Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Fate of the Dead

I have several more assignments waiting to be completed and submitted before it is too late and the most immediate one is the Biblical Theology assignment on the topic, "The Fate of the Dead".

In our course of studying the bible, attention is usually on life and life eternal. I only realised not too long ago that the Old Testament has little interest about the fate of the dead and did not have much to say about it. Our belief in the resurrection is so ingrained in us that we would not have realised that in the Old Testament times, when you are dead, you are dead. Do you think that is the worldview of most people today, particularly the atheists? I have had conversations with friends who described life as a process, i.e. you live and then you die. My immediate thought was, where is hope but in Jesus?

I will work on the assignment beginning with the OT initial lack of interest in life after death; followed by the understanding of Sheol being the underworld in OT; with a mention of Enoch and Elijah being taken up with God; and the later Jewish thought about life after death. I will finish off with the New Testament's understanding about life after death, which became all the more clear at the resurrection of Jesus.



  1. I will be looking forward to reading your findings Pearlie. As you study I would also be interested in whether and why you believe that "all" humans are eternal beings and whether it is possible that only people that are born anew are eternal.

  2. Eh? I thought you've only recently sent your assignments ... now another one so soon?

  3. Melissa,
    I had 3 modules and 6 papers to do! I have only completed 2 on 1 Cor. Two on Biblical Theology due this month and 2 on Religions on Malaysia due in Mar.

  4. KB,
    I would not address that issue in this paper - it is only 1500 words to tackle the topic of "The Fate of the Dead" using the biblical theology approach, i.e. how the strand develops from OT to NT.

    But as to my view, I will still stand conservative, i.e. we are all eternal being, until I am convinced otherwise :)

  5. A lot of people believe that Pearlie. I can see the merits of it but can't be dogmatic about it. In my thinking only God is immortal. Apart from Him it does not seem rational to think that man is.

  6. *pengsan* ... all the best and it's great to know you'll wrap it [TEE] all by October this year :)

  7. KB,
    In what you are saying, even those whose names are in the Book of Life are not eternal?

  8. Melissa,
    By God's grace, by God's grace. I do hope with all my heart I can wrap it all up for this year's graduation.

  9. If they were eternal then there would be no need to write them in the book because they would have had a pre-human existence like Jesus did. But if they became eternal (i.e. born again) then there would be a time when their name was entered into the book.

    I am not dogmatic about this. More like wondering out loud.

  10. KB,
    I see where you are coming from -- if a person is eternal they would have had no beginning and therefore not existed eternally. So you are saying that unless a person is born-again into "eternity", the others will be annihilated instead of suffering eternally? How then would you take the passages which describe conditions in hell?

    I'm not dogmatic about it as well :)

  11. I wouldn't use annihilated since there is no eternal spirit present to destroy. The person who has not been born from above simply dies and ceases to exist like any other animal.

    Regarding the passages on hell I wonder if they were meant to be interpreted in a literal sense or some other way. I think that a lot of evangelical theology has been built around them. But I have to admit that hell is an argument for the idea that man is born with a spirit that God has created.. albeit not an eternal spirit but maybe an everlasting one?

    Hope you are well. Have a great weekend!