This week’s arguments are strong, but perhaps, it seems, not in complete unity with last week’s. However, he tackles some of these inconsistencies next week.
1 For some, of course, the points mentioned have been an occasion of error about the conditions of those who rise. For there were some who held that, since a body composed of contraries seems necessarily subject to corruption, those who rise do not have bodies composed of contraries in this way.
2 Some among these held that our bodies do not rise in a bodily nature, but are changed into spirit. They were moved by what the Apostle says: “It is sown a natural body; it shall rise a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:44). But others were moved by the same words to say that our bodies in the resurrection would be subtle bodies, similar to the air and the winds. For air is called a “spiration”, so that airy things may be called “spiritual.”
But others said that in the resurrection the souls will assume bodies: not earthly ones, to be sure, but heavenly. Their occasion is this word of the Apostle speaking of the resurrection: “There are bodies celestial and bodies terrestrial.” And all this seems supported by what the Apostle says in the same place: “Flesh and blood cannot possess the kingdom of Cod” (1 Cor. 15:40, 50). It thus appears that the bodies of those who rise will not have flesh and blood and, consequently, no other humors.
3 But the error of these opinions is quite evident. For our resurrection will conform to the resurrection of Christ, as the Apostle has it: “He will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:21). After His resurrection, of course, Christ had a body one could touch, constituted of flesh and bones, because after His resurrection, so we read in Luke (24:39), He said to the disciples: “Handle and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me to have.” Therefore, when other men rise, they will have bodies one can handle, composed of flesh and bones.
4 The soul is, furthermore, united to the body as form to matter. Of course, every form has its determined matter, for there must be proportion between act and potency. Since, therefore, the soul is the same in species, it appears that its matter must be the same in species. Therefore, the body will be the same in species after the resurrection as before. And so it has to consist of flesh and bones and other parts of this kind.
5 Again, in the definition of a natural thing which signifies the essence of the species, one includes the matter; necessarily, then, whenever the matter is varied in species, the species of the natural thing is varied. But man is a natural thing. If, therefore, after the resurrection he is not to have a body consisting of flesh and bones and parts of this kind as he has now, he who rises will not belong to the same species, but will be called man only equivocally.
6 There is, moreover, a greater differentiation between the soul of a man and a body of some other species than there is between one human body and that of another man. But no soul can be united in turn to the body of a second man, as was shown in Book II. Much less, then, will it be able in the resurrection to be united to a body of another species.
7 There is more. For a man to rise with numerical identity there must also be numerical identity in his essential parts. Therefore, if the body of the man who rises is not to be composed of the flesh and bones which now compose it, the man who rises will not be numerically the same man.
8 But all these false opinions are most clearly rejected by the words of Job (19:26-27) who says: “Once again I shall be clothed with my skin, and in my flesh I shall see my God. Whom I myself shall see and not another.”
9 Of course, each of the opinions mentioned has its own awkward consequence.
10 For to hold that a body changes into a spirit is altogether impossible. Things do not change into one another unless they have matter in common. But spiritual things and bodily things can have no communication by matter, because spiritual substances are entirely immaterial, as was shown in Book II. Therefore, it is impossible that the human body is changed into a spiritual substance.
11 Again, if the human body is changed into a spiritual substance, it will be changed either into the same spiritual substance which the soul is or into some other. But, if it is into the soul itself, then after the resurrection there would be in a man only his soul, just as there was before the resurrection. Therefore, the condition of man would not be altered by the resurrection. But, if the body is to be changed into another spiritual substance, it will follow that from two spiritual substances some unit in nature is effected. And this is entirely impossible, for every spiritual substance subsists of itself.
12 In like fashion, it is impossible that the body of man who rises be like air and kindred to winds.
13 For the body of man and of any animal must have a determined figure both in the whole and in the parts. But a body which has a determinate figure must be terminable of itself, for figure is that which is comprised by a term or terms. Air, however, is not terminable in itself, but is terminated only by the term of something else. It is, therefore, not possible that the body of man when he rises be like the air or the winds.
14 There is more. The body of man when he rises must have the capacity to touch, for without touch there is no animal. But that which rises must be animal if it is to be man. But an aerial body can have no capacity for touch, just as no simple body can, for the body in which the touch sensation takes place must be midway between the tangible qualities so as to be in potency to them, as the Philosopher prom in De anima [II, 11]. It is impossible, then, that the body of man who rises be like the air or the winds.
15 From this it is also apparent that it will not be able to be a celestial body.
16 For the body of manor of any animal must be receptive to tangible qualities, as was just said. But so to be is impossible for a celestial body which is not hot or cold, nor wet or dry, nor anything else of the sort, whether actually or potentially, as the Philosopher proves in De caelo [I, 3]. Therefore, the body of the man who rises will not be a celestial body.
17 Celestial bodies, moreover, are incorruptible and cannot be changed from their natural disposition. But the figure due to them naturally is the spherical, as the Philosopher proves. It is not possible, then, for them to receive the figure which is naturally due to the human body. It is, then, impossible that the bodies of the risen be in nature those of celestial bodies.