bible theology

bodies matter

Fundamental to the whole narrative of scripture are the dignity of bodies.

This can be applied to heavenly bodies (sun, moon and stars) and other earthly non-human bodies (“he feeds the ravens when they call to him”), but human bodies get consistent care throughout.

The twin tracks of Public Justice and Personal Righteousness (which may indeed have more overlap in meaning than difference between them) both have a lot to do with bodies. When the prophets publicly command care for neighbour, the widow, the poor, the hungry, the orphan, the blind, the leper and the naked, they are referencing various kinds of crushing oppression that impinges upon the dignity of the body. Personal issues of beauty (as the goal of what is often called ‘modesty’), holiness, identity, sexuality, work, and diet are all tied to the dignity of the embodied human.

The human body is the reference point for Shalom. Restoration between God, others, creation and self makes a physical difference on the human body.

Bodies are breathed into by God.

Bodies ascend from and descend back into the Creation.

Bodies are treated and mistreated.

Bodies are injured and healed.

Bodies are given and received.

Bodies are honoured and dishonoured.

Bodies die and rise.