Jehovah's Witnesses believe that there will come a day when we will all get resurrected in our bodies. Critics say that the fact that cannibalism exists makes that logically impossible. If one person eats another person, how could both bodies be resurrected? How do Jehovah's Witnesses respond to that argument?

  • 3
    JWs do not teach that the very same body will be reassembled molecule by molecule. A new physical body is created and the character, thoughts,memories and personality that are kept inJehovahs memory are restored into that fresh body.
    – 007
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 20:46
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    What about those who have died at sea, and their bodies have been eaten and completely degraded? There is no trace of DNA from those corpses. The point is that God will make ALL thing new in the new heavens and the new earth. The resurrected dead are given glorified bodies, bodies fit to spend eternity with God. And where does God dwell?
    – Lesley
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 8:34
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    @Lesley When Jesus arose from the dead, he was still recognizable. And his hands and feet and side still bore the marks of his crucifixion. And he was still able to eat, fish and an honeycomb. It was a human body. Of flesh and blood. With digestive ability. (Perhaps another question is required, I suggest ?)
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 8:57
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    cremation would be a more realistic example, in that it is a more widely practiced practice
    – depperm
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 10:18
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    Job was certain that he would see his redeemer "in his flesh". Abraham and David will be raised. How much of their bodies do you suppose are undigested by the earth? Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 12:20

2 Answers 2


Firstly and foremost, I'm not a JW. I don't support their non-Trinitarian doctrine or other beliefs.

However, as a critique for those, like me, who believe in the resurrection. The Sadducees were keen on these riddles: whose husband is the wife married to in the resurrection was one of their favourites. Their idea was to to disprove the resurrection by human reasoning. "There is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Daniel 12:2:

2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

The above passage describes the total degradation of the original human biological material, even DNA would be degraded, yet the dead stand.

The whole point of the resurrection is it supersedes any biology we possibly know, it's a new creation. So if we look at what Jesus could do when resurrected: Jesus disappeared in plain sight (Luke 24:13-35, Road to Emmaus), moved through closed doors (John 20:24-29), yet could speak plainly and clearly as well as eat fish (Luke 24:41-43), then ascended and continues to live. Four of those six observations of Jesus have no biological explanation in medical science.

There is nothing God can't do, Matthew 19:26

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

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    The chemical DNA may be degraded but there is no problem with it being remembered by angelic (or Divine) power. But yes, I agree with the possibility of your thesis.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 5:06

To be clear, the Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that everyone who has ever died will be resurrected. Bear in mind that they claim only 144,000 humans have "the heavenly hope" or "calling", who they say are the only ones to be raised instantly at death as spirits to go to rule with Christ in heaven. (See page 786 of the book below, heading "Resurrection of 'Christ's brothers'.") This is what they say about an earthly resurrection where new physical bodies will be created for those raised back on to Earth. This is a quote from their own publication:

"Some Not Resurrected. Jehovah God has the right to refuse to accept a ransom for anyone he deems unworthy. Christ's ransom covers the sins an individual has because of being a child of sinful Adam, but a person can add to that by his own deliberate, willful course of sin, and he can thus die for such sin that is beyond coverage by the ransom... such ones [in Hebrews 6:4-8] are not merely killed and buried in Sheol, as were violators of the Law of Moses. These go into Gehenna, from which THERE IS NO RESURRECTION - Heb 10:26-31." Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. II, pp.791-2. [Capitals mine]

Who are those ones who will not be resurrected? Details are given of those who "sinned against the holy spirit", [Jesus'] "opposers, the Jewish religious leaders", "the man of lawlessness", and "those who 'practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth'."

This needs to be understood first, in order to see how Jehovah's Witnesses would view the question being asked here. They would say that cannibalism has no application to any of the 144,000 whose bodies just 'disappear' as they are instantly turned into invisible spirit creatures who go straight to heaven. (They claim God caused Jesus' corpse to disappear.) They would say that cannibalism has no application to the billions of corpses resurrected because Jehovah simply creates brand new bodies of flesh, bones and blood, putting into those new bodies their personalities and memories that he knew they had. They would say that cannibalism has no application to the few million who survive the battle of Armageddon because they have never died, going into the millennium with the same physical bodies; that those same bodies will 'grow' to perfection over time.

All this is covered in the same 'Resurrection' section in that same book I quoted from.

  • Corpses are not resurrected in any denominational pov are they? Also while anointed who die during the lords day (since 1914) are immediately raised to spirit life, that was not the case for spirit anointed Christian’s from 33ce until 1914. Those ones were dead for centuries before their spirit resurrection.
    – 007
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 14:35
  • @User 14 Your first Q would merit a posting of a new Q, which you could do. Your second Q goes into nuances of JW beliefs that are also interesting but have no bearing on the OPs Q, as dates are not being asked about.
    – Anne
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 16:25
  • Well your answer goes into lots of nuances that are not asked about so why not include one more 🤪
    – 007
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 16:42
  • @User 14 Given that you've already gone into such points in your comment,there's no need! Smiles!
    – Anne
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 16:47
  • @Lesley. This older question and it’s answers including one from you answer that question. christianity.stackexchange.com/q/44353/23657
    – 007
    Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 12:10

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