Is Purgatory Abraham's Bosom?


Many people claim Purgatory isnt scriptural, but Abraham’s Bosom sounds a lot like the description of Purgatory.



It was more likely the abode of the dead, or sheol, sometimes also known as hell, but not the hell of the damned. Note that Abraham was there, but no sign of God. Before Jesus’ atonement, heaven was closed, and since purgatory is the way to heaven, I think this was the pre-Chrstian spiritual prison. Essentially where Jesus descended to the dead to preach the Gospel to them (1 Peter 3:18-20, 1 Peter 4:6, Ephesians 4:9)


Arent both seen as a prison? And although there be some suffering, there is also some consolation. Sounds like the same place.

If they arent the same place, is Abraham’s Bosom still in existence and if so, who goes there and why?


Matthew 5:25-26 Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. In truth I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.

Luke 12:58-59 For example: when you are going to court with your opponent, make an effort to settle with him on the way, or he may drag you before the judge and the judge hand you over to the officer and the officer have you thrown into prison. I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the very last penny.’



No, Abraham is now in Heaven…he was in a place like limbo until the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus.


The New Testament (Covenant) changed everything. All who had been in the Old Testament spirit prison have heard the Gospel. The just are in heaven eternally. There is no need for any Old Testament spirit prison now, as Christ has redeemed mankind. Jesus has been given judgment over the entire world now, and we receive our particular judgment at our last breath. Now, there is heaven or hell. But, God gives us the free choice to decide.

Purgatory is on the path to heaven, and still has some dimension of time involved, as it is a temporary (relating to time) state, and not a permanent state. This is a mystery that we must live with, as only fragments of information have been revealed to us. Yet, we cannot enter heaven as snow-covered piles of dung, since God knows our hearts - and what defiles a man is what comes from the heart (Matthew 15:18-19). Nothing impure enters heaven (Revelation 21:27), no matter how much 16th century Christian revisionists wanted to change that.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15, in particular, is good to read and ponder. One question that purgatory-deniers have not answered in my experience, is “How is it that, on the day of judgment, after our death, standing before the judgment seat of Christ, we are tested by fire and suffer loss, yet we are saved as though passing through that fire?” No one has been able to provide a clear, coherent “bible alone” explanation of just how this occurs - other than by a process which is named “purgatory.”

You might think of our life on this earth as a form of prison, or probation. We, too, have heard the Gospel. But, we are confined here on earth until God’s call. Will we react to the Gospel and thus be released (delivered) to a a place of refreshment?


Purgatory is not a place.

I think Abraham’s bosom shows a possibility of a state both outside heaven and outside hell which is similar to purgation. But it is not the same exact thing.


[quote="Thorns]Abraham’s Bosom sounds a lot like the description of Purgatory.

Therefore, Abraham’s Bosom sounds a lot like the limbus patrum. Not that I think that the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia is an authoritative source, but it states:

the temporary place or state of the souls of the just who, although purified from sin, were excluded from the beatific vision until Christ’s triumphant ascension into Heaven (the “limbus patrum”)

…In the New Testament, Christ refers by various names and figures to the place or state which Catholic tradition has agreed to call the limbus patrum. In the parable of Lazarus and Dives it is called “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22)


Abraham’s Bosom was a waiting place for the Old Testament Saints who were waiting for the Messiah. The other term for it is “Paradise” where Jesus told the Thief where they were going on his death.

Of Purgatory, the Bible only says that the believer will be purged of sin. Heb1

The existence of Purgatory is a speculation.

The Bible says that we will be Saved by God’s Grace through Faith. And for the believer God won’t remember our sins.

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

Hebrews 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,


So as a baptist I like how you say “the believer will be purged of sin”!

That’s a big step and exactly what Purgatory is.

The church has said that most things in this area are speculated. The three things that church requires of us is to believe (I think I remember but someone correct me if I am wrong).

  1. we must be made free of sin to enter heaven
  2. it may be painful
  3. the prayers of the church aid our transition.

Second I think when you say we are saved by faith you need to make sure you clarify what faith is.

Galatians 5:6helps.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. (Galatians 5:6 NASB)

But it also helps to quote Ephesians 2:8-10

You tricky Protestants always conveniently leave off Verse 10

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB)



Of Purgatory, the Bible only says that the believer will be purged of sin. Heb1

The existence of Purgatory is a speculation.

In the catechism, purgatory is defined in this way: “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect”. You see, ‘purgatory’ isn’t a place, it’s a process. It’s the process of the final purification of the elect. So, the “existence of Purgatory” isn’t a speculation; the “existence of the purification of the elect”.

Your assertion that by ‘Purgatory’, we mean “purgation of sin,” is inaccurate. The Church does not teach that Purgatory is a purification of sin; rather, for those for whom sin is already forgiven at the end of their lives, heaven is assured. However, sin damages us, and causes harm to us. Even when sin is forgiven, we still bear the scars that it leaves upon us. These scars are a ‘corruption’ upon us. As Paul tells us, our ‘corruptibility’ will give way to ‘incorruptibility’. The notion of ‘Purgatory’ is only the notion that we – saved but still yet imperfect at our deaths – will be perfect before God; and Purgatory is simply the process by which a sinner whose sins have already been forgiven will be made perfect, so as to be able to be in the presence of God in heaven.

The Bible says that we will be Saved by God’s Grace through Faith. And for the believer God won’t remember our sins.

Agreed. Yet, Purgatory isn’t about the forgiveness – the ‘forgetting’ – of sins. It’s about the effects that sin has on us (not the effect that our sins have on God)!


Abraham told the rich man that there was a fixed divide between them, so that NO ONE could go from one side to the other. That does not sound like purgatory to me, but hell. Souls in purgatory CAN cross over to heaven (or the place of rest where Lazarus was.) This is not a parable about purgatory, but about the eternal suffering that awaits those like the rich man (who doesn’t even get a name in this parable.) It is also directed toward Jesus’ listeners that didn’t heed Moses and the Prophets, who would also not believe even if one should rise again from the dead.


=Thorns;11816318]Many people claim Purgatory isnt scriptural, but Abraham’s Bosom sounds a lot like the description of Purgatory.


Those same lovely Souls hold this position because the term does not appear in the bible,
which is short sighted:

Each of the following terms ALSO does not appear in the Bible authored nearly 2,000 YEARS AGO:)

Catholic; Protestant, Theologian, Communion, Transubstantiation, Pope, and BIBLE for example:D

However the TEACHING of Purgatory DOES exist in the bile:

Lev.22: 21 “And when any one offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering, from the herd or from the flock, to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it.

Rev. 21: 27 “But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Mt. 5: 26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.

Matt.5: 48 “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Heb. 2: 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.

1John.3: 2 to 3 “Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”

1 Cor. 3: 13-14 “each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done if the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. ***If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, [Purgatory] though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. ***

2nd. Cor. 7:1 “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God

[emphasis not shouting here]

Purgatory flows out of God’s Love and Divine Mercy. Because ONLY the perfect [AND PERFECTED] will attain the Beatific Vision [heaven]; God desires that as many as POSSIBLE attain the goal for which we ARE Created.

So in -order for man to meet the MANDATE to “be perfect” as our Heavenly father is Perfect; a Soul has to either be “Perfect” when death arrives OR if one dies without UNCONFESSED Mortal sins [John 20:19*23 / 1 Jn.5:16-17], one MUST be PERFECTED,
which is WHY Christ created Purgatory. Think of it as a sort of “SOUL-WASH” ; so more Souls, that otherwise would not qualify for heaven can at some point ATTAIN heaven:thumbsup:

***What non-Catholics don’t teach or understand is that ALL SINS have a public aspect to them; and accrue a debt that MUST be repaid in order to be perfect [this means effect others outside of the sinner alone]***.

This debt is repaid by Christ OWN accounting and depends on several factors.
Charity’ suffering and OFFERING it up and Indulgences all act as forms of repayment; BUT ONLY God knows when the debt has been paid in full. A Plenary Indulgence and the Catholic Sacrament of the “Last Rites” hold out the possibility of FULL-payback.:thumbsup:

God Bless you,


Purgatory is referred to and seen as a prison of suffering and a horrible place, much like Hell itself. Although knowing that one day you will be out and in Heaven is some consolation for the souls there, unlike Hell where the souls there know there is no hope and only know despair.

Likewise, Abraham and all the just souls that were there could and did, cross over into Heaven after Jesus descended to preach to them.

The great chasm separated the rich man, who was in the Hell of the damned, from Abraham, who was across the way in Abraham’s Bosom with the other just souls. It sounds like they were in the same general area, a place of suffering and a prison-like environment, although the chasm separated the just souls from the damned. Still, this sounds like purgatory to me.


This is a very Midevil view of Purgatory and I personally don’t feel it’s accurate.

I side with Pope Benedict on this one:

"The transforming ‘moment’ of this encounter cannot be quantified by the measurements of earthly time. It is, indeed, not eternal but a transition, and yet trying to qualify it as of ‘short’ or ‘long’ duration on the basis of temporal measurements derived from physics would be naive and unproductive. The ‘temporal measure’ of this encounter lies in the unsoundable depths of existence, in a passing-over where we are burned ere we are transformed. To measure such Existenzzeit, such an ‘existential time,’ in terms of the time of this world would be to ignore the specificity of the human spirit in its simultaneous relationship with, and differentation from, the world.
. . .
"[Purgatory] is the inwardly necessary process of transformation in which a person becomes capable of Christ, capable of God and thus capable of unity with the whole communion of saints.
. . .
“Encounter with the Lord is this transformation.”…

–Joseph Ratzinger, Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life, p. 230-231


I’m not discussing the length of purgatory here, though I did create a thread about a month or so ago about that.

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