wow, what an interesting discussion, I am learning so much. Although a catholic my entire life I am very silent when it comes to the depth of our own doctrines; sad to admit.
I had a related question, a friend of mine told me, but couldn’t provide scriptural text at the moment, but the Bible states somewhere in on of the book of the Prophets or Psalm that when a person dies, nothing nor no one on earth can do anything for that person, that includes praying for them, for once they are in the ground than that’s it; they will basically rest there until the day of Judgment.
Is this true?
Ahem… you probably speaking of Ecclesiates, Jehovah witnesses love these Scripture to prove that after death That’s it, we dead! [see below]
Then again Jehovah Witnesses use pro 8 to show Christ created, and do not believe Christ as Divine! Is that true to you?
Why do you give credence to stories without scriptural context from ‘friends’ yet do not accept teachings of the Church, which has a scriptural and Apostolic basis for all its teachings!
Maccabees was part of the Hebrew Scriptures, in Jesus’ time.
In Hebrew/ Aramaic and the Greek. The Jews celebrate their only man-made holiday from it Chanukah. They left it out of their ‘canon’ because the Maccabee’s also were allies with early Rome against their common enemy the assyrians [see 1 Macc 14:16 and a renewed alliance 1 Macc 15:15. It was embarrassing to leave that scripture in their cannon because they had been suffering for so long in Roman oppression. They also said there was no revelation of God from 300 B.c to present.
Jews back in Jesus day prayed for their dead for 11 months after death, and still do today, in fact todays Jews do not place a tombstone on the grave for the 11 months. Biblically you never hear Jesus condemning praying for the departed, nor anywhere in the N.T.
besides the Jews, and Protestants left out Maccabees because it was not found in the Hebrew or Aramaic However Qumran proved them wrong! Maccabees, Sirach were found among the scrolls in Aramaic and Hebrew!! Time to revise a new Protestant canon!
Expiation of the Dead 2 Maccabees 12:38- 46.
In case Book of Maccabees isn’t handy for you:
vs 43- 46
Turning to supplication, “they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out.” The noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen.g
He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem “to provide for an expiatory sacrifice”. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection in mind;
for “if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.”
“But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, “it was a holy and pious thought.
Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin.
The idea that a man shows great Love for another, when he gives his life to defend another person or the community, is an ordinary one. But in this case men ‘in sin’ who had given their lives for God’s cause.
Does not Israel fall away from God again and again?
They pray for their sins and the sins of others, fast and sacrifice to again become a people of God in His forgiveness.
it also says:
Ecc 1:15 What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be numbered.
“If that is true we’re all doomed” and Jesus is a liar!!!
Now:Do you believe this??? It’s scripture!
Ecc 3:19 “For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity.
20 All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?
It is the musings of human questioning the writer sees it as Humans have no advantages over animals all must die. Life, then, is an enigma beyond Human ability to solve. While rejecting the older solution of earthly rewards and punishment.Ecclesiastes looks forward to a more lasting one.
(“For the Law brought nothing to perfection; on the other hand, a better hope is introduced as we draw closer to God” (Heb 7:19).
Phl 3:20 But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21 who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.
and if you don’t? Don’t try to use this against us!
Saduccee’s did not believe in an afterlife.. they believed that they lived on through their seed, their progeny. It is called the Divine Plenty.
It was the Pharisees who believed in an afterlife, and the Maccabees were the early Pharisees, and yes they prayed for the dead, who died in war for God’s cause and the community/nation yet had brought ‘good luck charms with them to battle.
Now, all over the ancient catacombs are the words ‘Pray for us”
So the early Christians/ Catholic Church believed and practiced praying for the dead. Now if they’re in heaven, they don’t need or prayers!
If they’re in hell, there is nothing our prayers can do for them!
So We believe there is a middle ground in which our prayers do help,
we call this middle ground ‘Purgatory’.