The Rich Man and Lazarus...Hell or Purgatory?

[19] "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. [20] At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores [21] and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

[22] "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. [23] In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. [24] So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

[25] "But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. [26] And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

[27] "He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, [28] for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

[29] "Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

[30] " ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

[31] "He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ "

Is this hell or purgatory? It sounds terrible like it is hell, yet Pope Benedict I believe recently implied it was purgatory.

Notice verse 23 (found in Luke 16) reads “In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.” (emphasis mine) I would suggest that think this is an indication of purgatory is to completely ignore the Biblical text BTW, I have looked up this verse in more than a dozen versions, and they all say either hell or hades.

:hmmm::hmmm:Abraham’s bosom was where the old testament faithful went to await the opening of heaven at the coming of the New Covenant in God’s Son Jesus Christ.

I suppose it could be interpreted that the rich man was spending time in a state of purification during this time:hmmm: More insight, thoughts?

Peace, Carlan

Yes - Abraham’s bosom - not “hell” of eternal torment, but the place where all (good and bad) souls went pending the coming of the Messiah. Jesus descended to this place “hell/hades” (apostles creed) and freed the “prisoners” (not those who were bad -but the saints of old who then joined Him in heaven - albeit not yet with resurrected bodies).

At the final judgement, all will be resurrected - some to eternal life with God (saints - those alive and dead) and some to eternal absence from God’s presence (lake of fire).

Blessings,

Brian

[quote=Robbinson] Yes - Abraham’s bosom - not “hell” of eternal torment, but the place where all (good and bad) souls went pending the coming of the Messiah. Jesus descended to this place “hell/hades” (apostles creed) and freed the “prisoners” (not those who were bad -but the saints of old who then joined Him in heaven - albeit not yet with resurrected bodies).
[/quote]

Of course Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom (as Jesus made clear when He told the story). I would assert that it is equally clear (again, from the very lips of Jesus himself) that the rich man was in hell (were he was in agony in the fire). I notice Abraham never gave any indication that he would get out of that place someday, nor that his suffering would lessen if his family would make some sin offering or alms-giving on his behalf.

Good point - though I’m not sure we disagree. Yes, Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom - and the richman was suffering (and from which there is no escape - I agree there is no indication this is “purgatory”). However, it is not the “lake of fire” (eternal hell) - that will not exit until the final judgement.

Ultimately - it doesn’t matter - what matters is that we can choose eternal life with Christ or we can banish ourselves to eternal absence from the presence of God (whatever we choose to call it).

Blessings,

Brian

[quote=Robbinson] Good point - though I’m not sure we disagree. Yes, Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom - and the richman was suffering (and from which there is no escape - I agree there is no indication this is “purgatory”). However, it is not the “lake of fire” (eternal hell) - that will not exit until the final judgement.
[/quote]

Perhaps I misunderstood exactly what you were saying (it’s late and I’m tired), but it sounded like you were saying that the rich man might also be in Abraham’s bosom. I’m not sure when the Lake of Fire was created, but hell (and death) will be cast into it after the final judgment (see Rev 20:13-15). The point is that hell is a real place, and the rich man is there, and will remain there until he is judged and cast into the lake of fire. On the other hand, if purgatory is a real place, why didn’t Jesus tell us just as clearly about it as He did about heaven and hell?

  1. Rich Man is in Hell

  2. Lazarus is at Abraham’s Bosom (not to be confused with Purgatory) awaiting the sacrifical lamb.

I think that’s right.
Before Jesus’ death, descent to hell, and the Resurrection, nobody was going to Heaven yet.
So this was simply the “abode of the dead”.

Please reference where “Pope Benedict I believe recently implied it was purgatory”?

**Vague questions & implications attributed to the Pope without contextual references can really confuse those weak in their faith.
**
Kind of like those who hear a Catholic praying the “Hail Mary” & claim we worship Mary & pray to idols…

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark

I know there is a school of thought that believes this is about Isreal (the rich man with Gods blessing) and the Gentiles (the poor who would have loved to have the covenant), but that may be a stretch. The only reason I think there could be any validity is it doesn’t say the rich man committed any evil, nor the poor did any good, only that he was poor.

I’m not sure what the greek was in the origianl manuscript.

Pope Benedict:

  1. …]In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Lk 16:19-31), Jesus admonishes us through the image of a soul destroyed by arrogance and opulence, who has created an impassable chasm between himself and the poor man; the chasm of being trapped within material pleasures; the chasm of forgetting the other, of incapacity to love, which then becomes a burning and unquenchable thirst. We must note that in this parable Jesus is not referring to the final destiny after the Last Judgment, but is taking up a notion found, inter alia, in early Judaism, namely that of an intermediate state between death and resurrection, a state in which the final sentence is yet to be pronounced.
  1. This early Jewish idea of an intermediate state includes the view that these souls are not simply in a sort of temporary custody but, as the parable of the rich man illustrates, are already being punished or are experiencing a provisional form of bliss. There is also the idea that this state can involve purification and healing which mature the soul for communion with God. The early Church took up these concepts, and in the Western Church they gradually developed into the doctrine of Purgatory. We do not need to examine here the complex historical paths of this development; it is enough to ask what it actually means. With death, our life-choice becomes definitive—our life stands before the judge.


48. A further point must be mentioned here, because it is important for the practice of Christian hope. Early Jewish thought includes the idea that one can help the deceased in their intermediate state through prayer (see for example 2 Macc 12:38-45; first century BC). The equivalent practice was readily adopted by Christians and is common to the Eastern and Western Church. …] journeytorome.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/pope-benedict-xvi-on-christian-hope/

Note that Pope Benedict also stated that the rich man’s soul was destroyed by arrogance and opulence so it seems to me that the Pope believes that the rich man was actually already in hell immediately after his death.

The Pope’s point in this quoted writing is to show “what some of the Jews believed about life after death in Jesus’ time period” and that some of them believed in a “prison after death where venial sins are expiated” which we now call purgatory and this is why Christians on earth pray for the dead (to help the dead to expiate their sins more quickly than they could all by themselves). Luke 12:57-59

Early Church Father, St. John Chrysostom, among others, stated that the Rich Man was in hell, not purgatory:

…F9. I am aware that many will condemn that which is said, |23 as leading to a new and strange manner of living. But I the more condemn the evil customs that are now prevalent amongst us. For that when we rise from food, and from the table, we ought to proceed, not to sleep and the couch, but to prayers and the reading of the Holy Scriptures; this is made most clear by Christ. For when He had feasted the innumerable multitude in the wilderness, He did not dismiss them to lie down to sleep, but called them to hear the divine word.3 He did not fill them to repletion, nor allow them to fall into excess; but having satisfied their need, he led them to a spiritual feast. Thus let us also act, and let us accustom ourselves to eat so much only as will sustain our higher life, and not hinder and oppress it. For it was not for this that we were born, and exist----namely, that we should eat and drink; but let us eat for this----namely, that we may live. It was not given us at first to live for the sake of eating, but to eat for the sake of living. But we, as if we had come into the world merely to eat, upon this we spend everything.

In order that this charge against luxury may be corroborated, and come home to those who are living in it, let us return in our discourse to Lazarus. And thus the warning will become clearer, and the counsel more effectual, since you will see those who live in excess instructed and corrected, not by words only, but by acts. The rich man lived in this kind of wickedness, and luxuriated day by day, and was splendidly attired; but he was bringing |24 on himself severer punishment, stirring up a fiercer flame, making his condemnation more complete, and the penalty more inexorable. …] tertullian.org/fathers/chrysostom_four_discourses_01_discourse1.htm

in my greek-english interlinear bible the word used means Hades, for whatever its worth.

but I think the passage implies that the rich man was condemned for his unwillingness to share his wealth with Lazarus as he begged at his very gate as seen in Luke 16:19-21

19"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

Abraham also says there is a great chasm dividing the rich man and lazarus/abraham.
so clearly the rich man cannot cross over to the side of the righteous.

Luke 16:26

26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

The Greek is Hades, translated “hell” in English. The word simply means “the grave” or the place of one’s burial in the ground (the Hebrew word sheol in the OT has the same meaning). Hell as in “hellfire” is Gehenna in the Greek (Mat. 10:28; 5:22; 5:30; 23:33).

Notice the text says the rich man “DIED and was BURIED.” The Bible compares death to a state of sleep, where one eventually wakes up (I Th 4:13-15; 2 Pet 3:4; Mat. 9:24; John 11:11). In that place where he was buried, the rich man woke up [from his death sleep] and saw Lazarus/ Abraham and flames of fire nearby.

“…the rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom” (Luke 16:22-23 KJV).

But when did the rich man wake up and open his eyes?

Jesus Christ said: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, for which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice” – that would include this rich man – “And shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29).

So, the rich man opened his eyes in the resurrection. He was in “the grave” – in *hades/sheol *– when he heard “his voice” and came forth [opened his eyes] “unto the resurrection of damnation.”

God bless.

The dictionary defines “bosom” as: “the security and intimacy of, or like that of, being hugged to someone’s bosom.”

If we do not resort to any interpretation and take things at its face value, Lazarus being taken into Abraham’s bosom would mean that Lazarus was taken into an intimate relationship with Abraham.

This is consistent with Bible usage of the word as the following texts would show:

Isa. 40:11 - He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Num. 11:12 - Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?

John 1:18 - No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Notice that if we interpret “Abraham’s bosom” to mean a place where souls await the opening of heaven, how do we then interpret “Jesus’ bosom” (Isa. 40:11), “Moses’ bosom” (Num. 11:12), and “the Father’s bosom” (John 1:18)?

God bless.

The creed statement is taken from Acts 2:27 where Paul quotes the OT scripture in Psalm 16:10, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [Hebrew, *sheol]; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption,” and shows that this is a reference to Christ. The two passages tell us that Jesus’ flesh did not decay in the grave sheol/hades] because God resurrected Him.

The one about “prisoners” being freed(?) is from 1 Pet. 3:19-20: “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” But this says Jesus “preached” to the spirits, not “freed” the spirits. There is also nothing here that suggests Jesus took the good with Him to heaven. Verse 20 also tells us that this “preaching” happened “in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing…” and not during the time when Jesus was dead and buried.

At the final judgement, all will be resurrected - some to eternal life with God (saints - those alive and dead) and some to eternal absence from God’s presence (lake of fire).

Blessings,

Brian

The Bible says this about the resurrection: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1 Cor. 15:22-23).

This tells us that all will be resurrected but not at all will be resurrected at the same time (“every man in his own order”). It says that “they that are Christ’s” – those that are true Christians, or the righteous dead – will be resurrected “at his coming,” meaning, at Christ’s second coming. In other words, they will be resurrected first. Now, about the rest of the dead, when will they be resurrected?

Revelation 20:5 says that, “…the rest of the dead lived not again [were not resurrected] until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

So the time order is: The righteous dead will be resurrected first (called “the first resurrection”) and rule with Christ [on this earth] for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4). Afterwards, the rest of the dead will be resurrected.

God bless.

The great chasm separating Lazarus and the rich man is eternal life. Lazarus was resurrected “unto the resurrection of [eternal] life” while the rich man was resurrected “unto the resurrection of damnation.” The rich man was resurrected back to his mortal flesh and blood body to be burned to death by hellfire. Lazarus, on the other hand, was resurrected as an immortal spirit being.

As Paul says, “There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:44). In the resurrection of the [righteous] dead, what is “sown in corruption” (our natural body), will be “raised in incorruption” (v. 42). Paul explains that, “As we have been borne the image of the earthy” – as we have been made having mortal flesh and blood bodies – “we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” – that is, changed into spirit like the heavenly beings.

Paul further expounds this “mystery” when he continues, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (v. 52) and gives the time setting for this “change” to happen and what it involves. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMP: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

We shall be changed “at the last trump,” says Paul, “when this mortal” – our mortal flesh and blood bodies – “must put on immortality” – must change into something that is immortal, that is, not subject to decay and death. That’s the time when, according to Paul, we can say, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is thy sting? O grave hades] where is thy victory?” (v. 54-55).

Immortality is that great gulf that separated Lazarus and the rich man. It prevented the rich man from escaping death by hell-fire while it kept Lazarus from being burned by fire. Abraham had made clear to the rich man the utter impossibility of his crossing that gulf into immortality.

God bless.

Mailman - what translation are you reading - because I can’t find any translation that says “every man in his own order” - rather “each in his own order” is phrased so as to highlight the distinction between “Christ” on the one hand, and “all others” on the other hand (not different resurrections for different men).

Here are a few:

**RSVCE | 1 Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

ESV | 1 Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

NIV | 1 Co 15:23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

NRSV | 1 Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

KJV | 1 Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. **

I also checked the Greek - same result :confused:

Revelation 20:5 says that, “…the rest of the dead lived not again [were not resurrected] until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

So the time order is: The righteous dead will be resurrected first (called “the first resurrection”) and rule with Christ [on this earth] for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4). Afterwards, the rest of the dead will be resurrected.

God bless.

Mailman - I believe the 1,000 year (millenial) reign is Christ’s reign in heaven, and the Kingdom of God that came to earth at Pentacost - the 1,000 years being symbolic for a “long period of time”. The “first” resurrection is the literal resurrection of Christ and for men, the spiritual rebirth of those baptized in Christ.

At the end of this “long period of time” - Christ will return to judge the world - and all will be resurrected (the second resurrection) - bodily - some to eternal life, and some to eternal banishment from God’s presence.

There was also a partial “literal bodily resurrection” that occurred per scripture following Christ’s crucifiction.

Blessings,

Brian

Mailman,

God had not yet revealed to His people a clear understanding about the “resurrection” in the Old Testament and so there were different schools of thought about this subject during the time of Jesus. Some believed in a bodily Resurrection (Pharisees) and some did not (Sadducees). Mark 12:18-27

“27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.”

“Falling asleep” means “dying.” “Falling asleep” is an “Eastern culture” manner of speaking about dying (the cessation of life of the physical body). Acts 7:54-60 Stephen was actually stoned to death, but Scripture states that he “fell asleep.”

People in the Old Testament times did not understand, like we do now, about what happens after death. Jesus explained more about it to them in this parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Our spirits are never ever destroyed and they are always conscious (aware of their surroundings). At the Resurrection (Jesus’ Second Coming), everyone, whether dead or alive, will receive resurrected, immortal bodies; whether people will be in heaven or hell for eternity makes no difference.

John 5:28-29 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

Also, at the Transfiguration, Moses who had died, and Elijah who had not died, appeared to Jesus, Peter, James, and John. No spirits are unconscious (literally asleep) after death. Matthew 17:1-4

If you’d like to read about the Rapture, explained using Scripture, called “Will Jesus Rapture His Church Before the Antichrist Comes?,” please read:
understandingscripture.com/Rapture.htm

I think Patrick Madrid once made the point that the damned are incapable of charity, having irrevocably cut themselves off from the only source of love. The rich man’s desire to help his family was charitable. Therefore, he must not be damned, but only in Purgatory.

I think that’s an awful lot to read into the parable, but Patrick’s much smarter than me. :slight_smile: FWIW.

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