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Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife…
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Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife (edició 2020)

de Bart D. Ehrman (Autor), John Bedford Lloyd (Narrador), Bart D. Ehrman - preface (Narrador), Simon & Schuster Audio (Publisher)

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A New York Times bestselling historian of early Christianity takes on two of the most gripping questions of human existence: where did the ideas of heaven and hell come from, and why do they endure? What happens when we die? A recent Pew Research poll showed that 72% of Americans believe in a literal heaven, 58% in a literal hell. Most people who hold these beliefs are Christian and assume they are the age-old teachings of the Bible. But eternal rewards and punishments are found nowhere in the Old Testament and are not what Jesus or his disciples taught. So where did the ideas come from? 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 Ehrman's 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. As a historian, Ehrman obviously cannot provide a definitive answer to the question of what happens after death. In Heaven and Hell, he does the next best thing: by helping us reflect on where our ideas of the afterlife come from, he assures us that even if there may be something to hope for when we die, there is certainly nothing to fear.… (més)
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Títol:Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife
Autors:Bart D. Ehrman (Autor)
Altres autors:John Bedford Lloyd (Narrador), Bart D. Ehrman - preface (Narrador), Simon & Schuster Audio (Publisher)
Informació:Simon & Schuster Audio (2020)
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife de Bart D. Ehrman

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Es mostren 1-5 de 8 (següent | mostra-les totes)
As always, professor Ehrman's research and writing style is impeccable. He has that rare ability to communicate concepts to lay people in a way that is interesting and enlightening.

The book provides excellent historical context, using pagan and Jewish/Christian sources, so that the reader can appreciate the development of the concepts of Heaven and Hell over the centuries. A minor negative- occasionally my attention waned a bit when yet another biblical passage or pagan myth was quoted in detail.

Nonetheless, any reader should come away with a much deeper and more intelligent understanding of the subject. Recommended whether or not you have a religious belief. ( )
  la2bkk | Oct 18, 2022 |
Long and hard to follow in places but well researched and comprehensive. Ehrman points out that most people's view of heaven and hell is not supported by the scriptures of the Old or New Testament. Views of heaven and hell developed later. Is there life after death? The author says he agrees with Socrates, no. ( )
  MMc009 | Jan 30, 2022 |
interesting book, but i got a little bored by the endless early christian debate over whether the impending resurrection of the dead would include your physical body or not. apparently that was a very important sticking point for a lot of people! ( )
  austinburns | Dec 16, 2021 |
Ehrman goes back to ancient times and examines how our concepts of heaven and hell have developed and evolved. I appreciate how he debunks claims and myths that claim to be religious based.

A recent Pew research poll showed that 72% of all Americans agree that there is a literal heaven where people go when they die; 58% believe in the actual, literal hell.

One of the surprising theses of this book is that these views ( heaven and hell) do not go back to the early stages of Christianity. They cannot be found in the Old Testament and they are not what Jesus himself taught.

Socrates goes on to give his own view of what happens at death: death is one of two things. Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything, or as we are told, it is really a change – – a migration of the soul from this place to another.

In any event, here is how I myself lineup, at this stage, on the age old question of heaven and hell. Even though I have an instinctual fear of torment after death – – as the view drilled into me from the time I could think about such things – – I simply don't believe it. Is it truly rational to think, as in the age old Christian doctrine, that there is a divine being who created this world, loves all who are in it, and what's the very best for them, yet who has designed reality in such a way that if people make mistakes in life or do not believe the right things, they will die and be subjected to indescribable torments…

As Greek thinkers pointed out, none of us existed for the entire history of this universe before we were born, and none of us was upset or bothered about it at that time… If I didn't exist before I was born, why should I exist after I die?


( )
  writemoves | Oct 26, 2021 |
Summary: This is a non-fiction book that looks into the history and origins of the Christian views of Heaven and Hell.

My rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed this book. It was engaging, easy to read, and rarely dragged. The author was concise but still made reasonable points. He explained things in a way I could understand and I absolutely plan to read more books about Christianity and related topics by this author.

Please note that this author is no longer a devout believer though he has done extensive research into many aspects of Christianity and for a long time was a believer. I feel that this book will be much more enjoyable by people who are not devout Christians. It digs into the religious beliefs of those surrounding the Jews prior to and during the time of Jesus and how those views may have influenced the ideas of Jesus, Paul, and early Christians.

I found it well written and informative and if this book doesn't clash with your belief system I highly recommend reading it. ( )
  authorjanebnight | Jan 22, 2021 |
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A New York Times bestselling historian of early Christianity takes on two of the most gripping questions of human existence: where did the ideas of heaven and hell come from, and why do they endure? What happens when we die? A recent Pew Research poll showed that 72% of Americans believe in a literal heaven, 58% in a literal hell. Most people who hold these beliefs are Christian and assume they are the age-old teachings of the Bible. But eternal rewards and punishments are found nowhere in the Old Testament and are not what Jesus or his disciples taught. So where did the ideas come from? 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 Ehrman's 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. As a historian, Ehrman obviously cannot provide a definitive answer to the question of what happens after death. In Heaven and Hell, he does the next best thing: by helping us reflect on where our ideas of the afterlife come from, he assures us that even if there may be something to hope for when we die, there is certainly nothing to fear.

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