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Featured Does Ecclesiastes 9:5 support the Jehovah's Witness view of the afterlife?

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by danieldemol, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    In context, Ecclesiastes 9:5 states;

    9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

    9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

    (King James Bible, Ecclesiastes)
    So some key points, if this refers to all the dead, and they have no more reward, how could the righteous be rewarded in any future alleged state with eternal life, freedom from sickness and ill health in a physical body etc?

    Also according to my understanding the JW belief is that one will be living eternally on physical earth (ie "under the sun" to paraphrase). So how is that so if the dead have no portion "forever" in anything done "under the sun"?
     
    #1 danieldemol, Aug 4, 2018
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  2. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    The reward is for work. The word translated "reward" means "wages". It isn't talking about being rewarded with everlasting life in the new earth. The memory of them being forgotten is in the same sense that your great, great prandparents will not be remembered by you. (Ecclesiastes 2:16)

    Verse 10 says..."Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might, for there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the Grave, where you are going."

    There is no consciousness in death. The ancient Jews of Solomon's day did not believe in an immortal soul. They believed that all the dead slept in the grave awaiting a physical resurrection to live under Messiahs kingdom. All the resurrections performed in the Bible were back to this life, returned to their loved ones.
    When Jesus raised his friend Lazarus, where did Jesus say Lazarus was? (John 11:11-14)

    Something being done "under the sun" is life in the present system of things. This world was to pass away and a "new earth" (as in a new earthly system under Messiah's kingdom) was to replace it.
    Revelation speaks about this time....John says....

    "I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.

    The former system of man's rulership, the one we are living in at present, will go and be replaced by the rule of God's Kingdom. This was foretold hundreds of years in advance by Daniel ( Daniel 2:44)
     
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  3. Desert Snake

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    The Bible says different things. So it's which verses you believe.

    The english word Hell, isn't Hades, or, Gehenna, so when you say Hell, it means , Scripturally, Hades, and similar , as well as Gehenna, since most people don't really say Gehenna.

    Hades isn't a match for the Scriptural Hell, either.

    They used approximations for words when they used Greek , then of course English.

    / traditional is,
    Hades , like waiting
    Then Gehenna, which is eternal. Eternal here means literally eternal, not ending, as well. The Greek annihilation isn't the way annihilation is read in English; in other words, the textual annihilation actually means eternal, as opposed fo the way you might interpret that in English.

    This was the traditional belief, so either they were ignoring those verses that say otherwise, or were not using them as knowledge verses.
     
    #3 Desert Snake, Aug 4, 2018
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  4. Desert Snake

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    Josephus, the Religious Historian,
    Describes what the words mean.
    They used the word Hades according to their religion, ie it isn't the equivalent of the Greek religion Hades. Hell was later used in the same manner, this is because of language, not religious belief.

    We know what the traditional beliefs are, regarding this.
     
  5. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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  6. Desert Snake

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    We note that different groups in Israel, had varying beliefs, regarding Hell, and such. I am not really surprised, that there may be, might be, some differing belief, presented in Scripture.
    The methodology, that I prefer, is going by what we can presume Jesus to have taught, textually.
    If one reads the New Testament, and takes Jesus's inferences regarding what we should believe, then Eternal Hell, is what is arrived at.
    That is like the very literal, textual way, by which to determine this.


    The real problem with these ideas, is that Gehenna, for example, cannot mean, just a literal place. That makes no sense, compared to what we know, concerning the self, etc.
    What does matter, is the idea that there are essentially the same consequences, for wildly varying degrees of non-belief, or, anti God, sentiment. That just doesn't make sense.
     
    #6 Desert Snake, Aug 4, 2018
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  7. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    The idea that the ancient Jews held a single unified belief does come across as unlikely given human nature to have differing levels of comprehension. And what evidence do we have that a single unified belief was held by the ancient Jews? I'm doubtful there is any.
     
  8. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Well, if that’s a possibility, then who knows what to accept and what to disregard?

    But it isn’t “a possibility” — 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states otherwise. We have the “complete” Word of Jehovah God. (1 Corinthians 13:10....“But when what is complete comes, then what is incomplete will be done away with.” — International Standard Version)

    Regarding the Sun: this corrupt world is experiencing the “heat” of Jehovah’s displeasure. But that will end someday soon. (Revelation 7:16; cf Isaiah 49:10). All the dead who will be resurrected, will experience a New World partially described in Revelation 21:3-4.

    Take care.
     
  9. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    If you believe in the afterlife, you disregard that which obviously says there is no afterlife. If you don't believe in the afterlife, you disregard that which says there is. Simple
     
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  10. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    No, that would imply a contradiction. There are no significant, belief-altering contradictions in Scripture, only misinterpretations which will eventually lead one to discover apparent contradictions. When that occurs, ie., when a seeming contradiction is found, then a person needs to adjust their view to fit the evidence, not believe the Bible says different things.

    I explained about the Sun. You read it, right? That phrase in Ecclesiastes, “ under the Sun”, is of prime importance in understanding what verse 6 is telling us. If it wasn’t there, I might agree with you. But it is.

    As you probably know, there’s a lot of symbolism in the Bible..

    Here’s an old thread, you might find interesting.

    "New Heavens and New Earth" - Why Destroy the Old?

    Take care.
     
  11. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Come now. You know that a person can find a passage
    to support whatever they want.
     
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  12. Oeste

    Oeste Well-Known Member

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    If it's true "the dead know not any thing" then the very next portion that they have no reward is also true.

    When studying with JW's, I find that virtually every JW can recite the first half of Ecc 9:5, but very few can recite the balance.
     
  13. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Give me verses, please, so that we can discuss them in light of other Scriptures.
     
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  14. The Anointed

    The Anointed Well-Known Member

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    King Solomon was known for having God-given wisdom, and he wrote four books, ‘The Wisdom of Solomon,’ ‘Proverbs,’ ‘Song of Songs,’ and “Ecclesiastes.”

    In the book of sirach, R, H, Charles translation chapter 47 verse 17, it is written concerning Solomon, (1)“By thy songs, (2) parables, (3) dark speeches, and (4) SATIRES, thou didst cause astonishment to the peoples etc.”

    From the book of Ecclesiastes: “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. I envy those who are dead and gone; they are better off than those who are still alive. But better off than either, are those who have never been born etc. A man may have a hundred children and live a long time, but no matter how long he lives, if he does not get his share of happiness and does not receive a descent burial, then I say that a baby born dead is better off. Man and animal receive the same ultimate reward, total oblivion, from the dust they came and to the dust they shall return. A wise man is no better off than a fool, the reward for doing good is the same as that for doing evil, so don’t be too good or too wise, Why kill yourself?

    We are all going to our final resting place, and although life is useless, the conclusion of the matter is, if you live a religious life you may at least experience some peace in the short span of consciousness that has been allocated to you in this useless life. So go ahead and eat, drink and be merry, drink your wine and be cheerful. It’s all right with God. Enjoy your life with the woman you love, as long as you live the useless life that God has given you in this world. Enjoy every useless day of it, because that is all that you’ll get for all your troubles. Never again will you take part in anything that happens in the world, because there will be no action, no thought, no knowledge, no wisdom in the world of the dead to where the righteous, the wicked, the wise and the fools, animal and man, are all going. For the living know that they are going to die, but the dead know nothing.”

    Solomon’s songs are found in his book, ‘Song of Songs,’ his parables are found in his book of ‘proverbs,’ his dark speeches are in the ‘Wisdom of Solomon,’ and who can read the negative and even depressing words from the book of ‘Ecclesiastes’ without realizing that here is the satirical work of Solomon, aimed at those who believed in neither life after death, or the resurrection from the dead.
     
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  15. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    I enjoyed reading the above, very much. Thankyou.
    As I read, so I was reminded of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat.
     
  16. The Anointed

    The Anointed Well-Known Member

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    The old Khayyam the tent maker and King of the Wise.

    Myself, when young, before being introduced to the words of Robert Service, experienced the most exhilarating sensation on first reading the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. It was as though there was an awakening within me, a whirling Dervish dancing within, as I read.

    Ah! With the grape my fading life provide__
    And wash my body whence the life has died
    And lay me, shrouded in the living leaf
    By some not unfrequented garden-side
    That ev’n my buried ashes such a snare
    Of vintage shall fling up into the air
    As not a true believer passing by
    But shall be overtaken unaware……Omar Khayyam.

    Who would dare to descend to the garden of Omar and bring him up?

    In the introduction to Fitzgerald’s translation of Omar’s work. It is written that Omar Khayyam died in the year of 1123 AD, and yet in the Glossary of the self-same book, it is said that he died in 1132 AD. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, there is some debate as to whether he died in the year 1123, or 1132. It seems strange that the controversy should be between these two date, because from, (The Perfect Way, P. 247) we read, “As the number of the lunar months, ‘thirteen,’ is the number of the woman and denotes the soul and her reflection of God---The solar number ‘Twelve,’ being that of the spirit.

    The two numbers in combination form the perfect year of that duel humanity, which above, is made in the image of God—the true “Christian Year,” wherein the two—the inner and outer, Spirit and Matter—are as one. Thirteen then represents that full union of man with God wherein Christ becomes Christ.

    Thirteen, represents the physical person, who reflects perfectly the spiritual being within, (The Father and the Son are one) and is represented as the solar number 12 in combination within the thirteen, as shown here, (1123), the spiritual within the physical.

    But the true “Christian year” should be where the physical being is translated to a spiritual being, which would be represented by the number combination (1132), the physical number 13, within the spiritual number 12, the old tabernacle, stored within the inner most sanctuary of the glorious Temple. A good translation, loses none of the essence of the original from which it is translated.

    So, when did the Great King of the Wise, Omar Khayyam die?

    Omar was, among other professions, an Alchemist. The search for the Philosopher’s stone was driven, not by the desire to gain great wealth by turning base metals into gold, but the desire to gain eternal life.

    E, Underhill, mysteries. P. 170, The stone swallowed by Cronus/Time, is none other than the “Philosopher’s Stone,” the concealed stone of ‘Many Colours,” (Golden Theatise) “The Mystic Seed” of transcendental life, which should invade, tinge, and wholly transmute the imperfect self into spiritual gold.”

    Omar is always on about the wine of wisdom.

    The Grape that can with logic absolute
    The two and seventy jarring sects confute;
    The sovereign Alchemist that in a thrice
    Life's leaden metal into Gold transmute...… Omar Khayyam.
     
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  17. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    From your link....

    "Jehovah's Witnesses teach that humans have no soul or spiritual component to their being that in any way endures after physical death. They assert that when someone dies, they cease to exist as a person, and their lifeless body is all that remains. One of the primary texts they use to defend this belief is Ecclesiastes 9, particularly where it says:

    "For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun," (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6).

    And later:

    "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going," (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

    Of course, taken at face value, if we read this passage the way the Jehovah's Witness insists that we read it, the text says far more than the Jehovah's Witness wants it to say. If this passage denies conscious existence after death, it also denies future resurrection as well, claiming that "they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun."


    Read the scripture again.....what has "already perished" after death? Their LOVE? How could that be? We could imagine their hate being gone....but why their love and zeal? Probably because in death, a person cannot feel emotions...even good ones. And having "no share in all that is done under the sun", pertains to this world in this life. The dead will never see the troubles and strife of this world ever again. A new world is what we are waiting for as Peter said...."But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell." (2 Peter 3:13) The promise is sure.

    Since there is not a single reference to an afterlife in the OT, I find it amazing that people will grasp at straws to make sure that we continue to live on after death somehow.....it was never taught to the ancient Jews, but was adopted under Hellenistic influence in later centuries. It is a Platonic Greek idea...not found in scripture at all. The Christians liked the idea of an immortal soul as well....but it isn't biblical. Ask yourself why this idea is found in every religious faith in some form? Did no one realize that it is simply the devil's lie retold...."you surely will not die."

    Recall what God told Adam about the penalty for eating the forbidden fruit? Was there a "heaven or hell" scenario mentioned? Read it....
    Genesis 3:17-19.....
    "And to Adam he said: “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and ate from the tree concerning which I gave you this command, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life. 18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you, and you must eat the vegetation of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.

    Any mention of an afterlife of any sort here? I can't see one.

    What about the nation of Israel? What were they presented with...? Options of "heaven or hell"?

    Deuteronomy 30:19....
    “I take the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you today that I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the curse; and you must choose life so that you may live, you and your descendants”.

    Life and death....that's all.

    Solomon also reflected on the futility of our temporary existence earlier in Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 he wrote....
    "for there is an outcome for humans and an outcome for animals; they all have the same outcome. As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit. So man has no superiority over animals, for everything is futile. 20 All are going to the same place. They all come from the dust, and they all are returning to the dust."

    Just like Adam.....all are returning to the dust. So I am at a loss to understand why there is insistence on believing something the Bible never mentions for the general population.

    Even Jesus when he resurrected his friend Lazarus, told us where he was.....
    John 11:11-14....
    "After he said these things, he added: “Lazʹa·rus our friend has fallen asleep, but I am traveling there to awaken him.” 12 The disciples then said to him: “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will get well.” 13 Jesus, however, had spoken about his death. But they imagined he was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly: “Lazʹa·rus has died".

    Why is is so important that we are conscious after death somewhere else? What is the fear created by the idea that we sleep peacefully in the grave until we hear the call of our King to "come out" of our resting place?

    Jesus promised.....

    John 5:28-29....
    "Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment."

    This is echoed by the Apostle Paul in Acts 24:15. Referring to his fellow Jews Paul said...."And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous".

    There is "going to be a resurrection" meaning in the future. No one went to heaven before Jesus. (John 3:13)
    Paul says that no one goes to heaven until Christ returns.....

    "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant concerning those who are sleeping in death; that you may not sorrow just as the rest also do who have no hope. For if our faith is that Jesus died and rose again, so, too, those who have fallen asleep in death through Jesus God will bring with him. For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord shall in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Consequently keep comforting one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)


    Resurrection means a restoration to life here on earth (literally "a standing up again")....and every resurrection performed in the Bible was just that....people were woken from the sleep of death and given back to their loved ones.

    Jesus was the only one raised as a spirit. (1 Peter 3:18) For the chosen ones there will be a resurrection like Christ's because they will rule with him in heaven.....but for the majority of mankind, it was always God's purpose for the Earth to be our permanent home.

    As Earth's King, Jesus will raise the dead and heal all the sick just as he demonstrated when he walked the earth in the first century. It was just a brief demonstration of what he would do on a grand scale when his Kingdom is the only one ruling mankind....the time when God's will is "done on earth as it is in heaven"...isn't this what he taught us to pray for? A time when all suffering, pain and death will cease. (Revelation 21:2-4)

    Bring it on! [​IMG]

     
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  18. The Anointed

    The Anointed Well-Known Member

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    Deeje wrote...…. there is not a single reference to an afterlife in the OT.

    The Anointed...… Isaiah 57: 1-2; "Good people die and no one understands or even cares. But when they [Good people] die, no calamity can hurt them. Those who lead good lives find peace and rest in death."

    Are you suggesting that those who lead wicked lives such as the Rich Man, also find peace and rest in death as did Lazarus?

    Is it not written that the disembodied spirits of the wicked will suffer in terrible torment as they await the great day of judgement, when the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars, who had suffered the first death, which was that of their physical bodies, will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur, which is the second death, when their minds/spirits will be divided from the eternal soul, which will then develop and new mind/spirit.

    For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, etc.
     
  19. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    No, it isn't. Show me the phrase, "disembodied sprits", in the Bible, please. I can show you Ecclesiastes 3:19-20.

    The only hope for life after death, for anyone, is the future Resurrection described by Jesus @ John 5:28-29...note the future tense used. Same as at Acts of the Apostles 24:15.

    You answered your own question: its death, representing (symbolic of) complete destruction, i.e., gone forever.

    It (the Lake of Fire) is eternal, but it certainly isn't literal fire. It simply means, whatever's thrown into it, is no more, it is gone forever. I mean, the account @ Revelation 20:13-14 says death is hurled into it! Death is intangible....real fire can't burn it. But it can be gone forever. And Revelation 21:3-4 says that very thing: "death will be no more."
     
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  20. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    How about if I give you one verse. Won't that be enough? Can you just accept one verse? Please. :D
    Have fun bro, :laughing:
     
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