The word “Purgatory” does not appear in the Bible and, therefore, some would claim that its existence has no biblical basis. There are, however, scriptural passages that refer to the importance of praying for the dead and the notion of a person’s sins being forgiven after he/she has died. The two passages that immediately come to mind are 2 Maccabees 12:45 and Matthew 12:32. In 2 Maccabees the writer speaks of praying for the dead as “an atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin.” In Matthew’s Gospel we read that “anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” Thus the idea of a place that exists between death and heaven, although not named outright, is implied in the Bible. Traditional beliefs about Purgatory stem from these and similar passages and were further developed throughout the early centuries of Christianity.