We should be aware that Yahweh has predetermined much more for mankind than a simple existence as mortal, flesh-and-blood creatures. However, few are cognizant that his plan for mankind’s afterlife is predicated upon a resurrection from the dead. Indeed, in the book of Hebrews, the “resurrection of the dead” is declared to be one of the fundamental doctrines of Scriptures,1 one which is strongly proclaimed throughout both the Old and New Testaments.
As previously stated, the doctrine of the resurrection of mankind from the dead is one of the fundamental themes found in Scriptures. To begin with, we are the work of Yahweh’s hands. Isaiah remarks:
And now Yahweh, you are our father; we are the clay and you are the maker, and we are the work of your hands. (Isaiah 64:7-8)
Yahweh’s intent for the work of his hands extends far beyond sheol (the state of death), even though the deceased person resting in sheol has reached a state of temporary nonexistence. Continue reading “The Resurrections in Scriptures”
Quite opposite to the pagan notion of a conscious existence in a mythical underworld for immortal souls (whether Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian, etc.), there is no life or conscious existence in the sheol of Scriptures.
No Thought in Sheol
The following scriptural verses fully demonstrate the complete absence of thought in sheol:
Return Yahweh, rescue my nephesh; save me for your mercy’s sake; for there is no memory in death, in sheol who will give thanks to you? (Psalm 6:5)
What profit is in my blood in going down to the שוח (shuch; pit, grave); will you thank the ‘aphar? Will it (the ‘aphar) thank you? Will it declare your truth?(Psalm 30:9)
The above Psalms refer to the fact that after returning to the ‘aphar a dead person has no ability to thank anyone or receive thanks, for they are unable to speak or understand the speech of someone living. A parallel thought is expressed in the rhetorical question asked by Heman the Ezrahite. He notes that nothing can come from sheol, the land of נשיה (neshyah; oblivion)49 and the dark state of death. Continue reading “Does Hell Exist? – Part 2”
What happens to a person when they die? Is it possible for one to be condemned to suffer for eternity in an underworld of fiery torment called hell? To answer, we must address the Yahwehist concept of the Hebrew word sheol, translated into Greek as “hades.”
The term sheol is found 65 times in the Old Testament and 10 times in the New Testament under the Greek form hades. Unfortunately, these two terms are commonly rendered as “hell” in the English translations.
Sheol is not, as popularly construed, a place where after death, the wicked dwell as conscious, thinking, disembodied immortal souls. Rather, it is a “state of being” for the deceased person (nephesh) of every human, whether just or unjust—a circumstance equated with darkness. It is not so much the “grave” where the remains of the nephesh lie, but rather the “state of the remains” within the grave. Continue reading “Does Hell Exist? – Part 1”