Afterlife

Were The Rich Man And Lazarus Real People?, Part 2

In the last blog post we considered evidence which suggests the rich man and Lazarus were not real people. Instead, it appears that Jesus adapted a well known Jewish story to teach a lesson. So, what was the lesson Jesus was teaching in this story?

As always, context should be the primary factor in determining the meaning of a passage. The structure and content of Luke’s writings offers valuable insight to aid us in determining what Jesus’s true point was.

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Afterlife

Were The Rich Man And Lazarus Real People?, Part 1

The story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) is one of the best-known narratives in the New Testament. This is a passage many Christians read for insight into the afterlife. In the popular imagination, it gives a glimpse into the realm of the dead. Contrary to popular opinion Jesus’s point in telling this story was not to reveal information about the hereafter. The point of the story of the rich man and Lazarus was to overturn a misconception. It illustrates that possessing wealth and honor are not indications that one is in good standing with God.

The popular belief that this passage offers insight into life after death is very prevalent. Therefore, we must examine the idea to test its validity. If Jesus was speaking of a real historical event involving Lazarus and the rich man, then one could argue with greater confidence that Jesus’s point was to impart knowledge about the realm of the dead. On the other hand, if these characters were not real then Jesus’s intended message must have been something else.

Continue reading →
Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Afterlife