Enoch’s Vision of the Realms of the Dead – The Bart Ehrman Weblog


In discussing the investigation I’m undertaking on (human) journeys to the realm(s) of the dead, I have so far pointed out two in distinct that happen outdoors of Christian circles and considerably earlier: the well-known account of Odysseus’s vision of the dead in Homer’s Odyssey book 11 and Aeneas’s journey to the underworld in Virgil’s Aeneid, book six.   These are quite comparable to 1 a different (given that Virgil was basing his account on Homer’s) but also quite unique: in distinct, whereas in Homer each and every spirit has the similar uninteresting and boring forever in Hades, in Virgil the righteous are offered superb rewards and the wicked graphic torment, with the possibility of reincarnation to have a different go at it.

.  Now I introduce a Jewish version of this type of journey, identified in the non-canonical book of 1 Enoch, which has several similarities to Virgil  (even though not so considerably with Homer).  Right here also the righteous are rewarded and the wicked punished.  But there are (a couple of) gradations from 1 type of sinner to the subsequent.  And furthermore, in this case there is no reincarnation as an alternative, and fairly considerably, the punishments just after death are only short-term, top up to the Final Judgment, when a permanent finish will be determined.  For the righteous, the Finish will entail becoming raised from the dead, for all eternity (totally in contrast to either Homer or Virgil).  This in reality is the initial book from Jewish antiquity that promotes the thought of a future resurrection (earlier even than the OT book of Daniel)

Right here is what I say about 1 Enoch in my forthcoming trade book Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife.


The thought of a future bodily resurrection of the dead initial happens in a book that was not incorporated in the Bible, but was nonetheless 1 of the most well known Jewish writings in the final two centuries BCE, a book identified right now as 1 Enoch.   The pseudonymous author of the book claims to be none other than Enoch, the initial individual under no circumstances to have died.  According to Genesis five:24, “Enoch walked with God then he was no a lot more, due to the fact God took him.”   Who improved to pen an apocalypse, an account of the heavenly secrets that could clarify earthly realities?  A man who in fact lived with God above!   The book of 1 Enoch includes a quantity of unique revelations offered to this human resident of the heavenly realms.

There are in reality …

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A Roman Vision of Heaven and Hell





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