The concept of life after death is lacking in the early books of the Bible.  It was later introduced in Scripture in progressive stages first as a twilight existence in the nether world, then as a resurrection of the righteous only, next as annihilation of the wicked, and finally as the immortality of all souls in heaven or hell.  Also, there are further glimmerings of a final salvation of all souls.

          The doctrine of immortality was rejected by such late Jewish thinkers as the writer of Ecclesiastes, the apocryphal Sirach, and the Sadducees of Jesus’ time.  All these cited Moses as their authority, because the great Lawgiver had held out the promise of long life to the righteous in lieu of a life after death.

          An outline of the evolution of this concept in the Bible is as follows:




Then Yahweh Elohim formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (nephesh)...So out of the ground Yahweh Elohim formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature (nephesh), that was its name.  (Genesis 2:7,19)  (Both man and animal have a nephesh, “living soul.”  The life is the breath.)


But God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.  (Genesis 3:3)  (This is the curse of death without any hope of an afterlife.)


In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return...Then Yahweh Elohim said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever” - therefore, Yahweh Elohim sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.  (Genesis 3:19,22-23)


Then Yahweh said, “My spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh, but his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.”  (Genesis 6:3)


Turn, O Yahweh, save my life; deliver me for the sake of thy steadfast love.  For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in Sheol who can give thee praise?  (Psalm 6:4-5)  (Sheol is the Hebrew underworld; cf. Greek Hades.  It is a dark cavern, not necessarily a place of torment.)


What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit?  Will the dust praise thee?  Will it tell of thy faithfulness?  (Psalm 30:9)


The dead do not praise Yahweh, nor do any that go down into silence.  (Psalm 115:17)


For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other.  They all have the same breath (nephesh), and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity.  All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.  Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?  (Ecclesiastes 3:19-21)


For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward; but the memory of them is lost.  (Ecclesiastes 9:5)


For Sheol cannot thank thee, death cannot praise thee; those who go down to the Pit cannot hope for thy faithfulness.  (Isaiah 38:18)


Open thy eyes, O Lord, and see; for the dead who are in Hades, whose spirit has been taken from their bodies, will not ascribe glory or justice to the Lord.  (Baruch 2:17)


For when a man is dead, he will inherit creeping things, and wild beasts, and worms.  (Sirach 10:11)


Who will sing praises to the Most High in Hades, as do those who are alive and give thanks?  From the dead, as from one who does not exist, thanksgiving has ceased; he who is alive and well sings the Lord’s praises.  (Sirach 17:27-28)


The number of a man’s days is great if he reaches a hundred years...He sees and recognizes that their end will be evil; therefore he grants them forgiveness in abundance.  (Sirach 18:9,12)


Weep for the dead, for he lacks light; and weep for the fool, for he lacks intelligence; weep less bitterly for the dead, for he has attained rest; but the life of the fool is worse than death.  (Sirach 22:11)


The father may die, and yet he is not dead, for he has left behind him one like himself.  (Sirach 30:4)


There came to him (Jesus) some Sadducees, those who say that there is no resurrection.  (Luke 20:27)




All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.  (Genesis 37:35)


If you take this one also from me, and harm befalls him, you will bring down my gray hairs in sorrow to Sheol.  (Genesis 44:29)


Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.  (Exodus 20:12) (There is no promise of immortality in the Mosaic system.)


Do not turn to mediums and wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them; I am Yahweh your God.  (Leviticus 19:31)  (Moses opposed necromancy and witchcraft, which involved attempts to contact the dead.  His religious emphasis was deliberately existential in order to avoid the Egyptians’ obsession with the afterlife.  In Egypt the priests had bled the people in providing for their safe passage to the underworld.  People often spent their life savings on being properly embalmed and entombed.  The mummies of the Pharaohs were housed in gigantic pyramids built by conscripted labor of the people.  Evidently, Moses rejected all this.)


If a person turns to mediums and wizards, playing the harlot after them, I will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people.  (Leviticus 20:6)  (There is no hell in the Mosaic system; the reprobate is threatened with ostracism.)


So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.  (Numbers 16:33)


There shall not be found among you any who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  (Deuteronomy 18:10-11)  (The proscription of these practices shows that the common people did have some conception of immortality in that they attempted to communicate with the dead.)


As the cloud fades and vanishes, so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up.  (Job 7:9)


Are not the days of my life few?  Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort before I go whence I shall not return, to the land of gloom and deep darkness, the land of gloom and chaos, where light is as darkness.  (Job 10:20-22)


If I look for Sheol as my house, if I spread my couch in darkness, if I say to the Pit, “You are my father,” and to the worm, “My mother,” or “My sister, “ where then is my hope?  Who will see my hope?  Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?  Shall we descend together into the dust?  (Job 17:13-16)


What man can live and never see death?  Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol?  (Psalm 89:48)


And when they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the wizards who chirp and mutter,” should not a people consult their God?  Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?  (Isaiah 8:19)


Then deep from the earth you shall speak, from low in the dust your words shall come; your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost, and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.  (Isaiah 29:4)  (Compare this with the blood of Abel crying from the ground against his murderer.)


I said, “In the noontide of my days I must depart; I am consigned to the gates of Sheol for the rest of my years.”  (Isaiah 38:10)


Then I will thrust you down with those who descend into the Pit, to the people of old, and I will make you to dwell in the nether world, among primeval ruins, with those who go down to the Pit, so that you will not be inhabited or have a place in the land of the living.  (Ezekiel 26:20)  (This speaks of ghost cities under the ground and could be referring to the “tells,” mounds, of ancient cities buried by the passing centuries.)




Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.  (Genesis 5:24)


And as they (Elijah and Elisha) still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them.  And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.  (2 Kings 2:11)


(Enoch and Elijah were major exceptions to the common fate of men.  They did not see Sheol, but bypassed death to live on in heaven.  Other ancient religious systems also told of human persons’ being snatched up to the abode of the gods.  Some examples are: Ziusudra, the Sumerian “Noah;” Enmeduranki, the Babylonian “Enoch;” Adapa, the Babylonian “Adam;” Imhotep, the legendary minister of Pharaoh Djoser; and Ganymede, the Greek shepherd boy caught up by Zeus.  In Norse mythology, warriors who died in battle did not share the common lot of the dead in Hel’s nether kingdom but achieved Valhalla, the banquet hall of Odin.  In Greek legends a dead hero might be carried to the stars to become a constellation instead of descending to Hades.)




So man lies down and rises not again; until the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.  Oh, that thou wouldest hide me in Sheol, that thou wouldest conceal me until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!  If a man die, shall he live again?  All the days of my service I would wait, until my release should come.  (Job 14:12-14)


For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then without my flesh I shall see God.  (Job 19:25-26)


Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?  Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend to heaven, thou art there.  If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there.  (Psalm 139:7-8)




For a fire is kindled by my anger, and it burns to the depths of Sheol, devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.  (Deuteronomy 32:22)  (Here Sheol is taken to be just a part, the lowest part, of the universe into which the anger of Yahweh might reach.  But it is also the first inkling in the Bible of the possibility of punishment or annihilation of the wicked.)


But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit.  (Isaiah 14:15)  (Here is broached the possibility of deeper parts of Sheol reserved for the worst sinners.  This later became the concept of the Abyss: Bottomless Pit.)


If favor is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he deals perversely and does not see the majesty of Yahweh.  O Yahweh, thy hand is lifted up, but they see it not.  Let them see thy zeal for thy people, and be ashamed.  Let the fire for thy adversaries consume them.  (Isaiah 26:10-11)  (Here is taught annihilation of the wicked.  The word “adversaries” is satans.  Every sinner is a satan to be consumed.)


Thy dead shall live, their bodies shall rise.  O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy!  For thy dew is a dew of light, and on the land of the shades thou wilt let it fall.  (Isaiah 26:19)  (Only the righteous shall rise again.  The others are burned up so that they have no bodies with which to be raised.)


“For as the new heaven and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me,” says Yahweh, “so shall your descendants and your name remain.”  “From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me,” says Yahweh.  “And they shall go forth and look on the dead bodies of the men that have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”  (Isaiah 66:22-24)


The destruction of the sinner is forever, and he shall not be remembered, when the righteous is visited.  This is the portion of sinners, forever.  But they that fear the Lord shall rise to life eternal, and their life shall be in the light of the Lord, and shall come to an end no more.  (From the Third Psalm of Solomon, composed c.50 B.C.)


...sinners and transgressors...their inheritance is Sheol and darkness and destruction, and they shall not be found in the day when the righteous obtain mercy.  (From Psalm of Solomon XIV)


And sinners shall perish forever in the day of the Lord’s judgment.  (From Psalm of Solomon IV)


...when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.  (2 Thessalonians 1:7b-9)


And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.  (1 Thessalonians 4:16b-17)  (With Paul only “the dead in Christ” obtain immortality.  The wicked are destroyed.  Paul never uses the word “hell.”  There is one reference to Hades in 1 Cor. 15:55.)


God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  (John 3:16)  (In this passage John says that only the good have “life,” i.e., live forever, while the evil “perish,” i.e., cease to exist.  The bulk of Jesus’ teachings, however, assume the immortality of both the righteous and the unrighteous.)


And when he was at his last breath, he said, “You accursed wretch, you dismiss us from this present life, but the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws...But for you there will be no resurrection to life!  (2 Maccabees 7:9,14b)


Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws.  (2 Maccabees 7:23)


For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.  But if he was looking to the splended reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.  Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.  (2 Maccabees 12:44-45)  (This passage is used to justify prayers for the dead, especially the near-righteous who die with unforgiven sins.)


For God created man for incorruption, and made him in the image of his own eternity, but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it.  But the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and no torment will ever touch them.  (Wisdom of Solomon 2:23-3:1)


But the righteous live forever, and their reward is with the Lord; the Most High takes care of them.  (Wisdom of Solomon 5:15)


As a child I was by nature well endowed, and a good soul fell to my lot; or rather, being good, I entered an undefiled body.  (Wisdom of Solomon 8:19-20)  (This passage teaches the pre-existence of the soul.  Cf. Michelangelo’s Jehovah with unborn souls in his billowing robes.)


With misspent toil, he forms a futile god from the same clay - this man who was made of earth a short time before and after a little while goes to the earth from which he was taken, when he is required to return the soul that was lent to him.  (Wisdom of Solomon 15:8)


For thou hast power over life and death; thou dost lead men down to the gates of Hades and back again.  (Wisdom of Solomon 16:113)  (The wicked are left in Hades.  Medieval pictures portray “the Harrowing of Hell,” showing Jesus, after His crucifixion, breaking down the gates of the Underworld and liberating Adam and Eve, and the Devil’s other righteous captives.  In the dark cavern at the bottom of the paintings, still in chains, is depicted the arch sinner Judas, possibly with one or two others like Cain or Caiaphas.)




And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.  (Daniel 12:2)  (This is the only statement in the Old Testament that teaches universal immortality.)


Having a hope in God which these themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.  (Acts 24:15)  (Paul is concurring here with the teaching of the Pharisees on universal immortality.)




And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  (Matthew 10:28)


Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.  For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man.  Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.  (John 5:25-29)


But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.  For he will render to every man according to his works.  (Romans 2:5-6)


For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.  (2 Corinthians 5:10)


And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and the books were opened.  Also another book was opened, which is the book of life.  And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.  (Revelation 20:12)




And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?  He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”  (Matthew 22:31-32)


Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.”  (John 11:25-26a)


In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  (John 14:2-3)


When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  “O death, where is thy victory?  O death, where is thy sting?”  (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)


For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  (2 Corinthians 5:1)


But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.  (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)




The theological concept of universalism is a speculation based on a few scriptures that God may one day abolish hell and receive all souls to himself in mercy.


Far be it from thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked.  Far be it from thee!  Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?  (Genesis 18:25)


And if a man eats of a holy thing unwittingly, he shall add the fifth of its value to it, and give the holy thing to the priest.  (Leviticus 22:14)  (Unintentional sacrelige is forgivable.)


If one person sins unwittingly, he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering.  And the priest shall make atonement before Yahweh for the person who commits an error, when he sins unwittingly, to make atonement for him; and he shall be forgiven.  (Numbers 15:27-28)  (Unconscious sin is forgivable.)


And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating.  But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating.  Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.  (Luke 12:47-48)  (Ignorance merits fewer stripes.)


And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34a)  (Will not this prayer of Jesus be answered?)


When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.  They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.  (Romans 2:14-16)  (Gentile heathens are to be judged by their consciences.)


For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.  (Romans 12:3)  (Is the capacity to believe apportioned by God?  If so, hell is unwarranted.)


God judges those outside.  Drive out the wicked person from among you.  (1 Corinthians 5:13)  (God will judge those outside the Church.)


For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.  (1 Corinthians 15:22)  (Everyone, even sinners like Adam, shall one day receive immortality in Christ.)


When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be everything to everyone.  (1 Corinthians 15:28)  (God will be “all in all” when every soul comes home to Him.)


Now before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed.  So that law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith.  (Galatians 3:23-24)  (Before the time of Christ, the Law justified mankind.)


For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.  (Ephesians 1:10)


Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  (Philippians 2:9-11)  (Every soul is to accept Christ’s Lordship in all three levels of the cosmos.)


For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.  (Colossians 1:19-20)


For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (1 Thessalonians 5:9)


Though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and insulted him; but I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed to me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.  (1 Timothy 1:13-14)  (Mercy for ignorant heathen is possible.)


First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men.  (1 Timothy 2:1)


The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  (2 Peter 3:9)


And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.  Also another book was opened, which is the book of life.  And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.  (Revelation 20:12)  (Judgment of the heathen is by their works.)




I said unto him (the angel): Are they who depart from the fear of God tormented for the same time that they enjoyed their false delight and pleasures?  He answered me (Hermas): They are tormented for the same time.  And I said to him: They are then tormented but a little, whereas they who enjoy their pleasures so as to forget God ought to endure seven times as much punishment.  He answered me: Thou are foolish, neither understandest thou the efficacy of this punishment.  I said unto him: Sir, if I understood it, I would not desire you to tell me.  Hearken, said he, and learn what the force of both is, both of the pleasure and of the punishment.  An hour of pleasure is terminated within its own space, but one hour of punishment has the efficacy of thirty days.  Whosoever therefore enjoys his false pleasure for one day, and is one day tormented, that one day of punishment is equivalent to a whole year’s space.  (Shepherd of Hermas, Similitude VI:28b-31)  (This early Christian writing describes what came to be called Purgatory.  Since the punishments of Purgatory are not eternal, it may be argued that the punishments of hell may also reach an end.)


Whatsoever things any of you did in ignorance, not knowing God clearly, all his sins shall be forgiven him.  (The Preaching Of Peter, a quotation given by the Christian scholar Origen)


(Jesus said:) The heavy laden shall be saved, and they that are gone astray shall go astray forever.  They shall be chastised and tormented in their flesh and in their soul.  And we said unto him: O Lord, verily we are sorrowful for their sake.  And he said unto us: Ye do rightly, for the righteous are sorry for the sinners, and pray for them, making prayer unto my Father.  (Epistle of the Apostles, v. 39-40)  (Compassionate Christians dislike the idea of hell.)


(The destiny of sinners - their eternal doom - is more than Peter can endure.  He appeals to Jesus to have pity on them.  Jesus responds as follows:)  And my Lord answered me and said to me: Hast thou understood that which I said unto thee before?  It is permitted unto thee to know that concerning which thou askest, but thou must not tell that which thou hearest unto the sinners lest they transgress the more and sin.  (Peter weeps many hours, and is at last consoled by an answer which, though exceedingly diffuse and vague, does seem to promise ultimate pardon for all.  Peter orders Clement to hide this revelation in a box, so that foolish men may not see it.)  (Apoclypse of Peter)


And unto them, the godly, shall the almighty and immortal God grant another boon, when they  shall ask it of him.  He shall grant them to save men out of the fierce fire and the eternal gnashing of teeth.  And this will he do, for he will gather them again out of the everlasting flame and remove them elsewhither, sending them for the sake of his people unto another life eternal and immortal, in the Elysian Plain where are the long waves of the Acherusian lake exhaustless and deep bosomed.  (The following comment was added at a later date: “Plainly false, for the fire will never cease to torment the damned.  I indeed could pray that it might be so, who am branded with the deepest scars of transgressions which stand in need of utmost mercy.  But let Origen be ashamed of his lying words, who saith that there is a term set to the torments.”)  (Second Book of the Sibylline Oracles, v. 330-338)


And I looked and saw men and women clad in white apparel, and their eyes were blind, and they were set in a pit.  And I asked: Who are these, Lord?  And he said unto me: These are they of the heathen that gave alms and knew not the Lord God.  Wherefore without ceasing they pay the due penalty.  (Apocalypse of Paul)  (There is a lighter punishment of blindness for good heathens.)


And I, Paul, sighed and said: O Lord God, have mercy upon thy creature, have mercy on the children of men, have mercy upon thine image.  (The Son of God replied:)  On that day whereon I rose from the dead I grant unto all you that are in torment refreshment for a day and a night forever.  (Apocalypse of Paul)  (At Paul’s request, the torments of the damned are taken away every Sunday, so that there is even a day of rest in hell.)


(In the Ethiopic Apocalypse of the Virgin, which copies that of Paul, the Virgin procures rest from Friday evening to Monday morning for the lost in hell.  In the Greek Apocalypse, she gains for them the days of Pentecost.  In the Anglo-Saxon version of the Apocalypse of Thomas, the Virgin, Michael, and Peter successively intercede with the Judge, and he forgives a third part of the sinners at the prayer of each.  But not all are pardoned, for the next statements are, “Come ye blessed...” and “Depart ye cursed...” as in Matthew 25:34 and 41.)

                                                                                      Richard L. Atkins



(An Outline)


The Bible shows an unfolding sequence of beliefs about Immortality, as God shed more and more light on this subject though His spokesmen and finally proved it through the Resurrection.


1. ADAM (Mortality)


                Soul is Breath. (Ecclesiastes 3:19)


2. MOSES (Existentialism)


                Common Belief in Sheol (Underworld).


3. JOB (Hope of Immortality)


                Common Belief in Sheol (Underworld).


4. ISAIAH (Conditional Immortality)    


                Good live; Wicked die (Isaiah 26:10)


5. DANIEL (Universal Immortality, Conditional Salvation)


                Resurrection to “life” or to “shame.”


6. JESUS (Proof of Immortality)


                Heaven and Hell

                (Levels of Rewards and Punishments).


7. Hope for Universal Salvation (?)