Mormons claim that God the Father has a "body of flesh and bones."1 Nowhere is this statement made in the Bible, so they support this idea through the statement that God created man in His own image,2 which requires that God look like a man. However, there are many problems with this interpretation. First, the Bible says that God created both males and females in His image.3 Unless God were a hermaphrodite (having both male and female sexual organs), this phrase could not refer to purely physical characteristics. In addition, the New Testament tells us directly that God, in His glory, does not look like a man:
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (Romans 1:23)
More information on what the image of God entails can be found at Man, Created in the Image of God- How Man is Unique Among All Other Creatures on Earth.
The Bible indicates that God the Father does not have a body - that God is a Spirit. However, the Bible says that God takes on the form of a man when He comes to earth.
"God is Spirit"... Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ stated quite clearly that God the Father is a Spirit:
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
Does this leave the option that God as a spirit could also have a "body of flesh and bones?" Here is how Jesus defined a spirit:
Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. (Luke 24:39)
Therefore Jesus left us no option to believe that God, in His Glory, exists merely as a body consisting of flesh and bones. Elsewhere in the Bible are statements indicating that God is invisible, although humans are obviously visible:
..Christ... Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (Colossians 1:15)
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen... (Romans 1:19-20)
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)
...who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:15-16)
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. (Hebrews 11:27)
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)
Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. (John 6:46)
But Jesus, as God, had a body
It is true that Jesus, who is God the Son, came to earth in a human body. However, the Bible makes it clear that Jesus took on the form of a human, but did not exist as such from eternity:
...Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)
The book of John confirms that Jesus existed in a glorified state before becoming flesh.4 Therefore, the Bible claims that Jesus existed in the "form of God" (i.e., a Spirit), but took on the form of a human male in order to come to earth and commune with His people.
If God had a body...
There are several logical flaws to the idea that God has a body of flesh and bone. The nature of the universe makes the idea of a human-looking God virtually impossible. Science tells us that the universe originally existed as nine tightly curled dimensions of space (see The Extradimensional Nature of God). The implications for the nature of God are obvious. God, who created the universe, must exist in at least one extra dimension above that of the universe in order to have created it. A three dimensional being cannot create a nine dimensional universe and have any ability to control it. This means that God, must consist of at least 10 dimensions, and could not exist solely in a three dimensional form (e.g., a human-like body). As Philippians 2 tells us (above), God must empty Himself of His glory in order to interact with unglorifed humans. There are other obvious logical problems. If God has a human form, how can He, as a 6 foot high body, control the universe. He would be totally dwarfed by the immensity of the universe, being at least 1025 times smaller than His own creation. In fact, the Bible explicitly states that the entire universe cannot contain God:
But who is able to build Him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Him?... (2 Chronicles 2:6)
The Bible indicates that God the Father exists in some glorious state in heaven as a spiritual being. His glorified state is invisible to us, although He can change forms and take on the form of a man to interact directly with humans. Logically, it makes no sense that God would exist as a three dimensional 6 foot tall being in a universe 10 billion light years across.
- The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; (Doctrine & Covenants: Section 130:22)
- And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and
let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of
the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every
creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)
Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. (Genesis 9:6)
- So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14)
Last Modified July 26, 2004