Dead Saints Interceding (vs. Lucas Banzoli)

Dead Saints Interceding (vs. Lucas Banzoli) February 8, 2023

Lucas Banzoli is a very active Brazilian anti-Catholic polemicist, who holds to basically a Seventh-Day Adventist theology, whereby there is no such thing as a soul that consciously exists outside of a body, and no hell (soul sleep and annihilationism). This leads him to a Christology which is deficient and heterodox in terms of Christ’s human nature after His death. He has a Master’s degree in theology, a degree and postgraduate work in history, a license in letters, and is a history teacher, author of 25 books, as well as blogmaster (active on and off) for six blogs. He has many videos on YouTube.

This is my 56th refutation of Banzoli’s writings. For almost half a year (5-25-22 to 11-12-22) he didn’t write one single word in reply. Why? He says it’s because my articles are “without exception poor, superficial and weak . . . only a severely cognitively impaired person would be inclined to take” them “seriously.” Despite this childish rationalizing, he remarkably concluded at length that my refutations are so “entertaining” that he will “make a point of rebutting” them “one by one.”

He has now replied to me 14 times (the last one dated 1-22-23), and I will (rest assured) counter-reply to any and all arguments (as opposed to his never-ending insults) that he makes in direct response to me. I have disposed of the main droning themes of his ubiquitous slanderous insults in several Facebook posts: see them listed under his name on my Anti-Catholicism page. I plan (by God’s grace) to completely ignore them henceforth, and heartily thank him for providing me with these innumerable blessings and extra rewards in heaven (Matthew 5:11-12).

Google Translate is utilized to render Lucas’ Portugese into English. Occasionally I slightly modify clearly inadequate translations, so that his words will read more smoothly and meaningfully in English. His words will be in blue. Words from past replies of mine to him will be in green.

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This is my reply to Lucas Banzoli’s article, “Os mortos intercedem pelos vivos? (Refutação a Dave Armstrong)” [Do the dead intercede for the living? (Rebuttal to Dave Armstrong] (11-19-22). He was mainly responding to my article, Reply to Banzoli’s “Analyzing the ‘evidence’ of saints’ intercession” (9-22-22).

Dave, who never wrote a single line to prove theism

One of my first major apologetics efforts was to prove and defend the divinity / deity / Godhood of Jesus and the Holy Trinity from the Bible: back in 1982 — likely before Lucas was born. I have a huge web page on those topics and a book devoted to it: Theology of God: Biblical, Chalcedonian Trinitarianism and Christology (2012); also another that devotes more than a hundred pages to those topics: Mere Christian Apologetics (2002). My largest effort when I began doing apologetics in 1981 (and still one of my biggest writing / research projects ever, after 41 years), was a systematic refutation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who deny that Jesus is God (see that study): including their falsehood about souls and annihilationism (held by Banzoli).

As for theistic arguments, I massively deal with those on my Science & Philosophy web page and my huge Atheism page. My third book directed towards atheists (The Word Set in Stone: How Archaeology, Science, and History Back Up the Bible) is to be published this March 20th by Catholic Answers Press. Unlike Banzoli, who is only self-published, as far as I can tell — and in desperate need of a professional editor — , I have over twenty “officially” published books. My new book literally and directly came about as a result of a year-and-a-half of intense discussions and debates with atheists in their own environments: as did my brand-new book that I just finished. See also my large collection of articles: Bible & Archaeology / Bible & Science.

My other two books intended primarily for atheists are Christian Worldview vs. Postmodernism (2002) and Science and Christianity: Close Partners or Mortal Enemies? (2010). I just completed a fourth that I have high hopes of getting officially published as well: Anti-Bible: Refutations of XXX Alleged Biblical Contradictions (see also my large web page devoted to alleged biblical contradictions).

So that’s four books from me critiquing atheism and defending theism (one now 21 years old) vs. two for Banzoli. Yet according to him, I “never wrote a single line to prove theism” and my “whole poor life consists of attacking evangelicals literally 24 hours a day (by his own admission, this is his ‘job’).”  This is the fantasy world that he lives in: often sadly characterized by an inverse relationship to the truth.

Dave even goes so far as to say that I “falsely claim to be evangelical”,

That’s right. As one who was a fervent evangelical myself, for 13 years, and an apologist and evangelist then as well, and a sociology major, I know for a fact that historic Protestant evangelicals — by any reasonable, informed definition of the term and going by their own creeds and confessions and systematic theologies — do not:

1) assert that there is no hell and that unsaved persons are annihilated.

2) assert that there is no such thing as a soul.

I am just as duty-bound to defend the nature of the belief-system of my fellow Christian Protestant evangelicals — whom I greatly admire and respect — as I am to defend the true nature of Catholicism. No one deserves to be misrepresented. Banzoli distorts and twists both and falsely claims to be in one of the categories. This must be opposed.

I didn’t follow this calling in order to be rapturously loved by one and all. I did in order to share and defend God’s truth, come what may. Those who are being corrected almost never appreciate or accept it, and they lash out, as we see Banzoli doing with all his silly, mindless insults in this article (and thirteen others in response to me) that I have mostly ignored. Please pray for him, that God will open his eyes to the fullness of biblical and Christian and Catholic truth.

I suppose this is because I deny the immortality of the soul, which just goes to show how poor Dave’s knowledge of Protestantism is, for if to deny the immortality of the soul is to be “falsely evangelical”, then even Luther was one” false evangelical,” and Dave should stop quoting him as a Protestant on his blog!

Well, he did and he didn’t, as so often. He was self-contradictory. This was noted in the article, “A Re-examination of Luther’s View on the
State of the Dead,” written by Seventh-Day Adventist Trevor O’Reggio in 2011. As an author of a book about Luther and editor of a second volume of his quotations, and webmaster of a very large web page devoted to him, I wrote about Luther and soul sleep in an article that is now almost exactly fifteen years old.

I would simply note that Banzoli himself admitted on page 18, in the Introduction to his book on the soul, that belief in the immortality of the soul is held by “nearly all the Christians in the world.” That includes Protestant evangelicals. If indeed, Luther was wrong on this issue, as Banzoli is, even his own Lutherans didn’t follow him in the error.

it suffices to show that, even if the dead were alive in the afterlife, they would not have knowledge of what is happening on earth or a sufficient degree of consciousness to intercede for the living

They certainly have a strong awareness of what is happening on the earth:

Hebrews 12:1 (RSV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.

The Greek word for witness is martur, from which is derived the English word martyr. The reputable Protestant Greek scholars Marvin Vincent and A. T. Robertson comment on this verse as follows:

[T]he idea of spectators is implied, and is really the principal idea. The writer’s picture is that of an arena in which the Christians whom he addresses are contending in a race, while the vast host of the heroes of faith . . . watches the contest from the encircling tiers of the arena, compassing and overhanging it like a cloud, filled with lively interest and sympathy, and lending heavenly aid (Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament. 4 vols. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1946, IV, 536).

“Cloud of witnesses” (nephos marturon) . . . The metaphor refers to the great amphitheater with the arena for the runners and the tiers upon tiers of seats rising up like a cloud. The martures here are not mere spectators (theatai), but testifiers (witnesses) who testify from their own experience (11:2, 4-5, 33, 39) to God’s fulfilling promises as shown in chapter 11 (Word Pictures in the New Testament. 6 vols. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1930, V, 432).

(not to mention countless other problems, such as the lack of omnipresence or omniscience to know what everyone prays everywhere and intercede for each of them at the same time, which would make them gods and not men).

All this requires is being outside of time (not all knowledge or presence everywhere) which would be, so it is reasonable to assume, the result of being present in heaven, where — as many Christian philosophers and theologians believe — it is an eternal “now”. I wrote about this in my article: “How Can a Saint Hear the Prayers of Millions at Once?” [National Catholic Register, 10-7-20]:

The question then becomes: Are we creatures also outside of time (or do we at least transcend earthly time in some fashion?) when we get to heaven and enter eternity? Many philosophers of religion have thought so, on the grounds that heavenly eternity (for creatures) is not endless succession of time, but rather, the cessation of time as we know it from a particular point forward (rather like a ray in geometry).

There are many mysteries about heaven, but who can say what it will be like — including our experience of time or lack thereof? It’s certainly possible that we could be outside of time: not eternally like God, but from the moment we get to heaven.

If human beings can invent computers that are able to produce extraordinary amounts of information and answers and solutions in a split second, is not an omniscient God great enough to enable his creatures to hear prayers in a way that transcends our earthly existence? It seems likely that heaven is a different dimension, or has more dimensions, and time is part of that framework.  . . .

We know heaven will be extraordinary and that we will have glorified bodies, and that now we only “see through a glass, darkly” as Paul stated (1 Corinthians 13:12), and that “eye has not seen” (1 Corinthians 2:9) etc. what God has prepared for us. Paul wrote how he was “caught up into Paradise” and “heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter” (2 Corinthians 12:3-4).

Thus, saints hearing millions of prayers is no “problem” for God at all.

The Bible says that Moses and Samuel still pray for us:

Jeremiah 15:1 Then the LORD said to me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go!

God casually mentions this to the prophet Jeremiah. He doesn’t say they shouldn’t pray. He simply (in effect) answers a hypothetical prayer from them on this topic with a “no.” If it were impossible for a dead saint to intercede to God for those on earth, God could never have spoken in this fashion; or else He would have asserted the contrary: “Moses and Samuel cannot stand before me and intercede!” or suchlike. Banzoli replies to this later in his paper:

Note that the text does not say that Moses and Samuel stood before God or interceded after death; rather, it says that even if they were, God would not answer them (which means they weren’t ). 

The thought is that “even the greatest intercessors and prayer warriors cannot persuade Me not to judge in this case, since the time is ripe for judgment.” That’s not a denial of the possibility that Moses and Samuel could intercede after their deaths; rather, it’s expressing the thought that “even if they asked me not to judge, I still would, having decided to.” This appears to be too subtle for Banzoli to grasp, judging by his droningly repetitive and groundless objection to it, but I trust that my readers will be able to understand the argument. Sometimes (this is the case for all of us), we have to read something a few times before it sinks in.

If Moses and Samuel were alive at that moment as disembodied souls in Paradise, they would obviously be praying for Israel, as this is what these two prophets always did for the people in life and what they would not fail to do after death. 

Exactly. And God would still have the prerogative to judge anyone who took their rebellion against Him too far.

In this case, the text would say that despite their intercession, God did not answer them. But what the text says is exactly the opposite: even if they did that – which they don’t, because they are dead – God would not answer them.

It means the same thing: “despite” = “even if they [the great prayer warriors] prayed”.

The only difference is that here we are not dealing with a logical impossibility (that is, with something ontologically impossible), but with something impossible from a biblical perspective (unless Moses and Samuel were resurrected to be in the presence of God and intercede for the people ).

It’s not in the slightest biblically “impossible.” Samuel appeared after death to Saul and told him a prophecy about his own impending death and judgment. If he can prophesy after death, he can certainly also pray. Moses (along with Elijah) appeared with Jesus when He was transfigured (I visited the spot where this happened), and was “talking with him” (Mt 17:3). If he can do that, he can surely pray for us on earth. And Jeremiah 15:1, correctly understood, minus this heretical soul sleep predisposition, teaches the same about both of them.

In other words, Israel’s wickedness had reached such a level that even if Moses and Samuel were standing before God interceding for the people, God would not hear them.

Exactly! We agree! Stop the presses! It doesn’t prove that they couldn’t utter such prayers at all or that they no longer exist. Banzoli simply projects that onto the passage (eisegesis). I can think of at least two passages with the same sort of dynamic:

Ezekiel 14:14, 16 even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, says the Lord GOD. . . . [16] even if these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; they alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.

Matthew 11:21 “Woe to you, Chora’zin! woe to you, Beth-sa’ida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

In both cases, God is not talking about an absolutely impossible scenario, but rather, a possible one where He says what would have happened if this possible thing had actually occurred. Likewise with Jeremiah 15:1.

he clearly doesn’t know what exegesis is and must never have consulted Hebrew in his life and looked up cross-references. 

This is just one example among countless ones, of Banzoli’s endless insults sent my way. I simply document it. There is clearly no need to reply to such an asinine lie.

it was not Samuel’s soul, but a demonic spirit impersonating Samuel. 

Demons don’t give true prophecies. They lie. There is not the slightest hint in the text that it is a demon in play. The Bible calls this spirit “Samuel.”

This part in the book has 24 pages, so I won’t tire the reader by transcribing everything here 

I already dealt with this topic, against Banzoli and also another anti-Catholic over fifteen years ago, and in two additional papers:

#13 (Dead Biblical Heroes Return to Earth!: Samuel & Saul / Moses & Elijah at Jesus’ Transfiguration) [12-1-22]

Communion of Saints, Scripture, & Anti-Catholic Doug Mabry (With Emphasis Particularly on the Saul and [Dead] Samuel Incident) [7-8-07]

Samuel Appearing to Saul: Argument for Communion of Saints? [7-1-07]

Dialogue on Samuel Appearing to Saul (Witch of Endor) [5-6-17]

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Banzoli claims that even the “best” arguments for the immortality of the soul are “ridiculously embarrassing” and that his book’s arguments “really are insurmountable.” Modesty and humility are clearly not his strong suits. He objects to this counter-argument of mine:

Isaiah 38:18-19 For Sheol cannot thank thee, death cannot praise thee; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for thy faithfulness. [19] The living, the living, he thanks thee, as I do this day; the father makes known to the children thy faithfulness.

Psalm 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in Sheol who can give thee praise?

Many Protestant commentators hold that the above two passages express a lack of energy or will power in Hades / Sheol, as opposed to non-existence or unconscious “sleep.”

Note that Dave does not even exegete the texts – if he has actually read them – he simply limits himself to saying what certain “Protestant commentators hold”, as if that in itself relieves him of the responsibility of explaining the texts through a decent exegesis.

Okay; let’s look more closely at them. Do they prove that there is no consciousness at all in Sheol? I provided several other passages that contradict such a notion, and he addresses some of those further down in his reply. For now, I will simply analyze the above passages. I would say that the doctrine of the afterlife slowly developed in Jewish thought. It wasn’t significantly or sufficiently clarified until after the Old Testament was completed.

At this point (Isaiah lived in the eight century BC and Psalm 6:5 was from David, who died c. 970 BC) Sheol (later known as Hades) tended to be a very shadowy, mysterious place, and there was relatively little distinction between the righteous and the wicked who went there after death. But Isaiah elsewhere describes conscious communication in Sheol (14:9-11), which is why I cited that passage. Isaiah doesn’t consistently portray soul sleep. This gives us reason to believe that 38:18-19 is likely merely figurative poetry, and that the doctrine was still very “fuzzy” and poorly understood in his time. Isaiah also wrote:

Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead shall live, their bodies shall rise. O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy! . . .

This is hardly a shadowy temporary existence in Sheol and then annihilation. Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers observes, regarding Isaiah 38: “The thought of spiritual energies developed and intensified after death is essentially one which belongs to the ‘illuminated’ immortality (2 Timothy 1:10), of Christian thought.” Barnes’ Notes on the Bible adds:

All these gloomy and desponding views arose from the imperfect conception which they had of the future world. It was to them a world of dense and gloomy shades – a world of night – of conscious existence indeed – but still far away from light, and from the comforts which people enjoyed on the earth. We are to remember that the revelations then made were very few and obscure; . . . It was a land of darkness; an abode of silence and stillness; a place where there was no temple, and no public praise such as he had been accustomed to.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (“Sheol”) expands upon this:

It is, as the antithesis of the living condition, the synonym for everything that is gloomy, inert, insubstantial . . . It is a “land of forgetfulness,” where God’s “wonders” are unknown (Ps 88:10-12). There is no remembrance or praise of God (Ps 6:588:12115:17, etc.). In its darkness, stillness, powerlessness, lack of knowledge and inactivity, it is a true abode of death; hence, is regarded by the living with shrinking, horror and dismay (Ps 39:13Isa 38:17-19), though to the weary and troubled it may present the aspect of a welcome rest or sleep (Job 3:17-2214:12 f). The Greek idea of Hades was not dissimilar.

Yet it would be a mistake to infer, because of these strong and sometimes poetically heightened contrasts to the world of the living, that Sheol was conceived of as absolutely a place without consciousness, or some dim remembrance of the world above. This is not the case. . . . The state is rather that of slumbrous semi-consciousness and enfeebled existence from which in a partial way the spirit might temporarily be aroused. Such conceptions, it need hardly be said, did not rest on revelation, but were rather the natural ideas formed of the future state, in contrast with life in the body, in the absence of revelation. . . .

There is no doubt, at all events, that in the postcanonical Jewish literature (the Apocrypha and apocalyptic writings) a very considerable development is manifest in the idea of Sheol. Distinction between good and bad in Israel is emphasized; Sheol becomes for certain classes an intermediate state between death and resurrection . . . (cf. another article in the ISBE: “Eschatology of the Old Testament”).

But the OT Jews were not left with no doctrine of an afterlife at all. God delivers or rescues the righteous from Sheol (“he brings down to Sheol and raises up”: 1 Sam 2:6; cf. Ps 30:3; 49:15; 86:13; 89:48). But Sheol (in OT theology) is the hopeless final state of the wicked (Ps 6:5; 9:17; 31:17; Is 14:11, 15 cf. Mk 9:48; 38:18; 66:24). See my article: Salvation and Immortality Are Not Just New Testament Ideas [National Catholic Register, 9-23-19].

Moreover, the Old Testament strongly implies at least six times that some righteous may not have to experience Sheol at all, which is directly contrary to it meaning simply “the grave”: where everyone ends up:

Job 33:18 he keeps back his soul from the Pit, . . .

Job 33:28 He has redeemed my soul from going down into the Pit, . . .

Psalm 16:10 (David) For thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let thy godly one see the Pit.

Psalms 49:9 that he should continue to live on for ever, and never see the Pit. . . .

Proverbs 15:24 (Solomon) The wise man’s path leads upward to life, that he may avoid Sheol beneath.

Isaiah 38:17 . . . thou hast held back my life from the pit of destruction, . . .

Note that Isaiah 38:17 is the verse before one of Banzoli’s own arguments. Isaiah 38:18 can hardly signify the grave where everyone goes and all are unconscious, when the verse before precisely denies this and implies that some may not go there (thereby proving that it cannot possibly mean the grave). That’s exegesis; that’s context. If Banzoli wants that, he’s got it. I’m delighted that he challenged me again, so I could greatly strengthen and expand my argument. Gotta love when that happens . . .

But the worst is . . .  the hypocrisy of saying that the dead in Sheol or Hades had a “lack of energy or willpower” to explain Isaiah 38:18-19 and Psalm 6:5, while uses to its advantage the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, which is interpreted literally and where the characters in Hades did not have any “lack of energy or willpower”. On the contrary: they converse naturally, even with those lost on the other side; the rich man feels pain and thirst, and Lazarus has the ability to dip his finger in water. What does all this have to do with “lack of energy or willpower”? Nothing, absolutely nothing.

This is apples and oranges: comparing the primitive OT doctrine of the afterlife from 970 BC and the 8th c. BC with Jesus’ doctrine in the first century AD. It would be like comparing the biology or astronomy of 1000 AD with those fields today. By the first century AD the theology of the afterlife had greatly developed, and we see this in Jesus’ recounting of the true story of the rich man and Lazarus and His and other NT teachings on hell and heaven. And of course He would know the true state of things: being God and omniscient.

The characters in the parable 

It’s not a parable, as I have explained.

are perfectly awake and willing, just as any of us are, and nowhere do we have the slightest suggestion or hint that Abraham and Lazarus could not praise the Lord (as expressed in Isaiah 38:18-19) or that not even remember Him (as expressed in Psalm 6:5). On the contrary: the rich man remembers Lazarus perfectly well and even his five brothers who remained in the land (Luke 16:27-28), and Abraham remembers Moses and the prophets perfectly well (v. 29). With that in mind, note the strategy of dissimulation: in order to “explain” texts like Isaiah 38:18-19 and Psalm 6:5, he says that the dead are practically in a “vegetative” state (although they still exist), but at the same time time cites in its favor a parable (which for Dave is not even a parable!) which completely contradicts this idea!

If one doesn’t have an inkling as to the nature and definition of doctrinal development (which seems to be the case with Banzoli) this might make some sense and have some force. But when one properly understands it and gets up to speed, it proves (to quote him) nothing, absolutely nothing.

Banzoli states that Isaiah 14:11 is “obviously a poetic allusion”. Good! Then maybe he’ll also figure out that many of the texts regarding Sheol are also poetic and non-literal. Psalms and Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are all poetic books, and much of prophetic utterance is also. He cites Isaiah 14:20 and highlights “You will not be joined with them in burial“: as if all of these passages are referring to the common “grave” of all mankind (later, he states unequivocally: “Sheol is precisely the “universal grave of the dead”).

Okay, great: I hope he explains, then, the six passages above that I produced: all stating that some righteous don’t have to go to Sheol or the Pit (what he thinks is the grave) at all. Are they all instantly transported to heaven like Enoch and Elijah? Maybe they were cremated? Please do tell!

In Ezekiel (32:24-25, 30), Sheol is described as a place where the inhabitants “bear their shame”: obviously a conscious event. People there talk and describe others who have joined them in Sheol:

Ezekiel 32:21 The mighty chiefs shall speak of them, with their helpers, out of the midst of Sheol: `They have come down, they lie still, the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’

Banzoli presents the larger context of Ezekiel 32:18-32 and opines:

As anyone can see by reading the entire context, it is just poetic language to speak of the grave, the common and universal destiny of all the dead. Hence Sheol is cited in parallel with the tomb ( qeber ), as if they were the same thing.

So how is it that the six verses proclaim that not all have to go to this “grave”? As in my original argument, I would contend that certain phrases imply a conscious existence: they “bear their shame” (32:24-25, 30).

there is nothing there [in Ezekiel 32] that hints at after-death torment, colossal tortures, . . . or unquenchable fire.

Catholics aren’t claiming that Sheol is the same as hell (it’s always good to be familiar with the view one opposes). It was a holding-place for souls (good and bad) before the redemptive death of Christ. This was made crystal clear in Jesus’ teachings in Luke 16.

long-tailed demons with pitchforks, 

This notion isn’t biblical. I did a search for “demon” and “tail” together and nothing came up. “Pitchfork” isn’t in the Bible at all. But “winnowing fork” is biblical. It appears three times (Jer 15:7; Mt 3:12; Lk 3:17). The only problem is that the first refers to God the Father having such a fork, and the second and third refer to Jesus having it. This is the difference between what the Bible and the Catholic Church actually teach, and the distorted, absurd caricature of same by anti-Catholic polemicists.

This in no way changes the fact that “the dead know nothing”, as expressed in the first part of the text [Ecc 9:5]. If the text is to be understood in the sense of “not knowing anything that happens in this life”, it is a complete refutation of the doctrine of the intercession of the saints, in which the dead need to know what happens here so that they can intercede for the living. 

The dead obviously know quite a bit, as is obvious in Luke 16, in the souls crying under the altar in Revelation, and Hebrews 12:1, commented upon above.  And Jesus said,

Matthew 22:31-32 . . . have you not read what was said to you by God, [32] ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”

Ecclesiastes 9:5 must be interpreted in harmony with those sorts of passages, if we regard the Bible as internally consistent and harmonious inspired and infallible revelation (as the Catholic Church does and many Protestant evangelicals do as well). Its meaning is simply poetic: phenomenologically describing the dead, who can no longer do anything (bodily), and alluding to the lack of activity in Sheol, according to the early dim understanding of that doctrine (Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon, who lived in the 10th century BC).

Why would God need to tell a dead person what you are going through for that dead person to intercede on his behalf, when he can do it himself without going through any bureaucracy? What sense does this outsourcing of prayer make?

God doesn’t have to “tell” them anything. He only needs to give them the ability to be outside of time and to be able to perceive happenings and thoughts on earth. Hebrews 12:1 and other passages indicate that reality. The “outsourcing of prayer” is quite biblical, as I explained in my paper (with copious biblical support): Bible on Praying Straight to God (vs. Lucas Banzoli) [9-21-22]. Catholics are much more biblical than Protestants are. We seek to follow all of the Bible’s teaching.

A Catholic prays to a saint, but the saint doesn’t know anything that the Catholic prays, so God needs to tell the saint what the Catholic is praying, so that the saint himself is aware and then asks God for what God himself he could have done it the first time, but he preferred to submit to all this meaningless bureaucracy.

This is a gross caricature and fairy tale, and thoroughly unbiblical, as just explained. Nice try, though.

Although some translations render it as “the grave”, it is Sheol that appears in the Hebrew [in Ecc 9:10] – that is, exactly the «different realm» where Dave believes that the dead are perfectly alive and aware of what is happening around them.

Yes I do, because Jesus explicitly teaches that in Luke 16, and I have this odd habit of actually believing in and accepting clear, plain teachings of my Lord and Savior Jesus: God the Son. Banzoli seems to lack this good and pious habit.

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Photo credit: The Transfiguration (1518-1520), by Raphael (1483-1520) [Moses and Elijah are next to Jesus] [Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license]

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Summary: I take on the topic of dead saints interceding for us, and systematically dismantle Banzoli’s weak and poor arguments for the heretical doctrine of soul sleep.

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