Alexey Somov’s New Book: Representations of the Afterlife in Luke-Acts

Dr. Alexey Somov very kindly mentions my Revue de Qumran’s article on Sheol in his new book entitled Representations of the Afterlife in Luke-Acts. This is the first time my work has been cited! 🙂



For those of you interested in the New Testament studies and historical concepts of afterlife, you may not want to miss out this new book!


Here is the abstract of the book:

Questions regarding the afterlife are many, and the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts pay a great deal of attention to them: why does Luke speak about several different forms of the afterlife? Why is resurrection described as a person’s transformation into an angelic being? How many abodes are appointed for the righteous and the wicked after death? Alexey Somov addresses these queries in relation to the apparent confusion and variety found in the text, and in respect of the interrelatedness of these issues, and their connection with other eschatological issues in Luke-Acts, and in relation to the wider cultural context of the Mediterranean world to which Luke belonged.

Every culture expresses its beliefs by means of special metaphors that allow it to comprehend supernatural realities in terms of everyday experience. Belief in the afterlife was part of this metaphorical system which Luke shared with the ancient eastern Mediterranean culture. Somov takes his analysis one step further by applying Cognitive Metaphor Theory to selected metaphorical aspects of the afterlife. While the inconsistencies and incoherence of the combined metaphors may seem jarring to a contemporary Western reader, Somov’s reading enables a recognition of the specific religious metaphors used, which for Luke would have been current and widely accepted.

(excerpt taken from the publisher’s website)

Article: Fiery Sheol in the Dead Sea Scrolls

At long last, my article in Revue de Qumran 27/106 (France-based) is out! It is downloadable from my…/_Fiery_Sheol_in_the_Dead_Sea_Scr…

Special thanks go to Prof. Shani Tzoref, who had first introduced me to the fascinating world of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of Sydney, and who then unhesitatingly helped proofread this article at the University of Göttingen. I am constantly inspired by her great erudition and undaunted courage! Lots of hugs to you, Shani! 🙂

Here is the shortened abstract:

This paper highlights that a fiery underworld is attested in several Qumran texts, expressed through the uniquely Hebraic term “Sheol” (שׁאול). After a brief overview of the use of the term in the Hebrew Bible, it will be shown that the more watery Sheol in the Hebrew Bible stands in contrast to the fiery Sheol in several non-biblical Hebrew Dead Sea scrolls. Rather than probing the origins of this fiery imagery, this article will mainly explore the literary functions of the fiery imagery. At the end, my conclusion is that the Dead Sea Scrolls not only contain an imagery of fiery Sheol, the relevant scrolls also attest to an annihilating concept of the afterlife that creates tensions with Josephus’ description of the Essene beliefs about the afterlife.

Fun fact #1:

The article has 22 pages, 81 footnotes, 6 different languages in varying proportions!

Fun fact #2:

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2013 SBL international meeting. For verifications, you are very welcome to have a look at the following links:

The publisher is kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of RevQ 27/106: