Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that:

  • Jesus’ body was not resurrected [1]
  • The bodies of Christians with the heavenly hope will not be resurrected [2]
  • Those who are resurrected to life on earth will be judged by future deeds which they will perform during the millennium [3]
  • The second resurrection will occur on earth during the millennium [4]

Q1. Was Jesus’ body resurrected?

Answer: Jesus rose from the dead in the very same physical body in which He died, but this resurrected, physical body was a glorified, spiritual body.

Additional info here

Matt 12:40 Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Luke 24:3 When they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

Luke 24:39 “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

John 2:19-21 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” … he was speaking about the temple [inner sanctuary] of his body.

John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” [If Jesus was not here actually presenting His resurrected body to His disciples, He would be “proving” His resurrection by trickery.]

Acts 2:27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption [“to rot in the grave” GNB].

Acts 13:34-37 He raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption [“never again to be in a state of decay” NET] … “‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, but he whom God raised up did not see corruption.

Col 2:9 For in him [Jesus] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily

1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

(Also, Mark 16:6)

Q2. Will Christians’ bodies be resurrected?

Answer: Our resurrection will be a transformation of the same bodies we have on earth.

Rom 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Rom 8:23 We ourselves … groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Phil 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Q3. Will the resurrected body have exactly the same characteristics as the original body?

Answer: There will be some type of physical connection, continuity, between the natural body and the transformed resurrection body possessing the same individuality – memory and personality.

Additional info here

John 20:26 Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them

1 Cor 15:37-38,44 What you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body…  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body

1 Cor 15:52-53 We shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

Q4. Are resurrected men to be judged by the deeds which they perform during the millennium?

Answer: The judgment in the next life will be based upon the deeds done in this life. Those who receive Christ as Saviour will not be condemned.

Matt 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Luke 11:31-32 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

John 5:24,28-29 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life… An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Heb 9:27 Just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment

Rev 20:12-13 The dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

Q5. When does the second resurrection take place?

Answer: After the millennium. See here 

Rev 20:5-The rest of the dead did not come to LIFE until the thousand years were completed [cp. vs. 4; those of the first resurrection LIVED with Christ for the 1000 years]


  • Jesus’ body was resurrected
  • The bodies of Christians with the heavenly hope will be changed at their resurrections
  • At the resurrection, men will be judged by the deeds which they performed in their bodies during their previous lives on earth
  • The second resurrection occurs after the 1000 years have been completed


  1. Reasoning p 334
  2. Ibid. p 333
  3. Insight Vol 1 pp 137-138; Watchtower 2012 Sept 1st p 16
  4. Reasoning pp 337-339

Article Credits:

Translate ยป