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Originally posted by defcon5
Machabees is a apocryphal book, and not in any protestant version of the Bible. I do have a copy of it around here somewhere though and will have to dig it up and read it later.
Mathew reads to me more like Christ is speaking of the Deep, or what happens to unsaved spirits after they die. It literally reads like someone wandering the earth and coming back to their home and haunting it.
I cannot find anything in 1st Corinthians that has anything to do with the subject.
The word Purgatory does not even exist in the Bible, and I am pretty confident in saying its not in Machabees either, even without reading it. It is a purely Catholic concept that was created to help spread the other un-Biblical teachings of praying to saints, and was a real boon to the sale of Indulgences back in when the Church was in need of cash to fund it big cathedrals.
The closest thing that you are going to find in any Christian/Hebrew Religious book, is in the psudopigraphal book of Enoch, when he is given a tour of the places where souls go until they are taken to final judgment.
Either way, the concept that the saved soul is cleansed and then allowed to go to Heaven, exists in NONE of these texts.
Christ himself said we are saved by grace, that means there is no punishment period anywhere for someone that is a Christian.
You might also find it interesting that the word Hell does not exist in any original translation of the Bible either. Hades, The Deep, and the Lake of Fire are mentioned, however.
[edit on 9/28/2004 by defcon5]