Someone from Serbia was reading my blog, and sent me an email with some additional sources that I wasn't able to find when I originally did the study. I had read on some forums that Luke 16 had allusions to an Egyptian text, but I was never able to find it or a citation to it.
There appears to have been several Jewish and Greek versions of the story. There was also an Egyptian version in Tales of Khamuas. Whether the Egyptian tale was the origin of the others, is disputable, but it appears that the story was a common trope in the Middle East, Greece, and North Africa, with no discernable point.
Here is the text of the Egyptian version:
At a certain moment, behold, Setme heard the voice of wailing, and he looked from the upper chambers of his dwelling, and behold he saw a rich man whom they were carrying out to the desert-necropolis, the wailing being exceedingly loud, and his condition being more glorious than his own. He gazed again, and looked at his feet, and behold he saw a poor man being carried out from Memphis to the cemetery, he being wrapped in a mat. Said, "By the great god, how much better it shall be in Amenti for great men for whom they make glory with the voice of wailing than for poor men whom they take to the desert-necropolois without glory or funeral!" But Si-Osiri said, "There shall be done unto thee in Amenti as like that which shall be done to this poor man in Amenti; there shall not be done unto thee that which shall be done to this rich man in Amenti. Thou shalt go into Ameti and thou shalt see... [the original document becomes difficult to read after this, but Setme seems troubled at the prediction]" H. Frowde, Stories of the High Priests of Memphis, pp. 44-45
Later, the document continues to describe the fate of the rich man
They entered the fifth hall and behold, Setme saw the noble spirits standing in their places, and those who had charges of violence standing at the entrance praying; and one man in whose right eye the bolt of the door of the fifth hall was fixed, he praying, he uttering great lamentation. H. Frowde, Stories of the High Priests of Memphis, pp. 46
and also for the poor man
And Setme saw there a great man clothed in rainment of byssus, near the place in which Osiris was, he being of exceeding high position. Setme marvelled at those things which he saw in Amenti. And Si-Osiri walked out in front of him; and he said to him, "My father Setme, dost thou not see this great man who is clothed in rainment of royal linen, standing near to the place in which Osiris is? He is that poor man whom thou sawest being carried out from Memphis, with no man following him, and wrapped in a mat. He was brought to the Te and his evil deeds were weighed against his good deeds that he did upon the earth; and it was found that his good deeds were more numerous than his evil deeds, considering the life destiny which Thoth had written for him considering his magnanimity upon earth. And it was commanded before Osiris that the burial outfit of that rich man, whom thou sawest carried forth from Memphis with great laudation, should be given to this same poor man, and that he should be taken among the noble spirits as a man of God that follows Sokaris Osiris, his place being near to the person of Osiris. But that great man whom thou didst see, he was taken to the Tc, his evil deeds were weighed against his good deeds, and his evil deeds were found more numerous than his good deeds that he did upone the earth. It was commanded that he should be requited in Amenti, and he is that man whom thou didst see, in whose right eye the pivot of the gate of Amenti was fixed, shutting and opening upon it, and whose mouth was open in great lamentation. By Osiris the great god, Lord of Amenti, behold I spake to thee on earth saying, 'There shall be done to thee even as is done to this poor man; there shall not be done unto thee that which is done to that great man,' for I knew that which would become of him."
Said Setme, "My son Si-Osiri, many are the marvels that I have seen in Amenti. In due time let me learn what hath happened to these men which are scattered and apart they being also gluttonous; there being others whose food, water, and bread is hung above them, they hastening to take it down while others are digging pits at their feet to prevent their reaching it." H. Frowde, Stories of the High Priests of Memphis, pp. 48-49
Finally, the email also included several other citations.
- Short Egyptian story outline, Gressmann's theory about Egyptian origin of Jewish versions of the tale and its critique: Outi Lehtipuu, The Afterlife Imagery in Luke's Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Brill, Boston, 2007, pp. 12-13
- More detailed account of the Egyptian tale, and more on parallels with the Jewish versions (including Gressmann's views): Richard Bauckham, The Fate of the Dead: Studies on the Jewish and Christian Apocalypses, Brill, Boston, 1998, pp. 97