Did ancient Jews believe in the Resurrection?
In the Christian New Testament, Mary tells Jesus she knows she will see her dead brother again at the Resurrection. I don't know where she got the concept of the Resurrection. In the Old Testament of the Christian Bible I find no clear doctrine of a general Resurrection, just a few passages that can be interpreted as such if you read the NT first then apply conjecture. But I realize there are other Jewish scriptures—the Talmud, the Torah—from which Mary could have gotten that doctrine. Could have but did she?
Although I suppose the sceptic would respond ‘We have no idea about what the ancient Jews believed. They probably believed all sorts of weird and wonderful things. Who is to say that a particular group or sect of Jews believed that holy men and prophets were regularly resurrected from the dead by God at various times to be sent out into Israel to preach? Only a tiny percentage of ancient documentary sources survive, so we can’t draw any definitive conclusions about what types of ideas about the afterlife were circulating among Jews in the 1st century. In any event based on the evidence we DO have in Mark, it shows that the idea a holy man (John the Baptist) could be raised from the dead demonstrates that Jews were open to the idea of individual resurrections before the general resurrection at the end of the world. Therefore it is not correct to say that Jewish beliefs about the afterlife precluded anyone rising from the dead before the general resurrection at the end of the world.
Thanks for responding. I realize that none of the original manuscripts from the ancient world still exist and what we have now are copies. Is there any copy of the the fourth century (when the Christian Bible was created)Talmud or the Torah or Kabbalic teachings that teach of a general resurrection? It would have to be general since Mary's brother was by no means a holy man.
Hosea 6:1 "Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us;
he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
1 Samuel 2:6
‘The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.
But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.
Psalm 103: 2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits –
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
‘I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? ‘I will have no compassion,
The Pharisees during the time of Christ believed in the resurrection, but the Sadducees (Mark 12:18-27) did not. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharisees
Some Jews, particularly the Kabbalists, believed in reincarnation. But even Jesus talked of reincarnation and karma. John the Baptist was Elijah reborn. Jesus said that people did not recognize him.
Some scholars don't think the Kabbalists have been around that long, but I've discovered their Tree of Life matrix embedded in 2 chapters of Genesis. So, they were around for the writing and compiling of the Bible
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