Ezekiel, Bart Ehrman discussed on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory


To bart Ehrman his new book it is heaven and hell a history of the afterlife in the neck I think it I was in high just you articulated so beautifully but people misunderstand role I would say people many Christians misunderstand references to shoal in the Old Testament and they think of it as being a kind of hell or maybe a kind of purgatory and they what they import into that a kind of a Christian view of what the after life is and then they put a heavier emphasis on passages in Ezekiel for example them bones them bones them dry bones and the idea that we would be reborn after death with the return of the messiah and that that is not what to those passages were about and I thought you explained it really well in the new book well thanks yeah I know it's a it's a really it's kind of complicated issue in part part of the complication is that we almost everybody course reads the Bible in an English translation and right sometimes the English translations themselves create the problems so they're they're two things going on here that you're you're talking about one is in the parts of the it okay first thing the Old Testament never talks about a place or two places the people go when they die in other words it's not that you you it's for the Hebrew Bible it's not the your by your body dies in your soul goes to heaven or hell that that's no where in the Hebrew Bible the Bible does talk sometimes about this place you mentioned called sheol and sushi roll sometimes it is translated into English Bible translations as hell but it doesn't mean hell and in other words we think of hell when we use the word help we were referring to the places souls get punished for the devil is being punished for the double punishing but is place where souls go after they die for punishment there is no place in the Hebrew Bible your soul goes for punishment she old when they get used doesn't mean that the scholars have long argued that what it really means is it's kind of like the Greek idea of Hades that you find like in the homers ridings or something we're like everybody's together in this big place and nothing's really happening there and it's kind of boring and and the people live like that forever and in this place called sheol and that's what I use today I used to teach that all the time until writing this book I actually did the series research on and did all the linguistic studies of it and realized in fact is not talking about that sheol in the Hebrew Bible seems is most commonly it is it is likened it to the grave or it's it's and I dedicate to send that message in an M. for grave or pets which means that should the bush you remain get thrown he aged Hebrews this can be key for the second part of the U. S. about aged Hebrews did not have our understanding of the soul we say that peace in the most but not all of us but the traditional thinking is that people are made up of two things you got a body and you got soul when your body dies your soul lives on we get we got that point of view from the Greeks it was not a view that the Israelites that related the later Jews they didn't think that the soul could live apart from the body but with the way they understood the soul was more like we understand the brass so when when god created the human being Adam he makes Adam out of the dirt and then he breathes life into him and Adam is alive so long as he has the brass in him so what happens when we die well in our thinking still breath hap will we do with the brass when you die you stop breathing your browser doesn't go anywhere it doesn't exist once you stop breathing and that's what agent Hebrew thought the soul what is the thing that made you alive is like your Braff and when he died it didn't go anywhere this is gone now and so you were dead so she always not a place where your soul when it's just it's just for your body's buried and you don't exist anymore you you your soul your debt your debt mostly revival that's the point but even in which is funny because I remember this this this conversation would go was going on and I went to you went to Princeton theological seminary or Divinity School what is it again I can't member the center yeah right I went to I went to Columbia and so we had some more Calvinist old school Presbyterians who would make the point that when we died from Calvin's viewpoint anyway is you were dead dead dead that was what the the guy said every time he pounded the top of the desk every time he said it you are dead dead dead he said there is no you're getting wings and floating up to heaven there is no you're an angel and you will remain dead dead dead until Perugia until some of them later on in which then you will be resurrected and that's it and I think what he even even most Presbyterians don't believe that I think if you ask them they wouldn't be thinking about because that's much more like shoal yeah well so yeah so that's the view that as of developing that so when and it's really important because it develops in the Hebrew Bible at the very end of the you buy but it becomes the view of of Jesus which is that when you die you're dead dead dead as you said I mean you you you you know you're you don't have a soul anymore is the soul's gonna grab is gone but then they started some Jews started taking it start about two hundred years before Jesus that that that that can't be right because you don't we did suffer and die that's the end of the story there is no justice and they start thinking well it can't be that way and they started thinking that what's going to happen is god in the end is going to is do what's right and people who have sided with god who have suffered as a result and died are gonna be raised from the dead the breath of can be brought back into their bodies and they're going to become alive again so it's not that they're sold to be alive they're they're human being is because the whole human being is going to be alive and so they'll be a bodily resurrection of the dead and so there was no idea of the soul going to heaven or hell that's certainly not what Jesus taught this is the biggest surprise in my book I argue that that the idea that your soldiers they have now is not in the Old Testament and is absolutely not what Jesus taught Jesus didn't believe that the soul to heaven or hell he thought that at the end of time bodies would be raised again and they would live here on earth Sir in a paradise and this is the confusion that gives us you know like crash test dummies with that famous song god shuffled his feet as people wondered well so if your I. gets plucked out in this life will it be waiting up in heaven with your wife and so if you will be re you'll be made whole again for whatever scars you had here will suddenly be you'll be you'll be back to your best look at the twenty four year old bad self and you'll get you know the huge debate in early Christianity about just that point because right you know if you are raised from the dead which body do you come into right it's like you know what if you what if you had your mac it is going to happen or not and you know and you know if you if if if you know every hair on your head is going to be left there you can have like are you gonna be terribly hairy fingernails you lost what could happen well and I had this conversation with somebody who is trans gendered and Christian and they're like you know because if I come back again as a guy I'll be so mad that they were jamming up other problems too because the people say these Christian theologians in the early church started thinking well you know like suppose suppose you diet see you know and you can write and appreciate you and then so you your body because part of the fish's body then some officially catch the fish it eats the fish as a your body becomes part of that part so the resurrection who gets those parts and it becomes like the monkey's paw after a while even like contemplate what the whole with that would be and this is but this is important because you know again if it you hit it so well we're talking with bart Ehrman the book is heaven and hell that our our view of the after life here's what I think I think our view of the after life so often conditions how we think other people it how why it's okay for other people to suffer not so much on our suffering yes and I there's a subtext to to suffering where it was viewed as like that you know well they'll get the reward in heaven but you know for them for this person they want to stick stand every possible day that they possibly can on earth because they want to enjoy what they have and there's a lot of you know just about every view whether it's a religious view our political views social view and just about any view can be used for good things and bad things and and mainly because people are using them and people could be good or bad but I mean yeah you know using heaven and hell in that way is very very bad because it means you have you have no incentive really to help people who are suffering now because well you know they'll be rewarded later and so it doesn't really matter if I take care of the hungry or the homeless or the need because you will you know god will take care of them after they die you know and so oh my god are you kidding me this this is not a dress rehearsal for something this is this is all we're going to happen if we don't if we don't take care of the needy now they're going to cancel yeah these doctrines could have very they can have a good effect because you know the you know somebody suffering in the hospital and they think well I'm going to you know to be okay soon that's good right you know whether it's true or not but right but it it it and we're not the only people who have those traditions either so it's not just right it's not as Christians lots of people find comfort in thinking of that at their in their final days yeah you know I mean you know there's lots of tradition about the afterlife and some of them you know are are very helpful for people but some of them are hugely harmful well in the book heaven and hell a doctor minute dresses the moon met the back story essentially to this philosophical development that we see in the Bible by talking about the ancients and how their views changed over time too but I think one of those things too when we're talking about Scholl was again to push away from the concept of the after life as an individual achievement that when when the after life is referenced it was spoken of as the collective the people will go on your tribe but will go on that that's your after life is that you are as part of a collective that will survive whether or not you do or not yeah that that was the point you're making earlier about the yeah he killed in the bones and the bones in the body yeah and I think that speaks a lot of people out because they don't realize that that wasn't that wasn't the story it also the regional view before it so a minute ago I just painted out view the Jesus and others had that they'll be a resurrection of the dead at the end of time that idea developed out of an earlier idea the earliest ideas exactly what you were saying before which is that there isn't an individual afterlife at all no resurrections of individual bodies or anything that work would start the original concern in the ancient Israelite authors selecci read the profits are you Regis anybody mule test and just about and they're not concerned about individuals living after death what happens is the nation of Israel itself understands itself to be called by god to be his special people here on earth not because there's gonna be having afterwards which is this life is all there is and and they're the ones who are faithful to god and who live the way god wants them to and they ended up being did they ended up being destroyed by but because of the different military engagement sins of the Assyrians destroyed the northern part of Israel then hundred fifty years later the Babylonians destroyed the southern part of India and and the.

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