The Immortality of the Soul: A Hellenistic Viewpoint

In an article entitled: “Immortality of the Soul” (at Jewish Encylopedia Dot Com) Kaufmann Kohler states:

“The belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought and chiefly through the philosophy of Plato, its principal exponent, who was led to it through Orphic and Eleusinian mysteries in which Babylonian and Egyptian views were strangely blended, as the Semitic name “Minos” (comp. “Minotaurus”), and the Egyptian “Rhadamanthys” (“Ra of Ament,” “Ruler of Hades”; Naville, “La Litanie du Soleil,” 1875, p. 13) with others, sufficiently prove. Consult especially E. Rhode, “Psyche: Seelencult und Unsterblichkeitsglaube der Griechen,” 1894, pp. 555 et seq. A blessed immortality awaiting the spirit while the bones rest in the earth is mentioned in Jubilees xxiii. 31 and Enoch iii. 4. Immortality, the “dwelling near God’s throne” “free from the load of the body,” is “the fruit of righteousness,” says the Book of Wisdom (i. 15; iii. 4; iv. 1; viii. 13, 17; xv. 3). In IV Maccabees, also (ix. 8, 22; x. 15; xiv. 5; xv. 2; xvi. 13; xvii. 5, 18), immortality of the soul is represented as life with God in heaven, and declared to be the reward for righteousness and martyrdom. The souls of the righteous are transplanted into heaven and transformed into holy souls (ib. xiii. 17, xviii. 23). According to Philo, the soul exists before it enters the body, a prison-house from which death liberates it; to return to God and live in constant contemplation of Him is man’s highest destiny (Philo, “De Opificio Mundi,” §§ 46, 47; idem, “De Allegoriis Legum,” i., §§ 33, 65; iii., §§ 14, 37; idem, “Quis Rerum Divinarum Hæres Sit,” §§ 38, 57).

It is not quite clear whether the Sadducees, in denying resurrection (Josephus, “Ant.” xviii. 1, § 4; idem, “B. J.” ii. 12; Mark xii. 18; Acts xxiii. 8; comp. Sanh. 90b), denied also the immortality of the soul (see Ab. R. N., recension B. x. [ed. Schechter, 26]). Certain it is that the Pharisaic belief in resurrection had not even a name for the immortality of the soul. {emphasis added -ed.}For them, man was made for two worlds, the world that now is, and the world to come, where life does not end in death (Gen. R. viii.; Yer. Meg. ii. 73b; M. ?. iii. 83b, where the words , Ps. xlviii. 15, are translated by Aquilas as if they read: , “no death,” ????????).


About David Burge

David Burge was the Editor of From Death to Life for 6 years and the chairperson of the Conditional Immortality Association of NZ from 1993 until his death in 2010 from Leukemia.

"He was a genuine leader, a gifted, enterprising, focused and humble person who could be relied upon to make the most of his own gifts and to take others with him. David was not afraid of responsibility, but rose to every opportunity granted him to serve His Lord and Saviour. He was inspirational, a man of courage and vision, who earned the complete confidence of all who knew him. He carried heavy burdens lightly, and displayed unfailing, cheerful good will towards all."
from A Tribute to David Burge by Warren Prestidge . He was the father of eight and dearly loved husband of Tarnya . He pastored the Takanini Church for 12 years and he had cerebral palsy.


  1. Kenneth C Conrad says:

    I wrote and self published a book through authorhouse publishing titled “What the Church Does Not Want You to Know” sold a few. This explains the conditionalidt view for the lay men who have not been exposed to our position. You may want to read it and offer it on your website. I am now working on “The sermons of Jesus” which my Greek translation is a more accurate translated from the original Greek. I am a BD, ThM, PhD Kicked out of many churches etc. You probably have experienced all of this.

    Just type in my name Kenneth C Conrad in book store search online. All major book stores carry it.


  2. I purchased your book. It covered a number of topics including conditional immortality. Unfortunately, I think you need to have it edited. Let me explain. I thought your content was good, and you used excellent stories/parables to illustrate your points but unfortunately some of the grammar was poor. There were a number of typos and this detracted significantly from the book.

  3. Miguel Lahunken says:

    Atheists Have Been Converted to Christianity by This Reasoning:

    There are two things in the universe: energy (God), and, information (creation); and, information is the conformation of energy. The First Law of Thermodynamics is, “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed”. Energy is eternal. We only acquired consciousness in finite time, therefore, probability demands that energy is conscious. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is, “In an isloated system (like creation) entropy always increases”; creation and all its parts, including us, are perishable, like bubbles in a shaken bottle of water.

    We are not energy. If we were energy we would never sleep. We are only information, therefore, we are perishable,, like bubbles in a shaken bottle of water. We are closed circuits of the one substance, E=Mcc, in the one substance, E=Mcc, that there be something to move out of the way and fill in behind. Our closed circuit has consciousness imposed upon it by the capacitance and ectropy (the opposite of entropy) of the neurons of the arising reticular formation of the medulla oblongata in the brain.

    In 1John1:5 it says, “God is light”. We know that light is energy. God is energy. God, energy, is a trinity, which in my finite mind seems to be probability, called phronesis by the ancient Gnostics (the Holy Spirit?); energy at the speed of light (the Father?); and slower that the speed of light (the Son?). Freedom loving Americans don’t want this absolute proof of God to give Islam any advantage over freedom loving Americans.

    The entropy of the universe is, said by science to be, the proportion of photons to nucleons, therefore, a measurement of the extent of polarity cancellation. Entropy production rate in thermodynamics is analogous to velocity in mechanics, threrfore, it has a light speed equivalency, but that may be surpassed. It gives access to globally bent timespace. When the rigid orthogonality of flat timespace is left behind, matter takes on a tenuousity indistinguishable to that which is called “spirit”. Spirit is matter in flat timespace; and, matter is spirit in bent timespace.

    In globally bent timespace there is a high entropy production rate, which is identical to polarity cancellation, that below a pi value of e=2.718… all is in flames. It is the Lake of Fire. Polarities are clockwise and counterclockwise, therefore, with the breakdown of structure, which seperates opposite polarities, all the mathematics says that we may undifferentiate into nothingness, like those bubbles in a shaken bottle of water.

    Everything is striving to run down and undiffferentiate into nothingness. The heart of every pleasure is a moment of almost permanent nothingness. Nonexistnece is the satisfaction of all desires. That which builds things up, itself, does so by running down. It looks like the only will of energy (God) is for things to run down. How do worlds start? The point nothingness (.) of a singularity is rastered by time into space (U), which exerting its oneness in one direction, the “prime vector” (l) which is the forward movement of time, stirring closed circuitry (O), which all going the same way, clash (vO^XvO^), the Big Bang, turning some circuitry to go confluently (^OvvO^, but face to face) pressured by the ambient repulsion to undifferentiate with each other.

    But, many people wanted to be immortal, to enjoy the moments of nonexistence, not realizing that permanent nonexistence would be the eternal satisfaction of all desires. So God incarnated as Jesus Christ, and gave all those who would obey Him immortality in Heaven.

Speak Your Mind