Peter raised Tabitha from the dead


I have a question about this woman, she died and was raised from the dead by Peter.

Acts 9:40-42 Peter sent everyone out of the room and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to the dead woman and said, ‘Tabitha, stand up.’ She opened her eyes, looked at Peter and sat up. Peter helped her to her feet, then he called in the members of the congregation and widows and showed them she was alive. The whole of Jaffa heard about it and many believed in the Lord.

**Surely her souls did not remain in her body, her soul could not have gone to Hell as you cannot get out of Hell and for her to go to Heaven and be brought back to Earth would be horrible so her soul must have gone to Purgatory?

What are your thoughts on this?



I think that’s probably true, though God also could have put her in the “Limbo of the Fathers.” I kind of think that’s unlikely, though, because Jesus had already taken everybody out of there and opened the way to heaven. Purgatory seems more likely to me.


We really don’t know. Full stop.

For someone to be dead, the soul has left the body; however, the soul may not have in fact “gone” anywhere, given that God knew she would be coming back.

It is possible that human life has a spiritual ‘overrun area’ for those whose passing is called back, but it is equally possible that her soul was waiting unconscious, just outside the skin, to be called back to her body and life.



I thought, according to Christian teaching, only Jesus was capable of raising the dead. Or did Peter perform this deed through Jesus?


Tabitha had just died. She wasn’t like Lazarus who was decomposing.

When I was a,child their was a belief that the soul stayed around forawhile. That is why a priest can and does anoint the body.
I have no idea if this is valid or Canon or anything. I just remember as a kid being told that the soul can stay within the body for three days!


Jesus said that his disciples would do works greater than His.

An , indeed, every miracle is through Jesus. We have no power to anything without the cooperation of Almighty God.



That said, and in full disclosure, I am not a connoisseur of near-death / raised-from-the-dead stories, but in many that I have read or heard, the “afterlife” was so pleasant and joyful that the one who had the experience was initially upset at being brought back.


St. Cyprian (3rd Century Bishop) make a case that she was raised for her almsgiving (Acts 9:36b: She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving), and that her spirit did leave her body (he offer no discussion on where the spirit went), but that it was returned to her body and she was raised, citing Tobit 12:9: *for almsgiving saves from death, and purges all sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life,

St. Cyprian, in [LEFT]Works and Almsgiving[/LEFT], citing the reading in Tobit 12, says

The angel reveals and makes manifest and confirms that our petitions are made efficacious by almsgiving; that by almsgiving life is redeemed from dangers; that by almsgiving souls are freed from death.

Also, it could be argued that the healing (or raising) was not performed by Peter, but by Jesus himself, and that Peter was only the instrument used by Jesus to facilitate the raising of the woman, that all miracles are the result of intercession to Jesus, so that she was raised in the name of Jesus, not by the power of Peter.


No, there were instances of resuscitiations (not resurrections) going back all the way to Elijah.

Ultimately, calling back the dead requires divine power.



It is not canonical. What is canonical is that the soul is the life; when the soul is gone, life ends.

(So when someone dies, they keep their life; they lose the earthen body the life was held and expressed in. That is why “afterlife” is possible.)

What we don’t know is when the soul leaves town. 200 years ago, a lack of breathing meant someone was dead. Then artificial respiration was discovered. Then the lack of heartbeat, cold skin, rolled-back eyes, etc. And now lack of brainwaves, are used as diagnostics of human death. All of which are fallible because we cannot see life.

That is why the deceased were once given “wakes” – to make sure the body wasn’t gojng to “wake up”!!!



I have read someplace that Jews believe the soul remains with the body until decomposition starts, when it is driven away be the stench. This is one reason they are horrified by cremation which destroys the body with the soul still present.

They believed that decomposition set in on the fourth day:

39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”

John 11:39

Note this is what I gathered from some reading. I am not an expert on Judaism and could by quite wrong.


All miracles (and all good works) are performed through the power of Jesus. We are the instruments who cooperate with His Grace, but we are not the source of grace or the source of the miracles.


I have never heard this given as a justification for burial rather than cremation. I have heard that the main reason, according to Jewish law, is that the body of the deceased deserves the utmost respect and cremating the body does not provide that respect. The reason is not because the body houses the soul but rather because the body is holy in its own right. IOW it is the body that prays to G-d, that fulfills the commandments, that performs good deeds. The respect accorded to the dead body is even more important than the respect accorded to a living person since if one does not help the latter, they can still turn to another for aid, whereas the body of the deceased cannot ask for help. That is why the body must be buried as soon as possible after death, and if a Jew sees a dead body lying on the ground and not buried, whether Jew or Gentile, it is their obligation to arrange for its burial. Further, no embalming is permitted in Jewish burial since the body must return to the earth in its integral state. And in cleaning the body of the deceased, instruments cannot be passed over the body to another person; rather, one must walk around the body to show respect for the deceased.


Thanks for the correction. As I said it is just something I read, and I was not sure of the accuracy.


Good to see you posting Meltzerboy. I always appreciate your explanations from a Jewish perspective.



I met a guy in the hospital who had died while prior to my visit (for I used to be a chaplain). He said he had angels carrying him, and he heard beautiful singing. Then the doctor and nurses were able to bring him back. The nurses were there at the time of my visit to verify his momentary passing.

I know there are some reliable Catholic mystics who have accounts that i am certain can satisfy your inquiry. Hopefully somebody knows more about this topic.


Since there is no time in the hereafter, perhaps the soul didn’t go anywhere.
That regardless of the time involved this side of eternity, no time passed on the other side.

And the soul re-enters the body in the same instant it left.


+1, that is in all likelihood how the next life works.



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