I have seen many answers and comments (here for example) which seem to indicate that the Biblical Unitarian position is that Jesus was born again or born from above at his resurrection. The idea is that believers also experience the born again experience at their resurrection and not during this life. "If you are still flesh, you are not born again - or 'from above' as Jesus put it." is the most direct quote I could find.

Additionally I have seen it said that Jesus is not "in" the spirit...he "is" spirit. In other words, coupling the assertion that if you are still flesh you are not born again with the assertion that Jesus was not born again until his resurrection seems to bring the conclusion that Jesus did not rise in flesh.

From an answer to an unrelated question:

The earlier Unitarians accepted the notion of a physical resurrection, but most of the story is now interpreted in a symbolic fashion. - The Encyclopedia of World Faiths, p136, Eds. Bishop & Darton, MacDonald Orbis, 1987

The question is, Do Biblical Unitarians not believe that Jesus' physical body was resurrected from the grave and ascended into heaven ... that he is only spirit and not flesh?

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    It's not a BU position necessarily - there is a range of understanding/belief on 'born again'. The answer you linked to is from a biblical basis. You need to define what you mean by "he is only spirit". –
    – steveowen
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 1:39
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    I have found previously see My Previous Question that there is no gathered body in concerted agreement in Unitarianism and no authority which one can quote on doctrine (or church government or Christian practice). But up-voted in the hope that some response can be generated to this aspect.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 8:17
  • @steveowen I hope the edits have clarified things a bit. Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 11:53
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    @MikeBorden If you want to understand prominent themes in contemporary Biblical Unitarianism, it has much more in common with older Unitarianism (17th, 18th centuries) than with what was common in 1987, which is going to be more Unitarians who started moving into 'New Thought' or 'Unitarian Universalism', i.e., not strongly Biblical. So yes, He rose in a 'real' body, although as St. Paul says it's a 'spiritual body'. Differences in thought here will parallel differences in thought on this question re Biblical Trinitarians. Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


From the BU website -

He is the only man who is now the Mediator between God and mankind (1 Tim. 2:5).

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

Clearly, there is no discrepancy between the understanding stated and the scripture

From the BU website -

He is the only man who will gather together all Christians to meet him “in the air” (1 Thess. 4:17) and give each one a new body like his own (Phil. 3:21). As the promised “seed” of the woman (Gen. 3:15), Jesus Christ will produce fruit after his kind, a race of people living forever.

He is the only man who will restore on a new earth the Paradise that the First Adam lost (1 Cor. 15:24-28)

Do Biblical Unitarians believe Jesus rose and ascended in a "real" body?

So yes, Jesus, the second/last Adam, was a man and still is. Only now he has life as the Father does and is made immortal.

He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 1Pet 3:18

knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. Rom 6:9

Nothing here leads us to think Jesus will be anything other than what he died as - a man, was buried for 3 days as - a man, but raised as - a man, to eternal life in the spirit as - a man. Just as all faithful believers will be when they receive their change at Jesus' return. We will still be people but with eternal life simply because Jesus is the 'firstborn of many brothers'. As he is raised to new life in the spirit, so in like manner, will all the 'brothers' be newly born - not of flesh again, but of spirit.


If Jesus is the firstborn of many, it is only logical that the many will follow his process. Otherwise he is not firstborn of any if the 'many' are reborn in some other way. He received his eternal life and entered the spirit world to sit next to God! At the resurrection, the saints will follow this pattern to be changed to spirit life and enter the Kingdom as we have been told - flesh cannot enter. Those who are 'born from above' will BE spirit (not just a deposit) and will join Jesus - seeing him as he is and being like him!

But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1John 3:2

  • So, for BU, spiritual rebirth and bodily resurrection are the same thing? Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 11:33
  • As I have already noted - this arrangement is not (AFAICT) a BU understanding. They seem to hold to born again in this age. But to answer your Q, I believe the bible places these events together but only for the 'saints'. The others are raised to judgement.
    – steveowen
    Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 11:37
  • I'm confused. In another place you said "If you are still flesh, you are not born again". Are you not BU? Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 11:44
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    I'm not anything anymore . Does a Christian have to be something other than a Christian? I was not BU and am not. Just as RB is not United but holds strongly to their understanding on many things.
    – steveowen
    Commented Jun 6, 2022 at 11:50

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