My recent postings referencing Purgatory have prompted some to ask, where does Purgatory appear in the Bible? St. Paul wrote in Greek. When St. Paul stated that, “he himself will be saved, but only as through fire,” (1 Corinthians 3:15) Paul used the Greek word puros to describe the fire. The English word Purgatory comes from this puros. In other words, Purgatory is the place where puros (the saving purifying fires) burn.
Besides 1 Corinthians 3:13-15, the purifying fires of Purgatory are described in:
Jesus said to the multitudes “I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper.” (Luke 12:59 – full discourse Luke 12:42-59) – all residues of sin must be removed.
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Colossians 1:24) – we are to rejoice at purification we must endure for glory to dwell with the Lord.
“And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons? — “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are punished by him. For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:5-11) — the Lord disciples us in this life and the life that follows.
“To the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12: 23) – those who attain heaven will be made perfect.
Yes, Purgatory is described in the Bible. Purgatory cannot be denied. It should not be feared. It should be rejoiced for, for through it we will be made pure to be united with Christ forever.
Purgatory only shows that God still extend his compassion even after death. This is how merciful God is. Thanks for the post!
Yes, He is so merciful.
The OT also refers to purging by fire in a couple of passages that Paul’s audience would have been familiar with.
Thank you, I was thinking along the same line and drafting my next posting on Purgatory in the Old Testament when your message came through. It nice to hear that someone else had the same thought. God Bless!
Thanks! We cover those OT bits in 6th-grade Catechism class long before we get to Paul.
This is very interesting, I had never thought about the Pauline excerpt that way.
Thank you for the comment, You can more details in Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament, Second Catholic Edition footnote to 1 Corinthians 3:15.