|What Happens After Death ( A Reply to Jehovah's Witnesses)
Christians and Muslims believe,
on the basis of their sacred scriptures, that humans are more than just
body; they are also spirit. The scriptures show that the spirit remains
after the body dies, that the spirit retains conscious existence, and
that the spirit will be given a new body at the Resurrection. Moreover,
in addition to a real Paradise there exists a real Hell where nonbelievers
will remain in continuous torment.
Jehovah's Witnesses deny all of these on the basis of their interpretation
of their own translation of the Bible. To foster this interpretation they
mistranslate certain key verses, misinterpret others, and ignore yet others.
They then use their position with apparent
What Happens After Death?
backing from scripture to condemn Christendom and Islam for belief in
the spirit, the existence after death, and the existence of Hell. The
ruling body of Jehovah's Witness, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
draws constant attention to these points in their literature. For example,
in their book Mankind's Search for God they continually remind their readers
that Islam is false for these very beliefs. More recently, a booklet from
them What Happens to Us When We Die continues along the same lines. When
dealing with the Islamic view on these matters the booklet plainly states
that these beliefs are in the Qur'an due to influence from Greek philosophers.
On the contrary I will show here that these beliefs came from God although
others might have shared the same concepts. The Qur'an is not a compilation
of human ideas but the verbatim words of God.
Muslims do not claim that every truth in the Qur'an was revealed for the
first time. On the contrary, we hold that God had sent prophets and messengers
to every nation with his pure message. To the extent that those messages
were corrupted over time they will necessarily differ with God's pure
message now revealed once more in his incorruptible book, the Glorious
Qur'an. Moreover, the pure parts that remain of the previous messages
will necessarily be in harmony with the last message.
Muslims are therefore not surprised to find that some of the truth which
God revealed in the Qur'an were already known to the Greeks. It is true
that Greek philosophy is far removed from Islam. Yet it will be too much
to claim that all of Greek philosophy is necessarily wrong. Where it is
right it will be in harmony with God's revealed messages. Once we establish
here that a divinemessage contains the concepts which we
are discussing, it should not matter what the Greeks used to believe.
To illustrate the point, once we find that Scripture teaches us to be
honest, it is irrelevant whether or not Greeks, Vikings, or anyone else
held the same principle.
The Watchtower Society claims that Greek influence is to blame for these
beliefs also in Christendom. By Christendom they mean not true Christianity,
a designation they retain for themselves. By Christendom they mean the
later Christianity which deviated from the Bible's teachings as interpreted
by The Watchtower Society. However, the evidence here will show that these
beliefs are in the Bible also.
If these ideas came from Greek influence
then how will the Society explain the presence of such ideas in the Bible?
Since the Society accepts the Bible as the Word of God they will have
to accept that the beliefs we discuss here are from God even if the Greeks
already understood or held these beliefs. The Society may be willing to
accept the fact that other peoples already had insight into some of the
same truth which God revealed later in the Bible.
Moreover, The Society will no longer be able to reject the Qur'an on account
of such teachings, since such teachings are in harmony with what is in
the Bible. To settle the matter for Jehovah's Witnesses, then, it would
be reasonable to examine what the Bible says on the matter at hand.