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Chapter Summary

Even though Luke’s example story is not intended as a revelation of the otherworldly life as such, it contains several details that allude to the conditions in the hereafter. Many of the details of the Lukan description strengthen the moral of the story. This notwithstanding, many of the details have counterparts in the otherworldly accounts in both Jewish and pagan literature. This means that Luke has composed his afterlife scene using familiar ideas and images. In Luke’s example story, it is essential that the rich man recognizes Lazarus as being his poor neighbor on earth. This is one of the most significant differences between the example story and the Gressmann parallel, the Demotic tale of Setne. In the Demotic tale, the rich man and poor man just happened to die on the same day but having had no interaction during their earthly lives or in the realm of the dead.

Keywords: afterlife scene; Demotic tale; Gressmann parallel; Jewish literature; Lazarus; Lukan description; Luke’s example story; pagan literature; rich man



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