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Old Dec 25, '06, 11:17 pm
Guardian333 Guardian333 is offline
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Default Bosom of Abraham & Purgatory

Is the Bossom of Abraham the same as Purgatory, or visa versa?
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Old Dec 26, '06, 6:40 am
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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Default Re: Bossom of Abraham & Purgatory

An answer from "This Rock," the magazine of Catholic Answers:
PROTESTANTS claim that after death there are only two destinations, heaven and hell. They admit of no third state. But the Bible speaks of a third state of temporary purification where some saved Christians must wait before entering heaven. Catholics call this state purgatory because in it the effects of sins already-forgiven are purged away in those who die repentant but with an imperfect love of God. Scripture also speaks of a state where Old Testament saints waited for Christ's death and Resurrection. Christians have called this state the Limbo of the Fathers.

"[i]f he were not expecting the dead to rise again, it would have been foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin" (2 Macc. 12:42-46).

"The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom [not heaven since heaven wasn't opened until after the Resurrection]" (Luke 16:22-23, 25-26).

"If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:11-16).

"[H]e went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark" (1 Pet. 3:18-20).

"For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the spirit like God" (1 Pet. 4:6).
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Old Dec 27, '06, 7:56 am
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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Default Re: Bosom of Abraham & Purgatory

Guardian 333 wrote:
I need help on this issue. I am a Catholic trying to explain Biblicly Christ's descension in Hell during the period of three days between His death on the cross and the Resurrection. The Catechism quotes both Luke 16:33 (This verse is state the "Bossom of Abraham"I hope I got that right) and 1 Peter 3:18-20 states "Jesus preached to the spirits in prison", as explanations for Christ's descent into Hell to save the people of the Old Testament. The Catechism says that the Bossom of Abraham distinguishes two parts of Hell, those who are damned and cannot be saved, and one part of hell where those who were "just" and were waiting for the Messiah, but died before His coming, because in the Apostles Creed, it says that Jesus Christ descended into Hell to do this. The online Catholic encyclopedia is not really clear on this and reiterates pretty much the same thing.

Also, the verse 1 Peter 3: 18-20 is also used to explain purgatory.

Therefore, is The Bossom of Abraham the same as Purgatory?

The Bible says that the Bossom of Abraham is a part of Hell where the OT Saints waited. Therefore, if 1 Peter 3: 18-20 is used to explain both the Bossom of Abraham AND Purgatory, are they the same? Purgatory cant be in Hell correct? Please help clarify so I can explain this to my Fundamentalist friend. Thank you.
One thing that may be confusing you is the word hell. The "hell" that we talk about in the Creed and in 1 Peter 3 (and sometimes called hades, or the "bosom of Abraham" or "Sheol," or the "Limbo of the Fathers") is entirely different than the Hell of the damned, where the devils and his demons live. So to answer one of your questions, no, Purgatory cannot be "located" in Hell (another thing to keep in mind is that "places" or "states" in the afterlife are not exactly physical locations as we think of them in this life).

The Bossom of Abraham is probably not the same as Purgatory. When the Church cites 1 Peter 3 in regards to both the "bosom of Abraham" (or Sheol) and Purgatory, she usually does so to highlight the fact that a third state (besides heaven and hell) are possible. It may be possible that Sheol became Purgatory after Sheol was emptied at the opening of heaven by Jesus, but there's no real way for us to know. It isn't necessary for it to be so, since upon the opening of heaven God, out of his mercy, could have created Purgatory at that time and did away with Sheol, whose reason for being set up was now past. Again, we don't know,

I don't think the that the doctrine of Purgatory rests or falls upon it being identified definitively with Sheol anyway, as the biblical, theological and historical evidence stands on it's own. Still, it's an interesting (and tricky) question. If I can be of any further help, please let me know.
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