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Life After Death


A scholar of the law asked Jesus, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Lk 10:25). A rich man also had asked the same question to Jesus (Mk 10:17). The inheritance of eternal life was a controversial issue between Sadducees who denied the resurrection (Mk 12:18-27) and Pharisees who believed in the eternal life (Acts 23:8).

There were teachings on life after death in the Old Testament, but they were scant and largely obscure. “Your dead will live, their corpses will rise again. Awake and sing for joy, you who lie in the dust! For your dew will be a sparkling dew, and the earth will give birth to those who have been long dead” (Isa 26:19). Daniel 12:1- 3 is another example of the prophecy of the resurrection and ultimate reward or punishment. However, these and similar writings on life after death were in the prophetic works or Psalms. Moses gave importance to a long and fulfilling life in the Promised Land in Canaan for those who keep God’s commandments. “Honour your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Ex 20:12). Jesus gave more clarity on the resurrection of the dead, the last judgement, and reward or punishment after death.

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