HELL - Is Luke 16:19-31 a Parable or a True, Factual Account? Proof?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by rbrent, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. rbrent

    rbrent
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    Some Baptists believe that Luke 16:19-31 is a True and Factual Account of Hell and Paradise.

    Other Baptists laugh at that belief and insist that Luke 16:19-31 is a Parable and should be interpreted as allegory.

    What facts inform your beliefs about this passage?

    I know everyone has opinions but I'm looking for something more substantial than opinion to answer the following two questions.



    (1) Why do you believe Luke 16:19-31 is a True and Factual Account?

    (2) Why do you believe Luke 16:19-31 is only a Parable and never really happened?
     
  2. Watchman

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    You have asked very good and reasonable questions and, if I must choose between these two questions, I'd say #1, but certain explainations are necessary here.
    Was it true and factual? Jesus said it and we certainly believe that The Lord Jesus always gave us the truth. That said, yes, it is also true, that it was a parable. How can I define a parable but to say that it is a story that speaks of spiritual truth? (Some of my learned brethren here might have a better definition than that, but that is my view of a parable.)
    But when we break a parable down to it's individual elements, are we to take each point in a wooden-literal sense? For example, in the parable of the Sower, is the seed to be taken literally as seed? No; as the Lord explained, it is the Word of God.
    So here, was the rich man an actual man? Was Lazarus an actual man? (It is interesting to note that The Lord used the same name as an actual friend of His.) They MAY have been actual men, but that is not the thing that is important, What is important is that it speaks of truth.
    (A bit off subject now, but sometimes I have wondered rather the RICH MAN represented the Jews, who were, supposedly, spiritually rich; and the POOR MAN represented those that the Jews generally dispised, that is, the Samaritans and the Gentiles.)
    Now, as to the two distinct places that these two were in; We know that there certainly is a hell:
    Mt. 18:9, Lk. 12:5, for example. Certainly the redeemed, those that are His, are not in the same place now as the lost. To use well known examples: Is the Apostle Paul right now in the same place as Hitler? Paul said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. But, the resurrection has not occured yet. Now here, I do not have all of the answers. Apparently the redeemed is in a place were the have some presence, or at least sense the presence of The Lord.
    In summary, it was indeed a true and factual account of a spiritual truth.
     
  3. Daniel David

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    Jesus is telling a parable here.

    The usage of an actual name doesn't mean it is a true story. People do that all the time. If I tell a story and use the name John to represent the man, the story may or may not have actually taken place. My using "John" doesn't make it actual or not.

    You have communication between the redeemed and unredeemed.

    You have the rich man in a body (something he doesn't receive until after the millenium).
     
  4. Me2

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    we could also parallel these two figures by:

    jews and gentiles
    law and grace
    vessels of wrath and vessels of mercy
    disobedient children and obedient children
    those "not abiding in christ" and those "abiding in christ"

    this is a parable. an allegorical and spiritually discerned story.

    Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
    Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
     
  5. BrianT

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    I believe it is a parable (a story that is told to teach a greater truth), and is also true. I believe all the parables are true. I believe that a *fable* is an untrue story that teaches a greater truth, but a *parable* does the same thing without being untrue.
     
  6. Preacher Ron

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    I don't believe Luke 16:19-31 to be a parable, I believe if it was a parable, the Lord would have said that it was.

    I believe that the rich man is still there in hell this very day.

    Preacher Ron
     
  7. Daniel David

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    Since when does the Lord have to say it is a parable, to know that it was? If that is the strength of the other side, I will stick with my many reasons.
     
  8. Precepts

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    Since He's Lord and you're not?

    I believe every parable to be from the Mind of Christ due to His experience, being that He is God.

    Actual account? Sooner or later.
     
  9. Daniel David

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    What?

    I asked since when did the Lord have to say it was a parable to actually be one and you answered with that? Pay attention man.
     
  10. Grasshopper

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    Seems to be one,in a long line of parables told by Jesus in Luke.
     
  11. Charles Meadows

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    rbrent,

    I think this is clearly a parable. Jesus really has not stopped teaching since chapter 15; and this follows on the heels of another parable.

    To take this as a parable does not force an "allegorical" interpretation. Allegory more accurately refers to the interpretations of some of the early church guys like Tertullian, Cyprian and Origen who saw multiple hidden symbolic references in each passage of scripture.

    This is just Jesus teaching in the form of a parable. It gives us an idea of what Jesus knew to be the case with heaven and hell - but we should not base all of our knowledge of heaven and hell on a verse like this since Jesus was not intending to give a tour of these places.
     
  12. Precepts

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    What?

    I asked since when did the Lord have to say it was a parable to actually be one and you answered with that? Pay attention man.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I'm sorry, I should know better than to answer your questions with a question, trying not to be brash.

    Since He's Lord and you are not, Jesus doesn't have to say it is a parable, and since He didn't, I'd have to say it is actual account, else He wouldn't have risked the chance of the involvement of Lazarus being some one else other than the one He was giving as the example, not a parable.

    You're letting this "get to you again"!
     
  13. RaptureReady

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    Amen PR! I also believe that the rich man still wishes that Lazarus, would dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool his tongue; for he still is in tormented in the flames of hell. This true story(not a parable) shows us what hell is really like.
     
  14. Preacher Ron

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    One thing to notice, is that in all the parables that Jesus told he never called any one by name, and he did in Luke 16:20.

    The reason he didn't use any names in the parables that he told was because there was no real persons name to use.

    Preacher Ron.
     
  15. Bro. Jeff

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    True story.

    No textual evidence to support the parable theory.
     
  16. Preacher Ron

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    One thing to notice, is that in all the parables that Jesus told he never called any one by name.

    The reason he didn't use any names in the parables that he told was because there was no real persons name to use.

    But he did use a name in Luke 16:20, the reason he did this was because it was not a parable.

    In order to use the name Lazarus, there had to be a real person with this name that he was telling about, or it would not have been truthful to use the name Lazarus. if there was not a real person with this name.

    Preacher Ron.
     
  17. Charles Meadows

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    There are some dissimilarities with other parables - but that does not make this NOT a story intended to educate. J.A. Fitzmyer called it a "teaching story". Clearly Jesus is intending to make some points about society and justice in the afterlife.

    There are some parallels to this story in Egyptian and Rabbinic teachings as well. Perhaps Jesus decided to use this model since people might be familiar.

    In addition the fact that Lazarus is named does NOT mean that this must be a factual account. The name derives from the priest Eleazar. Hebrew L ah ZAR means "he helps" - thus the name means "God helps". The name fits into the story.

    Besides the whole context here is Jesus' teaching - and He often taught with stories! Don't miss the forest for the trees!!
     
  18. rbrent

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    “Clearly Jesus is intending to make some points about society and justice in the afterlife...Don't miss the forest for the trees!!”

    While I appreciate the opinions expressed so far, it seems like a stretch to me, to make this passage about “society and justice in the afterlife”.

    JESUS was talking to the “publicans and sinners” and the “Phariseees and scribes” - Luke 15:1, 2.

    In Chapter 16 he addresses His disciples. The Pharisees were listening also - Lu 16:14-15 - “And he said unto them...”

    And now we get information as fast as they can listen.

    (1) “That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”

    (2) “The law and the prophets were until John”.

    (3) “If you divorce your wife, you commit adultery.”

    (4) “Some folks have it good here but will have it bad later...Some folks have it bad now but will have it good later...” ???
    Somehow, number 4 - about “society and justice” does NOT ring true with me. Here’s why.

    (1) in hell

    (2) in torments

    (3) he cried

    (4) I am tormented in this flame

    (5) thou art tormented

    (6) five brethren...lest they also come to this place of torment

    This is about a lot more than “society and justice in the afterlife...”

    Remember, Jesus is talking to the Pharisees now - Luke 16: 14, 15.

    Remember what Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23?

    v. 13 - But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites...

    v. 15 ...ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves

    v. 33 - Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

    If Luke 16:19-31 is a parable, what does the parable teach?

    That hell is a real place with fire and torment or something different?

    I just don’t buy the idea that its a parable. Every Jehovah’s Witness I’ve ever met believed this passage was a parable - that it was about something other than a man dying and going to a real hell with real fire.

    Meaning no offense to any poster here but it seems strange to now hear those same JW arguments coming from Baptists...
     
  19. Charles Meadows

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    rbrent,

    Whatever the JWs think is irrelevant! I'm sure you'd agreewith that! By society I mean rich, people, Pharisees etc. I agree with you there. But still I think this is likely a parable because of the teaching in it. Particularly I do not think that the fact that Lazarus is named means it cannot be a parable.

    Regarding Hell - yes it's real and yes it's hot! And Jesus' mention of it here confirms those things. Still I think the point of this passage is more the people and notwhat Hell is specifically like. For instance: Can we say that given the example in this story that one who was in Hell can talk to those not in Hell? No not really - that's not the point of Jesus' reference to Hell.

    Specifically I disagree with the notion that because Jesus literally said, "There was a man..." that we must believe that there WAS literally in existence that man! Insisting on across the board literalism causes misinterpretation! Let the Bible speak for itself.
     
  20. Johnv

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    Bigger issue here. Some people will say:

    Anyone who believes it's a parable doesn't believe the word of God to be true.

    I know I've been told that in PM's and emails about this very topic. I'm probably not the only one. Unfortunately, McCarthyist tactics are hard to refute, even though they're typically meritless.
     

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