Sigvartsen examines the immense interest in life after death, and speculation about the fates awaiting both the righteous and the wicked that proliferated in the Second Temple period. In this volume Sigvartsen systematically examines the apocalyptic writings within the apocrypha, and identifies the numerous afterlife and resurrection beliefs that these texts present. He analyses these beliefs, enabling readers to easily understand and compare the wide-ranging beliefs on afterlife that these texts hold.
A careful reading of various resurrection passages reveals that most of the distinct views on life-after-death, regardless of their complexity, show little evidence of systematic development relational to one another, and are often supported by several key passages or shared motifs from texts that later became a part of the TaNaKh. In addition, Sigvartsen also highlights the factors that may also have influenced the development of so many different resurrection beliefs; including anthropology, the nature of the soul, the scope of the resurrection, the number and function of judgments, and the final destination of the righteous and the wicked.
This study provides a better understanding of how the TaNaKh was read by different communities during this important period, and the role it played in the development of the resurrection belief – a central article of faith in both Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. The volume is a companion to Sigvartsen's other volume on these themes in the Pseudepigrapha.