Are the 'dead conscious of nothing?'

by Gill 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Gill

    If, as quoted in Ecclesiastes, 'The dead are conscious of nothing....', then how come they cannot be separated from God's love. (as mentioned in another scripture which my ass is too lazy to get up and look up)?

    Supposedly, the dead are non existent according to the Sadduceic interpretion, so how can they 'feel the love?' And what's the point of saying they are not separated from God's love/

    I have a suspicion that the dead are more than likely 'hanging about somewhere' and am no longer convinced of the JW adamant viewpoint that the dead no longer exist.

    I suspect there is some grand scheme cosmic recycling going on.

  • fullofdoubtnow

    That the dead know nothing is one of the few jw beliefs I still accept. I think the scripture you were thinking of is this one, in Romans 8, Gill:

    38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, [m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Paul was speaking to those who were reckoned to have a heavenly calling there, I would think, whereas the scripture in Ecclesiastes was written in pre - Christian times. The wts always taught that those who died faithful in those times would be remembered by jehovah, and resurrected after armageddon.

    I don't believe in any of that now. I think that when I die, that's it, nothing beyond it.

  • Satanus

    Based on my own experience w a couple of dead relatives, i think that they are conscious. However, the bible god is not conscious of anything, in my experience.


  • Gill

    Linda - Thanks for finding that.

    I used to think the same as you, that when you're dead, that's it, but I think that may be the residues of JW thinking.

    I, like Satanus, believe now that there is something else going on. We won't know till we get there, but I don't fear the 'black hole of eternal non existence' any more.

    I have wondered for years why I knew the moment a relative of mine died, a few years ago. I had gone home from her death bed to make tea for the kids and was going to return in an hour. I was walking up the stair and very suddenly felt she had gone. A terrible loss over came me and I couldn't stop crying knowing she had gone. I was like almost at the point of hysteria with a sense of loss. My husband tried to calm me. The phone rang. A relative then told me that his relative had just died a few minutes ago.

    When I saw her, she looked like an empty shell but I knew 'she' was not there anymore and she had gone....but gone somewhere. I didn't cry anymore. I knew she was all right.

    This has happened to me, knowing that a relative has just died, three times. But I feel they are all right.

    I had a near death experience myself having my last child. But there was only peace and calm in that unconsciousness and I remember there being nothing to be afraid of, at least for myself.

    There is too much unexplained.

  • Leolaia

    The view presented in Ecclesiastes is precisely the Sadduccee view. Although the Society is fond of quoting 9:5, they fail to realize that the next verse denies that there would be a resurrection: "...nor will they ever again take part in whatever is done under the sun". Since the OT is an anthology of works from early Judaism (which was theologically diverse), it should not be surprising to find a range of books that express differing viewpoints. Unfortunately, the Society privileges the Sadducee view expressed in Ecclesiastes (whereas the eschatology in the synoptic gospels and Paul is much closer to Pharisee belief) to the extent that they have to substitute an ad hoc compromise "recreation" belief (e.g. that God will recreate dead individuals by copying their "life pattern" from his memory) for the actual biblical resurrection belief.... in effect denying the resurrection like the Sadducees but calling their substitute "recreation" teaching "resurrection" because that is the word used in the NT.

  • Gill

    Thanks for that Leolaia! That's brilliant. I had never taken any notice of the rest of that scripture. Fantastic!

  • M.J.

    after seeing Thayer's Lexicon for yada, the NWT's use of "are conscious of" rather than "know" seems to me like an overtranslation. "perceive" or "are aware of" would be more plausible. I'd like to hear from someone versed in Hebrew on this one, though.

    If that phrase is an authoritative determination of one's condition after death, then the two statements that follow should also be an authoritative determination one's condition after death:

    1. They have no more reward. (no resurrection)

    2. The memory of them is forgotten. (rules out JW-style recreation)

  • fullofdoubtnow

    Thanks for that Leolaia, I had never noticed the next verse in Ecclesiastes 9 either. I guess 9:5 is just another example of the wts taking a scripture out of context to "prove" one of their beliefs. I wish I'd took note of that when I was still in, it would have been interesting to see an elders response to your post. I'd have probably been hauled before a jc for asking though!

  • Narkissos
  • barry

    The SDAs have the same doctrine as the JWs on this doctrine. In SDA lingo it it is called the doctrine of the stste of the dead. Funny how both churches use the same proof text method and ignore the history of the Saducees and Pharasees in their interpretation.

    I once wondered how anyone could beleive any different but i have printed this out to show some church members.Thanks everyone including Leolaia and Narkissos

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