Our topic for Bible Study on Thursday, 5/28, is heaven and hell. There's a rich history of how the images and understanding of heaven and hell developed, mostly through culture/art/literature, rather than scripture. There are some good books and resources out there that unpack that more fully.
For our conversation, though, we'll turn our attention to what's in scripture (and realize what isn't).
To guide our conversation - some questions to reflect upon:
First, theologian Richard Rohr (video from The Work of the People resource site, to which I have a subscription):
Second, a Lutheran perspective which also outlines the scripture that references and informs some of the images of heaven and hell: "By the light of grace: how does the ELCA understand heaven and hell?" Go read it! (Someone alerted me that their browser wouldn't open this link - the article is also included in this PDF - it begins on page 5 - the first four pages are a related (but not necessarily recommended) study guide.)
Additionally, shared by Bill S. - this document, and additionally this blurb: "In 1 Sam 28, Saul, just before the battle with the Philistines in which he is killed, consults with a medium (though he earlier banned them). He asks her to bring back the dead prophet Samuel, which she does. Samuel complains: “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up.” (verse 15) This appears to mean up from the grave and that he was perhaps asleep?"
(There are other references in the scripture, in Paul's New Testament letters and depending on interpretation, in Jesus' own words, to death as falling asleep.)