One of the most intriguing parables Jesus ever told was the parable of ‘the Rich Man and Lazarus,’ recorded only for us in Luke’s Gospel, chapter 16. I have often wondered, and have even disagreed with somebody sharply, over how ‘literally’ Jesus’ parable here is a description of the afterlife prior to the bodily resurrection.
In the opening chapter of his treatise ‘On the Resurrection of the Flesh,’ the Christian writer Tertullian (c. 145—220 A.D.) gives us a brief survey of the views prevalent in his day concerning the afterlife. The range of views — Christian and pagan — which he presents still sounds surprisingly modern. On the Resurrection of