This book begins by arguing that early Greek reflection on the afterlife and immortality insisted on the importance of the physical body whereas a wealth of Jewish texts from the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism and early (Pauline) Christianity understood post-mortem existence to be that of the soul alone. Changes begin to appear in the later New Testament where the importance of the afterlife of the physical body became essential, and such thoughts continued into the period of the early Church where the significance of the physical body in post-mortem existence became a point of theological orthodoxy. This book will assert that the influx of Greco-Romans into the early Church changed the direction of Christian thought towards one which included the body. At the same time, the ideological and polemical thrust of an eternal tortuous afterlife for the wicked became essential.

chapter |5 pages


chapter 1|19 pages

Afterlife in Antiquity

Post-Mortem Existence in its Greco-Roman Context

chapter 2|24 pages

Biblical Beginnings

Death and Afterlife in the Hebrew Bible 1

chapter 3|29 pages

The Priority of the Soul

Constructions of Afterlife in Second Temple Judaism

chapter 4|22 pages

Life after Death in Additional Jewish Literature

The Dead Sea Scrolls and Later Rabbinic Thought

chapter 5|23 pages

New Testament Beginnings

Afterlife in the Thought of the Apostle Paul

chapter 6|21 pages

The Priority of the Body

Post-Mortem Existence in the Later New Testament

chapter 7|14 pages

The Rise of Gehenna

Afterlife in Early Christianity

chapter 8|19 pages

What the …?

Developments of Hell in its Jewish and Christian Contexts 1

chapter |8 pages