where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishment?

Arguments/positions in defense of Evangelical Universalism.

where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishment?

Postby dirtboy » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:39 pm

Francis Chan assures us that the first century Pharisees and other Jews were very aware about eternal punishment and that they believed in it clearly. My question is this: where did they get this belief from? They didn't have the New Testament and the Old Testament didn't have much to say about it at all. There are a few verses but for the most part it taught that the grave was unconsciousness. If they had a well developed belief in eternal punishment then they would have had to get it from somewhere other than the bible. I heard that the book of Enoch was widely used during that time and that it taught eternal punishment, but it was never in the canon of scripture and therefore could not be used for authoritative doctrine. Whatever doctrine they got from the book of Enoch would be irrelevant since it didn't come from God.

I know that the Greeks taught eternal punishment. Do you know of other religions that taught eternal punishment? It seems to me that any well developed idea about eternal punishment would have had to come not from God but from extra biblical literature and religion.
dirtboy
 
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:00 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby corpselight » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:00 am

i think the Jews picked up ECT from other religions they encountered. first of all, there may have been thinks like that involved in worship of Baal etc (though not sure about that), but they definitely would've encountered it with the Zoroastrians.
the Zoroastrians had a heaven and a hell...but it went a bit further and they also had an ...antiGod: a being equal in strength to the good God that they worshiped, but pure evil. the struggle between the two gods was part of how everything worked in their view. i suppose it's a bit like ying and yang.

this is only my limited understanding of Zoroastrianism though, so take me with a pinch of salt.

i don't believe the Jews accepted a vew of the afterlife that involved consciousness before the exile. that would, in my mind, put the blame for such doctine on the heads of the Zoroastrians.

in fact, due to God calling Isreal to be separate and apart from their neighbours, all of whom had SOME idea of "afterlife"...it makes perfect sense that they accepted the grave as oblivion, though there is the promise of resurrection in various OT references. i believe personally that they were correct in this.

now, the statement that the Pharisees were all in "agreement" is false...we know from TEU (i think) and other sources that the Pharisees were in fact debating that very issue. some believed in ECT, some in annihilation for the very wicked, some in a "year" in a bad place.

really, Francis Chan has made a very boldly inaccurate statement here.
--your friendly neighbourhood corpse--
corpselight
 
Posts: 2072
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:43 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Sherman » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:38 am

Yes, if Chan said the Pharisees were in "agreement" concerning the things of the afterlife, he's mistaken. Hillel and Shammai had significantly different views. The school of Hillel taught that most people when they died went straight to Ga Eden, Paradise. Only the most wicked went to GaHenna; and their the person was tormented and possibly annihilated. The school of Shammai who was the President of the Sanhedrin during the time of Jesus' ministry and possibly DBR (Shammai died around the same time as Jesus), anyhow, Shammai affirmed that only the most righteous went to Ga Eden upon death; most people went to GaHinna for a period of up to 12 months for purification. Again though, those who were especially wicked were considered irredeemable and either continued to suffer in GaHinnom for indefinitely long, until God saw it was enough, or annihilated at the end of 12 months. Neither group had a well defined doctrine of ECT.

Considering these things I find it significant that Jesus warns to not fear man who can only kill the body, but fear God who can destroy both body and soul in GaHenna. And in Mk.9.49 Jesus seems to indicate that we shall all be salted by fire, which seems to indicate to me that we shall all need some level of purification before we can fully experience the presence of the Lord. I know I do. But I trust that one day the fire of Truth will burn the hell out of me, and fully deliver me from deception, especially self-deception.

As to where they picked this up from, it's likely they picked it up from the Zorastrians in Babylon where Phariseeism was born. And its interesting that it is primarily Matthew that quotes Jesus warning of GaHenna for one of Matthew's primary themes is Jesus' opposition to the Pharisees. And when I look at the context of where Matthew quotes Jesus use of Gehenna, it's as a warning to the Pharisees, warning them of punishment to come, turning their doctrine around to use against them, showing that how we treat people is more important that following a bunch of rules, etc. 7 of the 9 passages in the Gospels where Gehenna is used are in Matthew, 1 in Luke, and 1 in Mark. Paul never mentions Gehenna, and James uses Gehenna as a metaphor of evil, maybe trash in our hearts.

And I find it especially significant that God did not inspire Moses to even once warn of ECT in the Law; and Moses was fully trained in the law and religion of Egypt. If ECT was a real threat then it sure seems to me that God would have inspired Moses to make that part of the Law, or at least to use such as a pronouncement against Israels enemies.

You know, "IF" Paul, or the other writers of the NT would have intended to warn of ECT, the word to use would have been Tartarus for Tartarus was the realm of ECT in Hades where the gods, especially Zeus, consigned those who ticked him off. Tartarus was a place where the punishment fit the crime.

I do wish others were open to really considering whether or not scripture actually affirms ECT. The concept of ECT has much stronger roots in Egyptian mythology, Babylonian mythology (Zorastrianism), and Greek mythology than in Scripture!
Sherman Nobles
author - "God Is A Divorce' Too! A Message of Hope, Healing, & Forgiveness"
http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... 331481-8-7
User avatar
Sherman
Moderator
 
Posts: 1832
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:09 am
Location: White House, TN

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby roofus » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:47 am

I would continually bring up the matter to Chan. If he is deceiving himself, one can do him a favor by repeated exposures!
roofus
 
Posts: 770
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:01 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Melchizedek » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:23 am

I also find it interesting that Jesus warned; "Beware the leaven (doctrine) of the Pharisees".
Belief doesn't change what is true, it only puts one in line with what is already true.
User avatar
Melchizedek
Moderator
 
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:08 pm
Location: Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby dirtboy » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:44 am

Please forgive me for mis-stating the issue. Chan didn't say that they were in agreement. I was generalizing. He was basically saying that the belief was widespread. I should have been more clear.
dirtboy
 
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:00 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby SLJ » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:46 am

Here's an interesting chapter on the development of such ideas during the intertestamental Period:
http://www.ccel.us/buis.ch2.html

The book is The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment by Harry Buis © 1957, and is pro-ECT.

Sonia
James 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

Eph 1:10 ...a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
SLJ
Administrator
 
Posts: 2477
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:52 pm
Location: Carson City, Nevada

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Sherman » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:21 am

dirtboy wrote:Please forgive me for mis-stating the issue. Chan didn't say that they were in agreement. I was generalizing. He was basically saying that the belief was widespread. I should have been more clear.

ok, forgiven!

The belief in Gehenna was widespread amoung the Pharisees, BUT,
1) the nature of Gehenna was debated over.
2) they agreed that most people, Jew & Gentile alike eventually went to Ga Eden
3) they debated over what would happen to the most wicked of people
. a) annihilation after 12 months in Gahenna
. b) continued punishment indefinitely longer than 12 months.

Jesus, in warning the Pharisees of Gehenna, seemed to indicate that annihilation was the worst punishement, and seemed to affirm it as remedial (Mk. 9:49).
Sherman Nobles
author - "God Is A Divorce' Too! A Message of Hope, Healing, & Forgiveness"
http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... 331481-8-7
User avatar
Sherman
Moderator
 
Posts: 1832
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:09 am
Location: White House, TN

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Aaron » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:31 pm

I just don't see any compelling evidence that the Pharisees of Jesus' day believed in temporary/remedial punishment for most (or even some) people. According to Josephus, the general view of the Pharisees was that "under the earth there will be rewards or punishments, according as [people] have lived virtuously or according to vice in this life; and the latter are to be detained in an everlasting prison (eirgmon aidion), but that the former shall have power to revive and live again" (D. Ant. 18.14-15). And in another work, Josephus states that the Pharisees believed that the souls of the wicked would be "subject to eternal punishment (aidios timoria)." (B. War 2.162-64) This description of the Pharisees' views does not really convey to me the idea of temporary or remedial punishment.

From my study of this subject, the view that post-mortem punishment was temporary or remedial for some seems to have been a later development among the Jewish people, appearing almost 200 years after Christ. And if we're going by the Talmud, this later development seems to have been confined to the less-popular, conservative school of Shammai, or "Beth Shammai" (I don't see any evidence that the position expressed in the Babylonian Talmud was that of Shammai himself). According to the Talmud, only the school of Shammai believed in temporary post-mortem punishment for some (which was only for those not considered "thoroughly wicked," whose sins didn't outweigh their good deeds). The school of Hillel believed that the thoroughly good and those who weren't thoroughly wicked would bypass "Gehenna" and go straight to paradise (i.e., no post-mortem punishment, remedial or otherwise), while the thoroughly wicked would go to "Gehenna" to be either annihilated after twelve months or suffer endless torment.
"Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'" Abraham Kuyper
User avatar
Aaron
 
Posts: 871
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Sazag84 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:06 pm

This seems to be a fairly comprehensive look at the history of Judaism and the afterlife. Let me know what you guys think.

http://thejewishchronicles.com/jewish-v ... afterlife/
Sazag84
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 2:44 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Sherman » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:47 am

Hi Aaron,

Note that Shammai was the President of the Sanhedrin during the ministry of Jesus, possibly dying just before or after Jesus' DBR.

From http://www.religionfacts.com/judaism/beliefs/afterlife.htm:
The School of Shammai offered this description:
There will be three groups on the Day of Judgment: one of thoroughly righteous people, one of thoroughly wicked people and one of people in between. The first group will be immediately inscribed for everlasting life; the second group will be doomed in Gehinnom [Hell], as it says, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence" [Daniel 12:2], the third will go down to Gehinnom and squeal and rise again, as it says, "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on My name and I will answer them" [Zechariah 13:9]... [Babylonian Talmud, tractate Rosh Hashanah 16b-17a]


From http://near-death.com/experiences/judaism06.html:
As implied in the Book of Daniel, the Jewish notion of resurrection in the Maccabeean period was tied to a notion of judgment, and even to separate realms for the judged. In rabbinical thought, the model for heaven was Eden. The rabbinic word for hell, "Gehenna", is taken from the name of a valley of fire where children were said to be sacrificed as burnt offerings to Baal and Moloch (Semitic deities). Gehenna is a place of intense punishment and cleansing. This place is also known as "She'ol" and other names. This line of Jewish thought argues that after death the soul has to be purified before it can go on the rest of its journey. The amount of time needed for purification depends on how the soul dealt with life. One Jewish tradition states that a soul needs a maximum of 11 months for purification, which is why, when a parent dies, the kaddish (memorial prayer) is recited for 11 months. The concept of Gehenna as a place for temporary purification was the source for the orthodox Christian doctrine of "purgatory."

From http://www.jewfaq.org/olamhaba.htm
Only the very righteous go directly to Gan Eden. The average person descends to a place of punishment and/or purification, generally referred to as Gehinnom (guh-hee-NOHM) (in Yiddish, Gehenna), but sometimes as She'ol or by other names. According to one mystical view, every sin we commit creates an angel of destruction (a demon), and after we die we are punished by the very demons that we created. Some views see Gehinnom as one of severe punishment, a bit like the Christian Hell of fire and brimstone. Other sources merely see it as a time when we can see the actions of our lives objectively, see the harm that we have done and the opportunities we missed, and experience remorse for our actions. The period of time in Gehinnom does not exceed 12 months, and then ascends to take his place on Olam Ha-Ba.

-----------------------------------

As noted in previous posts, Matthew is the one who predominantly uses the word Gehenna. Luke and Mark only mention Gehenna once each, and each of those is a copy of a passage in Matthew. And it's interesting that Luke, in the parable/story of the rich man and Lazarus does not use Gehenna, but the generic term Hades. And it's interesting that Mark and Luke transliterate Gehenna, instead of translating it as Tartarus. If ECT was intended by Gehenna, then Tartarus would have been THE term to use to convey that concept. Of course, Matthew was written to the Jews, possibly in Hebrew or Aramaic originally, and focused on Jesus countering the attitudes, doctrine, and practices of the Pharisees especially and the Sadducees; so using the transliteration Gehenna was only natural for his Jewish audience would have understood the cultural context of that word, and the debates it fostered.

As you noted, Josephus does use wording indicating that the Pharisees taught ECT, and some of them did, for the most wicked such as Herod or Pharoah; but others taught annihilation. Josephus doesn't mention that Shammai taught that most people suffered the flames of Gehenna for a season for purification before the rose to Ga Eden. But to me the quotes in the Mishnah and Talmud concerning the teachings of the school of Shammai carry more weight as evidence of what they actually taught than Josephus' brief notes.

Anyhow, I believe that Jesus used the Pharisees' Gehenna metaphor as a means of warning them of their bad attitudes and practices, and denouncing their doctrines. One of the most interesting uses of it was in Mt. 23:15 where Jesus uses it as a source or orientation, "son of Gehenna". It's not a place they being consigned to, but from which they live according to.

So, was Jesus affirming the Pharisees' doctrine of Gehenna? I don't know that He was, but he was certainly using it to challenge their attitudes and actions. The Pharisees tended to be exclusive, prideful, and self-righteous, condemning all "others" as not being acceptable to God and thus would be consigned to Gehenna for who knows how long. Jesus turned this weapon of fear on them affirming that if they did not repent, they need to fear the flames of Gehenna and will be judged by God themselves for mistreating others, for their pride, for their doctrine that nullifies the Word of God, for their...

Will there be punishment in the afterlife, remedial and/or punitive? I trust that in making things right, God will do as needed to accomplish His will in us all. What I fear most and believe will be the most devestating is the fire of undiminished Truth! I believe we shall all face, without choice, the absolute Truth concerning our lives, individually and collectively. And this Truth will burn the Hell out of us! All of our self-deception, cultural-deception, and demonic-deception will be stripped from us and we'll face the Truth! And well, the truth will likely cause much weeping and grinding of teeth. We'll need to ask forgiveness of those we've hurt and of the Lord. All of this will be done though on the foundation of the truth of the Love of God for us all, the revelation of the Atonement which redeemed us, provided for the forgiveness of all of our sins, and justified us in God's sight. In order for forgiveness to reign, the truth must prevail. In order for there to be Justice, things made right, I believe there must be restitution and reconciliation. How God accomplishes all this in the eternal, I don't know, and don't know that anyone has a firm grasp on it. I just trust that He does because of the exceeding great and precious promises of such in His Word. And I live my life knowing that one day "I" will face the judgment. I even seek the Lord's judgment Now, in my life, for I trust His judgments are good and true.
Sherman Nobles
author - "God Is A Divorce' Too! A Message of Hope, Healing, & Forgiveness"
http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... 331481-8-7
User avatar
Sherman
Moderator
 
Posts: 1832
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:09 am
Location: White House, TN

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Sherman » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:09 am

Sazag84 wrote:This seems to be a fairly comprehensive look at the history of Judaism and the afterlife. Let me know what you guys think.

http://thejewishchronicles.com/jewish-v ... afterlife/

I didn't see any mention of Gehenna. They did mention Rabbi Gamaliel (??- 50 CE) who became President of the Sahedrin after Shammai, around 30 CE. But they did not mention the teachings of Shammai (50 BCE - 30 CE) or Hillel (Gamaliel's grandfather, 1?? BCE - 10 CE).
Sherman Nobles
author - "God Is A Divorce' Too! A Message of Hope, Healing, & Forgiveness"
http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... 331481-8-7
User avatar
Sherman
Moderator
 
Posts: 1832
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:09 am
Location: White House, TN

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Nathan » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:39 am

Do keep in mind that it was the general concensus for the next 1400 years that the earth was also flat . . .
Nathan
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:22 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby AllanS » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:52 pm

Nathan wrote:Do keep in mind that it was the general concensus for the next 1400 years that the earth was also flat . . .


Didn't the Greeks talk about celestial spheres. I reckon most educated people knew the world was round, but until quite recently they also believed that the sky was solid. (Luther taught as much.) If you're interested, here's a fascinating article: http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hil ... nt-WTJ.htm
Warning! Amateur at work. Usual disclaimers apply. Author accepts no responsibility for injuries sustained while reading this post.
User avatar
AllanS
 
Posts: 1394
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:03 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Aaron » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:43 pm

Sherman wrote:
Note that Shammai was the President of the Sanhedrin during the ministry of Jesus, possibly dying just before or after Jesus' DBR.

From http://www.religionfacts.com/judaism/be ... erlife.htm:
The School of Shammai offered this description:
There will be three groups on the Day of Judgment: one of thoroughly righteous people, one of thoroughly wicked people and one of people in between. The first group will be immediately inscribed for everlasting life; the second group will be doomed in Gehinnom [Hell], as it says, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence" [Daniel 12:2], the third will go down to Gehinnom and squeal and rise again, as it says, "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on My name and I will answer them" [Zechariah 13:9]... [Babylonian Talmud, tractate Rosh Hashanah 16b-17a]


Hi Sherman,

There is no evidence that the quote above was the personal opinion of Shammai himself. The students of the school he established ("Beth Shammai") were known to have held to theological positions in opposition to the school of Hillel ("Beth Hillel"), which were not necessarily the exact positions of the two rabbis themselves:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jso ... illel.html

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view. ... 6&letter=B

The school of Shammai continued a good while after the death of Christ. In the article from Jewish Encyclopedia we read, "Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel continued their disputes—probably interrupted during the war times—after the destruction of the Temple, or until after the reorganization of the Sanhedrin under the presidency of Gamaliel II. (80 C.E.)" So what you quote above could simply have been the most recent known position of the students of Shammai's school (which was the less popular of the two schools). By the time the statement expressing the position of his school appeared in the Babylonian Talmud (the codification of which took place in the 5th century), this was the known consensus of the students of the school, and not necessarily a direct quote from Shammai himself or even a reflection of his personal opinion while he was alive. So the quote from "Beth Shammai" as it appears in the Babylonian Talmud is actually no evidence that the Pharisees in Christ's day believed in temporary or remedial punishment.

From http://near-death.com/experiences/judaism06.html:
As implied in the Book of Daniel, the Jewish notion of resurrection in the Maccabeean period was tied to a notion of judgment, and even to separate realms for the judged. In rabbinical thought, the model for heaven was Eden. The rabbinic word for hell, "Gehenna", is taken from the name of a valley of fire where children were said to be sacrificed as burnt offerings to Baal and Moloch (Semitic deities). Gehenna is a place of intense punishment and cleansing. This place is also known as "She'ol" and other names. This line of Jewish thought argues that after death the soul has to be purified before it can go on the rest of its journey. The amount of time needed for purification depends on how the soul dealt with life. One Jewish tradition states that a soul needs a maximum of 11 months for purification, which is why, when a parent dies, the kaddish (memorial prayer) is recited for 11 months. The concept of Gehenna as a place for temporary purification was the source for the orthodox Christian doctrine of "purgatory."

From http://www.jewfaq.org/olamhaba.htm
Only the very righteous go directly to Gan Eden. The average person descends to a place of punishment and/or purification, generally referred to as Gehinnom (guh-hee-NOHM) (in Yiddish, Gehenna), but sometimes as She'ol or by other names. According to one mystical view, every sin we commit creates an angel of destruction (a demon), and after we die we are punished by the very demons that we created. Some views see Gehinnom as one of severe punishment, a bit like the Christian Hell of fire and brimstone. Other sources merely see it as a time when we can see the actions of our lives objectively, see the harm that we have done and the opportunities we missed, and experience remorse for our actions. The period of time in Gehinnom does not exceed 12 months, and then ascends to take his place on Olam Ha-Ba.


What is the source of the last quote above? The Babylonian Talmud speaks of people being punished for 12 months, but the implication is that they would be annihilated after that. Akiva ben Joseph is said to have believed that the suffering of the wicked in Gehenna was for only 12 months (http://books.google.com/books?id=C_d3-K ... A9&f=false - see Chapter 2 Mishnah 10) but he lived after Christ's day (ca.50–ca.135 CE). If this had been believed and taught by a rabbi before him I think it's likely that the Mishnah would've mentioned it. Since it doesn't, I think we can safely assume that this was not being taught before or while Christ was alive. Also, there is no suggestion that Akiva ben Joseph's opinion was prevalent among the Jews even in his day.

Josephus doesn't mention that Shammai taught that most people suffered the flames of Gehenna for a season for purification before the rose to Ga Eden. But to me the quotes in the Mishnah and Talmud concerning the teachings of the school of Shammai carry more weight as evidence of what they actually taught than Josephus' brief notes.


I think Josephus failed to mention it because it was either a minority view among the Pharisees or it was not known to him. As far as the Mishnah and Talmud, I do think these works carry much weight as evidence of what was being taught by certain rabbis when these works were redacted, but they were redacted after Christ's day.
"Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'" Abraham Kuyper
User avatar
Aaron
 
Posts: 871
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby .andrew. » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:25 pm

This is a very interesting discussion.

Aaron, would you say that Jews generally did believe in a form of ECT as a whole at the time of Jesus?
.andrew.
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:46 pm

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby InChristAlone » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:07 am

If, as Aaron seems to be asserting, the majority belief among the Jews was Gehenna as ECT, how does this change the UR perspective of Jesus' words and warnings, since he never explicitly corrected this belief?
The fence is an uncomfortable place to sit.
InChristAlone
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:55 am
Location: Illinois

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby dirtboy » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:34 pm

InChristAlone wrote:If, as Aaron seems to be asserting, the majority belief among the Jews was Gehenna as ECT, how does this change the UR perspective of Jesus' words and warnings, since he never explicitly corrected this belief?


Where does Jesus uphold their view of eternal punishment? As I understand correctly, there was a fairly diverse belief in the first century. Some believed in the resurrection and some did not. Some Jews believed in reincarnation and some did not. Some believed in ECT and some did not. However, what is interesting is even though many supposedly believed in ECT, where did they get this? It's not from the Old Testament because the OT is almost completely silent on it. My point for this thread was that, based on the scriptures, they would have had to have gotten most of their post mortem beliefs from non biblical sources since the OT is pretty quiet on such things.
dirtboy
 
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:00 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby corpselight » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:54 am

dirtboy wrote:
InChristAlone wrote:If, as Aaron seems to be asserting, the majority belief among the Jews was Gehenna as ECT, how does this change the UR perspective of Jesus' words and warnings, since he never explicitly corrected this belief?


Where does Jesus uphold their view of eternal punishment? As I understand correctly, there was a fairly diverse belief in the first century. Some believed in the resurrection and some did not. Some Jews believed in reincarnation and some did not. Some believed in ECT and some did not. However, what is interesting is even though many supposedly believed in ECT, where did they get this? It's not from the Old Testament because the OT is almost completely silent on it. My point for this thread was that, based on the scriptures, they would have had to have gotten most of their post mortem beliefs from non biblical sources since the OT is pretty quiet on such things.

i agree with this.
also Jesus, in the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man, could almost be seen to be satirising their views as He tells them they would understand if they but listened to Moses and the Prophets, none of whom taught these strange doctrines. they taught Sheol as death: a place of unconscious nonbeing.
--your friendly neighbourhood corpse--
corpselight
 
Posts: 2072
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:43 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby roofus » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:43 am

dirtboy wrote:
InChristAlone wrote:If, as Aaron seems to be asserting, the majority belief among the Jews was Gehenna as ECT, how does this change the UR perspective of Jesus' words and warnings, since he never explicitly corrected this belief?


Where does Jesus uphold their view of eternal punishment? As I understand correctly, there was a fairly diverse belief in the first century. Some believed in the resurrection and some did not. Some Jews believed in reincarnation and some did not. Some believed in ECT and some did not. However, what is interesting is even though many supposedly believed in ECT, where did they get this? It's not from the Old Testament because the OT is almost completely silent on it. My point for this thread was that, based on the scriptures, they would have had to have gotten most of their post mortem beliefs from non biblical sources since the OT is pretty quiet on such things.


That's an interesting question. I think that Aaron has some challenges for Sherman to answer. Chris, even if the OT would be the authority on such issues (is it, or is Christ?), Jesus is speaking of Gehenna (not spoken of as post mortem suffering place in OT) which is "non biblical" in the sense that it isn't in the OT.
roofus
 
Posts: 770
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:01 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby corpselight » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:58 am

roofus wrote:
dirtboy wrote:
InChristAlone wrote:If, as Aaron seems to be asserting, the majority belief among the Jews was Gehenna as ECT, how does this change the UR perspective of Jesus' words and warnings, since he never explicitly corrected this belief?


Where does Jesus uphold their view of eternal punishment? As I understand correctly, there was a fairly diverse belief in the first century. Some believed in the resurrection and some did not. Some Jews believed in reincarnation and some did not. Some believed in ECT and some did not. However, what is interesting is even though many supposedly believed in ECT, where did they get this? It's not from the Old Testament because the OT is almost completely silent on it. My point for this thread was that, based on the scriptures, they would have had to have gotten most of their post mortem beliefs from non biblical sources since the OT is pretty quiet on such things.


That's an interesting question. I think that Aaron has some challenges for Sherman to answer. Chris, even if the OT would be the authority on such issues (is it, or is Christ?), Jesus is speaking of Gehenna (not spoken of as post mortem suffering place in OT) which is "non biblical" in the sense that it isn't in the OT.

not sure how to answer that totally, but i would think that the OT, being inspired, wouldn't be contradicted by Christ...only fulfilled.
so i personally take what David and Solomon both wrote about Sheol as a Scriptural view. i've heard many Christians try to say "oh, their knowledge was imperfect" to dismiss it as it threatened their view that you go instantly whereever you deserve to go right after death. i don't personally believe the Bible teaches that view, and so i go with the OT view.
also, God didn't say the wages of sin was ECT, He says "death". anything Jesus said after would shine light on that, and perhaps dismiss a few assumptions people had made, but i don't believe that His words would contradict.
also, i've found that some of His words made sense in an OT context, as technically (in my view) the new covenant doesn't begin until He dies and rises again.
--your friendly neighbourhood corpse--
corpselight
 
Posts: 2072
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:43 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby roofus » Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:56 am

You don't think that anything Jesus uttered was new revelation that could not be found in the OT? Certainly, He used Gehenna in a way that the OT did not.
roofus
 
Posts: 770
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:01 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby dirtboy » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:39 pm

roofus wrote:You don't think that anything Jesus uttered was new revelation that could not be found in the OT? Certainly, He used Gehenna in a way that the OT did not.

.
Hey Roof,
Jesus definitely brought all kinds of new things to the table. Some things that were very difficult (if you even look with lust...), and some which were astoundingly wonderful (you are my friends...). The strange thing is that these modern authors are defending hell by saying that Jesus was addressing that which they were already completely familiar with - ECT. The problem is that they couldn't have gotten any elaborate ideas from the Old Testament and therefore they were not getting it from what we conservatives understand as authoritative revelation. The truth is, they were drawing many ideas from the Greek culture they were immersed in. The Greeks had an elaborate ECT. They were also getting it from apocryphal literature. Unless we want to open an enormous can of worms by saying that the apocryphal literature was authoritative as revelation from God, we should stick with accepted revelation. If you were to walk away from the old testament after several reads for over arching themes on God, sin, punishment, etc, you would never walk away saying, "well it would be obvious, when God punishes sin he would torment unrepentant sinners for eternity." This theme simply does not exist in the scriptures anywhere. You see a God who relents, who says "enough", who is filled with mercy and compassion, even at those who are sinning against Him. His wrath builds up, pours out, and finishes its purpose.
dirtboy
 
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:00 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Aaron » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:04 am

andrew wrote:
This is a very interesting discussion.

Aaron, would you say that Jews generally did believe in a form of ECT as a whole at the time of Jesus?


I'm not really sure about "as a whole." But it does seem as if the doctrine was general among the Pharisees and Essenes - and the Pharisees most likely had the greatest influence on the Jewish people as a whole than any other sect.

What I find interesting is how Jesus reserved his strongest rebukes of the wickedness of the Jews of his generation for the scribes and Pharisees (e.g., Mt. 5:20; 23:1-36) rather than the Sadducees. While he warns his disciples to beware of the doctrine of both the Pharisees and the Sadducees and tells the Sadducees they were mistaken for not believing that those who died would be restored to a living existence, it doesn't seem as if Jesus generally viewed them as "hypocrites" or as great a threat to the moral/spiritual health of the nation.

It's something worth pondering.
"Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'" Abraham Kuyper
User avatar
Aaron
 
Posts: 871
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby InChristAlone » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:18 am

dirtboy wrote:
roofus wrote:You don't think that anything Jesus uttered was new revelation that could not be found in the OT? Certainly, He used Gehenna in a way that the OT did not.

.
Hey Roof,
Jesus definitely brought all kinds of new things to the table. Some things that were very difficult (if you even look with lust...), and some which were astoundingly wonderful (you are my friends...). The strange thing is that these modern authors are defending hell by saying that Jesus was addressing that which they were already completely familiar with - ECT. The problem is that they couldn't have gotten any elaborate ideas from the Old Testament and therefore they were not getting it from what we conservatives understand as authoritative revelation. The truth is, they were drawing many ideas from the Greek culture they were immersed in. The Greeks had an elaborate ECT. They were also getting it from apocryphal literature. Unless we want to open an enormous can of worms by saying that the apocryphal literature was authoritative as revelation from God, we should stick with accepted revelation. If you were to walk away from the old testament after several reads for over arching themes on God, sin, punishment, etc, you would never walk away saying, "well it would be obvious, when God punishes sin he would torment unrepentant sinners for eternity." This theme simply does not exist in the scriptures anywhere. You see a God who relents, who says "enough", who is filled with mercy and compassion, even at those who are sinning against Him. His wrath builds up, pours out, and finishes its purpose.

I can see where the assertion could be made that the theme of ECT couldn't be found in the OT, but couldn't the Pharisees have inferred it from the end times prophecy of Daniel 12:2 and then read it into their Gehenna tradition? I'm also interested to hear if anyone can provide a non-ECT view of that verse as well, since that seems to be the first mention of anything like that.
The fence is an uncomfortable place to sit.
InChristAlone
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:55 am
Location: Illinois

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby dirtboy » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:42 pm

InChristAlone wrote:
dirtboy wrote:
roofus wrote:You don't think that anything Jesus uttered was new revelation that could not be found in the OT? Certainly, He used Gehenna in a way that the OT did not.

.
Hey Roof,
Jesus definitely brought all kinds of new things to the table. Some things that were very difficult (if you even look with lust...), and some which were astoundingly wonderful (you are my friends...). The strange thing is that these modern authors are defending hell by saying that Jesus was addressing that which they were already completely familiar with - ECT. The problem is that they couldn't have gotten any elaborate ideas from the Old Testament and therefore they were not getting it from what we conservatives understand as authoritative revelation. The truth is, they were drawing many ideas from the Greek culture they were immersed in. The Greeks had an elaborate ECT. They were also getting it from apocryphal literature. Unless we want to open an enormous can of worms by saying that the apocryphal literature was authoritative as revelation from God, we should stick with accepted revelation. If you were to walk away from the old testament after several reads for over arching themes on God, sin, punishment, etc, you would never walk away saying, "well it would be obvious, when God punishes sin he would torment unrepentant sinners for eternity." This theme simply does not exist in the scriptures anywhere. You see a God who relents, who says "enough", who is filled with mercy and compassion, even at those who are sinning against Him. His wrath builds up, pours out, and finishes its purpose.

I can see where the assertion could be made that the theme of ECT couldn't be found in the OT, but couldn't the Pharisees have inferred it from the end times prophecy of Daniel 12:2 and then read it into their Gehenna tradition? I'm also interested to hear if anyone can provide a non-ECT view of that verse as well, since that seems to be the first mention of anything like that.


That is the reason why I said that they could not have formed any elaborate belief on ECT. There are 2 verses that I am aware of with the Daniel verse being the most specific. But this verse is in Daniel which is really late in the Old Testament in terms of date of authorship from the earlier books of Moses. In other words there were several thousand years before there was a scriptural mention of possible ECT. They would not have been able to develop a complex theology that was scriptural since there was virtually no scripture to draw off of. Furthermore, the beliefs that they did hold come from other sources, such as the book of Enoch, the Greeks and their well developed view of the afterlife, and perhaps, their imaginations. Whatever the source, the old testament offered very little and all the extra details outside of the simple idea of eternal punishment and reward were not from the bible and are therefore, inadmissible according to what conservatives traditionally accept. Therefore, when Chan and company claim that their early belief in hell was proof of its veracity, they are simply out of line. I kind of remember Jesus being quite critical of the pharisees and sadducees. It would seem that following their lead would make you "twice the son of hell that they were", according to Jesus, if you followed their proselytizing. It seems to me that they weren't too spiritually keen at the time of Christ.

Regarding the Daniel passage, there is another thread in this forum discussing that passage.
dirtboy
 
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:00 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Sherman » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:36 pm

So Aaron, if I understand you correctly, you do not believe that the references to what the school of Shammai taught in the Talmud and Misnah reflect what they taught during the time of Christ, but what they taught some time after that, and that what the school of Shammai taught does not necessarily reflect what Shammai himself taught.

That's possible, but I think otherwise. I think that the school of Shammai expouned upon what Shammai believed and taught, similar to Calvinistic schools teach and expound upon what Calvin believed and taught, though 100's, even 1000's of years could separate the two. The beliefs and concepts of various teachers were handed down from generation to generation pretty legalistically by word of mouth, and was actually called the Oral Law. It's an interesting study. And to me, Shammai being the president of the Sanhedrin during the life of Christ is significant to me and would have been a major factor in Jesus' rebuke and rebuttal of the Pharisees.

So, does Jesus use of Gehenna in some way endorse the teachings on this from the school of Shammai? I don't think so. Rather, it was a term loaded with theological meaning to the Pharisee that Jesus used to rebuke the Pharisees, to warn them of judgment to come. The purgative sence of Gehenna can be seen in the Mark 9 passage. And then the Pharisees' debate concerning the especially wicked suffering indefinitely long or annihilated in Gehenna can possibly be alluded to when Jesus says to not fear man who can only kill the body, but to fear God who "can destroy" both body and soul in Gehenna. Which could indicate that the worst possible punishment that God would consider would be annihilation, though it doesn't actually affirm that such will happen to anyone, only that such is possible for God is the one who gives and sustains existance.

Of course with Gehenna being a physical place, if it's true that it was a trash dump with no shortage of maggots and a continuous fire, then when Jesus warns of progressive wrong attitudes/actions (anger, calling someone a fool (raca), and being a rebel (morah)) in Mt.5.22, and the progressive punishments of local civil judgment, the Sanhedrin judgment, and ultimately being cast into Gehenna, which could speak of Roman judgment of Rebels (crucifixion and cast unburied in the trash). And this understanding also seems to fit James where it says that one speaks from Gehenna, having a Trash-mouth syndrome.

And then of course, the passages that allude to Gehenna and weeping and gnashing of teeth in regard to Israel could pull in the OT use of Gehenna speaking of the judgment and destruction of Jerusalem. This perspective is powerful and each passage could be interpreted from this perspective, not necessarily as predicting the destruction of Jerusalem, but as the most painful example to the Jew of the judgment of God, destruction of evil, shame and reproach of a life for generations to come!

So it seems to me that Gehenna was a term filled with various meanings and Jesus used them to call people to repentance, warning of punishment in this life and possibly even the world to come. What I don't see is any significant evidence in support of ECT, especially when one considers that Olam does not imply "endless" but that which is beyond, and Olam Haba seems to reference the world/age to come, and often the age of the Messiah. Sadly though it's translated as "forever" or "eternal". I think any punishment we might face will be solely for remedial purposes, to cleanse and heal our soul, meant for our good though it might be terrible. Mainly though I think that just facing the fire of truth will be bad enough, burning the hell/evil from us. Weeping and grinding of teeth both speak to me of repentance and remorse.

I believe that the concept of ECT and relating that to Gehenna was a much later development, one that came from Greco-Roman mythology, reading Tartarus into Gehenna, Greek mythology into Jewish terminology.
Sherman Nobles
author - "God Is A Divorce' Too! A Message of Hope, Healing, & Forgiveness"
http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... 331481-8-7
User avatar
Sherman
Moderator
 
Posts: 1832
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:09 am
Location: White House, TN

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby auggybendoggy » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:37 am

Im following this from InChristalone's introduction and it's very interesting.

My sympathies lie with Dirtboy. I don't see how any elaborate and articulated belief in the afterlife could have been held since they did not even know if a ressurection (from Daniel) was literal or not. Sure the pharisees believe in a literal ressurection in contrast to the sad. But even if they did, does that conclude that ALL pharisees agreed on the nature of punishment in the afterlife. I hardly doubt anyone could prove it.

Aug
"If you're not cheating....then you're not trying!" - Jim Rome
User avatar
auggybendoggy
Administrator
 
Posts: 1286
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:57 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby auggybendoggy » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:57 am

The other point I would make is that Francis Chan seems to place all his chips on the weight of jewish belief. So what if they believed in ECT. What does that prove? It proves it's a possibility? Logically? None of us would say ECT makes no sense in it's definition. Of course it could be true on a possible level. But we disagree with it because it conflicts with Cor 13 and many other passages.

But what if some believed in Annihilation? Would Francis Chan then say that Ann. is true? What if some believed in universal redepmtion? The Jews were wrong about many things like worrying about eating yeast. And why? Because the OT said don't eat yeast. It's as if people don't get the depth of scripture. It appears to me the subtext trumps the context and that is something everyone fears (esp. exegetes).
"If you're not cheating....then you're not trying!" - Jim Rome
User avatar
auggybendoggy
Administrator
 
Posts: 1286
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:57 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby awakeningaletheia » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:54 pm

I suppose we are just going to ignore that Jeremiah went into GREAT detail about Gehenna? That Gehenna is prophesied as one day being called the Valley of Slaughter? I think we sometimes give outside sources to much credit, sure we must place scripture in its cultural understanding, but shouldn't we allow scripture to interpret scripture and not man? Jesus made it plain not to pay attention to the Pharisees teachings, the 1st century reader would have interpreted this as saying that maybe their teachings on Gehenna (as well as many other things) were off. Francis Chan seems to ignore this little bit of simple yet strong evidence. By the inference that the Pharisees doctrines are wrong we can safely say anything they believed was false, and they believed a whole lotta unscriptural non-sense.

The Pharisees were confused because they were trying to combine two ideas, one that was biblical (Gehenna) and one that was not (ECT). Gehenna was a place where the 'wicked' offered their 'children' as human sacrifice to appease the gods, this was abominable in Yahweh's sight. He said that it never even entered his mind to do such a thing. Yet here come the Pharisees saying that the 'Father of all' would cast his 'offspring' into Gehenna to burn, not until death, but forever!( I'm not sure if the modern day teaching that hell is to appease God's wrath was a Pharisaical idea or not).

However, Jeremiah( you know the Prophet? Not the scholarly Pharisee that carries no weight) makes a sober prophecy that, when taken in context, explains everything that Jesus says in the New Testament about Gehenna,

They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away. (Jeremiah 7:31-33)

This prophecy is confirmed by Isaiah 66: 24,

And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

Jesus quoted Isaiah 66 in direct connection with Gehenna (Mark 9), this begs the question, was Jesus really warning about a place where God would burn his offspring (no matter how evil someone is there are still offspring of God), or about the exact thing that Jeremiah prophesied about?

If not then I find it quite incidental that Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. and Josephus records in his book, War of the Jews,

Now the seditious at first gave orders that the dead should be buried out of the public treasury, as not enduring the stench of their dead bodies. But afterwards, when they could not do that, they had them cast down from the walls into the valleys beneath. (War 5.12.3).

Here we see the prophecy of Jeremiah and Jesus being fulfilled to the word. Are the dead, in this case, will be picked apart by animals. Like everything else that Jesus said, people thought that he was saying one thing (ECT) and instead he was speaking about another (an earthly judgment of Gehenna).

Yet, praise God, Jeremiah's prophecy about Gehenna does not end there he says at the end of chapter 31,

"The whole valley (Hinnom) of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be holy to the LORD. It shall not be uprooted or overthrown anymore to the age."

Gehenna, the place where Israel was judged severely, where dead bodies and ashes (the wicked) were left unburied, will be holy to the Lord or as the Septuagint puts it, purified to the Lord.
Last edited by awakeningaletheia on Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
awakeningaletheia
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:14 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby dirtboy » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:17 pm

awakeningaletheia wrote:I suppose we are just going to ignore that Jeremiah went into GREAT detail about Gehenna? That Gehenna is prophesied as one day being called the Valley of Slaughter? I think we sometimes give outside sources to much credit, sure we must place scripture in its cultural understanding, but shouldn't we allow scripture to interpret scripture and not man? Jesus made it plain not to pay attention to the Pharisees teachings, to the 1st century reader would have interpreted this as saying that maybe their teachings on Gehenna (as well as many other things) were off. Francis Chan seems to ignore this little bit of simple yet strong evidence. By the inference that the Pharisees doctrines are wrong we can safely say anything they believed was false, and they believe a whole lotta unscriptural non-sense.

The Pharisees were confused because they were trying to combine two ideas, one that was biblical (Gehenna) and one that was not (ECT). Gehenna was a place where the 'wicked' offered their 'children' as human sacrifice to appease the gods, this was abominable in Yahweh's sight. He said that it never even entered his mind to do such a thing. Yet here come the Pharisees saying that the 'Father of all' would cast his 'offspring' into Gehenna to burn, not until death, but forever!( I'm not sure if the modern day teaching that hell is to appease God's wrath was a Pharisaical idea or not).

However, Jeremiah( you know the Prophet? Not the scholarly Pharisee that carries no weight) makes a sober prophecy that, when taken in context, explains everything that Jesus says in the New Testament about Gehenna,

They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away. (Jeremiah 7:31-33)

This prophecy is confirmed by Isaiah 66: 24,

And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

Jesus quoted Isaiah 66 in direct connection with Gehenna (Mark 9), this begs the question, was Jesus really warning about a place where God would burn his offspring (no matter how evil someone is there are still offspring of God), or about the exact thing that Jeremiah prophesied about?

If not then I find it quite incidental that Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. and Josephus records in his book, War of the Jews,

Now the seditious at first gave orders that the dead should be buried out of the public treasury, as not enduring the stench of their dead bodies. But afterwards, when they could not do that, they had them cast down from the walls into the valleys beneath. (War 5.12.3).

Here we see the prophecy of Jeremiah and Jesus being fulfilled to the word. Are the dead, in this case, will be picked apart by animals. Like everything else that Jesus said, people thought that he was saying one thing (ECT) and instead he was speaking about another (an earthly judgment of Gehenna).

Yet, praise God, Jeremiah's prophecy about Gehenna does not end there he says at the end of chapter 31,

"The whole valley (Hinnom) of the dead bodies and the ashes, and all the fields as far as the brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be holy to the LORD. It shall not be uprooted or overthrown anymore to the age."

Gehenna, the place where Israel was judged severely, where dead bodies and ashes (the wicked) were left unburied, will be holy to the Lord or as the Septuagint puts it, purified to the Lord.


Jesus made it plain not to pay attention to the Pharisees teachings, to the 1st century reader would have interpreted this as saying that maybe their teachings on Gehenna (as well as many other things) were off. Francis Chan seems to ignore this little bit of simple yet strong evidence. By the inference that the Pharisees doctrines are wrong we can safely say anything they believed was false, and they believe a whole lotta unscriptural non-sense.

This is such an absolutely FANTASTIC point!! Here we have the pharisees and other religious leaders of the day and they are so dead wrong on just about everything that they actually KILL GOD IN THE FLESH!! Yet somehow we are going to say that their insight about the afterlife was right-on?!? Please!! Weren't these the whitewashed tombs? Weren't these the whitened supulchers full of dead men's bones? Weren't these the "sons of hell" according to Jesus by which if you followed them they made you "twice the son of hell" that they were? Somehow I don't think their testimony is that reliable. :!:
dirtboy
 
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:00 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby sven » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:12 am

I think all the semitic peoples, e.g. the Babylonians had a similar belief about the afterlife (sheol the netherworld as a realm merely of shadows i.e. the dead) and hadn't had developed the idea of eternity yet

I think they got it from the Greeks as the Greeks developed the idea of eternity (Aristotle, Plato?), it might even have been Plato that taught eternal damnation at first, though only for a few (tartarus)
sven
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:33 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby corpselight » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:51 am

actually, i believe the Jews picked up ECT from the Zoroastrians, who they spent much time among while in Captivity in Babylon and Persia, though most cultures at the time of the Canaanite invasion (from what i understand) had a concept of eternal life. the Jews were very different in that they believed in an unconscious state in the grave (Sheol).

even the ancient Egyptians had a concept of eternal life. it was a pretty widespread belief (to my knowledge)...one the Jews didn't share. God didn't waste any time setting them straight on that, either, so i believe they were correct for their time, with some believing that God would eventually resurrect them, which is different.
--your friendly neighbourhood corpse--
corpselight
 
Posts: 2072
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:43 am

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Melchizedek » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:11 am

corpselight wrote:actually, i believe the Jews picked up ECT from the Zoroastrians, who they spent much time among while in Captivity in Babylon and Persia, though most cultures at the time of the Canaanite invasion (from what i understand) had a concept of eternal life. the Jews were very different in that they believed in an unconscious state in the grave (Sheol).

even the ancient Egyptians had a concept of eternal life. it was a pretty widespread belief (to my knowledge)...one the Jews didn't share. God didn't waste any time setting them straight on that, either, so i believe they were correct for their time, with some believing that God would eventually resurrect them, which is different.


This. Alethia made some very excellent points as well!
It is very clear to me that eternal punishment was a pagan import, which I'm sure is one of the reasons the Israelites were instructed to stay well away from pagan stuff. We all know how well they listened...
Belief doesn't change what is true, it only puts one in line with what is already true.
User avatar
Melchizedek
Moderator
 
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:08 pm
Location: Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Origen; » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:30 pm

Lawrence said:
"These commentators’ understanding of kolasin aionion as involving endless punishment is confirmed by the writings of the inter-testamental period."

Origen replies:
How can writings that are errant & not Scripture confirm anything about the inerrant Scriptures? The noble look to the Scriptures, not to Jewish horror tales:

"Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." (Acts 17:11).

"Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth." (Titus 1:14)

The Pharisees are thought to have believed in endless torments, yet "Jesus warned His disciples to “watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees,” which was their false teaching (Matt. 16:6,12)." "Jesus said the Pharisees' father was Satan the devil, they were children of Hades, and they taught false doctrines and the commandments of men". Jesus said re the Pharisees:

"This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." (Mt.15:8-9). "I well know that you do not have the Love of God in you..." (Jn. 5:42). So what would they know of a God Who - is - love - & the Saviour of the whole world, not just the lucky few? The Pharisees had their oral traditions, which were not Scripture. Jesus rebuked them regarding their traditions. OTOH:

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2 Tim.3:16)

Lawrence said:
"These three passages (more could be cited) reveal how those who first heard Christ speak of the punishment of the wicked in the age to come would have understood Him."

Origen replies:
That everyone who heard the parable (Mt.25:31-46) would have reached the same conclusion as you describe is quite a stretch. What are the chances that every single Jew had exactly the same view, even among a single group like the Pharisees? What are the odds that all three views - endless torments, annihilation & universalism - did not have a following amongst the Israelites?

Likewise re those 1st century people to whom this gospel was addressed in the Greek language.

Matthew's gospel doesn't quote from those "passages", but it does quote often from the Scriptures, so that would be the best place to search to speculate about what the Jews may have thought about what He was saying in Mt.25:31-46. Clearly Matthew turns his readers attention to the sacred Srciptures, not to Jewish myths.

Can we assume that unending torments was the only view of all Jews of Jesus' time (c.30 A.D.)? No, it is generally thought that the Sadducees did not believe in any afterlife at all. Did none of those living at that time believe in annihilation or universal reconciliation? How would one know, being 2000 years removed from the scene. Even if you were living then, you'ld have to be omniscient to know what everyone thought, including the view of the Lord Jesus Himself. Philo (c. 20 BC-50AD) is considered to have advocated the annihilationist viewpoint. Soon after his time are the Sybylline Oracles & other writings that include a Christian belief in universalism, which probably did not just originate out of nowhere or without previous advocates at the time of Jesus & before. Furthermore, who can say how many writings have been destroyed by those who conquered & ruled with the sword, e.g. zealous pro endless hell advocates.

"The Sadducees disappeared around 70 A.D., after the destruction of the Second Temple. None of the writings of the Sadducees has survived, so the little we know about them comes from their Pharisaic opponents." http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/pha ... nd-essenes

Lawrence said:
"The concept of a punishment of limited duration functioning only to correct the wicked prior to their ultimate restoration is alien to the mindset of this inter-testamental Judaism."

Origen replies:
Those writings are generations & centuries before Christ, so they don't tell us what the various beliefs were at the time of Christ (c. 30 AD) anymore than the beliefs two centuries after Christ tell us what Jews believed in 30 AD.

Those Jewish writings are not inspired of God's Spirit. So what kind of spirit inspired them - good or evil?

"...a passage of the Enochic "Book of Parables" (30 BCE - 70 CE ca) which, at least on Chiala's interpretation, points to the salvation of all humans...4Ezra is not an overtly universalistic text. However in it Uriel announces, there will come a time when a good seed instead of a bad will be sown, and hell will be forced to release its prisoners...(4,40-43)...In Chapter 5 God says to Ezra that he will be unable to discover God's hidden ways, but assures that God's intention is salvific....5,40. Thus, in Ch6, the eschatological time of salvation is described, when evil will be eliminated...(6,25-28). Evil will disappear because human hearts will be changed by God." (p.36-7)

Ilaria Ramelli, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena (Brill, 2013. 890 pp.)

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/nootherf ... unishment/
Scholars Corner:
http://www.tentmaker.org/ScholarsCorner.html

Minimal Statement of Faith for Evangelical Universalists:
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=57
Origen;
 
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:43 pm

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Origen; » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:31 am

Lawrence said:
I said that the Jews listening to Christ’s words about punishments in the afterlife would have heard and understood Him when He spoke about kolasin aionion through the lens of the inter-testamental writings–i.e. as referring to endless punishment.

Origen replies:
That's a generalization. In truth they could have understood Him (1) through His own words during His entire ministry before His death to that time when He spoke the parable of Mt.25:31-46, (2) through their own free thinking minds, (3) through the lens of the Old Testament/Jewish Scriptures which teach universal salvation and (4) through numerous other influences upon their lives.

"whom the heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all, whereof God spake by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been since the world began." (Acts 3:21)

Philo (c 20 BC-50 AD) the Jew, a contemporary with Christ, used the words you refer to, kolasin aionion (Mt.25:46), of finite duration. Which gives some light on how the Jews at that time may have understood the words Jesus spoke at Mt.25:46:

"It is better absolutely never to make any promise at all than not to assist another willingly, for no blame attaches to the one, but great dislike on the part of those who are less powerful, and intense hatred and long enduring punishment [kolasis aiónios] from those who are more powerful, is the result of the other line of conduct." http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/yonge/book45.html

For all we know many people thought the Jewish myths you quoted were just horror tales created by men who wanted to rule over & control others by fear. We can't asuume everyone had knowledge of these writings, believed their every word as if Scripture, & would have been thinking of them when hearing Christ's words of Mt.25:31-46. That's one huge assumption after another. Pure speculation with no evidence or proof to back it up.

Jesus Himself refers to & quotes Scripture often, but where does He ever quote from those Jewish myths?

Lawrence said:
No apocalyptic work in this period spoke of universalism or annihilationism;

Origen replies:
(1) The Jews did not accept any of the 3 books you quoted or the Apocryphal books as Scripture.
(2) Annihilationists, unlike eternal tormentists, often refer to many passages of the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) in support of their view.
(3) The school of Shammai (1st C BC to 30 AD) doctrine said many who go to Gehenna come out of it later.
(4) Jesus warns His disciples against the teachings of the Pharisees. They taught endless punishment.
(5) Paul warns against Jewish myths/fables (Tit.1:14) & says the Scriptures are authoritative (2 Tim.3:16).
(6) Jesus often refers to the Jewish Scriptures, but never quotes the books you refer to.
(7) one of your 3 quotes from (2 Esdras) speaks of "many created, but few shall be saved" (8:1-3). OTOH the inspired Apostle, Paul, spoke of "many" being saved in parallel to the "many" who were lost (Rom.5:18-19).
(8) The second Esdras quote speaks of "extermination", not endless sufferings.

Lawrence said:
the punishments for the wicked in the age to come were conceived of as eternal in duration.

Origen replies:
(1)Paul, the former Pharisee, speaks of more than one age to come (Eph.1:21; 2:7), as do many other passages of Scripture (Rev.11:15, etc).
(2) BTW, since the penalty for blaspheming the Spirit is limited to this age & the age to come (Mt.12:31-32), the passage does not address what occurs to such blasphemers after that age, or their final destiny.
(3) The Jews had a belief in an intermediary age of Messianic rule before the final age, e.g. in 2 Esdras it is 400 years long with Messiah & the saved, with everyone dying at the end of 400 years, including the Messiah.

Lawrence said:
And these works were not written “centuries before Christ”, but many date from around His time: the Assumption of Moses has been dated to the
first century AD, as has 2 Baruch.

Origen replies:
I said generations & centuries. Likewise you yourself dated one writing as 2 century BC & another 1st or 2nd century BC. And your third of three quotes you dated the end of the first century (A.D. evidently). The third would not have been in the minds of those hearing Christ. As for the Assumption of Moses and 2 Baruch, they were not named in your article. So no evidence was given as to their time of writing or what they say re the afterlife.
2 Baruch was written long after Jesus resurrection so would not have been in the thoughts of those who heard Him. It is written around the timeof the Sibylline Oracles which teach universalism.

http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/testmoses.html

Lawrence said:
"The Book of Enoch is not a series of “Jewish horror tales” but is quoted by Jude in his epistle."

(1) Enoch isn't quoted by Jesus.
(2) The Book of Enoch was [& is] not considered Scripture by the Jews.
(3) Paul quoted a Greek poet. That didn't put the stamp of approval on everything this poet or Greek poets say. "The Apostle Paul quotes Epimenides in Titus 1:12 but that does not mean we should give any additional authority to Epimenides’ writings. The same is true with Jude, verses 14-15. Jude quoting from the book of Enoch does not indicate the entire Book of Enoch is inspired, or even true. All it means is that particular verse is true." https://www.gotquestions.org/book-of-Enoch.html
(4) The Jewish writing called the Book of Enoch is generally not considered Scripture by Christians.
(5) Paul warned about Jewish myths or fables (Tit.1:14)
(6) Jesus warned His disciples re the teachings of the Pharisees. They taught eternal torments. He said they didn't have the love of God in them & were of the devil.

P.S. Your book on amazon.ca is only available in kindle. Otherwise i would have bought it. For refutation purposes.

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/nootherf ... unishment/
Scholars Corner:
http://www.tentmaker.org/ScholarsCorner.html

Minimal Statement of Faith for Evangelical Universalists:
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=57
Origen;
 
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:43 pm

Re: where did first century Jews learn about eternal punishm

Postby Paidion » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:38 pm

Lawrence wrote:"The Book of Enoch is not a series of “Jewish horror tales” but is quoted by Jude in his epistle."


Yes, the Book of Enoch was quoted by Jude, who believed it to have been written by the historic Enoch, the seventh from Adam. Other early Christians also thought the author was the historic Enoch. But it wasn't. The book was written around 300 B.C.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 76 years. I am now in my 81st year of life.
User avatar
Paidion
 
Posts: 4283
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: The Back Woods of North-Western Ontario


Return to Discussion Affirmative

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests