In the Bible (primarily the New Testament), we see numerous people who were raised from the dead. Drawing from this link, we see the following were raised from death:

Some of these were most likely saved already (e.g. Lazarus, Tabitha). Others we simply hardly know anything about. Is there any evidence or any significant commentary on what happened between their first death and resurrection? If they went to heaven/hell after that first death, what was it like coming back from that?

Note: I am not Catholic, so I am not interested in an explanation that claims they went to Purgatory

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    I think you need to scope this further than "non-Catholic". – 3961 Jun 24 '13 at 16:41

About this question there is such point of view (close to the Eastern Orthodox tradition).

It seems, that all people, described in your question, were neither in Heaven, neither in Purgatory. They were in Sheol. This is because before Christ's Resurrection, The Heaven was closed, and the hell, as place for unrepentant sinners wasn't. All people who died were placed into Sheol.

This point of view could be confirmed by the Parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31): both of them are in the same place, because they can communicate with each other, but there is a great gulf between them (Luke 16:26):

And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

In this Parable isn't talked about The Heaven, but about Abraham's bosom, i.e. some place somewhere in Sheol (which is synonymic called "Hell" in all Bible texts), where all righteous men are rested.

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  • I have heard arguments that would lean this way as well - that due to the difference in perceived time between earth and heaven, that the soul does not see any gap in time until the resurrection, though it is not yet in heaven. But I haven't studied this enough to understand it (indeed, I likely never will) – SSumner Jun 24 '13 at 15:58
  • I don think it is a good idea to glean facts from a parable that is about something completely different from the fact that was gleaned. – 3961 Jun 24 '13 at 16:38
  • @fredsbend most do not call this story a parable because it says there was a certain rich man who fared... – user4060 Jun 24 '13 at 16:40
  • However I do disagree that abraham's bosom is shoel the Bible never says that and thats just your tradition – user4060 Jun 24 '13 at 16:41
  • @caseyr547 I have wrote, that this is only the point of view. Particular, this is one of the Easter Orthodox commentaries on this parable, which is not just tradition, but is the part of the Sacred Tradition. – Andremoniy Jun 24 '13 at 20:01

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