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What Happens After We Die?

by Douglas Jacoby, Illumination Publishers, 6010 Pinecreek Ridge Ct,
Spring, TX 77379-2513, or www.ipibooks.com
© 2013, 143 pages, $12.00 (paperback), ISBN-13: 978-1939086068

Picture of Book We have reviewed several of Douglas Jacoby's books in this journal, and have always had a favorable response from readers who have perused his writings. Dr. Jacoby has degrees from Duke, Harvard, Kings College, London, and got his doctorate from Drew University. He is a very capable writer with a vast knowledge of Hebrew and Greek and has done a great deal of work in apologetics.

This is a small book (5 x 7 inches) with 143 pages of material. In that 143 pages is a massive amount of word study. Heaven, Hell, Paradise, Hades, Sheol, Gehenna, and Tartarus are discussed and explained. Dr. Jacoby points out that the King James translation made a major error in translating “Hades” as “Hell.” He maintains that the sequence for all of us is Death, Hades, the Second Coming, the Resurrection, Judgment, Final Destiny. In the first chapter he builds his case for that view coming strictly from the Hebrew and Greek of the Bible.

There is an exhaustive discussion of the history of understanding the afterlife. Dr. Jacoby starts with what the early church leaders believed. He uses quotes from early Christians and from Gnostic beliefs. Then he follows with anticipated questions to Dr. Jacoby's beliefs. In chapter four there is a discussion of end times theology. In chapters 5 through 7 related questions are explored. There is an appendix that explores the question of whether Hell (and Heaven) are eternal punishment or eternal punishing. In other words, do people in Hell suffer torture forever (eternal punishing) or does the soul die (eternal punishment.) We reviewed Edward Fudge's book The Fire That Consumes some years ago, in which Fudge maintains that the soul dies. It is a very long book that is hard to read. Jacoby takes a similar position calling it “The Terminal View,” but does so in a more brief and understandable way.

We recommend this book. You may not agree with Jacoby on everything, but he makes a great case for his position, he is very biblical in his approach, and he explains himself very well.