By J. Edward Wright
Once we reflect on "heaven," we normally conjure up confident, pleased pictures. Heaven is, in the end, the place God is and the place sturdy humans pass after dying to obtain their present. yet how and why did Western cultures come to visualize the heavenly realm in such phrases? Why is heaven often considered "up there," a ways past the seen sky? and what's the resource of the concept the put up mortem domicile of the righteous is during this heavenly realm with God? trying to observe the roots of those typical notions, this quantity strains the backgrounds, starting place, and improvement of early Jewish and Christian hypothesis concerning the heavenly realm -- the place it really is, what it seems like, and who its population are. Wright starts his examine with an exam of the ideals of old Israel's acquaintances Egypt and Mesopotamia, reconstructing the highbrow context during which the earliest biblical pictures of heaven arose. a close research of the Hebrew biblical texts themselves then unearths that the Israelites have been deeply stimulated via photographs drawn from the encircling cultures. Wright is going directly to research Persian and Greco-Roman ideals, hence surroundings the level for his attention of early Jewish and Christian photographs, which he indicates to were shaped within the fight to combine conventional biblical imagery with the more moderen Hellenistic principles in regards to the cosmos. In a last bankruptcy Wright deals a quick survey of ways later Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions expected the heavenly nation-states. available to a variety of readers, this provocative ebook will curiosity an individual who's concerned with the origins of this terribly pervasive and influential proposal.