Where was Lazarus?

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by Ivan, May 12, 2007.

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  1. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    We all know the story of Lazarus in John 11:1-44.

    Where was Lazarus when his body was in the tomb for four days?
  2. reformedman

    reformedman Puritan Board Freshman

    In "Abraham's-Bosom", waiting? my guess, but I'm sure we can't know since it is not written.

    This is my opinion but memory happens with the human brain, so I don't think he remembers since his human brain was in his human body in the tomb.
  3. Chris

    Chris Puritan Board Sophomore

    Wait...isn't that from Luke 16?

    Which....BTW, is luke 16 a parable or is it a real story?

    <--lights fuse, gets away...
  4. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Yeah, it's from Luke 16. Trevor was probably raising the question whether we should take "Abraham's Bosom" as being something other than heaven. The ESV says "to Abraham's side." It sounds reminiscent of being "gathered to one's fathers."
  5. Contra Marcion

    Contra Marcion Puritan Board Freshman

    Just a thought on that (the "proper name" issue with Luke 16) - Knox Chamblin at RTS brought out the idea that perhaps, repeat: perhaps - the name given (Lazarus) is actually part of the parable.

    The rich man lived in luxury, while the poor man lived in misery, longing to eat the scraps from the rich man's table. The rich man goes into torment because he could have helped the poor man, and did not. The poor man is finally comforted in the afterlife, and is appropriately named "God has helped", or Lazarus. Maybe the man is named Lazarus in order to provide a sense of irony here. Just a thought.
  6. Contra Marcion

    Contra Marcion Puritan Board Freshman

    Don't know why that last one posted twice.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we should dismiss this story as a fictional parable, and therefore derive no factual truth from it, I'm just saying that it doesn't have to have been an actual person in order for Jesus to have made his point, namely that what men esteem (glory, honor, etc.) is not at all what God esteems (compassion, care for fellow man, etc.). The parable serves as further illustration for Jesus' point in 16:15.

    I do not, however, think that Jesus would mislead us about anything. Even in his other parables, grain really does grow better in fertile soil, the mustard plant is really tall, and weeds really do grow in wheat fields.

    My point is not that Lazarus was not a real person, just that it doesn't matter to the story one way or the other.
  7. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Back to Lazarus of the Gospel of John

    I got one "we don't know" where he was and I'm cool with that, but is there anyone else who wants to contribute to the original question?
  8. Chris

    Chris Puritan Board Sophomore

    Sorry for the earlier hijack....:)

    My take on it?

    Well, he certainly wasn't in Hell.

    If He was in Heaven, then we must beg the question: was he conscious of the experience after returning to his body? Wouldn't he have spoken (much!!) of Heaven afterwards?

    Some people believe the soul stays in the body until the end; we don't immediately go to Heaven. The story of Lazarus certainly would fit well with that theory (but in no way proves it..)

    God knows. Of that much I am sure.
  9. Davidius

    Davidius Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Do you think things have gotten off-topic? The rest of us have been voting for "heaven."
  10. reformedman

    reformedman Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm sure this is a dumb question but couldn't they have been both the same Lazarus, and thereby explain how Christ knew about the occurance of the rich man and Lazarus? After raising Lazarus from the tomb, Jesus communicates with his dear friend, the brother of Mary. They spend time with each other and Lazarus relates what he saw when he was removed to be in the presences of Abraham.

    We don't have an instance that we can point to where Jesus left the physical earth and went into the spiritual realm other than when he died and was gone for three days. So wouldn't this explain how he knew about the occurance of Lazarus?

    BTW, ofcourse this story of Lazarus and the rich man would have to be true and not a parable for it to be the same Lazarus, obviously.
  11. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    I don't have any information at the moment with which to back up this thought, but the "maybe this was a parable" line seems to have originated solely from those wanting to deny the reality of hell. I have not read in any writings of the pre-higher critical church where this though was entertained. Maybe someone with a little more background in the history of interpretation could make a pronouncement one way or the other, but its source of origin seems to make it a bit suspect as an orthodox interpretation.
  12. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    Lazarus went to Heaven (duh!). There is no other place (limbo, purgatory, etc.).

    When Jesus resurrected him, it makes sense to say that He gave Lazarus instructions to not speak of what he saw and heard there (along the lines of Paul saying the same kind of thing about his experience).
  13. reformedman

    reformedman Puritan Board Freshman

    The question, where do the heathen go, would also be good.

    I haven't thoroughly studied exchatology but it seems to me that the lake of fire is created in the end, it hasn't been created yet, has it?

    And even if it already exists, no one has been placed there yet, have they? I always thought it would remain empty until after the judgment where the believers are separated to the right and the unbelievers to the left.

    I have always thought that the dead go to a separated place where believers are sent to one place and the heathen in another before the judgment. Then new heavens are created. Then believers are sent to the new heavens. And the heathen to the lake of fire.

    I'm sure I'm probably totally wrong in all of this, so ..... please be gentle. :doh:
  14. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Of course, we are just guessing but I think your reasoning is pretty sound. It's nothing that we can prove and the Bible doesn't say this is what happened, but it's the most logical explanation to me.

    I have a church member who asked me this question and I pretty much told her the same thing, but she wasn't satisified with that answer. I told her that she may just have to be dissatisfied then. ;) I also told her that we could ask Lazarus when we see him. He can tell us then. :D
  15. Tirian

    Tirian Puritan Board Sophomore

    Luk 16:22 "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
    Luk 16:23 "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
    Luk 16:24 "Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.'

    WCF Question 86: What is the communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death?
    Answer: The communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death, is, in that their souls are then made perfect in holiness, and received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies, which even in death continue united to Christ, and rest in their graves as in their beds, till at the last day they be again united to their souls. Whereas the souls of the wicked are at their death cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, and their bodies kept in their graves, as in their prisons, till the resurrection and judgment of the great day.

  16. S. Spence

    S. Spence Puritan Board Freshman

    Many dispensationalists take this view, they say that Abraham’s bosom is equivalent to Sheol, which in their view was the waiting place of the OT saints.
  17. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    In Robert Morey's book, Death and the Afterlife (Bethany House, 1984), he takes the position that before the resurrection of Christ the souls of both the righteous and the wicked were in what the Hebrew calls Sheol, the place of departed human spirits, and that there were two realms in Sheol, one for the blessed and one for the wicked. He takes the KJV to task for translating Sheol as Hell or Grave, which he considers misleading (I will not venture an opinion on this for the moment). He says that Psalm 73:24 indicates the presence and glory of God will be with His people even in Sheol.

    Morey takes the same view regarding the Greek word, Hades, which he again faults the KJV for translating as Hell, seeing it as the NT equivalent of Sheol. He often cites its LXX usage. He views "Abraham's bosom" as the place of the departed righteous prior to the Lord's resurrection, at which resurrection the "paradise" section of Sheol/Hades was transferred into Heaven, where the Lord Himself was. After the resurrection of Christ, Hades only contained the souls of the wicked, who were in torment there till the general resurrection, when they would be cast into the lake of fire.

    Morey received his M.Div. and D.Min. from WTS.
  18. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    But Wm. Hendriksen disagrees with Morey. In WH's The Bible on the Life Hereafter (in Chapter 17) he agrees much with Morey on the rendering of Sheol and Hades, yet denies a division in Sheol/Hades with a place for the wicked and a separate one for the just. He is not really clear (from what I have read) that the OT saints go directly to Heaven upon death.

    This is the crux of the initial question of this thread: where did the OT saints go upon death?

    The best answer I have found is in Herman Hoeksema's commentary on Revelation, Behold He Cometh, page 431 ff, where he asserts they (the OT saints) have gone to glory -- and that before the suffering and exaltation of Christ -- (in online version: Chapt. 30, the section, "The Immediate Object Of This Warfare") and the attack of Satan as "the accuser of the brethren" is contesting their right to be in Heaven as they are sinners and his property, he not accounting as God does they are redeemed by the blood of "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

    In his Reformed Dogmatics, the section "The Intermediate State" (page 755 ff), he seems a little less clear, though he asserts, after discussing Luke 16:22-24, a place of conscious glory for the departed: "All these passages teach plainly a state of conscious glory with Christ immediately after death. Yet it must be remembered that this state of glory is still anticipatory and partial, and also that there is a vast difference between the old and new dispensation in heaven [with a footnote here referring to Heb 11:39, 40: 'They received not the promise.']" (page 761)

    On page 766 he says, "As to the state of Lazarus and the daughter of Jairus, and in general of those that return from death into this present life, we remark that nothing can be deduced from these examples as to the state of all the saints immediately after death, for the simple reason that Lazarus and the daughter of Jairus were designed by God not to leave this world permanently as yet, but to return to it by the wonder of God in Christ into a state of typical resurrection. It is certainly not possible to maintain that those who died, in order to rise again into this world, enjoyed in their temporal state of death the blessedness of conscious glory with Christ in God, and that from this state they were recalled into this present world of sin and death. We must maintain, therefore, that in those cases the Lord provided a special state, in which most likely they were unconscious, and from which they were aroused into a conscious state in the present world by the wonder of what we would call a typical resurrection."

    A few pages later HH denies the theory of "soul sleep".

    It's too late now for me to look into more books on the subject! I like Hoeksema best on this subject from what I've seen -- and I am more familiar with his work on Revelation than the Dogmatics.

  19. SRoper

    SRoper Puritan Board Graduate

    Lazarus was in the tomb.
  20. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Excellent contribution, Steve.

    In the little rural Southern Baptist church I grew up in they taught that there was one sheol for the just and one for the wicked and that these places were intermediate places.

    Pretty good for a little arminian church, I suppose.
  21. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    His body was.
  22. SRoper

    SRoper Puritan Board Graduate

    I was going to say that scripture has Jesus asking, "where have you laid him," (not "where have you laid his body") but it looks like "him" is implied.
  23. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Puritan Board Junior

    intermediate state

    Is it possible that the departed souls have an intermediate spiritual body,,,that although it is not our eternal resurrection body,nevertheless has some form to it?
    In REV 6:9-11 John saw the "souls" of them that were slain,,,who cried with a loud voice.....How do you "see" a disembodied spirit,if it does not have a form?
    In Lk.16,,,,,body parts are mentioned ,as well as the fact that the rich mans brothers are still on the other side of the grave.
    It does not seem that the body parts are metaphorical.
    Clearly there is a future bodily resurrection. But what of the idea of an intermediate[temporal form]
    When angelic messengers appeared,they were given what appeared as a man's body that could speak as they were messengers.
    I tried to look this up in commentaries and did not find much support for the idea,so that in and of itself stands as a wise caution.
  24. Bladestunner316

    Bladestunner316 Puritan Board Doctor

  25. Theogenes

    Theogenes Puritan Board Junior

    How about in Paradise??
  26. eternallifeinchrist

    eternallifeinchrist Puritan Board Freshman

    This is an interesting thought. Was Lazarus being raised written before the parable? Is it in the same book? Why has this always been discounted-that the parable Lazarus is not the same Lazarus? Does the word say it is a parable? (Why do people state that Mary and Larzarus and them were probably rich? Is that Scriptually based?) This would explain how Jesus knew something like that...

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