Humanities and Social Sciences

Submit a Manuscript

Publishing with us to make your research visible to the widest possible audience.

Propose a Special Issue

Building a community of authors and readers to discuss the latest research and develop new ideas.

Soul & Body: The Developments of the Ideology of Resurrection in Ancient Israel

The Jews who returned from the exile, Later Jews who lived after the exile and the Early Church who have gone through intense persecutions elevated the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead as if it was the most important of all biblical doctrines. This notion has made some scholars to think that the idea of resurrection emanated from the exilic periods simply because the Jewish people suffered. Using the ancient Israelites views on the conceptions of the soul together with their burial beliefs, this researcher argues that the ancient Israelites beliefs in the afterlife which evolved into the doctrine of resurrection were visible even before the exile. Certain beliefs and practices of the Israelites suggests that their beliefs in the resurrection of the dead pre-dates the exilic periods. The purpose of this research is to show traces of resurrection beliefs in ancient Israel before the exile and to argue that the persecution of the Jewish is not the only reason behind the development of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead.

Afterlife, Body, Burial, Exile, Death, Life, Resurrection, Soul

Jock Matthew Agai. (2015). Soul & Body: The Developments of the Ideology of Resurrection in Ancient Israel. Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(5), 169-176.

Copyright © 2015 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. Agai, J. M., 2011, ‘Rethinking the Concepts of Sheol and Gehenna in the Hebrew Bible in the Light of Its Impacts in Christian Thinking’, Theologia Viatorum, 35(2), 174-200.
2. Agai, J.M. 2014, The Rise of Islamic Jihad in Northern Nigeria and Its Implications on the Jos-Plateau Religious Conflicts. Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2014, pp. 67-73. doi: 10.11648/
3. Bacchiocchi S., 2013, ‘Immortality or resurrection: The biblical view of death,’ [25th November 2013].
4. Bernstein, E. A., 1993,The formation of hell: Death and retribution in the ancient and early Christian worlds, Cornell University Press, Ithacha.
5. Boer, R.H., 1976, A short history of the early Church, Daystar, Ibadan.
6. Bronner, L. L., 2002, ‘The resurrection motif in the Hebrew Bible: Allusions or illustrates?’,Jewish Bible quarterly, 30 (3), pp. 1-13.
7. Bronner, L. L., 2013, ‘A Journey to Heaven: The Jewish Search for Life Beyond’,, [Accessed 25th November 2013].
8. Cavendish, R., 1977, Visions of heaven and hell, London, Orbis.
9. Cooper, J. S., 1992, ‘The fate of mankind: Death and afterlife in ancient Mesopotamia’, Death and afterlife: Perspectives of world religions, Greenwood Press, New York, 19-33.
10. Craffert, F. P., 1999, Meeting the living among the dead: Burials, tombs and the afterlife, Biblia, Pretoria.
11. Davies, J. D., 1997, Death, ritual and belief: The rhetoric of funerary rites. Cassell, London.
12. Davies, J., 1999, Death, burial and rebirth in the religions of antiquity, Taylor & Francis, New York.
13. Doermann, R.W., 1962, ‘Sheol in the Old Testament’, PhD Dissertation, Duke University.
14. Eades, J. S., 1980, The Yoruba today, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
15. Halsey, D. W. and Johnston, B. (eds.). (1989). “Death and dying.”Collier’s encyclopedia.(p. 758). 7 (24).New York: P.F. Collier.
16. Hankoff, L. D., 1980, ‘Body-mind concepts in the ancient near east: A comparison of Egypt and Israel in the second millennium B.C.’, in R.W. Rieber (ed.), pp.2-25, Body and mind: past, present and future, Academics, New York.
17. Harpur, T., 1991, Life after death, Ontario, M & S.
18. Herrmann, W., 1977, ‘Human mortality as a problem in ancient Israel’ in Reynolds F.E., & Waugh, E.H. (eds.), Religious encounters with death: Insight from the history and anthropology of religions, The Pennsylvania State, Pennsylvania.
19. Hinson, F. D., 2001, Old Testament introduction: History of Israel, Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Delhi.
20. Hinson, F. D., 2005, The books of the Old Testament: Old Testament introduction 2, revised edition, Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Delhi.
21. Hornby, A. S., (ed.), 2001, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
22. Jergasma, H., 1978, A history of Israel in the Old Testament period, SCM, London.
23. Kaplan, A., 1993, Immortality, resurrection, and the age of the universe: A kabbalistic view, KTAV Publishing House, New Jersey.
24. Knibb, M. A., 1989, ‘Life and death in the Old Testament’, in Clements, R.E. (ed.), The world of ancient Israel: Sociological, anthropological and political perspectives, essays by the members of the society for Old Testament study, Cambridge Press, Cambridge.
25. Loader, J. A., 2005, ‘Emptied Life – Death as the Reverse of Life in Ancient Israel’, Old Testament Essays, 18(3), 681-702.
26. MacGregor, G., 1992, Images of afterlife, New York, Paragon.
27. Ma’Su’mian, F., 1996, Life after death: A study of the afterlife in world religions, Oneworld, Oxford.
28. Maynard J., 1977, Illustrated dictionary of the Bible life and times,Reader’s Digest, New York.
29. Mbiti, S.J., 1977, Introduction of African religion, Heinemann, Ibadan.
30. Mckenzie, J. L., 1965, Dictionary of the Bible, New York, S.J. Macmillan.
31. Mc Arthur, J., 1995, The MacArthur study Bible NASB, Nelson Bible, La Habra.
32. Moody, A., 1975,Life after life, G.K. Hall, Boston.
33. Murnane, W. J., 1992, ‘Taking It With You: The Problem of Death and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt’, in H. Obayashi (ed.), Death and afterlife: Perspectives of world religions, New York, Greenwood Press, 35-48.
34. Nemesszeghy, E., &Russel, J., 1972, Theology of evolution, theology today series number six, Mercier Press, Cork.
35. Opoku, A. K., 1989, ‘African perspectives on death and dying’, in A., Berger & P., Badham (eds.), Perspectives on death and dying: Cross-cultural and multidisciplinary views, Charles, Philadelphia, 14-22.
36. Overman, R., 1952, Evolution and the Christian doctrine of creation: A whitedian interpretation, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia.
37. Rensburg, H. J. & Eck, E., 2008, ‘Hell revisited: A socio-critical enquiry into the roots and relevance of hell for the church today’, Hervormde Teologiese Studies, 64(3), 1499-1524.
38. Rust, P. & Held, A, 1999, ‘Genesis reconsidered’ Perspective on Science and Faith, Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 51 (4), 230-243.
39. Russel, B 1927.Why I am not a Christian, London: Watts and Co.
40. Smith, W. (ed.). 1975, A dictionary of the Bible: Antiquities, biography, geography and natural history, Fleming H. Ravel, New York.
41. Spronk, V. K., 1986, Beatific afterlife in ancient Israel and in the ancient Near East, NeukirchenerVerlag in Kevelaer, Butzon & Bercker.
42. The Apocrypha: Study the Apocryphal in the poetry of the King James Verse. World Bible.
43. Tajuddin,M. Md. Haider Ali Biswas, 2015, Einstein: Unification Theory and Unification of Basic Forces-II. American Journal of Physics and Applications. Vol. 3, No. 5, 2015, pp. 166-177. doi: 10.11648/j.ajpa.20150305.12
44. Trueblood, D. E., 1963, General philosophy, Harper and Row, New York.
45. Turner, K. A., 1993, The history of hell, New York, Harcourt Brace.
46. Whybray, R. N., 1975, Isaiah 40-60, Marshall-Pickering, NCB London.