Shades of Sheol: Death and Afterlife in the Old Testament

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InterVarsity Press, Aug 14, 2002 - Religion - 288 pages
2 Reviews
"For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?" (Psalm 6:5)
  • Death is a profound and complex subject. How did the Israelites respond to it?
  • The dead apparently went to Sheol. Where and what was it?
  • The inhabitants of Sheol are sometimes called "shades." What does this indicate?
  • Many ancient peoples venerated their ancestors. Did Israelites do this?
  • Did anyone hope for a positive afterlife? If so, in what form?
  • What about resurrection? How and when did this belief emerge?
Philip S. Johnston explores these and other issues. He examines Israelite views on death and afterlife as reflected in the Hebrew Bible and in material remains, and sets them in their cultural, literary and theological contexts. Johnston argues in detail that the Israelites were not as preoccupied with the underworld or the dead as some scholars have recently alleged. Instead, their faith that Yahweh was the God of the living, and that Sheol was cut off from him, led eventually to the hope of a positive afterlife. This important study sheds fresh light on Israelite beliefs in an area central to the later development of the Christian faith.
  

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Review: Shades of Sheol: Death and Afterlife in the Old Testament

User Review  - Chuck Cunningham - Christianbook.com

This is a very well written book. He is very objective and reviews hundreds of scriptures. There are many other words which relate to Sheol, which He examines. This subject is of the upmost importance in Christianty and I suggest this book is an excellent foundation to build upon. Read full review

Review: Shades of Sheol: Death and Afterlife in the Old Testament

User Review  - Annie Rose - Goodreads

A very interesting book on the concept of the afterlife in the Hebrew Bible. Read full review

Contents

Abbreviations
11
Introduction
15
Part A Death
21
Death in the Old Testament
23
Death as the end of life
25
Death as a friend
27
Death as an enemy
28
Death as separation
32
Death and the future
45
Summary
46
Death in Ancient Israel
47
Summary
64
The Threatening Underworld
86
Summary
97
Naming the Dead
127
Consulting the Dead
150

Death as reunion?
33
Death by sacrifice
35
Death by suicide
38
b Reflections on death
39
Death and creation
40
Death as natural
41
Death as punishment
42
Death as uncleanness
43
e Summary
166
Communion Beyond Death
199
Resurrection From Death
218
Bibliography
241
Author Index
273
Texts Index
280
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Philip S. Johnston is director of studies in theology and religious studies and senior tutor at Hughes Hall, Cambridge. He has taught at Belfast, St. Andrews and Oxford. He has published studies of Israelite afterlife beliefs, and has an interest in Israel past and present--along with a commitment to reconciliation. His other books include Les Psaumes, Interpreting the Psalms (coeditor with David Firth), Shades of Sheol and The Land of Promise (coeditor with Peter Walker).

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