Thursday, February 08, 2007


Many of the writers of the New Testament may not have conceived of hell as a place of eternal torment. A reader observes:

There is no such place as HELL.

Hell, mentioned even in your bible has NOTHING to do with fire. "Hell fire" mentioned in the KJV is from the Greek word "Gehenna." It is a valley south of Jerusalem. It used to be the city garbage dump. As such it was on fire. As garbage and organic materials were constantly thrown into this fire, the worms there did not die out, but kept on multiplying until there was nothing left to eat. The valley is STILL in Jerusalem, but the fire is OUT and there are no WORMS there.The word "hell" in the KJV is translated from the Greek word "Hades" which means the UNSEEN or etymologically, UN=PERCEIVE or IMPERCEPTIBLE. There can NOT be feelings, torture, pain, etc., in a place that by its very name means to have NO PERCEPTION OF ANYTHING!!

There is NO WORD in either the Hebrew or Greek scriptures that means "eternal" or "everlasting" or "for ever and ever." Since there is NO SUCH WORD IN THE BIBLE, all such translations are WRONG and misleading.

The concept of hell seems to have grown with time.

Gehenna is the name for a valley southwest of Jerusalem, where garbage was thrown. In the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Romans threw many corpses and much trash into Gehenna. As there was a constant supply of bodies, the worm did not die. As there was a constant flow of trash, the fire did not go out. The gospels say that Jesus warned that people could be thrown into Gehenna (translated as hell in many Bibles) where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. The authors may well have literally been referring to this event, and not to a future destruction of souls. Having the advantage of hindsight--the gospels were probably written after the fall of Jerusalem--the gospel writers could have put these words into the mouth of Jesus, and made it look like he predicted these things. To the Jews, who honored the body and valued a proper burial, the thought that the nation would be destroyed and bodies would be so horribly treated if people did not repent would have been considered a very stern warning.

So one can well make the case that the earthly valley Gehenna is all that Jesus meant by hell. Other verses such as the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus or the book of Revelations may or may not refer to literal eternal torment, or they could have other meanings. It is an interesting study.

See also:
What Does the Bible Teach About Hell?
Jesus' Teaching on Hell


Anonymous said...

I have had many strange experiences throughout life.Including out of body experiences.Your body does have a soul.I've questioned the bible many, a many times.I'm starting to believe there are powers out there that have lived for billions of years, and would'nt even bother with this neanderthal world.To the concept of hell.....I have very lucid dreams occasionally.Awhile back I had a dream, In the dream I was looking at a piece of paper, and on the paper were the words.(Look to your left).At that instant I read that I woke up and looked to my left, and felt a presence that was very unworldly frightening.Thats the best way I can explain it.I'm 34 and I still get chills walking in the dark.About religion.I would say everyone should trust themselves.If life really is eternal, you should practice silencing your mind and spirit.Because if your gonna live for billions of years, you are gonna get bored.Wink Wink

Noogatiger said...

Here is the bottom line concerning the Bible and Hell. There is no such thing and never was.

For the true Bible believer then the next logical question should be; What else in this book may be mis-translated, or purposely forged, or simply not true, or can any of it be trusted, and if so how do I know?

Hell was one of those things that Christians simply took on Faith. Because the Bible said it they believed it. Now that more and more people are coming to see that this was plainly a doctine of man added to the scriptures it should finally wake some people up to the fact that this Bible was in fact written by men, not by a God who has preserved his word to us.

As for "experiences", like the poster above said. Well, everyone has them, don't they, and everybody's experience is different from everyone elses, so I don't know that this proves anything, other than the fact that people can see and feel the same things differently.