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In John 20:27, Jesus says to Thomas

"Put your finger here and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe."

echoing the claim by Thomas at John 20:25 that

"Unless I see the nail marks in His hands, and put my finger where the nails have been, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe."

There are 2 main interpretations of this exchange. The first is that Jesus indeed still has wounds, and is telling Thomas he can put his finger or hand into them. This is a bit gross, but it is the standard view. The second is that Jesus was speaking ironically, echoing Thomas' original comments, because Jesus' resurrected body is completely healed of the physical trauma inflicted by the crucifixion.

If we assume the former theory, was Jesus' injured but resurrected body covered by clothes that would have covered his side wound?

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Some of these possibilities can be eliminated immediately - we will assume that Jesus did NOT appear to His disciples naked.

However, the eastern custom in a hot land was for men to wear "breaches" as an under-garment plus a loose outer robe. It is easy to imagine Jesus drawing aside the outer robe (compare John 13:4, 12) to allow Thomas to examine His side.

What did Thomas see and feel?

Note how specific the Greek of John 20:27 - εἰς τὴν πλευράν = into the side. While Jesus wounds would have healed, the scars remained showing a deep spear piercing and a noticeable indentation for Thomas to feel into.

On seeing this, he exclaims (V28): Ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου = "The Lord of me and the God of Me." [According to Daniel Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, page, 58, 82, 267, 268, this is the crescendo of John's theology to declare that Jesus is "The God".] Thomas had clearly identified Jesus by the remains of the healed wounds and scars inflicted during crucifixion.

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  • Why do you say his wounds would have healed? Also, are you of the view that people keep signs of any physical wounds (i.e. scars) in resurrected bodies? – One God the Father Feb 18 at 17:54
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    @AnthonyBurg - No, I think we will get new "heavenly bodies" (whatever that means) according to 1 Cor 15. However, Jesus clearly retained His scarred body as part of the proof of identity. – Dottard Feb 18 at 19:56

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