At the transfiguration, did Moses and Elijah have physical bodies?

At the transfiguration, did Moses and Elijah have physical bodies?

In each of the gospel accounts of the transfiguration (Mat 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luk 9:28-36), the Spirit of God uses the word "appeared," meaning "made visible" (TDNT. Kittel).

On that occasion, the disciples saw a preview of the glorified Christ (2Pe 1:16-18). He was "transformed," a strong word suggesting an inward change (WEV Expository Dictionary). However, Moses and Elijah would not have had glorified bodies. Believers will receive such bodies at their resurrection, which is still future. Because Christ is the Firstfruit of resurrection (1Co 15:23; Acts 26:23), it seems unlikely that Moses and Elijah received a glorified body - even temporarily – before Christ rose from the dead. It seems equally unlikely that God created a special body for each of them at that time. While God is able to do that, each person’s body is unique to and solely identified with that person. God’s ways in providing a body for each person, then raising and changing that body at the resurrection (1Co 15:35-38) appear to rule out this possibility.

We have little Biblical evidence to use in answering this question. The best evidence is that by employing the verb "appeared," the Spirit indicates that Moses and Elijah did not have tangible bodies at the transfiguration. By divine power, they became visible to Peter, James, and John.

D. Oliver