crazymulgogi at gmail.com
Sat Mar 18 06:19:30 EST 2006
Rolf Furuli wrote:
... "In fact, the view
that every man has an immortal soul (intrinsic immortality) and the view of
a resurrection of the dead are mutually exclusive concepts. A person needs
not be given life (immortality) if that person already possesses life
If we subject these things to analysis, of course they are mutually exclusive.
However, in many Jewish texts they are presented together, for example
2Baruch, as if they are simply compatible, at least, as long as we
don't combine them into one single scenario. Apparently, whatever the
need of the author was at a particular moment, made the author say
certain things on life and death.
For example, if the author wanted to talk about the Judgment in the
End of Times, he lets all the souls of the dead come out of the
storage rooms where they are kept, and appear before the Judge.
However, if he wants to discuss the fate of a single righteous, he
lets him go up to God straight after death.
This happens to this day. When parents talk to their children about
what happened to grandmother who died, they say her soul went to
heaven and is with God. However, in Church they may tell each other
that the body is kept till the Day of Judgment at the end of times.
Religion is about giving meaning, not about doctrines where everything
fits together like on our tax form.
A few essential points:
-To the Greeks, and to the Jews in Hellenistic times, the soul is also
a body: its element is fire, which also belongs to the world of
"matter" ("fine matter', unlike the body). This fire goes up to the
celestial spheres, where the truly righteous can shine so bright that
we can see them: as stars.
-The resurrection of the body, needless to say, is impossible - unless
this earthly body becomes a heavenly body: such as the soul. The
immortality of the soul, then, is applied to the body too, but this
body is of course not earthly - it must be turned into something
higher by God. After all, even in Antiquity they knew that the earthly
body is a source of uncleanness, unthinkable that that body would end
up in the heavens: it would fall down.
-Exactly this is what the apostle Paul says.
Paul doesn't believe, of course, in the literal resurrection of dead
bodies - dead is dead. However, God can turn a dead body into a
Only in second century Christianity did the Church fathers, in the
Docetic controversy, stress their view that there really is a literal
resurrection of the dead body from the grave. Only the Western
churches accepted this doctrine (and disagree with Paul), which to
this day plays no role in the Eastern churches.
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