Why Didn't The Hebrews Believe In An Afterlife
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17-09-2013, 07:33 AM
RE: Why Didn't The Hebrews Believe In An Afterlife
PJ, you're using a Jesus legend written down by Christians well into the life of the early church to... confirm... the early church's teachings were accepted by old testament Jews?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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17-09-2013, 04:25 PM (This post was last modified: 17-09-2013 04:31 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Why Didn't The Hebrews Believe In An Afterlife
(09-09-2013 11:05 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  They had a concept of "shades" which inhabited Sheol. It was not really an "afterlife". But it was where they thought what happened to humans goes on. Shades were "shadows of their former selves". There are multiple example of these in the Bible, both OT and NT. Some scholars think a case can be made that a resurrected Jebus was seen as a "shade", (as they were afraid of it, and didn't recognize it).

From my Resurrection thread. Sorry. It's not short.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...other-look

The Egyptians believed in an after life. They had for thousands of years. The concept of a "soul" as distinct from the body, and surviving the body, was called the "ka". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egy...f_the_soul
They speculated about what it would be in the Book of the Dead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_the_Dead

The Sumerians talked about it in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
While there are obvious things appropriated from Sumerian texts, in the Bible, they did not import content about an after -life.

Almost all the surrounding cultures of ancient Israel DID believe in some sort of afterlife. Israel was an odd exception to this. It has perplexed scholars. Why Not ? I will propose my personal explanation for this later. There is both a positive, and negative case for this. It is important. Israel was not concerned with a personal afterlife. Genesis 3:19 says, "For dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return". God breathed life into the man, not a soul. There are examples of exceptions to this, in 1 Samuel 28:15, Saul calls the Witch of Endor, and she conjures up the shade of Samuel, who is angry to be disturbed. He was in a "dormant" state". not a "blissful" state. Conjuring was forbidden. Apart from the magic, there was just no cultural content of the idea of an individual ("happy", or "sad", or tormented) state of immortality. That does not mean immortality was not present. We'll look at that later.

Psalm 39 :
"Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again,
before I depart, and am no more"

Psalm 115 :
"The dead do not praise the Lord,
nor do any that go down into silence".

However ALL the dead, both good and bad, were thought to go to an underground region called "Sheol".
Sheol is referenced in mostly the Wisdom texts. It's certainly NOT where Yahweh lives.
Psalm 6 : "For in death there is no remembrance of you, in Sheol, who can give you praise ?"

However, ....
The Biblical texts were written, by the upper-class Hebrew priests.
In Canaan , ancestors remained powerful, after death, and had to be fed, and placated. Because of it's threat to monotheism, shamanism and witchcraft had to be suppressed. The fact it had to be suppressed at all, means it was widespread, and perceived as a threat. Saul expelled the mediums and the wizards. When the Witch of Endor conjures Samuel's "shade", Saul asks the witch, "What do you see ?". She answers, "I see a DIVINE being, (the word is "elohim"), coming up out of the ground". (Only the witch could *see* or perceive the shade). Saul asks "What does he look like ?". She describes him. And the text then says, ((just as the text in the New Testament does about the "Road to Emmaus" (resurrection) incident)), "So Saul knew it was Samuel...etc" because of the description. The DEAD SHADE HAD TO BE INFERRED. In Hebrew culture, the dead did not have recognizable human shapes. or appearances !!!. Read that again, please. The identity of dead shades was not apparent. The "shade" of Jesus also was not recognized, when they said they saw it. Next, if a shade is a "divine being", it speaks volumes about what that means to them. If a dead human's shade is of the SAME essential nature as other "divine" beings, (and there were many, in the polytheistic Hebrew culture), then it calls into question our notion of "supernatural" vs "divine". In our culture a "god" is perceived as "up there", "watching from above", powerful from on high, riding the clouds of heaven. Obviously from the Samuel's shade remark we see that was not true of the Hebrews. Instead of saying "super-natural", it would be more correct to say "other than natural", as it denoted an equal, or equivalency of power and status. There is no hierarchical paradigm implied.

Historically there is a long, very interesting historical set of occurrences, in which the Greek, and Roman, and Seleucid empire's forces are battling for ascendancy in the Near East http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiochus_IV_Epiphanes .
Suffice it to say the Greeks purchased the High Priesthood in Israel, and Jason, (Greek equivalent name of Jesus), imported Hellenistic ideas, even more than they had been already, as recounted in 2 Maccabees, which drove some changes in the Hebrew culture, and it's assumptions. The famous "abomination of desolation" resulted from the interaction of the forces from these days, when the desolate temple, was associated with not allowing Jews to perform their ritual practices. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abomination...solationry involved Unfortunately it would lead us too far afield here, to do all the history involved here, but as a result of persecution in the Maccabeean period, there arose the idea of Martyrdom. An unusual heroic death for a noble political cause.

In the Book of Daniel, in chapter 12, for the first time the idea of rising from the dead appears in the Old Testament. Interestingly enough, it also involves a redemptive aspect.
Thus we know that before that date, there was NO concept of general, or individual immortality, in Hebrew culture. The author of Daniel had to try to make sense of the horrific experience of the Exile and the trying times they were experiencing. Thus he had the "trial in lions den", etc, which symbolized the horrible time in Babylon, and the invasion of the Maccabean period. How would he make sense of the awful experience. Daniel 12:3 "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars, for ever and ever." They get rewarded for suffering. But it's allegorical. NOT physical. And "immortality" is born.

A few years post Exile, we have Isaiah saying: (now very different from the old psalmist),
Isaiah 26:19
"Your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise.
O dweller in the dust, awake and sing for joy !
For your dew is a radiant dew, and the Earth will give birth to those long dead."

The first text in the Bible to be written was the Book or Torah of Job, was also an attempt to ask why, and make sense of the experience of "exile".

So, just as with everything else in Hebrew culture, the horror of the Exilic period, gives rise to it's MOST important changes, and ideas. Religion had to rationalize how an absent god could allow his chosen people to undergo such a horror. Who cares, if you live forever, and there was another life after this one ?
So something clearly has changed here. This is when and how the Hebrew's prophets and priests, added the notion of an after-life to a culture which had none, previously. The culture was ready for this new addition, for another reason, as you will see below. However, these men, in no way say everyone rises, or that eternal life is for everyone, or where the resurrection takes place, or how exactly how this is made manifest.

There is a transitional period, as always. In Maccabees 2, there is the famous set of speeches of the seven sons of Hannah.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_with_seven_sons
Each of the sons gives a speech before they are martyred for refusing to eat pork, ("an" abomination of desolation). In the speeches, they refer to SOME people being given eternal life, not all. Saint Paul STILL had this "some" idea. Only the saved have eternal life, in the Pauline literature.

Goddam. If you turn out to be even a tenth of the physicist as you are the religious scholar I 'm expecting to see cold fusion. Bowing

(10-09-2013 02:16 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Wow, BB is so good at proof texting, he should be a Sunday preacher! As Jesus pointed out, God told Moses "I am the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob" 400 years after they died, indicating they lived on after death. Exodus 3, where the quotation comes from, is phenomenally important to ancient and modern Judaism alike.

You're seriously outmatched here kid. Like Strawweight vs. Heavyweight outmatched.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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17-09-2013, 05:35 PM
RE: Why Didn't The Hebrews Believe In An Afterlife
The Pharisee believed in a sort of after life.

The Saducees didn't.......that's why they were so sad you see.
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18-09-2013, 02:19 PM
RE: Why Didn't The Hebrews Believe In An Afterlife
(10-09-2013 02:22 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(10-09-2013 02:16 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Wow, BB is so good at proof texting, he should be a Sunday preacher! As Jesus pointed out, God told Moses "I am the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob" 400 years after they died, indicating they lived on after death. Exodus 3, where the quotation comes from, is phenomenally important to ancient and modern Judaism alike.

Of course he was MADE to say that. He never actually said that. Those words were "placed in his mouth" as a literary device, (as any scholar would know), and thus they prove absolutely nothing of the sort that PleasyJebus asserts. Too bad Pleasy is so ignorant of the Bible.

It's also "presentism".

I could say, "I live in the land of Lincoln". That doesn't mean he's still alive.

Try harder Pleasy.

BTW, why is it you keep saying you are "a published author", yet you have never presented anything here worth reading ?
Do you write "pamphlets" ?

Whoever "placed it" as a literary device was to quote Lister and Rimmer, "smeggin' smart!"

The question silenced over a century of Pharisee/Saducee argument over the resurrection.

...What have I written/edited? Several million words online and off. Songs, screenplays and treatments, CD liner notes, an interactive DVD, a book on prophecy, a book on Christian myths and facts that has passed 100,000 copies, books on real world and fictional espionage, a novella and short stories, a children's book, hundreds of sports instructional articles (I start at only $250 and expenses for private lessons). Over 1,000 posts directed to you and others on this forum that Jesus is the way!

PS. And some religious pamphlets, too. Smirk. Smile
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18-09-2013, 02:23 PM
RE: Why Didn't The Hebrews Believe In An Afterlife
(17-09-2013 07:33 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  PJ, you're using a Jesus legend written down by Christians well into the life of the early church to... confirm... the early church's teachings were accepted by old testament Jews?

I'm allowed to and did so consciously when I posted, since most born again Christians think of the scriptures as one volume from ancient or near-ancient Hebrews, and of Jesus as of closing the dispensation, and since atheists insist the gospels teach X and Paul and the epistles created Y, the new religion!

If you insist on dating the OT late and the post-gospel writings as Christianity, you're stuck, the more so since the early church and all those writers were Jews and proselytes.

The disconnect comes because Paul and etc. betrayed Jewish values and minds away from Talmud [oral], toward Torah and the writings...
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18-09-2013, 04:48 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2013 08:58 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Why Didn't The Hebrews Believe In An Afterlife
(18-09-2013 02:19 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
(10-09-2013 02:22 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Of course he was MADE to say that. He never actually said that. Those words were "placed in his mouth" as a literary device, (as any scholar would know), and thus they prove absolutely nothing of the sort that PleasyJebus asserts. Too bad Pleasy is so ignorant of the Bible.

It's also "presentism".

I could say, "I live in the land of Lincoln". That doesn't mean he's still alive.

Try harder Pleasy.

BTW, why is it you keep saying you are "a published author", yet you have never presented anything here worth reading ?
Do you write "pamphlets" ?

Whoever "placed it" as a literary device was to quote Lister and Rimmer, "smeggin' smart!"

The question silenced over a century of Pharisee/Saducee argument over the resurrection.

...What have I written/edited? Several million words online and off. Songs, screenplays and treatments, CD liner notes, an interactive DVD, a book on prophecy, a book on Christian myths and facts that has passed 100,000 copies, books on real world and fictional espionage, a novella and short stories, a children's book, hundreds of sports instructional articles (I start at only $250 and expenses for private lessons). Over 1,000 posts directed to you and others on this forum that Jesus is the way!

PS. And some religious pamphlets, too. Smirk. Smile

That's what I thought. Fluffy pop culture stuff. Nothing of scholarly value. Tongue

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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19-09-2013, 02:08 PM
RE: Why Didn't The Hebrews Believe In An Afterlife
(10-09-2013 03:33 PM)TheLastEnemy Wrote:  
(10-09-2013 02:16 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Wow, BB is so good at proof texting, he should be a Sunday preacher! As Jesus pointed out, God told Moses "I am the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob" 400 years after they died, indicating they lived on after death. Exodus 3, where the quotation comes from, is phenomenally important to ancient and modern Judaism alike.

So if I say, "I Am the son of my father", that means that my father is still alive with absolute certainty?

That's a stupid argument.

No, it means the SON is still alive. I am NOW the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. They worship me now, they're alive. "After that, they dared not ask Jesus more questions."
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19-09-2013, 02:10 PM
RE: Why Didn't The Hebrews Believe In An Afterlife
(18-09-2013 04:48 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(18-09-2013 02:19 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Whoever "placed it" as a literary device was to quote Lister and Rimmer, "smeggin' smart!"

The question silenced over a century of Pharisee/Saducee argument over the resurrection.

...What have I written/edited? Several million words online and off. Songs, screenplays and treatments, CD liner notes, an interactive DVD, a book on prophecy, a book on Christian myths and facts that has passed 100,000 copies, books on real world and fictional espionage, a novella and short stories, a children's book, hundreds of sports instructional articles (I start at only $250 and expenses for private lessons). Over 1,000 posts directed to you and others on this forum that Jesus is the way!

PS. And some religious pamphlets, too. Smirk. Smile

That's what I thought. Fluffy pop culture stuff. Nothing of scholarly value. Tongue

Oh! And I also authored/edited 20 volumes of JDEP materials, which I regret doing when I was a top academic. I was wrong I tell you, all wrong! Confused
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19-09-2013, 02:55 PM
RE: Why Didn't The Hebrews Believe In An Afterlife
(19-09-2013 02:10 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
(18-09-2013 04:48 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  That's what I thought. Fluffy pop culture stuff. Nothing of scholarly value. Tongue

Oh! And I also authored/edited 20 volumes of JDEP materials, which I regret doing when I was a top academic. I was wrong I tell you, all wrong! Confused

Any evidence for those assertions?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-09-2013, 01:04 AM
RE: Why Didn't The Hebrews Believe In An Afterlife
(19-09-2013 02:10 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Oh! And I also authored/edited 20 volumes of JDEP materials, which I regret doing when I was a top academic. I was wrong I tell you, all wrong! Confused


William Lane Craig considers himself a 'top academic' too... Drinking Beverage

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