Okay I told some one the referance to purgatory in Macabees, and she told me that the soldier the guy was praying for had commited a mortal sin by believing in pagan Gods so the purgatory referance from there could not be applied. how do I respond?

In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the dead to rise again, it would have been useless and 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. 12:43–45).

If they have “gone to rest in godliness”, then how could it be mortal sin?

The soldiers who had committed sin while alive took the pagan amulets and wore them. This was a sin and they died IN that sin. Judas and the rest of the faithful Jews knowing this, went back home and offered a sacrifice and prayers for those dead souls to atone FOR THEIR SINS.

                         Now for Judas and the living Jews to offer sacrifices and prayers for those dead soldiers, their SOULS had to be in another place besides heaven or hell. If the dead souls of the soldiers went to heaven, then prayers and sacrifices would have been unnecessary. And if the deceased soldier's souls would have gone down to hell, then no amount or prayers and sacrifices would have helped anyway. So the souls of the deceased soldiers had to be in a THIRD place and that is what the Catholic church refers to as purgatory. :thumbsup:

There is ample evidence that the Bible implicitly teaches a Purgatory.

Begin with Matthew 12:32, which says, “And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.” Does tis not imply that some sins can be forgiven in the age to come? Now think this through…There is no sin to forgive in heaven, right? Sin is not forgiven in hell because it’s too late and permanent. So…Impicit “purgatory”

1st Corinthians 3:15 which says, “If any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.” Again this cannot refer to heaven or hell for the same reasons as above. This is essentially the definition of Purgatory.

1st Peter 3:18-20 which says, “Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, 19 In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison: 20 Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.”

and 1st Peter 4:6 which says, “For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to the dead: that they might be judged indeed according to men, in the flesh; but may live according to God, in the Spirit” Note that it was a prison for disobedient spirits and yet they were saved when Jesus preached to them.

2nd Maccabees 12:44-46 which says, "44 (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) 45 And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. 46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. "
The same reasons apply here as to the first passages I gave you…

Note also that St. Paul says that the early church believed this in 1st Corinthians 15:29 which says, "Otherwise what shall they do that are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not again at all? why are they then baptized for them? " He does not condemn this practice though it seems to have fallen out of practice…

The Jews also believe this and still do today (as if the passage from 2nd Maccabees doesn’t clearly show this). I offer info from my good friend Andy who is an Orthodox Jew who lives in Israel:

"Hi all!

Our prayer, the Mourner’s Kaddish, is for the benefit of the soul of the deceased & is believed to ease the spiritual status of the deceased’s soul as it goes through whatever trials & tribulations it may be subject to. Yes, we do believe in something akin to the Roman Catholic notion of Purgatory & thus saying the Mourner’s Kaddish would be similar to the Roman Catholic idea of praying for the souls in Purgatory.

Look at ou.org/yerushalayim/kadish.htm#Meaning .

The text there is the (5 clause) Mourner’s Kaddish in Hebrew, transliterated English & English (you can also listen to it in RealAudio).

As I understand it, a soul that has sinned in this world has to pay for its actions/inactions in the next world. We do not automatically & necessarily divide souls into the entirely righteous who will therefore enjoy enternal bliss and the entirely evil who will therefore suffer eternal damnation. The degrees in between are infinite & we believe that God rewards/punishes each soul according to its good/not good actions. As I said, the recitation of the Kaddish prayer is believed to benefit the soul of the deceased as it goes through whatever trials and tribulations it has to endure in the next world.

In addition to the aforementioned Kaddish prayer (which is usually said by a son for a departed parent for 11 months after the day of burial, but which can also be said for 30 days for a spouse, child or sibling, particularly if none of these have children to say the Kaddish; the Kaddish is also recited on the anniversary of the burial), there are the Yizkor (literally: “He will remember”) and E-l Maleh Rahamim (literally: “God Full of Mercy”) prayers (see ou.org/yerushalayim/yizkor/) which are recited 4 times a year on Yom Kippur, the last day of Passover, Shavuot and Shemini Atzeret (see jewfaq.org/toc.htm for links to all of these holydays).


I submit the following excerpt (from jewfaq.org/death.htm)::slight_smile:

After the avelut [mourning] period is complete, the family of the deceased is not permitted to continue formal mourning; however, there are a few continuing acknowledgments of the decedent. Every year, on the anniversary of the death, family members observe the deceased’s Yahrzeit (Yiddish, lit. “anniversary”). On the Yahrzeit, sons recite Kaddish and take an aliyah (bless the Torah reading) in synagogue if possible, and all mourners light a candle in honor of the decedent that burns for 24 hours. In addition, during services on Yom Kippur, Shemini Atzeret, the last day of Passover, and Shavu’ot, after the haftarah reading in synagogue, close relatives recite the mourner’s prayer, Yizkor (“May He remember…”) in synagogue. Yahrzeit candles are also lit on those days.


Kaddish is commonly known as a mourner’s prayer, but in fact, variations on the Kaddish prayer are routinely recited at many other times, and the prayer itself has nothing to do with death or mourning. The prayer begins “May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified in the world that He created as He willed. May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your days …” and continues in much that vein. The real mourner’s prayer is E-l Maleh Rachamim, which is recited at grave sites and during funerals.

Why, then, is Kaddish recited by mourners?

After a great loss like the death of a parent, you might expect a person to lose faith in G-d, or to cry out against G-d’s injustice. Instead, Judaism requires a mourner to stand up every day, publicly (i.e., in front of a minyan, a quorum of 10 adult men), and reaffirm faith in G-d despite this loss. To do so inures to the merit of the deceased in the eyes of G-d, because the deceased must have been a very good parent to raise a child who could express such faith in the face of personal loss.

Then why is Kaddish recited for only 11 months, when the mourning period is 12 months? According to Jewish tradition, the soul must spend some time purifying itself before it can enter the World to Come. The maximum time required for purification is 12 months, for the most evil person. To recite Kaddish for 12 months would imply that the parent was the type who needed 12 months of purification! To avoid this implication, the Sages decreed that a son should recite Kaddish for only eleven months.

In addition to the Kaddish. it is believed that the recitation of the Yizkor and E-l Maleh Rahamim prayers are beneficial to the soul of the departed. On the anniversary of the burial, it is common to study some chapter of the Talmud or the Tanakh (what we call what Christians call the “Old Testament”), read a selection of Psalms, give to charity, etc. in honor/memory of the departed. This is also believed to be beneficial."

I had already discovered this in talking to a devout Orthodox Jewish buddy of mine and Andy was kind enough to help out with all this info as well.

I hope this answers your questions on all this and provides you with the sure knowlege that in spite of allegations to the contrary, the concept of Purgatory is indeed quite scriptural.
Pax tecum my friend,

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