Messianic Apologetics

Addressing the Theological and Spiritual Issues of the Broad Messianic Movement

The Greek View(s) of Death and Afterlife – To Be Absent From the Body

Before one can examine what the death expectations of the Apostolic Scriptures are, it is commonly argued that the Ancient Jews, the Pharisees in particular, picked up the idea of a disembodied afterlife from their interactions with the Greeks and not their reading of the Tanach Scriptures. For many of today’s Messianic Believers, all that needs to be said is “Belief in the afterlife is Greek!” and that is reason enough for many to reject the concept that born again Believers who have died are in the presence of the Lord, awaiting the resurrection (or for that same matter, many other Biblical doctrines). As I have far too frequently encountered, while a hyped-up fear of Hellenism or the Ancient Greeks are invoked by Messianic psychopannychists, I have never witnessed a single Messianic teacher actually quote the classical philosophers and what they believed—much less engage with such philosophers’ opinions!

Before one can examine what the death expectations of the Apostolic Scriptures are, it is commonly argued that the Ancient Jews, the Pharisees in particular, picked up the idea of a disembodied afterlife from their interactions with the Greeks and not their reading of the Tanach Scriptures. For many of today’s Messianic Believers, all that needs to be said is “Belief in the afterlife is Greek!” and that is reason enough for many to reject the concept that born again Believers who have died are in the presence of the Lord, awaiting the resurrection (or for that same matter, many other Biblical doctrines). As I have far too frequently encountered, while a hyped-up fear of Hellenism or the Ancient Greeks are invoked by Messianic psychopannychists, I have never witnessed a single Messianic teacher actually quote the classical philosophers and what they believed—much less engage with such philosophers’ opinions!


To Be Absent From the Body (PDF)


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To Be Absent From the Body

Without any doubt, one of the most uncomfortable subjects that any human being has to confront in life is death. You do not have to be that well versed in reading the Bible, to adequately understand that death is a part of living. With the possible exception of those who will actually be alive at the moment of the Second Coming, the biological life functions of each and every one of us will cease. A mainstay, of both Judaism and Christianity, is the firm belief in the future resurrection of the dead. A Scripture passage like Daniel 12:1 unambiguously tells us, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake…” Everyone in today’s broad Messianic movement would rightfully agree that the deceased from all ages will have their physical remains reanimated and resurrected to new biological life.

Yet for many Jews, and many more Christians, questions abound about what is to occur between the moments of physical death and future resurrection. What happens to people? Do people somehow go into absolute unconsciousness, only to then be somehow recreated? Is the death of a human being little different than the death of an animal? Is the death of a human being much different than the death of an animal, with the consciousness of mind, memory, experience, and creativity—often more called in the vernacular to be a “soul”—temporarily held in another dimension until the resurrection?

This installment of the Confronting Issues series by Messianic Apologetics, To Be Absent From the Body, has brought together some important information and critical FAQ entries from the Messianic Apologetics website. There are definite questions of human dignity and worth to be evaluated regarding the intermediate state. This volume addresses this subject quite well. If you have a relative, a friend, or another loved one who has passed away knowing the Lord—you can be assured that he or she is consciously in His presence right now—but is also quite eager to return to the Earth to see His Kingdom restored!

available in both paperback ($12.99) and eBook for Amazon Kindle ($7.99)


 


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