Purgatory before 12th century


#1

Can anyone provide any proof of the Church teaching Purgatory before the 12th Century? I was reading a book on how the dogma of Purgatory was introduced fully around the 12th or 13th centuries. It said it began to come into existence a little bit before then, maybe a few hundred years. Lemme know y’all.

DU


#2

In the fourth century, St. Augustine’s mother, Monica, asked her son to remember her soul in his masses. Hardly a necessity if her only options were Heaven or Hell…

Peace and God bless! :slight_smile:

Eric


#3

[quote=snowman10]Can anyone provide any proof of the Church teaching Purgatory before the 12th Century? I was reading a book on how the dogma of Purgatory was introduced fully around the 12th or 13th centuries. It said it began to come into existence a little bit before then, maybe a few hundred years. Lemme know y’all.

DU
[/quote]

catholic.com/library/Roots_of_Purgatory.asp


#4

[quote=snowman10]Can anyone provide any proof of the Church teaching Purgatory before the 12th Century? I was reading a book on how the dogma of Purgatory was introduced fully around the 12th or 13th centuries. It said it began to come into existence a little bit before then, maybe a few hundred years. Lemme know y’all.

DU
[/quote]

The Hebrew Mourners Kaddish, prayers for the dead, actually predates Christianity. Is that early enough.


#5

As you may or may not know, one of the verses of the Bible used to describe Purgatory is I Cor 3:11 quoted below:

For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-- 13 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. 14 If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Protestants may object to this being anything other than the judgement; however, the word judgement is a very simple word and it’s simply not used here. There is also more going on here than just judgement… Let’s add up 5 facts - this is not Heaven, it’s not Hell and it’s after death and it’s not judgement and there appears to be a purification/test based upon a person’s works… Sounds like Purgatory to me.

The “through fire” part of this verse is reference several times by various Fathers of the Church. I just happen to have my Fathers of the Church Apologetic cards in front of me and I see the following quote:

Lactanius, born 250 AD: But when He shall have judged the righteious, He will also try them with fire. Then they whose sins shall exceed either in weight or in number ,shall be scorched by the fire and burnt; but they whom full justice and maturity of virtue has imbued will not perceive that fire; for they have something of God in themselves which repels and rejects the violence of the flame.

I also have a 6 tape set on Purgatory that has many, many other very early quotes on Purgatory. The tape set isn’t very good, but I might give it another listen. Prayers for the dead date back very, very, early and even first century tomb inscriptions also verify prayers for the dead.


#6

snowman,

I don’t know what book you were reading, but Jacques Le Goff’s The Birth of Purgatory makes this argument. However, Le Goff defines Purgatory in terms of a specific place, a destination that is clearly distinct from either heaven or hell. That is the sense in which Purgatory did not develop until the 12th century. A belief in postmortem purgation goes back to the early Church, as others have pointed out on this thread (and as Le Goff himself acknowledges). And this is in fact what the Church has defined as the essence of the doctrine. The view of Purgatory that Le Goff describes as beginning in the 12th century is actually not a dogma of the Catholic Church.

Edwin


#7

[quote=Contarini]snowman,

I don’t know what book you were reading, but Jacques Le Goff’s The Birth of Purgatory makes this argument. However, Le Goff defines Purgatory in terms of a specific place, a destination that is clearly distinct from either heaven or hell. That is the sense in which Purgatory did not develop until the 12th century. A belief in postmortem purgation goes back to the early Church, as others have pointed out on this thread (and as Le Goff himself acknowledges). And this is in fact what the Church has defined as the essence of the doctrine. The view of Purgatory that Le Goff describes as beginning in the 12th century is actually not a dogma of the Catholic Church.

Edwin
[/quote]

Thats the book!!!

Gee, thanks for clearing that up. My involvement on this post is now finished…Thanks a ton!

DU


#8

The teaching of purgatory is one that has been with the Church since the early Fathers and can be recognized in writings as far back as Tertullian (c. 160AD – 200AD). In both "De corona militis" and "De Monogamia" Tertullian encourages the faithful to remember their deceased brothers and sisters by making “offerings for the dead” and calling widows to pray for their husbands. Both acts illustrate knowledge of the temporary state of the soul after death; for there would be no need for offerings or prayers for souls which had already entered into either heaven or hell as each is a final resting place. The online Catholic Encyclopedia has a good write up on it: newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm


#9

[quote="snowman10, post:1, topic:21868"]
Can anyone provide any proof of the Church teaching Purgatory before the 12th Century? I was reading a book on how the dogma of Purgatory was introduced fully around the 12th or 13th centuries. It said it began to come into existence a little bit before then, maybe a few hundred years. Lemme know y'all.

DU

[/quote]

the word "purgatory" began to be used around the 12th century, but the concept was there before then :) here are some quotes:

scripturecatholic.com/purgatory.html

God bless


#10

As noted here, Christians (real ones, not the ones invented by Luther) prayed for the souls of the departed from the beginning. The concept of Purgatory of course developed later, but its a definition of what has already being practiced, not an entirely new concept.

Only Roman Catholics really adopted this concept. Eastern Christians continue the earlier practice of praying for the dead without really having to define the state of the soul after death and before reaching heaven. Everyone agrees there is value in praying for one and that souls need prayers for God’s mercy after death, and before heaven.


#11

Biblical and Jewish Traditional Beliefs About Purgatory


closed #12

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