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Does God have a physical body?

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A close look at the Bible reveals that God is spirit and therefore is not confined to a physical body. However, the Bible also notes that God has revealed Himself in human form, both in the Old Testament and in Jesus Christ. He is also referred to in the Bible by many physical characteristics that figuratively or symbolically speak of God as having human body parts or characteristics, though He does not consist of a physical body.

First, it is clear that God is spirit. John 4:24 clearly states this fact. Both Colossians 1:15 and 1 Timothy 1:17 refer to God as the "invisible God." This fact is also highlighted in the Old Testament command to not make anything in God's image (Exodus 20:4). In addition, it is clear that God is Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1) and must therefore be much greater than what any physical body can contain. First Kings 8:27 affirms, "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you."

Even so, God the Father is often spoken of in Scripture as having human body parts in a figurative manner. Deuteronomy 33:27 mentions the arms of God, yet it is clear the writer did not intend to communicate that God has physical arms like people do. Genesis 6:8 mentions the eyes of the Lord. Exodus 6:6 speaks of God's outstretched arm. Second Kings 19:16 mentions the ear of the Lord and the eyes of the Lord. In each of these cases, these body parts are used figuratively in reference to an attribute or concept regarding God rather than a physical body part.

The Bible also shares several times when God revealed Himself physically. Some of these occasions include His physical presence with the Israelites in the wilderness or God being represented in a human form (called theophanies) as in Genesis 12:7 and Genesis 18.

Most notably, Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Triune God, took on the limitations of a human body. John 1:14 teaches, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." During His earthly life, Jesus revealed God in human form as part of God's divine plan to offer salvation to all people (John 3:16).

Again, both Scripture and reason affirm that the God of all creation cannot be limited to a physical body. This is another reason that the coming of Jesus is so significant. He was the one way God has provided to most clearly reveal God to humanity, coming to this world in a human body with its limitations. Yet His supernatural power was also made known, calling people to believe in Him as the Messiah and ultimately proving His claims through His resurrection from the dead.

Related Truth:

What does God look like?

How does the Bible use anthropomorphism to talk about God?

Has a person ever seen God?

What did Jesus look like?

The attributes of God, what are they?

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