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Hello; and welcome to a journey thru the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.

Afterlife opponents often quote the book of Ecclesiastes; which is a fatal error because proof texts related to the afterlife drawn from this book of are inadmissible; and the reason is very simple.

Ecclesiastes isn't a book of divine revelation, but rather, a book of humanistic philosophy; and though a holy man wrote Ecclesiastes, and was no doubt divinely motivated to do so; he didn't record his observations from the perspective of an enlightened man who's privy to knowledge beyond the scope of empirical evidence and human experience; but rather, he recorded his observations from the perspective of a man under the sun; viz: a down to earth thinking man whose perception of reality is moderated by what he can see going on around him in the physical universe; and that's why Bible students find so much material in Ecclesiastes contrary to the doctrines of traditional Christianity.

Men under the sun who think for themselves typically find the book of Ecclesiastes to be spot-on in agreement with their own philosophy of life; and no mystery there since Ecclesiastes is primarily an evaluation of life on earth as seen from the earth rather than an evaluation of life on earth as seen from heaven.

Something to keep in mind with Ecclesiastes is that just because people's statements are recorded in a sacred text does not make their statements eo ipso true; for example Eveís response to the Serpent.

"And he said to the woman: Indeed, has God said you shall not eat from any tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent: From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said you shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die." (Gen 3:1-3)

Was Eve telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth? No. God forbad them to eat the fruit, yes, but He didnít forbid them to touch it. (cf. Gen 2:16-17)

The Serpentís response was untrue too.

"And the serpent said to the woman: You shall not surely die." (Gen 3:4)

Did Eve die? Yes.

The conversation between Eve and the Serpent is no doubt on record because God wanted it so; but there are untruths in their statements. Solomon's worldly philosophy of life is a lot like that; in other words: Ecclesiastes isn't necessarily totally wrong just because it's an earthy point of view, nor is it necessarily totally correct just because it contains a kernel of truth. No, the danger is that Solomon's philosophy, like most all philosophy, contains just enough truth to make it misleading. Caveat Lector.

Buen Camino


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