Ecclesiastes 9:5 -"the dead know nothing at all"

by aqwsed12345 91 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Reasonfirst


    Biahi2 months ago

    My Bible (The Living Bible), has a footnote for Ecclesiastes 9:5. The foot note states, “ This statement reflects Solomon’s discouraged opinion. It does not, however, reflect God’s truth of the matter.”


    So the Book of Ecclesiastes, included and recognised as part of the Bible is not "inspired."

    How many other bible books are also 'not inspired'?

  • aqwsed12345


    There are many other examples in the Bible of Scripture presenting an idea without calling us up to identify with it. Like:

    "Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”" (Psalm 14:1)

    In such cases, biblical inspiration does not mean to the correctness of the outlined idea, but to the accuracy of the account. So this "one-liner" "proof text" cited by JWs here is a passage that even the inspired writer did not intend to teach as infallible and final revelation, rather, it presents the thought process of the narrator pondering the path and the meaning of life.

    The other argument is that "the dead know nothing at all" does not mean that the dead are unconscious, annihilated and nonexistent, but that they have no knowledge of anything "under the sun" (since they are in the Sheol).

    Please read my argument presented on the first page of this topic. The WTS Bible interpretation here completely ignores the established principles of scriptural interpretation (exegesis), ignores the narrower and broader context of the verse, it is completely absurd.

    However, since God speaks in Sacred Scripture through men in human fashion, (6) the interpreter of Sacred Scripture, in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and what God wanted to manifest by means of their words.
    To search out the intention of the sacred writers, attention should be given, among other things, to "literary forms." For truth is set forth and expressed differently in texts which are variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse. The interpreter must investigate what meaning the sacred writer intended to express and actually expressed in particular circumstances by using contemporary literary forms in accordance with the situation of his own time and culture. (7) For the correct understanding of what the sacred author wanted to assert, due attention must be paid to the customary and characteristic styles of feeling, speaking and narrating which prevailed at the time of the sacred writer, and to the patterns men normally employed at that period in their everyday dealings with one another. (8)

    See also: "The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church"

  • vienne

    This is an example of irrational response to the plain voice of scripture. All for the sake of maintaining a doctrine not taught in the Bible but borrowed from paganism. You're converting no one.

  • aqwsed12345


    Annihilationism is not a teaching of the Bible, but of the Sadducees.

    Both the Jewish mainstream before Christ and the consensus of early Christianity unanimously believed in a conscious existence after death. If you want to delve deeper into the question, I recommend the following book:

    The Christian Doctrine of Immortality by Stewart D.F. Salmond

    The Christian understanding of the soul was not "borrowed" from Platonism, it is just a paganophobic conspiracy theory of the WTS and other Catholic-hating sects (like the Adventists), along with the legend of the "Great Apostasy", invented to "explain" where their denomination and their teachings were, before them in the history of the Church.

    In fact, the Platonist understanding of the soul was condemned as heresy by the Catholic Church in 1312 at the Council of Vienne, where extreme monist and extreme dualist conceptions of man were condemned.

    According to many rationalist religious historians, the earlier books of the Old Testament do not speak of the afterlife of the soul (some newer ones argue they are silent only to avoid fueling the widespread animism among the Semites). In this question, we have to conclude that

    a) the whole Old Testament is not directly oriented towards the afterlife, but towards God. But this very focus indirectly includes the belief in immortality, as the Savior indicates: "God is not of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him" (Lk 20:38; cf. Wis 15.)

    b) It is also certain that God gradually led the bearer of revelation to a higher religious position on this issue. He did not preempt the normal spiritual development like a Deus ex machina, but tied his revelations about the afterlife, and thus immortality, into its phases.

    c) Finally, it should not be overlooked that the Scriptures do not deal with immortality as an abstract philosophical theorem, but present it in a really realized form, in connection with the resurrection of the body. In the first stage of revelation, due to the obscurity of views and concepts about the afterlife, the sacred writers also stood under the impression of experience: this present life, with its defined forms, joys, and colors, speaks to man; compared to this, the afterlife is colorless, joyless, a shadowy existence (Cf. Job 10:21, Ps 88:12, 114:17, Is 38:18 etc.); it is not the same for the good and the bad (Deut 32:22.). And the passing of this earthly existence, the path of all living beings seemingly leading uniformly to death, casts a melancholic mood on the Old Testament meditator (Job 14:7-14 Eccl 2:14-16 3:11-22 6:6 9:4-6 etc.).

    But still, the oldest books also know about the afterlife of the soul:

    a) Jacob calls his and his fathers' earthly life a pilgrimage (Gen 47:9; cf. Heb 11:9.);

    b) the descent into Sheol, the gathering to the fathers often does not simply want to express burial (Gen 15:5 25:8 35:29 37:35 49:32.);

    c) both the prohibition and fact of spirit invocation are evidence (Lev 19:31 20:6.27 Deut 18:11; 1 Sam 28,75).

    Such phrases in the Bible: "may my soul die with the death of the righteous", are Hebraisms. The Scriptures describe the origin of man not philosophically, but illustratively, and therefore attribute the נָפֶשׁ (nefesh, the principle of life manifested in warm breath) to both man and animal. The nefesh often replaces the reflexive and personal pronouns in Hebrew; thus such statements should be understood: "my soul shall die" = "I shall die". Nevertheless, there is no doubt about the superior origin of the human soul and its nature significantly different from the body: God directly breathes the breath of life into man, whom He created in His own image, not like animals, and therefore there is no similar among the animals; his נְשָׁמָה (neshama, sensible soul) is unique to man. The soul is not subject to the fate of the body; so it has a different kind of existence.

    The later books of the Old Testament and the New Testament explicitly say: "God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity" (Wisdom 2 throughout; cf. Ecc 12:7 Sir 11:28 51:38 Tob 4:3 12:9 2 Mac 2:46 6:25 7 12:45 Dan 12:1-3.); "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul" (Mt 10:28; cf. Lk 20:36-38.) "Whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" (Jn 12:25; cf. all those places where the New Testament speaks about eternal life in connection with man.)

  • Reasonfirst

    So many words to say nothing

  • Rattigan350

    "Jesus and the apostles offered a greater perspective, including the promise of heavenly reward after death"

    That is called a resurrection. That does not negate that the dead know nothing.

    When they are resurrected, their memories are put back into them.

    Why did you write all of that when your premise is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I just proved it wrong in one sentence.

  • aqwsed12345


    The fact that you might have ADHD and find it difficult to interpret long texts is not my fault. Regardless, I have no idea what you "proved wrong with one sentence". The immortality of the soul is a common teaching of mainstream Judaism and Christianity, which Jesus never objected. The "one-liner" "proof verses" (ab)used by the Watchtower can easily be refuted.

    Check THIS.

    Since when does the teaching of resurrection exclude the conscious existence between physical death and resurrection? Resurrection represents "recreation" only in the ideology of denominations like the Watchtower (lacking any precedents in the church history and history of theology). The term "heaven" doesn't mean a separate place, but it's a synonym for salvation, and to be saved doesn't mean only to "survive" from such a Watchtower-like meteor shower, but to experience a supernatural elevation. The earth where the bodies of the saved rise won't be THIS earth (as it will perish, see 2 Peter 3:10-13), but that new earth where the new heaven descends, the heavenly Jerusalem (see Revelation 21). From this, murderers, poison mixers etc. will be excluded, not some second-class caste of so-called "Jonadab class".

    So, that earth will be no less heaven than earth - as the two will overlap each other, see Ephesians 1:10.

    According to Scripture, what God has prepared for the redeemed has not been seen by any eye nor heard by any ear, and this cannot simply be the restoration of the state before original sin and the Edenic Garden, as Adam and Eve obviously saw and heard that. Therefore, salvation is much more than the recovery of the state before original sin.

    According to traditional Christianity, the saved exist in heaven without a body/materially only until the physical resurrection. After the resurrection, that Kingdom in which they will be will be just as much earth as it will be heaven, since the new, heavenly Jerusalem will descend to earth, thus fulfilling Ephesians 1:10.

    This is a completely clear explanation of how the same group can claim both that they will go to heaven and that they will inherit the earth - without dividing the hope of redemption between two castes, which contradicts Ephesians 4:4.

    So, the question of Jehovah's Witnesses whether eternal happiness will be in heaven OR on earth is a simple false dilemma because the correct answer is that it will be in that Kingdom, which can be said to be both in heaven AND on earth, as stated above.

    The fulfillment of the soul's fate after the death of the body doesn't require "resurrection". It's only the theology of the Watchtower that says the anointed "resurrect" to heaven. If you look at the beginning of the second Corinthians 5, you can read that Paul also hoped that he could return to the heavenly home WHEN he dies, regardless of (physical) resurrection.

    Those who died before the resurrection, whose souls go to heaven (without a body) in the intermediate state, their bodies don't "transform". Paul states the going to heaven in 2 Corinthians 5, independent of the body (and resurrection). Then, of course, the "transformation"/"change" signaled in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 doesn't yet occur, when the corruptible body puts on incorruptibility. The time spent in heaven in the intermediate state is more pleasant than the life full of suffering on earth, but this is not yet the full existence that comes after the resurrection when the body will also be glorified.

    JWs commonly misunderstand the term "heaven", which leads you into the error of believing that if a person's body is resurrected on the NEW earth, they have to come out of heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven, or Kingdom of God is nothing more than the place of perfect happiness, the fulfilled state of God's Kingdom. Thus, this word is an expression of final salvation, where people participate in God's life through Christ. Christ's Ascension did not mean that he was detached from this world, but rather that he gave and demonstrated the possibility of cosmic glorification. Our salvation and happiness is nothing more than participating in his glory. Heaven is not some external place where a person arrives, but rather being with Christ, participating in his glory, which he has earned for himself and for us through his earthly merits. Heaven cannot be understood as a separate place or a completely different state, but rather as the communion of people with God. Therefore, when we talk about a "higher" world, we should not understand it in terms of space, but in terms of the order of existence.

    The earth to which the bodies of the saved will be resurrected will not be THIS earth (since it will perish, see 2 Peter 3:10-13), but that new earth onto which the new heaven, the heavenly Jerusalem descends (see Revelation 21). This "place" will be as much earth as it is heaven - so the saved do not need to "come out" of heaven for their souls to reunite with their bodies resurrected on the new earth, because the (new) heaven, the heavenly Jerusalem, will descend to earth.

    Of course, not only the saved will be resurrected, but the wicked as well: Christ specifically proclaims the resurrection of the wicked too. For example, "...your whole body goes to hell" (Matthew 5:29-30); " be thrown into eternal fire with both feet" (Matthew 18:8-9); "Fear rather the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell" (Matthew 10:28); "...those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned" (John 5:28-29). They obviously won't be in the new Jerusalem but will be tormented forever in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). The resurrected bodies of the damned must possess the most general characteristics of the otherworldly state (such as immortality and some form of transcendence of time and space), but they must be the opposite of the glorified ones. So, there will be passivity, and the transcendence of time will probably manifest itself in the boredom of monotony and hopelessness. They do not receive the joy and freedom of life, they feel trapped, they become unable to give and accept love, and as a result, the greatest disharmony reigns in their souls, which becomes externally perceptible. However, we must be careful not to let unfounded anthropomorphic fantasies mislead us in this regard, as well as in our imagination of otherworldly sufferings and rewards.

    Paul the Apostle and the other saved souls exist in heaven. Before Christ's redemption, heaven was closed; at this time, all the deceased were still together in the underworld (Sheol) in a joyless, mournful existence, even if they were chosen for eternal salvation. Although they were separate from those condemned to hell (see Ezekiel 32:17-32), this place - as the limbo - was not a place of joy, but of mute sorrow, where they did not even praise God. This is completely different from heaven, which was only opened by Christ's crucifixion. From that point on, death became joy, and from then on, the saints who died praised God. The saved ones who died before Christ went to heaven when Christ "ascended on high, leading a host of captives" (Ephesians 4:8).

    We are not saying that the role of heaven is for a person to live there forever without a body, like a spiritual being. For here, we do not necessarily understand heaven as a separate place that only represents the spiritual realm, but as the state of cosmic glorification. We also profess the resurrection of the body. Immortality and resurrection relate to each other as shell and core, as beginning and end. Resurrection is one way of believing in immortality. It can only be imagined if life after death can be imagined at all. However, resurrection does not mean that a person "comes out" of heaven (since it is not a place, as I mentioned above), but that the body also resurrects and glorifies and unites with the already glorified soul.

    The soul is not a separate "being", Christians do NOT understand this in a Platonic way, they REJECT the idea that the body is the "prison" of the soul, it is just a garment, and that the soul alone is the person. Therefore, we cannot be accused of denying the tragedy of the reality of death if we profess the possibility of the conscious continuation of the soul after the death of the body. The unity of the soul and the body is so deep that the soul must be regarded as the "form" of the body; that is, the body made of matter is a human and living body because of the spiritual soul; the spirit and matter in man are not two united natures, but their unity forms a single nature. The soul in itself is NOT a separate "being", we do NOT say that the soul alone is the person. The soul is destined to exist together with the body, it is an element of a spiritual nature.

    It's worth noting that the Society's publications typically refer to the Old Testament when discussing the state of the dead. If we look at the full biblical background, we must see that many questions were gradually revealed by God. What was not clear to the people of Israel during the Old Testament times became clearer with the newer revelations of the New Testament. The Society should be aware of this principle, as it often refers to Proverbs 4:18: "But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light That grows brighter and brighter until full daylight." (NWT).

    Considering the continuous revelation of the whole Bible, we see that a picture contrary to the WTS's is revealed concerning the state of the dead. Based on Deuteronomy 18:10-11, it is clear that in Moses' time people thought they could communicate with the dead, thus attributing some conscious existence to them after their death. Later, 1 Samuel 28:11-15 also tells of the similar belief of the people of Israel. (Interestingly, the narrator simply states that Samuel appeared there.)

    Turning to the New Testament, we encounter similar thoughts. Matthew 17:3, Mark 9:4, 15:36 confirm that Moses and Elijah were still self-conscious even in Jesus' time, and this belief characterized the Jews in the 1st century AD. The grammatically correct translation of Luke 23:43 promises the right thief that he will be in Paradise with Jesus that very day. The apostle Paul also lived in the hope that after the death of his physical body he would immediately enter into the presence of God (2 Corinthians :8, Philippians 1:23-24, 2 Timothy 4:6), and Peter expressed himself similarly (2 Peter 1:13-15). Hebrews 12:22-23 talks about the 'spirits of the righteous made perfect,' and Revelation 6:9-11 and 20:4 about the souls of those who died martyrdom for Jesus — affirming that the dead are self-conscious. John 11:25-26 and Romans 8:38-39 talk about how even death cannot separate us from God, because those who die still live and essentially never die.

    What about those verses that the Society often cites to support their position? The context of Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10 is the entire book of Ecclesiastes, which describes various things of life from the perspective of an earthly person. That's why Solomon often repeats the expression "under the sun" in the book, referring to worldly life. But it does not want to say anything about the afterlife because the book is not about that. Ezekiel 18:4, 20 states, "The soul that sins, it shall die", or — according to the Society's argument — the soul can die too, it does not survive the body. However, the expression "soul" has several meanings and includes breath, life, self. The meaningful translation of the verse would roughly sound like: "He who sins must die." This is also consistent with the context, as it writes about whether the sons must be punished for the sins of the fathers.

    What is the reason that the Watchtower Society always refers only to these Old Testament places? Why do they even resort to Bible forgery (see Lk 23:43) to infuse their own theology into the Bible? Why do they struggle to accept the revelations of the Bible?

  • aqwsed12345
  • aqwsed12345
  • EasyPrompt
    aqwsed12345 said: "In addition to ignoring the genre specificity of the given biblical book, JWs interconnect the entirely correct observation that the entire Holy Scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16) with the false conclusion that therefore every part is equally valuable and carries equal weight. The consequence of this view is the neglect of salvation history and deviation from Christ as the center of Scripture - primarily to eschatological sidelines. Just as stones are taken from a quarry, they take revelations from the most diverse places in the Bible, and - mostly without regard to the context and the circumstances of their origin - they freely combine them."

    Um, aqwsed12345, can you tell me which books of the Bible Jesus quoted from?

    (I'll give you a clue - he didn't quote from any of the ones from Matthew to Revelation.)

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