Jewish Purgatory

Ludovico Carracci, An Angel Frees the Souls of Purgatory (1610)
Ludovico Carracci, An Angel Frees the Souls of Purgatory (1610)

Are Catholics right to pray for the dead, and to believe that such prayers can help to release souls from Purgatory? Michael F. Ross, in Christian Research Journal, claims that “Purgatory is an extrabiblical idea, imported into the church in the Middle Ages-a product of tradition but not Scripture.” Others, like W.Y. Evans-Wentz, have argued that the idea of Purgatory was pagan in origin, invented when “the Irish doctrine of the Otherworld in all its aspects, but especially as the underground world of the Sidhe or fairy-folk, was combined with the pagan Graeco-Roman doctrine of Hades.”

But praying for the dead, and a belief in temporary purgatorial fires is neither Medieval nor pagan in origin. In fact, there’s clear evidence for Jewish belief on this that goes back about as far as the Christian beliefs on the matter (both of which greatly predate the Middle Ages).

For example, many Christians are unaware that it’s standard Jewish practice to pray for the dead. The ancient “Mourner’s Kaddish” is an Aramaic prayer still prayed today, and is said on behalf of the dead. As the Jewish Virtual Library explains,

The Mourner’s Kaddish is recited for eleven months from the day of the death and also on the yahrzeit (anniversary of a death). A person may say Kaddish not only for parents, but also for a child, brother, or in-law. An adopted son should say it for adoptive parents who raised him.

And we see such prayers for the dead in 2 Maccabees 12:39-45, a text which dates to before the time of Christ:

On the next day, as by that time it had become necessary, Judas and his men went to take up the bodies of the fallen and to bring them back to lie with their kinsmen in the sepulchres of their fathers. Then under the tunic of every one of the dead they found sacred tokens of the idols of Jam′nia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. And it became clear to all that this was why these men had fallen. So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous Judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; and they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen.

He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. 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 splendid 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.

Whether or not you accept 2 Maccabees as Scripture, it clearly shows that these prayers were occurring for the dead for centuries, or even millennia, before the Middle Ages. It’s also significant since most Christians throughout history have accepted 2 Maccabees as inspired Scripture. There was no need to turn to Irish or Roman paganism to find these ideas: the ideas were already right there in our Bibles.

Significantly, this Jewish practice of praying for the dead is closely tied to the idea that it liberates the souls of the dead. The midrash Tanna Devei Eliyahu (תנא דבי אליהו) shows this clearly. The English translation reads:

Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai said: “One time I was going along the way and I came across a man who was gathering wood. I spoke to him, but he did not respond. Afterwards the man came to me and said, ‘Rabbi, I am dead, not alive.’

“I asked him, ‘If you are dead, what do you need this wood for?’

“He replied, ‘Rabbi, listen to what I am about to tell you. While I was alive my companion and I used to engage in sin in my mansion. When we came to this world we were sentenced to burning. While I gather word they burn my friend and while he gathers wood they burn me.’

“I inquired, how long is this sentence to last?’

“The dead man answered, ‘When I came to this world I left behind a pregnant wife. I know she is expecting a boy. I beg of you, keep an eye on him from the moment he is born until he is five years old. Then bring him to school, for the moment he responds, “Bless Hashem Who is blessed,” I will be released from judgment in Gehinnom.'”

So this is a Jewish description of a soul suffering fires after death, but only temporarily, and who will be freed on account of his son’s prayers. And this tradition is ascribed to Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai (or Johanan ben Zakai), a first-century rabbi. The text itself is probably from the mid-third century, still a long time before the Middle Ages, and far removed from any Irish influence.

All of this is an important backdrop to the Christian debates about Purgatory and prayers for the dead. First, it shows that the Catholic doctrines are not the result of pagan accretions to Christianity during the Dark Ages, but a reflection of the Jewish roots of Christianity. And this should inform how we approach the Biblical evidence. For example, it’s a lot more plausible that 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 is a Purgatory reference if one is aware that there was a contemporaneous Jewish understanding of temporary purgatorial fires. And Jesus’ statement in Luke 12:59 (“I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper”) makes sense in light of the Jewish belief in Gehenna as a location of temporary purgation. Even the strongest Protestant argument against praying for the dead (that there aren’t specific instructions to do so in the New Testament) is greatly weakened when we realize that the first-century believers were already praying for the dead.

Update: Special thanks to Eric Giunta for sending me this Jewish Encyclopedia article on Purgatory. It has several more examples demonstrating the Jewish beliefs on the matter:

The view of purgatory is still more clearly expressed in rabbinical passages, as in the teaching of the Shammaites: “In the last judgment day there shall be three classes of souls: the righteous shall at once be written down for the life everlasting; the wicked, for Gehenna; but those whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: ‘I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried’ [Zech. xiii. 9.]; also, ‘He [the Lord] bringeth down to Sheol and bringeth up again'” (I Sam. ii. 6). The Hillelites seem to have had no purgatory; for they said: “He who is ‘plenteous in mercy’ [Ex. xxxiv. 6.] inclines the balance toward mercy, and consequently the intermediates do not descend into Gehenna” (Tosef., Sanh. xiii. 3; R. H. 16b; Bacher, “Ag. Tan.” i. 18). Still they also speak of an intermediate state.

25 Comments

  1. Plain and simple. Just facts. Let’s just wait for our long-time habitué Mr Truglia to bounce his anti-historical Baptist home-grown doctrines around.

        1. Yes, the first time I went there was because he wrote a whole post about a comment of mine here. I didn’t know he had written about me, I went there because he had written here that he had another post that answered some questions people had been asking him here. In short, he invited us to take the discussion to his blog. There was another person (I don’t remember if it was CK here or someone else) who was already in dialogue with him because of his post about me. I really don’t mind people disagreeing with me or anyone else. But there’s something strange when you present Bible quote after Bible quote to make a point, and you ask for evidence for his assertions, and then he says: “You’re disagreeing for sport. Your Bible quotes mean nothing. I’ll not answer to them because I don’t have time to”. Then he tries to say I’m the same person as ck.

          And then he shuts the discussion down and starts automatically censoring every comment coming from me. He’s not the first Protestant to do this, but he presents himself with his holier-than-thou demeanor, crying ad hominem time and again, and trying to present his ideas as if they all came from his abstract reasoning, trying to present himself as a historian when he has got no diploma in history (or theology); when in fact, of course, it was all inculcated in him through church indoctrination (of course he has his idiosyncrasies, which his pastor would regard as silly opinions or worse, heresies).

          And when he tries to defend moralist, macho, sentimentalist opinions about women clothing (like when he showed a picture of a girl on hot pants and tank top and called her “Non-Christian”) or some anti-scientific demagogic American sociopolitical ideology called “creationism”, then he gets all itchy and lashes out his censorship again, crying about being insulted and stuff.

          Believe me, Luke, been there, done that. There is no reason to take his views seriously. After the years, I have taken a fresh view toward these debates: views like his are beneath serious consideration (unless they have a direct effect in your personal and social life, which for the time being they don’t), so I won’t waste more of my time debunking defunct personal/communal myths.

    1. This is ungracious and unfruitful. Craig is a great contributor to this blog, and he has good arguments. He’s still wrong, but he deserves far more grace and understanding than you’ve given him here and elsewhere.

  2. Here is a perfect O.T. example of Jewish prayer to God for the sake and benefit of a person who has died and is in some type of ‘purgatory’ (i.e.. a state of being deceased, but not yet in Gehenna nor in Heaven):

    “And Elias said to her: Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him into the upper chamber where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. [20] And he cried to the Lord, and said: O Lord my God, hast thou afflicted also the widow, with whom I am after a so maintained, so as to kill her son?

    [21] And he stretched, and measured himself upon the child three times, and cried to the Lord, and said: O Lord my God, let the soul of this child, I beseech thee, return into his body. [22] And the Lord heard the voice of Elias: and the soul of the child returned into him, and he revived. [23] And Elias took the child, and brought him down from the upper chamber to the house below, and delivered him to his mother, and said to her: Behold thy son liveth. [24] And the woman said to Elias: Now, by this I know that thou art a man of God, and the word of the Lord in thy mouth is true. (1 Kings 17:19)

    And, in another example did not Peter also raise Tabitha in a like manner of prayer for the dead, in this account?:

    “And all the widows stood about him weeping, and shewing him the coats and garments which Dorcas made them. [40] And they all being put forth, PETER KNEELING DOWN PRAYED, and turning to the body, he said: Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and seeing Peter, she sat up.[41] And giving her his hand, he lifted her up. And when he had called the saints and the widows, he presented her alive. ”

    Was Tabitha not also, like the widows son of the Book of Kings, in a state somewhere between Heaven and Hell?…something we might easily describe as a type of ‘purgatory’?

  3. I am I am a lurker on this excellent site but I would like to put in a personal request that we do not scoff at C. Truglia. Yes, as a devout Catholic I often disagree with what he says, and even find some of his arguments frustrating. But from what I’ve read, he always presents reasons for what he is stating, I’ve never seen him attack anybody else, and if he is a Baptist, he does not seem to present standard anti-Catholic arguments. In fact, his comments allow Joe and the others on this site to present their Catholic teaching in a more involved manner. So I say, Mr. Truglia, I appreciate your comments and let’s treat everyone on the site with respect.

  4. “he always presents reasons for what he is stating”.
    Ask him his reason for the 300-year-old threshold for doctrine, or the 100-year-old threshold for other things… or ask him why he is a Baptist and not a Lutheran. Or ask where his ideas come from. Now wait. And keep waiting.

    “I’ve never seen him attack anybody else”
    Oh, if he feels cornered, he will take his trump card and yell: “You disagree for sport”, or “You are insulting me”.

    “he does not seem to present standard anti-Catholic arguments”
    I beg to differ. New wine (Craig’s arguments) in old bottles (sola scriptura Calvinist/Baptist American apologetics rehashed).

    That said, I agree with you that he’s the one who gets the debate rolling here. It’s just that I’m tired of his faked erudition, years with those arguments, I’ve seen it all — know-it-all, holier-than-thou, Bible-scraping American navel-gazer self-made-hobby-educated-theologian/historian. I won’t be here clapping my hands every time he stirs some puffed-up controversy.

    1. I agree with KO’s assessment. He’s very difficult to talk to at times so I’ve just ignored him and stopped commenting. The discussions tend to get circular anyway. I come to Joe’s blog to learn things and have discussions not get into endless and fruitless debates.

    2. Craig has every right to present his arguments here and we — whether cradle Catholic or, like me, grateful convert — would be wise to just take a deep breath and demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in our words. Many, many converts (or reverts, if you prefer) are exactly where Craig is right now. God works on His time, let’s be part of the draw to the Church’s truth and not a repellant.

  5. I know some believers struggle with accepting Purgatory, but I always found that it made more sense to have this place/state for good-but-not-perfect souls than otherwise. If one considers the problem of evil, particularly suffering from it, the idea of Purgatory helps give suffering a redemptive quality. If suffering can help purify one’s soul and bring him closer to God and others, then this middle-state has to exist for those who do still lack perfect union with Christ, but still believe in Him. If no such state exist, one would then avoid suffering at all cost, hope to die quickly and painlessly, and preserve a superficial, comfortable faith in Jesus’ redemption.

    It doesn’t surprise me that Jewish theology and obviously Hebrew scripture make provisions for praying for souls in Purgatory. Rather than assuming that suffering and death are meaningless, as most contemporary pagan cultures concluded, the Jews knew that God was preparing their souls both on earth and beyond for something much greater than anything any human could conceive. This enabled people like the Maccabees to fight and accept martyrdom as they did.

    1. The souls that were resurrected with Christ, are a proof of the existence of some sort of ‘purgatory’, or intermediary place or state, between Heaven and Hell, as is written in Matt. 27:51 :

      “and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent. [52] And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, [53] And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many.”

      So, these ‘sleeping’ souls were not in Hell before they were raised, because nothing comes out of Hell. And they were not in Heaven, because even Jesus was not ‘ascended’ to the Father yet. And so, the only logical conclusion is that before Christ died on the cross these souls were in an ‘intermediary’ purgatorial type state..’sleeping’ ; and then, after Christ’s resurrection they were like Him, resurrected into another intermediary state, but this time capable of communicating with ‘many’ in the holy city of Jerusalem. After this, I assume that these souls ascended into Heaven at the same time that Jesus did? For, would anyone really think that they returned to their graves? Or, Would anyone really think that they ascended to the Father before Jesus?Or, again, would anyone really think that they remained on the Earth? The point is this, that if they aren’t in Hell and aren’t in Heaven, then they are in a state that any reasonable person might term as ‘purgatory’. So, what’s so strange about believing in purgatory? Unless it’s just a strange name that someone should have ‘re-coined’ many centuries ago?

  6. So far, I see 8 comments with Craig Truglia as the theme, and 3 comments on Purgatory, 2 of which are mine. I guess people really don’t care to discuss such a fascinating subject as ‘life after death, and all it’s implications’? We’re all going to experience it, so it seems that Catholics, especially, would have some interest. But, I guess not. I guess everyone is just waiting for Craig to step in so they will have the opportunity to have a bit of fun arguing with him on one topic or the other??

  7. Maybe the article said enough and we didn’t want it spoiled by ignorance of history and an attempt to prop up another new heretical version of Christianity. 🙂

    1. No article can ever say enough, especially on this topic of purgatory which we will all probably experience in it’s full reality some day. People are all like the desert wanderers, all traveling through the desert of their lives on their own paths and ways, some thinking and caring about their eternal destiny of either joy or misery, and others not caring in the least and content to just let what ever happens, happen. The ones who care about a positive outcome to their eternal condition, seek to learn more about anything that can help them secure their happy goal. And so they greet others they meet traveling in the wilderness to gain any benefit from them that might help them towards their destination. There is a proverb on this in the OT, but I can’t recall exactly where. So, it is very good for Christians to talk with each other about the best ways to achieve our salvation, while we have the time.

      And time fly’s by very quickly. Even Jesus even mentions this in the Gospel when He says….” I must work the works of him that sent me, whilst it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

      Relating this to purgatory, which probably most of us will experience, to our own misery, Jesus warns us that we will pay the very last quarter (or penny) for any infraction/sin made on our journey through life. He says: “Be reconciled with your adversary quickly, while you are still on the way with him, lest perhaps the adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you will be thrown in prison.
      {5:26} Amen I say to you, that you shall not go forth from there, until you have repaid the last quarter. (Matt. 5:25)

      So, Jesus says to make amends quickly, because this life is very short in relation to eternity, which is forever. And regarding ‘small sins’ which with we will be held accountable, Jesus says:

      “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment.” (Matt: 12:36)

      So, these scriptures are proofs for the Catholic doctrine of for purgatory, which is not Heaven and not Hell, but rather an intermediary place, or, a ‘prison sentence’ which will have a time limit with release after justice has been served.

      How Protestants can ignore these scriptures I do not know. If we are held accountable for every idle word we speak, how can a Protestant claim that both he is ‘saved’ (i.e.. OSAS), and also claim that there is ‘no purgatory’? That is, unless he really thinks that he will never utter an idle word throughout the whole course of his Christian life, and so would not therefore be accountable for it. Then again, he might claim: “No, I will not be held accountable for any idle word I speak in my life” (ie. OSAS)… which completely contradicts the explicit teaching of Christ.

      Just a few ‘purgatorial’ considerations for fellow travelers in the howling wilderness of our lives. (Yes, unfortunately, there are wolves on the way also).

  8. The concept of SHEOL helps in understanding the development in the Old Testament of
    a belief in forgiveness after death.

    Besides 2 Mac 12 and Zech 13:9, here are several more useful passages : Job 14:13-17;
    Tobit 13:2; Dn 12:10; and Jonah 2:3-7.

    Teaching final purification certainly predates Christ.

  9. I was out of the country for a couple of weeks so I missed out on a lot of the comments, and I am saddened that more comments were about me than about Joe, who otherwise brought up a valuable citation of history which I am very appreciative for.

    I appreciate the thoughtfulness of some people here defending me, and I would like to add I appreciate any thoughtful detractors (such as ALWS, Matt, amongst others) even when I really disagree with their interpretations. Here, I appreciate that Al focused his time on actually defending Purgatory and paying no mind to personal disputes.

    I initially was otherwise not going to respond, but what Joe cited was just to interesting and involved to much for a short reply. I will sum up my response as follows, and I give to everyone the last word here:

    As we unpack the history of the issue of Purgatory we can firmly conclude the following:

    1. The idea was clearly elucidated by Plato (4th century BC) and then Virgil (1st century BC).

    2. Centuries later it was elucidated in the third century by a single Jew (quoted in Joe’s article) and a notable Christian (Origen), who is now considered a heretic.

    3. We know as a matter of fact that Greek thought was obviously imported into both Rabbinic Judaism and that of specific Christian thinkers such as Origen and Augustine.

    4. Incompatible with the claim that Purgatory was a belief widely held by Jews and Christians is that in the fifth century Augustine was not convinced of the said doctrine (evidenced by chap 69 of Hanbook of Faith Hope and Love, Chap 26 of Book 21 of City of God).

    5. Catholics must concede that a couple early writings cannot prove that the doctrine of Purgatory was widely accepted, let alone correct, because in so doing they cut themselves at the knees as it pertains to how the doctrine of Papal Infallibility was clearly rejected my scores of Bishops in the third century (see the Council of Carthage from the 250s and Epistle 74 written by Firmilian). If third century writers by Roman doctrine were wrong in relaying what the Apostles taught then Origen and a Jew, both possibly damned, can easily be wrong too.

    I wrote 2800 words on the topic if you actually want to see my defenses of the above (https://christianreformedtheology.com/2016/12/10/the-pagan-origins-of-purgatory/). If not, merely know that here exists counter-argumentation that exists against Joe’s inference that an early Jewish prayer relating to Purgatory serves as proof that the doctrine is Apostolic.

    God bless,
    Craig

    1. Hi Craig, Welcome back.

      Concerning Purgatory, what do you think of the Gospel saying from Jesus regarding the use of ‘idle’ words? :

      “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment. [37] For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

      To render account means to be responsible for, and punished for, any infractions. And these infractions are made over a lifetime. And actually, it’s possible for hundreds of ‘idle words’ to be spoken on a daily basis by almost anybody. So, when Jesus says that we will be held accountable for EVERY idle word, it signifies that throughout our entire life time of speaking, every single idle word will be counted, from which we will receive a recompense.

      Does not this necessitate the existence of a type of purgatory, wherein the idle words used will be punished? And this is in consideration of the fact that it is inconceivable that Jesus would damn to hell anyone for merely using a few idle words during their lifetime, the rest of the time having used all holy words.

      So, how is this justice accounted for, if Hell is not merited for only a few idle words, but punishment of some sort is still going to be meted out, per the saying of the Lord? Is there a way to work around this saying, so that some people are NOT going to be held accountable for every idle word…contradicting the teaching of Christ?

      **************

      On another note, I just finished a 600 pg. book on Luther, and it is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. It’s titled “Martin Luther: His Life And Work” by Hartmann Grisar. I bought it for $6, used, online; and it was probably the best buy of the year for me… that is, a lot of wisdom for a little money. I think it would be hard to understand the ‘Reformation’ without reading a book like this. The personality of Luther was very complicated and unique. A thorough study such as is provided in this book, I think, should be made by every Christian who is truly interested in how Protestantism had it’s origins. It’s a very profitable way to spend a week of reading as it sheds light on many mysteries regarding the personality, psychology and spirituality of Luther himself and the resulting teachings and doctrines that he promoted during his lifetime. His culture, friendships, correspondence and social life are also described in great detail. I think this same book might be available in digital format online somewhere, but so far, I’ve only found Grisar’s longer version (6 volume) work, online. The smaller book that I read is a condensed summary of the larger version which detailed all of the footnotes and references. Anyway, I’m just passing this on to you should you be interested.

      Best to you in Christ Our Lord,

      – Al

      1. The insane hateful heresiarch was not even a nominal Christian. He taught that Jesus was a repetitive fornicator who was a composition of good and evil.

        I suppose one could also say that Al Capone had interesting ideas about law enforcement but I don’t think seriously thinking they actually have anything positive to contribute to law enforcement is helpful.

        The real Luther is an abomination.

        As for Mr. T. and his claims in here, I caught him in a bald faced lie and he refused to respond. He did disappear for awhile but he is back spreading another Gospel and doing the work of Satan – but nowadays, that is who we Catholics desire to dialogue with, a man who will not accept the truth, a man who has human faith but not divine faith, a man who is he died today would end up in Hell because he would die outside the church but the destination of his soul

          1. Christ committed adultery first of all with the woman at the well about whom St. John tells us. Was not everybody about Him saying: “Whatever has he been doing with her?” Secondly, with Mary Magdalene, and thirdly with the woman taken in adultery whom he dismissed so lightly. Thus even Christ, who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died

             (D. Martin Luthers Werke, kritische Gesamtausgabe [Hermann Bohlau Verlag, 1893], vol. 2, no. 1472, April 7 – May 1, 1532, p. 33)

            A gnostic monk who hated St. Augustine

            http://thenesciencentnepenthene.blogspot.com/2015/09/fun-with-luther-wild-boar-becomes.html

            Cardinal Ratzinger runs afoul of the Luther-lovers

            http://thenesciencentnepenthene.blogspot.com/2016/02/fun-with-luther-joseph-cardinal.html

            Was the monastery a place to escape to after mortal duel?

            http://thenesciencentnepenthene.blogspot.com/2016/02/fun-with-luther-joseph-cardinal.html

        1. My note to Craig regarding Luther was not to judge Luther, but to try to understand his complicated personality, and all of the resulting consequenses in all due wisdom. And this is what Hartmann Grisar SJ does very well. It’s a complete analysis, and even gives Luther credit anywhere he actually deserves it. But he also exposes the multitudes of contradictions in Luthers autobiographical statements and accounts; as well as his many psychological extravagances, bizarre behaviors, superstitious misinterpretations, etc.. that he displayed on an almost daily basis.

          So, when I say that one receives a lot of ‘wisdom for a little money’ I mean that a true understanding of the man in his totality brings true wisdom, which is very profitable. If one is to try to judge a man, this is the manner to do it… with a deep study and much reflection. That is, not to make ‘rash’ judgements. And, Hartman Grisar SJ takes the wise route in this exhaustive biography. He is critical and exposes error where it is due, but also shows some admiration for various God given natural talents, or gifts, that Luther had also.

          So, this is a great book for those who really want to get a handle on the life and psychology of Luther. And, that it was written in about 1913, your not going to find heterodox Catholicism in the authors account. It’s a very ‘justly’ written work, which makes it quite refreshing and enjoyable to read…long as it is at about 600 pages and small type. There might still be some cheap copies available on line? Or in PDF?

          Best to all.

    2. Mick Jagger gathers no Mosque says:
      .comment-author
      September 28, 2016 at 8:11 pm
      .comment-metadata
      .comment-meta
      Mr. T. Its called you keep reading. Scripture in Chapter 2 is a reference to the gospels and tradition refers to the epistles. We can see this is how he defines both terms throughout chapters 2 to 4. Show me where I’m wrong

      Heresies 3:3

      Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome dispatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spoke with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things

      Lord have Mercy!!!

      You think the Epistle of Clement is part of the Bible.

      I don’t care if you try and claim you do not think that for that is what you wrote in black and white.

      Mr. T. Just stop. You are so far down inside the sola scriptura rabbit hole you have been digging for yourself that an expert spiritual spelunker could not locate you.

      Convert and you will then discover that Faith will lead you to understanding. You now have it ass-backwards thinking that understanding will lead you to Faith

      http://shamelesspopery.com/sola-scriptura-and-the-empty-tomb/

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