The Case For Luke 16:19-31 As a Parable (Even Though Annihilationism Doesn’t Require It)

Is Luke 16:19-31, the story of the rich man and Lazarus, a parable? Yes. Or at least I believe that the case for interpreting it that way is much stronger than the case for the alternative.

Is this interpretation necessary for one to be an annihilationist? No. And I cannot emphasize that enough.

This story, whatever it is, depicts the intermediate state. Verse 23 tells us that the rich man was in hades, the place of the dead prior to resurrection and final judgment. It does not tell us what happens after judgment. Neither side’s view of hell is dependent on whether or not this is a parable.  1 For more on hades, see “Do Evangelical Conditionalists Believe in Hell? That Depends on What You Mean by ‘Hell’“.
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