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Abraham's Bosom REPACK



The word found in the Greek text for "bosom" is kolpos, meaning "lap" "bay".[2] This relates to the Second Temple period practice of reclining and eating meals in proximity to other guests, the closest of whom physically was said to lie on the bosom (chest) of the host. (See John 13:23 )[3][4]




abraham's bosom



While commentators generally agree upon the meaning of the "Bosom of Abraham", they disagree about its origins. Up to the time of Maldonatus (AD 1583), its origin was traced back to the universal custom of parents to take up into their arms, or place upon their knees, their children when they are fatigued, or return home, and to make them rest by their side during the night (cf. 2 Samuel 12:3;[5] 1 Kings 3:20; 17:19; Luke 11:7 sqq.), thus causing them to enjoy rest and security in the bosom of a loving parent. After the same manner was Abraham supposed to act towards his children after the fatigues and troubles of the present life, hence the metaphorical expression "to be in Abraham's Bosom" as meaning to be in repose and happiness with him.


According to Maldonatus (1583),[6] whose theory has since been accepted by many scholars, the metaphor "to be in Abraham's Bosom" is derived from the custom of reclining on couches at table, which prevailed among the Jews during and before the time of Jesus. As at a feast each guest leaned on his left elbow so as to leave his right arm at liberty, and as two or more lay on the same couch, the head of one man was near the breast of the man who lay behind, and he was therefore said "to lie in the bosom" of the other.


It was also considered by the Jews of old a mark of special honour and favour for one to be allowed to lie in the bosom of the master of the feast (cf. John 13:23), and it is by this illustration that they pictured the next world. They conceived of the reward of the righteous dead as a sharing in a banquet given by Abraham, "the father of the faithful" (cf. Matthew 8:11 sqq.), and of the highest form of that reward as lying in "Abraham's Bosom".


Later rabbinical sources preserve several traces of the Bosom of Abraham teaching.[13][14] In Kiddushin 72b, Adda bar Ahavah of the third century, is said to be "sitting in the bosom of Abraham", Likewise "In the world to come Abraham sits at the gate of Gehenna, permitting none to enter who bears the seal of the covenant" according to Rabbi Levi in Genesis Rabba 67.[15] In the 1860s Abraham Geiger suggested that the parable of Lazarus in Luke 16 preserved a Jewish legend and that Lazarus represented Abraham's servant Eliezer[16]


In the 3rd century, Hippolytus of Rome referred to Abraham's bosom as the place in hades where the righteous await judgment day in delight.[21] Due to a copying error a loose section of Hippolytus' commentary on Luke 16 was misidentified as a Discourse to the Greeks on Hades by Josephus and included in William Whiston's translation of the Complete Works of Josephus.[22]


Among Christian writers, since the 1st century AD, "the Bosom of Abraham" has gradually ceased to designate a place of imperfect happiness, especially in the Western Catholic tradition, and it has generally become synonymous with Christian Heaven itself, or the Intermediate state.[citation needed] Church fathers sometimes used the term to mean the limbo of the fathers, the abode of the righteous who died before Christ and who were not admitted to heaven until his resurrection. Sometimes they mean Heaven[citation needed], into which the just of the New Covenant are immediately introduced upon their demise. Tertullian, on the other hand, described the bosom of Abraham as that section of Hades in which the righteous dead await the day of the Lord.[24]


The phrase "Abraham's bosom" is one of the New Testament's most mysterious terms, and has led to all kinds of debates about heaven, hell, and what really lies on the other side of death. Here's what the Bible says about it and why it matters.


When Christians talk about the Bible's descriptions of heaven, a certain phrase sometimes comes up: Abraham's bosom. This phrase appears in one of Jesus' parables, and like many of Jesus' teachings, it has a mysterious and life-changing meaning.


ABRAHAM'S BOSOM booz'-um (kolpos Abraam; kolpoi Abraam): Figurative. The expression occurs in Luke 16:22,23, in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, to denote the place of repose to which Lazarus was carried after his death. The figure is suggested by the practice of the guest at a feast reclining on the breast of his neighbor. Thus, John leaned on the breast of Jesus at supper (John 21:20). The rabbis divided the state after death (Sheol) into a place for the righteous and a place for the wicked (see ESCHATOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT; SHEOL); but it is doubtful whether the figure of Jesus quite corresponds with this idea. "Abraham's bosom" is not spoken of as in "Hades," but rather as distinguished from it (Luke 16:23)--a place of blessedness by itself. There Abraham receives, as at a feast, the truly faithful, and admits them to closest intimacy. It may be regarded as equivalent to the "Paradise" of Luke 23:43. See HADES; PARADISE. James Orr Copyright Statement These files are public domain. Bibliography Information Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'ABRAHAM'S BOSOM'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.


In the Holy Bible, the expression "the Bosom of Abraham" is found only in two verses of St. Luke's Gospel (16:22-23). It occurs in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus the imagery of which is plainly drawn from the popular representations of the unseen world of the dead which were current in Our Lord's time. According to the Jewish conceptions of that day, the souls of the dead were gathered into a general tarrying-place the Sheol of the Old Testament literature, and the Hades of the New Testament writings (cf. Luke 16:22; in the Greek 16:23). A local discrimination, however, existed among them, according to their deeds during their mortal life. In the unseen world of the dead the souls of the righteous occupied an abode or compartment of their own which was distinctly separated by a wall or a chasm from the abode or compartment to which the souls of the wicked were consigned. The latter was a place of torments usually spoken of as Gehenna (cf. Matthew 5:29, 30; 18:9; Mark 9:42 sqq. in the Latin Vulgate) — the other, a place of bliss and security known under the names of "Paradise" (cf. Luke 23:43) and "the Bosom of Abraham" (Luke 16:22-23). And it is in harmony with these Jewish conceptions that Our Lord pictured the terrible fate of the selfish Rich Man, and on the contrary, the glorious reward of the patient Lazarus. In the next life Dives found himself in Gehenna, condemned to the most excruciating torments, whereas Lazarus was carried by the angels into "the Bosom of Abraham", where the righteous dead shared in the repose and felicity of Abraham "the father of the faithful". But while commentators generally agree upon the meaning of the figurative expression "the Bosom of Abraham", as designating the blissful abode of the righteous souls after death, they are at variance with regard to the manner in which the phrase itself originated. Up to the time of Maldonatus (A.D. 1583), its origin was traced back to the universal custom of parents to take up into their arms, or place upon their knees, their children when they are fatigued, or return home, and to make them rest by their side during the night (cf. 2 Samuel 12:2; 1 Kings 3:20; 17:19; Luke 11:7 sqq.), thus causing them to enjoy rest and security in the bosom of a loving parent. After the same manner was Abraham supposed to act towards his children after the fatigues and troubles of the present life, hence the metaphorical expression "to be in Abraham's Bosom" as meaning to be in repose and happiness with him. But according to Maldonatus (In Lucam, xvi, 22), whose theory has since been accepted by many scholars, the metaphor "to be in Abraham's Bosom" is derived from the custom of reclining on couches at table which prevailed among the Jews during and before the time of Christ. As at a feast each guest leaned on his left elbow so as to leave his right arm at liberty, and as two or more lay on the same couch, the head of one man was near the breast of the man who lay behind, and he was therefore said "to lie in the bosom" of the other. It was also considered by the Jews of old a mark of special honour and favour for one to be allowed to lie in the bosom of the master of the feast (cf. John 13:23). And it is by this illustration that they pictured the next world. They conceived of the reward of the righteous dead as a sharing in a banquet given by Abraham, "the father of the faithful" (cf. Matthew 8:11 sqq.), and of the highest form of that reward as lying in "Abraham's Bosom". Since the coming of Our Lord, "the Bosom of Abraham" gradually ceased to designate a place of imperfect happiness, and it has become synonymous with Heaven itself. In their writings the Fathers of the Church mean by that expression sometimes the abode of the righteous dead before they were admitted to the Beatific Vision after the death of the Saviour, sometimes Heaven, into which the just of the New Law are immediately introduced upon their demise. When in her liturgy the Church solemnly prays that the angels may carry the soul of one of her departed children to "Abraham's Bosom", she employs the expression to designate Heaven and its endless bliss in company with the faithful of both Testaments, and in particular with Abraham, the father of them all. This passage of the expression "the Bosom of Abraham" from an imperfect and limited sense to one higher and fuller is a most natural one, and is in full harmony with the general character of the New Testament dispensation as a complement and fulfilment of the Old Testament revelation.


In the New Testament and in Jewish writings a term signifying the abodeof bliss in the other world. According to IV Macc. xiii. 17, the righteous who die for their faith are received by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in paradise (compare Matt. viii. 11: "Many shall come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven"). In Ḳid. 72b, Adda bar Ahaba, a rabbi of the third century, is said to be "sitting in the bosom of Abraham," which means that he has entered paradise. With this should be compared the statement of R. Levi (Gen. R. xlviii.): "In the world to come Abraham sits at the gate of Gehenna, permitting none to enter who bears the seal of the covenant" (see Circumcision). 041b061a72


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