The coherent semantics of the sowing imagery (1Cor 15,36–44) suggest that heavenly bodies (v. 40–41) emerge from a process of body transformation, analogous to plants and animate beings (v. 37–39). The idea that the deceased are transformed into stars and thereby obtain a particular form of existence is widely attested in the mythography and in epitaphs of antiquity. In contrast to pagan conceptions about the dead permanently returning into celestial spheres, the heavenly bodies according to Paul represent a postmortem, albeit a pre-resurrection, stage in the development of human bodies. Accordingly, the heavenly body represents an intermediary ontological mode between the animated body of earthly creatures and the spiritual body of resurrection.
A highly reputed journal published since 1900, the Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft is an international journal for the exegesis of the New Testament and knowledge of the early church (patristics).