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PURGATORY: Is there any proof for purgatory in the Bible?

affirm the forgiveness of sins through the intercessory prayer of priests.


Is there any proof for purgatory in the Bible?

Several passages in the Bible discuss the concept of purgatory:

  1. Judas Maccabeus “took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection in mind; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead” (2 Macc 12:43-44). The passage suggests praying for the dead is beneficial, implying a state beyond earthly life where purification may occur.
  2. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny (Mt 5:25-26). In this allegory, the guilty person does not get capital punishment or perpetual imprisonment. He is condemned to be in prison until the compensation is fully met. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, his term can be short or long. When we apply this example in the spiritual context, we are approaching God, our judge, at the end of our life in this world. Though He will reward us for our faithfulness to Him and our good deeds for others, we cannot reach Heaven with rivalry in our life. If we do not attempt a reconciliation or settle any damage done, we will be punished. The duration of this purification depends on the gravity of one’s offenses. This implies purgatory because the imprisonment is not permanent like hell, and most people are not saints or sinners at the time of their death. They are not worthy of going directly to Heaven and not grave sinners to go to eternal punishment in Hell.
  3. Matthew 12:32 states that speaking against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but speaking against the Holy Spirit cannot, “either in this age or in the age to come.” This suggests the possibility of forgiveness beyond earthly life, hinting at purgatory as a state where sins can be expiated after death.

These passages contribute to the theological understanding of purgatory as a place of purification after death for souls not yet ready for heaven, providing hope for forgiveness and salvation beyond this life.


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