9781501136757 (electronic book) 9781501136733 (hardcover : alkaline paper) 1501136755
"In clear and compelling terms, Bart Ehrman recounts the long history of the afterlife, ranging from The Epic of Gilgamesh up to the writings of Augustine, focusing especially on the teachings of Jesus and his early followers. He discusses ancient guided tours of heaven and hell, in which a living person observes the sublime blessings of heaven for those who are saved and the horrifying torments of hell for the damned. Some of these accounts take the form of near death experiences, the oldest on record, with intriguing similarities to those reported today. One of Ehrmans startling conclusions is that there never was a single Greek, Jewish, or Christian understanding of the afterlife, but numerous competing views. Moreover, these views did not come from nowhere; they were intimately connected with the social, cultural, and historical worlds out of which they emerged. Only later, in the early Christian centuries, did they develop into the notions of eternal bliss or damnation widely accepted today." -- Publisher's website.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note
Guided tours of heaven and hell The fear of death Life after death before there was life after death Will justice be done? : the rise of postmortem rewards and punishments Death after death in the Hebrew Bible Dead bodies that return to life : the resurrection in ancient Israel Why wait for the resurrection? : life after death right after death Jesus and the afterlife The afterlife after Jesus' life : Paul the Apostle Altering the views of Jesus : the later Gospels The afterlife mysteries of the book of revelation Eternal life in the flesh Tactile ecstasy and torment in the Christian hereafter Who will inherit the blessings? : purgatory, reincarnation, and salvation for all.
Digital File Characteristics
Source of Description
Online resource; title from PDF title page (EBSCOhost, viewed September 11, 2020).