Chapter Four, Five, Six and Seven of
LIFE IN CHRIST
Subtitled, The Resurrection,
Our Only Hope Of Life After Death
William Robert West
Author of “The Rapture And Israel”
Is "The Wages Of Sin Death"
"Eternal Life With Torment In Hell"
HELL, NEVER, FOREVER, OR JUST FOR AWHILE?
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Is "The Wages Of Sin Death"
"Eternal Life With Torment In Hell"
An Immortal Soul and the Doctrine of Hell
Chapter Four, the four occasions Christ used Gehenna.
THE VANISHING HELL—THE CHANGING HELL –THE MANY HELLS
TWENTY-NINE PLUS VERSIONS OF HELL
THREE CATHOLIC VERSIONS OF HELL
(1) The Dark Age Catholic version of Hell.
(2) The New Catholic version of Hell.
(3) The Nether World.
SOME OF THE MANY DIVISIONS
OF THE PROTESTANT VERSIONS OF HELL
(1) The Calvin version of Hell.
(2) The Jonathan Edwards version.
(3) The “revisionist” version of Hell.
(4) The Graphic view of Hell.
(5) The literal Hell.
(6) Satan doing the tormenting.
(7) God doing the tormenting.
(8) The Metaphorical view of both Heaven and Hell.
(9) Mental anguish only Hell–Billy Graham.
(10) The eternal sinning version of Hell.
(11) C. S Lewis–the almost pleasant Hell.
(12) Protestant Traditionalist.
(13) Many Protestant Premillennial versions.
(14) Realized Eschatology–A. D. 70 version.
(15) Dante’s cold Hell with nine levels of torment.
(16) The “Sudden Realization” version of Hell.
(17) Protestant Rephaim version.
EIGHT OTHER VERSIONS OF HELL
(1) Abraham’s bosom after Judgment Hell, A newer version, Church of Christ, Christian Church.
(2) Edward Fudge version, the short Hell.
(3) Christadelphians version.
(4) Church of God and others.
(5) Universalist version of Hell.
(6) Seventh-Day Advent version.
(7) Latter-day Saints version (Mormons).
(8) The Grave is Hell version (Jehovah's Witnesses).
(9) Christian Science Version of Hell.
NO BIBLE HELL
Use of fire and torment in the New Testament.
Chapter Five, Sheol, Hades, and Tartarus.
Chapter Six, Sheol in the Old Testament.
THE WAY SHEOL IS TRANSLATED IN THE KING JAME VERSION.
(1) Down into a pit in the earth (in 3 passages).
(2) Nations in the grave (in 4 passages).
(3) Nations in Hell (in 14 passages).
(4) The good in the grave (in 10 passages).
(5) The bad in the grave (in 7 passages).
(6) The good and bad in the grave together (in 10 passages).
(7) The good and bad in Hell together (in 2 passages).
(8) The good in Hell (in 7 passages).
(9) The bad in Hell (In only 8 of the 65 passages).
HADES IS USED ELEVEN TIMES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
(1) That has reference to the death of Christ (3 passages).
(2) That has reference to death (1 passage).
(3) That has reference to the destruction of cities or countries (2 passages).
(4) The symbolical passages (5 passages).
Chapter Seven, A strange and unexplainable silence. The reinterpreting of life, death, torment, destruction, destroy, perish, die, and end.
How did a real earthly valley near Jerusalem, which existed in the time of Christ and is still today called by the same name “Gehenna” become a place of eternal torment named “Hell,” which is a place that is not on this earth? The name “Hell” in the King James Version is translated from four different words (two are common nouns and two are proper nouns), three are in the Greek New Testament (Gehenna, hades and Tartarus), and one in the Hebrew Old Testament (sheol). Both sheol in the Old Testament, and hades in the New Testament are common nouns and both mean grave; Sheol is translated both (1) grave (2) and Hell in the King James Version, and Tartarus is translated Hell one time. Most other translations (American Standard Version, New American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, New International Version, and others) translate only one word (Gehenna) into Hell, and only in the New Testament, not four different words that have completely different meanings. The word Hell is not in the Old Testament in any of the above translations, or is not in most other translations. Although this valley is mentioned thirteen times (Joshua 15:8 two times, Joshua 18:16 two times; 2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Nehemiah 11:30; Jeremiah 7:31; 7:32; 19:2; 19:6; 32:35;) in the Old Testament it is called the valley of Hinnom, always a proper noun, the name of a particular place (the name of a well-known valley that is a geographical location that is easily found on any map of ancient Jerusalem) and it was never changed to another proper noun, even the King James Version in the Old Testament did not change the name of this valley to "Hell," another proper noun, but in the New Testament they did change this proper noun into another proper noun of a completely different place that is not found on any map.
Tophet, the name of a real place, is in the valley of Gehenna (just as Florida is in the U. S.), “which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom,” (2 Kings 23:10). Tophet is not in Hell. It is named 9 times; 2 Kings 23:10; Isaiah 30:33; Jeremiah 7:31; 7:32; 19:6; 19:11; 19:12; 19:13; 19:14 and it is always a proper noun, the name of a place that is on this earth, a place that is in the valley of Gehenna.
The valley of Hinnom (Gehenna in the New Testament) was a well-known valley south of Jerusalem long before it was made into a trash dump, and the valley still exists to this day, and still has the name “Gehenna”. Josiah might have made this valley into a rubbish dump (2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chronicles 28:1-4). In the time of Christ this valley was the city dump. Most newer translations, and most all Bible students now admit sheol, hades, and Tartarus do not mean Hell, but some still believe Gehenna, a proper noun should be changed to Hell, changed to another proper noun, the name of another place; the change of Gehenna into Hell makes a detailed look at this valley as it is used in both the Old and New Testament be necessary.
Gehenna in the Old Testament was not a place of eternal torment and would never have been understood by those hearing Christ as anything but a place of destruction.
HOW DID ONE PLACE BECOME ANOTHER PLACE?
Gehenna is the name of a valley south of Jerusalem; it is a real location on this earth in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and it is still a real location today, and many tourists now take “tours of Hell” into it. The valley of Gehenna was used in the time of Christ as the city dump of Jerusalem. In the fifties I did some work at the dump of a city about the size of Jerusalem in the time of Christ. The refuse would be put in a large pile and set on fire, and all day rains could not put the fire out. There would have been no way for the people of Jerusalem to quench it (put out) before it burnt up all there was to burn. Back in the fifties and before, cities did not have landfills as they do now to burry the trash instead of burning it to keep smoke out of the air, but had garbage dumps where they would put the garbage in piles and burn the garbage just as Jerusalem did in the time of Christ. Big city garbage dumps were always burning night and day, and the smoke could sometimes be seen for miles. The remains of animals were put in it, and the remains would be full of worms (Greek, Maggots–Young, page 1074) before the fire got to them. They were the same as Gehenna was in the time of Jesus, and were literally used for the destruction of the unwanted city garbage. Brimstone (sulfur) was added to Gehenna to keep the garbage burning; it was always burning night and day, and those near by could see the smoke always rising. Those Jesus was speaking to may have been able to see the smoke of Gehenna in the background while Jesus was speaking. The people of Jerusalem did not have a trash pickup as we do, and the people had to take their trash to Gehenna; therefore, many of those Christ was speaking to would be very familiar with the never-ending fires and worms that were in Gehenna; they would see Gehenna as a place where they destroyed their trash and the bodies of dead criminals only after the criminals had been put to death, only after they were dead, but never would have understood Gehenna as a place of torment, it was a place of complete destruction, annihilation by fire of anything they cast into it. They used Gehenna as an incinerator or furnace for the purpose of destroying useless things.
(1). How did the name of a valley that is near Jerusalem that exists to this day, and it’s name is still called Gehenna today become “Hell” in the Bible. “HELL” IS AN ANGLO SAXON WORD, A NAME THAT WAS UNKNOWN IN THE TIME OF CHRIST AND UNKNOWN TO ANYONE UNTO LONG AFTER THE NEW TESTAMENT WAS WRITTEN; THE NAME “HELL” WAS NOT USED BY CHRIST; IT IS A NAME THAT DID NOT EXIST IN THE TIME OF CHRIST; IT IS A NAME THAT IS NOT IN AMY WRITING BEFORE CHRIST OR IN THE TIME OF CHRIST, THE NAME “HELL” IS NOT IN ANY WRITING BEFORE THE DARK AGE BECAUSE IT DID NOT EXIST BEFORE THEN. In the time of Christ Gehenna was a place of destruction with no torment. Hell, as believed in today by many Christians, a place where God will forever torment most of mankind IS A DARK AGE DOCTRINE OF A PLACE THAT HAD NOTHING EVEN CLOSE TO IT IN THE TIME OF CHRIST.
(2). How did the name that Christ used, “Gehenna” get changed into an English word “Hell” that means an eternal place of torment, changed to both a place and a name that did not exist unto long after the last of the New Testament was written?
(3). Changed from Gehenna, a place that is on this earth to Hell, changed to a place that many believe to be a place that is not on this earth.
(4). Changed from a place of complete destruction of all worthless things that were thrown into it to a place where there is no destruction. The answer is simple; the translators were willing to change the Bible to put their pagan doctrine into the Bible.
1. GEHENNA, a place of destruction with no torment, a place that is on this earth.
2. HELL, a pace of torment with no destruction, a place that we are told by those that believe in Hell that Hell is not on this earth. The name “Hell” did not exist at the time the New Testament was written, a name that did not exist unto the Dark Age.
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, "In the time of our Savior, it (Gehenna) was the place to which all the filth, and the dead bodies of animals and criminals from the city of Jerusalem, were conveyed. Here worms were ever reveling on the carcasses of the dead, and fires were ever kept burning to consume the noxious matter and to purge the air from its pestilential stench." "Five Discourses On Hell," 1848, At http://www.cimmay.us/campbell.html
MOSES STUART, “After these sacrifices had ceased, the place was desecrated, and made one of loathing and horror. The pious king Josiah caused it to be polluted, 2 Kings xxii. 10; i.e., he caused to carry there the filth of the city of Jerusalem. It would seem that the custom of desecrating this place, thus happily begun, was continued in after-ages down to the period when our Savior was on earth. Perpetual fires were kept up, in order to consume the offal, which was deposited there. And as the same offal would breed worms (for so all putrefying meat of course does), hence came the expression, ‘Where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched.’” “Exegetical Essays On Several Words Relating To Future Punishment.” Presbyterian Publication Committee, page 192.
JACOB BLAIN, “For Dr. George Campbell says, ‘Our Lord, we find from the evangelists, spoke to his countrymen in the dialect of their own Scriptures, and used those names to which the reading of the Law, and the prophets had familiarized them.’ Not observing this fact has been the great cause of the woeful mistake about future punishment. I affirm, then, that Hinnom, (Gehenna) is never used in the O. T. to mean a place of infernal punishment, or world of woe.” “Death Not Life, Or, The Theological Hell and Endless Misery Disproved,” page 49, public domain.
ALBERT BARNES, "Gehenna became extremely offensive; the sight was terrific; the air was pollute and pestilential; it was necessary to keep fires burning continually there. The extreme loathsomeness of the place, and filth and putrefaction, the corruption of the atmosphere, and the lurid fires blazing by day and by night, made it one of the most appalling and terrific objects with which a Jew was ever acquainted." Commentary on Matthew 5:22.
In the time of Jesus Gehenna was used as a place of destruction, but there was no torment in it; those who heard Jesus would understand the use of Gehenna as a place of complete destruction, but would not have been able to look at Gehenna, their city dump and understand how it could be used as a place of endless torment by God, for there was no torment in their city dump, and nothing alive was thrown into it after the valley was made into a dump; after it became a dump living persons were not tormented in the fire of Gehenna. When most who use the King James Version read Hell they never understand that Christ was speaking of the city dump, for they cannot from the King James Version for the translators have completely hid this from their readers. The name Gehenna was changes by the translators into a name that did not exist in the time of Christ to make the readers understand Christ to be speaking of a place that is not on this earth where God will be forever tormenting immortal souls even after the earth is destroyed when Gehenna will have been destroyed with the earth.
A proper noun is the name of "a particular person, place, or thing." Gehenna is a proper noun, the name of a well-known particular place near Jerusalem, a place where many tourists now visit. To change Gehenna into Hell, another proper noun, the name of a completely different particular place, a place that did not exist when the New Testament was written is more than a bad translation; it is a deliberate changing. Bethlehem, Dead Sea, Gehenna, Rome, and Jericho are all proper nouns and should not be changed into another name. Proper nouns (names) are the same in most languages; therefore, they are not translated, but Gehenna was changed, not translated, changed into Hell, changed into another proper noun, the name of another particular place just because the King James translators needed to put the Hell they believed in into the Bible. Hell is not a translation of Gehenna in the same way that New York is not a translation of Jerusalem. GEHENNA AND HELL ARE TWO DIFFERENT PROPER NAMES OF TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PLACES. From where did the King James translators get this name, and why did they want to deliberately mislead all who read their translation? Changing Gehenna into Hell is not a translation; it is a complete change, an unjustifiable change; NO ONE CAN DENY THAT JUSUS USED “GEHENNA” AND THE TRANSLATORS DELIBERATELY CHANGE THE NAME THAT JESUS USED TO “HELL,” the name of one place on earth changed to the name of another place that those that believe in Hell tell us it is not on earth; THE PLACE OR THE NAME DID NOT EXIST IN THE TIME OF CHRIST. GEHENNA IS NOT HELL, GEHENNA IS GEHENNA; no one can deny that Jesus NEVER used the name “Hell,” FOR THERE WAS NO GREEK WORD IN THE TIME OF CHRIST THAT HAD THE MEANING THAT THE ENGLISH WORD HELL NOW HAS TODAY. The name of this valley is used in the New Testament only when speaking to the Jews for it was not a locality or a name that would be known to most Gentiles that did not live near Jerusalem. Gehenna was a local particular place; Gehenna would be a name known and used only to those who lived in or near Jerusalem. The names of the city dumps of most cities are not well known to any but to those who live near the dump, and those not from that city would not know or use it. Christ and James spoke of Gehenna only to Jews; it was never used when speaking to Gentiles. Paul did not say anything about Gehenna in any of his letters to those not at Jerusalem; if Gehenna were Hell, a place of eternal torment for souls as many teach it to be, the silence of Paul and the other New Testament writers would be unexplainable. Paul speaks of (1) death, Romans 6:23; (2) perishing, 1 Corinthians 1:18; (3) destruction, Romans 9:22, but never of Hell.
Changing Gehenna into Hell is a deliberate mistranslation. There is no other literal place that the translators changed into another literal place as they did when they changed Gehenna (a literal real place) into Hell (another completely made up different literal place).
CHANGING GEHENNA INTO HELL
1. Is the same as mistranslating New York into Jerusalem would be.
2. And the same as mistranslating Jericho into Florida would be.
3. The name of a real place is changed to the made up name of a place that does not exist.
The name of this valley that is on this earth was not changed into Hell that is not on this earth in the Septuagint, a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek that was used in the time of Christ; in it Gehenna was left untranslated the same as other names. "Hell" is not a translation but a deliberate changing of one place to another completely different place. I believe it was deliberately changed to put "Hell" in the Bible. A place has been made up that is not in the Bible; and a name given to it that is not in the Bible, a name that did not exist at the time the New Testament was written; if this is not adding to the Bible then what would it take to add to the Bible? That Christ used the name of a valley, which was the city dump, is completely hid from the reader of the King James Version, whether intentional or not; and the readers are led to believe He spoke of a different place that men have named "Hell;" Gehenna was changed to Hell in the Dark Age long after the New Testament was written. The teachings of Christ have been deliberately changed. Gehenna is a real well known location on this earth, not somewhere under the earth or out in space; in the time of Christ Gehenna was a real place where real fires were constantly kept burning since it served as an incinerator for the useless refuse of the city. Gehenna cannot be changed into Hell, no one has the right to change what Christ said, and to do so is not translating but deliberately changing one place to another place, deliberately deceiving the readers. To say Gehenna, as used by Christ, is Hell, is to say it has no reference to the Gehenna (the city dump) near Jerusalem.
Fire destroys anything that is cast into it, maggots destroys only what is already dead, they do not eat or torment the living. In the time of Christ there was no torment, and no idol worshipped in Gehenna (the city dump). Christ was not alluding to idol worship or torment, but to the destruction of those who rejected him. Worms (maggots) do not eat living being, but dead ones, not to torment them, but to consume (eat up for food), neither do maggots eat “souls.” As long as there was something to burn or eat, the maggots would never die out, and the fire would not go out, but be consuming, not tormenting what was being cast in. In the time of Christ the valley of Gehenna was a place used to dispose of useless things, not to torment them. Many misuse this change of Gehenna into Hell to show that living being will be tormented forever, and make God be the one who is doing the tormenting. Living victims were not preserved alive and tormented in Gehenna (as we are told they are in Hell), but fire or worms completely devoured dead victims. To make Gehenna a place of eternal torment is without any base whatsoever.
BEFORE THE NAME OF A PLACE CAN BE USED AS SYMBOLIC OF ANOTHER PLACE, THE PLACE AND IT’S NAME FOR WHICH THE EMBLEM IS USED MUST FIRST BE KNOWN TO EXIST; no such place as the Hell that is taught today did not exist in the time of Christ; Hell or it’s name, did not exist in the Old Testament, and did not exist, was not known or used by anyone in the time of the New Testament. To use one place as symbolical of another place there must be a parallel between the two; there is no parallel between, (1) Gehenna, a place of destruction with no torment, (2) and Hell, a place of torment with no destruction. Gehenna that existed in the Old Testament and in the time of Christ is not symbolic of the Hell that is taught today. We are told that both Gehenna and the Lake of Fire are metaphors of Hell; there is no way anyone could know they are metaphors of Hell if they did not know about Hell, but there is not one passage in the Bible that tell us there is such a place, that there is a Hell; the name “Hell” did not exist unto the Dark Age Catholic Church, long after the New Testament was written.
Gehenna and the Lake of Fire are often thought by some to be the same metaphor.
1. Gehenna was a place of destruction, but not of torment.
2. A lake of fire would be a place that would destroy all life, as we know it, a place where no life could exist.
Both Gehenna and the Lake of Fire picture the total destruction of whatever was thrown into them; neither one is a symbol of an eternal life of torment; Gehenna was a place of destruction of trash, or destruction of what ever was cast into it, anything that was alive and cast into a lake of fire would be totally destroyed, no living thing can live in fire; neither Gehenna, nor the Lake of Fire are not a place of eternal life. Both picture complete destruction of all life, not endless life.
STEVEN CLARK GOAD, On
11/1/2010 I found this on the web by Steven Clark Goad, Church of Christ,
Christian Ekklesia Podcast. “In summation, isn’t it strange indeed
that false teachers have taken a “real place” (Gehenna) referred to by Jesus
himself as a metaphor of destruction and have changed it into another made
up/fabricated ‘real place’ (hell) where souls (spirits, living beings,
whatever) will be tortured unendingly by a loving heavenly Father? If Gehenna
is a metaphor of ‘hell’ as it is traditionally taught, isn’t it a poor one, for
Gehenna (the Jerusalem city dump of Jesus’ era) was a real place of destruction
and consummation with no torment and no torture involved, while ‘hell’ is a
made up place of torment and torture with no destruction at all? Is this
twisted thinking the height of misguided thinking?” “Thoughts on Punishment of
the Wicked” at:
THOMAS WHITTEMORE, “The Sanhedrim of the Jews, for some offenses, sentenced the bodies of the offenders to lie unburied in that valley, to burn with the carrion cast there, which, among the Jews, was considered a great disgrace.” “The Doctrine Of Eternal Hell Torments,” page 15,1833.
An effect is now being made by some to disprove that the trash dump of Gehenna was what Christ was speaking of by saying there is no evidence that Gehenna was ever a trash dump. How can anyone that believes the Bible say that it was not in Gehenna where the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched? Christ used the name Gehenna, which no one can deny is the name of a real valley; they do not believe Christ used the right name of the right valley and have changed the name Gehenna that He did use into the name Hell that He did not use. A city the size that Jerusalem was would have had much trash, where do they think the fire that burnt it were; where do they think the maggots were that were as real as the fire? In A. D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed the valley stopped being used as a trash dump; after about 2,000 years there would be no trash to be found. Those that say Gehenna was not a trash dump because there is no sign of trash today have not found any other place near Jerusalem where there is any trash from before A. D. 70.
WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH
Both are used in the Old and New Testament
(1). Weeping for miseries and grief, both for personal miseries, and miseries and grief as a nation are used to often to list them, use any good concordance. It is used in the New Testament the same way it was in the Old Testament. See Matthew 2:18; Mark 5:28; Luke 7:38; 8:52; John 11:33; 20:11 Acts 9:39; 21:13; James 5:1. The weeping is the Jews when they see Israel being cast out as God's chosen people, and Jerusalem and the Temple being destroyed, and the end of their national identity. See Matthew 24, Daniel 9, and 10 in chapter twelve. Two parables in Matthew 13 have the tares and the bad fish gathered out of the kingdom “at the end of the age,” there will be both weeping and gnashing of teeth. The “end of the age” was the end of the age that then was, the Jewish age. The weeping is never said to be eternal, never said to be immortal souls weeping.
(2). Gnashing of teeth shows anger and rage of the persons gnashing their teeth; it is not used to show that those that are gnashing their teeth are being tormented; Gnashing of teeth is used in both the Old and New Testament, but both weeping and gnashing of teeth are not used together in the Old Testament; in the New Testament “weeping and gnashing of teeth” are both used together only by Matthew and Luke, six times in Matthew (8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30) and one time in Luke (13:28). They are all in parables about the Jews weeping and gnashing their teeth because when they rejected Christ they were rejected as God’s chosen nation and the Gentiles became God’s chosen people.
“All your enemies have opened their mouths wide against you; they hiss and gnash their teeth” (Lamentations 2:16).
“Like godless jesters at a feast, they gnashed at me with their teeth” Psalm 35:15-16.
“Wicked plots against the righteous, and gnashes at him with his teeth” Psalm 37:12.
“His anger has torn me and hunted me down, he has gnashed at me with his teeth” Job 16:9.
This gnashing of their teeth is living persons gnashing their teeth on others living persons in barbarous anger. If this were speaking of souls in Hell, than souls that we are told have no substance but will have teeth and will be gnashing on other immaterial souls that has no substance to gnash on while they themselves are being gnashed on by other immaterial no substance souls that also have teeth that can bite other souls that also are only immaterial thoughts!
It is used the same way in the New Testament. "And they gnashed on him with their teeth" (Acts 7:54). Who gnashed on whom? Those who stoned Stephen were angry with him, they were not in pain; they were not dead, and they were not in Hell, they were alive and on this earth when they gnashed on Stephen who was also alive. If gnashing of teeth were in Hell, as many teach it is, whom are they going to gnash with their teeth in Hell, each other? Does anyone believe some in Hell will be angry with others in Hell, and will gnash on them with their teeth? The gnashing of teeth is the anger and rage of the Jews towards those doing the destroying (the Roman army), and maybe even toward God for letting the destroying be happening. Gnashing of teeth is living persons that are gnashing their teeth on other living persons because of anger or rage. It is not because of the persons doing the gnashing of their teeth are being tormented in Hell. In the Bible in both the Old and the New Testament, gnashing of teeth is always because of anger of living persons doing the gnashing on other living persons. It is changed from “gnashing” to “gritting” and misused today to show souls being tormented in "Hell" are “gritting” their teeth because of their own pain. Does anyone that believes God will be tormenting souls in Hell believe that one soul that is being tormented by God will gnash it teeth on another soul that is also being tormented by God?
1. In the Old Testament gnashing of teeth is because of violent anger and rage on the part of the living person that is doing the gnashing on another living person (Job 16:9; Psalms 35:16; 3712; Lamentation 2:16).
2. In the New Testament gnashing of teeth is because of rage and anger on the part of the living person doing the gnashing on another living person, on Paul (Acts 7:54).
Weeping and gnashing of teeth are two different things, which are sometimes both are found together, but most often they are not together.
1. Weeping is because of sorrow, not because of rage.
2. Gnashing of teeth is because of rage or anger, not because of sorrow, not because of being in pain.
That either one will be in Hell is an assumption that is preached over and over. Both weeping and gnashing of teeth are always by living persons on this earth. Of the many times both are use in the Bible, not once are souls weeping or gnashing their teeth after the Judgment Day because they are being tormented by God.
PARABLES USED BY CHRIST
(1). The Centurion Gentile Matthew 8:5-13, The Gentile centurion ends with a parable about the rejection of Israel. Jesus marveled at the faith of this Gentile centurion. "And when he was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant is lying in the house sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And he said unto him, I will come and heal him. And the centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having under myself soldiers: and I say to this one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it. And when Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast forth into the outer darkness: (Israel shall be excluded from being the children of God by birth, cast into darkness of the world without the light of God’s word) there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth." Where Matthews says, “Sons of the kingdom” were cast forth Luke says, “AND YOURSELVES CAST FORTH WITHOUT” (Luke 13:24-30). At that time the Jews were the sons of the kingdom, but because to their rejection of Christ they were “cast forth without.” After seeing the faith of this Gentile, Jesus says the Gentiles will sit in the kingdom, and the sons (Jews) will be cast forth. The same as at the marriage feast (above), the Jews, because they rejected Christ as their king, they were cast out of the kingdom. The church, not Israel, is now God's kingdom. Those who teach Hell read the prophecies of Christ about the judgment of Israel in AD 70 and move the weeping and gnashing of teeth to be souls weeping in Hell after the Judgment Day is over. They have not found one passage that says anything about the lost after the judgment. Nothing can happen to nothing. After the second death there could be nothing said, for there will be nothing to say anything about. There is (1) this life (2) the first death, (3) a resurrection to life from the first death, (4) then the second death for the lost. But nothing is said about a third life for the lost after the second death. They need something to prove eternal life in their Hell, and try to make it look as if weeping and gnashing of teeth could only be because of God is eternally tormenting souls in Hell; although both weeping and gnashing of teeth are used throughout the Old Testament and those who believe in Hell do not believe weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Old Testament have any reference to a time of punishment after the Judgment Day, but they assume that the way they are used in the Old Testament is completely changed, that in the New Testament both are used in reference to punishment in Hell after the Judgment Day. Weeping and gnashing of teeth has a reference to Hell only when they want or need them to. Even according to those who believe in Hell, no one is cast out of Heaven, but if this "weeping and the gnashing of teeth" is changed and made to be in Hell after the judgment, it is (1) "sons of the kingdom" that are cast out into the outer darkness (2) "sons of the kingdom" that are weeping and gnashing their teeth. In using this passage to prove the outer darkness is Hell it makes some be in Heaven before the judgment, but they are weeping and gnashing their teeth while they are in Heaven, and then are cast out of Heaven into Hell after the judgment. If "and yourselves cast forth without" is cast into Hell where those who believe in Hell say the "weeping and gnashing of tenth" will be, then this makes those from the east and west go to Heaven after the Judgment Day. If this “weeping and gnashing of teeth” were after the coming of Christ, it would have some going into Heaven, and some being cast out of Heaven after the kingdom has been delivered up to God; therefore, after the judgment. This is more than those trying to prove Hell want to prove, for they do not think any will be cast out of Heaven after the judgment, and no one who is in Heaven after the judgment will be cast out of Heaven and will go to Hell, so why is this passage used in a way that makes it prove there will be some cast out of Heaven into Hell after the judgment? The references to both “outer darkness” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” are not references to Hell.
(2 and 3). The parable of the tares (Matthew 13:36-42), and the parable of the net (Matthew 13:47-50). Are cast into the outer darkness.
If the "weeping and the gnashing of teeth" is because of being in Hell, then the “sons of the kingdom” that are doing the gnashing of teeth would have to be in Hell. Then, if this is changed to be in Hell after the judgment, which would be after the coming of Christ, and after the resurrection, then “Many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven,” but this is speaking of the church, not Heaven after the judgment. The references to both “outer darkness” and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” are not references to Hell.
If this were after the judgment, where will they come from? From Hell or where? There is no way that any persons not with a white robes washed white by the blood of Christ could come from any place, not the east or the west, and set down in the kingdom after the kingdom has been delivered up to God in Heaven, therefore; this could only be speaking of coming from all parts of the earth into the kingdom (church) in the life time of persons while they are alive on earth, not anyone coming into the kingdom after their death, or after the resurrection, not after the kingdom has been delivered up to Heaven.
J. W. McGARVEY on Matthew 8:12, "And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of Heaven (Jesus here predicts the conversion of the Gentiles, since that fact is suggested to him by the faith of this centurion. The east and the west represent the extreme points of the compass in the directions in which the world was most thickly inhabited…12 But The Sons Of The Kingdom (The child of anything in Hebrew phraseology expressed the idea of special property which one has in the thing specified, as, for instance, children of disobedience (Eph. ii. 2). Jesus here means, then, the Jews, to whom the kingdom belonged by hereditary descent–Rom. ix. 4). Shall be cast forth into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. (In this paragraph Christ's kingdom is set forth under the simile of a great feast, a familiar simile with Jesus (Matt. xxvi. 29; Luke xxii. 30). The Jews were accustomed to speak of the delights of the Messianic kingdom as a feast with the patriarchs (Luke xiv. 15), but lost sight of the fact that Gentiles should share in its cheer and fellowship (Isa. xxv. 6). Marriage feasts and other great feasts of the Jews were usually held in the evening. Inside, therefore, there would be joy and light and gladness, but outside there would be darkness and disappointment, tears and bitter self-reproach (Matt. xxv. 10–13). The despised outcasts should be brought in and placed at the festal board, while the long–invited guests–the natural and fleshly heirs of Abraham's invitation–would be excluded (Matt. xxi. 43)." “The Fourfold Gospel,” page 272, Standard Publishing Company, 1914, Church of Christ.
J. W. McGARVEY on Luke 13:28-30, "There shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and yourselves cast forth without. 29 And they shall come from the east and west, and from the north and south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold (little as you may think it), they are last who shall be first, and they are first who shall be last. (A familiar proverb of Christ's (Matt. xix 30; xx. 10), to be interpreted by such passages as Matt. xxi. 31 and Rom. ix. 30, 31. The Jew who thought the Gentile had no hope at all, and that he himself was sure of salvation, would be surprised to find that his opinion was the very reverse of the real fact as time developed it)." “The Fourfold Gospel,” page 490, Standard Publishing Company, 1914. The Jews were cast forth out of the kingdom, cast out as Gods chosen people; NOTHING IS SAID ABOUT ANYONE ENTERNING HEAVEN AFTER THE RESURRECTION, OR ABOUT ANYONE BEING CAST OUT OF HEAVEN INTO "HELL."
B. W. JOHNSON on Matthew 8:12, "But the children of the kingdom. The Jews, the natural children of Abraham, the 'Father of the faithful,' heirs of the promises made to him. Cast out because they rejected the Messiah, in whom all the promises center.” “The People's New Testament With Notes,” Gospel Light Publishing Company, 1889, Church of Christ.
H. LEO BOLES on Matthew 8:11-12, “The ‘sons of the kingdom’ were the Jews; they were heirs of the kingdom according to the promise; to them it was first offered, and it was because they rejected it that they were to ‘be cast forth into the outer darkness.’ While the Jews rejected Christ as their Messiah, the Gentiles would accept him as their Savior; this prophecy of Jesus has literally been fulfilled. These Jews were ‘sons of the kingdom’ as the wicked are ‘sons of disobedience’ (Eph. 2:2), and ‘children of obedience’ (1 Pet. 1:14) and ‘children of wrath’ (Eph. 2:3). ‘Outer darkness’ is an expression which denotes ‘the blackness of darkness.’ (Jude 13; 2 Pet. 2:17). It is described as a place where ‘there shall be weeping and the gnashing of teeth,’ while at the same time others, Gentiles, shall be enjoying a feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. ‘The weeping and the gnashing’ represent intense suffering; they shall weep because they have lost their favor with God, and shall gnash their teeth because others have obtained it.” “A Commentary On The Gospel According To Matthew,” Page 191,Gospel Advocate Company, 1954, Church of Christ.
JAMES BURTON COFFMAN on Matthew 8:10-12, “The centurion’s faith contrasted sharply with the lack of it in the Jewish leaders who, although they should have been the first to recognize Christ and believe on him, were nevertheless his carping critics and sworn enemies. Jesus’ first comment was directed toward that shameful and tragic condition. It was, then and there, announced by Jesus that the Gentiles would be received into the kingdom of God and that many ‘sons of the kingdom,’ that is, Jews, would not enter.” “Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew,” Firm Foundation Publishing House, page 105, 1968, Church of Christ.
ADAM CLARKE on Matthew 8:12, “’I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’–That is, I have not found so great an instance of confidence and faith in my power, even among the Jews, as this Roman, a Gentile, has shown himself to possess…’Many shall come from the east and west’–men of every description, of all countries…The rabbins represent the blessedness of the kingdom of God under the notion of a banquet…”With Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob’–In the closest communion with the most eminent followers of God…’Shall be cast out into outer darkness’–As the enjoyment of that salvation which Jesus Christ calls the kingdom of heaven is here represented under the notion of a nuptial festival, at which the guests sat down in a reclining posture, with the master of the feast; so the state of those who were excluded from the banquet is represented as deep darkness; because the nuptial solemnities took place at night. Hence, at those suppers, the house of reception was filled with lights…so they who were admitted to the banquet had the benefit of the light; but they who were shut out were in darkness, called here outer darkness, i.e. the darkness on the outside of the house in which the guests were; which must appear more abundantly gloomy, when compared with the profusion of light within the guest-chamber.”
R. C. H. LENSKI on Matthew 8:12, “As the physical descendants of Abraham the Jews were, indeed, the first heirs of the Messianic covenant and kingdom. The only trouble was that they failed to inherit. John 8:37-41 states why. Although they were beyond question ‘the sons of the kingdom’ because they were ‘Abraham’s seed’ and thus the potential heirs, they forfeited their inheritance of the kingdom by unbelief.”
JOHN WESLEY founder of Methodist Church on Matthew 8:12, “Many from the farthest parts of the earth shall embrace the terms and enjoy the rewards of the Gospel covenant established with Abraham. But the Jews, who have the first title to them, shall be shut out from the feast.”
Although many of the wisest preachers and writers whose writings have stood the test of time say the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" is speaking of the Jews both (1) weeping and (2) gnashing there teeth because of being rejected as God's chosen people, and the Gentiles coming into the kingdom, the church. Some still misuse this, as did Stephen Wiggins in the Firm Foundation, 2006, page 6. Gehenna is not in any of the passages with "weeping and gnashing of teeth." If he did any study it would be difficult to believe he did not know the weeping and gnashing of teeth has no reference to "Hell." The use of this passage is just a desperate attempt to find a passage that teaches eternal torment? Because of the desperate need for proof of the doctrine of Hell they try to make this have a hidden double meaning.
(1) The clear meaning, Israel will no longer be God’s chosen people.
(2) The assumed hidden meaning, God is going to forever torment most of mankind in Hell. There is absolutely no hidden meaning, nothing about Hell, eternal torment, or anything after the judgment in this passage.
UNQUENCHABLE FIRE AND WORMS OF GEHENNA
"Unquenchable fire" and "their worm dies not" as they are used in the Old and New Testaments, complete destruction. Unquenchable fire is commonly used in the Old Testament only when speaking of God’s earthly judgments on wicked nations (1) Jeremiah 17:27 (2) Isaiah 66:24) (3) Jeremiah 4:4 (4) Jeremiah 21:12 (5) Ezekiel 20:47-48 (6) Amos 5:6 (7) Isaiah 34:10 (8) Jeremiah 7:20 (9) Jeremiah 7:31-33 (10) Jeremiah 19:6-9 (11) Nehemiah 1:3 (12) also 2 Chronicles 34:25 (13) also in the New Testament Sodom is said to “suffering the punishment of eternal fire,” Jude 7; 2 Peter 2:6. Unquenchable fire never had any reference to Hell, or to judgment, or punishment after death.
In Jeremiah 17:27 God said He would burn the gates of Jerusalem, “And it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem and not be quenched.” Jeremiah 7:20, “Therefore thus says the Lord God ‘Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out (1) on this place, (2) on man, (3) and on beast, (4) and on the trees of the field, (5) and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.’” No one thinks any of the above five, only souls that had been in the man will be tormented in Hell, but all five burn with the same unquenchable fire of God’s anger that men dose; the burning of all five is on this earth, not in Hell. This destruction of Israel was a destruction that took place on this earth, came to an end when the destruction was complete, when Israel went into captivity, no one could quench it, it did the work of destruction that God sent it to do.
“And remove the foreskins of our heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My wrath go forth LIKE FIRE and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds” (Jeremiah 4:4); this is speaking of God’s wrath on Israel, on “Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,” if they did not keep His word then God’s wrath will completed consume them because of the evil of their deeds as fire consumes what it is burning, and none can stop His wrath before they are consumed; in this passage the unquenchable fire was not a literal fire but was symbolical of God’s unstoppable judgment on Israel.
The Jew in the time of Christ knew the Old Testament and would not have understood Christ to be speaking of God burning souls after the death of the persons the souls had been in.
John the Baptist used “unquenchable fire” on one occasion as a judgment on Israel just as it was used in the Old Testament as a warning of a coming judgment. He said Christ "will gather his wheat into the garner, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire" (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17). Will this unquenchable fire forever torment the chaff, which John said would “burn up?” John compared the unfruitful Jews to which he was speaking to unfruitful trees and chaff that will be burned up (Matthew 3:10); burned up trees do not live forever in torment; neither trees nor the chaff of wheat are preserved alive by fire in endless misery being torment by fire; fire is not a preserver, it utterly consumes what is cast into it, both trees and chaff are completely destroyed by fire. John could not have used any language that would show complete destruction (just as fire was used in the Old Testament) any clearly than what he did; yet this is changed to teach that fire cannot “burn up” the lost. “As therefore the tares are gathered up and burned with fire; so shall it be in the end of this age,” the Jewish age (Matthew 13:40).
Fire always consumes whatever it is burning, it never preserves alive; unquenchable fire is a fire that cannot be extinguished before it has done it work of consuming the chaff. The meaning of “burn up” cannot be reversed so that the chaff is preserved by the fire and is not “burn up.” The imagery is the complete destruction of what is worthless, whether it be Israel at the end of that age that ended at the death of Christ, or the lost persons after the judgment, it is not God endlessly burning souls that cannot be “consumed” or “burned up.”
Unquenchable fire is used on one occasion by Christ of the burning of trash in the city dump in Mark 9:43 where He repeats it a second time in verses 48 in the American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version, New International Version. "Unquenchable fire" is repeated four times in Mark 9:43, 44, 46 and 48 in the King James Version. In verses 44 and 46 the American Standard footnote says they, “Are omitted by the best ancient Authorities.” If on the only occasion Christ used "Unquenchable fire" was repeated two times or four times, what He was telling them was the same, what ever was cast into Gehenna was consumed by the fire, it was not tormented, They would not have understood what He was saying if the fire in Gehenna did not exist at that time, if the fire was something that would not be unto after the judgment day, both the fire and the place of the fire, Gehenna, were a real place with real fire at the time Christ said this.
“Shall never be quenched” King James Version, these four words are translated from the one word. The translators have added, “Shall never be”, then they changed “Gehenna” to “Hell” to make the Bible teach the Hell that they believe will not exist unto after the judgment, but “Hell” is not in the Greek; they are willing to make you think Christ said something He did not say to make you believe in the pagan Hell. In many translations this one word is translated “unquenchable;” an unquenchable fire is not a fire that shall never stop burning, it is a fire that cannot be put out unto there is nothing more to burn; the unquenchable fire in Isaiah 66:24 and Jeremiah 4:4 has long ago burned out. "Where their worm dies not, the fire is not quenched" in Mark 9:43 is a direct quotation of Isaiah 66:24 with both Jesus and Isaiah speaking of destroying by an earthly judgment on a nation; “I said, ‘Here am I, here am I’ to a nation which did not call on My name, I have spread out My hands all day lone to a rebellious people, who walk in that which is not good, following their own thoughts, a people who continually provoke Me to My face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks; who sit among graves, and spend the night in secret places; who eat swine’s flesh, detestable things, and mice” (Isaiah 66:1-7). Living persons “shall go forth and look on the CORPSES of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched” (Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:48). Even those that believe there are souls do not believe that unbelieving souls have corpses that were being eaten by worms so why are they using this passage? Living persons on this earth were looking at lifeless corpses of dead persons that were literally being burn by a literal fire and literally being eaten by worms. Lifeless souls were not what living persons went out and looked at. DEAD earthly bodies were being destroyed by fire and worm AFTER the Lord had killed the Assyrian army, there was no life in the dead bodies and no torment. Neither Isaiah, nor Christ did not say anything about these corpses, dead bodies that had been slain by the Lord being conscious and in torment, or about these bodies being alive; it would make no sense to the Jews in the days of Isaiah, nor to those Christ was speaking to say “corpses” (dead bodies) could suffer any kind of torment even though the literal dead bodies were literally being burn up and were literally being eaten by worms. Whatever was cast into the Gehenna fire was cast into it to be destroyed; should any flesh fall outside of the fire the worms would eat it; nothing escaped complete destruction. If the fire and worms were after the judgment, as some tell us they are, will there be dead bodies after the judgment that the saved will go out from Heaven to look at? After the judgment will these bodies and the worms be immortal, or will both past away when the earth does? Both the chaff and trash are utterly destroyed by burning to get rid of something unwanted; they were not tormented. Without changing Gehenna to Hell and then changing dead persons to living souls there is nothing in this passage or in any passage about eternal torment of living souls by God, there is no way to find “Hell” in the Bible; it was real worms eating real dead bodies, and real fire burning real bodies on this earth; NOTHING is said about any burning that is not on this earth. When dead bodies of Jews were cast into Gehenna, when many thousands of Jews were cast over the wall into Gehenna in A. D. 70, (1) there was nothing about anyone in Hell, (2) nothing about God endless tormenting living souls anyplace or at anytime. The fire and worms of Gehenna destroying all flesh that was cast into it is one of the strongest proofs in the Bible to disprove the theory of eternal life in torment, nothing was preserved in Gehenna. After A. D. 70 the material were no longer supplied to keep the fire going and the fire of Gehenna went out.
ADAM CLARKE, "He will burn up the chaff that is, the disobedient and rebellious Jews, with unquenchable fire that cannot be extinguished by man.”
EDWARD WHITE, “It is difficult to believe that if John the Baptist had before his imagination the thought of the indestructibleness of the wicked in the fires of hell, he would have likened them to chaff which is proverbially the thing in creation least fitted to withstand the action of the flames. This is an image, which no orthodox preacher in modern times can be induced to employ…It is a fire, which thoroughly accomplishes its object and burns up the chaff.” His book is free on line at, http://www.robertwr.com/LifeInChrist.htm
THOMAS BALDWIN THAYER, “Now, if the Savior used the same phraseology used by the prophets and the Jew, he would undoubtedly employ it in the same sense, if he wished or expected them to understand him. The prophets had employed these expressions, and the people were familiar with the use of them, a symbol of terrible judgments and punishment sent upon the guilty nations, falling on the transgressors in this life. Their Scriptures never use them in any other sense, and the significance of the language was in regard to the severity, and not the duration of the punishment.” “The Origin And History of Doctrine of Endless Punishment,” page 147, 1881.
You tell someone that a building caught on fire. They ask, “Was the fire put out? When you reply, “No we were unable to put it out;” it is not understand that the fire is still burning, but that it was unquenchable and did not cease to burn unto the building was utterly consumed by the fire; though the fire was unquenchable it was not an eternal fire. When a fire surpasses the ability of fire fighters, and they cannot put out a burning building they say it is an unquenchable fire, but it is not a fire that will burn forever; no one will be able to escape from it by putting it out, but it will go out when there is nothing more to burn. John the Baptist is not saying that God is going to literally burn all the rebellious Jews without an end, but that no one can stop His destruction of them before the destruction is complete; this happened in A. D. 70.
The only occasion Christ used "unquenchable fire" is in Mark 9:43 and 9:48 (changed in King James Version), where He was quoting from Isaiah 66:24; and living persons looked upon the carcasses of the men, King James Version, “on the corpses of the men” New American Standard Version. Carcasses or corpses are dead persons that living persons was to look at; both fire and worms destroy dead bodies; they do not torment the dead persons that was being burnt or eaten; there is not even a hint of God endlessly tormenting souls that are in Hell. To understand His words, they must be understood in the way the Old Testament used them, just as much of Revelation is to be understood by the way the same symbols are used in the Old Testament. “Unquenchable fire” was a well-known expression in the Old Testament, and it would be understood by those hearing Christ. "And the strong man will become tinder, his work also a spark, thus, they shall both burn together, and there will be none to quench them" (Isaiah 1:31); it is both (1) the strong man that will burn (2) with his works and not be quenched, not a soul that is in the strong men. Jeremiah warned Jerusalem of the consequence of their sins, "But if YOU do not listen to Me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming in through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem and it shall not be quenched" (Jeremiah 17:27). Jeremiah’s warning was fulfilled in 2 Chronicles 36:19-21, and was the literal destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians when Jerusalem was destroyed with an "unquenchable fire" that no one could stop before God’s destruction of them was complete. God’s judgment consumed all, and was not quenched. Jerusalem is not literally burning today. The unquenchable fire in the Old Testament was always a judgment on a city or nation on this earth, a judgment that no one could stop. Jerusalem was destroyed as a nation by a judgment from God, but was later restored. In many of the uses of unquenchable fire in the Old Testament it was not a literal fire, but it was symbol of a destruction that could not be stopped by man.
THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HELL MAKE TWO CHANGES
(1). Dead bodies on this earth being burned up by the unquenchable fire in the Old Testament changed to deathless souls, which they say are not on this earth and cannot be burned up.
(2). Then changes "unquenchable" into "eternal," then move the unquenchable fire that destroyed Jerusalem from Jerusalem on this earth, and put this "eternal fire" in their "Hell," which they say is not on this earth. The Jews that knew the Old Testament and were hearing Christ would have never understood “unquenchable fire” to be eternal torment of a living soul after the person it had been in was dead; a soul that those that make this change tell us that a soul has no substance that fire can burn.
First, the fire must be changed.
Second, after the fire has been changed from a fire that burns up to a fire that burns noting up, then it must be moved from Jerusalem on this earth to Hell that is not on this earth.
Isaiah says, "For behold, the Lord will come in fire and His chariots like the whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with the flames of fire. For the Lord will execute judgment by fire and by His sword on all flesh, and those slain by the Lord will be many...Then they shall go forth and look on the corpses (“dead bodies” in American Standard Version) of the men who have transgressed against me. For their (the corpses, dead people killed by the sword of the Lord) worm shall not die, and their (the corpses) fire shall not be quenched; and they (the corpses) shall be an abhorrence to all mankind" (Isaiah 66:15-24); “carcasses” in King James Version, “dead bodies” New International Version. The worms consumed the corpses, dead bodies, and the fires were not quenched unto there was no more flesh to consume or burn. It was corpses, carcasses, dead bodies, which were on the earth that were being consumed by the unquenchable fire and undying maggots, it was “those slain by the Lord” slain “by His sword,” dead bodies that was being burn up by fire and eaten by maggots (Isaiah 66:16), not “those tormented by the Lord,” not deathless immortal souls in Hell that we are told cannot be slain, not deathless souls that are screaming in anguish and pain because God is tormenting them. Isaiah 66:16; 66:24 describes the aftermath of a battle with the bodies of the dead unburied people; there is no suggestion of unending torment, or of any torment of the dead bodies that were being eaten by the worms. It takes a big change to make those people back in the time of Isaiah be souls looking from Heaven down into Hell, and see living souls being eaten by maggots; it was the living people on this earth that went out to the battle field, and saw real dead bodies on this earth being eaten and burned, not immortal souls in Heaven that "shall go forth and look on the corpses" and see dead corpse slain by a sword that has been changed to living souls that are that are being tormented by God in Hell as immortal worms and fire are consuming, but never consumes them; dose souls have “corpses”? How can fire or worms eternally torment a dead body? Dead bodies cannot suffer, cannot be tormented. After the resurrection there will be no dead bodies of flesh, no “corpse” to look upon. This unquenchable fire was a judgment on Babylon, on a nation being destroyed, not on souls that had been in individuals being tormented. It is difficult to conceive how those that believes a soul is an immaterial, no substance something, that it can be eat by maggots, and made more difficult by the fact that maggots eat only dead flesh, not anything that is alive. It is the fire that is unquenchable, and both Isaiah and Christ speak only of the maggots being alive, not that the corpses were alive while they were being burnt up or eaten, but today’s theology changes the dead bodies to living souls and says the souls are both alive and are being forever tormented by fire. There is not even a hint that the corpses that were in the unquenchable fire were aware of anything. For this to prove a soul is immortal they would have to be viewing disembodied immortal souls that had been "slain by the Lord" (Isaiah 66:16), but were still living and being tormented by the Lord after the Lord had killed these souls, and it must be proved that they were not viewing dead bodies that were on this earth, but deathless souls that were in Heaven were viewing souls in “Hell.” Without doubt, unquenchable fire was burning dead bodies of those that had been slain by the Lord, it was a judgment and punishment on this earth, a judgment on the nation of Babylon; both Babylon and the judgment on it ended lone ago.
There is no mention of torment. The ungodly had been killed; it says nothing about the Lord tormenting them after He killed them, but many add to the Bible by adding torment where there is none.
There is no mention of living immortal souls that are being eaten by maggots, and being consumed by fire. The witnesses are living people that see the result of this destruction (slaying); they see real corpses, carcasses, dead bodies that are laying on this earth being consumed by real fire and maggots; neither the worms or the fire causes any suffering to the dead bodies, it was not a living, immaterial, invisible something that had been in a person that was being eaten by maggots after the person it had been in was dead.
They do not see these dead bodies in pain and anguish, they do not see God endlessly torturing souls in Hell that He will never let die. To teach eternal torment in Hell the dead bodies that were being eaten by maggots on this earth have been changed to living souls suffering eternal torture by God in an endless Hell after the persons these souls were in are dead. There is nothing about souls, nothing about eternal torment by God, or nothing about Hell in this passage, but all three are added.
Some believers in Hell change the Bible by changing the worms into undying souls. Maggots being changed into souls in torment are nothing more than a very desperate attempt to prove something that there is no proof of. If the maggots were souls what is the “dead bodies” these souls (the maggots) are eating, other souls?
“Their worm” is worms that are in dead bodies. If “their worm” shall not die proves immortality then it would be proving the immortality of the carcasses, and prove the immortality of the worms that were eating the immortal carcasses. How can anyone find anything about a deathless “soul” in dead bodies being eaten by maggots?
When the fire and maggots have done their work there is no body; could a better picture of the complete destruction of the lost be found?
ALBERT BARNES, “A scene where a people whose lands have been desolated by mighty armies, are permitted to go forth after a decisive battle, and to walk over the field of the slain, and to see the dead and putrefying bodies of their once formidable enemies.”
CHANGES THAT MUST BE MADE
TO MAKE THIS PROVE THE DOCTRINE OF HELL
1. Dead bodies that were lying on this earth, and were visible to living people must be changed to living souls that are not visible; those that went out to see them could not have seen immaterial, invisible souls.
2. Maggots and fire that devour must be changed to immortal maggots and to a fire that cannot devour.
3. The word fire is used throughout the Old Testament as a symbol of complete destruction. Fire always kills any living thing that is cast into it; it is never a preservative, but the theology of today must change fire into something that preserves alive and cannot kill or destroy. Just as death must be changed to eternal life, fire must be changed into something that cannot destroy but keeps alive in endless torment.
4. The Gehenna of the New Testament that is on this earth must be changed into Hell that we are told is not on this earth.
ONLY ONE OF THE MANY NEW DOCTRINES
THAT HAD THEIR BEGINNING IN THE DARK AGE
Adding a place where God will forever torment souls is only one of the many changes of God’s word that were made in the Dark Age. The early writers were named “church fathers” by the Catholic Church; they were not called fathers in their time. Worship of people, worshiping Mary as if she was a God, and worshiping saints. Limbo, Purgatory, the pope declared to be God in the flesh, worshiping images in the church, the crucifix-making the cross into an idol and worshiped, holy water, the rosary, Nether World, sale of indulgences, angels look like woman with wings, and many more additions and changes; in the Dark Age God’s word was replaced with any teaching the Catholic Church wished to teach.
(1). "Therefore thus says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, mine anger and my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, upon man and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched" (Jeremiah 7:20). If this was the Lord’s anger being poured out in Hell, it would make beasts, trees, fields, and the fruit of the ground be in unquenchable fire in Hell. In Jeremiah 17:27 it is “the palaces of Jerusalem” that would be destroyed by an unquenchable fire; are “the palaces of Jerusalem” now burning in Hell or any other place?
(2). Ezekiel also speaks of the destruction of Judah using the imagery of a forest burning. "And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, son of man, set your face toward the south, and drop your word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest to the field in the South; and say to the forest of the South, Hear the word of Jehovah: Thus says the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall consume every green tree in you, and it shall devour ever green tree in you, and ever dry tree; the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burnt thereby. And all flesh shall see that I, Jehovah, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched" (Ezekiel 20:47-48).
(3). “Unquenchable fire” is used through out the Old Testament as a fire that could not be put out unto the destruction was complete, Leviticus 6:12:13; Isaiah 34:9-10; Jeremiah 17:27; Ezekiel 20:47-48; many more times.
ADAM CLARKE, "The forest of the south field is the city of Jerusalem; which was as full of inhabitants as the forest is of trees. I will kindle a fire, i. e., I will send war; and it shall devour ever green tree, i. e., the most eminent and substantial of the inhabitants; and every dry tree, i. e., the lowest and meanest also; it shall not be quenched, i. e., till the land be utterly ruined."
This “unquenchable fire” was God using Babylonian to destroy Israel (Ezekiel 21:19; Nehemiah 1:3), not a literal fire. God’s judgment on Israel was unquenchable, no one could stop it, but it ended when Israel was in captivity.
(3). Isaiah describes the desolation of Edom, "For my sword has drunk its fill in heaven; behold, it shall come down upon Edom, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment...For Jehovah has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the cause of Zion. And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land there of shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night or day; and the smoke thereof shall go up forever; from generation to generation it shall lay waste; none shall pass through it forever and ever. But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it; and the owl and the raven shall dwell therein" (Isaiah 34:6-15). If this fire that, "Shall not be quenched night nor day," is the Hell that is taught today, how is it that "None shall pass through it forever and ever;" is there no one that shall be in Hell but pelican, porcupine, owl, and ravens shall dwell therein? This is clearly an earthly judgment on Edom that has long passed, not an unquenchable fire in Hell after the Judgment Day. There was no literal fire and smoke in Edom nor is it burning today; the fire, smoke, streams turned into pitch and the earth into brimstone was symbolical of God’s judgment and the total destruction of the nation of Edom; many tourist now go to the land that was Edom and there is no sign of fire; travelers tell us that the land is mostly sand and no one dwells in it. After the destruction of Edom the land that was Edom became a desert that is inhabited by pelicans, porcupines, owls and ravens. After Edom’s destruction Isaiah description of the land that had been Edom is nothing like the Hell that is taught today, yet, because there is nothing about Hell in the Bible this passage is changed from the destruction of a nation on earth to God tormenting souls in Hell that will never have an end of God’s tormenting them even thought there is nothing about torment, souls, or Hell in this passage. “From generation to generation it will be desolate; none will pass through it forever and ever. But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, and owl and raven will dwell in it; and He will stretch over it the line of desolation and the plumb line of emptiness. Its nobles–there is no one there whom they may proclaim king–and all its princes will be nothing. Thorns will come up in its fortified towers, nettles, and thistles in its fortified cities; it will also be a haunt of jackals, and an abode of ostriches. The desert creatures will meet with the wolves, the hairy goat also will cry to its kind; yes, the night monster will settle there and will find herself a resting place. The tree snake will make its nest and lay eggs there, and it will hatch and gather them under its protection. Yes, the hawks will be gathered there, every one with its kind” (Isaiah 34:10-15). If this were a description of Hell, would those that love deserts find Hell to be a wonderful place? Edom did not literally burn up, the once rich land became a desert; the land is now uninhabitable to mankind with no way to grow food and very little water to drink; Edom is not a burning Hell that is not on this earth, not a place where God torments souls.
(4). Sodom was literally destroyed by fire, “made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6); there is no way that being completely destroyed by fire, a destruction that ended when there was nothing more to destroy, could be an example of an endless life being tormented but never destroyed; “destroyed” dose not mean “endless life.”
(5). For more examples of God's judgments in this world being spoken of as an unquenchable fire see Isaiah 1:31; (6) Jeremiah 17:27; (7) Jeremiah 21:12; (8) Amos 5:6; (9) 2 Kings 22:16-17; (10) 2 Chronicles 34:24-25. These passages and many others show that the writers of the Old Testament used "unquenchable fire" as a symbol of judgment by war and famine both on Israel and wicked nations when they sinned; a judgment that no one could stop before God’s purpose was accomplished. When Jesus was speaking of the fire and worms of Gehenna, he was giving a description of the finality of the coming destruction of Israel that rejected Him. His audience would know the way “unquenchable fire” was used in the Old Testament even when there was no literal eternal fire, and they would understand His use of them. They would have known the Gehenna that Christ was speaking of was a foul place of destruction where worthless things were disposed of, and would have known He was saying the destruction He was speaking of would be like the destruction of the garbage in Gehenna, like the destruction of Jerusalem by unquenchable fire in the Old Testament. They knew they were being threatened with complete destruction just as the trash in the city dump was destroyed. Jerusalem was burnt and completely destroyed in A. D. 70, and historian's say many dead bodies were burned and many were left unburied for the maggots.
CURTIS DICKINSON, “There are some 70 cases in scripture where fire is used as judgment upon wickedness…never was it used for the purpose of torture.” “A Place Called Gehenna.” Free on line at, http://kenfortier.com/site/cdickinsonarticles
Summary - The worm that dies not, and the unquenchable fire, as used in the Old Testament and by Christ, proves utter destruction, not everlasting torment. Gehenna is believed by those who teach everlasting torment to be their strong hold, but maggots eating dead bodies on this earth, and fire consuming everything that was cast into it is a picture of complete destruction, not symbols of torment. Many think this is the strongest proof of everlasting torment in the Bible, but it is the other way around, it is a strong proof that the lost will be everlasting destroyed. It does not prove that a sadistic God will forever torment anyone or any soul.
If, as most Protestant and Catholic believe, that a soul is immaterial and has no substance, it would not be possible for fire or worms to literally hurt or torment it in any way.
THE OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY
OF THE VALLEY OF GEHENNA
Gehenna was first mentioned in Joshua 15:8, 18:16 although it was never called "Gehenna" in the Old Testament. Ahaz "burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire" (2 Chronicles 28:3; 2 Kings 16:3). Manasseh also burnt his children in the fire in this valley (2 Chronicles 33:6).
Jeremiah 7:31-32, Children of Judah burned their sons and daughters in the fire in this valley, and Jehovah said, "And they have built the high places of Topheth (Gehenna), which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind. It shall no more be called Topheth, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Topheth (Gehenna), till there be no place to bury. And the dead bodies of this people shall be food for the birds of the heavens, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall frighten them away." Those who teach "Hell fire" are saying to God, "O yes it came into Your mind; You have said You are going to burn most of Your children in an endless fire much hotter than the fire in which they burnt their children."
Jeremiah 19:1-15 "Thus says the Lord, Go and buy a potter's earthenware jar, and take some to the elders of the people and some of the senior priests. Then go out to the valley of Ben-hinnom (in the New Testament the valley of Gehenna), which is by the entrance of the potsherd gate; (A gate to Jerusalem) and proclaim there the words that I shall tell you, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Behold I am about to bring a calamity upon this place, at which the ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle. Because they have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded nor spoke of, nor did it enter My mind; therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-hinnom, but rather the valley of Slaughter. And I shall make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I shall cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I shall give over their carcasses as food for the birds of the sky and the beast of the earth. I shall also make this city a desolation and an object of hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and hiss because of the disasters. And I shall make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh in the siege and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life will distress them. Then you are to break the jar in the sight of the men who accompany you and say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts, Just so shall I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter's vessel, which cannot again be repaired; and they will bury in Topheth (Gehenna) because there is no other place for burial. This is how I shall treat this place and its inhabitants, declares the Lord so as to make this city like Topheth (Gehenna). And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled like the place Topheth (Gehenna), because of all the houses on whose rooftops they burned sacrifices to all the heavenly host and poured out libations to other gods. Then Jeremiah came from Topheth (Gehenna), where the Lord has sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the Lord's house and said to all the people; thus says the Lord of host, the God of Israel, Behold, I am about to bring on this city and all its towns the entire calamity that I have declared against it, because they have stiffened their necks so as not to heed My words." Jeremiah used the valley of Gehenna to warn Israel of their destruction as a nation. Christ also used the valley of Gehenna to warn Israel of their destruction as a nation. It was outside the gate of Jerusalem named the “potsherd gate” in the time of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 19:1-15). Dead bodies are buried, but deathless “souls” cannot be buried on this earth in the valley of Gehenna.
Many believe the angel of the Lord killed the 185,000 Assyrians in this valley when they were laying siege to Jerusalem (Isaiah 37:36). They were killed near Jerusalem, and it could have been in this valley, but I can find no proof that it was. See Isaiah 30:31-33. Anyone can see that a “valley of slaughter” where the slaughtered are often not buried is not a place of endless torment.
It is also mentioned in Nehemiah 11:30; Jeremiah 19:2. Because of their worshiping other gods in it, God made it a place of destruction, not torment. Topheth (Gehenna in the New Testament) literally means a place of burning, "The valley of slaughter" (Jeremiah 7:31).
Josiah "defiled Topheth (a place that is in the valley of Gehenna), which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech" (2 Kings 23:10). When he defiled Gehenna maybe when it became the trash dump that it was in the New Testament.
Every reference to Gehenna in the Old Testament was to a valley that is on this earth; not one of them says anything about eternal torment after the judgment. It is admitted by all that Gehenna in the Old Testament was not a place of eternal torment, and it was not changed to "Hell" in any Old Testament passage, not even in the King James Version which is sometimes called "Hell's Bible."
HENRY THAYER, "Gehenna, the name of a valley on the S. and E. of Jerusalem… The Jews so abolished the place after these horrible sacrifices had been abolished by king Josiah (2 k.xxiii, 10) that they cast into it not only all manner of refuses, but even the dead bodies of animals and unburied criminals who had been executed. And since fires were always needed to consume the dead bodies, that the air might not become tainted by the putrefaction, it came to pass that the place was called (Gehenna)." "A Greek–English Lexicon Of the New Testament," page 111. He also said in "Theology," "Our inquiry shows that it is employed in the Old Testament in its literal or geographical sense only, as the name of the valley lying on the south of Jerusalem–that the Septuagint proves it retained this meaning as late as B. C. 150–that it is not found at all in the Apocrypha; neither of Philo, nor in Josephus, whose writings cover the very times of the Savior and the New Testament, thus leaving us without a single example of contemporary usage to determine its meaning at this period–that from A. D. 150–159, we find in two Greek authors, Justin and Clement of Alexandria, the first resident in Italy and the last in Egypt that Gehenna began to be used to designate a place of punishment after death, but not endless punishment since Clement was a believer in universal restoration–that the first time we find Gehenna used in this sense in any Jewish writing is near the beginning of the third century, in the Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, two hundred years too late to be of any service in the argument…it was also employed in the time of Christ…as a figure of terrible judgments of God on the rebellious and sinful nation of the Jews." Henry Thayer, "Theology," author of “A Greek–English Lexicon Of the New Testament.”
CANON FARRAR, "In the Old Testament it is merely the pleasant valley of Hinnom (GeHinnom), subsequently desecrated by idolatry, and especially by Moloch worship, and defiled by Josiah on this account. (See 1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:10; Jer. 7:31; 19:10-14; Isa. 30:33; Tophet). Used according to Jewish tradition, as the common sewage of the city, the corpses of the worst criminals were flung into it unburied, and fires were lit to purify the contaminated air. It then became a word, which secondarily implied (1) the severest judgment, which a Jewish court could pass upon a criminal–the casting forth of his unburied corpse amid the fire and worms of this polluted valley; and (2) a punishment–which to the Jews as a body never meant an end-less punishment beyond the grave. Whatever may be the meaning of the entire passages in which the word occurs, 'Hell' must be a complete mistranslation, since it attributes to the term used by Christ a sense entirely differently from that in which it was understood by our Lord's hearers, and therefore, entirely different from the sense in which He could have used it." From the preface to "Eternal Hope." "Gehenna, the Greek word translated hell in the common version, occurs twelve times. It is the Grecian mode of spelling the Hebrew words, which are translated, 'The Valley of Hinnom.' This valley was also called Tophet, a detestation, and an abomination. Into this place were cast all kinds of filth, with the carcasses of beasts and unburied bodies of criminals, who had been executed. Continual fires were kept to consume these. Sennacherib's army of 185,000 men was slain there in one night. Here, children were burnt to death in sacrifice to Moloch. Gehenna, then, as occurring in the New Testament, symbolizes death and utter destruction, but in no place symbolizes a place of eternal torment." From the “Emphatic Diaglot.”
GEORGE LEMASTERS said Gehenna is said to have been a receptacle of bones, bodies of beasts and criminals, and all unclean things. Florida College Annual Lectures, page 265, 1975.
RON HALBROOK said Gehenna became a common refuse dump for the dead bodies of criminals, animal carcasses, and other kind of filth. Florida College Annual Lectures, page 123, 1986.
“Hell” From Iron Chariots Wiki, “The accurate use of the word ‘Hell’ as a translation of Gehenna is open to interpretation. The subjects about which Jesus speaks, when referring to Gehenna, have no less significance when referring to that literal valley of the damned (as opposed to the eternal concept of punishment and torture interpreted after the fact). There is no suggestion that Gehenna need to be translated to ‘Hell’ any more than any other proper noun for a place or region. Similarly there is no reason to believe that Hell as a concept even occurred to the Jewish prophet or his followers.” At http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Hell.
Whatever was cast into Gehenna (the city dump), if it were trash or the bodies of criminals that were cast into the trash dump to be destroyed, both the trash and the dead bodies were destroyed, not tormented; trash or dead bodies cannot be tormented. The fire and worms soon consumed whatever was cast into Gehenna, nothing was cast into Gehenna to be preserved, and no Jew hearing Jesus could not have understand it in any way but a place of total destruction. Gehenna was a real place they could walk out and look at, and literally see the smoke ascending out of it. If Christ had used their trash dump in a way that was different from what would have been understood by those hearing Him without any explanation of the new way He used it, they could not have known what He was saying to them. The fate of Israel is compared to trash and dead bodies that were cast into the city dump to be disposed of.
We are often told Christ used the name “Hell” eleven times, which is wrong two ways; (1) He never used “Hell,” (2) He used “Gehenna,” but not eleven times. The same use of Gehenna is quoted in two of the Gospels (as in Matthew 10:28 and Luke 12:5) and they count it as two times when it is only one time. Both Christ and James used the name of the city dump (Gehenna). Although the translators have changed Gehenna to Hell in most translations and have James using the word Hell, but when James wrote the English word “Hell,” did not exist, nor was there a Greek word with the meaning that "Hell" has today. Christ never used the word Hell, He used Gehenna, and He never said one thing about Hell.
1. The name “Hell” did not exist in the time of Christ.
2. Today’s concept of a place where God will forever torment souls that were in the lost persons did not exist unto the Dark Age church.
3. Even in Old English when the word Hell was first used, Hell did not have the meaning it has in today’s English; it did not have a meaning that is even close to the meaning Hell now has in today’s Protestant theology.
THE USE OF GEHENNA BY CHRIST
Gehenna, not Hell, was used on four occasions by Christ, and was used one time by James, the brother of the Lord (James 3:6). The name Gehenna is in three of the gospels eleven times, but as the three gospels repeat the same discourses, Jesus really used it in only four occasions (in four sermons). None of the four occasions mentions the duration of Gehenna, none mentions endless torment. Ever time Christ used “Gehenna” He was speaking to the Jews.
(1). First occasion, in the Sermon on the Mount. "Shall be in danger of Gehenna...your whole body be cast into Gehenna...and not your whole body go into Gehenna" Matthew 5:22, 29, 30.
(2). Second occasion, in a lesson to the twelve disciples. "Fear him, who after he has killed has power to cast into Gehenna" Luke 12:5. Also in the parallel account, "Fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna" Matthew 10:28.
(3). Third occasion, in another lesson to his disciples. "Rather than having two eyes to be cast into Gehenna" Matthew 18:9. Also three times in the parallel account in Mark 9:43, 45, 47.
(4). Fourth occasion, to the Scribes and Pharisees. "You make him twofold more a son of Gehenna than yourselves " Matthew 23:15, 33.
And one time by James, to the twelve tribes. "The tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna" James 3:6.
(1). THE FIRST OCCASION
IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
Gehenna is used 3 times in Christ’s sermon in Matthew 5. Christ is teaching those who that at that time were under the Law. Judgments the disciples had heard that the Law said. Judgment of the Old Testament Law, Matthew 5:21-26, "You have heard that the ancients were told,
(1). 'You shall not commit murder,' and 'whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court;
(2). And whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,' shall be guilty before the Supreme Court;
(3). And whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell (Greek–Gehenna of fire changed to “Hell”)" New American Standard Bible. Gehenna, the city dump of Jerusalem was always burning, day and night, 24/7.
The three crimes that were judged by the courts under the Old Testament Law. All three have to do with the way a person felt toward his or her brother, all three were living persons, not souls, that was being judged according to the Old Testament Law by an earthly court; the Sermon on the Mount is not information about the fate of the unrighteous after death. "Murder shall be liable to the court," the murder was a living person that was being judged and punished by other living persons.
THE FIRST OF THE THREE “YOU HAVE HEARD”
Everyone who is "Angry with his brother" guilty before THE COURT (New American Standard Version), an earthly judgment by man under the Old Testament Law. “You have heard that the ancients were told,” what death sentence were they told would be given to a murder? A judgment for death passed by an earthly court according to the Old Testament Law, not a judgment after the resurrection.
J. W. McGARVEY, “Not the final judgment of the world, but the tribunal established by the Law of Moses in each city for the trial of murders and other criminals. (See Deut. xvi. 18.) Every man slayer was tried before this tribunal, and either put to death or confined in the city of refuge.” “The New Testament Commentary.” page 53, The Standard Publishing Company, 1875.
THE SECOND OF THE THREE “YOU HAVE HEARD”
Whoever "Shall say to his brother, 'Raca'" guilty before the SUPREME COURT (New American Standard Version). A judgment made by man according to the Old Testament Law. “Shall be in danger of the judgment,” (American Standard Version) shall be in danger of being taken before the court and judged just as we are if we run a red light are in danger of judgment only if seen by a police. Being in danger of judgment is not a certainly of judgment, but all, every person standing before the judgment of God after the resurrection, judgment is a certainly, not just be in danger of being judged.
B. W. JOHNSON, "An epithet of contempt; 'empty head'" “The People's New Testament,” Gospel Light Publishing, 1889.
J. W. McGARVEY, “The council mentioned is the Supreme Court provided for by the Law of Moses (Deut. xvii. 8-13), and represented in the days of Jesus by the Sanhedrim." “The New Testament Commentary,” page 54, Standard Publishing Company, 1875.
THE THIRD OF THE THREE “YOU HAVE HEARD”
Whoever "Shall say, 'You fool'" guilty enough to go into the fiery Gehenna. Like the first two, this is a Jewish judgment, but it was a judgment where the bodies of criminals that were thought to be unworthy of a burial were cast into the city dump to be burned or eaten by worms.
1. To whom will they say, "You fool"? Could it be anyone other than "His brother," just as the first two were? Could the difference in the sinfulness of saying to your brother "raca" (empty headed), and saying to him, "You fool" be enough difference to jump from a judgment of the Jewish court to the judgment of God at the coming of Christ?
2. How could anyone know if Christ changed from judgments of some individuals under the Law to a judgment of all after the resurrection when there is no indication that He changed? According to the teaching of some, a person can be angry with his brother and have contempt for him and not go to Hell, but if you say, "You fool" to your brother, them you will go to Hell.
3. Only one, the last of these sins, is said to be judged and cast into the fire of Gehenna, the city trash dump, which if it were to be understood as some would have it, it will follow that the others of these sins did not deserve eternal torment by God in Hell, and they shall not be punished there, which is contrary to those that teach that the least unforgiven sin deserves eternal Hell; it is taught by most that believe in Hell that any sin no matter how big a sin it was or how many sins can be forgiven, even to say, “you fool,” can be forgiven, and all these sins if forgiven will not send a soul that was in the person that sinned to Hell, but any unforgiven sin, even just one small sin, even to say to your brother “raca” will send a soul that is in you to Hell. If this were not judgments by the Jews, judgments under the Law, if this were saying that only this third sin, this one sin would send a soul to Hell (it is the only one of the three that Jesus said is judged worthy of Gehenna) then the teaching of today makes this teaching of Christ be compliantly wrong.
4. All three of these judgments are each a judgments on a living person by other living persons. It is not one soul that will say to another soul “you fool,” it is a living person that will say to another living person, “you fool” and the dead body of a person that that was put to death for saying “you fool” that will be cast into the fire and worms of Gehenna, the city dump. Not one soul that "shall say to his brother, 'Raca.' In any of these three “judgments" nothing, not one thing is said about a soul being judged by God, nothing about any judgment by God, not before or after the death of the person. Nothing is said about the second coming of Christ, and nothing said about the judgment of everyone at His coming. To the Jews having their corpse cast into Gehenna unburied was a dishonorable thing. Those that were buried were thought to be honorably; those that were judged not fit to be buried and were thrown into Gehenna to be burned were considered to be disgraceful.
DR. R. F. WEYMOUTH, “Gehenna of Fire Or ‘Hell,’ the severest punishment inflicted by the Jews upon any criminal. The corpse (after the man had been stoned to death) was thrown out into the Valley of Hennom (Ge Hinnom) and was devoured by the worm or the flame.” “New Testament in Modern Speech,” Mark 3:29, page 10.
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, “The fact is, that the allusions in this verse are all to human institutions or customs among the Jews; and the Judges, the Sanhedrim, and the hell-fire here introduced, and all human punishments.” “The Campbell Skinner Debate On Everlasting Punishment,” page 123, College Press, 1840.
THOMAS WHITTEMORE, “Fourthly, because the last, only, of the three sins is said to be judged to the fire of Gehenna, which if it were to be understood as some would have it, it will follow that some sins deserve not hell eternal, and shall not be punished there, which is contrary to themselves, who teach that the least sin deserves hell eternal. Fifthly, Mat. 5:22 shows the severity of the Jews and Pharisees in punishing anger without a cause. Racha is a word of disgrace, which signifies a crafty fellow, or wicked wretch. To apply it to any one was as great a fault as to say fool, if not greater, yet it was punished less, thus,
1. He who was guilty of rash anger was in danger of the judgment;
2. He who contemptuously said racha, was in danger of the council;
3. But if he said fool, he was in danger of hell–fire, i. e. in the true sense, to burn in the valley of the son of Hinmom.”
Page 16, “The Doctrine Of Eternal Hell Torments Overthrown,” 1833.
J. M. DENNISTON, “Thus we have in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. v. 21,22), a striking view of divine judgment in regard to transgressions against the sixth commandment. This matter, as our Lord intimates, the scribes were in the habit of settling with great ease. For, according to them, the whole amounted to this, that the outward act of ‘murder’ entailed the punishment of natural death by the sentence of the court called the ‘judgment.’ Starting from this circumstance, He states three forms of anger–each more guilty than the preceding one–but all of which He represents as virtually murder, in the sight of God, and punishable as such by His judgment. Then, as answering to these three degrees of guilt, He mentions as many degrees of punishment. Now here is the important circumstance. All these are figuratively stated in language borrowed from the three modes of capital punishment in use among the Jews. Thus the ‘Judgment’ employed one mode; the ‘Council’ (Sanhedrim) a severer; while the sentence might be further aggravated by consigning the carcass to the fire in the valley of the Son of Hinnom. ‘The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is no distinction of kind between these punishments, only of degree. In the thing compared the judgment inflicted death by the sword, the (council) death by stoning, and the disgrace of the Gehenna of fire (hell–fire, K.J.V.) followed as an intensification of the horrors of death; but the punishment is one and the same–death.’ Alford on the passage.” Pages 126–127, “The Perishing Soul According To Scripture,” Longmans, Green, And Co., 1874.
ALL FIVE ARE JUDGMENTS OF THE LAW
1. These five judgments are all judgments of the Law.
2. They all have sentences that are carried out in this lifetime.
3. They are all judgment that are made by living people on other people while both are living on this earth, or on their body being cast unburied into the dump of Gehenna after the person is dead.
4. Not one of the five judgments are on a soul, not on a soul that some believe to be in a person while the person is living, and not on this soul after the person it had been in is dead. THERE IS NOTHING IS SAID ABOUT A SOUL IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
1). THE FIRST JUDGMENT, Matthew 5:23-26
A lesson on how to make their offering acceptable to God. "Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him in the way; lest haply the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you are cast into prison. Verily I say unto you, you shall by no means come out till you have paid the last farthing" (Matthew 5:25-26). "Make friends quickly with your opponent at law" New American Standard Version. When it is paid, then the person in prison shall come out. This is speaking of a judgment and punishment of living person by living persons under the Law, not punishment of a soul by God at the resurrection.
1. Who is to agree with whom? It is the person charged who is to "Make friends quickly with your opponent at law" that charged him, "while you are with him in the way" (on the way to the judge).
2. What will happen if there is not an agreement? "Lest haply the adversary (opponent at law) deliver you to the judge, and the judge delivers you to the officer, and you are cast into prison." Does this sound to you like the judgment at the last day and being cast into "Hell," or does this sound like an earthly opponent at law, judge, officer, and prison?
3. How long will the person who is cast into prison be in the prison? "You shall by no means come out thence, till you have paid the last farthing." When the debt for which the person that was cast into prison is paid, then he will come out of prison. Those who believe in Hell tell us no soul will ever come out. If this were speaking of punishment after the judgment, then it would teach a limited punishment, which would end when the soul in Hell paid the last farthing (a corn of little worth) was paid.
4. That this use of "Gehenna" is taken completely out of the context of an earthly courts and law by today's theology is beyond any doubt. This is speaking of a judgment and punishment under the Law, not at the resurrection.
5. To teach "Hell' from this passage, Christ must be made to jump from judgments and punishments under the Law of Moses in verse 21-22, to the judgment and punishment at His coming in last part of verse 22 and then back to judgment and punishment under the Law in verse 25-26 without anything to show He was speaking of a different judgment and punishments. First, a part of one verse must be taken out of context. Second, then it much be changed from Gehenna that is a valley on this earth, changed to Hell that we are told is not on this earth. Third, whatever this place is at that is not in the Bible must be given the name “Hell” that also is not in the Bible.
2). THE SECOND JUDGMENT
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery'" Matthew 5:27-30. "And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to go into Hell (Greek–Gehenna was changed to the Hell of the Dark Age). And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you: for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, then for your whole body go into Hell (Greek–Gehenna changed to “Hell’ by the translators)" New American Standard Version. Jesus is saying to them that they had heard that it was said (in the Law), “YOU shall not commit adultery” FOR WHICH LIVING PERSONS WOULD BE PUT TO DEATH UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES (Leviticus 20:10), AND THEIR EARTHLY BODIES LITERALLY THROWN INTO THE VALLEY OF GEHENNA. “Eye,” “hand,” one of the parts of “your whole body,” or “your whole body to be thrown into Gehenna,” into the same “Gehenna” that a cut off part of a “the whole body,” both the hand and the “whole body” would have been literally thrown into and destroyed in the same place, both destroyed in Gehenna to get them out of the city, the “whole body” thrown into a real valley is changed to, “your soul will be thrown into Hell” even though nothing is said about a soul or Hell in this passage; how could the “hand” of a immaterial, no substance, thoughts only soul be cut off and be thrown into Hell? Who will cut the hand off? Who will cast the cut off hand into Gehenna? THERE IS NO WAY TO MAKE THE CUT OFF HAND BE A REAL PHYSICAL HAND CAST INTO AND DESTROYED IN THE REAL PHYSICAL VALLEY OF GEHENNA AND THE “WHOLE BODY” FROM WHICH THE REAL PHYSICAL HAND WAS CUT OF BE AN IMMATERIAL SOUL CAST INTO HELL; THE WHOLE BODY NEVER DESTORYD BUT IT’S HAND IS DESTORYED.
Body parts cast into Gehenna
(1). Eye-throw it from you is better than the whole body to be cast into Gehenna, Matthew 5:29. Not a “soul” cast into Hell.
(2). Right hand-cut it off is better than the whole body to be cast into Gehenna, Matthew 5:30.
(3). Do not fear those that can only kill the body but fear him who can cast the body into Gehenna, Matthew 10:28.
(4). Better to cut of your hand or foot than have your whole body cast into the eternal fire, Matthew 18:8.
(5). Cut off your hand if it causes you to stumble to keep you from going into unquenchable fire of the city dump, Mark 9:43.
(6). Better to cut off your foot to keep you from being cast into Gehenna, Mark 9:45.
(7). Better to cast your eye out so that you can enter the Kingdom of God and not be cast into Gehenna, Mark 9:47.
(8). Fear him who AFTER HE HAS KILLED YOU has the power to cast YOU into Gehenna, Luke 12:5. After he has killed you has the power to cast the dead YOU into Gehenna; “destroy in Gehenna,” (Matthew 10:28) destroy your dead body in Gehenna after he has killed you; it is the YOU that is killed and the same YOU, the same person that was killed that is cast into Gehenna. We are told that an immortal soul cannot be “killed” or “destroyed,” but it will be alive and tormented, in Hell (not “killed” or “destroyed”). The “killed” you, your dead body is what is cast into Gehenna, not one word is said about a soul being cast into Hell.
Ever time Christ used Gehenna He was speaking only to Jews; those that Christ was speaking to would understand Gehenna just as it was used in the Old Testament, a real valley on this earth, that real dead bodies being thrown into Gehenna was actual dead bodies that would be thrown into Gehenna to be destroyed; they would not have understood it as it has now been changed by theology to be a living soul that cannot be “killed” being thrown alive into Hell to be tormented by God after the death of the “whole body” it had been in; they would not have understood it to be bodiless living souls thrown into Hell to be tormented by God neither before nor after the resurrection.
The lesson to them, based on what they knew of the use of Gehenna from the Old Testament, was that if there is a danger that they may look on a woman to lust after her, if their eye causes them to stumble, pluck it out and cast it away. If taken literal a disfigurement of their body would have been unlawful by the Old Testament Law they were under. The lesson to them was not that they were literally to cut their hand off, but that they were to remove anything from their lives that would cause them to be judged unworthy to be buried, and cause their bodies to be cast into Gehenna and left unburied. Under the Law adultery had a death penalty, and could cause their whole bodies after their death to be cast into the fire and maggots in Gehenna (Leviticus 20:10-16). Those that use this to prove Hell do not believe that to "cut off" any part of the body of a living person will keep a soul that they believe to be in that person out of Hell after the death of the person; to them the hand and the eye are a literal hand or eye, but according to their teaching "the whole body" is not a body at all, but a formless, no substance, invisible, deathless something in a person that has no body, no hand to cut off.
The loss of a hand or eye is contrasted with the lost of the whole body, of which the hand or eye was a part, by either the hand or the whole body being cast into the same place, both the hand and the body being cast into Gehenna, not the loss of a hand being contrasted with a soul, of which the hand was not a part of, the hand that was cut of a person was not the hand of a soul being cast into Hell. The "eye" and the "right hand" are a part of the "whole body." No one can cut off the hand of a soul, which they say has no substance, a soul that no one can see or touch, and Christ does not change from parts of the earthly body to something that most who believe in "it" says "it" has no body. No one that I know of that believes Hell is an eternal place of torment believes the human body or any part of a human body will be cast into Hell, do not believe God will eternally torment a cut off hand. In the same sentence, did Christ change from a literal physical hand to a hand of a "soul" that no one can cut off?
In Matthew 5:21-47 Christ is giving a lesson on how a living person was to live in this lifetime.
1. “You shall not kill” (Matthew 5:21) is one living person killing another living person, not one soul killing another soul.
2. Being angry with your brother (Matthew 5:22); a lesson on three levels of anger of a living person toward another, a living person being judged and punished by other living persons, not one soul angry at anther soul.
3. Committing adultery (Matthew 5:27) is a living person committing adultery. Can souls commit adultery, either before or after the death of the person it was in?
4. Putting away your wife (Matthew 5:31) is also done only by a living person. Do souls have wives that they can put away?
5. Swearing (Matthew 5:34) is a living person swearing.
6. An eye for an eye (Matthew 5:38) is by living persons only in this lifetime.
7. Love your neighbor (Matthew 5:43); one living person is to love another living persons.
If the "whole body" were a formless no substance soul, then the "hand," which was cut off this body is a part of the "whole body," and would also be a formless no substance something that we could not cut off, and if we could cut the hand of a soul off, then the cut off hand of an immortal soul would be as immortal as the rest of the no substance, formless, thoughts only soul from which it was cut off. In today's theology no one believes you can cut off the hand of a soul and cast it into Hell so that the rest of that soul will not go to Hell. No one that I know of believes the "soul" shall "enter into life," which he or she says is Heaven with a cut off hand in Hell. The "soul" in Heaven, but its "hand" in Hell! They don't believe that a disfigurement of the earthly body, whether it is a self inflicted disfigurement, or any other disfigurement, will be passed unto the immaterial, invisible soul, which they believe is to be something that is now in a person and that only this “it” will be in Heaven. Neither do they believe any person has the power to cut of any part of their immaterial soul. Gehenna must be changed to Hell and be literal, but the cut off the hand that is cast into Hell cannot be literal.
"Perish" must be changed to mean, "preserve." God's word says He will destroy a psukee (soul), but many change this and make it say God will not let a psukee perish, but will preserve it forever. There seems to be no end to the changes they are willing to make. "Destroy the body and soul" (psukee) must be changed to "preserve a soul after the body (person) is destroyed."
A dead body part, or a whole dead person being cast into the city dump (Gehenna) to be destroyed by fire or worms is not a picture of a living immortal soul being tormented forever in some place other then the valley of Gehenna. There is no suggestion of eternal torment in this passage; there is nothing, not one word about an immortal soul (psukee) or an immortal spirit in this passage. It was their "whole body," the killed body of flesh that would be literally cast into the valley of Gehenna. Instead of saying that immortal souls will burn forever in the valley of Gehenna, it says the body of a person will be cast into Gehenna, and the body will be destroyed by the fire that is in Gehenna. Nothing is said about an immaterial something that is in a person in Matthew 5:22, 29 or 30. "Soul" is not in Matthew 5; it has been added, and is preached today that the "soul" will be cast into "Hell;" changed from the “hand,” “foot,” “eye,” or the “whole body” being be cast into Gehenna, a place that those hearing Christ would know about. Christ’s disciples would have been very familiar with the valley of Gehenna where the garbage of the city and dead bodies was cast, but they knew nothing of the Hell that is taught today. This passage is one of the most used passages to prove a person has an immaterial something in them that has no body, and whatever this bodiless something is, it will be in an eternal place of torment after the death of the person it had been in. Neither (1) an immaterial, deathless something that is now in a person, but leaves the person at their death, (2) or a place where God will eternal torment is not in Matthew 18:8-9. Everything that Christ said is changed, and that by those that say they do not change the Bible. (1) “Whole body” must be changed to a bodiless “soul,” (2) Gehenna, a place on this earth where there was no torment changed into Hell, a place that is not on this earth (3) then is added an evil god that endlessly will be tormenting many millions of bodiless souls without ever a drop of mercy.
In Matthew 18:8-9,
1. Being “Cast into the everlasting (aionios–age lasting) fire” (18:8) and
2. Being “Cast into the Gehenna fire” are used interchangeable (18:9).
It is the fire that is said to be age lasting, not one thing is said about how long a person or about how long a soul that had been in a person unto the death of the person would or would not last in the fire although it is repeatedly used to teach that a soul that is now in you will be tormented in Hell after you are dead if you do not save “it,” whatever “it” is. The aionios (age lasting) fire of Gehenna went out in A. D. 70; today there is no fire in Gehenna and no dead bodies are being cast into it; Gehenna is now a place for tourist.
3). The third judgment
"You have heard you shall not forswear yourself…but I say unto YOU" (Matthew 5:33).
4). The fourth judgment
"You have heard…an eye for an eye…but I say unto YOU” (Matthew 5:38).
5). The fifth judgment
"You have heard…love your neighbor…but I say unto YOU” (Matthew 5:43).
Summary - All five of the "you have heard" are about judgments of the Old Testament Law that had punishment of persons only in this life, not anything about any punishment of souls before or after the resurrection and judgment. Being cast into Gehenna is an earthly judgment that is in the same context with other earthly judgments. This is the first occasion Christ used the term Gehenna; if He had used it to teach endless torment, He said nothing that those hearing Him, or those who read His words today could know He was speaking of any judgment other than the judgments in the Law given through Moses; there is absolutely no indication He was speaking of eternal torment of a “soul.”
(2). THE SECOND OCCASION
A LESSON TO THE TWELVE DISCIPLES
Three views on who is doing the casting into Gehenna.
View one. Gehenna is a real place on this earth where dead “killed” bodies were cast into it, and the dead bodies were burned up or were eaten up by worms.
View two. This is speaking of God destroying the life (psukee) of the lost after the Judgment Day; bringing the lost to a complete end.
View three. This view is speaking of a place not on this earth, not Gehenna, a place that has been given the name “Hell” where immortal deathless souls that were in the lost persons before the death of the person it was in, will forever be tormented by God.
GEHENNA IS A REAL PLACE, A WELL KNOWN PLACE THAT IS ON THIS EARTH. This was spoken to the twelve apostles when they were sent forth to preach, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 10:1-28). He was persecuted, and they would be, but they were to "Fear them not." "But I will warn you whom YOU shall fear: fear him, who after he has killed YOU, (after he has killed the apostles Christ sent out) has power to cast YOU (cast the killed, dead apostles) INTO GEHENNA" (Luke 12:4-5); most of the apostles that Christ was speaking to were killed by men, none of the twelve were killed by God, “Has the authority to cast into Gehenna,” New American Standard Version. “Those who kill the body” (12:4), and “after he has killed” (the body) (12:5) are both speaking of killing the body. “Fear him who is able to destroy (Apollumi) both soul (psukee–life) and body IN GEHENNA.” Matthew 10:28 “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom you shall fear: Fear him, who after he had killed (killed “you,” the apostles that Christ was speaking to) has the power to cast (“you” the killed apostles) into Gehenna” (Luke 12:4-5). The destroying is the body after it has been killed, destroyed by the killed body being “cast into Gehenna;” the killing of a person comes before their dead body being cast into and destroyed in the valley of Gehenna; this killing of the apostles is changed to be killing of deathless souls that cannot be killed, then the killed souls that cannot be killed are cast into Hell. Fear him who has the authority to cast your killed earthly bodies (of the apostles) into Gehenna, the trash dump where the bodies of those who were not thought to be worthy to be buried were cast into Gehenna to be destroyed. “DESTROY both…in Gehenna” in Matthew 10:28, and “KILLED” and then cast the killed into Gehenna in the parallel account in Luke 12:4-5 does not mean a soul that cannot be “killed” or “destroyed” and will always be alive and torment in a completely difference place than Gehenna, a difference place called “Hell;” the fate of a person being cast into Gehenna is destruction, “able to destroy,” nothing is said about any kind of torment of a living soul or a living person at any time.
The same word (psuche) that is translated “soul” in Matthew 10:28 is used four times in the same lesson in a only a few seconds specking time to the twelve (Matthew10:5) but the translators changed it to “soul” two times in Matthew 10:39 making psuche be something that could be “destroyed,” “Able to destroy both soul (psuche) and body in Gehenna…He that finds his life (psuche) shall lose it; and he that lose his life (psuche) for my sake shall find it.” It has to be obvious to all that the same word cannot mean a “soul” that can be “destroyed” in Matthew10:28, “Killed” (Luke 12:4-5), and in the same lesson only a few seconds later mean “life” two times in Matthew10:39. It is obvious that neither of the three times Christ used “psuche” within a few seconds that it dose not mean a deathless soul that cannot be killed.
If being cast into Gehenna means endless torment there is no way to say BOTH body and soul will not be endless tormented in Hell, both are killed, destroyed by the same person and both are cast into the same place (Gehenna). IF A SOUL CAN BE “KILLED” (Luke 12:4-5) THE “KILLED” SOUL CANNOT BE IMMORTAL.
1. “Fear him, WHO AFTER HE HAS KILLED has power to cast into Gehenna” (Luke 12:4). After he has killed you has the power to cast what he has killed (your dead body) into the city dump. The killing and the casting into Gehenna are both did by the same person. The killing of the person is done before the dead body is cast into Gehenna; it is the same thing that was killed that is cast into Gehenna after it is dead (killed). How could whatever “he has killed” and cast into Gehenna be alive in Hell after it has been killed and the dead whatever was “killed” was cast into Gehenna?
2. “Fear Him WHO IS ABLE TO DESTROY both soul (psukee-life) and body in Gehenna” (Matthew 10:28). What ever happens to the “body” also happens to the “psukee,” (translated “soul” in King James Version), both body and psukee are destroyed in Gehenna, not in Hell. Dose anyone believe a deathless soul that is taught by today’s theology can be killed or destroyed in Hell or any other place? Both psukee (soul) and earthly body are destroyed in the same place, both are destroyed in Gehenna; who believes a dead body will be destroyed in Hell? When Gehenna is changed to Hell it is undeniable that it is saying that the flesh and blood body will be destroyed in Hell; that, according to the King James Version, both their earthly body and a soul will both be destroyed, not tormented in Hell.
3. Whatever you believe “psukee” to be, it can be destroyed in Gehenna just as a earthly body can be destroyed in Gehenna after the body has been “killed.” If the body is one thing and the soul is another thing, both body and soul (psukee-life) are to be destroyed together in Gehenna OR both are to be together undestroyed in Hell. Both are killed together; not changed to be one killed in one place and the other tormented in another place. If the psukee is immortal soul then it cannot be killed, if it can be killed it is not immortal.
“Destroy” in Matthew 10:28 and “killed” in the parallel passage in Luke 12:4-5, and then cast into Gehenna after the killing is not Plato’s pagan soul that is “alive” in Hell and is being tormented by God. Christ was speaking to the twelve apostles, He was not telling His apostles to fear for souls that was in them being killed or destroyed in Hell by God after God had killed their bodies in Hell; He was telling the apostles to fear him (fear the person) who after he has killed their bodies has the power to “destroy” them in Gehenna.
Whatever happens to one happens to the other.
1. Both body and soul (psukee) are destroyed (killed).
2. Or both body and soul (psukee) are tormented in Hell.
3. Wherever the body is DESTROYED, the soul (psukee) will be DESTROYED I (not tormented) in the same place. There is no way to make Matthew 10:28 say (1) the body is destroyed in one place, in Gehenna by man (2) and a undestroyed soul is endlessly tormented in Hell another place, by God.
4. All the destroying in Matthew 10:28 is in Gehenna, not in a place called Hell that did not exist at the time Christ said this, did not exist before the Dark Age.
5. Even if Gehenna is changed to Hell, it would only change the place where the “killed” or “destroyed” takes place; then another change has to be made to make Hell be a place where there is no “killed” or no “destroyed” soul in it.
If this were changed to a soul being tormented in Hell, them it would also make the body be tormented in Hell. (1) First being killed (2) and then the dead person cast into Gehenna is not being alive and tormented in Hell. This passage speaks only of persons that have already been “killed,” persons that are already dead being cast into Gehenna only after they were dead.
THE ONLY PLACE SPOKEN OF IN THIS PASSAGE IS GEHENNA
1. Nothing is said about a place called “Hell.”
2. Nothing is said about torment after death, not in Gehenna or Hell.
3. Nothing is said about any kind of life after death in this passage, not life in Gehenna, not life in Hell, or life in Heaven.
4. Nothing is said about any torment in Gehenna, or anyone being cast into Gehenna before being killed. Only dead bodies, no living person were cast into Gehenna.
5. But when Gehenna is changed to Hell, then Hell is made to be a place of endless torment for a living soul that cannot be killed or destroyed.
Explain this change!
1. The killing is done BEFORE being cast into Gehenna. “Fear him, who AFTER HE HAS KILLED has power to cast into Gehenna” (Luke 12:5). ONLY “KILLED” BODIES WERE CAST INTO GEHENNA.
2. When Gehenna is changed to Hell and the “killed” is changed to an eternal life of torment for a soul that cannot be killed, this passage would then makes the torment (killing) of a soul be before it is cast into Hell, not torment that is after being cast into Hell. But this seems to be no problem for those that change, after they have changed the “killed” to eternal life in torment for souls that cannot be killed, and changed Gehenna to Hell, they just make another change and CHANGE THE TIME OF THE TORMENT FROM BEFORE BEING CAST INTO HELL TO AFTER BEING CAST INTO HELL.
Christ speaks of being destroyed in Gehenna, but never says anything about Gehenna being eternal, or about torment in Gehenna, but those who change Gehenna into Hell add both eternal life and torment to Gehenna.
CHANGES THAT MUST BE MADE
TO CHANGE A “KILLED” PERSON INTO A LIVING SOUL
TO CHANGE GEHENNA
INTO THE "HELL" THAT IS TAUGHT TODAY
(1). Gehenna must be changed from a place of desertion that is on this earth to a place of torment with no desertion that is not on this earth, changed to a place that did not exist before in the Dark Age Roman Catholic Church.
(2). Then the changed place must be moved.
(3). Them after the place that did not exist at that time has been changed and moved, it must then be given a new name (Hell), a name that is not in the Hebrew Old Testament or the Greek New Testament; there is no revelation that there is such a place or such a name exist; both the place called Hell and it’s name did not exist unto long after the last word of the New Testament was written.
(4). The “YOU” (the “twelve disciples”) being killed (Luke 12:4-5) and cast into Gehenna must be changed into “it” being cast alive into Hell, whatever “it” is, “it” cannot be killed. “It” cannot “fear Him who is able to destroy” “it” for we are told “it” cannot be destroyed.
(5). Killed YOU, cast YOU into Gehenna. Who believe God is going to cast dead bodies into Gehenna? There is now no fire in Gehenna to cast into.
There is no ground for the traditional view of an immortal soul that cannot be killed or destroyed in this passage, or any other passage. Jesus used both kill and destroy, but said nothing about torment. Theology must be used to change “killed” and “destroy” to “life in torment,” for if the words killed and destroy are not changed to mean life, there would be no living "souls" to be tormented in Hell; therefore, no Hell.
A DOUBLE CHANGE
To make Matthew 10:28 teach an immortal soul that will go to Hell the translators had to make two major changes.
ONE CHANGE. Psukee in the New Testament, nehphesh in Old Testament) that is applied to all living being, both living and dead being, (see chapter one) must be changed to be an immaterial, deathless, invisible, no substance, thoughts only something that lives after the death of the person it had been in, but this deathless soul is “killed” before it is cast into the nonexistent Hell. Neither psukee nor nehphesh means a deathless immortal soul.
SECOND CHANGE. Gehenna, a real place on this earth, must be changed to “Hell,” a place that is not on this earth, a place that does not exist. The name Gehenna changed to a name that did not exist when the Old Testament or the New Testament was written, changed to a name that is not in the Bible.
By translating (1) life into soul and (2) destroy into lose, what Christ said was changed from the person that loves the world will destroy his or her life, changed to be the person that loves the world will lose a soul that is in them, but not destroy that soul for it is deathless and when the person that lost it is dead that soul will go on living without the person that lost it. Will God endlessly torment a soul because of the sins of a person?
Luke makes it clear that it is the person that will be destroyed, not an immortal something in a person, “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses (apollumi–destroys) or forfeits himself” (Luke 9:25)? The translators were not able to change the parallel passage in Luke 9:25 from the person being lost to an immortal something being lost that no person knows what that something really is. If whatever a “soul” is, if it were being tormented in “Hell” “it” would know where it was, only the person that lost it would not know where it was, or would not know anything that was happening to whatever “it” is.
If a soul is something in a person, that soul will be alive after the person is dead, would that not make it be a soul that had lost the person it was in, not as it is taught that a person that sins loses a soul that was in them? All this is to show how completely foolish they made Christ by trying to put Plato’s immortal soul into the mouth of Christ.
Apollumi (destroy) is used 95 times in the New Testament. Matthew 10:28 and 10:39 (with the parallel accounts in Luke, Mark, and John) is the only time it is used with psukee–life, and it says fear him who is able to destroy (apollumi) a soul (psukee–life).
1. What ever happens to a soul (psukee–life) also happens to the body.
2. What ever happens to the body also happens to a soul (psukee–life). If one is “destroyed” in Gehenna, both are destroyed in Gehenna. If one is never destroyed, but it is tormented in Hell then both are never destroyed and both are tormented in Hell.
Those who believe this “psukee” is a deathless soul that cannot die must deny this plain statement made by Christ that this psukee–life (not a deathless soul) could be destroyed.
1. “And be not afraid of THEM that KILL the body, but are not able to kill the soul (psukee-life)”
2. “Fear HIM who is able to DESTROY both soul (psukee-life) and body in Gehenna.” The valley of Gehenna was a place where things were cast to be destroyed, not a place of eternal torment by God. The psukee , some times translated “soul” can be lost or destroyed, Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:56 and many other passages,, it is not an immortal soul that cannot be destroyed.
3. Both are killed (destroyed) in Gehenna, The word Hell was not used as it did not exist at that time. Many “them” could and did kill many of the disciples, and person that was thought to be unworthy of a burial would be cast unburied into Gehenna to be destroyed by fire and worms.
4. THE SECOND DEATH AFTER THE RESURRECTION AND JUDGMENT (Revelation 21:8) WILL NOT BE ETERNAL LIFE IN GEHENNA; DEATH IS DEATH, DEATH IS NOT LIFE. The world, including the Valley of Gehenna, will be destroyed at the coming of Christ (2 Peter 3:11-12). See “The Day of the Lord” in chapter 12.
Men did kill the bodies of many disciples, and Christ warned His disciples that they would be killed, but this has no effect on their ultimate existence. Death is but a brief sleep, which will be as if it were only a moment from death unto the resurrection. (Deuteronomy 31:16; 2 Samuel 7:12; 1 Kings 1:21; Job 7:21; 14:12; Psalm 13:31 Jeremiah 51:39, 57; 1 Kings 2:10; 11:21, 43; 14:20, 31; 15:8, 24; 16:6, 28; 22:40, 50; 2 Kings 8:24; 10:35; 13:9, 13; 14:16, 22, 29; 15:7, 22, 38; 16:20; 20:21; 21:18; 24:6; 2 Chronicles 9:31; 12:16; 14:1; 16:13; 21:1; 26:2, 23; 27:9; 28:27; 32:33; 33:20; Job 3:13; Isaiah 26:19; Matthew 9:24; 25:5; 27:52; Mark 5:39; Luke 8:52; John 11:11-14; Acts 7:60; 13:36; 1 Corinthians 15:6, 18, 20, 51; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15; 5:10; 2 Peter 3:4). While there is nothing about a resurrection in Luke 22:4-5 or Matthew 10:28, there will be a resurrection, and in the ultimate eternal sense man cannot kill the psukee (life). God can destroy and make our memory to perish (Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:6; Ecclesiastes 9:4-6; Psalm 31:12; 88:5; Isaiah 26:14; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:5; Romans 6:23). If death does not indicate unconsciousness, then the analogy of sleep, which is used throughout the Bible, is meaningless if the dead are not asleep. It is more than just meaningless, saying the dead are asleep when they are awake in Heaven or Hell would be an outright lie that is repeated frequently. The second death is never called a sleep because there will be no waking up or resurrection from it.
If the words "immortal soul" were substituted for "soul" and "life," it would be absurd. "But are not able to kill the immortal soul (life–psukee): but fear him who is able to destroy both the immortal soul (life–psukee) and body in Hell (Gehenna)...He that finds his immortal soul (life–psukee) shall lose his immortal soul (life–psukee); and he that loses his immortal soul (life–psukee) for my sake shall find his immortal soul" (life–psukee) (Matthew 10:28-39). When this is used to prove that a person has an immortal soul in them, which cannot be destroyed, it proves that an immortal soul can be destroyed (killed, Luke 12:5); whatever is cast into Gehenna, or whatever is cast in the mistranslated “Hell” IS DEAD, “KILLED,” BEFORE IT IS CAST INTO EITHER GEHENNA OR “HELL.” If psukee were an immortal soul, then God would be able to destroy (kill) this immortal soul. There is no stronger way in which to say God can and will destroy it (psukee–life). He is to be feared by those of the world because He will. I find it strange that one of the most used passages to prove there is an "immaterial, invisible part of man" (Vine) that cannot be destroyed says the psukee (life) can be destroy, the very thing that some are trying to prove cannot be destroyed can be destroyed, can be killed; but no stranger then the use of death to mean an eternal life of torment with God doing the tormenting. By saying black is white you can prove anything. The point some are trying to make from being "able to destroy" is that there is life after death, and they believe this life can only be an immortal soul, a soul which they believe is unable to be destroyed, which Matthew 10:28-39 does not prove.
At the resurrection there will be life that God can destroy, not that there is an immortal soul that God cannot destroy. This passage says nothing about an "immaterial, invisible part of man" that is alive before the resurrection that cannot be destroyed. It does not say there will be any life from death unto the resurrection. That there will be a resurrection is taught throughout the New Testament, but if all are alive when Christ comes, there cannot be a resurrection of those that are not dead. God can destroy both the life (psukee) that now is, and the life (psukee) that will be after the resurrection. He is to be feared by the lost because He will destroy the life they will have after the resurrection.
Would prove more than the advocate's of an immortal soul want to prove. If Matthew 10:28 were changed to be speaking of torment in Hell it would prove more than they believe and more them they want to prove, for most that believe God will endless torment souls do not believe that God will endless torment this earthly body in "Hell," or that the "immaterial, invisible part of man" will be destroyed. But, to prove Hell, they change destroy to be just a loss of well being, but still alive, undestroyed, and being tormented in Hell. If the immaterial, invisible part of a person is not destroyed, but just lost its well-being, then the earthly body is not destroyed, but has just lost its well-being. The same thing would happen to both the body and “the immaterial, invisible part of a person;” therefore, if destroy means one is tormented, not destroyed, then destroy means the earthly body will be tormented in Hell just as we are told that a soul will be tormented in Hell. Most who believes in Hell do not believe the flesh and blood "body" will be tormented, but it is clear that whatever happens to the "body" also happens to the "soul" (psukee–life), both are destroyed. If one is killed, both are killed, if one is tormented, both are tormented. If God is able to kill or destroy both the body and soul (psukee–life), neither one could now be immortal.
Psukee as it is translated in Luke 12, New International Version.
“Fear him who after the killing of the body, has power to throw YOU (psukee) into hell” (Greek–Gehenna, throw your body he has killed it into Gehenna) (Luke 12:5).
“And I’ll say to MYSELF (psukee), ‘YOU (psukee) have plenty of good things lain up for many years’”(Luke 12:18).
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your LIFE (psukee) will be demanded from you’” (Luke 12:20).
“LIFE (psukee) is more than food, and the body more than clothes” (Luke 12:23).
In summary - There is absolutely nothing in this passage about an immortal deathless soul that cannot be killed being endlessly tormented in Hell by God. Those that believe there is an immortal soul do not believe that a deathless soul can be killed. The name “Gehenna” designates a known location that is on this earth, a location that is known even to this day; every use of Gehenna in the Bible is to a real place that is on this earth, not once is the name Gehenna applied to any place after death, not once did God say anything about a place called Hell; only by a mistranslation can Gehenna be changed to Hell. Hell is 100% a man made up place, a place that does not exist in the Bible.
(3). THE THIRD OCCASION
IN ANOTHER LESSON TO HIS DISCIPLES
This was a different discourse than Matthew 5:29-30 above, but Jesus was teaching the same thing. See the notes on the first occasion above. Matthew 18:9, "And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your BODY perish, than for your whole BODY to be thrown into Hell (Greek–Gehenna).” “Whole bodies” were cast into Gehenna, but I know of no one that believes in Hell that believes the “whole body” (the whole earthly body) will be cast into Hell, most believe that only a soul that had been in the “whole body” will be cast into Hell, cast into Hell without the “whole body,” only after that immaterial soul leaves the “whole body.” Mark 9:43, 45, 47 "And if YOUR hand cause YOU to stumble, cut it off: it is good for YOU to enter into life maimed, rather then having YOUR two hands to go into Hell (Greek–Gehenna), into the unquenchable fire. And if YOUR foot cause YOU to stumble, cut it off; it is good for YOU to enter into life halt, (enter into life on earth crippled without a hand or foot, not a crippled soul with a cut off hand in Heaven) rather then having YOUR two feet to be cast into Hell (Greek–Gehenna–YOU cast into Gehenna, not a soul with two cut off feet in Hell). And if YOUR eye cause YOU to stumble, cast it out; (what person can literally or figuratively cast out an eye of a no substance, immaterial soul) it is good for YOU to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into Hell (Greek–Gehenna) where their worm dies not, the fire is not quenched;" where are they-persons with two eyes, cast? Into “Gehenna,” which is a real valley on this earth that in the time of Christ that had both literal fire and worms and literally had dead bodies cast into it. "Where their worm dies not, the fire is not quenched" in Mark 9:44 is a direct quotation of Isaiah 66:24 which is speaking of literal fire and worms burning and eating literal carcasses, dead bodies of persons and living persons literally going out to look at the dead carcasses. Mark 9:46 and 48 are in some translations but not in others because they are not in many of the Greek manuscripts are also a direct quotation of Isaiah 66:24. NOT MANY BELIEVES THE HUMAN BODY “your whole body” IS GOING TO BE CAST IN “HELL” AND BE TORMENTED, YET THIS PASSAGE ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY, ABOUT THE BODY OF A PERSON BEING CAST INTO THE VALLEY OF GEHENNA IS OFTEN USED TO PROVE AN IMMATERIAL “SOUL” WILL BE ETERNALLY TORMENTED BY GOD, NOT IN THE VALLEY OF GEHENNA, BUT IN HELL; the “hand,” “eye,” and “body” are parts of a live person, not parts of an immaterial soul that has no earthy parts; the “whole body” is the same body that the “eye” is to be pluck out of; the “foot” that is literally cut off and cast into Gehenna is a part of the earthy body, not a foot of a soul that is somehow cut off of a soul and then cast into Hell to keep the rest of a soul from being cast into Hell. A body or parts of a body could have been cast into Gehenna; a body or no part of a body cannot be cut off and cast into the Hell that is taught today. The foot that is cut off and cast into Gehenna is a part of “your whole body” that is alive on earth at the time the foot is cut off; it was a living person that were to cut off their foot and cast their foot into the earthly Gehenna. If there were a Hell no person would be able to cast his or her foot into Hell.
1. “It would be better for HIM if…HE had been CAST INTO THE SEA” (Mark 9:42).
2. “It is better for YOU to enter life crippled…then having two hands, to be CAST INTO GEHENNA” (Mark 9:43).
“It is better for YOU to enter life lame …then having two feet, to be CAST INTO GEHENNA” (Mark 9:45).
“It is better for YOU to enter the kingdom of God…than having two eyes, to be CAST INTO GEHENNA,” (Mark 9:47).
Throughout Mark the kingdom of God is always the earthly kingdom; it is not saying “it is better for a soul to enter Heaven with only one eye.” Will a soul in Heaven be maimed or have only one eye? If this was either a soul while it is still in a person, or a soul after the resurrection, what could possibility have the meaning of cutting off a hand of a soul?
Both the sea and Gehenna are places on this earth. It is a person, not a soul that is “cast into the sea,” and a person, not a soul, that is “cast into Gehenna.” To “enter into life,” or “into the kingdom of God” is contrasted with going into or being cast in Gehenna. It is a living person that enters into life with one eye, or enters into the kingdom of God. Nothing is said about a soul entering into Heaven after the death of the person it had been in, absolutely nothing is said about a soul or Hell in this passage.
"Where their worm dies not, the fire is not quenched" is a direct quotation from Isaiah 66:23-24 where it is speaking of dead bodies on this earth being literally burned with fire and dead bodies being literally eaten by worms just as anything that was cast into Gehenna was literally burned with fire or literally eaten by worms; if, as we are repeatedly told, an immaterial soul has no body, then how could it be eaten by worms? Gehenna, a real place on this earth, has been changed to Hell, a place that is not on this earth, a place that there is not one word about it in the Bible that says such a place exist, and bodies has been changed to souls that have no body and these souls are tormented in a place that not one Bible passage tells of. “It is better for YOU to enter life crippled” (Mark 9:43), what “life” is Christ speaking of, this life “crippled,” or a crippled” life in Heaven? “If Christ were speaking of Heaven, unless it is possible to be crippled with only one foot and one eye in Heaven, this passage would make no sense. Do unconditional immoralists believe Christ is saying it is better for an immortal soul to enter life in Heaven a “crippled” soul; “it is good for YOU to enter into life halt, rather then having YOUR two feet to be cast into Hell (Greek–Gehenna)”? If Christ were speaking of immortal souls entering life in Heaven or being cast into Hell, would there be any way to say there will not be crippled souls in Heaven? This is teaching that if there is anything in our lives that would be in the way of entering into the kingdom of Heaven we need to remove it; a person who uses drugs needs to repent, a person who is a thief needs to repent–to remove (cut off) the things from their lives that would prevent them from entering into the kingdom.
(4). THE FOURTH OCCASION
IN A SERMON TO THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES
Gehenna is used two times in a sermon to the Scribes and Pharisees warning them of God's rejection of Israel. In Matthew 23 and 24 Christ speaks of the destruction of Israel. "All these things shall come upon this generation" (Matthew 23:36). The context of these two uses of Gehenna are clearly an in time judgment of Israel, a judgment that came in A. D. 70 and has now passed, not of anything that will be after the judgment at the coming of Christ. THEY HAVE NO REFERENCE TO "HELL." The judgment and destruction of Israel did come on that "generation," but "damnation of Hell" as it is mistranslated and preached today did not come on that "generation." Damnation" is from krisis which means judgment, not damnation as it is mistranslated in the King James Version, the Greek says, "judgment of Gehenna," not the "damnation of Hell;" both “damnation” and “Hell” are a change and mistranslated in the King James Version. These two uses of Gehenna are in a context of a rebuke toward the Pharisees and religious leaders of that time, and not about anything after the Judgment Day, or not anything about souls. Added to this is that it is fallowed by the lamentation of Jesus over the doomed city of Jerusalem, “Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem that kills the prophet’s and stones them that are sent unto her! How often would I have gathered your children together even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:37-38). Matthew 23 and 24 are about the coming judgment and destruction of Jerusalem.
ISRAEL THE WICKED HUSBANDMEN Matthew 21:33-46
Before looking at this use of Gehenna it may help understand it to first look at the parable of the wicked husbandman that comes just before it, and it is a part of the same sermon spoken to the Scribes and Pharisees. "When; therefore, the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do unto these husbandman? They say unto him, He will miserably DESTROY these miserable men, and will let out the vineyard unto other husbandmen, who will render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus said unto them, did you never read in the scriptures, the stone, which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner; this was from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto YOU, the kingdom of God shall be taken away from YOU, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust. And when the chief priests and Pharisees heard his parables, they understood that He was speaking ABOUT THEM." How is it that today most do not understand this parable to be about Israel, do not understand “that He was speaking about them”? Many parables deal with the rejection of Christ by Israel and Israel’s destruction. See chapter 8, part 1 and part 2.
1. SON OF GEHENNA, Matthew 23:15
"Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is become so, you make him twofold more a son of Hell (Greek–Gehenna) then yourselves." In speaking to the Pharisees, Christ said, "For you are like unto whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead man's bones, and of all uncleanness" (Matthew 23:27). The Scribes and Pharisees made their proselytes’ twofold more a son of Gehenna than them selves (Matthew 23:15). A place cannot give birth to a person. No one, not even those who believe in Hell believe Hell is literally the father or mother of anyone. To call a person a son of a place is not to say that place is literally the person’s mother, but is to say a part of his or her character is similar to that place. Gehenna was a place of filth and uncleanness. To use the metaphors "son of Gehenna" is to say they were unclean like the filthy city dump. To be a "son of Gehenna" means to be like Gehenna and the things in it, to be filthy and contemptible, fit only to be destroyed. The proselytes were made twofold more unclean then the Pharisees, this is speaking of them being sons of Gehenna (unclean) while they were alive, while they were living persons, not speaking of souls in the proselytes being twofold more unclean in Hell then the souls that were in the Scribes and Pharisees. When “Gehenna” is mistranslated “Hell,” does being “twofold more” mean they will have double the torment that the Pharisees will have? No. It means that are double as unclean, double as wrong in what they believed as were the Pharisees. Because Gehenna does not literally have sons, this is a figure of speech, and is not intended to be taken literally, not in this life, or after death. James and John are called "sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17). Thunder did not give birth to them, but a part of their character is similar to thunder, "And if a son of peace be there" (Luke 10:6), "Son of exhortation" (Acts 4:36), "Sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2), "The son of destruction" (2 Thessalonians 2:3). These “sons of Gehenna,” were living people that were living on this earth at the time Christ said they were “sons of Gehenna”; Christ said living people, not souls in Hell that are “sons of Gehenna.”
J. W. McGARVEY, Matthew 8:11, "The child of anything in Hebrew phraseology expressed the idea of special property which one has in the thing specified, as, for instance, children of disobedience (Eph. ii. 2)." “The Fourfold Gospel,” Standard Publishing Company, 1914.
ROBERT W. YARBROUGH, “In biblical usage ‘son of’ normally means physical descendent. But it also has a metaphorical use. It can mean ‘to share the characteristics’ of someone or something. ‘Sons of thunder’ are boisterous and impulsive young men (Mark 3:17; cf. Luke 9:54). “Sons of light and sons of the day’ (1 Thess. 5:5) are people whose lives reflect God’s moral brilliance.” “Hell Under Fire,” page 73, Zondervan printers, 2004.
This metaphor is taken from the filth and uncleanness of Gehenna. Although this passage is repeatedly used to prove eternal torment of a soul after the death of the person that soul had been in, (1) there is nothing about “souls” in it, (2) there is nothing about any torment of souls in it, not torment in this lifetime, not torment of souls after death, not torment of souls after the judgment, (3) nothing about Hell in it.
In the same address to the Scribes and Pharisees, Christ adds two more examples of their uncleanness.
(1). Sons of Gehenna, a place of filth and uncleanness.
(2). The Pharisees washed the outside of the cup to make it clean, "For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full or robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside thereof may become clean also" (Matthew 23:25-26).
(3). The Pharisees were like whitewashed graves, "Which appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead man's bones, and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity" (Matthew 23:27-28).
Matthew 23:13-39 is a list of seven woes to the Scribes and Pharisees. "Twofold more a son of Gehenna." Matthew 23:15 is the second of the seven woes on the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:13-39).
(1). The Pharisees shut the kingdom of Heaven against men, and enter not in (Matthew 23:13-14).
(2). The Pharisees made their proselytes’ twofold more a son of Gehenna than them selves (Matthew 23:15).
(3). The Pharisees said to swear by the temple is nothing (Matthew 23:16-22).
(4). The Pharisees left undone the weightier matters (Matthew 23:23-24).
(5). The Pharisees were full of hypocrisy and iniquity; they cleaned only the outside of the cup (Matthew 23:25-26).
(6). The Pharisees are like whitewashed tombs, full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness (Matthew 23:17-28).
(7). The Pharisees are sons and partakers with their fathers that slew the prophets. "How shall YOU escape the judgment of Gehenna"? (Matthew 23:29-39).
2. JUDGMENT OF GEHENNA, Matthew 23:33-39
"Fill you up then the measure of YOUR fathers. YOU serpents, YOU offspring of vipers, how shall YOU escape the judgment of Gehenna (deliberately mistranslated to “damnation of Hell” in King James)? Therefore, behold, I send unto YOU prophets, and wise men, and Scribes: some of them shall YOU kill and crucify; and some of them shall YOU scourge in YOUR synagogues, and persecute from city to city: that upon YOU may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous unto the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom YOU slew between the sanctuary and the altar. Verily I say unto YOU, all these things shall come UPON THIS GENERATION." Christ was speaking the Scribes and Pharisees when He said, “How shall YOU escape the judgment of Gehenna,” All the “YOU” are those Christ was speaking to; Christ had just told the Scribes and Pharisees they made their proselytes more a "SON of Gehenna," more unclean than themselves; then He calls them "offspring (SONS of) vipers," and "all these things (all the righteous blood from Abel to Zechariah) shall come UPON THIS GENERATION." Matthew 23 is a discourse to the Scribes and the Pharisees, and they knew that Jesus was speaking to them; the “you” is the Pharisees that Christ was speaking to, a judgment that “shall come upon THIS GENERATION,” a judgment that did come in A. D. 70, it is not about things that are happening today, or about things that will happen after the Judgment Day; many take one word of this discourse out of it context, and then changed this one noun (Gehenna) to another noun (Hell) that is not in the Bible.
The Scribes and Pharisees knew the law, but did not keep it. Outwardly they were as beautiful as white sepulchers, but inwardly were full of dead man's bones. They would not escape the judgment to come. "Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation" (Matthew 23:36). Matthew 24 is a discourse to His disciples about the destruction of Israel of which He had just spoken of to the Pharisees in the chapter twenty-three. That generation would not escape the judgment of Gehenna. “The judgment of Gehenna“ occurs only when Christ was speaking to the Jews about the coming destruction of Jerusalem; it came in A. D. 70 when historians say Gehenna had many dead bodies of Jews from the destruction of Jerusalem (See Jeremiah 19). To the Jews, to be judged as not being fit to be buried were the worse of all insult. It was the most severe judgment of contempt upon a criminal known to the Jews. In the judgment soon to come upon them Josephus said six hundred thousand dead bodies of the Jews were carried out of Jerusalem and lift unburied.
CONDEMNATION, DAMNATION, AND DAMNED
Of The King James Version
In Matthew 23 the seventh woe of the warning to the Scribes and Pharisees and Matthew 24 are about the judgment coming to them and on Israel. Why did the King James translators change, “The judgment (krisis) of Gehenna” into, “The damnation of Hell” (Matthew 23:33)?
“Judgment of Gehenna” for Israel that “shall come upon this generation” (Matthew 23:36) is changed to, “Damnation of Hell;” it took a double change to make it say what the translators wanted, “judgment (krisis)” changed to “damnation,” and “Gehenna” changed to “Hell.” That generation is long pasted and there has been no “damnation of Hell” yet, but the judgment of Gehenna did come on that generation in A. D. 70 when Israel was destroyed. How did the translators think they had the right to change this warning to the Scribes and Pharisees about a judgment of Gehenna that was coming on that generation to the Hell they believed in, especially when neither the word “damnation” nor “Hell” is in the Greek from which they translated it; they deliberately changed the words of Christ and put their pagan Hell in His mouth, deliberately changed His teaching of the judgment coming to Israel changed to eternal torment of souls in Hell.
Krisis is used in the New Testament 48 times and in the King James Version it is translated “judgment” 41 times, “damnation” 3 times, “condemnation” 2 times, “accusation” 2 times. The translators must have thought that if they put damnation with Hell that it would make the threat of Hell stronger? Krisis should have never been translated damnation or condemnation. In the American Standard Version Krisis is translated "judgment" 47 times, and "sin" 1 time in Mark 3:29. In Matthew 23:33 American Standard Version it is, “judgment of Hell” with the foot note saying the Greek word Christ used is “Judgment of Gehenna” not “Hell.
THE RESURRECTION OF
(krisis) (KJV), JUDGMENT (krisis) (ASV), "The resurrection of judgment (krisis)" (John 5:29) says nothing about an eternal
life of torment in Hell after the second coming of Christ although this passage
is continually used to prove eternal torment. The verdict of the judgment, if it were death, or eternal life with
torment is not in this passage. In
an attempt to put Hell in the Bible, the translators of the King James Version
(1) changed the judgment and made it be the verdict of the judgment, (2) and
then made the verdict be what they needed it to be, namely eternal torment by
God. This probably deliberate mistranslation is based on the translator’s
belief of the doctrine of an endless life in Hell being tormented by God.
the resurrection of
King James Version.
2. "Unto the resurrection of judgment (krisis)" American Standard Version.
1. "Shall not come into
condemnation (krisis)" King James
2. "Shall not come into judgment (krisis)" New King James Version, - American Standard Version.
1. "Escape the
(krisis)" King James Version,
2. "Escape the judgment (krisis)" American Standard Version.
1. "And this is the
(krisis)" King James Version.
2. "And this is the judgment (krisis)" American Standard Version.
"krisis" means "damnation," then
we are all in trouble for. "It is
appointed unto men once to die, and after this comes
damnation judgment (krisis)" (Hebrews 9:27), judgment will come to all,
both the saved and the lost, but not damnation. Krisis
is in the Greek forty-eight time and is translated judgment forty-one of the
forty-eight times in the King James Version. When it is applied only to the
lost the King James translators translated "krisis"
condemnation or damnation, but when it is applied to all (Hebrews 9:27) they
translated "krisis" judgment; they could
not have damnation of all. Just one more example of how they were willing to
mistranslate to put "Hell" into the Bible even if they had to make
God be the eternal tormenter of many billions. The New American Standard
Version and most other translations do not mistranslate "krisis" into condemnation or damnation. Two words had to be changed in Matthew
23:33 to put today's Hell in the Bible. "Judgment" had to be changed
to "damnation," and "Gehenna" had to be changed to
FOY E. WALLACE Jr., NO ROOT, NO BRANCH, NO HOPE OF LIFE FOR ISRAEL. "The prophet declares that 'the day shall burn as an oven' and 'it shall burn them up'–a pronouncement against the Jewish nation and governments that rejected and condemned the Christ, and persecuted his saints." "God's Prophetic Word," page 545.
Krino is translated judge, judged, 86 times in the King James Version, damned 1 time, condemn 1 time, condemned 2 times, condemneth 1 time in the King James Version.
“For God sent not his
Son into the world to
condemn (krino) the world; but that the world through
him might be save. He that believeth on him is not condemned (krino): but
he that believeth not is condemned
(krino) already” King James Version.
“For God sent not the Son into the world to judge (krino) the world: but that the world should be saved through him. He that believeth on him is not judged (krino): he that believeth not has been judged (krino) already” American Standard Version.
“Happy is he that
not himself” King James
“Happy is he that judgeth (krino) not himself” American Standard Version.
2 Thessalonians 2:12
“That they all might
King James Version.
“That they all might be judged (krino)” American Standard Version.
There is a vast different in “damned” and “judged,” both cannot be a true translation of the same word; how many millions have been made to believe a lie by this deliberate changing of the Bible? Condemnation, damnation, and damned were all taken out of the American Standard Version and most others translations. How many millions have been made to believe a lie by this changing of the Bible?
The Jews would have been acquainted with the language of judgment on nations in the Old Testament. Malachi's pronouncement is against the Jewish nation. "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root not branch" (Malachi 4:1). Malachi likens the wicked to stubble that is burnt up and reduced to ashes. Old Testament illustrations are not consistent with eternal torment, but depicts complete destruction. In the last chapter in the Old Testament of our English Bible Malachi says Israel will not be left a root to sprout a branch or a branch to sprout roots; therefore, there will be no hope for life for Israel.
Summary - Just as every reference to Gehenna in the Old Testament are to a place on this earth, to the valley south of Jerusalem, and it is never translated "Hell," every reference to Gehenna by Christ is also to the same place on this earth, to the same valley. In the four occasions that Gehenna is used, (1) not in a one is Gehenna said to be eternal or everlasting, (2) not once is there any torment of living persons in Gehenna, (3) and not once is Gehenna used in connection with the resurrection, but today preachers most always add everlasting and say it will never end. How do they know this? None of the apostles ever preach anything about Gehenna. If it were a place of torment where God shall torment all of the lost, why did they never say anything about it? They used death, destroy, destroyed, perish, die, and end; but never "Hell."
(5). AND ONE TIME BY JAMES
TO THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL
The tongue is “SET ON FIRE BY GEHENNA”
"And the tongue is a fire; the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by Hell (Greek–Gehenna)." James used the same proper noun (the name of a particular place that is on this earth) that Christ used in Matthew 23:15 as a metaphor of uncleanness. The tongue is a fire and is set on fire by Gehenna, the filthy, contemptible garbage dump. Most who are given to gossip look for some filthy rotten garbage on someone, and then cannot wait to tell it. James did not use Gehenna to teach the Jews about what was going to happen to them after death if they rejected Christ; those that believe in Hell do not believe what James said, he used Gehenna to tell them that the tongue, a part of the earthly body, is now while the person is living is set on fire. To say, "The tongue of a living person is set on fire by the place of eternal torment after the judgment," which is what many teach, makes no sense. This metaphor is not taken from the destruction by the fire and maggots in Gehenna, but is a metaphor taken from the filth and uncleanness of Gehenna just as Christ used the filth and uncleanness of Gehenna in the fourth occasion He used Gehenna in Matthew 23. The tongue that is set on fire is in living people before their death; it speaks of what is happening to people in this lifetime, there is nothing, not one word in it about what will happen to persons after death, or souls after the judgment. There is nothing about being killed and then cast into Gehenna, nothing about torment or destruction in it, and nothing about anything after death. The tongue is a fire now in this lifetime. When Gehenna is changed to Hell that is believed to be a literal place that is not on this earth and this Hell sets on fire a literal tongue that is in a living person on this earth it would somehow make that person's tongue while the person was alive be in contact with a place that is not on this earth. James used Gehenna as a place of uncleanness, which he figuratively applied to a vile unclean tongue of a living person. This passage says nothing about any kind of punishment before or after death, nothing about the fate of the unrighteous after death, or nothing about a soul or a spirit although it is often used to prove them.
DOSE A PLACE TORMENT?
“Set on fire” James 3:6. According to those that believe in Hell, Hell is a PLACE where God will be doing the tormenting. Both when Gehenna is not changed to Hell, and when Gehenna is changed to Hell, if there were any tormenting in James 3:6 it would be undeniable that it is either a PLACE on this earth, or a PLACE that is not on this earth even though a PLACE has no thoughts. It is not God, but a PLACE that will be doing the setting on fire (tormenting). When this passage is made literal as most that believe in Hell do, then a PLACE that is on this earth, Gehenna, is changed to a PLACE that is not on this earth; this PLACE goes far beyond its own border to literally set on fire a tongue that is still in a living person that is on earth, not set on fire (torment) a soul that had been in a living person on earth but that soul is now in the PLACE called Hell. Why would James use the name of a real PLACE that is on this earth if he was speaking of a PLACE that is not on this earth? To use Gehenna as a metaphor of uncleanness makes sense, but to change the name to a PLACE where God torments souls, and then say that this PLACE that most that believe in Hell believe it to be a very far distance from this earth, but it sets the tongues of living people on fire makes no sense.
Gehenna was not used in the rest of the New Testament, and neither is unquenchable fire. Most that believes in Hell make the maggots they say will be in Hell figurative maggots, not real maggots in Hell, but make the fire they say will be in Hell be literal fire. If this was true, how could they know which one was literal and which one was figurative? Are they saying literal worms cannot eat a soul that is “immaterial, invisible,” and has no earthly substance that literal worms can eat, but literal fire can burn this immaterial soul that has no earthly substance that literal worms could not eat? If Gehenna’s "unquenchable fire" and "their worm dies not" are a description of the endless punishment of the wicked in "Hell," the silence of the New Testament writers would be unexplainable. (1) Acts, a history of the preaching and church for about thirty years does not mention Gehenna, unquenchable fire, or immortal maggots. (2) In none of Paul's fourteen letters, he never mentioned them. (3) Peter, John, and Jude are also as silent as Paul. (4) Neither can they be found in the Book of Revelation.
TOURS OF HELL
Today many travelers to Israel are offered “a tour of Hell,” they are taken to the valley of Gehenna, but they find no fire there. After A. D. 70 the fire went out and all signs of the fire has now disappeared completely.
BEFORE ANY PLACE NAMED HELL COULD BE KNOWN ABOUT BY ANYONE, SUCH A PLACE MUST BE MADE KNOWN BY A REVELATION FROM GOD. THERE IS NO SUCH REVELATION.
THE MISTRANSLATION OF GEHENNA
| KJV | ASV NASV RSV NRSV* | Others**
Matthew 5:22, 29, 30_| Hell | Hell Footnote-Greek Gehenna| Gehenna
Matthew 10:28 | Hell | Hell Footnote-Greek Gehenna| Gehenna
Mt 18:9 Mk 9:43,44,45| Hell | Hell Footnote-Greek Gehenna| Gehenna
Matthew 23:15, 33 | Hell | Hell Footnote-Greek Gehenna| Gehenna
Luke 12:5 | Hell | Hell Footnote-Greek Gehenna| Gehenna
James 3:6 | Hell | Hell Footnote-Greek Gehenna| Gehenna
The American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, and others have a footnote "Gr. Gehenna."
**New American Bible (Catholic), World English Bible, Young's Literal New Testament (author of "Young's Analytical Concordance"), Wesley's New Testament (founder of Methodist Church), Christian Bible 1991, and many more translations have "Gehenna" in the text as it should be as it is a Proper Noun (the name of a particular place). The Amplified Bible has it as an insert in the text, "Hell (Gehenna) of fire."
THE TRANSLATION OF GEHENNA IN SEVEN TRANSLATIONS
(1) Young's Literal Bible (1891) Author of "Young's Analytical Concordance To The Bible."
First occasion, in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:22, “Gehenna Of The Fire,” Matthew 5:29 “Gehenna,” Matthew 5:30 “Gehenna.”
Second occasion, in a lesson to the twelve disciples.
Matthew 10:28–“Destroy in Gehenna,” Luke 12:5 “Gehenna.”
Third occasion, in another lesson to his disciples.
Matthew 18:9, “Gehenna of the fire”; Mark 9:43, “Gehenna” Mark 9:44 and Mark 9:45 “Gehenna.”
Fourth occasion, to the Scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:15, “Son of Gehenna”; Matthew 23:33 “Gehenna.”
And one time by James, to the Twelve Tribes, James 3:6 “Set of fire by the Gehenna.”
(2) Wesley's New Testament (1755) the original edition by Wesley, the founder of Methodist Church, not the updated editions that have been changed by others.
First occasion, in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:22 “Gehenna”; Matthew 5:29 “Gehenna”; Matthew 5:30–“Gehenna”
Second occasion, in a lesson to the twelve disciples.
Matthew 10:28–“Gehenna”; Luke 12:5 “Gehenna.”
Third occasion, in another lesson to his disciples.
Matthew 18:9–“Gehenna”; Mark 9:43 “Gehenna;” Mark 9:44 and Mark 9:45–“Gehenna.”
Fourth occasion, to the Scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:15 “Gehenna”; Matthew 23:3 “Gehenna.”
And one time by James, to the Twelve Tribes, James 3:6 “Gehenna.”
(3) Weymouth New Testament (1903)
First occasion, in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:22 “Gehenna of Fire”; Matthew 5:29 “Gehenna”; Matthew 5:30 “Gehenna.”
Second occasion, in a lesson to the twelve disciples.
Matthew 10:28 “Gehenna”; Luke 12:5 “Gehenna.”
Third occasion, in another lesson to his disciples.
Matthew 18:9 “Gehenna of fire”; Mark 9:43 “Gehenna”; Mark 9:44 and Mark 9:45 “Gehenna.”
Fourth occasion, to the Scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:15–Son of Gehenna; Matthew 23:33 “Gehenna.”
And one time by James, to the Twelve Tribes, James 3:6 “Set of fire by Gehenna.”
(4) The New American Bible (1991) (Catholic)
First occasion, in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:22, “Whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.”
Matthew 5:29, “Better to lose part of you body than have it all cast into Gehenna.”
Matthew 5:30, “Better to lose part of you body than have it all cast into Gehenna.”
Second occasion, in a lesson to the twelve disciples.
Matthew 10:28 “Gehenna.”
Luke 12:5, “Fear him who has power to cast into Gehenna after he has killed.”
Third occasion, in another lesson to his disciples.
Matthew 18:9, “Better to enter life with one eye than be thrown with both into fiery Gehenna.”
Mark 9:43, “Better for you to enter life maimed than to keep both hands and enter Gehenna with its unquenchable fire.”
Mark 9:44, “Better for you to enter life crippled than to be thrown into Gehenna with both feet.”
Mark 9:45, “Better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to be thrown with both eyes into Gehenna.”
Fourth occasion, to the Scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:15 “Gehenna”; Matthew 23:33 “Gehenna.”
And one time by James, to the Twelve Tribes, James 3:6 “And its fire is kindled by hell.”
(5) The Christian Bible (1991
First occasion, in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:22 “The Gehenna of Fire”; Matthew 5:29 “Your whole body should be thrown into Gehenna”; Matthew 5:30 “Your whole body should pass away into Gehenna.”
Second occasion, in a lesson to the twelve disciples.
Matthew 10:28 “And the body in Gehenna”; Luke 12:5 “Gehenna.”
Third occasion, in another lesson to his disciples.
Matthew 18:9 “Then to have two eyes and to be thrown into the Gehenna of fire.”
Mark 9:43 Gehenna”; Mark 9:44 and Mark 9:45 “Thrown into Gehenna.”
Fourth occasion, to the Scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:15 “A son of Gehenna”; Matthew 23:33 Gehenna.
And one time by James, to the Twelve Tribes, James 3:6 “The tongue...is set of fire by Gehenna.”
(6) World English Bible
First occasion, in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:22, “Shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.”
Matthew 5:29, “Than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.”
Matthew 5:30, “And not your whole body be cast into Gehenna.”
Second occasion, in a lesson to the twelve disciples.
Matthew 10:28, “Able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna”; Luke 12:5 “Gehenna.”
Third occasion, in another lesson to his disciples.
Matthew 18:9, “Than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna of fire.”
Mark 9:43, “Gehenna”; Mark 9:45 Gehenna; Mark 9:47 “Gehenna of fire.”
Fourth occasion, to the Scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:15, “You make him twice as much of a son of Gehenna as yourselves.”
Matthew 23:33, “How will you escape the judgment of Gehenna?”
And one time by James, to the Twelve Tribes James 3:6 “Set on fire by Gehenna.”
(7) Phillips New Testament (1952)
First occasion, in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:22, “Fire of destruction”; Matthew 5:29 Rubbish-heap”; Matthew 5:30–“Rubbish-heap.”
Second occasion, in a lesson to the twelve disciples.
Matthew 10:28, “Fire of destruction’; Luke 12:5 “Throw you into destruction.”
Third occasion, in another lesson to his disciples.
Matthew 18:9, “Fire of the rubbish–heap”; Mark 9:43 “Go to the rubbish-heap.”
Mark 9:44, “Thrown on to the rubbish-heap”; Mark 9:45 “Thrown on to the rubbish-heap.”
Fourth occasion, to the Scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:15, “Ripe for destruction”; Matthew 23:33 “Fire of destruction.”
And one time by James, to the Twelve Tribes James 3:6, “Can set the whole of life ablaze, fed with the fires of hell.”
(8) There are also many other translations that do not have "Hell" in them..
The New Testament in Modern English" by J. B. Phillips says
"And go to the rubbish-heap where the fire never dies" (Mark 9:43).
Thrown on the rubbish-heap, where decay never stops and the fire never goes out" (Mark 9:49, Also Matthew 5:29, 18:9, Mark 9:47).
"Fire of destruction" (Matthew 5:22, 10:28, 32:33, Luke 12:5).
Phillips leaves out "Gehenna," a name of a particular place; and puts what Jerusalem's Gehenna was to the people of that time to make it where people today will understand the same thing the Jews that Christ was speaking to would have understand. Many today would not know that Gehenna was the Rubbish-heap of Jerusalem. This is not a translation of the Greek, but it is a good commentary. He translated "Gehenna" into Hell only one time (James 3:6). This is the only time Hell is in his translation, and shows he believed in Hell, but knows the Greek manuscripts did not have it.
DID JESUS SAY MORE ABOUT HELL THAN HEAVEN?
It has been said often by many preachers that Jesus said more about Hell than He did about Heaven. Is this the truth or is it a lie that has been told so many times by preachers that many believe it without questioning it? The truth is that without mistranslating to make Jesus say something He or any New Testament writers did not say Jesus said nothing about Hell, not one word. Although the New Testament writers said nothing about Hell, they did say much about Heaven. Although Hell is not in the Bible, Heaven is hundreds of times referring (1) to Heaven it’s self, (2) the kingdom of Heaven–the church, (3) and to the universe–the heavens. The claim that Christ said more about Hell than He did about Heaven is not true; it is only a desperate attempt to prove Hell.
(1), A place in Heaven "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:12).
(2). Our treasures are in Heaven Matthew 6:20; 10:21; 19:21; Luke 18:22
(3). Our citizenship is in Heaven Philippians 3:20-21
(4). Reserved in Heaven for us 1 Peter 1:4; Matthew 6:20; 19:21; Mark 12:25; Luke 6:23
THE QUESTIONS IS, WHERE DID JESUS SAY ANYTHING ABOUT HELL EVEN ONE TIME? WHERE DID HE USE THE NAME “HELL”? Jesus never said anything about Hell. When those that know Jesus used “Gehenna” and He never used “Hell” (and most preachers do know this), but they use a mistranslated English Bible that they know is mistranslated to teach those that do not know very much about what Jesus did say and tell them that Jesus said much about Hell, what do you think these teachers will say to Jesus at the Judgment?
THE VANISHING HELL
TRANSLATIONS ARE GETTING AWAY FROM HELL
The King James Version and the New King James Version are the only two of the major translations that have Hell in the Old Testament; the newer and better translations dose not use it because sheol or no other word in the Old Testament dose not has the same meaning that Hell now has today; therefore, they have rejected it as a bad mistranslation. Hell is rapidly vanishing from the Bible. It has vanished from the Old Testament in most conservative translations. Moses or Abraham did not know about it. Hell has all but vanished from the New Testament in the conservative translations, and has vanished altogether in many. Even in the 31 times Hell is in the Old Testament in the King James Version, in 12 of these the New King James Version changed Hell in the King James Version to sheol (from 31 times to 19 times). Were the translators trying to ease away but were afraid to go to far?
THE VANISHING HELL, Why is the number of times Hell is used decreasing? Translators cannot agree on how many times to mistranslate it.
Number of times Hell is used in - - - The Bible | The O.T. | The N. T.
The Latin Vulgate (A. D. 405?)111 times | 87 times | 24 times
The Wycliffe Bible (A. D. 1395) 83 times | 57 times | 26 times
Miles Coverdale Bible (1535) 70 times | 50 times | 23 times
The Bishop's Bible (1568) 59 times | 35 times | 24 times
The Geneva Bible (1587) 36 times | 16 times | 20 times
Westster Bible (1611) 49 times | 26 times | 23 times
The Original King James Version (1611) 52 times | 30 times | 22 times
King James Version (1769 update) 54 times | 31 times | 23 times
New King James Version (1982) 32 times | 19 times | 13 times
The King James Version has had several reversions and the one that is
used today (1769) is not the original 1611 version; it is the last of
Young's Literal Bible (1891) 0 times | 0 times | 0 times
American Standard Version (1901) 13 times | 0 times | 13 times
New American Standard Version (1960) 13 times | 0 times | 13 times
Revised Standard Version (1946) 13 times | 0 times | 13 times
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (1966)| 0 times | 13 times
New Revised Standard Version (1989) 12 times | 0 times | 12 times
New International Version (1987) 14 times | 0 times | 14 times
New International Version (2010-11) 13 times | 0 times | 13 times
New International Version – UK (1984) 14 times | 0 times | 14 times
Today’s New International Version(2005)13 times | 0 times | 13 times
Amplified Bible (1987) 15 times | 0 times | 15 times*
New Century Version (1987) 12 times | 0 times | 12 times
Revised English Bible (1989) 28 times | 15 times | 13 times
Contemporary English Version (1995) 20 times | 0 times | 20 times
New Living Translation (1996) 19 times | 3 times | 16 times
English Standard Version (2001) 14 times | 0 times | 14 times
Holman Christian Standard Bible (2003) 11 times | 0 times | 11 times
Update Bible Version 1 9 (2003) 12 times | 0 times | 12 times
Peshitta - Lamsa translation 12 times | 1 time | 11 times
Common English Bible (2011) 13 times | 0 times | 13 times
Derby Translation (Catholic) (1890) 12 times | 0 times | 12 times
New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized
(Catholic Edition) (1995) 14 times | 0 times | 14 times
New American Bible (Catholic) (1991) 0 times | 0 times | 0 times
New American Bible Revised Edition
(Catholic Edition) (2011) 0 times | 0 times | 0 times
World English Bible 0 times | 0 times | 0 times
Rotherham Emphasized (1902) 0 times | 0 times | 0 times
Fenton's Bible in Modern English (1903) 0 times | 0 times | 0 times
Hebrew Names Version of WEB 0 times | 0 times | 0 times
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures 1980| 0 times | 0 times
Daniel Mace New Testament (1729) 3 times
Wesley' N. T (The original, not some updated editions) (1755) 0 times
Scarlett's New Testament (1798) 0 times
New Covenant, New Testament (1884) 0 times
Scrivenre New Testament (1884) 0 times
Hanson's New Covenant (1884) 0 times
Twentieth Century New Testament (1900) 0 times
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (reprinted) (1902) 0 times
Weymouth’s New Testament in Modern Speech (1903) 0 times
Panin's Numeric English New Testament (1914) 0 times
The People's New Covenant (Overbury) (1925) 0 times
Western New Testament (1926) 0 times
Western New Testament (1959) 0 times
The New Testament, A Translation (Clementson) (1938) 0 times
J. B. Phillips New Testament in Modern English (1947) 1 times
New Testament of our Lord and Savior Anointed (Tomanek)(1958) 0 times
Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible (1976) 0 times
The New Testament, A New Translation (Greber) (1980) 0 times
Concordance Literal New Testament (1983) 0 times
Christian Bible, New Testament (1991) 0 times
Recovery Version, New Testament (1991) 0 times
New Testament of Our Lord and Savor Jesus Anointed 0 times
The Original Bible Project (Dr. Tabor) 0 times
The New Testament in Greek and English (Kneeland) (1823) 0 times
Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (Berry)(Note A)(1897) 0 times
Emphatic Diaglott, Greek/English Interlinear (Wilson)(1942) 0 times
Zondervan Parallel N. T. in Greek and English (Note A)(1975) 0 times
NASB-NIV Parallel N. T. in Greek and English (Marshall)(1986) 0 times
Interlinear NASB-NIV Parallel NT Greek-English (Note A)(1993) 0 times
Jewish Publication Society Bible Old Testament (Note B)(1917) 0 times
Orthodox Jewish Brit Chadasha New Testament only 0 times
Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, Old Testament (Note B)(1985) 0 times
The Complete Jewish Bible (Note B) 0 times
The Septuagint-translation of Hebrew to Greek 3rd century BC 0 times
*12 times the Amplified Bible has "Hell (Gehenna)" in the text, not in a footnote.
Note A, the word–for–word translations beneath the Greek, not the translations that are in the margin.
Note B, none of the Jewish translations I found of the Old Testament do not have "Hell" in them. It is not in the Septuagint, a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek that was in used in the time of Christ.
I find it strange that the Catholic Church believes in Hell yet they removed Hell from two translations they made. There are many other translations in other languages, for Gehenna, like all other proper nouns are not changed to other proper nouns in the translations to other languages.
ONE EXAMPLE OF THE VANISHING HELL, Psalm 116:3
King James Version "The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of HELL gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow."
New King James Version "The pains of death encompassed me, and the pangs of SHEOL laid hold of me."
American Standard Version "The cord of death compassed me, and the pains of SHEOL gat hold upon me."
Revised Standard Version “The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of SHEOL laid hold on me."
New International Version “The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the GRAVE came upon me".
New Living Translation "Death had its hands around my throat; the terrors of the GRAVE overtook me."
Revised English Bible "The cords of death bound me, SHEOL held me in its grip."
Amplified Bible "The cords and sorrows of death were around me, and the terrors of SHEOL (the place of the dead) had laid hold of me."
New Century Bible "The ropes of death bound me, and the fear of the GRAVE took hold of me."
Why did the King James translator’s use the Old English word “Hell” that did not exist unto long after the New Testament was written? Was it not to force their pagan beliefs into the teaching of the Bible?
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME
YOU HEARD A SERMON OF HELL?
There was a time when most every revival had one or more sermons on the horrors of Hell, and that most souls were going to be tormented by God. Most every sermon ended with a warning that all that did not repent the souls that were in them were going to Hell. Jonathan Edwards was well known for his “Hellfire” sermons. These "Hellfire" preachers are not as poplar as they once were, and their audience is much smaller. Today in most churches a sermon on Hell is never preached, and no one is told there is a soul in them that will go to Hell for their sins if they do not repent. Although there are many who do not believe in Hell, and other that are no longer sure that there is a Hell maybe the reason they say nothing about it in their sermons and Bible lessons? Why do they say nothing? A preacher may think he would not be allowed to preach if he preached, “The wages of sin is death,” and most would not. Many churches would brand him a heretic if he preached there is no Hell, and he would not be able to preach in most churches. Elders and Deacons would not be allowed to continue as Elders and Deacons. Bible teachers would not be permitted to teach if they taught that there is nothing in the Bible about a place called Hell. Members would not be permitted to lead singing, lead prayer, or do anything in the worship service. About all that anyone who does not believe in Hell is permitted to do in most churches is come and sit and give their money; you will be shut out and not be permitted to lead prayer, or take part in the worship in any way, but no matter what you believe you will be permitted and even expected to give your money. Along with many others, I can tell you for a fact that this is sure to happen in most congregations of the church.
THE ORIGIN OF HELL
Unconditional immortality is an updated version of the pagan transmigration of souls. Augustine and a few of the other partly converted "church fathers" that knew more of the teaching of Plato than they did of Christ, and they rewrote reincarnation to fit Christianity; their doctrine of an immortal soul that is not dead replaced the resurrection, and made it both useless and impossible.
(1). Transmigration of souls. If there were souls they would have to live somewhere after the death of the body. Where it is believed that a soul goes to after it leaves the person that it was in varies from country to country and age to age. A soul is believed to lives in a person only for a short time them moves on to live in another body; it never returns to the body of a person it had been in; it is not dead and does not die, therefore; it is never resurrected, but a few believe a soul will eventually come to an end by being absorbed by a god.
(2). Reincarnation. A soul that that had been living in the body of a person that is dead lives somewhere and then sooner or later come back to an earthly body of another person, or in the body of an animal, or even in a plaint. The bodies die but the soul lives on and comes back many times to live in many other bodies without a resurrection.
(3). Back to the god the soul came from. Before Christ most that believed in any kind of life after the death of the person believed that a soul had only a shallow, glory, misty, dreamy, sleeping existence only unto the soul came to an end by being absorbed back again into the god it had come out of. Plato believe, at least part of the time, that souls came from a god, are was a part of that god’s divine nature, and after being reincarnated through many bodies that a soul would finally be reabsorbed back into whatever god that it was a part of.
(4). Unconditional immortality. Transmigration of souls and reincarnation rewrote by the Dark Age Church. The pagan doctrine that souls live somewhere after the death of the body is the foundation on which they built the doctrine of Hell, if there were a deathless soul that could not live in Heaven it has to live someplace. Without souls that can never die there could not be a Hell. The place where they say a soul will go after it leaves the body of the dead person varies from one group to another, to Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, or Abraham's bosom, etc.; but wherever a soul goes, those that believe in unconditional immortality believe that a soul is now as alive as it ever was or ever will ever be and it has no need of the resurrection.
(5). Resurrection. Dead persons, not deathless souls, are raised from the dead at the second coming of Christ.
Ancient Egyptian belief was that a soul had a gloomy existence in the underworld (transmigration). The Greeks and Romans believed about the same with some changes. Oriental and Pythagorean philosophy, Buddhists, Hindus, and Grand Lama all believed in some form of reincarnation; they all believed a "soul" that had been in the evil had some punishment, but not all believed a soul had the same punishment. With most the punishment of a soul after it had left the person it had been in was only some kind of gloomy existence in the underworld that would end when that soul was reincarnated, not endless torment in Hell as it is taught today. With most, the more evil a person was the lower that soul would have the capability to reincarnate. Some souls would come back as a person; the more evil would come back as a plant or insect. This gloomy existence was believed to be under or down in the earth by most. Hell was and is still believed by some to be under the earth. This is the nearest thing to today's Hell in heathen philosophy, and in any writing unto after the New Testament. A few of the "church fathers" borrowed from the heathens (mostly Greek and Romans), and invented unto in the Dark Age the Catholic Church had invented Hell, Limbo, Purgatory, worship of Mary and saints, the Pope declared to be God in the flesh, angles look like a woman with wings, and much more, and made their god into a cruel and sadistic being; those that worshiped him truly became like the god they invented.
ROBERT M. JOHNSTON, “ The typical person throughout most of the world and most of history has adopted a second option. It is some variation of the ghost idea, a vague and gloomy haft existence continuing on immediately after death. For this reason most people have not looked forward with relish to death. The earliest Greek conception of the existence beyond was that of a life so thin and gloomy that it was thought better to serve as a hireling upon earth than to reign in Hades…One can hardly call it a cheerful hope.” “After Death: Resurrection or Immortality?” At: www.ministrymagazen.org/archive/1983/after-death:-resurrection-or-immortality
Millions that did not believe all the Catholic Church taught in the Dark Age were tormented and put to death by the Catholic Church as heretics; William Tyndale was burned to death by the Catholic Christ in 1536 for translating the Bible into English, and Catholics burned many to death and tormented many more to death for having the Bible in their own language, not in Latin; whole villages were slaughtered by the Catholic Church; the Dark Age was one of the bloodiest times of history. Some of the cruelest ways of torment the world has ever known were invented and used by the Dark Age Catholic Church, and all in the name of the Catholic Church. Now the Catholic Church has many translations in in English and many other translations in many other languages that are not Latin; who is going to burn to death those that now have these translations in their homes; how did what the Catholic Church thought was a sin worthy of torment and death change and become a good thing? Those who believed the world was round, or in any way did not believe all the Catholic Church taught were tormented and put to death as heretics; they say the Pope is “Lord God in the flesh;” did the “Lord God in the flesh” not know the world was round?
POPE PIUS xi, “You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on earth, the Vicar of Christ, which means that I an God on earth.” April 30, 1922. From “Four Views” page 288. “History estimates that over one hundred million people lost their lives during that time of Roman tyranny…For the unbiased researcher, history reeks of the butchery of Romanism, where whole cities and populations were unmercifully wiped out, just because they worshipped God in a manner that was different from Roman Catholicism” John Daniel, “The Grand Design Exposed,” pages 27-28, CHI Publishing, 1999. From pages 129-130 “Immortality Death And The Hereafter” by Shefflorn Balantyne, 2016.
The slaughtering by the Catholic Church was continued by some in the Protestant Reformation, the Crusades, bloody Mary, witch hunts, and much more. After Calvin burned Servetus to death he wrote a book with a long title, “A Faithful Account Of The Errors Of Servetus, In Which It Is Proved That Heretics Ought To Be Restrained By The Sword.” It would take many books to tell of all the bloody deeds of the Dark Age by the so-called "church." The reasons for the killing of millions maybe summed up in the words of bloody Mary. "As the souls of heretics are hereafter to be eternally burning in Hell, there can be nothing more proper than for me to imitate the divine vengeance by burning them on earth." Although there was much killing in the early Protestant churches because of what was believed or not believed, it did not come close to what was in the Dark Age Catholic Church. In the Dark Age, the "church" was a mixture of Christianity, Judaism, Paganism, and their own inventions, but mostly the last two. Before the Protestant Reformation there was more heathen philosophy in the Dark Age Church than true Christian teaching. It had apostatized into a satanic cult with an evil god that took delight in tormenting souls in Hell.
THE VANISHING HELL - THE CHANGING HELL
Why are there many conflicting Hells? In “Four Views of Hell” edited by William Grocket four Protestant scholars give four different and conflicting views of Hell that are now being taught in the Protestant churches. In “Two Views Of Hell” Robert A. Peterson and William Fudge give two competing views. These two books and others like them show that there are very different competing views about Hell in the Protestant churches, but in truth there are many more than four conflicting views in Protestant and Catholic churches, each division has a large number of believers, and there are many other views of Hell in other churches that are nor Catholic or Protestants. None of the many different divisions about Hell that are in the Protestants churches have a majority of Protestants that believe it, all that believe any one of the divisions of Hell are in a small group when compared with all other Protestants that are in all other groups; those that believe one of the many views of Hell are saying all but that one view that they believe cannot be true. Not one of the many different divisions on Hell has even one-fifth of all those that claim to be Protestants. The many divisions on what Hell is and who will be in it is unbelievable, and most who say they believe in Hell have no idea of the vast number of the totally difference visions of Hell, or the unbelievable differences in what Hell is believed to be, how long it will last, who will be in it, and where it will be.
TWENTY-NINE PLUS VERSIONS OF HELL
Where is Hell? What is Hell? There are over 29 different versions of what Hell is that are commonly believed in Christianity and many more versions of what Hell is in non-Christian religion of the world. While some of the divisions have some features that are similar, they are all difference, and each division has sharp disagreements with all the other divisions. Those that believe any one of the divisions of Hell are in conflict with all those that believe any of the many other divisions. It would not be possible for more than one of the many versions of Hell to be true. In the thousands of denominations around the world professing to be Christian there are countless divisions on what Hell is, where Hell is, who is over Hell, how long will Hell last, many others, with many others divisions of what Hell is in the non–Christian religions of the world; below is only twenty nine of many.
THREE CATHOLIC VERSIONS OF HELL
1. The Dark Age Medieval Catholic version of Hell
2. The New Catholic version of Hell
3. The Nether World
A FEW OF THE MANY THE PROMINENT
DIVISIONS OF THE PROTESTANT
VERSIONS OF HELL
1. The Calvin version of Hell
2. The Jonathan Edwards versions of Hell
3. The Graphic view of Hell
4. Two Hells, the literal fire Hell
5. Satan doing the tormenting
6. God doing the tormenting
7. The Metaphorical view of both Heaven and Hell
8. Mental anguish only Hell, Billy Graham
9. The eternal sinning version of Hell
10. C. S. Lewis, the almost pleasant Hell
11. Protestant Traditionalist
12. Many Protestant Premillennial versions of Hell
13. Dante’s cold Hell with nine levels of torment
14. Realized Eschatology – A. D. 70 version
15. The “Sudden Realization” version of Hell i
16. Protestant Rephaim versions
NINE OTHER DIVISIONS OF WHAT HELL IS
1. Abraham’s bosom, the after Judgment Hell, A newer version, Church of Christ, Christian Church.
2. Edward Fudge version, The short Hell that will end
3. Christadelphians version of Hell
4. Church of God and others
5. Universalist version of Hell
6. Seventh-Day Advent version of Hell
7. Latter-day Saints version of Hell (Mormons)
8. The Grave is Hell version (Jehovah's Witnesses)
9. Christian Science Version of Hell
NO BIBLE HELL
1. There is nothing about Hell in the Bible. Hell was invented in the Dark Age.
Which Hell do you believe in? From where did Hell come?
THREE CATHOLIC DIVISIONS OF HELL
(1) The Medieval Dark Age Catholic version of Hell, the beginning of the belief in Hell. A soul being immortal came from Greek philosophy, and was brought into the church by a few of the church fathers, by Augustine more then most others. The doctrine of Hell came soon after the immortal soul doctrine along with Purgatory, and was fully developed by the Dark Age Catholic Church before the Protestant Reformation. It seems to be that in the past they believed that only a very few, the very bad will go to Hell at their death with no judgment, which the Catholics had made into a real place, but most that are Catholics will go to Purgatory at death. A few of the very good will go to Heaven at their death with no judgment (an instant rapture). At death most Catholic will go immediately to Purgatory, which seems to be a limited version of Hell, unto they have suffered enough to pay for their own sins, or unto their love ones have paid all they can, then they go to Heaven. How long a person will be in Purgatory is sometimes taught to be a short time, and sometimes a very long time to those who have no one to win indulgences for them, no one to pay. It has brought enormous wealth to the rich Catholic Church from the poor who paid what little they had, and even done without food to help a loved one out of Purgatory. The Catholic Purgatory gives no hope for heathens, heretics, or those not baptized. The Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory (1) makes some go to Heaven or Hell at death, (2) makes other Catholics get to Heaven as soon as they (not Christ) have suffered enough to pay for their own sins, (3) leaves no dead Christians that will not already be in Heaven to be resurrected at the second coming of Christ. They, not Christ, will have suffered unto they have paid in full for their own sins, or others have paid enough money to free them from Purgatory. An example of the Catholic teaching on the selling of indulgences that was common before the time of Martin Luther as given by John Tetzel, a Dominican monk who said as soon as the money is given, “The soul escapes from purgatory, and flies liberated to heaven,” and “The Lord no longer reigns…He has given all power to the pope.” As quoted by F. LaGard Smith of Lipscomb University in “After Life,” pages 223-224. Connelly – field debate, “Tetzel had the presumption to say, that he had saved more souls out of purgatory by the sale of indulgences than Pater saved by his preaching,” page 254. If a soul paid for the sins of the person in purgatory, the sins are not forgiven by the death of Christ; the suffering of a soul in purgatory pays for the sins of the person that soul had been in.
S. M. BROWN, “Medieval Europe,” pages 348-259, 1932. “Hell is wide without measure, and deep and bottomless; full of incomparable fire, for no earthly fire may be compared therewith; full of stench intolerable for no living thing on earth might endure it; full of unutterable sorrow for no mouth may, on account of the wretchedness or the woe thereof, give an account not tell of it. Yea, the darkness therein is so thick that one may grasp it, for the fire there gives no light, but blinds the eyes of them that are there with a smothering smoke, the worst of smokes. And nevertheless in that same black darkness they see black things as devils, that ever maul them and afflict and harass them with all kinds of tortures; and tailed drakes, horrible as devils, that devour them whole and spew them out afterwards before and behind. At other times they rent them in pieces and chew each gobbet of them, and they afterwards become whole again, such as they previously were, to under go again such bale with recovery, and full well they see themselves very horrible and dreadful; and to increase their pains the loathsome hell-worms, toads, and frogs that eat out their eyes and nostrils, and adders and water-frogs, not like those here, but hundred times more horrible, sneak in and out of the mouth, ears, eyes, navel ever yet thickest. There is shrieking in the flame and chattering of teeth in the snowy waters. Suddenly they flit upon the heat into the cold, nor ever do they know of there two which is worst for them, for each is intolerable…And this same wan hope is their greatest torment, that none have any hope of any recovery, but are sure of ever ill, to continue in woe, world without end, even in eternity. Each chokes the other, and each in another’s torment, and each hates another and him self as the black devil; and as they loved them the more in this world, so the more shall they hate them there. And each curses another, and gnaws off the other’s arms, ears, and nose also.” As quoted by Robert L. Whitelaw in “The Last Resurrection,” pages 61-62.
This is the “Hell” that was taught by the Catholic Church in the Dark Age, and is still being taught now, but there is nothing like it in the Bible. It came partly from pagan teaching, but mostly from made up torments by the Catholic Church.
(2) The new Catholic version of Hell.
POPE JOHN PAUL II, "Hell is not a punishment imposed externally by God, but the condition resulting from attitudes and actions which people adopt in this life...So eternal damnation is not God's work but is actually our own doing...More than a physical place, Hell is the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy." In a statement made to his general audience, July 28, 1999. - “The soul in the OT means not a part of man, but the whole man as a living being. Similarly in the NT, it signifies human life: the life of an individual conscious object (Matt 2:20; 6:25; Luke 12:22-23; 14:26; John 10:11,15, 17; John 13:37; Acts 27:10, 22; Phil 2:30; 1 Thess 2:8). Recent exegetes…have maintained that the NT dose not teach the immortality of the soul in the Hellenistic sense of survival of an immortal principle after death.” The New Catholic Encyclopedia, article “Soul, Human, Immortality of, In The Bible.”
There are other high up Catholics who have made statements like this, but I see no use in adding more when you have this from the Pope who is the top person in the Catholic Church who’s word is law. Maybe this is why two of their English Bible translations do not have the word "Hell" in them, and who knows how many other Catholics translations in other languages do not; however, because it has been the official doctrine for centuries, and the decrees of councils and Popes, the Roman Catholic Church cannot officially not teach Hell is a place of eternal torment without giving up completely their claim of infallibility. Protestantism has not made this claim of infallibility and many are giving Hell up.
(3) The Nether World, is this a new (third) Catholic division of what Hell is. More and more in today's writing, the Neither World is being used as if it is a Bible place that is clearly taught in the Bible; but I have yet to read where anyone told where it is in the Bible. Do both the Nether World and Abraham's bosom now exists at the same time? If so, how are they different? The American Heritage Dictionary says, “NETHER, located beneath or below; lower or under: the nether regions of the earth.” Where did this world that is located beneath or under this world come from? It is not in the Bible; therefore, how could anyone know about it? It came from the Catholic Church. Like Hell, they mistranslated it from hades to get it into the Bible. Both Hell and Nether World were mistranslated from the same word (hades) and both from the same passage in difference translations. See Acts 2:27
(1). “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (Greek-hades)" Douay–Rheims, also Psalm 16:10, 1890.
(2). “For you will not abandon my soul to the Nether World (Greek-hades)" New American Bible, Psalm 16:10, 1991.
Both are Catholic translations. THERE IS NO WAY THE SAME WORD IN THE SAME PASSAGE COULD MEAN BOTH “HELL” AND “NETHER WORLD.”
The Nether World is a new name being put into the Bible by the same people (the Catholic Church) who put Hell into the Bible, and it is being put into the Bible in the same way, by mistranslating the same word that was mistranslated to put in Hell.
1. First, hades was mistranslated Hell in Catholic translations.
2. Second, the same word, hades, in the same passage that was mistranslated “Hell” is now mistranslated Nether World in some Catholic translations.
It worked for them the first time, so they tried it a second time. When they need to prove Hell, they use one mistranslation; and when they need to prove the Nether World, they use another mistranslation of the same word in the same passage. The Nether World and Universalist version of Hell, the "age lasting" Hell are very singular in many ways. Both have those who are not worthy of being in Heaven going through some kind of punishment, but will end up in Heaven. The main different is that Catholics believe a few are too evil to ever be saved, and there souls will always be tormented by God, but in the "age lasting" Hell taught by Universalists all, even souls that were in the most evil will end up in Heaven.
SOME OF THE MANY DIVISIONS OF THE
EVER CHANGING AND GROWING
PROTESTANT VERSIONS OF HELL
As in any teaching of man, there are divisions, twenty-nine difference Hells that I know of and no doubt there are many divisions that I do not know of.
After much conflict among the reformers, most Protestants accepted souls going to Heaven or Hell one by one at death, without the Resurrection at the coming of Christ, before and without the judgment. The Catholic Purgatory was rejected by most of the Protestants, but the Dark Age Pagan Hell where God torments souls was kept, but Hell is now under fire by many Protestants.
Unconditional immortality, which is the foundation on which Hell stands, was accepted mostly due to Calvin and those that followed him winning out over Martin Luther and his followers. If they had accepted Luther's views on immortality, there would be no foundation for Hell. Many Protestants believe souls that are in all who do not accept Christ will instantly be transported to Hell at the death of the person a soul was in, transported to Hell before the resurrection and before the Judgment Day; that God has deliberately chooses to make these souls suffer and feel the pain without any letup forever; and that the souls that were in the saved will go to their eternal home in Heaven at the death of the person it was in. The Westminster Confession says, "The souls of the righteous...are received unto the highest heavens...the soul of the wicked are cast into Hell." Does God judge them at death, them maybe thousands of years later, takes souls out of Heaven and Hell to judge them a second time at the resurrection to see whether He made a mistake in His first judgment at their death? Many believe an unbaptized baby will not be saved. This version is still believed by many today. An opposition to belief in Hell is rapidly growing in the Protestant churches. From the Protestant Reformation unto now there have been many changes and many new Protestant versions of Hell.
(1) THE CALVIN VERSION OF HELL. The given no chance Hell. An early Protestant Version with a god that made most of mankind knowing he is going to torment souls that are in them in Hell forever, and there is nothing a person can do to keep a soul that we are told is in them from going to Hell, a god that made the conditions of salvation that most could not meet, but he is going to torment a soul for eternity because He made the person where he or she would not be able to meet His conditions. This god made most of mankind just so he could torment souls that were in them forever as their creed says, "To His good pleasure;" if it were “to His good pleasure” to torment for eternity there would be no way to escape the conclusion that tormenting is just what such a god wants to do and takes pleasure (enjoyment) in doing it; predestinated eternal torment could serve only one purpose, an infinite desire to torment; a torment that he made to never end.
No amount of preaching or teaching can change the number that shall be in this Hell not even by one person. The Westminster Confession says, "By the decree of God, for the Manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto Everlasting Life, and others foreordained unto everlasting death;" this view believes God loves a few and saved them, but that He hates most, that He could save all but does not want to; Calvinist believe God’s anger will be visited upon rebels whose rebellion was preordained by God; how could anyone say God is love when they believe He dose not want most of mankind saved, that He made them just so He could torment them? Some Protestants still believe this version of Hell that their god made most of mankind just so he could torment souls for eternity. This version of Hell is not near as poplar as it was a few years ago and is losing believers even in the churches that teach it. Those who say they are orthodox Protestants but do not believe the Calvin Version of Hell for out number those who still believe it.
JOHN CALVIN said of those in Hell that they are, “Forever harassed with a dreadful tempest; that shall feel themselves torn asunder by an angry God, and transfixed and penetrated by mortal stings, terrified by the thunderbolts of God, and broken by the weight of his hand, so that to sink into any gulf would be more tolerable than to stand for a moment in these terrors.” There is nothing like this in the Bible, he made it up, it is pure slander of God.
In the Dark Age the Catholics invented Limbo to soften the doctrine on Hell by keeping infants out of Hell. The Protestant Reformation repudiated Limbo, but Calvin invented “the age of accountable” to do the same thing. Both are the inventions of man and there is nothing like them is in the Bible.
(2) THE JONATHAN EDWARDS VERSIONS OF HELL. Also an early Protestant Version; this traditionalist version of Hell is an eternal concentration camp that is maintained by God with most souls in it. There was a time when most Protestants believed this version of Hell, but now only a few believe it. There are countless variations of the Jonathan Edwards version of Hell, both major and minor variations, about as many as there are preachers who preach it with each preacher trying to out do the others in telling of the horrors of Hell; each one trying to make the god of Hell more evil then the others have. Most taught God had given Hell over to Satan with God making sure that Satan will roast most souls forever, and torment them however he wishes to. Some have demons peeling off the burning flash of those in Hell with God making sure they keep it up forever. Some have God doing the tormenting of Satan, the demons, and souls that were in the lost, with God forever pouring in fire and brimstone, and thousands of other ways of tormenting. In the past it was taught in books and painting, (see below (6) “Satan will be doing the tormenting version of Hell,”) now it has mostly been changed and it is God, not Satan that is doing the tormenting. Jonathan Edwards said God "will crush their blood out and make it fly, so that it will sprinkle his garment and stain all his raiment." They never tell how they know such details. Put all their horrors together and it would take many books to tell then all, horrors that are pure fiction with nothing that is even remotely kin in the Bible to the countless horrors they tell of, yet they falsely preach these made up falsehoods and teach them as if they were the word of God; many of these preachers get very specific with the details of the torment. Edwards’ god is like a person that puts cats in a microwave oven for pleasure, and those in Heaven take delight in seeing the cats (souls) squirming in agony. Jonathan Edwards in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” said, “The smoke of their burning flesh shall be a sweet smelling savor in the nostrils of the Almighty.”
These "Hellfire" preachers are not as poplar as they once were, and their audience is much smaller. It is unimportant to them if they have no Bible for their Hell or its horrors; the badly mistranslated King James Version is all they need to make their Hell believable to many with whatever kind of torments their imagination wanted to put in it. Some believers of the Calvin version also believe much of this version and mix the two version of Hell together. There is not much unity of belief among the Protestants of today. In almost any church if the preacher started preached sermons about Hell that was like the one's Edwards preached he would be out of work very soon. The god Edward believed in would have no problem with tormenting the lost; his god would take great pleasure in tormenting, and, according to Edward, the saints in Heaven will watch with pleasure and satisfaction. The worst torment any man can or ever has given to another man is nothing to what Jonathan Edwards described God doing in his sermon, “Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God.”
The Protestant doctrine of Hell as taught by Calvin and Edwards is as hideous and evil as anything that was taught in the Dark Age by the Catholic Church; God is made to use His power to keep sinners alive even while they are being burned with a fire that would kill in seconds just so He can torment them without end. When Jesus was in this world He loved sinners and give His life for them, but both Calvin and Edwards makes neither God nor Christ have no compassion and no love for those that are not the “few” He has chosen to save.
In the not too distance past both the Calvin and the Edwards Hell was taught and believed by most protestants, but what is believed about Hell is ever changing and now very few protestants believed in either one, now both their views of Hell have been given up by many orthodox protestant churches, and many others have toned Hell down unto todays Hell is noting like their views of Hell.
(3) THE “REVISIONIST” VERSION OF HELL. Is a reaction to the traditional versions of Hell, an attempt to take the monster out of God that the Catholic, Calvin, Edwards, and other divisions make Him to be by taking the Hell out of Hell. This division takes the suffering out of Hell and makes it into a place for those to live that have chosen to live separate from God. Though there will be no joy in this “Hell” as there will be in Heaven with God, there will be no pain or torment, just bare existence.
(4) THE GRAPHIC VERSION OF HELL. The sinners will be tormented in the parts of their bodies that sinned.
WILLIAM CROCKETT, "In short, whatever member of the body sinned, that member would be punished more than any other in hell...In Christian literature we find blasphemers hanging by their tongues. Adulterous women who plaited their hair to entice men dangle over boiling mire by their...hair." "Four Views on Hell" page 46.
There is no way that this version of Hell could be harmonized with Vine’s teaching that a soul is, “The immaterial, invisible part of man.” His souls dose not have tongues or hair.
(5) TWO HELLS, THE LITERAL FIRE HELL. Augustine said, “That hell, which also is called a lake of fire and brimstone, will be material fire and will torment the bodies of the damned.” This literal version of Hell is where the earthly bodies of the lost, not souls, are literally burning for all eternality but can never burn up; while the body is tormented in Hell, the soul will also be being tormented, body and soul are both tormented, but both are tormented separately; the body or person in one Hell, and a soul that had been in the person in another Hell.
SPURGEON, one of the best known of Baptist preachers, said, "When thou driest, thy soul will be tormented alone; that will be a hell for it; but at the day of judgment thy body will join thy soul and then thou wilt have twin hells, thy soul sweating drops of blood, and thy body suffused with agony. In fire exactly like that which we have on earth, thy body will lie, asbestos like, forever unconsumed, all thy veins roads for the feet of pain to travel on, every nerve a string on which the devil shall forever play his diabolical tune of hell's unutterable lament." From his sermon "The Resurrection of the Dead." Like most who believe God will forever torment many billions, he must have some revelation that is not in the Bible to tell him about their suffering. In his day most orthodox Protestants believed the Devil would be doing the tormenting, but today most orthodox Protestants think he was wrong, that God is the one who will be doing the tormenting. The man made "Hell" is forever changing. What was orthodox in his day is no longer orthodox. For many Baptists his truth is no longer truth.
(6) SATAN WILL BE DOING THE TORMENTING VERSION OF HELL. Satan and his angels will be doing the tormenting, but they could only be executing the will of God that the lost be tormented for they could not torment souls that had been in the lost without God letting them. This view was believed by most in the Dark Age, and by most Jonathan Edwards preachers who often speak of “the devil Hell” as though Hell was a place that belonged to Satan. Most Protestants have now abandon the view of Satan and his demons doing the tormenting, but I remember that this was believed by most when I was a child, and was what most Protestants believed at that time. Many painting in museums and churches show Satan and his demons roasting those in Hell, and tormenting them in every way the painters could think up.
HENRY WARD BEECHES speaking of Michael Angelo's painting, The Last Judgment said, "Let anyone see the enormous gigantic coils of fiends and man; let anyone look at the defiant Christ that stands like a superb athlete at the front, hurling his enemies from him and calling his friends toward him as Hercules might have done; let anyone look upon that hideous wriggling mass that goes plunging down through the air-serpents and man and beasts of every nauseous kind, mixed together; let him look at the lower parts of the picture, where with the pitchforks men are by devils being cast into cauldrons and into burning fires, where hateful fiends are gnawing the skulls of suffering sinners, and where there is hellish cannibalism going on–let a man look at that picture and scenes which it depicts, and he sees what were the ideas which man once had of Hell and of divine justice. It was a night-mare as hideous as was ever begotten by the hellish brood it-self; and it was an atrocious slander on God...I do not wonder that men have reacted from these horrors."
There are hundreds or thousands of this kind of paintings in museums and Catholic churches around the world, especially in Italy, that were painted in the Dark Age, and they show what was believed about who would torment the lost. These painting show a god that is bringing millions into existence ever year and then casting them to demons for the demons to torment.
Satan and his demons are never punished in this version of Hell Satan and evil spirits are forever over "Hell," and will forever be able to torment most souls that had been in mankind. Instead of being punished, they will have forever triumphed over God, and they will forever have a kingdom of their own where they will work their evil on souls as they please to, and as it gives them pleasure. This version of Hell makes there be something like two kingdoms or two universes after the judgment, one with Satan over it with most souls that had been in the lost before the death of the persons, but these souls are now in Satan’s kingdom, and God over a much smaller number of souls in His kingdom. Both God and Satan would have eternal power in their kingdom in this division between Heaven and Hell; this Hell would mean God would not ever have a victory over evil.
(7) GOD WILL BE DOING THE TORMENTING VERSION OF HELL. Satan and his angels will be tormented by God just as all souls that had been in the lost of mankind. There has been a major change by many Protestants from Satan doing the tormenting to God forever being in Hell and doing the tormenting.
(8) THE METAPHORICAL VIEW OF BOTH HEAVEN AND HELL. This view tells us we are not told what Heaven and Hell will literally be like. In this view we are told in pictures that tell us Heaven will be a place of beauty more than anything on this earth, and most that believe in Hell tell us that Hell will be worse than anything on this earth. Because we cannot understand what Heaven will really be like, we are given the picture of a city with gold streets and pearl gates to picture for us its great beauty and value, but Heaven will not literally be made of gold, pearls, or of anything that we have on this earth. The metaphorical view of Hell says Hell is pictured as a place of fire; being burned in fire is one of the worst pains we know of, but those that believes this version do not believe it will be literally fire, as we know it, or literal darkness as we know it. In this view none of the literal torments of the Jonathan Edwards Version are possible, for they are all things of this earth that will not be in this version of "Hell." This Hell that is taught by William Crockett in “Four Views On Hell” seems to be growing rapidly, for it is looked on as a way to make God less evil, but in fact it does not for whatever would be symbolized by being tormented by eternal fire would be just as bad if not worse than being eternally tormented by literal fire, and God would still be the one doing the eternal tormenting and it would make Him just as evil.
(9) MENTAL ANGUISH VERSION OF HELL. Billy Graham and many others. This version of Hell changes Hell from being a real place that had been believed in by most Protestants, changed to being a state of mind. Billy Graham said, "Could it be that the fire Jesus talked about is an eternal search for God that is never quenched? That, indeed, would be hell. To be away from God forever, separated from His Presence." Page 75, “The Challenge: Sermons from Madison Square Garden,” 1969. He makes Hell be only a state of mind.
ISAAC WATTS in "The World To Come," page 300, makes the worm be the conscience of a person eating on himself for all eternally. A survey by US News, January 2000, page 47, says 53 percent of Americans believe Hell to be only mental anguish.
This is an attempt by some to lessen the negative effect of Hell making God cruel and sadistic, but the attempt is a complete failure. Replacing physical torment with mental anguish does nothing to change Hell by making the torment be less. Mental anguish can be worse than physical pain, and it would still be unbearable torment without end. Billy Graham, who is an orthodox Protestant, would in no way been called orthodox by Calvin or Jonathan Edwards, nor would many others that now believe Hell is only mental anguish as he does. The old orthodox is some times the very opposite of the new orthodox. In the mental anguish version of Hell for sins after death, HELL IS NOT A PLACE BUT A STATE OF MIND, OF ANGUISH CAUSED BY SEPARATION FROM GOD, the sinner punishes himself after death; it is not God that punishes him, but where are all the sinners that are punishing themselves? IF THEY ARE NOT IN HEAVEN OR HELL, WHERE ARE THEY?
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, "The sinner's suffering by mental agony, produced by sin, greater than could be caused by material fire," "Five discourses on Hell," 1848. This version of Hell that is believed by Billy Graham, Alexander Campbell, and over 53 percent of Americans (A survey by US News, January 2000, page 47) is a totally difference Hell than the orthodox Hell of Calvin; the real material fire preached by Edwards and Calvin has been replaced with, for lack of a better name, a spiritual fire that mentally torments, but this fire never burns up anything.
(10) THE ETERNAL SINNING VERSION OF HELL. Sin is self-perpetuating and the sinner cannot stop sinning even when tormented in Hell for it; therefore God must keep tormenting them without end. This version makes evil be just as eternal as God, and makes God never able to destroy evil.
DR. CRAIG, “Now, of course, nobody commits an infinite number of sins in the earthly life. But what about in the afterlife? Insofar as the inhabitants of hell continue to hate god and reject Him, they continue to sin and so accrue to themselves more guilt and more punishment. In a real sense then, hell is self-perpetuating. In such a case, every sin has a finite punishment, but because sinning goes on forever, so does the punishment.” Graig Bradley Debate.
This version of Hell is just another attempt to justify God for tormenting for all eternity for the sins commented in this lifetime. Some Protestants believe that the sins in this lifetime are not enough to be tormented for all eternity, but souls that were in the lost person that sins in this lifetime, these souls will keep on sinning after they are in Hell, and they will never stop sinning; therefore, the tormenting of these souls by God will never stop. If all in Hell grows worse and worse as time goes on, after millions of ages have passed the evil of these in Hell will be to terrible, to revolting to even think upon; who can believe the revolting evil that will exit, countless times more evil than when a person is first put in Hell if evil will be growing without end, if the eternal sinning version of Hell were true?
“Sin is the transgression of the law,” therefore, if there were sin after the Judgment Day there would have to be given a law to transgress. There is not one word about there beings a new law given to the lost after the judgment; that there will be a law and sin after the judgment, and that the lost will continue to sin is a one-hundred present made up adding to God’s word to try to justify eternal torment by God. If it were true that the sinner could never stop sinning after death then would it not be true that the sinner can never stop sinning in this lifetime; therefore, no one could ever be saved?
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, "We do not maintain that men are punished eternally for sins committed in this life only. The analysis of the sufferings of a future retribution, which we have just given, is itself sufficient evidence of this fact; for the indulgence of voluntary depravity is itself both sin and punishment. As a consequence of past sins, the sinner has formed the habit of sinning. It is a law of man's nature, that habit creates both a tendency to certain acts, and a facility in their performance. As the result of the habit of sinning, formed in this life, a tendency to repeat acts of sin is carried on by the sinner into a future world; and every such act repeated in that world not only perpetuates, but increases the tendency to further acts of the same kind: and thus, as by every repeated act the tendency to sin is increased, and as every act also brings with it its own punishment, so, by the laws of man's mental and moral nature, the sinner's progress in both sin and suffering in a future world, is like that of a falling body, which increases its velocity as the square of the distance increase through which it falls. There is, therefore, just as little probability that a sinner, left to himself in a future world, should repent and turn to God, as that a falling body should arrest itself in its downward course, and ascend to the elevation from which it fell...surely the assumption that our doctrine supposes that God punishes sinners eternally for sins committed in this brief and frail life is wholly gratuitous." "Five Discourses On Hell," page 65, April 9, 1848, Daniel Davies Publisher.
Is he not saying that the person that steals in this life time will steal in the next, the person that commits adultery in this life time will commits adultery in the next life, or will there be a whole new and different kind of sins in the next life that the sinner will have to learn to be able to go on sinning? Is he saying the millions that live and die without ever hearing about God are harden sinners and that not a one would ever repent? Human nature is such that it can change; even the very bad sometimes do change in this lifetime. Is he saying God will change human nature in such a way that no one will be able to change, not one of the many millions will be able to repent? Will God deliberately change all so that they cannot stop sinning; therefore, God will torment them for all eternally? This version of Hell makes even the worse sinners able to repent and change in this lifetime, but after death the souls that had been in all sinners will go on sinning with not one of them will ever be able to stop. It makes there be no end to sin.
Not many members of the Christian Church or the Church of Christ any longer believe as Alexander Campbell, but it is now being taught by many Protestants.
(11) C. S. LEWIS’S THE ALMOST PLEASANT HELL. In “Great Divorce” C. S. Lewis pictures Hell as not black, but only a little gray almost pleasant place where souls that are that are in it can take bus trips into Heaven for the day and return to Hell. See “The Destruction Of the Finally Impenitent” by Clark H. Pinnock at, http://www.abccoggc.org.jrad/volume2/issue1/jrad_v02.1_art2.htm There is an almost constant rationalizing of the doctrine of Hell to make the God of Hell a less evil God, even making immaterial souls that we are told are immaterial and have on bodies but that take bus trips in a material bus.
(12) PROTESTANT TRADITIONALIST DIVISIONS OF HELL. Most who say they are orthodox and traditionalist believes souls that had been in the lost persons will be kept alive with some kind of punishment, but beyond this there is little agreement among them. A few believe much as did Jonathan Edwards and Calvin, that there will be torment for all souls that are in Hell beyond anything that we can now know of. There are many others Protestants who utterly repudiate both Calvin’s and Edward's Hell; they believe that there will be some kind of eternal punishment, but it may be nothing more then a little mental anguish, or just being deprived of all good. Others are at all points between the two, even when they are in the same denomination. In those who call themselves "traditionalists," there are wide ranges of views; yet, they all say they are orthodox and traditionalist! Orthodox is a big blanket, and growing bigger all the time. Even so, few if any who are orthodox and traditionalist believe the same, and there is a world of difference in what is orthodox in the Protestants churches. Many who say they are orthodox do not believe in once saved always saved, infant baptism, Augustine's view on predestination, the millennium, and countless other differences in what is traditional and orthodox. Although they cannot agree among themselves over what is traditional, they attack all who do not believe in one of their many versions of "Hell" for not being orthodox or traditional, nonetheless accept many as being orthodox who believes in an entirely different "Hell," and even accept Premillennial, which has many who believe that Hell will be on this earth, and will last for only a short time.
(13) PROTESTANT PREMILLENNIAL DISIVIONS OVER HELL. From all the information I can find there are many more Protestants who believe in some form of Premillennial teaching than not. Premillennial variations found in the Protestants churches are pre–tribulation, mid–tribulation, post–tribulation, partial–rapture, many mini–raptures, already past rapture, the tribulation period, historic Premillennial, Post Millennialists, Dispensationalist, and many more; see my other book at http://www.robertwr.com/rapture.html Many of the Premillennial versions of Hell are somewhat similar to either the Seventh–Day Advent Version of Hell, or the Church of God Version of Hell. Many of the Premillennial versions of Hell are far from being what is thought of as being orthodox, but most all Premillennialists are thought of as being Protestant, orthodox and traditional.
UNORTHODOX IN ORTHODOX CHURCHES. It may come as a surprise to many that there may be more who say they are orthodox Protestants who do not believe Hell to be eternal torment than there are orthodox Protestants who do believe Hell to be an actual real place of eternal torment by God. When US New says 53 percent of Americans believes Hell to be only mental anguish, many of that 53 percent are orthodox Protestant, and this 53 percent is in addition to the many Protestant Premillennialists who do not believe Hell to be a place of eternal torment. When some say that is only Jehovah's Witnesses teaching, they seem to be blind to the fact that this is the teaching of many of the orthodox Protestants, and the number of orthodox Protestants that do not believe in the Jonathan Edwards or Calvin versions of Hell is now many times greater then the number that do. Much of what is accepted as orthodox today would have been called heresy 200 years ago by most all Protestant Churches of that time. It came as a surprise to me, as I am sure it will be to many, that many orthodox Protestants believe none of the saved will go to Heaven, but will live on this earth for eternity, and many Protestant Premillennialists believe this. It may also come as a surprise to many that those who say they are orthodox Protestant, but do not believe Christ to be God, but is a created being that did not exist before His birth. Many believe Him to be a chosen one by God, and that He is now in Heaven, but will come back to earth, set up the kingdom of God in Jerusalem, and will rule the kingdom, which will always be on this earth. It seems to be OK to not believe in Christ as being equal with God, but not OK not to believe God to be crueler than any other being, and that He will torment all souls that were in the lost forever.
(14) THE HELL WITH NINE LEVELS. It took nine levels of torment with each one worse then the one above it to satisfy the imaginative mind of Dante. The first level was for those who had committed no sins. Even the first of the levels, which he called circles, is a prison for those who committed no sins on earth, but were unbaptized and without knowledge of Christ. Each level or circle becomes increasingly worse, consistent with the degree of the guilt of the sinner. According to Dante the ninth circle of Hell is where the most evil go to, and it is reached by a hole near the Northern Hemisphere that goes down to the center of the earth.
(15) REALIZED ESCHATOLOGY, THE A. D. 70 VERSION OF HELL. It is difficult to pen down just what they believe. This Protestant version of this Hell seem to be that death is the end of those who are not faithful, and for unbelievers there will never be a resurrection. They believe the second coming of Jesus was in A. D. 70, the resurrection day was also in A. D. 70 when the Old Testament Saints where resurrected, there is no Judgment Day to come, no day that the earth will end. All the Old Testament faithful was resurrected in A. D. 70, which they believe to have been the second coming of Christ, and after A. D. 70 the Judgment Day of each person is the day of their death, (1) the death of the lost is their end, they will never to be resurrected, (2) at the moment of their death all believers are resurrected to eternal life. This seems to be their general teaching, but I am sure that are many variations within Realized Eschatology.
(16) THE “SUDDEN REALIZATION” VERSION OF HELL. A Protestant version that is somewhat like the Roman Catholic Purgatory. When the lost stand before God at the judgment they will suddenly realize how good God is and will repent. Some say it will take only a short time, other say it will take a longer time unto they will be admitted into Heaven, but when they are admitted they may not have all the privileges of Heaven that those that obeyed Christ will have. This is just another attempt to make God less evil then most orthodox Protestant versions of Hell makes Him, There is no passage that says a person can repent after death.
(17) REPHAIM VERSION OF HELL–ONE OF THE MANY PROTESTANT VERSIONS OF HELL, BUT IT IS DEFINITELY NOT ORTHODOX. This version of Hell is Protestant; as far as I have been able to find no one teaches it but those who are called orthodox Protestants, but it cannot be called traditional or orthodox. God, angels, and man (after death) are disembodied energy being capable of thought and speech without the need of a body. Rephaim is in the Hebrew Old Testament eight times; it is defined in some Lexicons as "departed spirits," "shades," "shadows," "ghosts," "name of the dead in sheol."
THREE OF THE EIGHT PASSAGES ARE IN ISAIAH. This is a book of many symbols, much like Revelation.
(1) Isaiah 14:9-11, "Sheol from beneath is moved for you to meet you at your coming: it rises up the dead (Rephaim) for you, even all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall answer and say unto you, Have you also become weak as we: have you become like unto us? Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the noise of your viols: the worm is spread under you, and worms cover you." This is a symbolic description of the fall of Babylon, and it has nothing to do with an immortal something that was in a person. In this metaphor the past dead nations are nations that no longer existed, there kings raised up from their thrones, they were not in any kind of torment, the dead nations were surprised to see a nation as strong as Babylon joining them; not many orthodox Protestants believe nations will be in Hell. If all souls that had been in the dead were alive, why would the souls that were already in sheol be surprised to see another soul join them after that soul had left the person it was in when souls that were in all that die would join them? It would make no sense if they were surprised to see more souls joining them. Even the trees join in with the dead nations and talk (14:8). Only in a metaphor can past nations that are dead, that no longer exist, and trees talk (Isaiah 14:8).
In this passage Rephaim (one word) is translated,
(1). “The dead” (two words) in both the King James and the New King James.
(2). “The spirits of the dead” (five words from one word) in the New American Standard even though “ruach” (spirit) is not in the Hebrew they added it. There is no way to get “spirit” from “rephaim,” but the translators needed to put immortal spirits in the Bible and added it.
(3). “The spirits of the departed” (five words from one word) in the New International Version. It also added spirits even though spirits is not in the Hebrew.
(4). “The ancient dead” (three words from one word) in the Revised English Bible even though not one of the three words are in the Hebrew, and that the meaning of Rephaim is not even remotely kin to the meaning of “ancient.”
(2) Isaiah 26:14, "They (the nations) are dead (Rephaim), they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise; therefore have you visited and destroyed them, and made all remembrance of them to perish." This is about nations that did not remember God being literally destroyed. It has nothing to do with an "immaterial, invisible part of man" after death that cannot be destroyed. It is hard to believe this passage is used to prove that a person has an immortal immaterial, invisible soul, for if it were speaking of this something in a person, then that something is dead, deceased, shall not rise (no resurrection), and all remembrance of that something in a person has been made to perish. If this were an immortal soul, it would be nothing like the immoral soul of today's theology, it would teach there is no life or resurrection after death for an immortal soul, but this passage is used anyway to somehow prove that a soul is alive after death, alive in either Heaven or Hell.
(3) Isaiah 26:19, "Your dead shall live; their dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing, you that dwell in the dust; for your dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast forth the dead (Rephaim)." Isaiah is speaking of the nation of Israel that was dead, the people were slaves in bondage to another nation because they had left God, now they had repented and were being restored as a nation. He is not speaking of the resurrection of any individuals Jews.
In Isaiah 26:14, which is speaking of nations, the nations are dead and shall not rise (shall not be restored).
In Isaiah 26:19, which is speaking of Israel, it shall live, shall arise (shall be restored).
If these were speaking of souls that had been in individuals, as Robert Morey in "Death and The Afterlife," on page 79 says he would have these souls both (1) “shall not rise” (Isaiah 26:14), and (2) “shall rise” (Isaiah 26:19).
Note, the King James Version in both Isaiah 14:9; 26:14 and 26:19 changed the Hebrew proper name, Rephaim, to “the dead,” the New American standard changed it to “the spirits of the dead” in 14:9, and “departed spirits” in 26:14 and 26:19. Why did they change what God said; the Hebrew does not say “the dead,” “spirits of the dead” or “departed spirits”; neither one is a proper noun, Rephaim is a proper noun, and there is no authority for changing it into something that is not even close to what is said in the Hebrew Old Testament. Isaiah 26:19 is speaking of the nation of Israel, not of departed spirits. The New International Version in 14:9 says “spirits of the departed” when neither “spirit” nor “departed” are in the Hebrew Old Testament but they added both. Is not this just another attempt of the translators to change God’s word to put their view into the Bible, even if they had to change the proper noun God used into something other than a proper noun?
THE OTHER FIVE PASSAGES ARE IN THE POETICAL BOOKS
1. Job 26:5-6, "They that are deceased (Rephaim) tremble beneath the waters and the inhabitants thereof. Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon ("Destruction" New International Version) has no covering."
2. Psalm 88:10-12, "Will you show wonders to the dead (Rephaim)? Shall they that are deceased arise and praise you? Shall your loving kindness be declared in the grave? Or your faithfulness in destruction?"
3. Proverbs 2:18-19, "For her ("adulteress" New American Standard Version) house sinks down to death, and her tracks lead to the dead; (Rephaim) none who go to her return again, neither do they reach the paths of life."
4. Proverbs 9:18-19, "But he knows not that the dead (Rephaim) are there; that her (the foolish woman or adulteress) guests are in the depths of Sheol."
5. Proverbs 21:16, "The man that wandered out of the way of understanding shall rest in the assembly of the dead (Rephaim)."
In all five the noun “Rephaim” is changed to “dead.” All five refer to the lost, and speak of their death, deceased, destruction, dead, not ever attaining unto the paths of life again, resting with the dead. The dead are simply spoken of as being dead; nothing is said about a soul being alive after the death of the person. There is nothing in any of the five passages above that say anything about a soul being alive in Heaven, nothing about Hell or Abraham's bosom at any time, not before or after the judgment; all eight of the passages where Rephaim is used are an undeniable contradiction to the orthodox doctrine of souls being alive and going to Heaven or Hell after the death of the persons the souls were in.
What do many believe? After adding “soul” that is not in these passages that are used to prove all the dead; both the good and the evil souls are now "Rephaim." Many who believe all souls that were in the dead go immediately to Heaven or Hell at death use it although it would make a soul not be in Heaven or Hell where they believe the immaterial, invisible something that is now in a person will be after the person is dead.
(1). The Protestant versions of Hell, that the souls that had been in the dead persons are now alive in Heaven or Hell.
(2). The after judgment version of Hell. that these souls are now alive in hades with some on the good side of hades and some on the bad side, but both use these passages, and have the dead now being in four very difference places simultaneously, 1) Abraham’s bosom, 2) Heaven, 3) Hell, 4) Rephaim.
(3). The Rephaim version of Hell, that souls of both the good and the bad are together and exist only as shades, or shadows, they are not in Heaven or Hell. Yet, those who believe the Protestant version, or the newer after judgment version of Hell sometimes use "Rephaim" to prove "Hell" even though it would put souls from all the dead persons together, and not where they believe these souls to be; it is definitely nothing like the immortal soul of today's theology. The attack on Hell that is coming from many in most all churches is forcing them to take views not many Christians believe. The Rephaim version seems to be used only by Protestants who are trying to prove a person has an immortal soul, but are hard pushed to find any passage to prove it.
Which way do they go? "Rephaim" is used by Protestants in a way that does not agree with what they believe and teach; most Protestants believe that the saved will be in their eternal home with Christ in Heaven at death, but step away from this belief and say at death both the saved and unsaved are together, and have only a weak shadowy existence, and will have this shadowy existence unto the resurrection. Even if we did grant that Rephaim is the "immaterial, invisible part of man" after death, it would contradict their beliefs about the "soul" being in Heaven or Hell. It would make all the dead be "shades" "shadows." Anyway you look at it, the eight times Rephaim is used they do more to refute the belief of a soul going to Heaven at death than they do to support it. Are they so desperately in need of proof that a person has an immaterial, invisible something in them that can never die that they reach for anything, even if it is far from what they believe and want to find?
Robert Morey, an orthodox Protestant, has written one of the most accepted and used books in defense of the doctrine of Hell that has come out in recent years. In his book he makes an argument for Hell which I think shows just how desperate he is for any kind of proof. In "Death And The Afterlife," On page 79 he said from the meaning of Rephaim, when the body dies, man enters a new kind of existence. He then will exist as a spirit creature, and experiences what angels and other spirits experience. Just as angels are disincarnate energy beings and are composed only of mind or mental energy, and are capable of thought and speech without the need of a body, when man dies, he becomes a disembodied energy being, and is capable of thought and speech without the need of a body. This is nothing more than another desperate attempt to prove that the "immaterial, invisible part of man" has some kind of life somewhere before and without the resurrection. Not a one of the eight passages where Rephaim is used says anything about a Rephaim being like God and angels. Not one of the eight, or any passage in the Bible says God and angels are nothing but thoughts. He must have made that up out of thin air and hoped you would not see it is not in any of the eight passages. I wonder if he sees how low he is making God if God were like the Rephaim in the eight passages? That he is making God be only "shades," "shadows," "ghosts," "name of the dead in sheol," or even dead.
(1). He has made God, angels, and souls that are in mankind be nothing more than "energy beings,” to be nothing more than mental thoughts with no substance. Although he did not mention God, he has reduced God to being nothing more than thoughts, an "energy being." Morey's God has no body, no substance of any kind; therefore, Morey's Heaven can exist only in the mind of God who is nothing but mind; Heaven cannot be a real place; he must somehow make God, angels, and souls all have the same thoughts, or the Heaven that was only in the thoughts of each being would be an entirely different Heaven if their thoughts were not exactly the same thoughts. Any being, angels, demons, saved souls, and lost souls would each make their own Heaven or Hell in their thoughts, if any one being had different thoughts that being would have a different Heaven or Hell than the others.
(2). He has made God weak. Morey has made souls and angels be described as "Are you also become weak as we: have you become like unto us?" "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24); Morey has spirits without bodies described as weak, as being nothing more than mental thoughts, which would include God being described as weak, and being nothing more than mental thoughts. Is his God just weak mental thoughts, is that what your God is like?
(3). He has made the only difference in a soul after the death of the person and God to be only a difference in intelligence. He says both are nothing but mind without any substance.
(4). He has made God limited. According to Morey, God does not have any substance; God is only thoughts without a body. This has not entered the mind of most who believe a person now has an immortal spirit in him, and if it did most would reject it, but their belief that an immortal spirit is now in a person means, according to Morey, a soul, God, and all heavenly being are nothing more than thoughts without a body. Robert Morey and others who try to prove persons now has an immortal spirit in them has been pushed into this belief. The belief that a person has a dual nature dictates what they can believe about the nature of God. They believe the immortal spirit that is now in a person cannot now be seen for it has no substance; therefore, because God is spirit, then He can have no substance; He can be only a mind with no body.
THOMAS JEFFERSON in a letter to John Adams in 1820 said, "To say that God, angels, and the human soul, are immaterial, is to say they are nothing. At what age of the church the heresy of immaterialism crept in, I do not know; but a heresy it certainly is–Jesus taught nothing of it."
(5). Morey has developed Plato's doctrine that the body is a prison to a soul, and that soul is set free by the death of the body, far beyond what Plato ever did. To put a soul (an "energy being" that is only "mind") back in a body at the resurrection would be to put it back in a prison.
(6). Also, Morey's Hell could only be mental anguish for souls. There would be no body to torment. He has made it impossible for Hell to be anything more than mental pain. Only something in the mind of souls that are nothing but mind. None of the other "orthodox Protestant" version of Hell could be possible; therefore, he has made that which almost all Protestants have believed for centuries to be wrong.
(7). Morey has made Paul not know what he was talking about when he said, "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body...there is also a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:44). He cannot believe in the resurrection. How could he when he has made a soul be composed only of "mind," just as he says the angels and God now are composed only of mind? There could not be a mortal that "must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:54), for his "energy being" is now just as immortal as it will always be, and even before the death of the person he believes a soul is now like God and angels now are. There cannot be a resurrection of any kind of body, not one in the image of Adam, or in the image of Christ. Not the earthly body, or the new spiritual body for there will be no body, nothing but "mind." There cannot be a resurrection of the "mind or mental energy," for they tell us that at death this "mind or mental energy" would be just as it would always be; therefore, there could not be any kind of resurrection.
What is their no substance soul and no substance Heaven? What could it be if it has no substance? God made all things out of nothing. If a soul has no substance while it is in a person, it will still be nothing after it leaves the person. Are they saying when God made angels and souls that God made nothing out of nothing; and this God who made nothing out of nothing is Himself nothing?
HEAVEN IS A REAL PLACE
“For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us,” (Hebrews 9:24; 8:5). The holy place made with hands was a real place that was a copy of the true holy place; a real place could not be a copy of something that did not exist, something that was only a thought in a mind that has no substance. Christ entered “INTO HEAVEN ITSELF.” If Christ and God were only thoughts with no substance, and Heaven was only something in their minds, it would mean a thought entered into the thoughts that were only in the mind of the thought; Morey makes this and many other passages to be pure nonsense. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2-3). Thoughts do not have a house with dwelling places; Christ went to prepare a place for “you” not for thoughts only. Heaven is a real place with real dwelling places for a real “you.” You cannot prepare a place in a place that is not a place. There is not a hint of uncertainty in Christ’s statement about where He was going to prepare a place.
1. “In my Father’s house.” Where is the father’s house? In Heaven, not on Earth.
2. “I go to prepare a place for you.” Christ was on Earth when He said, “I go.” Where does He say He is going? To His Father’s house which is in Heaven.
NOTE, I have tried to give the views of the majority in each in the above Protestants versions of Hell. In each of them, there are many individuals and/or small groups who believe in many different variations of that believed by the majority.
Summary, Protestants that believe in Hell contradict each other as to what and where Hell will be.
1. Some believe Hell to be a lake of fire and brimstone.
2. Some believe Hell will be banishment from the presence of God.
3. Some believe Hell to be only mental anguish.
4. Some believe God will give most of mankind to Satan to torment, as he wants to.
5. Some believe God will not only be doing the tormenting, but He will have great pleasure in the tormenting of souls.
6. Many believe a version of Hell that makes God be infinite cruel by creating million foreknowing that He was creating them with no chance to not be in Hell.
7. Some believe many other contradictory versions of Hell; without doubt there are other Protestants versions of Hell that I have not covered.
NINE OTHER VERSIONS OF HELL
(1) The Abraham's bosom, or the after judgment Hell; a newer version of Hell. This version is based almost entirely on an interpretation of Luke 16:19-31 (see chapter eight, part one). Most members of the Church of Christ, the Christian Church and many Protestants believe it although it is not generally accepted as being orthodox or traditional Protestant. In this version all who do not obey Christ will go to Hell, but not unto after the coming of Christ and the judgment; and no one goes to Heaven before the judgment (no instant rapture at the death of the person). According to this version, at death all are taken to an intermediate holding place where the lost are tormented, and the saved are rewarded in a place called "Abraham's bosom" in Luke 16. Instead of all being in Heaven or in Hell unto the second coming of Christ, all are either on the good side or on the bad side of hades, and Christ will take them out of hades at His coming, and judge them a second time to see whether He made a mistake the first time and had put them on the wrong side of hades. A baby who has not come to the age of accountability is not lost and will go to the good side of hades. After the judgment God will personally do the tormenting for eternity of all souls that had been in the lost persons. Satan and his angels will forever be tormented together with the souls that had been in the lost.
This view has two places where God is going to torture the lost; (1) in one side of hades that is a temporary place of torture, and will last only unto the second coming of Christ, (2) and "Hell," which after the resurrection will be a permanent place where God will torture most souls without end. It has no deathless souls that are now in Heaven or Hell, and no persons or souls will not be in either unto after the resurrection and judgment. This is the view I was taught from the time I became a Christian, and I believed it a long time. I have many books and tracts in which well-known preachers and teachers, such as H. Leo Boles, E. M. Zerr, B. W. Johnson, and many others who teach this view; but lately it seems to be dying out in the church, and is being replaced by going immediately to Heaven or Hell at death without the Resurrection or Judgment, particularly at funerals where preachers often say the soul that was in the dead person is now in Heaven. Most all think of and speak of their loved ones, not souls that had been in them, as now being in Heaven with Jesus, not in Abraham's bosom unto the judgment.
In this version of Hell, “When a ‘faithful’ member dies, he or she does not ‘go’ to heaven or hell. The person is not ‘sentenced’ by Christ to heaven or hell until ‘Judgment Day’…There will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous (Acts 24:15).”
(2) Edward Fudge version, The short Hell, God will torment the lost in Hell for a short time, then Hell will end, He uses the name Hell as if it was a Bible name, but thinks it will last for only a limited time, and will end with the total destruction of all souls in it. (“The Fire That Consumes,” 1982 edition). Brother Fudge believes there is a Hell and all the lost will be in it, but believes it will be a short Hell that will end with the death of those that has been in Hell for a short time, and they will be tormented by God for as long as they are in Hell. He says, “They will be sentenced to hell where they will die,” but did not give one passage that tells us the lost will “be sentenced to hell.”
Roger Dickson believes the duration of Hell will fit the crime, and then will end. It will be short for some souls, and longer for other souls. He says, "After the stripes have been given, then the destruction occurs, for which there is no reverse." "Life, Death, And Beyond," page 162ff. If I understand him right, he thinks the souls that had been in the lost will go to Hell, but the not so bad souls will not be tormented as long as the very bad. After the "punishment matches the crime" he says they will then be destroyed (page 163). (1) "Shall be beaten with many stripes" (Luke 12:47). This is used to prove there will be an end after the stripes. He seems to think, "Beaten with few stripes" could not be as long as "beaten with many stripes;" therefore, could not take forever; some souls would be tormented longer than others, but the torment will end with death for all. (2) This short Hell is different from the Church of God short Hell in that it will not be on this earth, and there will be no second chance, Fudge’s short Hell will end with death from which there will be no resurrection.
If any country in the world had a period of time when they unmercifully tormented those that were sentenced to death, for one year, two years, five years, or for any length of time like Fudge’s short Hell, the world would rise up against that country.
The short Hell implies that there is a soul that is in a person and that God will torment all souls that were in the lost, some souls tormented much longer then others souls.
(1). The fate of those not in Christ according to the Bible
Death - Resurrection - Judgment - Second death
(2). The fate of those not in Christ according to Fudge
Death - Resurrection – Judgment - Torment in Hell – Second death
During the Judgment there most likely will be fear and regret when the lost see what they have lost by not being a Christian. Fudge then adds a place and a time between the Judgment and the second death that is not in the Bible, names it “Hell” and says that before the second death that in this place called Hell God will torment the lost, some of the souls with a shorter time, some with a longer time.
We are sometimes told there will be life and torment after the judgment in the lake of fire a short time for some, but a longer time for others. There is nothing in the Bible about some souls being tormented by God in the lake of fire longer than He will torment other souls, or about any place were God will torment persons or souls that had been in persons after the judgment; that there will be such a place, whether it is short or endless is a 100% made-up addition to the Bible to teach God will torment most in Hell before He lets them die, whether the torment is endless or short. It is persons that commits “murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars” (Revelation 21:8) not souls; it is the persons that committed these sins that will die, not souls that cannot die that will die because of the sins of the persons they were in.
Death, pain, and torment. Natural death can be painless, or with much pain. A person can die in their sleep with no pain, or suffer for years and die slowly. Violent death is the same. It can be quick and painless, or death can come slowly with much pain. Two persons killed in an explosion; one is blown to bits instantly with no time for pain, the other one is hurt badly and takes hours or even days to die with much pain. After the judgment, death, not being tormented by God, is the punishment, the black darkness of endless nothing. There is nothing said about some dying with little pain, and other dying with much suffering. Not anything about God tormenting any after their resurrection and before their second death, not for a short time or a longer time, nothing about tormenting them in a place called Hell or any other place.
F. LAGARD SMITH, a teacher of Bible at Lipscomb University in his book, “After Life, A Glimpse of Eternity Beyond Death’s Door,” also teachers there is a Hell, but a Hell that will end, no one will be tormented without end. He says on page 191 that sooner or later there is a point that the torment in Hell will end.
Death and only death is the wages of sin; there is no passage in the Bible that says wages of sin for a soul that will be in “Hell” for a short time any more than there is one that says souls will be in a “Hell” that has no end. The lake of fire is not a real literal lake of fire, it is a picture of death, any living being cast into a lake of fire would be dead almost instantly. John clearly said the lake of fire “is the second death” (Revelation 20:8), not life for a short time for some, but a longer life of torment for others. Their punishment is not being tormented by God unto they have paid for their sins and then the torment will end; their punishment is an eternal death, an eternal punishment, (Matthew 25:46). A place called “Hell” does not exist in the Bible, not a short Hell, or an eternal Hell. Hell is altogether a pagan teaching of man.
For those that believe in an endless Hell, “few stripes” presents a problem. As Robert A. Taylor said in “Rescue From Death,” page 99, if a persons that receives the “few stripes” received but one stripe a year, after a trillion years that person would have received a trillion stripes with countless trillions of stripes without end yet to come. There is no way that a countless number of trillions could be call a “few stripes.” He said, “The traditional view of Hell is fundamentally a nightmare beyond comprehension.”
"Beaten with few stripes" is in a parable addressed to those of that day, it is not an actual event after the resurrection and Judgment Day with God beating with a whip (Luke 12:41; 12:49-53). In the Law of Moses God limited "many stripes" to 40 lashes, never more than 40 (Deuteronomy 25:3; Luke 12:47; Acts 16:23; 2 Corinthians 11:24). According to him the stripes will end, but with many the "many stripes," which was no more then 40 is used by those that believe Hell is endless torment to prove that God will forever give not only the 40, but stripes without end, an uncountable number of stripes to those in Hell. In the parable in Luke 12:47-48 both the “beaten with few strips” and the “beaten with many stripes” are changed to “beaten with an endless uncountable number of blows given by God to be a countless number at the same time He is burning them in the lake of fire; this change to move both the “few stripes” and the “many stripes” to Hell must be made to make the stripes go on being given by God for eternity and never stop, for if the “few stripes” were not an endless number and God ever stopped His beating, Hell would have ended. If there were a Hell that had no end, after the “few stripes” reached a number that no man could count, the stripes would have just begin. All the details that make up any of the parables cannot be taken literally. The point of parables is that they all teach a lesson. If the lesson of this parable is that to whoever much is given much will be required, we are to use whatever ability we have whether much of little. More is required in this lifetime of the person that has more ability than of the person that has little ability, but even the person that has little ability must use what he or she has. Nothing is taught in this parable about any punishment after the judgment. To in any way say the cruel never ending Hell as it is taught today where God will be burning living souls for all eternally to be spoken of as a “few stripes” is mockery. Verse 49 says, “I came to cast a fire upon the earth; and what do I desire, if it is already kindled?” This makes it clear that stripes were to be given to Israel, that this parable is about Israel, not souls.
(3) Christadelphians version of Hell. This version says those who never heard the Gospel will never be raised. Death is the end of them. Only those who heard the Gospel will be raised at the second coming of Christ, and judged to see whether they were faithful. The faithful will have eternal life on Earth, which will be restored to be like Eden before Adam sinned. The unfaithful of those who heard the Gospel and were raised will be annihilated by the second death.
(4) Church of God version of Hell (and others). According to this version both Heaven and Hell will be on this earth. After the resurrection of earthly bodies on this restored earth, all will be given a second chance to accept Christ. Most will, but the few who will not accept Christ will suffer the second death; their torment will end in death from which there will never be a resurrection. The Church of God believes the saved will be raised and live on the earth restored to be the way it was before Adam sinned, with a body like Adam before he was put out of the garden; that no one will ever be in Heaven. I have not been able to find how they think Adam's body was different before he was put out of the garden than it was after. Many Premillennialists who are in most Protestant churches believe this version of Hell, or one that is very similar to it.
(5) Universalist version of Hell. The "age lasting" Hell. This Hell will last for only an age; then all will be saved. Universalist calls it a time of "attitude adjustments," or "age-during correction." They do not see it as God torturing souls in a literal lake or anything like that, they see it as simply a time when God will be correcting or teaching them further unto they are fit for His kingdom. All, even the most evil, will eventually end up in Heaven. See chapter nine, “Universalist–The ‘Age Lasting’ Hell.”
(6) Seventh Day Advent version of Hell. They believe that at the second coming of Christ the unrighteous will be kill, the righteous will be taken back to Heaven for a 1,000 years. During the 1,000 years only Satan and his angels will inhabit the earth. At the end of the 1,000 years Christ will return to earth with the saved, and the unrighteous will be raised for judgment. Satan gathers his angels, and will the help of the resurrected unrighteous attempt to interfere with the judgment, they will be destroyed in a military battle that will take place outside of Jerusalem, destroyed in the same way Sodom was turned into ashes; they will never be in Hell. The judgment and destruction of the lost will take place on this earth. Their Hell will be on this earth and will last only unto those in it are burned too ashes, the second death. The saved will live forever with earthly bodies on a restored earth on which there will be no evil. Advent believe they will live forever on all this earth much as we now do, not just in Jerusalem, they will build houses, plant crops, and meet together each Sabbath Day. No one will be in Heaven after the 1,000 years.
Just as with the Church of God version of Hell, many Premillennialists who are in most Protestant churches also believe this version of Hell, or one that is very near the same. The number of those who are called Protestant but do not believe any of the orthodox Protestant versions of Hell is large and growing.
(7) Latter-day Saints (Mormons) version of Hell. They believe there will be three Kingdoms, Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial Kingdoms. According to Mormons all spirit were once in Heaven, some spirits were judged worthily to come to earth where they will end up in three states of “glory.” The highest, the Celestial Kingdoms will always live on this earth with cities, houses, animals, can have children and all things much as we now have. The two lower Kingdoms, the Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms will not be on this earth, but they do not seem to know, or do not tell outsiders just where they will be, but no soul in these two kingdoms will not be in Heaven where they were before they came to earth, and they will not be on earth; those in these two Kingdoms will not be allowed to have children. All will be raised from the dead except for the sons of perdition, which they say are the once faithful Mormons that become apostates and left the Mormon Church; I have not been able to find if they yet have any revelation about what will be the fate of the other two kingdoms other then they will have little or no glory. Those who are not Mormons can go no higher then the lower Telestial Kingdom, which seems to be a very low state; they will not be able to be on this earth, not able to have children, and they will not be in Heaven where those in this kingdom were at one time before they came to earth.
The Latter-day Saints Millennium is unlike any other version of the Millennium; in their Millennium they have both mortals and resurrected immortal living together on earth, having children, building houses, and doing most all things that normal people do now.
(8) Jehovah’s Witnesses, the grave is Hell. Jehovah’s Witness do not believe in the resurrection of the lost; when the lost die, they are dead forever. They believe the grave is Hell, and all go to it at death. There is no knowledge or torment in this Hell, just sleep or death. Some from many different groups believe this version of Hell. They get support mostly from the older translations like the King James Version, and most who believe it think the newer translations that translate only Gehenna into Hell are wrong. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Gehenna is a trash dump, not Hell. The Hell they believe in is going on now with all the dead in it, both the good and the bad are asleep in the grave; all are asleep in this Hell but only the saved will wake up at the Resurrection. All the dead are now unconscious, and there is no torment of the wicked or reward of the righteous in "Hell" where all the dead, both the good and the bad now are. In this version Hell will end at the resurrection, and there will be no Hell after the resurrection. Hell is the “common grave of mankind” where all people go when they die and they are not conscious there.
This version is nothing more than a renaming of sheol and hades. In today's English Hell has come to mean a place of eternal torment after death, and to translate hades into Hell is an untrue translation. The grave is Hell was not the intentions of the translators who first put the word "Hell" into the Bible, the grave is Hell is not the way it would have been understood by English speaking people when it was first translated, or the way it is understood today by most that are not Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Jehovah’s Witness believe that only 144,000 chosen people will ever enter Heaven, and they will be changed to a spiritual body to live in Heaven where they will forever live and help Jesus govern the church that will forever be on this earth. At the end of the Millennium all that has not been made perfect during the Millennium, or did not just cease to exist at death will be destroyed in Gehenna. All the saved but the 144,000 that have been made perfect and are in Heaven will live forever on this restored earth.
A. B. ROBINSON, September 1996 (A Jehovah's Witnesses), "We do not have the word 'hell' in the NWT. We translate gehenna as gehenna, hades as hades and sheol as sheol. By doing this we can get the true import of these words. Gehenna is a garbage dump and sheol and hades often refer to the grave. We believe everyone who dies goes to 'hell' or sheol (hades). The dead are unconscious, asleep if you will (Ecc 9:5,19 and 1 Thes 4:13-16) and will remain such until they are resurrected. We also believe that 'hell' will be emptied, as is clearly stated in Rev 20:13.”
BRIAN HOLT in an e-mail to me said, "JW's do not have the word ‘hell’ in the NWT," then he said in the e-mail that everyone who dies goes to Hell. If Hell is not in their Bible, how do they know that sheol is Hell?
“THAT IS WHAT JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES TEACH”
CLARK PINNOCK said, "It seems that a new criterion of truth has been discovered which says that if Adventists or liberals hold any view, that view must be wrong. Apparently a truth claim can be decided by its association and does not need to be tested by public criteria in open debate. Such an argument, though useless in intelligent discussion, can be effective with the ignorant who are fooled by such rhetoric.” “Four Views on Hell,” page 161.
I have been told that what I believe "is what Jehovah's Witnesses have been teaching for years." One person said to me, “You believe the same thing Jehovah's Witnesses believe. Why don't you join them and leave us alone?” The problem with this is (1) I do not believe as they do, that the grave is Hell; that I believe what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe is an absolute false charge that is made for only one reason, to seek to scare anyone away by associating it with atheists, evolutionists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and others; I think those that do such are not being honest. (2) That most all denominations, whether they are occults, liberals, or whatever, teach many things that the Bible teaches, and many things that the Bible does not teach. Nothing is right or wrong because a denomination teaches it, not even right or wrong if the Jehovah's Witnesses denomination teaches it. It is right if the Bible teaches it, or wrong if the Bible does not teach it. Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah's Witnesses, Church of God, and all others each teach many things that the Bible teaches, and each one teaches many things that the Bible does not teach. Anything is right if the Bible teaches it even if the Jehovah's Witnesses teach it, and wrong if the Bible does not teach it. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach adultery is a sin; is it wrong to teach that adultery is a sin because Jehovah’s Witnesses teach it to be?
To say, "That is what the Jehovah's Witnesses teach," is said for the same reason the Baptist says, "That is water salvation," or "That is Campbellism." Their real problem is not that one of the occults teach it, but that they have no other answer, and know that they can turn many off just by saying, "That is what Jehovah's Witnesses teach," is just as the Baptist did with, "That is water salvation." They could not show that a person can be saved without baptism; therefore, they would say, "You believe in water salvation" for they knew this would make others prejudice and not believe the Bible. Now the same thing is being done to anyone who does not believe in Hell by saying, "You are nothing but a Jehovah's Witnesses," even though what I believe is far from what the Jehovah's Witnesses teach, they believe there is a Hell, but it is going on now, and I do not believe the Bible says anything about any kind of Hell; not one that is going on now, or one that will be at any time after death.
The Moslem religion believes in eternal torment; can we say it is wrong because those who believe in eternal torment believe something the Moslems teach? No, eternal torment is wrong because the Bible does not teach it.
Why? What is the real reason they say that it is Jehovah's Witnesses teaches? I think one reason is that they just do not want to deal with it. Do not want to take the time. The truth is that if Jehovah's Witnesses did believe as I do (they do not, but even if they did) as long as the Bible teaches it, I would say that it is great that they believe the Bible on that point, and I would wish that they believed the Bible on all points. If you made two lists, one a list of things any denomination believes that is not in the Bible, and a list of things that denomination believes that is in the Bible, both lists would be long. The persons who say "That is Jehovah's Witnesses teaching" believes many of the same things that would be on the list of things the Jehovah's Witnesses believes.
Some of the many things Jehovah's Witnesses teach that I do not believe.
1. Jesus was not the Son of God.
2. The Millennium.
3. Only 144,000 will go to Heaven.
4. All the rest of the saved will live forever on this earth for all eternity.
5. They don't believe in blood transfusions.
6. Hell is the grave and all the dead are now in Hell. Unfortunately, it is not true that they do not believe in Hell, but Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in a Hell that is now going on. The Hell they believe in is not the God Slandering Hell that many Protestants believe in, but they do believe in Hell, just not one of the many orthodox Protestant versions of Hell although many Premillennialists who are called orthodox Protestants believe much as they do, that Hell is the grave.
Unto the resurrection death is death, not any kind of life, or any kind of Hell anyplace.
If, "That is what Jehovah's Witnesses believes" makes anything wrong, it is such a broad argument that there is nothing in the Bible that is not destroyed by it, for there is no Bible teaching that is not believed by many religions.
Probable origin of this version of Hell. Sheol is translated Hell in the King James Version thirty-one times, and grave thirty-one times. It puts all in Hell or the grave together, both the good and the bad, and the grave is a place that those in it know nothing, a Hell that will end at the resurrection. If one believes the mistranslation of the King James Version, then he or she must believe the grave is Hell version of Hell for the Jehovah’s Witnesses belief about Hell is clearly taught in the Old Testament of the King James Version. The Jehovah's Witnesses and others who believe this version have all the proof they need in the mistranslations in the King James Version; I cannot see anyway that a person that believes the King James Version just as it is would not be forced believe in the same Hell that the Jehovah’s Witnesses believes in, the Hell they believe in is clearly taught in the King James Version.
(9) Christian Science Version of Hell. Both Heaven and Hell are only a state of mind; they believe there is no real Heaven or Hell.
The Bible version of Hell. There is no Bible version of Hell. Both the name Hell and the concept, a place where God will forever torment the souls that had been in most of mankind was not known about in Old or New Testament times. Christ or Paul used neither the place nor the name. An eternal place of torment for souls was not known about by anyone unto long after the last page of the Bible.
WHICH HELL DO YOU BELIEVE IN?
Most versions of Hell are based on the belief that a person has a soul in them that is immortal from birth and is not subject to death. That death is not death, the dead are more alive then the living, "You shall not surely die."
(1). Some believe Satan is the tormenter. According to Jonathan Edwards and most Hell fire preachers, Satan will be doing the tormenting of all that are in Hell forever.
(2). Some believe God is the tormenter. Today it has been changed to most believing God, not Satan will be doing the tormenting.
(3). Many that are in many denominations believe Hell will be on this earth.
(4). Others believe Hell will only last for a while; but will end with all that are in Hell being saved and going to Heaven.
(5). Some believe Hell will only last unto the ones in it have paid for their sins, and then all that are in this Hell will be destroyed.
(6). Some believe Hell is hot.
(7). Some believe Hell is cold.
(8). Some believe Hell is dark.
(9). Some believe Hell is Metaphorical, it is not literally hot, cold or dark; we cannot understand what it is really like, and are given pictures to tell us how bad it is.
(10). Some believe Hell is only mental anguish.
(11). Some believe Hell is under the earth.
(12). Some believe Hell is who knows where. Most, but not all, now realize there is not a place of torment inside of the earth, and have moved it. Now who knows where they think Hell is, maybe somewhere out in space.
(13). Some believe Hell exists now, and the souls that were in the lost dead are now being tormented in it.
(14). Some believe Hell will not exist unto after the judgment.
(15). Some believe Hell now exists with the angels that sinned in it, but no person will be in Hell unto after the judgment.
(16). Some believe Hell is a place of separation from God without any torment from God, a place where God is not at. They believe that although God is omnipresent (present in all places at the same time), nevertheless they believe God is not present in Hell. They believe those in Hell are separated from God, they believe death is separation from God, and the second death is an eternal Hell, and at the same time they believe God is in Hell tormenting them and gives them life. All life comes from God. He would have to be present and not present at the same time. The lost would be separated from God, and not separated from God simultaneously, for God would be wherever they were separated from Him if they had life and if He were doing the tormenting.
(17). If you go back in time 50 or 100 years, most all preachers were teaching "Hell" to be a place of "fire and brimstone." Today "fire and brimstone" is almost never used by preachers or in today's theology. Do you believe in the "Hell" of today or the "Hell" of 100 years ago?
There is no majority view of Hell today as there was in the past; no matter what view of Hell a person has that view is only a small part of those that believe in Hell; if a person believes any one of the many versions of Hell, they must disbelieve all the other versions; therefore, every one that believes in one of the Hells disagrees with the vast majority that believe in the many other Hells. Everyone that believes in one Hell is in conflict with most others that believe in the many other Hells. Believes in Hell are becoming more divided as time goes by; even if there were a Hell it would not possible for more than one version of Hell to be the truth; therefore, all the other versions, the majority that believe in Hell are vain worship (Matthew 15:9).
DIVISIONS OVER WHAT WILL BE IN HELL?
What part of a person will be in Hell? It has been believed by most that it is a bodiless soul, not a person, that will be in Heaven or Hell, but now many are saying no it is not a soul, but it is a bodiless spirit that is the immortal being that is in a person, that a soul is not immortal; therefore, (1) some say it is a soul that is now in a person that will be in Heaven or Hell, (2) but others now say, not so, it is a spirit that will be in Heaven or Hell. Not only are there many divisions on what Hell is, there are also divisions on which immaterial, bodiless being will be in Hell. One of the many examples of those that have switched from believing a soul is immortal to a spirit being the immortal something that is in a person is Robert L. Kramer in “Present Truth,” volume 10, page 12.
DIVISIONS OVER WHEN A SOUL,
OR A SPIRIT WILL BE IN HELL?
When will a soul or a spirit be in Hell? At death, or not unto after the resurrection and judgment? Many say Hell begins at death; many say no soul or no spirit will be in Hell unto after the judgment; the strange thing is that there are many that say a soul at one time, then the same person will say a spirit at another time.
HELL HAS BEEN MOVED
Pagan philosophers mostly believed a soul was somewhere underground unto it was reincarnated. The first time Hell is used in the King James Version, it is a place on this earth, and is the punishment and scattering of the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:22-26). "Though they dig into Hell" (Amos 9:27 King James Version). The Church in the Dark Age believed Hell was underground. In the Middle Age Hell was inside of the earth as it is in, “The Divine Comedy ” by Dante Alighieri. Both the Catholic Church and the "Apostle's creed," which is used by many Protestants says Christ descended into Hell at His death; and preached to souls in prison. Many encyclopedias and lexicons still say Hell is under grown.
THE NEW OXFORD AMERICAN DICTIONARY says, “hell ‘hel’ a place regarded in various religions as a spiritual realm of evil and suffering, often traditionally depicted as a place of perpetual fire beneath the earth where the wicked are punished after death.”
When I was a child, I heard repeatedly that the Devil lived under the ground, and he would get you if you were bad; all where I grow up, all that I know anything about what they believed, mostly Methodist, believed Hell to be under the earth. Now almost no one believes Hell is under ground; it has been moved to some dark place on the backside of some far away no one knows where place. Most who believed Hell to be under the earth also believed the earth will end at the coming of Christ; I have never heard them explain how the earth will be destroyed, but the Hell that is under ground (inside of the earth that will be destroyed) will last forever. O-well, one place is as good as any other for there is no Bible teaching for any of them, they are all man made, and believing any of them is to believe a lie. "But in vain do they worship me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men" (Matthew 15:9). The only sure thing is that what men believe about Hell is that Hell is always changing to suit the times and the denominations.
BELIEVERS IN HELL must do away with death. If death is real, if when God said death He meant what He said when He said, “the wages of sin is death,” then Hell cannot be.
BELIEVERS IN HELL must prove that there is an immortal soul that is dwelling in a person that has no substance, and this something that no one knows what it is, is now just as immortal as it will be after the judgment; and this who know what this “soul” is that Christ will save; and whatever “it” is, it is believed that only “it” will be in Heaven, not the person.
BELIEVERS IN HELL must make words like destroy, perish, die, death, lost be used only with a theological sense. If they are used, "In the fair, stipulated, and well-established meaning of the terms," then Hell cannot be.
BELIEVERS IN HELL must prove that Hell is in the Bible, both the name and the particular place they call Hell. If they do not prove there is a Hell, but teach it, they have added to the Bible.
BELIEVERS IN HELL must prove that the "nehphesh" animals have in Genesis 1:20; 1:21; 1:24; 1:30; 2:19 is mortal, but the same "nehphesh" men have in Genesis 2:7 is immortal.
FROM WHERE DID HELL COME?
It came from pagan philosophers, and was brought into the church along with Purgatory, the sale of indulgences, Limbo, worship of Mary and saints, Nether World, Holy Water, the rosary, forbidding Priests to marry, the crucifix-worshiping the cross, forbidding eating of meat on Friday, candle-burning, and many other teachings; and was opposed by such men as Luther, Tyndale, Moses Lord, E. D. Slough, Ashley Sidney Johnson, and many others. It came into the church in the Dark Age from Pagan Greek philosophers and writers like Dante Aligheri (1265–1321), "The Divine Comedy,” and Milton's "Paradise Lost." They added things like Satan has a red suit, horns, and pitchfork and he is forever tormenting the damned. This view of Hell was adopted by the Catholic Church in the Dark Age to create fear of leaving the church. The church in the Dark Age, and the translators of the King James Bible were more influenced by this Pagan philosophy and writers of that time then they were from the teaching of God.
(1). Hell and other pagan teaching were brought into the Bible by reinterpreting four words fifty-four times in the King James Version, but much fewer times in later translations, and none at all in many translations. The American Standard Version, which many say is the most accurate translation ("This honored version of 1901, long held to be the most accurate translation in the English language" Star Bible catalog, page 3, 1996), uses it 13 times; and even then has a footnote that says, "Gr. Gehenna" or "Gr. Tartarus."
GROWLER 1995 ENCYCLOPEDIA ASPS, "In Greek Mythology, Hades is the underworld ruled by the god of that name, who is also known as Pluto; in Nurse Mythology, Hel is a cold and shadowy subterranean realm." Both Hel and Hell are from the same root word–"Kel."
THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, "KEL–1. O-grade from kal 1. A Hell, from Old English Hell, Hell; B HEL, from Old Nurse Hel, the underworld, goddess of death." Page 2108.
COMPTON'S 1995 ENCYCLOPEDIA, "Hell and Hades." "There is no fully developed teaching about Hell in the New Testament…Only in the course of later church history was it elaborated into official church doctrine."
ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, "Old English. Hel, a Teutonic word from a root meaning 'to cover.'" Volume 2, page 402,
ENCYCLOPEDIA AMERICANA, "Much confusion & misunderstanding has been caused through the early translators of the Bible persistently rendering the Hebrew Sheol and the Greek Hades and Gehenna by the word hell. The simple transliteration of these words by the translators of the revised editions of the Bible has not sufficed to appreciably clear up this confusion and misconception." Volume 14, page 81.
WIKIPEDIA, the free Encyclopedia, “The modern English word Hell is derived from Old English hel, helle (about 725 AD…) reaching into the Anglo–Saxon pagan period, and ultimately from Proto–Germanic *halja, meaning ‘one who covers up or hides something’. (3) The word has cognates in related Germanic languages such as Old Frisian helle, hille, Old Saxon hellja, Middle Dutch helle (modern Dutch hel), Old High German helle (Modern German Hölle), and Gothic halja. (3) Subsequently, the word was used to transfer a pagan concept to Christian theology and its vocabulary.” From the article “Hell.”
DYREL COLLINS, “We assume that the word ‘Hell’ is a Bible word chosen by God to reveal his will. It is neither an O. T. nor N. T. word, but rather the word chosen by Bible translators to translate, Sheol (Grave), Hades…Gehenna (Valley of Hinnom) and Tartarus (The abode of angels that sinned). THUS ONE WORD IS CHOSEN TO TRANSLATE FOUR DIFFERENT PLACES AND IDEAS. The word ‘Hell’ therefore came to have a meaning beyond the concept involved in each word, but borrowing certain aspects from each and adding the idea of everlasting conscious torment for ‘a soul which cannot die.’” “Immortality: Only In Christ,” Star Bible Publications, Church of Christ, 2002.
SAMUEL CSONKA, "Every good Bible student knows Hades is not Hell." Truth Magazine, page 17, 1995. Then why do so many in the Lord's church teach it is?
THE DICTIONARY OF NEW TESTAMENT THEOLOGY, "The word Gehenna does not occur in the LXX or Greek literature...In contrast with later Christian writings and ideas, the torments of hell are not described in the NT...Neither does the NT contain the idea that Satan is the prince of Gehenna, to whom sinners are handed over for punishment." Volume 2, page 208–209.
CLINTON D. HAMILTON, who believed in Hell, said, "The New Testament is loaded with metaphors that describe Hell," and then he says Gehenna is one of the metaphors. On the page before he said that Gehenna is not used in secular Greek literature, not used in the Septuagint, and not by Josephus in the last part of the first century in any of his writings, “Truth Commentaries,” Guardian of Truth Foundation. When he said they did not use Gehenna, he is using it to mean Hell; therefore, he is saying Hell was not used by any of the above, neither is it in any of the Apocryphal books.
(2). Not in vocabulary. Heaven and Earth are named together about thirty times, and each is named separately hundreds of times, but not one time is Hell named in the Bible, or even spoken of. Why? No doubt, it would have been if Hell was real and there is such a place. We are told not to swear by Heaven or Earth (Matthew 5:34), but today men swear by Hell more than both Heaven and Earth together. Why were they not told not to swear by Hell? It was because Hell is a word that was not in their vocabulary. No word with the meaning of today's English Hell was used in the ancient writing as a swear word, or any other way; no such word was in their vocabulary, and they knew of no such place. The concept of the place called Hell, or the name Hell is not in the Bible, and does not occur in any writing of either the Hebrews or the Greeks unto long after the Bible was written. The Old Testament Hebrew, or the New Testament Greek has no word that is even close to today's English word "Hell." This name did not exist unto long after the last book of the Bible was written.
How could anyone know about this place called Hell? Where did Hell come from? Not by faith that comes by hearing God's word; it is not a translation of Gehenna; it is not a translation of any word in the Old Testament or the New Testament; it is a deliberate addition. It is from the doctrines and precepts of men (Matthew 15:9). It was not used in the first century because it was a place they knew nothing about. The word "Hell" is of Saxon origin about the 5th century A. D. or later and originally was any covered over place such a roof or a grave. The nearest thing I can find to the English word Hell is in Greek Mythology and Nurse Mythology (According to Socrates, Plato and other Greek philosopher) was a shadowy subterranean realm somewhere under the earth where souls went unto they could be reincarnated; but this shadowy place was far from being as terrible or as dreadful a place as today's Hell is, and "souls" would only be in it unto they were reincarnated into a new earthly bring. This underground place did not have the name Hell, and is nothing like the Hell that grew out of it in the Dark Age.
RUSSELL BOATMAN, Dean at Saint Louis Christian College, Christian Church, "Three hundred years or so ago the word 'Hell' was commonly used to refer to any dark or foreboding place. A grave could be referred to by that term without readers or hearers automatically envisioning 'the lake of fire, which is the second death' (Rev. 20:15). The hole dug in the ground to receive the body of a deceased loved one is certainly a foreboding place. A prison, dungeon, lunatic asylum, or a valley such as the valley of Hinnom outside of Jerusalem with equal propriety could be spoken of as 'Hell' three or four hundred years ago. That is no longer so...in our time 'Hell' has a fairly settled meaning...its use conjures up visions of the awesome lake of fire judgment reserved for sinners." "What The Bible Says, The End Time," page 305, College Press, 1991.
CANON FARRAR, "Hell has entirely changed its old harmless sense of dim under-world: and that meaning, as it now does, to myriads of readers...it conveys meanings which are not to be found in any of the New or Old Testament words for which it is presented as an equivalent." Excursus II, "Eternal Hope."
T. L. ANDREWS said our English word Hell has come to mean the eternal abode of the sinner where this tormenting punishment takes place? Page 168, Florida College Lectures, 1997.
A doctrine as terrible as Hell must not be assumed, but demonstrated by unquestionable proof. Such proof is not in the Bible. Heaven is in the Bible over 600 times, but Hell not one time. Why? The Bible is full of warnings. Paul warned that many "shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 5:9), but he never said anyone would "go to Hell." Paul said he declared the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27); yet not one time (even in the King James Version) did he use the word Hell. Why? The English word Hell did not exist in Paul's time; it therefore come to mean the eternal abode of sinners long after the New Testament; it came from man, not God. Therefore, Paul or the Bible could not, and did not use it.
If Hell had been a real place, which was known about in the time of Christ, others of that time would have known about it and used its name, but none did. Gehenna was the name of a real place near Jerusalem (the city dump), which the people near Jerusalem would know about, and they have would understand what Christ was saying when He used its name as a place of destruction. The rest of the world would not know about Jerusalem's trash dump, or know what its name was, and would not have understood; if Paul had used the name Gehenna in Rome or in writing to Gentiles, it is unlikely that any would have known what or where Gehenna was. When the Greek philosophy about the underworld was brought into the church by some of the "church fathers," what Christ had said about Gehenna was made to order for the Catholic Church to misuse, which they did by changing “Gehenna” into “Hell.” Whatever is not taught in the Bible cannot be a Bible doctrine. If it is the doctrine of man, is it not sinful to teach it as God's word?
Hell is not a Bible word. It is a word chosen by Bible Translators to translate four Bible words, sheol, hades, Gehenna, and Tartarus. Not one of the four has the meaning of Hell as it is used today. Not only is there no Hebrew or Greek word for Hell, but also at first even the English word Hell did not mean a place of torment after death as it does today; like many English words it has had a radical change of meaning. In Old English it was a covered place. A farmer would say, "I helled my potatoes" meaning he put them in a hole and covered them to keep them from the cold. Helling a house meant to cover it with a roof, and those that did the roofing were called “helliers.” Helmet, a covering for the head is derived from the same word; the word “Hell” as the name is used today has no resemblance to the Old English word, in Old English the meaning of Hell had nothing to do with a soul being tormented by God. Hell was never the best translations of hades (to cover in a grave), but formerly it would have been somewhat acceptable in Old English. It is not an acceptable translation of hades in modern English, and has been abandoned by most of the newer translations. When the King James Version was made, the doctrine of Hell was completely developed, and the changing of sheol and hades into Hell were a mistranslation. Most likely a deliberate mistranslation for in 1611 the name “Hell” had taken on the modern meaning of a place of torment after death although it was believed by most at that time that Hell was a place of torment that was someplace deep inside the earth.
Those who believe in Hell use the word as if both the place and the name are used repeatedly in the Bible. Their proof texts are metaphors, parables, and symbolical language as is found in the book of Revelation. If there were a place as terrible as Hell, why is it never spoken of in clear words that the common person could not misunderstand? If Hell were real, it would be strange if a doctrine as important as Hell would have been would have to depend on an interpretation of a parable or symbolical language that says nothing about the place or the name of Hell.
(3). Not in early creeds, the two earliest creeds, The Apostles Creed, traditionally wrongly ascribed to the 12 Apostles, and the Nicean Creed, 325 A. D., were both doctrinal statements saying what those that used them believed, but neither one contained the concept of Hell. The name “Hell” had not came into being when they were written.
(4). Today's preaching–versus–first century preaching. Heaven is taught throughout the Bible (used about 635 times in the New American Standard Bible), but there is nothing about today's Hell. Adam was warned that he would die if he ate, but not that he would go to Hell. Moses warned about death to those who did not keep the law, but he said nothing about Hell. The Bible is as silent as a tomb on it. It is beyond belief that there would not be many clear and unmistakable warning about Hell if there were such a place. There are many clear and unmistakable warning that the wages of sin is death, but not a one about Hell or an eternal life of torment.
HOW HELL WAS PUT INTO THE BIBLE
WHITLOCK, Seibles Road Church of Christ bulletin, August 9, 1998. "Jesus said it (Hell) was a place where 'the fire...never shall be quenched...Hell is further described as a place where." Christ did not say anything about Hell, but was using Gehenna as a metaphor of destruction, but Whitlock changed the name Gehenna that Christ used to another name–Hell, and in the same sentence he quotes only a part of a sentence used by Christ, adds to it, and makes it all one sentence. In doing so he has put the word Hell into the mouth of Christ, but when he make Hell be a real place he must deny that Gehenna is a metaphor.
(1). He changes one proper noun into another proper noun, but does not tell us from where he got the proper noun "Hell."
(2). He makes Christ say something He did not say.
(3). He says, "Hell is further described as a place where," but he did not say where it is described as a place. Hell is not described as a place, or is not described in any other way in the Bible.
This is the very way the words of Christ were first misused by the Dark Age church. After the end of the second century only a few of the "church fathers" taught that men have an immaterial, invisible being in them that is immortal, and it was not unto much later that their doctrine of an immortal soul became the foundation on which Hell and many other Dark Age Catholic teaching were built; there had to be a place to put the immortal soul, which the church fathers had brought from the Greek philosophy. The so called “church fathers” learned just as we do, from the Bible or from the teaching of men, neither they nor their writing were not inspired; a few of the half converted "church fathers" looking for a way to put their philosophy learned from men into Christianity used the words of Christ in the same way Whitlock did. Very often they used statements like the same word aionios, (eternal) to describe both the life of the saved or the punishment of the lost when nothing is said about Hell or Gehenna in Matthew 25:46. Dr. Bert Thompson said both Heaven and Hell are described with the exact same terminology in the Bible. “Reason and Revelation,” July 2000. The sad thing is that many will believe such a statements without question. How could anyone make a statement like this, “Both Heaven and Hell are described with the exact same terminology in the Bible.” There is no way he could not know “Heaven” is used hundreds of times, but “Hell” is not used even one time in the Greek. The truth is that aionios, (eternal) is not used in any passage with sheol, hades or Gehenna, not in any passage that any of the three words that are translated Hell in the King James Version. Dr. Thompson did not give one passage where Hell is described with the same terminology as Heaven. There is not one.
Summary - In Pagan and Greek philosophy (Plato, Socrates and others), souls went to a place underground to "a cold and shadowy subterranean realm" unto they could be reincarnated. They believed in a soul being immortal and would be reincarnated, but they did not believe in Hell, a place of everlasting torment before or after the judgment was unknown to them; and they had no word for it. The doctrine of Hell, as is believed today, became fully developed in the medieval Dark Age. Tyndale and many others in the Protestant reformation fought the Catholic Church teaching that most go to Purgatory to be purified on their way to Heaven, but "Hell" was accepted without Purgatory by most Protestant churches. It was preached in all its terror by the Jonathan Edwards type of Hell fire preachers and many Gospel preachers a few years back, with Satan tormenting the souls that had been in the lost from the time of the death of the persons the souls had been in. Today it is almost never preached or written about by Gospel preachers; but when it is, it is almost always toned down from the Jonathan Edwards type of Hell fire preaching; it has been changed to God, not Satan, who will be doing the tormenting of souls.
In the same way the King James Version changed Gehenna into Hell, it also changed the proper noun "Passover (Pasha in Greek)" into "Easter." "Pasha" is in the New Testament twenty-nine times. Twenty-eight times the King James Version translates it Passover. Only one time in Acts 12:4 they Passover is changed to Easter, which according to Webster’s New World Dictionary came from “Eastre” which is the Anglos Saxon goddess of the dawn. There is no way the King James translators could not have known Pasha is not Easter; this is another deliberate change where a Proper Noun was changed into another Proper Noun, which they knew had a completely different meaning; just one more time the translators were willing to change God word to put something they believed into the Bible when knew it was not there. Most other translations have corrected this deliberate change. Easter was a pagan day brought into the church by the Dark Age Catholic Church. Both changing Gehenna into Hell, and changing Passover into Easter are deliberate changes, both to put heathen teaching into the Bible.
IF GEHENNA IS A METAPHOR
WHAT IS IT A METAPHOR OF?
Present day preachers make Gehenna be a metaphor of a place unknown unto long after the last page of the Bible was written. But (after they change it's name) they continuously use it as if it is a real place, not as a metaphor. They change from Gehenna being a metaphor to Gehenna being a real place according to what they are trying to prove at that time.
CAN ONE METAPHOR HAVE SEVERAL OTHER
METAPHORS THAT ARE METAPHORS OF IT?
After saying Gehenna was a valley that was used as the place of refuse from Jerusalem where fires were always needed to consume, Hamilton in “Truth Commentaries,” 1 Peter, page 385 said Jesus took the term and applied it to the place of eternal torment. This is a typical example of how even well-educated men who knew how Christ used Gehenna, but they are compelled to use the mistranslation of the King James Version that they know to be a mistranslation to prove their belief. Then he said Hell is represented by several metaphors. (1) He said Gehenna is a metaphor, (2) and then he said this metaphor (Gehenna) is represented by several metaphors. He has one metaphor that has several other metaphors that are metaphors of it. Then on the same page he said, Gehenna, Hell, means the place of punishment in the next life. First, he says Gehenna, a valley used for the destruction of the unwanted city garbage is a metaphor of Hell, and then on the same page said Gehenna is Hell! Which one does he think Gehenna is, (1) a metaphor, (2) or a real place that is not on this earth? It comes down to what is the real thing, and what is the metaphor. He said all three, that (1) Gehenna, (2) the lake of fire, (3) and the second death, are all three metaphors of Hell. Then how could any of the three be Hell if all three are metaphors of Hell? How could he say Hell–Gehenna is a real place when he has just said it is a metaphor? His problem is that he knew Gehenna was the city dump (a real place), but needed to change it into another real place, namely Hell. After saying all three are metaphors of Hell, he then says both the lake of fire, and the second death are metaphor of Gehenna–Jerusalem's trash dump. He said Hell is called the second death, and the lake of fire on page 385; but he did not give one verse where either one is called Hell for there is not one. When was Gehenna changed into Hell? When was one place changed into another place? When did a place of destruction of unwanted trash on this earth become a place of eternal torment and damnation that is not on this earth, when did a place of destruction become a place where there is no destruction? The second death is not a metaphor of anything, it is a real death. If the second death is only a metaphor, then the first death would also have to be only a metaphor; or there would not be the first and the second, but two different and unlike things. The Bible speaks of two deaths, the first death, and the second death, if the first death is death, but if the second death is eternal life being tormented by God then the second death is not a death. The second death is a real death, just as real as is the first death; both the first and second death are both an end of life; neither the first or the second death are life in another form or place; as the first death deprives a person of all psychical life, and it is the final end of the earthly existence, so the second death is the final end of existence after the resurrection to judgment; when was the second death changed to a deathless place of endless life? He changed Gehenna into Hell, and used it over and over as if it were a Bible name for a real place (but not the name of the city dump). He has done what many do, he has taken the name of a particular place (the city dump), and made it into another particular place, which does not exist in the Bible; and then changed the second death into a metaphor of the place he has made so that he could keep the second death from being death and made the second death into life to keep it from being death. He has taken a thing (death–the second death), and then changed this thing (death) into a place (changed death into Hell), and then he named this place he had made out of a thing "Hell." This seems to be a long round about way to change death into a place where there is no death.
If Gehenna is a metaphor, it is not a real place. If Gehenna is a metaphor it is not Hell. How could Brother Hamilton know Gehenna is a metaphor of Hell? If it is, then he would have to know about Hell from some other place, some other passage, for he could never know Gehenna was a metaphor of a place called Hell if the Bible said nothing about that place. We would never be able to understand a metaphor if it were about somewhere far out in space which we know nothing about if we are not told by revelation that there is such a place. This is just what he is doing if he cannot know there is a Hell from another part of the Bible. From where did he learn of Hell? From where did he learn it name? Maybe from the very badly mistranslated King James Version, and the theology he has heard all his life, but not from any revelation from God, for there is not a word in the Bible that has the meaning of today's English word Hell. He says in one breath that Gehenna is a metaphor of Hell, and in the next breath Gehenna is not a metaphor, but that Gehenna is Hell. He and most others that believe in Hell say Gehenna is a metaphor of Hell. But if Gehenna, the city dump, is not Hell, but if Gehenna is only a metaphor of Hell, why is this metaphor of Hell translated into Hell? If it is a metaphor of Hell, in what passage is "Hell" to be found? WITHOUT CHANGING AND MISTRANSLATING GEHENNA INTO HELL, THERE IS NOWHERE THAT HELL CAN BE FOUND IN THE BIBLE. Those that believe in Hell seem to be between a rock and a hard place when they believe Gehenna is a metaphor, but if Gehenna is a metaphor then they have no place to get the name of Hell; yet, they tell us Gehenna is a metaphor, and then tell us it is not a metaphor, but that they knew it is an actual real place of eternal torment even if they cannot tell us what passage they know this from.
Here is a strange statement for one who believes Hell is found in revelation from God. Hamilton quotes Henry Thayer who said, "Gehenna, the name of a valley on the S. and E. of Jerusalem...which was so called from the cries of little children who were thrown into the fiery arms of Moloch...an idol having the form of a bull. The Jews so abhorred the place after these horrible sacrifices had been abolished by King Josiah...that they cast into it not only all manner or refuse, but even the dead bodies of animals and of unburied criminals who had been executed. And since fires were always needed to consume the dead bodies, that the air might not become tainted by the putrefaction, it came to pass that the place was called Gehenna tou puros." A Greek–English lexicon of the New Testament, page 111. He quotes Thayer saying Gehenna is a valley that is near Jerusalem; if it is a valley on this earth, it could not be Hell that is not on this earth. Hamilton said the concept of hell is derived from a valley south and east of Jerusalem. “Truth Commentaries,” 1 Peter, page 385. Who does he think had this "concept," man or God? Is he saying God or man had this concept from the misuses of a valley on this earth? When was this "concept"? A big part of the Old Testament was past history before the Jews so abhorred the place. Was Hell just a late afterthought with God, which God derived from man's misuse of a valley, but not unto after millions has died? He overlooked the fact that "Hell" was put in the King James Version by mistranslating long before the "Jews so abhorred the place after these horrible sacrifices." He said (1) Hell was unknown in much of the Old Testament and (2) "the concept of Hell is derived" by man. Do you see what he has done? Hamilton has taken what Thayer said about the origin of the name of a real valley that is "S. and E. of Jerusalem," then he changed the name of this real valley from Gehenna to Hell, and then applied what Thayer said in his lexicon about the valley of Gehenna that is on this earth to the origin to his Hell, which Hamilton says is a place not on this earth. He completely changed what Thayer said about the name of a valley on this earth to make it be proof of what he needed, but did not have. Thayer says where the name of a valley near Jerusalem (Gehenna) is derived from, but where is Hell (as we use the word today) derived from, either the name or the place? The answer is clear that it came from pagan philosophy, and was brought into the church and became fully developed in the Dark Ages (the Hellenistic period) by the Catholic Church as a place where God forever torments. Neither the place of eternal torment that is taught today, nor its name (Hell) is not in the Bible.
If Gehenna were a metaphor of Hell, a place of eternal torment, it would be a very poor one, for
1) Gehenna the city dump was a place of destruction with no torment.
2) But Hell, as it is taught today, is a place of torment with no destruction.
In the time of Christ Gehenna was a real place of destruction on this earth. No one hearing Christ would have understood Gehenna to be a place of torment that is not on this earth.
SUMMARY, STEP AFTER STEP AFTER STEP
(1). First step, many teach and believe that Gehenna was the valley outside of Jerusalem (the city dump).
(2). Second step, the name is changed by mistranslating to the name of another place, but not a place near Jerusalem. Changed from "Gehenna" near Jerusalem to "Hell" who knows where it is, but not near Jerusalem, not on this earth.
(3). Third step, then the place of destruction, which is near Jerusalem named Gehenna is changed into a place of torment that is not on this earth and renamed Hell, and the very words (mistranslated words) of Christ are used to make Him be speaking of their Hell. Christ is made to be speaking of a place not of this earth, and not the Gehenna near Jerusalem. With this kind of reasoning anything can be proved. The valley that was called "Gehenna" by Christ is not the place that is called "Hell" today.
(1). The real valley called Gehenna that is near Jerusalem, a place where nothing living was thrown into it and in the time of Christ no one was tormented in it, is nothing like the Hell of today.
(2). Even if the teaching of Christ were changed to make what He said be a metaphor, no one could know what it was a metaphor of without God making known that there is a place called Hell. No place in the Bible is a place named Hell was made known; there is absolutely no revelation from God about Hell, not one word.
(3). If the valley of Gehenna were made into a metaphor, it would be a metaphor of a place where there is no life and no torment.
Major changes must be made to the Bible to teach a person now has an “immortal immaterial, invisible part of a person” that God will torment in Hell.
(1). Destroy what? Psukee–a living creature that is repeatedly applied to both animals and persons that can and does die must be changed to a formless, no substance being that cannot die that animals do not have. A mortal living being (psukee) must be changed, but changed only in persons, not changed in animals to an immortal being.
(2). Destroy where? Gehenna, a place where there was destruction with no torment, must be changed to a place where there is torment but no destruction. Christ said destroy in Gehenna, but this must be changed to tormenting a soul that cannot be destroyed in Hell.
(3). The name Gehenna must be changed to another name, Hell (and has been changed in most translations). The name of the city dump of Jerusalem, a real place, must be changed to the name of another place which many of those who have made the change say is a place that is not on this earth. Many who say they speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent make all these changes. Gehenna is the only word translated Hell in many translations. If the name Gehenna were not changed to the name Hell, if the Bible was not changed there would be nothing about "Hell" in the Bible.
(4). The fire of Gehenna that destroyed all trash that is cast into it must be changed to the fire of "Hell" that never destroys anything that is cast into it. Our earthly bodies cannot be burned forever in a literal fire without destroying them. Both our bodies and the fire would have to be changed in such a way that it would be something other than the bodies we now have, and it could not be literal fire as we know it, a fire that completely destroys every living thing. Would it not mean God would make new bodies, and then forever burn these new fireproof bodies in place of the bodies we now have, and replace fire with a new kind of fire that does not burn up anything?
(5). Death must be changed to life for the lost to have eternal life in Hell. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). "But for the fearful...their part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). Nowhere does the Bible say there is such a place as Hell, and it is up to those who teach it to prove there is such a place in the Bible. This they have not, and cannot prove it. (1). There is not one passage that says most of mankind will be given to Satan to forever torment for his pleasure. (2). There is not one passage that says most of mankind was made by a sadistic and fiendish God who knew before He made them that He would forever torment them.
USE OF FIRE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
1. Leviticus 10:2, “And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.”
2. Exodus 3:2-5, the burning bush was "not consumed." This was so unnatural of fire that Moses said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burnt up."
3. Exodus 15:7, "You do send forth your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff." When chaff is consumed by fire the chaff no longer exists.
4. Exodus 32:10, "Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of you a great nation." "Destroy" in New American Standard Version. They would no longer exist.
5. Exodus 32:12, "Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, saying, For evil did he bring them forth, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against your people." They would have been completely removed from the face of the earth.
6. Leviticus 9:23-24, The fat was on the altar. Fire comes forth and consumed it. The consumed fat no longer existed.
7. Psalm 37:20, “They shall consume; in smoke shall they consume away.”
USE OF FIRE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Consumed Or Not Consumed
Fire is always used for destruction, never for preservation. Fire always destroys all life; fire never preserves anything. The destroying ends when the distortion is complete, when whatever is beings destroyed is completely destroyed.
1. Burning up unfruitful trees and useless chaff of wheat by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:4-12).
2. Burning up trash in the city dump–Gehenna.
3. Burning up tares at the end of that age (Matthew 13:24-50).
4. Burning up unfruitful branches (John 15:6). Unfruitful trees (Luke 3:9). At the end of the Jewish age.
5. Land that bears thorns and thistles is to be burned. To get rid of the thorns. Those that fell away are likened or compared too thorns and thistles that are completely destroyed by fire, not endlessly tormented by fire (Hebrews 6:1-7).
6. God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29). “For our God is a consuming fire”. ”Consumed,” “died,” “destroy,” and “burnt up” are the same – all are death. See Luke 9:54
7. Sodom–punishment of eternal fire was eternally destroyed by fire, not eternally burning, not eternally being destroyed but never destroyed (Jude 7; 2 Peter 2:6). Jude used the complete destruction of Sodom “as an example” of the complete destruction of the lost after the Judgment, not of an endless life of a soul being tormented by God.
“Age (aionies) lasting fire”–translated “eternal fire” in the King James Version is used three times in the New Testament.
1. Matthew 18:8, Cast into the aionies fire. This is speaking of a person that has two hands being cast into the fire of Gehenna, not a soul that according to most Protestants and Catholic a soul is immaterial; therefore could have no hands.
2. Jude 7, Sodom suffered the punishment of aionies fire. That aionies fire did it work and went out long ago, the fire was not endless, but the results of the fire was eternal, Sodom was completely destroyed dose not exist.
3. Matthew 25:41, Aionies fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Like the aionies fire God prepared for Sodom, it will do it work.
Not one of the three is God endlessly burning people or angels.
1. The heavens shall pass away, be dissolved, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up (2 Peter 3:7-14). The lost are of the world, which will pass away (1 John 2:16-17).
2. 2 Thessalonians 1:7
3. Lake of fire, which is the second death (not preserved alive) (Revelation 21:8; 2:11).
J. M. DENNISTON, “‘Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.’ (Matthew 7:19). These trees are cast into the fire for the purpose of being consumed, the application in verse 20 and 21 is that those who do not bring forth good fruit are hewn down and cast into the fire, like the trees they are to be consumed, not forever tormented. Fire dose not torment trees, it destroys them. Fruitless trees are never spoken of as cut down and burned for any other reason than to completely consume then, to destroy them. The lesson this teaches is that the lost will be consumed, not tormented, just as the fruitless trees and chaff are completely burned up. The righteous are to be treated as wheat, the wicked as chaff–the one as precious, the other as worthless–the one as preserved by the owner for his own use, the other cast into the fire as useless.” “The Perishing Soul According To Scripture,” Longmans, Green, and Co., 1874
Fire is never used by God to torment, but for destruction. "Gather his wheat (the saved) into the garner, but He will burn up the chaff (the lost) with unquenchable fire" Matthew 3:12. Tares and bad fish are burned to get rid of them, not to torment forever, or as some say "to burn in Hell forever" Matthew 13. Theology teaches the exact opposite of the Bible that the chaff will be tormented forever, but not burned up, not consumed and destroyed as the farmer does the chaff.
(1). Farmer, Burns up chaff to destroy it.
(2). God, Burns up sinful to destroy them.
(3). Fisher, Burns bad fish to get rid of them. (There is no parallel if you say, "Torment them." It would make God be using very poor metaphors, for the ones God used do not teach torment, and would not make sense).
(4). Tares are burned up; the wheat is saved (Matthew 13:30). Lost are burned up, the faithful are saved. Does the farmer burn up the tares to torment them, or to destroy them?
When tares are cast into a furnace of fire they are burnt up. Like the chaff that is totally consumed in the furnace, there is no suggestion of life beyond the burning in the lake of fire.
Furnace of fire in the Old Testament, destruction, not eternal torment or preservation, Psalm 21:9; Malachi 4:1-3; Daniel 3:13-27; Psalm 12:6.
Consumed or not consumed. Those who believe a person has a soul that is immortal also believe a soul can never be consumed. How is consumed used in the Bible. Is a consuming fire one that burns up (consumes), or one that is forever burning, but cannot consume what it is burning? Why would God use "consumed" if it were a soul that cannot be consumed? That which consumes cannot be made to typify the unconsuming; a “consuming fire” cannot be a fire that never consumes anything.
Those who teach the sinner will be tormented forever in Hell use both,
(1). The symbolic language in the parable of the rich man, which must be made literal for it to support their teaching. (Luke 16:23; 24; 25; 28).
(2). The symbolic languages of Revelation, which also must be made literal, but even then it dose not support this teaching.
1. Revelation 9:5, Locusts out of the pit torment those who have not the seal of God tormented for five months. Believers in Hell do not believe the torment in Hell will be for only five months.
2. Revelation 11:10, “Tormented them that dwell on the earth.” A symbolical picture of something on this earth, not in Hell. “Tormented them that dwell on the earth” is changed to “Tormented them that dwell in Hell” as most do not believe Hell to be “on the earth.”
3. Revelation 14:10, 11, Worshipers of Babylon tormented. Babylon, "Roman Empire and its pagan religions that were the persecutor of the church" (See Hailey, Wallace, and Ogden in chapter eight).
4. Revelation 18:7, 10, 15, 19, Babylon tormented. “In one hour God is she made desolate” 18:19. This is an evil nation on this earth, not the lost in “Hell,” although it is often misused to prove “Hell.”
5. Revelation 20:10, The devil tormented by being cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. “Day and night,” as long as there is day and night, unto the ages of ages.
6. Torment is used in non-symbolical language in the New Testament, but it is never applied to the lost after Judgment Day. Matthew 4:24; 8:6; Mark 8:6, 18:34; Hebrews 11:37; 1 John 4:18. Those that teach unconditional immortality uses only the symbolic language passages to prove torment in Hell. Yet in their preaching they frequently change the symbolic to literal, saying God will forever torment the lost, and then say they are “speaking where the scriptures speak, and keeping silent where the scriptures are silent.”
DEMONS TORMENTED (Matthew 8:29; Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28). Knowles on page 203 in "What the Bible says about Angels and Demons" said, "Demons Believe in Hell," and he uses, "To torment us before the appointed time" in Matthew 8:29, as his proof. The question is when and what torment is being spoken of. What is "the appointed time?" The only torment in this is what the demon's thought Christ was going to do to them was AT THAT TIME. This was at the time they were talking with Christ ("before the appointed time"), not in Hell after the appointed time–not tormented after the judgment. (Torment " “To agitate or upset greatly, to annoy, pester, or harass" American Heritage Dictionary). They asked Christ if He came to torment (harass) them at that time. Nothing is said about Hell or torment at the appointed time (at the judgment), or torment after the appointed time (after the judgment), but many read it in; the demons asked Christ if He was going to torment (harass) them at the time He was talking to them (“before the appointed time”). How does he find Hell, or the Demons believing in Hell in this passage?
Thomas P. Connelly in "A Debate On The State Of The Dead" makes the argument that demons are the departed souls of dead men. For this to be true, (1) it must first be shown that men do have an immortal something in them, and whatever this something is, it will lives after the death of the person, (2) and second, contrary to the Protestant theology that the lost goes to Hell at death, and contrary to the Abraham's bosom view, that the lost are now on the bad side of hades, that they are not now in Heaven, Hell, or Abraham’s bosom, but he must show that the lost are now alive, and they are now roaming around on this earth. If the lost were in Hell, it would make them able to leave Hell and return to earth; most that believe in Hell do not believe any can get out of it.
Summary - As was said at the first of this chapter, those who believe in the Pagan doctrine of an immortal soul from birth, and that there is a Hell have no plain statement, that they must make figurative language, metaphors, and symbolic passages into literal statements shows the weakness of their belief, that it is from man and not from God. They must make parables and figurative language to be superior over plain statements. What is clear language must be made to agree with what they think is said in the symbolic language.
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are completely silent on today's concept of a place where God will torment most of mankind without end. The doctrine of God eternality tormenting most of mankind with a torment worse than any torment than we can even know has turned more away from God, and driven more into infidelity than all other errors combined. How can anyone believe it is not a sin to add such a place to God's word? What do they think God will say at the judgment to those who attribute such an evil teaching to Him? Does not attributing this evil to God make them a sinner? So whom are you going to believe? With an endless number of Hells being taught, which Hell are you going to believe in?
Sheol, Hades, Gehenna, Tartarus
(1). Sheol-Hebrew in the Old Testament, (2). Hades-Greek in the New Testament, both are the same place, both mean grave.
(3). Gehenna, a valley outside of Jerusalem used to burn trash in the time of Christ.
(4). Tartarus, the place where angels that sinned are now being kept unto the Judgment Day.
In the King James Bible, there are four words translated Hell (sheol, hades, Tartarus, and Gehenna), even though they are not synonymous; these four names are three places and these three places are definitely not the same place; one of them, we are told by those that believe there is such a place that is was believed to be under the earth when the King James Version was translated, but is now it not even believe to be on this earth. Very few, when they read the King James Version, are not aware that they are reading about three completely different places, and not aware of the extent that they have been misled by the translators in their attempt to put Plato’s pagan immortal soul into the Bible. It was not unto the seventh time that “sheol” is used that the translators were able to change “sheol-grave” to “Hell.”
Sheol as translated in the King James Version the first seven times it is used.
1. Genesis 37:5 “sheol” translated “grave”
2. Genesis 42:38 “sheol” translated “grave”
3. Genesis 44:29“ sheol” translated “grave”
4. Genesis 44:31 “sheol” translated “grave”
5. Numbers 16:33 “sheol” translated “pit”
6. Numbers 16:33 “sheol” translated “pit”
7. Deuteronomy 32:22 “sheol” changed to “Hell,” changed to a completely different place than a grave or pit.
Most Bible students now admit that changing sheol, hades, and Tartarus into Hell was a change of God’s word that should never have been made, but many still hold onto the badly mistranslated King James Version, and Gospel preachers and Bible teachers do little or nothing to teach the truth. Many, who do all they can too correct any lesser error just do not seem to care about this one.
(1). SHEOL IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Sheol, this one place is given two completely different and contradictory translations in the King James Version. It is translated into two places that are entirely different places; two places from the same word, two completely different place that have absolutely nothing in common. From the same word (1) grave, a place where those in it are dead, know nothing, and have no pain, (2) Hell, another place where the dead in it are anything but dead, and the undead know pain beyond anything that we can know.
1. Grave, (a translation if of sheol–a common noun) a burial places for the dead that are on this earth where there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, now wisdom (Ecclesiastes 9:10), a place of rest in the dust (Job 17:13-16).
2. Hell, (changed from sheol–not a translated but changed from a common noun, graves, to a proper noun, Hell) a place that is believed by some to be a place of eternal torment for souls, which at the time of the translation of the King James Version most readers of that time would have understand Hell to be a large subterranean place deep in the earth; in the early nineteenth century miners were in fear of going too deep for they thought Hell was under ground in the earth, and the odor of sulfur that is common in many mines was a fearful thing to them for they thought the odor to be coming from Hell where they thought souls were being burned, but now Hell is thought by most that believe in the orthodox version(s) of Hell to be some place not on this earth; then it was under the earth, now it is who knows where. Whether it is deep under the earth, or some place out in space, we are told Hell is a place of endless torment in fire to deathless souls that have no rest, that God will never stop tormenting these souls.
"Hell," a proper noun, as it is used today is not a thirty-first cousin to grave, (sheol) a common noun, yet grave (a common noun) and Hell (a proper noun) are both translated from the same word, both from the same common noun in the Hebrew Old Testament; both (1) a place for the dead, and (2) a place for those that can never be dead, two very difference places from the same word! There is no way to say the grave and Hell have anything in common; no way the King James translators could have thought this one word means both grave and Hell; there would have been no way they could know when the same word in one place was a grave (a common noun) for a dead person that is on this earth, and when the same word (sometimes in the same passage) was an entirely different place (a common noun changed to a proper noun), a place of endless torment by God, a place for souls that can never be dead that is now believed to not on this earth?
Sheol in the King James Version is translated grave 31 times, Hell 31 times, and pit 3 times. The American Standard Version used the untranslated Hebrew word "sheol." The New International Version translated sheol into "grave" 63 times, "death" 1 time, and. “depths” 1 time. The New Century Version and others also translated sheol into grave. The American Standard Version and other newer translations knew Hell as used today (a place of eternal punishment after the resurrection) was not right, but did not translate it "grave." They left the Hebrew word not translated; maybe they thought it would make their translation unacceptable if they translated it, and it most likely would have. Neither sheol nor hades have any meaning in English if they are not translated, and it leaves every one free to use any theological definition they want. It is inescapable that if the King James Translators had translated all sixty five times that sheol is used into Hell that would have put all, both the saved and the lost in Hell. Of the sixty-five times sheol was used in the Old Testament the King James translators were able to translated it Hell less then half of the sixty five times. Not many believe Hell and the grave to be the same place, yet both are translated from the same word, both translated from sheol. Sheol is made to be (1) a place of death and corruption in thirty-one passages, (2) the same word is a place where there is no death or corruption in thirty-one passage, both from the same word as the translators saw fit to translate them.
HAMILTON, “Contrary to popular opinion it does not mean Hell as we use this term.” “Truth Commentaries,” 1 Peter, page 384.
BAKER ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE BIBLE, "There does not seem to be a very clear distinction in the O. T. between the final destiny of the good and the evil. They all alike go to the grave.” "SHEOL," Volume 1, page 953. The reason for there being no distinction in the Old Testament is that both the good and the evil persons do go to graves, and neither the good or the bad will not come out of the graves unto the resurrection.
The Hebrew word "sheol" is left untranslated all sixty-five times it is used in the American Standard Version, New American Standard Version, and many others. A Hebrew word that is not translated in an English translation does not help the English reader understand what was said, but it is better than mistranslating it as the King James Version did and teaching a lie. Why do many translations translate all other words and leave only this one word not translated? Was the reason that if sheol were translated, it would be contrary to what the translators believed, or is it an attempt to side step the question and not have to deal with it. Were the translators afraid that if they told us the truth their translation would not be accepted?
ALL SIXTY-FIVE TIMES SHEOL IS USED
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT IN SIX TRANSLATIONS
| ASV | NIV |
SHEOL in the | NASV | 2011 |
Old Testament | KJV | NKJV | NRSV | Update|
1. Genesis 37:35 | grave | grave | Sheol | grave |
2. Genesis 42:38 | grave | grave | Sheol | grave |
3. Genesis 44:29 | grave | grave | Sheol | grave |