What do you think, is the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus to be taken literally or is it...
symbolic of Judah (the rich man) and the Gentiles (the poor man)?
I wish I could show you an excerpt from my upcoming book about hell. I thoroughly explain this figurative yet prophetic account in proper fashion. There are literal aspects, figurative aspects, and prophetic aspects. I've had a few people denounce my prophetic view. But what they fail to realize is that nearly in every case Jesus spoke in parable or literal story fashion, He always convey a prophetic undertone to the content. Basically, the rich man (wicked) and Lazarus (righteous) depicts the two resurrections of the just and wicked and their "rewards". So there is the literal prophetic undertone. The figurative has to deal with the "great gulf" and "tormented in this flame" and "Abraham's bosom".
Hope that helped.
All parables in the Bible are prefaced as such and don't name names. Jesus also explained each parable to His disciples. The account of Lazarus and the rich man is not a parable, but a fact. It is not prefaced as a parable, there is no 'explanation' of it by Jesus, and Jesus named Lazarus, Abraham, Moses and the Prophets. Why was the rich man not named? Because his name was not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, which has been around since the foundation of the world (consider the words of David in Ps 139:16). Jesus is prophesied to say, "Depart from Me, for I never KNEW you" (Mat 7:23). If He doesn't know a person, He doesn't know their name. He even asked the demon what his name was! LEGION (Luke 8:30). The demons certainly knew who Jesus was (made the same 'confession' as Peter ~ the Son of God). Therefore, even those who say, 'Lord, Lord' may not be known by Him (Mat 7:22-23) ~ Amazing truth!
Yes it is a parable, and it is also a description of what takes place in reality, Either you fall into the category of the Rich man or the category of Lazarus. Both categories describe the end result. Lazarus was Jesus friend in the real, the Rich man did not believe in God, but the riches of this world.
Although Lazarus was raised from the dead once before.
I was raised in a church that taught that this is not a parable, but a real story and that Hades was like a temporary holding place. Sort of like when a prisoner is put in jail, awaiting judgment before being sent to the penitentiary.
Recently, I ran across an article where the author theorizes that this is a parable, as he states if it is not, then it contradicts 11 Peter 1:18-19, 2 Corinthians 5:8, Philippians 1:23, Luke 23:43. He states that the Rich Man is Judah and Lazarus is the Gentiles. Some of what he said makes sense, but some of it seems anti-semantic, therefore, I ask this question in all sincerity, because I really don't know the answer. Wikipedia states that the Rich Man is the Saducees.
I believe it to be like a fable, a story from which several lessons can be learned. I also believe that there is a literal lesson in it too.
There are many inconsistencies in this parable. The lazarus in this case is not the lazarus raised from the dead.
The jews believe that abrahams bosom is a place where the spirits of the dead go after their flesh dies and the place of fire is a preliminary to hell, where the ungodly go. draw a square and divide it half and label one side abrahams bosom and the other side hell. The problem with this is the inhabitants of both are in a place of judgment and scripture plainly states that no one is judged until the proper time. This is not purgatory either.
This is a parable depicting the fairness of god, plain and simple. Can u imagine a place where the dead are all lined up and yelling over to the saved? I certainly would avoid that section of abrahams bosom because i can assure you ALL the dead would be raising a ruckus and that would lesson our wonderful experience of being in the presence of god after judgment, besides we all know we live on a new earth and not anywhere near abrahams bosom. How did the rich man know that was abraham? He had never seen abraham nor is there a description of abraham in the book. The fact that the man was mildly uncomfortable is a head scratcher too because that is not the common association with hell as we know it. This parable is not about where the dead go, because the earth and the sea give them up for the judgment at the end. Your insight about Judah and Gentiles is interesting, i think you meant israel, inclusive of all 12 tribes, but anyway. the most important part of this teaching is about the dead not going back to the living. Its a bit of a stumper and i know it says hell but hell is sheol again, meaning grave, bit of a catholic tweak there. You'll have to get out of it what you can, keep in mind the text before and after. Jesus may be refuting misconceptions and endorsing correct concepts.
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