since 1980 and love the Lord!! I believe in the Trinity. Jesus said if you seen me you seen the Father.
Matt: Heb. 1:1-3 says that Jesus is the exact representation of God.
Tony: Yes . . .
Matt: He so completely represented the Father that to see Him was to see the Father.
Tony: Heavy!! What a beautiful thing for a person to accept Jesus . . .
Matt: Yes, Jesus has two natures: human and divine (Col. 2:9 Phil. 2:5-8). But God the Father does not.
Tony: Yes human and divine.
Matt: Did you know that God was seen in the Old Testament?
Tony: Yes I have read that . . . How about with Moses
Matt: Yes, in Num. 12:6-8, God says He appears to others in visions and dreams but not Moses. Moses beheld God's very form.
Tony: Amen
Matt: In Exo. 24:9-11, 74 people saw the God of Israel, and under his feet there was a pavement of sapphire, etc. . . . God was seen in human form in the O. T., right?
Tony: Yes
Matt: But Jesus said in John 6:46 that no one has ever seen the Father.
Tony: Yes, so?
Matt: So, if God was being seen in the OT but it was not the Father, then who was it?
Tony: Hmmmmmmm  The Son!
Matt: Yep. Preincarnate Christ. The Father does not have a body of flesh and bones. Jesus does--at least now . . .
Tony: When Jesus said no one has seen the Father, was he talking bout the people right there at that time?
Matt: Yes and those before Him.
Tony: Oh ok . . .
Matt: In John 5:37 Jesus says that the Pharisees had never seen the Father . . . He was talking specific to them there, I believe.  Besides, in 1 Tim. 6:16-17 it says that God dwells in unapproachable light whom no man has seen nor CAN see.  John 14:9 is where Jesus said to see him was to see the Father. Does that mean that the Father has two legs, two hands, a beard, and a couple eye balls? NOT!
Tony: I believe He is spirit . . . and worship him and in spirit and truth
Matt: Good. John 4:24.  Does all that help?
Tony: Yes it does  Appreciate it . . .

I thought this was a nice dialogue.   There was no name-calling, and it flowed pretty well.  Also, it's nice to have some scriptures memorized.  It comes in handy.




CARM ison