How to read/study: Heaven and Hell : A History of the Afterlife by Bart Ehrman

Welcome to Wondercafe2!

A community where we discuss, share, and have some fun together. Join today and become a part of it!

How would you like to study "Heaven and Hell" by Bart Ehrman

  • More casually with an R&F "In which I read" thread

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • A study group in Study Groups

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Either is fine

    Votes: 3 75.0%
  • Not interested

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    4
  • Poll closed .

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla-in-law
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
33,210
Location
The Forest City
As mentioned in some threads already, I have been reading Heaven & Hell : A History of the Afterlife by Bart Ehrman. Short version is that he looks at the idea of an afterlife divided between a paradise and a place of torment and looks at the views of the afterlife in Western culture and religion that led up to it. Quite interesting so far as he starts with Gilgamesh, then looks at Classical Greek and Hebrew ideas on the subject, the two streams most influential on the Christian thinking about it.

So I have been thinking it is a book that we could be discussing here. Initially, I was just going to do an "In Which I Read" thread (term borrowed from rpg.net) where I would post about each chapter or two and invite discussion. However, there does seem to be interest from others in going "all the way" and setting it up in Study Groups.

What would be the difference? An IWIR would be less formal and open to comment from those who have not read the book (though I would encourage at least looking at Ehrman's blogs, interviews, etc. about the subject). A study group would, like other study groups, presume knowledge of the book. A study group would be more tightly moderated, too, as has been the past practice.

One thing to be clear on: This is an historical/literary critical approach to the Bible and the Christian tradition as a whole. We are not discussing whether there IS (or IS NOT) a heaven and hell, but on how those ideas evolved over time in human culture. The base assumption is that the Bible and Christian tradition are products of human culture, not handed down from heaven. Regardless of the approach taken, this will be about questioning and discussing ideas, not preaching "The Truth."
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla-in-law
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
33,210
Location
The Forest City
I have not watched this interview with Ehrman yet, but it looks like it touches on a lot of the books material so probably a good alternative to reading though note it was presented by the Skeptics Society so may have a spin on it.


Ehrman giving a lecture on the book's subject.


From Ehman's own Youtube channel, a video that leads into the book

 

Redbaron

The Legend Continues
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
10,770
Location
Ontario
I think a more informal approach might be worth a try. It may attract a number of off topic postings, but that bridge can be crossed when we come to it.
 

ninj

I just am
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
3,033
Location
Fredericton
...or even both. Why not? I won't have a hard copy as there is only an audiobook available here, and it's an interloan. It's out of my budget to purchase right now.
 

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
19,053
I'm on "borrow #3" on-line from my library. Almost finished. Good book, should spark some interesting discussion.
 

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
19,053
Haven't watched the two longer lectures, although I have started the first.

Watched the third one, the summary, and was most in agreement with his final statement, "there's nothing to worry about, but there might be something to be hopeful about". My thoughts exactly.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla-in-law
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
33,210
Location
The Forest City
@BetteTheRed or someone who is on Facebook: Can you maybe post about the book study including a link to the study thread (not this thread, use the one in Study Groups)? I just tweeted about it (and @'d Ehrman just to see if he responds or, even better, retweets it ;) ) but I am not on Facebook. Especially get it into the WC2 FB group if it is still functional.
 

paradox3

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2014
Messages
11,304
Location
Toronto, Ontario
The Toronto Public Library has several copies. I placed a hold and was able to pick up my copy within days. Haven't started reading it yet.
 

paradox3

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2014
Messages
11,304
Location
Toronto, Ontario
Sorry I didn't see the poll at the top of the thread in time to vote. I imagine it could work in either location.

For the Bible, though, the study group forum is the way to go. A few of us have talked about a possible study of John's Gospel at some future date.

Books like this one can provoke lively discussion but mostly in a good way.
 

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
19,053
@BetteTheRed or someone who is on Facebook: Can you maybe post about the book study including a link to the study thread (not this thread, use the one in Study Groups)? I just tweeted about it (and @'d Ehrman just to see if he responds or, even better, retweets it ;) ) but I am not on Facebook. Especially get it into the WC2 FB group if it is still functional.

I will do what I can.
 

unsafe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
4,707
Be careful who you listen to and who you believe there Folks -----this Ehrman fellow seems to be always trying to Tell God He had it wrong in His Book and people are being duped in my opinion -----If Heaven and Hell don't exist then all of God's word is a lie and Jesus never walked this earth as it claims to save His creation from a 2nd death ------just listed to the tapes posted here and this man is peddling False Doctrine ------don't be duped by Satan who can parade as an angel of light -----and make people believe that what God says is a lie ------

In this first video Ehrman is trying to confuse people by saying even Jesus preached against His own idea ---He is trying to make himself look like he knows what he is talking about but to no avail -----he is just groping for word to confuse people -----He is saying Jesus who is God doesn't know what He saying -----this is nonsense

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the second video -----he starts off by going into a book that is not in the Bible ----the Apocalypse of Peter this is what I found on this ------and he says it was written by Peter ---this says otherwise ----as an unknown author ---


Apocalypse of Peter, also called Revelation To Peter, pseudepigraphal (noncanonical and unauthentic) Christian writing dating from the first half of the 2nd century AD. The unknown author, who claimed to be Peter the Apostle, relied on the canonical Gospels and on Revelation to John to construct a conversation between himself and Jesus regarding events at the end of the world. Unlike Revelation to John, however, the Apocalypse of Peter dwells on eternal rewards and punishments. The graphic account of the torments to be borne by sinful men was apparently borrowed from Orphic and Pythagorean religious texts, thereby introducing pagan ideas of heaven and hell into Christian literature. The most complete extant version (in Ethiopic) was discovered in 1910.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Then he says the soul doesn't leave the body and go to one place or another ---well Folks ----this says the Old and New Testaments do say this ----- ----and does Bart really know what the soul is ---I don't think he does ------read all which I know you won't --I am just posting this part ----

Greek and Hebrew Word Studies from the Scriptures​

What is the Soul and Spirit?​

by Bob Pickle​


The word for "soul" in the Old Testament is nephesh. Nephesh

The meaning of nephesh's root word is "to breathe." Since those who are breathing still have "life," one of the meanings for nephesh is "life." Since the "body" is what we use to breathe with, one of the meanings for nephesh is "body." Since a "dead body" is what once breathed, one of the meanings for nephesh is "dead body." Thus, all three renderings of nephesh, though apparently quite different, are derived from the same basic meaning of the root word.


Deliver our lives (nephesh, psuche) from death. And the men answered her, Our life (nephesh, psuche) for yours, if ye utter not this our business" (Josh. 2:13, 14). ["Souls" can be saved from physical death.]

"And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life (nephesh), and the lives (nephesh, psuche) of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives (nephesh, psuche) of thy wives, and the lives (nephesh) of thy concubines" (2 Sam. 19:5). ["Souls" can be saved from physical death.]


"Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life (nephesh, psuche), and the life (nephesh, psuche) of thy son Solomon" (1 Kings 1:12). ["Souls" can be saved from physical death.]


In the New Testament the word for "soul" is psuche.

Jesus is speaking here folks ------

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul (psuche): but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul (psuche) and body in hell" (Mat. 10:28). [God won't just destroy the body in hellfire. He'll destroy the "soul" too.]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The third video is just a repeat of the other 2 I found --------this article is well worth the read folks ----

BIBLE & THEOLOGY

Bart Ehrman’s Latest Attack on Christianity​

APRIL 13, 2020 | RANDY ALCORN


Randy Alcorn Says ----
” Each of Ehrman’s books deals with something else Christians are wrong about; and his newest, Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife, is another volume in his expanding canon of deconversion doctrine.


Enough said I say -----
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla-in-law
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
33,210
Location
The Forest City
I have actually read the book, not someone else's scribblings about it, and I don't see it as an attack. It is a history of Christian thought about a particular issue and makes the very good point that Christians developed some ideas on the subject that don't jibe with what Jesus and Paul taught on the matter. Then it goes into where those ideas came from, if not the religion's founders. And the answer is a variety of classical and Jewish sources. So it is not an attack, but a careful, thoughtful analysis of the history of ideas.

However, if you'd rather believe others than read it for yourself, go for it. Unlike the study thread, this one is open to whatever thoughts you may have.
 

GeoFee

I am who I am becoming...
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
4,358
With his last breath Jesus forgives his murderers, in the hope that they will recognize the error of their way. He does not accuse them or condemn them to hell. The notion of sinners going to hell serves temple economies very well.
 

unsafe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
4,707
So this Bart person says that Heaven and Hell are not mentioned in either the Old or the New Testament as concepts -----again I do not think this person has any idea what he is talking about ---he is peddling False Doctrine and literally sending his pupils straight to their eternal death because of his ignorance about what the Scripture is actually saying -------

This is from the Berean Bible Society -----and it counters what Mr Bart is Peddling -----read all -I am just posting this --there is much more to read here -----


Hell, Sheol, Hades, Paradise, and the Grave​

by W. Edward Bedore, Th.D.​


There seems to be some confusion about the meaning of Hell and who goes there because of the way the Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek word Hades have been translated in our English Bibles. Since this confusion has led some into an erroneous understanding of what the Bible actually teaches about the intermediate state and the final state of the dead, we think that it is important that we address this subject here.

Sheol is found in the Bible sixty-five times. It is translated “the pit” three times, “the grave” thirty-one times, and “hell” thirty-one times. Hades is used eleven times, being rendered “hell” ten times and “grave” once. Adding to the confusion is that two other words are also translated hell in the New Testament. These are Tartarus, which is found once and Gehenna, which is used twelve times.

Hades is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament word Sheol. The Greek and Hebrew words speak of the same place, the present Hell. However, this is problematic because Sheol has been translated “grave” as often as it has “hell” and some have mistakenly taught that Sheol and Hades are only references to the grave rather than Hell.

This erroneous teaching leads to the denial of the existence of an immediate or present Hell.
The false doctrine of soul-sleep, and other ideas that teach the unconscious state of the dead between death and resurrection, spring from this error.

The common word for “grave” in the Old Testament is queber. Of the sixty-four times it is used, it is translated “grave” thirty-four times, “sepulcher” twenty-six times, and “burying place” four times.

Sheol is never used in plural form. Queber is used in the plural 29 times.

Gehenna is described in Scripture as a “furnace of fire” (Mat. 13:42); “everlasting punishment” (Mat. 25:46); “the mist [gloom] of darkness” (II Pet. 2:17); the “hurt of the second death” (Rev. 2:11 cf. 20:6,14; 21:8); “a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:20; 20:10; 21:8).

The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus that is found in Luke 16:19-31 gives us the record of a remarkable conversation that took place in Hades between the Rich Man and Abraham. Obviously, these two men could not have had this conversation at all if Sheol/Hades is only a place where dead bodies are buried. First, there could be no communication between lifeless, decaying corpses and second, Abraham’s body, which was buried in the cave of Machpelah over 1800 years earlier, had long since decayed. Also, the rich man’s body, regardless of whether it had decayed or not, would not have been buried in the burial cave of Abraham. From the context, it is obvious that these men were in the place of departed souls rather than a burial place.
 

unsafe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
4,707
GeoFee ----you said ----Jesus forgives his murderers, in the hope that they will recognize the error of their way.

Jesus said --to His Father ---Forgive them cause they know not what they do -------So Jesus was pleading to His Father to forgive them -------just to clarify -----

Luke 23:34 (NIV)​

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

You Said -----He does not accuse them or condemn them to hell.

You are so right there ----God does not ever condemn people to Hell ---The people do that all by themselves ---they condemn themselves to Hell by nor obeying God -----

Know this GeoFee ----After Jesus shed His Blood and died on the Cross and was resurrected ----He took all sin for all people upon Himself ---Jesus Payed the price for all the people who put Him on the Cross ------So now when Jesus comes Back Sin is not the issue ---Who receives Jesus in their hearts is the issue --He separates the Sheep fro the Goats ---it is not about sin now to get into heaven it is about receiving God's free gift of Salvation ------which is receiving Jesus as your Lord and Saviour --so now you go to Hell for your own rejecting of Jesus who is the only one who has payed the price for your Sins -------All of us deserve God'a wrath ---not one of us deserve Heaven -----Jesus came to change that ------and if you reject Jesus the Son ---you Reject God the Father ------as the 2 are 1 ---then your SOL

You said ------The notion of sinners going to hell serves temple economies very well.

Sinners do deserve righteous punishment -----and if your telling people that sin is Ok and God will save you ---you are spouting dangerous rhetoric ---and Ministers will be judged more severely for leading people down the wrong path ----according to scripture -------not me ---

Read the whole chapter for yourselves --I am just posting this -----Sugar coating Scripture is dangerous for the soul ----

Bible Gateway passage: James 3 - Christian Standard Bible

James 3 (CSB)​

Controlling the Tongue​

3 Not many should become teachers, my brothers,[a] because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
48,400
With his last breath Jesus forgives his murderers, in the hope that they will recognize the error of their way. He does not accuse them or condemn them to hell. The notion of sinners going to hell serves temple economies very well.

Thus the illumination goes down ... then rest ... for what is left of the rites! They desire to fight on for the sake of avarice ... must win ... the alter ego loses ... sublimed termination? (condensed version of a vast myth)
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
Messages
12,163
I find Bart very learned in Historical facts lately and often they contradict the theological narrative.
 
Top