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Chapter Summary

In his lengthy treatise against Marcion, Tertullian refutes Marcion’s way of reading the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19–31 and, instead, gives his own view concerning the nature of the otherworld. Tertullian’s understanding of the otherworldly realm is but one example of the profound impact the afterlife description in the Rich Man and Lazarus has had on later Christian thought. Like Tertullian, many other subsequent thinkers have also construed the Hades of Luke’s story as an intermediate state, giving a strong impetus to the rise of the belief in purgatory. The observation that the point of the story lies elsewhere than in the revelation of the afterlife is, of course, absolutely correct. Its focus is on the reversal of fate of the rich man and the poor man and on the call to repentance according to “Moses and the prophets.”.

Keywords: afterlife description; Lazarus; Luke 16:19–31; Marcion; Moses; otherworld; poor man; prophets; Rich Man; Tertullian



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