Sunday, August 02, 2009

Ecclesiastes & immortality

I don’t necessarily agree with his initial sentence. Nevertheless, that’s a lead-in to a useful observation:

“On the whole, the OT undoubtedly has no clear doctrine of life after death such as we find in the NT. However, there is a strong intimation in this direction. Qohelet appears to be aware of and interacting with the early chapters of Genesis, and there we do indeed find a sophisticated reflection on death. Death in Gen 2-3 is primarily about the severing of life with God, and physical death is merely a symptom of this thicker dimension of death. Disobedience leads to expulsion from Eden, the place of blessing and of God’s presence. But through Abraham (see Gen 12:1-3) God sets about recovering his purposes of blessing for all nations. This is no less than a recovery of his purposes in creation of blessing, and thus by implication of the overcoming of the sting of death. The result is that although the OT never explores in detail how death will be overcome, the impetus in that direction is clear,” C. Bartholomew, Ecclesiastes (Baker 2009), 142.


  1. Would you recommend this commentary? Is he conservative? Is he a Calvinist?

  2. Yeah, initial sentence is pretty obscure.
    Jesus reprimanded the Sadducees for being so dull about life after death in Matt. 22:32
    So dull about Ezekiel 37.
    So dull about Job 14:14.
    And Archer thinks Job may have predated Moses writing of Genesis.
    So... Bartholomew is being far too cautious here. Far too many qualifications here.
    Not nearly as bold or sharp as Steve on a good day eh? :)

  3. S&S,

    I wouldn't classify him as either a Calvinist or a conservative. It's useful as a supplementary commentary, but it's not as reliable as, say, the shorter commentary by Duane Garrett.