The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)

Does Jesus parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) establish the fact that the wicked are even now suffering conscious torment?

The Rich Man and Lazarus is the stronghold of traditional thinking, but note the following:

1. This is clearly a parable not a report of actual events (c.f. 16:19 with 16:1, 15:11, 14:16);

2. The story is not original with Jesus, he is making ironic use of popular and Pharisaic lore in the tradition of the prophets (See their ironic use of Canaanite mythology);

3. The passage says nothing at all about souls and spirits, only of whole persons, and if taken literally would contradict all other Scriptures on this topic (c.f. 25 with Psa. 6:5 and all that is taught elsewhere on this web site).

4. Taking the parable literally involves us in a number of absurd contradictions. Can a drop of spit quench the torments of hell?

It would be worthwhile taking the time to study how the prophets take the Canaanite mythology of a Creation Monster and use that in an ironic way without in anyway intending to endorse the details or contradict other clear biblical teaching on the matter (Job 9:13, 26:12, Psa. 89:10, Isa. 51:9).

For more on this Scripture see:

The Rich Man and Lazarus (An excerpt from the book, Life Death and Destiny by Warren Prestidge).

Historical Antecedents to “the Rich Man and Lazarus” (Part One).

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