In 2 Corinthians 4:16–5:10 Paul points out that he prefers «rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord». This statement of Paul has been interpreted to mean that Paul prefers an existence for the soul without the body in an intermediate state before the resurrection. This however would correspond to a dualistic and platonic-like understanding of man’s nature and existence in and after death. But is this what Paul believes? A closer analysis based on the context in the letter and the Jewish understanding compared to Greek-Hellenistic thought, shows that Paul most likely means to express the Christian hope for salvation, which is that the earthly human beeing – with the body – is being moved to God in a new existence. The earthly man is being dressed in heavenly clothings. One goes through a change, and at the same time the identity is secured. It is based on Paul’s understanding of body and identity within the context of salvation.

Keywords: Body, Identity, Body-soul, Salvation, Resurrection, Intermediate state