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PAT - Why was Mary not allowed to touch Jesus when he appeared to her as a resurrected personage, but others were allowed to later on?
JOEL - To Mary Magdalene Christ said: "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father."(John 20:17)
There are a couple of ways to look at this.
If the second clause was spoken in explanation of the first, we have to infer that, according to the King James translation, no human hand was to be permitted to touch the Lord's resurrected and immortalized body until after He had presented Himself to the Father.
There is no explanation from scripture as to what happened between the time Mary saw Jesus and when He came back from the presence of the Father, which now made it possible for mortals to touch Him.
Another possible explanation for this statement lies in the Greek form of the phrase "touch me not." The Greek form of this command "me mou haptou", should be more correctly translated as "do not keep on holding me" or "stop clinging to me." Some translations give the meaning as "Do not cling to me any longer," or "Do not hold me any longer." In her joy of seeing Him again Mary was probably already holding on to Jesus when He said this and He was just telling her that she had to let Him go so He could report to the Father.
Interestingly, in the Inspired Version Joseph Smith changed "touch me not" to read "hold me not," thus improving the agreement between Mary and others who touched Jesus later on