Lesson 19

Other verses some Christians use to support the immortal soul doctrine talk about those who are dead ridiculing the king of Babylon when he joins them in the grave. They believe that if the Bible talks about the dead jeering and mocking the dredded Babylonian king, then they must have a soul that has let them remain alive in the grave. Reading only the verses shown, that assertion does appear to be logical, but to understand all that the Bible has to say about a subject all the relevant verses need to be understood so a true biblical picture of the subject can be seen.

Isaiah 14:9-11 International Standard Version
9 “The afterlife below is all astir to meet you when you arrive; it rouses up the spirits of the dead to greet you everyone who used to be world leaders. It has raised up from their thrones all who used to be kings of the nations. 10 In answer, all of them will tell you, ‘You’ve also become as weak as we are! You have become just like us!’ 11 Your pomp has been brought down to Sheol, along with the noise of your harps. Maggots are spread out beneath you, and worms are your covering.”

Reading all relevant scripture helps us understand the Bible is speaking metaphorically when it talks about the dead conversing in their graves. Unless you believe cypress and cedar trees can talk, then the two preceding verses demonstrate the context is figurative. Taking the verses literally does not fit God’s narrative.

Isaiah 14:7-8 International Standard Version
7 The entire earth is at rest and peace; its inhabitants break into song. 8 Even the cypresses rejoice over you, as do the cedars of Lebanon, saying, ‘Now that you’ve been laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us.’

Knowing what the Jews who studied and kept the Old Testament true to its origins believed, may be helpful for those who today are trying to understand God’s words. Jews who lived prior to the Babylonian captivity had no doctrine of a human immortal soul. Those scriptures became the Christian Old Testament. Early Jews believed humans to be completely mortal. The belief of an immortal soul gained popular support only after the Jews left Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem. Commonly referred to as the second temple period, it was during this time, after they had been exposed to Babylonian philosophies, Jews started integrating the immortal soul doctrine into their beliefs. If the Jews from the first temple and earlier, found no Bible scripture teaching the doctrine, why do Christians claim those same scriptures do? Are you a Bible believing Christian? What do most Christians know that the early Jews did not?

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