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  1. Tom 1

    Tom 1 Optimistic sceptic Supporter


    I read on another thread that the Roman Catholic teaching on Purgatory may relate to the Jewish concept of Gehenna. I don't know anything more about it than that. Any thoughts on that?

    Many thanks,

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  2. Deadworm

    Deadworm Well-Known Member

    An excellent question! Jewish (and Jesus') Purgatory is compared to Gehenna because in ancient rabbinic theology Jews with mediocre spirituality are NOT PERMANENTLY confined to Gehenna. For example, in one ancient rabbinic tradition, such Jews are released from Gehenna in a year! Thus, the fires of Gehenna are figurative, purifying, and educational.

    This point is thrillingly important because Gehenna is Jesus' preferred term for Hell and because He elaborates His Gehenna concept with the image of Hell as a debtor's prison, from which ultimate relase is possible by paying off sin's debt (See e. g. Matthew 18:34). By implication, God's love never permanently abandons anyone after death, because in some unspecified ways the "debt" of Hell-bound sinners can be paid off. This insight removes the stigma of a vindictive unloving God of wrath and transforms Gehenna into an educational system. In this respect, it is important to note that the Hebrew (olam) and Greek (aionios) words often translated "eternal" don't actually mean that; rather, they mean for an indefinite or age-long period of time.
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  3. Tom 1

    Tom 1 Optimistic sceptic Supporter

    Thanks for the informative answer
  4. lordjeff

    lordjeff Active Member

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox

    Purgatory is a man-made Church invented doctrine. Makes no sense & this is why. If Jesus said: It is finished. And then there is this after-condition that it's not really finished, then faith is in vain. Generations of people committing sin upon sin. You know if you overthought every second of the day, you can get pretty mentally sick. Because mankind is never perfect. So it makes more sense that the cross finishes it once & for all.
  5. Joyous Song

    Joyous Song Well-Known Member

    United States
    Purgatory is mercy! True HaShem, praise be He, could just make it so that you fell short to hell with you. But I believe He is merciful, so that He will throw may throw one into hell with a time limit. That time limit is based on how much you loved here on earth. It is that love and hunger for Him that helps to finish the purification process and allow far more into grace and mercy than would normally be the case. The the way is indeed narrow, the the L-rd is merciful as well.

    So I certainly pray their is hope after death, I not so arrogant and foolish to believe I not fall short. Of course maybe it my age...