Discussion of heaven, hell, & immortal soul

The whole sadistic enterprise of Christianity is formulated on the notion that if you can’t accept Christ, and as a consequence of having accepted him change the way you think and even feel you will be sent to hell. Talking about freedom in this context is ridiculous.

Why? If you don’t believe in a God, then presumably there’s no hell to go to either, and no demons with pitchforks. Problem solved. Although it would be a pity if there isn’t, because that means Mugabe will get off scot-free.

It’s hard to know what to make of the old fire-and-brimstone stuff. The bible is contradictory on the issue. Some passages imply that the afterlife is something accessible to those who want it (those who consider it desirable to spend eternity with Christ), and for everyone else, death is simply what you would expect: the end of life. I get the impression that hell (if there is one) is something specifically reserved for those who explicitly choose to go there - that is, a place for those who oppose Christ or who pervert his message to justify killing and mayhem.

Why? If you don’t believe in a God, then presumably there’s no hell to go to either.[/quote]

People don’t have freedom over what they believe. You could test that by asking yourself to start believing, for example, that the way forward for the world, environmentally, is to increase subsidies to the oil industries. Tax alternatives to pay for the subsidy. Good luck.

Like every other embedded agenda out there what Christianity does is try to create a situation in which it is impossible to not believe in it. They all fail, at least partially, because there are always competing agendas. Christianity is particularly rank about it though because it actively sets about brain washing the young. Many many people have been left struggling with the fact that they can’t reconcile their disgust at the insnity of the religion with the fact that on a deep emotional level they think it is true.

Which brings us to the infintesimal possibility that it actually is true that if you hear “the word,” and are not so constituted that you can sincerely believe it, you go to hell. Just in terms of the religion’s internal logic, the system is blatantly evil. I am assuming here, as you do not, that a plain reading of the actual text claiming to record what he actually said on the issue is anything to go by. In the modern, liberal, moderate, western churches they seem to have made the fortunate decision to downplay the centrality of hell to the Christian belief system. I have actually been reading the text lately and haven’t a clue how they came to the conclusion that that makes any sense when you look at what he actually said though. There were problems with the translation of that word “hell” that some churches are trying to hide behind (and they can, partially) but that leaves the issue of why god allowed his inspired language to be translated that way, ie, as eternal damnation, torment and all the rest of it.[/quote]

Can we change the subject to Goldilocks and the Three Bears please? At least that story has a little bit more going for it, and it doesn’t state that we should stone people to death, or offer our children up for sacrifice; and at least talking bears just seem that little bit cuter than talking snakes don’t you think?

No it isn’t. There’s no such thing as ‘hell’. There’s no immortal soul, no one goes to heaven or hell.

I wonder what percentage of Christians are with you on that statement. I’m guessing it’s less than 5%. Correct me if I’m wrong.
So, I’d go back to what Bob was saying about the Bible/God being very unclear. Hence, we end up with thousands of denominations of Christianity. Some believe in a literal hell, virgin birth, wine being changed into the blood of Christ; others don’t.

I’ll correct you. Even in the US, it would be closer to 40%. Among scholars, it’s the academic consensus.

No it’s not unclear. There’s a scholarly consensus on the topic; it’s as settled as evolution.

Well … originally, we were talking about the distinction between religions which require their followers go around causing mayhem, and those that don’t. In that long-winded post above, I was simply trying to point out that Christianity is a matter of personal belief. You can believe in it, or not. It’s that simple. Nobody is going to throw you in jail if you don’t. Sure, there are some evangelical types who might insist that you’re going to HELL if you don’t beliiiiEEEVE!, but again, that’s up to you if you want to believe in hell, or not. No Christian is determined to create hell on earth.

As for religion making sense, or not … again, it’s a matter of belief. If you don’t think it makes sense, fine. Nobody’s going to strap you down in Room 101 until you do. I was talking about the historical point where organised religion ceased to be a tool of political control in certain countries. Where that didn’t happen - primarily but not exclusively in the Islamic world - people are in trouble.

I don’t know how many times I have to repeat this, but Christianity is one of the few religions that doesn’t incorporate a legal code. I thought even non-Christians were aware that Jesus had a particular thing about NOT stoning people.

It’s true that people don’t have as much control as they think they do over their own ideas, but that’s a poor analogy. It can be proven, logically and with reference only to physics and economics, that that would be a stupid thing to do. You can’t prove or disprove the existence of God.

You recognise that there IS a big difference between organised religion and religious belief. Religious organisations are, and always will be, problematic; basically, because they are an excellent vehicle for manipulating public opinion, gaining political power, or making money. I personally don’t see any logical dissonance involved in rejecting organised, politicised religiosity, while still believing in something bigger than our little human existence.

I find this particular debate - is there a hell or not? - a rather odd one. We have no way of actually knowing, so I find it amusing that Fortigurn (for example) can state quite categorically that there isn’t. The idea of a physical place filled with bubbling pits of sulphur and little red demons wielding toasting forks is obviously a human construct. If hell is something that happens to one’s non-material soul, then obviously hell doesn’t have a physical existence and is impossible to describe in physical terms - even if we knew for sure that it was (in whatever sense) “real”.

I believe it’s possible to start categorically that there isn’t, not only because the Biblical worlview contradicts it but also because of the overwhelming evidence that there is no such thing as an immortal soul. Apart from the well established science on this point, all you need to demonstrate that the immortal soul doesn’t exist is anaesthetic.

I think you need to elaborate on that. It’s one thing to believe that there is no such thing; but I fail to see how you can use the physical sciences to prove the existence (or otherwise) of something non-physical.

Fortigurn,

I’m with you in that I think there’s little evidence for an immortal soul.

And thanks for the correction above. I guess I’m really out of touch with Christianity. I 'd have thought that if I’d given a poll to the world’s Christians, over 95% would answer the following question with a resounding, “Yes!”

“Do you go to heaven if you believe in Jesus, and you’re a good Christian?”

As for evolution by natural selection, I know we both consider that a fact. I didn’t know that Biblical scholars were so united in their interpretations. I wonder if they will be able to persuade Christians to come together under something like a “One True Church of Christianity” in the future. I know it’s hard to get people to believe things even when you think you have the better evidence on your side.

Once you prove that consciousness is a product of the brain, it’s all over for the doctrine of the immortal soul, which claims that consciousness is a property of the soul.

The trickledown effect from the academy has taken some time, but the Anglican Church officially abandoned hell as early as the 1940s.

I live in hope; I believe there’s a place for rational Christianity of the kind that the Socinians and Polish Brethren held over 400 years ago.

It may be the “scholarly” Christian view that there is no eternal soul, no heaven and no hell but that sure has nothing to do with what it says in the English version of the Bible. You guys should “read” it sometime. :laughing:

The scholars will bring up stuff about how in the original Greek and Hebrew text three different words, hades (sp?) shaol(sp?) and ghenna(sp?) were used to refer to what happened after death. The first two probably refered to a state of non-existence, but the last one refered to an eteral hell of torment by way of analogy to a garbage dump outside Jeruselum. One that never quit burning. They used the term “Aion” to descibe both hell and god so if hell isn’t eternal neither is god.

No, but you can prove that the people who think they have any idea what he said or thought are lunatics. I think that is what we are talking about here, no?

Actually, I forgot, what was the topic again?

I’ll correct you. Even in the US, it would be closer to 40%. Among scholars, it’s the academic consensus.[/quote]

Wow…where to start? First, lets break apart the “scholars…academic consensus” thing. Many scholars of Christianity in universities are not Christians…so thats not a good example. If you are talking about Christian theologians who are also scholars, I’d say about 99% believe in an immortal soul.

And where are you getting this figure? Belief in an immortal soul is a basic tenant of Christianity. You just pulled this outta your ass (unless you have some study to cite?)

[quote=“zender”]So, I’d go back to what Bob was saying about the Bible/God being very unclear.[quote=“Fortigurn”]

No it’s not unclear. There’s a scholarly consensus on the topic; it’s as settled as evolution.[/quote][/quote]

What? What “scholarly” consensus? What field of scholarship? Got some quotes? Have you EVER been to the SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) conference? Start telling everyone there that there is a scholarly consensus that there is no immortal soul or hell and they’d just laugh you outta the conference room.

[quote=“bob”]It may be the “scholarly” Christian view that there is no eternal soul, no heaven and no hell but that sure has nothing to do with what it says in the English version of the Bible. You guys should “read” it sometime. :laughing:

The scholars will bring up stuff about how in the original Greek and Hebrew text three different words, hades (sp?) shaol(sp?) and ghenna(sp?) were used to refer to what happened after death. The first two probably refered to a state of non-existence, but the last one refered to an eteral hell of torment by way of analogy to a garbage dump outside Jeruselum. One that never quit burning. They used the term “Aion” to descibe both hell and god so if hell isn’t eternal neither is god.

No, but you can prove that the people who think they have any idea what he said or thought are lunatics. I think that is what we are talking about here, no?

Actually, I forgot, what was the topic again?[/quote]

Behold, Fundamentalism.

This is irrelevant; it does not contradict the statement of fact which I made.

Evidence please.

The Barna Group; ‘In all, 76% believe that Heaven exists, while nearly the same proportion said that there is such a thing as Hell (71%)’. That’s very far from your claim of 99%. Note that only 32% said hell is ‘an actual place of torment and suffering where people’s souls go after death’, which is incredibly distant from your figure.

Certainly. Let’s start with this.

[quote]“
A broad consensus emerged among biblical and theological scholars that soul-body dualism is a Platonic, Hellenistic idea that is not found anywhere in the Bible
. The Bible, from cover to cover, promotes what they call the “Hebrew concept of the whole person.” G. C. Berkouwer writes that the biblical view is always holistic, that in the Bible the soul is never ascribed any special religious significance. Werner Jaeger writes that soul-body dualism is a bizarre idea that has been read into the Bible by misguided church fathers such as Augustine. Rudolf Bultmann writes that Paul uses the word soma (body) to refer to the whole person, the self, so that there is not a soul and body, but rather the body is the whole thing. This interpretation of Pauline anthropology has been a theme in much subsequent Pauline scholarship.”, McMinn & Phillips, “Care for the soul: exploring the intersection of psychology & theology”, pp. 107-108 (2001).[/quote]

[quote]“
It is generally accepted that in biblical thought there is no separation of body and soul and, consequently, the resurrection of the body is central
. The idea of an immortal soul is not a Hebrew concept but comes from Platonic philosophy. It is, therefore, considered a severe distortion of the NT to read this foreign idea into its teaching.”, Vogels, “Review of “The Garden of Eden and the Hope of Immortality”, by James Barr”, Critical Review of Books in Religion, volume 7, p. 80 (1994).[/quote]

[quote]“
That the idea of the soul’s immortality as disembodied state beyond death is not popular amongst Christian theologians or among Christian philosophers today
has already been acknowledged.”, Hebblethwaite, “Philosophical theology and Christian doctrine”, p. 113 (2005).[/quote]

[quote]“While the idea of an immortal soul is an established belief for most Christians,
it cannot be supported by Biblical texts
.”, Ford & Muers, “The modern theologians: an introduction to Christian theology since 1918”, p. 693 (2005).[/quote]

Now let’s consult a range of standard reference works; footnotes at the end of this post.

• Harper’s Bible Dictionary (1985) [1]
• Eerdmans Bible Dictionary (1987) [2]
• New Bible Dictionary (3rd ed. 1996) [3]
• Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology & Counseling (2nd ed. 1999) [4]
• Encyclopedia of Judaism (2000) [5]
• New Dictionary of Theology (2000) [6]
• Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (2000) [7]
• Tyndale Bible Dictionary (2001) [8]
• International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (rev. ed. 2002) [9] [10]
• Encyclopedia of Christianity (2003) [11]
• Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2005) [12]
• Zondervan Encylopedia of the Bible (rev. ed. 2009) [13] [14]

Case closed.

No I haven’t been to the SBL conference. However, I do have 25 years worth of the journal. At an SBL conference it would not be necessary to tell people that there is a scholarly consensus there is no immortal soul or hell; they already know.


[1] ‘For a Hebrew, ‘soul’ indicated the unity of a human person; Hebrews were living bodies, they did not have bodies. This Hebrew field of meaning is breached in the Wisdom of Solomon by explicit introduction of Greek ideas of soul. A dualism of soul and body is present: ‘a perishable body weighs down the soul’ (9:15). This perishable body is opposed by an immortal soul (3:1-3). Such dualism might imply that soul is superior to body. In the nt, ‘soul’ retains its basic Hebrew field of meaning. Soul refers to one’s life: Herod sought Jesus’ soul (Matt. 2:20); one might save a soul or take it (Mark 3:4). Death occurs when God ‘requires your soul’ (Luke 12:20). ‘Soul’ may refer to the whole person, the self: ‘three thousand souls’ were converted in Acts 2:41 (see Acts 3:23). Although the Greek idea of an immortal soul different in kind from the mortal body is not evident, ‘soul’ denotes the existence of a person after death (see Luke 9:25; 12:4; 21:19); yet Greek influence may be found in 1 Peter’s remark about ‘the salvation of souls’ (1:9). A moderate dualism exists in the contrast of spirit with body and even soul, where ‘soul’ means life that is not yet caught up in grace. See also Flesh and Spirit; Human Being.’, Neyrey, ‘Soul’, in Achtemeier, Harper, & Row (eds.), ‘Harper’s Bible Dictionary’, pp. 982-983 (1st ed. 1985).

[2] ‘Indeed, the salvation of the “immortal soul” has sometimes been a commonplace in preaching, but it is fundamentally unbiblical. Biblical anthropology is not dualistic but monistic: human being consists in the integrated wholeness of body and soul, and the Bible never contemplates the disembodied existence of the soul in bliss.’, Myers (ed.), ‘The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary’, p. 518 (1987).

[3] ‘A particular instance of the Heb. avoidance of dualism is the biblical doctrine of man. Greek thought, and in consequence many Hellenizing Jewish and Christian sages, regarded the body as a prison-house of the soul: sōma sēma ‘the body is a tomb’. The aim of the sage was to achieve deliverance from all that is bodily and thus liberate the soul. But to the Bible man is not a soul in a body but a body/soul unity; so true is this that even in the resurrection, although flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, we shall still have bodies (1 Cor. 15:35ff.).’, Cressey, ‘Dualism’, in Cressey, Wood, & Marshall (eds.), ‘New Bible Dictionary’, p. 284 (3rd. ed. 1996).

[4] ‘Modern scholarship has underscored the fact that Hebrew and Greek concepts of soul were not synonymous. While the Hebrew thought world distinguished soul from body (as material basis of life), there was no question of two separate, independent entities. A person did not have a body but was an animated body, a unit of life manifesting itself in fleshly form—a psychophysical organism (Buttrick, 1962). Although Greek concepts of the soul varied widely according to the particular era and philosophical school, Greek thought often presented a view of the soul as a separate entity from body. Until recent decades Christian theology of the soul has been more reflective of Greek (compartmentalized) than Hebrew (unitive) ideas.’, Moon, ‘Soul’, in Benner & Hill (eds.), ‘Baker encyclopedia of psychology & counseling, p. 1148 (2nd ed. 1999).

[5] ‘Even as we are conscious of the broad and very common biblical usage of the term “soul,” we must be clear that Scripture does not present even a rudimentarily developed theology of the soul. The creation narrative is clear that all life originates with God. Yet the Hebrew Scripture offers no specific understanding of the origin of individual souls, of when and how they become attached to specific bodies, or of their potential existence, apart from the body, after death. The reason for this is that, as we noted at the beginning, the Hebrew Bible does not present a theory of the soul developed much beyond the simple concept of a force associated with respiration, hence, a life-force.’, Avery-Peck, ‘Soul’, in Neusner, et al. (eds.), ‘The Encyclopedia of Judaism’, p. 1343 (2000).

[6] ‘‎Gn. 2:7 refers to God forming Adam ‘from the dust of the ground’ and breathing ‘into his nostrils the breath of life’, so that man becomes a ‘living being’. The word ‘being’ translates the Hebrew word nep̄eš which, though often translated by the Eng. word ‘soul’, ought not to be interpreted in the sense suggested by Hellenistic thought (see Platonism; Soul, Origin of). It should rather be understood in its own context within the OT as indicative of men and women as living beings or persons in relationship to God and other people. The lxx translates this Heb. word nep̄eš with the Gk. word psychē, which explains the habit of interpreting this OT concept in the light of Gk. use of psychē. Yet it is surely more appropriate to understand the use of psychē (in both the lxx and the NT) in the light of the OT’s use of nep̄eš. According to Gn. 2, any conception of the soul as a separate (and separable) part or division of our being would seem to be invalid. Similarly, the popular debate concerning whether human nature is a bipartite or tripartite being has the appearance of a rather ill-founded and unhelpful irrelevancy. The human person is a ‘soul’ by virtue of being a ‘body’ made alive by the ‘breath’ (or ‘Spirit’) of God.’, Ferguson & Packer (eds.),’New Dictionary of Theology’, pp. 28-29 (electronic ed. 2000).

[7] 'Far from referring simply to one aspect of a person, “soul” refers to the whole person. Thus, a corpse is referred to as a “dead soul,” even though the word is usually translated “dead body” (Lev. 21:11; Num. 6:6). “Soul” can also refer to a person’s very life itself 1 Kgs. 19:4; Ezek. 32:10).‎“Soul” often refers by extension to the whole person.’, Carrigan, ‘Soul’, Freedman, Myers, & Beck (eds.) ‘Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible’, p. 1245 (2000).

[8] ‘There is no suggestion in the OT of the transmigration of the soul as an immaterial, immortal entity. Man is a unity of body and soul—terms that describe not so much two separate entities in a person as much as one person from different standpoints. Hence, in the description of man’s creation in Genesis 2:7, the phrase “a living soul” (kjv) is better translated as “a living being.”’, Elwell & Comfort (eds.), ‘Tyndale Bible dictionary, p. 1216 (2001).

[9] ‘It has been noted already that the soul, like the body, derives from God. This implies that man is composed of soul and body, and the Bible makes it plain that this is so. The soul and the body belong together, so that without either the one or the other there is no true man. Disembodied existence in Sheol is unreal. Paul does not seek a life outside the body, but wants to be clothed with a new and spiritual body (1 Cor. 15; 2 Cor. 5).’, Bromiley, ‘Psychology’, in Bromiley, ‘The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia’, volume 3, p. 1045 (rev. ed. 2002).

[10] ‘Nor is any place left for dualism. Soul and body are not separate entities which are able to work in concert by virtue of a preestablished harmony (Leibniz).’ , ibid., p. 1045.

[11] ‘All Christians believe in immortality, understood as a final resurrection to everlasting life. The majority have held that immortality also includes continuing existence of the soul or person between death and resurrection. Almost every detail of this general confession and its biblical basis, however, has been disputed. The debate has been fueled by the development of beliefs about the afterlife within the Bible itself and the variety of language in which they are expressed. The Hebrew Bible does not present the human soul (nepeš) or spirit (rûah) as an immortal substance, and for the most part it envisions the dead as ghosts in Sheol, the dark, sleepy underworld. Nevertheless it expresses hope beyond death (see Pss. 23 and 49:15) and eventually asserts physical resurrection (see Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2).’, Cooper, ‘Immortality’, in Fahlbusch & Bromiley (eds.), ‘The Encyclopedia of Christianity’, volume 2, p. (2003).

[12] ‘soul. The idea of a distinction between the soul, the immaterial principle of life and intelligence, and the body is of great antiquity, though only gradually expressed with any precision. Hebrew thought made little of this distinction, and there is practically no specific teaching on the subject in the Bible beyond an underlying assumption of some form of afterlife (see immortality)., Cross & Livingstone, (eds.), ‘The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church’, p. 1531 (3rd rev. ed. 2005).

[13] ‘The English translation of nepeš by the term “soul” has too often been misunderstood as teaching a bipartite (soul and body—dichotomy) or tripartite (body, soul, and spirit—trichotomy) anthropology. Equally misleading is the interpretation that too radically separates soul from body as in the Greek view of human nature. See body; spirit. N. Porteous (in IDB, 4:428) states it well when he says, “The Hebrew could not conceive of a disembodied nepeš, though he could use nepeš with or without the adjective ‘dead,’ for corpse (e.g., Lev. 19:28; Num. 6:6).” Or as R. B. Laurin has suggested, “To the Hebrew, man was not a ‘body’ and a ‘soul,’ but rather a ‘body-soul,’ a unit of vital power” (BDT, 492). In this connection, the most significant text is Gen. 2:7, “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [nišmat hayyîm], and the man became a living being [nepeš hayyâ]” (the KJV rendering “living soul” is misleading).’, Lake, ‘Soul’, in Silva & Tenney (eds.), ‘The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible’, volume 5, p. 586 (rev. ed. 2009).

[14] ‘What is essential to understanding the Hebrew mind is the recognition that the human being is a unit: body-soul! The soul is not, therefore, unaffected by the experience of death. OT eschatology does indeed contain seminal elements of hope implying the more positive teaching of the NT, as can be seen in the OT phrase, “rested with his fathers” (1 Ki. 2:10 et al.), in David’s confident attitude toward the death of his child (2 Sam. 12:12–23), and in Job’s hope for a resurrection (Job 19:20–29). It is this essential soul-body oneness that provides the uniqueness of the biblical concept of the resurrection of the body as distinguished from the Greek idea of the immortality of the soul.’, ibid., p. 587.

All of your quotes show that academic scholars have concluded the notion of an immortal soul was a LATER DEVELOPMENT and one not present in the Old Testament. This does not, in any way prove that there is a scholarly consensus that this later belief is not still widespread within Christianity. It is widely accepted that Judaism did not start out monotheistic, but that monotheism was a later development. Does that mean that the scholarly consensus is that Judaism is not monotheistic?

[quote]Confuzius wrote:
Many scholars of Christianity in universities are not Christians…so thats not a good example.[/quote]

[quote=“Fortigurn”]
This is irrelevant; it does not contradict the statement of fact which I made.[/quote]

It is COMPLETELY relevant! You are stating there is a scholarly consensus that there is NO immortal soul! That is not true. There IS a scholarly concensus that the notion of an immortal soul came from the Greeks. But this belief has been a long held and treasured belief in Christianity for over a thousand years. Those scholars at the SBL (since you have read their journals) are mainly cut from two cloths: 1. Scholars (who are not Christians) and 2. Scholars (who are devout Christians). Those in the first category…their belief doesn’t count, as we are talking about CHRISTIAN beliefs! Those in the second category may pay lipservice to the scholarly ideas in their articles, but many of them are clergy. Are you REALLY going to claim that the priests and pastors (people whore are both scholars AND theologians…do not convoluted the two as though they are one) do not believe in an immortal soul? Do you honestly believe their congregants dont?

And in terms of your 40% of Americans about the belief in Hell…that study is clearly far from conclusive.

59% according to this study: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-08-01-hell-damnation_N.htm

61% this study: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/poll-majority-of-americans-say-bin-laden-is-in-hell/238357/

Here’s an interesting story that breaks it up by demographics: http://www.gallup.com/poll/11770/eternal-destinations-americans-believe-heaven-hell.aspx

And the original argument was where you (once again lumping multiple issues into one) said that 40% of Americans only believe in a soul and hell (maybe this was a slight oversight in your reply…we can let it slide):

[quote=“Fortigurn”]
… There’s no such thing as ‘hell’. There’s no immortal soul, no one goes to heaven or hell.

I wonder what percentage of Christians are with you on that statement. I’m guessing it’s less than 5%. Correct me if I’m wrong.
So, I’d go back to what Bob was saying about the Bible/God being very unclear. Hence, we end up with thousands of denominations of Christianity. Some believe in a literal hell, virgin birth, wine being changed into the blood of Christ; others don’t.[/quote]

These are two issues. But you have focused a bit on the hell aspect. A quote from that article:

“Belief in life after death, like the existence of God, is widely embraced: 8 out of 10 Americans (81%) believe in an afterlife of some sort. Another 9% said life after death may exist, but they were not certain. Just one out of every ten adults (10%) contend that there is no form of life after one dies on earth.”

http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/128-americans-describe-their-views-about-life-after-death

So that’s 81% of AMERICANS who believe in a soul. (not just CHRISTIANS). And you are going to claim that the belief in a soul is not a central tenant of contemporary American Christianity? Oh puhleeze.

That is not what I said. Please read what I said.

I didn’t say that either.

That is something else I never said.

You claimed there are ‘MANY’ verses condemning not only the Jews in the days of Jesus, but ‘the Jews forever and ever’ for killing Jesus. You haven’t provided even one yet. I did not you omitted the part where Jesus, on the cross, says ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do’. I’d really like to see the evidence that the New Testament condemns all Jesus’ disciples and apostles (such as Paul), and all other Jews ‘forever and ever’ for killing Jesus.

They also say it isn’t present in the New Testament either.

Irrelevant. I never claimed that this later belief is not still widespread within Christianity. Since your original claim was proven wrong, you are now changing the subject.

This is a false analogy.

I have already shown you that there is a scholarly consensus that there is no immortal soul.

Yes, and that it isn’t a Biblical doctrine.

Irrelevant. This does not change the fact that there’s a scholarly consensus that there is no immortal soul.

Evidence please. And remember the actual topic; there’s a scholarly consensus that there is no immortal soul. Since I have proved this is correct, you are now attempting to change the subject to ‘Belief in an immortal soul is widespread within Christianity’. That was not the point under dispute.

Yes, the overwhelming number of scholars who are theologians do not believe in an immortal soul. I have already shown you numerous citations from the relevant scholarly literature, including around a dozen standard theological reference works. The consensus was referred to explicitly in the works I quoted.

The topic under discussion is not the beliefs of congregants, but the scholarly consensus.

[quote=“Fortigurn”]
They also say it isn’t present in the New Testament either. [/quote]

That’s what later means…l-a-t-e-r

[quote=“Fortigurn”]
I have already shown you that there is a scholarly consensus that there is no immortal soul.[/quote]

Here is where your whole approach is wrong. Maybe because you are not a scholar and are a total laymen, I dunno. But you are misinterpreting the data you are citing.

DATA=The notion of soul is not present in the NT (I never argued against that)

YOU=There is no such thing as a soul.

Remember that song, “one of these things is not like the other”? That is what is happening here, but for some reason you do not get it.

SCHOLARS ON THE NOTION OF SOUL IN THE NT=The notion of a soul is not present in the NT
SCHOLARS ON THE EXISTENCE OF THE SOUL= :idunno: :idunno: :idunno: :idunno: :idunno:

Whether an immortal soul exists or does not is not an assertion an academic scholar would make. As it is not a verifiable point an academic cannot make such an assertion. They CAN make assertions about whether or not such a belief was/is present within a given cultural, religious or textual context (as there is verifiable data to support such a conclusion). If you said “the notion of an immortal soul is not present within the new testament” you would have some scholars who agree with you and some who do not. However, if you walked into the SBL and said “there is a scholarly consensus that there is no such thing as a soul” you WOULD be laughed out.

Again, just in case you did not catch that (as you seem to not understand how the academic study of religion works) saying a certain belief is not present in an authoritative text is not the same thing as saying such a belief is either true or false.

You, in your self-educated and misguided misunderstanding of how things work, said there is a scholarly consensus that no immortal soul exists. This is simply not the case. You have some good data, but you entirely misinterpreted (or at least misrepresented it here in this thread with your “scholarly consensus” about there being no soul).

So you are now agreeing with me that the immortal soul isn’t taught in the Bible?

[quote]Here is where your whole approach is wrong. Maybe because you are not a scholar and are a total laymen, I dunno. But you are misinterpreting the data you are citing.

DATA=The notion of soul is not present in the NT (I never argued against that)

YOU=There is no such thing as a soul.

Remember that song, “one of these things is not like the other”? That is what is happening here, but for some reason you do not get it.

SCHOLARS ON THE NOTION OF SOUL IN THE NT=The notion of a soul is not present in the NT
SCHOLARS ON THE EXISTENCE OF THE SOUL= :idunno: :idunno: :idunno: :idunno: :idunno: [/quote]

No, you are simply not reading the numerous references I have cited. The scholarship I have cited argues that there is no immortal soul precisely because the doctrine isn’t in the Bible. I don’t believe you’ve read any of the references I cited.

You are wrong. This assertion can be found extensively in the relevant scholarly literature. You seem to have missed this reference I provided:

[quote]“
That the idea of the soul’s immortality as disembodied state beyond death is not popular amongst Christian theologians or among Christian philosophers today
has already been acknowledged.”, Hebblethwaite, “Philosophical theology and Christian doctrine”, p. 113 (2005).[/quote]

Please note what that is saying. It is not simply saying ‘Scholars today don’t believe the doctrine of the immortal soul is taught in the Bible’. It says explicitly that the idea of the soul’s immortality is not popular amongst Christian theologians or Christian philosophers today. What you need to do in order to prove your case, is show that all the literature I have cited actually says (or at least intends to convey), ‘Although the Bible does not teach the doctrine of the immortal soul, this doctrine is nevertheless true; humans do have an immortal soul’.

It is verifiable; it was a matter of scientific consensus as early as the late 19th century:

[quote]“Said Charles A. Young, LL. D., Professor of Astronomy at Princeton College, New Jersey:
"I think it must be frankly admitted that what is known about the functions of the brain and nervous system does, to a certain extent, tend to 'make it difficult to believe in the immortality of the personal consciousness
.” Said Joseph Leidy, M. D., LL. D., Professor of Anatomy and Zoology, in the University of Pennsylvania: “
Personal consciousness is observed as a condition of each and every living animal, varying from microscopic forms to man. The condition is observed to cease with death; and I know of no facts of modern science which make it otherwise than difficult to believe in the persistence of that condition, that is, 'the immortality of the personal existence.
” Science has learned no more than is expressed in Eccl. 3: 19: ‘For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast.’ " Said Lester F. Ward, A. M., at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.: “
The consciousness, when scientifically examined, reveals itself as a quality of brain
… It is a universal induction of science that modification of brain is accompanied by modification of consciousness, and that the destruction of brain results in destruction of consciousness. No exception to this law has ever been observed.” Thomas Hill, D. D., ex-President of Harvard College, says “
Many facts in the possession of modern science make it difficult to believe in immortality
.” Says Alexander G. Bell: “The possibility of thought without a brain whereby to think is opposed to experience, but this persistence of ‘personal consciousness’ after the death of the body involves this assumption.” Says the distinguished F. K. C. L. Buchner: “
Unprejudiced philosophy is compelled to reject the idea of an individual immortality, and of a personal continuance after death
.” It is certain that the voice of science is emphatically opposed to the doctrine of the immortality of the personal consciousness.", Grant, ‘Positive Theology’, chapter 4 (1895).[/quote]

You are simply demonstrating your lack of familiarity with the relevant scholarly literature.

Evidence please.

Evidence please. You keep making claims for which you provide no evidence.

You are a great example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.

So you are now agreeing with me that the immortal soul isn’t taught in the Bible?[/quote]

Look through my posts…I actually never argued that point. (ya need to pay more attention it seems)

[quote]Here is where your whole approach is wrong. Maybe because you are not a scholar and are a total laymen, I dunno. But you are misinterpreting the data you are citing.

DATA=The notion of soul is not present in the NT (I never argued against that)

YOU=There is no such thing as a soul.

Remember that song, “one of these things is not like the other”? That is what is happening here, but for some reason you do not get it.

SCHOLARS ON THE NOTION OF SOUL IN THE NT=The notion of a soul is not present in the NT
SCHOLARS ON THE EXISTENCE OF THE SOUL= :idunno: :idunno: :idunno: :idunno: :idunno: [/quote]

[quote=“Fortigurn”]
No, you are simply not reading the numerous references I have cited. The scholarship I have cited argues that there is no immortal soul precisely because the doctrine isn’t in the Bible. I don’t believe you’ve read any of the references I cited.[/quote]

I did, wasn’t too impressed. (see below)

[quote=“Fortigurn”]
You are wrong. This assertion can be found extensively in the relevant scholarly literature. You seem to have missed this reference I provided:

[quote]“
That the idea of the soul’s immortality as disembodied state beyond death is not popular amongst Christian theologians or among Christian philosophers today
has already been acknowledged.”, Hebblethwaite, “Philosophical theology and Christian doctrine”, p. 113 (2005).[/quote]

Please note what that is saying. It is not simply saying ‘Scholars today don’t believe the doctrine of the immortal soul is taught in the Bible’. It says explicitly that the idea of the soul’s immortality is not popular amongst Christian theologians or Christian philosophers today. What you need to do in order to prove your case, is show that all the literature I have cited actually says (or at least intends to convey), ‘Although the Bible does not teach the doctrine of the immortal soul, this doctrine is nevertheless true; humans do have an immortal soul’.[/quote]

This is what you are basing your argument on? That book was not well received by the scholarly community. Here is a quote from just one negative review:

Is Hebblethwaite’s book a good one? It certainly summarizes a lot of literature in a polite and balanced way. Yet it is not, I think, likely to prove useful to anyone in particular. It reads very much like a set of briefly annotated book notes cobbled together so as to make up a volume. So, undergraduate (or even graduate) students of philosophy and theology shall be likely to find themselves somewhat bewildered as Hebblethwaite cites names and summarizes the work of a large number of authors (in, I might add, a rather dull way). And professional philosophers and theologians shall be frustrated by the quick way in which Hebblethwaite
[color=#800000]comes to those positive conclusions that he seems most concerned to endorse. At no point does Hebblethwaite engage in the kind of argumentation that is needed properly to substantiate positions that he favors. [/color]
He does not indulge in sustained and detailed discussions of any of the authors whose views he summarizes (especially those defending positions different from his own).
(Philosophical Theology and Christian Doctrine
Brian Hebblethwaite, Philosophical Theology and Christian Doctrine, Blackwell Publishing, 2005, 192pp, $29.95 (pbk), ISBN 0631211527.
Reviewed by Brian Davies, Fordham University)

So he’s a biased hack. You got something better? Lets see…

Makes it difficult to believe…this does not prove there is no soul. (you are also reaching out of the area of religious studies)

Same, more difficult, no disproven or consensus.

Oh wow, again the same! Big surprise, who wulda thunked it :doh:

[quote=“Fortigurn”]
You are simply demonstrating your lack of familiarity with the relevant scholarly literature.[/quote]

Um, no. You are parading your ignorance of how the academic study of religion works!