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Featured Rich Man and Lazarus most misunderstood parable in NT?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by LittleLambofJesus, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. Karl.C

    Karl.C Member

    Did Bilbo the Hobbit actually exist? Jesus told a tale and populated it with appropriate characters. From the text, the one unnamed is obviously a Sadducee!

    Many scholars have suggested that the reason the guy wasn't named was because at the time he was still alive, and Jesus was predicting his fate. Imo, that is possible but unsupportable. Imo, better read what is written and not add to it.

    Standard Jewish imagery in Jesus' time, What you are missing is that Abraham, Lazerus & the Rich Man were all in Hades/Sheol with only the gulf/chasm/abyss seperating them.

    I have no idea. Ask Robertson & Bruce! I'd presume they are interpreting/parroting Jewish thought on the subject. Logic dictates that the righteous & unrighteous are and will be permanently seperated.

    Whenever Jesus used the imagery of fire it was either a cleansing agent (the crucible idea) or rent to dust/oblivion. The fire itself is eternal as would be the torment but the occupants vary (think refueling). That is the scriptural position, not the dogmatic position.

    But according to the text the Rich Man perceived it would relieve his torment.

    ? Whilst the tale is silent on the extent and duration of "his suffering", there is indication of its severity/intensity, which I estimate to be mild.

    In the ANF (pre-Nicea fathers) it was reasoned that God being just would allocate punishment in degrees in proportion to someone's transgression. The idea of one shoe fits all was totally rejected by most...
  2. Karl.C

    Karl.C Member

    Where are Jesus' explanations for all the teachings of chapters 14 through to 16?
    Actually he did! A begger at a rich man's gate was common place in Jesus' time! Nothing remarkable in that, but what is remarkable is the specifics of the RM, his father & five brothers, thats a detail not found elsewhere as is the fact that they would not believe even if someone had been raised from the dead (aka Lazarus of Bethany was still alive at the time). Thus making the RM readily identifiable. But if readily identifiable, why wasn't he identified?

    One other thing: the RM wasn't just rich he was ultra-rich. The description of his clothing makes that apparent. Also, under Roman law generally people were prohibited or restricted in wearing purple, so the RM was also probably a ruler, or so ultra-ultra-rich he could buy privilages. These are the micro details most people gloss over...

    As I've said previously: there is nothing remarkable about the setting, an everyday event at the time that was so common that most people wouldn't have noticed the begger.

    What is remarkable is that Jesus has the Rich Man tormented in the lower parts of hades/sheol as an outcast of Abraham, and Lazarus embraced by Abraham. Now that was a total role reversal in Jewish thought at the time.

    No need for a "like unto" it is self evident, and there is no analogy to "the kingdom of heaven". Jesus was contradicting the teaching of the religious elite. Hence Luke 17:1 which immediately follows...

    What is the ECF? Erindale Christian Fellowship? Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature?

    <<Edit: Just realised you are referring to pre & post Nicean fathers. Hence the collection group "Early Christian Fathers" so I'm guessing that is what you are referring to (?). These come without commentary, so maybe you are referring to something else (?) The commonly understood acronym is ANF (Ante-Nicene Fathers, pre 325CE) & NF (Nicene Fathers post 325CE upto abut the 7th century). For info on the early church's understanding I generally limit searches to the ANF & see what was preserved or lost by the NF>>

    The ANF (apostolic fathers pre-Nicea) didn't all accept it as factual (at least none of the ones I've read directly, but I assume there may have been those that did). There was heaps of speculation of who the Rich Man was, the most notable was that Luke suppressed the name of the Rich Man because he was still alive (often identified as either Theophilus or Caiaphus but always a reference to the High Priest). They did use it to illustrate that there was punishment after death for those that put wealth above God and neglected the poor and needy.

    And you have given me no references to verify whatever ascertains they are making. And I presume you have put in no effort to investigating the voracity of their cites. There is heaps of rants on the internet and when I encounter something worth investigating I go to the original work (well, the English translation) and check the quote - often I find it is out of the author's context.

    The Jews at the time would have assumed the Rich Man would go to Abraham, and the begger/s would eventually be cast into the river of fire that they believed flowed through the lower parts of hell where Jesus had the Rich Man residing. Jesus reversed the Jewish perspective for his time.

    But you raise an interesting issue: Jesus made no mention of the Rich Man's final fate. The average Jews of the time didn't have any concept of eternal torment, merely a period of purgation (max of 12mths) and then oblivion for the unrighteous.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  3. Karl.C

    Karl.C Member

    To an extent I have been working from memory on the stuff I considered common knowledge. But Der Alter has made some unsupported ascertains alluding to something called ECF, providing no references.

    I've made references to the ANF but haven't provided any citations to backup my direct ascertains. So I likewise could be charged with obfuscation. I intend to remedy that situation...

    I'll have to do some deep digging to find Luke 16 in the ANF or for that matter post Nicea. So far I have found 4 that spcifically refer to the story of the RM&L.

    1. Irenaeus) > Book II, Chapter 34, uses it to demonstrate the soul has concious existence after death but do not do not pass from body to body. Instead they receive a "habitation such as it has deserved, even before the judgment". No mention of perpetuation of Torment in Hades/Sheol.
    CHURCH FATHERS: Against Heresies, II.34 (St. Irenaeus)

    2. Methodius of Olympus (died c. 311), From the Discourse on the Resurrectio, XIX doesn't mention eternal torment. "The simpler persons think that these things were spoken as though both were receiving their due for the things which they had done in life in their bodies; but the more accurate think that, since no one is left in life after the resurrection, these things do not happen at the resurrection..."
    CHURCH FATHERS: From the Discourse on the Resurrection (Methodius)

    3. Asterius, Bishop of Amasia Circa 375-405, A. D. Sermon 1: The Rich Man and Lazarus
    Asterius of Amasea: Sermons (1904) pp. 17-44. Sermon 1: The Rich Man and Lazarus

    4. The 4 long discourses of John Chrysostom delivered over 4 days
    Early Church Fathers - Additional Works in English Translation unavailable elsewhere online

    Both 3&4 make no mention of eternal torment. In fact their emphasis is that Jesus is teaching that those who neglect the poor & needy but sate (satisfy) their own appetites to the full will receive just punishment in the world to come.

    Chrysostom calls the tale a parable!

    Also of interest from the Werner Bible Commentary...

    One fifth-century Greek manuscript introduces Jesus’ portrayal of the rich man and Lazarus with the words, “But he also told them another parable” (Eipen de kai heteran parabolen). The destitute man of the parable is called Lazarus, but the majority of extant manuscripts do not identify the rich man by name.

    One papyrus manuscript (P75) from the second or early third century calls the rich man “Neues,” which name looks like an abbreviated form of the Greek designation for “Nineveh” (Nineue). No later manuscripts, though, preserve this name for the rich man. The idea that his name was “Dives” is based on a misunderstanding of the Vulgate rendering dives, which Latin term means “rich” or “rich man.”

    I said above "I'll have to do some deep digging to find Luke 16 in the ANF" and the reason for that is mostly they are embeded to support other argument, and they are few and far between...
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  4. Der Alte

    Der Alte This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

    United States
    All of the native Greek speaking early church fathers who quoted or referred to the story of Lazarus and the rich man considered it to be factual.
    • Irenaeus Against Heresies Book II Chapter XXXIV.-Souls Can Be Recognised in the Separate State, and are Immortal Although They Once Had a Beginning.
    Ireneaeus, [120-202 AD], was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John.
    1. The Lord has taught with very great fulness, that souls not only continue to exist, not by passing from body to body, but that they preserve the same form [in their separate state] as the body had to which they were adapted, and that they remember the deeds which they did in this state of existence, and from which they have now ceased,-in that narrative which is recorded respecting the rich man and that Lazarus who found repose in the bosom of Abraham. In this account He states that Dives [=Latin for rich] knew Lazarus after death, and Abraham in like manner, and that each one of these persons continued in his own proper position , and that [Dives] requested Lazarus to be sent to relieve him-[Lazarus], on whom he did not [formerly] bestow even the crumbs [which fell] from his table.
    ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus | Christian Classics Ethereal Library
    • Clement of Alexandria [A.D. 153-193-217] The Instructor [Paedagogus] Book 1
    On the Resurrection.
    This was the day. “And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at the rich man’s gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.” This is the grass. Well, the rich man was punished in Hades, being made partaker of the fire; while the other flourished again in the Father’s bosom.
    • Tertullian A Treatise On The Soul [A.D. 145-220.]
    In hell the soul of a certain man is in torment, punished in flames, suffering excruciating thirst, and imploring from the finger of a happier soul, for his tongue, the solace of a drop of water. Do you suppose that this end of the blessed poor man and the miserable rich man is only imaginary? Then why the name of Lazarus in this narrative, if the circumstance is not in (the category of) a real occurrence? But even if it is to be regarded as imaginary, it will still be a testimony to truth and reality . For unless the soul possessed corporeality, the image of a soul could not possibly contain a finger of a bodily substance; nor would the Scripture feign a statement about the limbs of a body, if these had no existence.
    • Tertullian Part First [A.D. 145-220.]
    9. A Treatise On The Soul Chapter 57
    Moreover, the fact that Hades is not in any case opened for (the escape of) any soul , has been firmly established by the Lord in the person of Abraham, in His representation of the poor man at rest and the rich man in torment.
    • The Epistles Of Cyprian [A.D. 200-258] Epistle 54 To Cornelius, Concerning Fortunatus And Felicissimus, Or Against The Heretics
    Whence also that rich sinner who implores help from Lazarus, then laid in Abraham’s bosom, and established in a place of comfort, while he, writhing in torments, is consumed by the heats of burning flame, suffers most punishment of all parts of his body in his mouth and his tongue, because doubtless in his mouth and his tongue he had most sinned.
    • Methodius Fragments On The History Of Jonah [A.D. 260-312]
    But souls, being rational bodies, are arranged by the Maker and Father of all things into members which are visible to reason, having received this impression. Whence, also, in Hades, as in the case of Lazarus and the rich man, they are spoken of as having a tongue, and a finger, and the other members; not as though they had with them another invisible body, but that the souls themselves, naturally, when entirely stripped of their covering, are such according to their essence.

    Note I did not say anything about eternal punishment or torment. I said the ECF considered RM&L to be factual i.e. not a parable!.
  5. Der Alte

    Der Alte This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

    United States
    .....You are partially right about what some Jews believed about hell. Now for the rest of the story.
    .....According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Judaica and the Talmud, among the Jews in Israel before and during the time of Jesus was a belief in a place of everlasting torment of the wicked and they called it both sheol and gehinnom.

    Disclaimer: There were different groups within Judaism; Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes etc. and there were different beliefs about resurrection, hell etc. I am addressing only the belief stated above, Any other beliefs are not relevant to this response.
    Jewish Encyclopedia, Gehenna
    The place where children were sacrificed to the god Moloch … in the "valley of the son of Hinnom," to the south of Jerusalem (Josh. xv. 8, passim; II Kings xxiii. 10; Jer. ii. 23; vii. 31-32; xix. 6, 13-14). … the valley was deemed to be accursed, and "Gehenna" therefore soon became a figurative equivalent for "hell." Hell, like paradise, was created by God (Sotah 22a);
    Note, this is according to the ancient Jews, long before the Christian era, NOT any supposed bias of Christian translators.
    (I)n general …sinners go to hell immediately after their death. The famous teacher Johanan b. Zakkai wept before his death because he did not know whether he would go to paradise or to hell (Ber. 28b). The pious go to paradise, and sinners to hell (B.M. 83b).
    But as regards the heretics, etc., and Jeroboam, Nebat's son, hell shall pass away, but they shall not pass away" (R. H. 17a; comp. Shab. 33b). All that descend into Gehenna shall come up again, with the exception of three classes of men: those who have committed adultery, or shamed their neighbors, or vilified them (B. M. 58b).[/i]
    … heretics and the Roman oppressors go to Gehenna, and the same fate awaits the Persians, the oppressors of the Babylonian Jews (Ber. 8b). When Nebuchadnezzar descended into hell, [ שׁאול /Sheol]] all its inhabitants were afraid that he was coming to rule over them (Shab. 149a; comp. Isa. xiv. 9-10). The Book of Enoch also says that it is chiefly the heathen who are to be cast into the fiery pool on the Day of Judgment (x. 6, xci. 9, et al). "The Lord, the Almighty, will punish them on the Day of Judgment by putting fire and worms into their flesh, so that they cry out with pain unto all eternity" (Judith xvi. 17). The sinners in Gehenna will be filled with pain when God puts back the souls into the dead bodies on the Day of Judgment, according to Isa. xxxiii. 11 (Sanh. 108b).

    Link:Jewish Encyclopedia Online
    Encyclopedia Judaica:
    Gehinnom (Heb. גֵּי בֶן־הִנֹּם, גֵּי בְנֵי הִנֹּם, גֵּיא בֶן־הִנֹּם, גֵּיא הִנֹּם; Gr. Γέεννα; "Valley of Ben-Hinnom, Valley of [the Son (s) of] Hinnom," Gehenna), a valley south of Jerusalem on one of the borders between the territories of Judah and Benjamin, between the Valley of *Rephaim and *En-Rogel (Josh. 15:8; 18:16). It is identified with Wadi er-Rababi.

    During the time of the Monarchy, Gehinnom, at a place called Topheth, was the site of a cult which involved the burning of children (II Kings 23:10; Jer. 7:31; 32:35 et al.; see *Moloch). Jeremiah repeatedly condemned this cult and predicted that on its account Topheth and the Valley of the Son of Hinnom would be called the Valley of the "Slaughter" (Jer. 19:5–6).
    In Judaism the name Gehinnom is generally used as an appellation of the place of torment reserved for the wicked after death. The New Testament used the Greek form Gehenna in the same sense.
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    Talmud -Tractate Rosh Hashanah Chapter 1.
    The school of Hillel says: . . . but as for Minim, [follower of Jesus] informers and disbelievers, who deny the Torah, or Resurrection, or separate themselves from the congregation, or who inspire their fellowmen with dread of them, or who sin and cause others to sin, as did Jeroboam the son of Nebat and his followers, they all descend to Gehenna, and are judged there from generation to generation, as it is said [Isa. lxvi. 24]: "And they shall go forth and look upon the carcases of the men who have transgressed against Me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched." Even when Gehenna will be destroyed, they will not be consumed, as it is written [Psalms, xlix. 15]: "And their forms wasteth away in the nether world," which the sages comment upon to mean that their forms shall endure even when the grave is no more. Concerning them Hannah says [I Sam. ii. 10]: "The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces."
    Link:Tract Rosh Hashana: Chapter I.
    When Jesus taught about,
    • “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:Matthew 25:41
    • "these shall go away into eternal punishment, Matthew 25:46"
    • "the fire of hell where the fire is not quenched and the worm does not die, Mark 9:43-48"
    • "cast into a fiery furnace where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth,Matthew 13:42, Matthew 13:50
    • “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.Matthew 18:6
    • “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.Matthew 7:23
    • “woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Matthew 26:24
    These teachings tacitly reaffirmed and sanctioned the existing Jewish view of eternal hell, outlined above. In Matt. 18:6, 26:24, see above, Jesus teaches that there is a fate worse than death or nonexistence. A fate worse than death is also mentioned in Hebrews 10:28-31.
    Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
    30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
    31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
    Jesus is quoted as using the word death 17 times in the gospels, if He wanted to say eternal death in Matt 25:46, that is what He would have said but He didn’t, He said “eternal punishment.” The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, they knew that everybody died; rich, poor, young, old, good, bad, men, women, children, infants and knew that it had nothing to do with punishment and was permanent. When Jesus taught “eternal punishment” they would not have understood it as death, it would have meant something worse to them.
    …..Jesus knew what the Jews, believed about hell. If the Jews were wrong, when Jesus taught about man’s eternal fate, such as eternal punishment, He would have corrected them. Jesus did not correct them, thus their teaching on hell must have been correct.

  6. Der Alte

    Der Alte This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

    United States
    Again I remind you that was not the only objection. But...
    Luke 14:14
    (14) and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
    Luke 14:33
    (33) In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
    Luke 15:7
    (7) I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
    Luke 15:10
    (10) In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
    Luke 16:11
    (11) So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
  7. mark kennedy

    mark kennedy Natura non facit saltum Supporter

    Jesus is the only one in the New Testament teaching the reality of hell, it's as simple as that. You believe it or you don't.
  8. Anguspure

    Anguspure Kaitiaki Peacemakers NZ Supporter

    New Zealand
    As I have already noted it is more likely that this is hyperbole as for other uses of the word in the Bible. Nevertheless if it is not then it is unquenchable because God makes it so. Perhaps it serves as a memorial to those that are lost. In a similar way we will continue to observe the scars on the ressurected body of Christ Jesus for eternity.

    Only because of translation that is heavily influenced be Greek philosophy. A bit of research on the word nephesh reveals a different story.
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  9. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus Hebrews 2:14.... Pesky Devil, git! Supporter

    United States
    Ah, that is were as simple as that.
    Since the Rich Man in that parable appears, by some, to represent the corrupt OC Priesthood [as do I], who is to say the lake of fire in Revelation can't symbolically represent Jerusalem and/or the area around it? [Even though I admit it could be quite a stretch].
    The greek word "gehenna" is used a few times in the Bible

    Genesis 1:1 (YLT)
    "gehenna" occurs 12 times in 12 verses in the YLT.
    Strong's Greek: 1067. γέεννα (geenna) -- Gehenna, a valley W. and South of Jer., also a symbolic name for the final place of punishment of the ungodly
    Definition: Gehenna, and originally a valley or cavity near Jerusalem, a place underneath the earth, a place of punishment for evil.

    OC Jerusalem and Lake of Fire
    OC Jerusalem and Lake of Fire

    Also, the Jewish book of Daniel mentions a "flood of fire" along with a horn and beast that is thrown into it. The exact same thing is showing in the book of Revelation.

    Daniel 7
    10 A flood of fire is proceeding and coming forth from before Him, a thousand thousands do serve Him, and a myriad of myriads before Him do rise up.
    The Judge is seated, and the books have been opened.

    11 `I was seeing, then, because of the voice of the great words that the horn is speaking, I was seeing till that the beast is slain, and his body hath been destroyed, and given to the burning fire;

    [Revelation 20]

    Reve 20:
    10 And the devil, the one-deceiving them, was cast into the Lake of the Fire and of sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are, [Daniel 7
    and they shall be being tormented day and night into the ages of the ages.

    12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and Books were Opened. And another Book was opened, which is of the Life. [Daniel 7:10]
    15 and if any one was not found written in the scroll of the life, he was cast to the lake of the fire.

  10. def

    def Member Supporter

    It is a parable, and this is my interpretation.

    Lazarus is the spirit of the Rich Man. Spiritually, that man is very poor, hungry, and covered with sores. The dogs came to licked his sores, dogs is a symbol of shepherds with no understanding and only after money (Isa 56:10-11). Some dogs tickle your ears (2 Tim 4:3-4), others licked your sores, and sores is associated with someone who blasphemy against God (Rev 16:11).

    The Rich Man was dressed in purple and fine linen, Mordecai put on a garment of purple and fine linen when he was paraded to his people (Esther). The Rich Man “paraded” himself to be a Christian (Mark 15:17, Jesus was dressed in purple when taken to be crucified).

    Lazarus died - angels came to carry the spirit away, the spirit returns to God who gave it (Eccl 12:7). When the spirit leaves, the Rich Man died (Job 34:13-15) . The dialog with Father Abraham (the Rich Man is a seed of Father Abraham, a Christian under the New Covenant) teaches the things that cannot happen after death. The Rich Man did not repent - he could not cross over the great chasm, but he noted that his brother could repent. No water can be given (no living water from God), and no additional messages will be sent. All that is required for one to repent and believe is given.

    Conclusion: We have this life time to repent, believe, and nourish the spirit by serving the living God through Christ Jesus (Romans 14:17-18). The Rich Man comes under the judgement of Revelation 16:11.

    Network Info: This parable is only found in Luke, and is connected to Blessed are the Meek for they shall inherit the earth. It teaches what it takes to inherit the earth.
  11. Karl.C

    Karl.C Member

    Der Alter:

    I'm assuming you and I are having a language difficulty.

    Do you know the difference between fiction & non-fiction?

    Books written as either might contain the same literal facts, but one of them isn't depicting a history (factual) but an invented dramatisation using conventional characters (literal).

    Forest Gump and the Murdoch Mysteries comes to mind.

    No they didn't! I'm assuming you are just parrotting someone and haven't read the ECF in their completeness or understood them.

    Also, the ECF (ANF&NF) texts extant to us are in Syriac, Armenian, Latin as well as Greek. Many are only preserved in Latin (copies).

    I've yet to encounter any of the fathers that advocated that the tale was an historical event (factual) though many, within limits, understood the tale literally, rather than allegorically.

    Several of the most significant fathers, especially in the early post Nicea period, in their sermons, defined the tale specifically as a parable, and there is a very good reason for that!

    Is it your belief that the rich will be doomed just because they are rich, and the destitute will be rewarded just because they are destitute?

    For whatever reason you are reading into the ANF & NF what you want. For instance: Irenaeus never articulated a status for the tale. In his Against Heresies, Books II & IV Irenaeus' focus was on the "soul" and he used the tale to demonstrate that after death the "soul" was conscious & fully self aware.

    Generally, if you read the fathers themselves, they do not have your focus. All appear to have accepted Hades as a holding-place of the dead before the resurrection, most thought in terms of a place of purgation for the unrighteous and a resting place for the righteous - then comes the resurrection and release from Hades - the general judgement, some redeemed others cast into Gehenna.

    Many of the texts I've read apply the tale to explain the need of the resurrection. The "why do we continue to die etc?". A concern that still plagues all Christian communions.

    Hades with be destroyed & the very wicked thrown into the lake of fire where the Devil is tormented day and night without end. Thats the general theme...and thats when the eternity of torment comes in.

    You seem to be tying yourself in knots confusing particular judgement, and the general judgement.

    Until this thread started, I have never encountered anyone who used the tale of RM&L to "prove" eternal torment (for the simple reason it can't be done).

    The tale of RM&L is most often used to "prove" consciousness & activity after death for the righteous and unrighteous, before the resurrection (in the OT there is scant evidence of any consciousness or activity after death, and the one verse can only be used for occasional activity of the unrighteous, notably rulers admiting another ruler into the lower depths of sheol).

    Luke 16:19-31 is most jealously gaurded as it is the only text in all of scripture, in either the NT or OT, that supports the notion of ongoing consciousness after death, before the resurrection.

    Its other major use has been to defend particular judgement of the individual before the resurrection, and the idea of purgation held especially by the RCC...

    Do you deny the resurrection?

    In your fevour, this is what you are having Tertullian do!!!.

    As Jesus well proved and we are promised there is escape from Hades!!!

    According to the consensus of the fathers, what Jesus, was emphasising is there is a wide divide (chasm) between unrighteousness and righteousness, they cannot be intermingled (see. Luke 16:11,13). The Rich Man wasn't punished because he was rich, but because he failed to use his wealth for the benefit of the unfortunate (see. Luke 14:12-14).

    I recomment you read St. Chrysostom' 4 very lengthy sermons that he delivered over 4 days. See the link I provided earlier.

    Interestingly, if Cyprian thought the story related a historical event (factual) he would have been disinclined to embellish it.

    Notice how Cyprian has had to embellish the tale to support his argument. This is common for the era. The fathers weren't interested in sticking to the facts.

    Now that problem caused a problem for the Church. Scripture wasn't widely available in a written form (hugely expensive), so the fathers worked from memory and embellished what they thought fit for purpose. Trouble is: that has a cascading effect and one error after another arose in the Church.

    An interesting thing about Cyprian: if he was alive today and had authority, women would be wearing a veil, and all sports & theatre would be banned...

    In the era a debate arose as to whether the soul had form or was incorporal. The general view then and now was that it had to be incorporeal. Thus, the argument asked "if a soul is incorporal how can it suffer?", the logical answer received into the modern era appeals to "mental anguish" (note psyche is often translated soul in the KJV).

    Nice twist! You've been ranting about "eternal torment" as the factual representation of the tale of RM&L in most of your posts.

    My apologies if I misunderstood/misrepresented your transference of your personal opinion to the ECF.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  12. Karl.C

    Karl.C Member

    In another post I suggested I would attempt to list the ANF & NF fathers who made use of Luke 16:19-31. After an initial quick success (found 4) I was coming up empty after multiple hours.

    I presumed my task wasn't unique so there must be a list somewhere on the internet.

    Because of others emphasis on "Lazarus", I made the mistake of making that a priority.

    Well, almost falling asleep I went to bed. Woke up late this morning, booted up my laptop and changed the emphasis to the "rich man". Whammo on almost the first strike...

    Not complete (ANF only), but a good start...
    e-Catena - Luke
  13. Karl.C

    Karl.C Member

    Through my discovery this morning of a new (to me) key word (Catena), I again searched google and came across a site with a wealth of free & legal downloads or links to pdfs for a heaps of useful stuff...
    List of Free eBooks (Grouped by Subject)

    Thus I am now in possession of a pdf facsimile for an English translation of Aquinas' Catena Aurea for Luke's Gospel. It is not one of Acquinas'commentaries, but as the name suggests, a compiliation of quotes from the ancient fathers ordered by the Gospel's chapter & verse. Acquinas went one step further. His compilation is so constructed so as to approximate a discussion between the fathers.

    Luke 16:19-31 begins on pdf page 572 (560), ends pdf page 588 (576).

    Click on the below link to download the pdf (for me it went straight to screen). For me, it took forever to download the 46m+ over ADSL2. So, I then saved it to disk, and reloaded it from disk to speed reading.

    http://www.saintsbooks.net/books/St...spel of Luke - A Commentary on the Gospel.pdf

    LittleLambofJesus, you might particularly enjoy reading from near the end of page 585.


    Augustine on p588, extends his interpretation and offers an allegory of the tale of the RM&L that I haven't encountered before:

    Again also that story may be so understood, as that we should take Lazarus to mean our Lord; lying at the gate of the rich man, because He condescended to the proud ears of the Jews in the lowliness of His incarnation ; desiring to be fed from the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table, that is, seeking from them even the least works of righteousness, which through pride they would not use for their own table, (that is, their OAvn power,) which works, although very slight and without the discipline of perseverance in a good life, sometimes at least they might do by chance, as crumbs frequently fall from the table. The wounds are the sufferings of our Lord, the dogs who licked them are the Gentiles, whom the Jews called unclean, and yet, with the sweetest odour of devotion, they lick the sufferings of our Lord in the Sacraments of His Body and Blood throughout the whole world. Abraham's bosom is
    understood to be the hiding-place of the Father, whither after His Passion our Lord rising again was taken up, whither He was said to be carried by the angels, as it seems to me, because that reception by which Christ reached the Father's secret place the angels announced to the disciples. The rest may be taken according to the former explanation, because that is well understood to be the Father's secret place, where even before the resurrection the souls of the righteous live with God.
  14. Der Alte

    Der Alte This is me about 1 yr. old. Supporter

    United States
    Yes I do know the difference and if there is any misunderstanding I don't think it is on my end.
    Do you know the difference between fiction and non-fiction? I don't think I ever mentioned "eternal punishment" in any post where I discussed RM&L. I have not transferred anything and my posts are not rants. Do not expect any further responses from me.
  15. claninja

    claninja Well-Known Member

    Right, but not necessarily must happen in real life.
  16. claninja

    claninja Well-Known Member

    But those around Jesus would have understood why He called Herod a fox, as this was at term used to refer to someone as a nobody. The disciples, on the other hand, did not know what Jesus was talking about when he referred to the yeast of the Pharisees. Jesus was using allegorical language. Jesus often used allegorical language to convey messages (often hidden messages).
  17. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus Hebrews 2:14.... Pesky Devil, git! Supporter

    United States
    Let's us look at vs 22

    Luk 16:22

    'And it came to pass, that the poor man died, and that he was carried-away/apenecqhnai <667> (5683 by the messengers to the bosom of Abraham --
    and the rich man also died, and was buried

    Genesis 1:1 (YLT)
    Strong's Number G667 matches the Greek ἀποφέρω (apopherō), which occurs 7 times in 5 verses..
    ἀποφέρω apophérō, ap-of-er'-o; from G575 and G5342; to bear off (literally or relatively):—bring, carry (away).

    This in interesting.
    We have yet more references to the covenantle book of Revelation where that word is used 2 times:

    Rev 17:3
    and he carried me away to a wilderness in the Spirit, and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet-coloured beast, full of names of evil-speaking, having seven heads and ten horns,
    [Ezekiel 8:3]

    Rev 21:10
    and he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and did shew to me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, coming down out of the heaven from God,

    Ezekiel 8:3
    And He putteth forth a form of a hand, and taketh me by a lock of my head, and lift me up doth a spirit between the earth and the heavens,
    and it bringeth me in to Jerusalem in visions of God,
    unto the opening of the inner gate that is facing the north, where is the seat of the figure of jealousy that is making jealous,

    [Revelation 17:3]

    Kindgdom Bible Studies Template Page

    In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the rich man stands for the Jewish nation which at that time enjoyed the favor and blessing of God above all the nations of the earth. Lazarus, on the other hand, represents the people lying at Judah’s gate who were recipients of none of the blessings so lavishly bestowed upon them - the “Gentile” nations.........................

    The story, however, contains a striking and astonishing PROPHECY - the rich man and Lazarus are to change places - the rich man finding his lot in estrangement, impoverishment and punishment, while Lazarus is spectacularly promoted to “Abraham’s bosom” - the place of honor by Abraham, the position of favor and blessing, and of close, personal relationship.................

    Genesis 1:1 (NKJV)
    "bosom" occurs 35 times in 31 verses

    Out of the 35 times the word "bosom" occurs in the Bible, it is used 5 times in the NT, that in Luke and John:

    Jhn 1:18
    No one has seen God at any time.
    The only begotten Son,[fn] Who is in the bosom of the Father,
    Jhn 13:23
    Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.
    He has declared Him.
  18. Karl.C

    Karl.C Member


    Have you ever heard of the agonistici (what Augustine refers to as the Circumcellions)? And, are you aware that Nicea spent more time resolving the conflict between the Church and the and Novationists/Donatists than Arius?

    Are you aware that Hippolytus & Novation are classified as anti-popes by the historians. Are you are aware that Novation's baptism was defective, which is why he couldn't become pope?

    Are you aware that the only comprehensive explanation of the Trinity, written 50 years before Nicea, was written by Novation?

    Are you aware that the conflict between the Church and the Donatists and Novationists was that the later were antagonistic to the idea of forgiveness (readmission) of those who transgressed during the persecutions?

    Are you aware that Tertullian is considered a heretic and that he coined the "tres personae, una substantia" (treis hypostases, mia ousia) that we all recite as central to Trinitarian belief after he left the Church?

    Are you aware that Irenaeus believed that Jesus went on to live to the age of 50?

    It helps to know who is who, and where they fit in history if you are reading the ANF. It also is helpful to know that many of the ANF held ideas at one time or another that were considered heretical by later generations. And it helps to know they have been found to contradict themselves between writings - they fitted an argument to the debate.

    Then we have the issue of interpolations...
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  19. TheSeabass

    TheSeabass Well-Known Member

    Your dealing with fiction, parables are not fiction or fairy tales but deal with places that can actually exist and events that actually can happen. By the way, it still has not been proven the latter part of Luke 16 is a parable.

    Whether the man really existed or it was a parable Christ would not tell lies. If such a place as Hades does not exist with paradise on one side and torment on the other and both separated by a fixed gulf then Jesus is telling fiction-fairy tales-lies.

    Did Christ lie to the thief next to Him when Christ told him to day thou shalt be with me in paradise? Of course Christ did not lie and make up a place called paradise for Hades does exist along with paradise and torment and the permanent fixed gulf that can never be crossed.

    I quoted them to prove those in torment will for ever be in permanent torment.

    Matthew 5:22; Mathew 7:19; Matthew 13:42,50; Matthew 18:8 and a host of other verses Jesus is using fire in reference to the eternal punishment of the wicked who will never cease to exist.

    He though it might give temporary relief but not end his torment. Again, when 'fire' and 'water' and "tongue' do not refer to literal physical objects in a spiritual realm but accommodative type language is being used to help man's limited understand of what the conditions will be like after death for those who end up in torment.

    Jesus is not telling "tales" as you seem to insist for again, it cannot be proven beyond any doubt that is a parable and even if it was a parable was speaking truths, not tales of events that can happen.

    There is not reason for a permanent gulf fixed to separate the lost from the saved of being lost or saved is only temporary. Jesus only speaks to the torment of this rich man and not everyone in torment.
  20. TheSeabass

    TheSeabass Well-Known Member

    There is nothing in the context that shows it would be hyperbole, only a theological bias would reach such a conclusion.

    Mark 9:48 "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." What is burned and the fire that burns both continue unstopped.

    Matthew 25:41 "
    Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" The everlasting fire is an everlasting abode for those on the left hand. The verb "prepared" here is perfect tense as is the verb "fixed" in Luke 16:26 .....hence a permanent preparation for those on the left hand.

    2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 "
    In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;" God's vengeance is ongoing, unending, the punishment is everlasting. How can they be punished with an everlasting fire if their existence is not everlasting?
    Logically, those receiving punished will last/exist as long as the punishment lasts/exists.
    The "presence of the Lord" is eternal hence the punishment will be as eternal as the Lord's presence.