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The Bible and Hell

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Does 'Hell' exist in the Bible?

No, it isn't even mentioned.
10
8%
Maybe not 'Hell', but rather a form of temporary punishment after death.
14
11%
Yes, the Bible unquestionably provides teaching on Hell and eternal damnation.
36
30%
Hell exists solely for the French when they die.
33
27%
I'm just here for the ponies.
29
24%
 
Total votes : 122

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Nationalist State of Knox
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The Bible and Hell

Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:45 am

Hell, in the Christian faith, is a place of eternal damnation. In Christianity, this ‘damnation’ is supposed to be the punishment for refusing Christ and failing to repent one’s wrongdoing (or sin) against God. There are, of course, varying interpretations of ‘hell’; some argue that it is a place of spiritual suffering, whereas others describe intense physical torment for eternity. Sin itself is worthy of death in God’s eyes, from simple (but inexcusable) sins as wearing two types of cloth, to the most heinous sin of coveting an ox.

However, the actual Bible definition of ‘Hell’ is vague, so vague in fact that it doesn't actually exist. Yeah, that is pretty vague if you ask me. “Huh? What is he rambling on about now?” I hear you ask. I urge you to hear me out. The Bible doesn't actually mention “Hell” as the Church teaches it, and it can be argued that it isn't even mentioned at all. How? Well, I shall be spending the remainder of the argument explaining how.

Mistranslation

The Bible uses four words to mean “hell”. Well, it doesn’t really, it would be correct to say that these four words have been commonly mistranslated from their original language to mean hell (I’m looking at you, KJV). Now, before I explain this, I’m going to discuss the number of occurrences of the word ‘hell’ in each of the editions of the Bible.

‘The Latin Vulgate’, which was the edition used by the Catholic Church for a millennium, contains 111 occurrences, with 87 and 24 in the Old and New Testaments, respectively. It is interesting to note, however, that the King James Version contains 54 (31 and 23), and the Young’s Literal Translation contains exactly 0 occurrences of ‘hell’. Notice how each edition doesn’t agree with each other at all, and how the edition used by the Medieval Church contains the most occurrences of ‘hell’ of any other edition. This can be explained rather simply:

2 Peter 2:4 wrote:
Original Greek wrote:Εἰ γὰρ ὁ θεὸς ἀγγέλων ἁμαρτησάντων οὐκ ἐφείσατο, ἀλλὰ σειραῖς ζόφου ταρταρώσας παρέδωκεν εἰς κρίσιν τηρουμένους,

KJV wrote:For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;


Here, the Greek verb ‘ταρταρόω’ or ‘throw down to Tartarus’ is used. For those of you unfamiliar with Greek Mythology, Tartarus was one of the possible destinations in the Greek afterlife, along with the Asphodel Meadows (where ordinary souls would be sent) and the Elysian Fields (where the great, heroic souls would be sent). Tartarus, however, was a place of darkness for the evil souls. With this context in mind, the fully (literal) translated verse makes more sense:

For if God messengers who sinned did not spare, but with chains of thick gloom, having cast [them] down to Tartarus, did deliver [them] to judgment, having been reserved,


What we can therefore deduce from this verse is that the ‘fallen angels’ are to be confined to Tartarus (not hell) until they are judged (not eternity). This also specifically addresses angels and not men, thus making any reference to this to support the concept of man’s damnation utterly futile.

Isaiah 14:15 wrote:
Original Hebrew wrote:אַךְ אֶל-שְׁאוֹל תּוּרָד, אֶל-יַרְכְּתֵי-בוֹר.

KJV wrote:Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.


שְׁאוֹל or ‘Sheol’ is another word that was mistranslated. The actual meaning of ‘Sheol’ is ‘the pit’ or ‘the grave’, and instead of being a place of damnation, it is meant to be a resting place for both the righteous and the unrighteous. Therefore, that verse would be better translated as:
Yet thou shalt be brought down to the grave, to the sides of the pit.



Matthew 5:29 wrote:εἰ δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ὁ δεξιὸς σκανδαλίζει σε, ἔξελε αὐτὸν καὶ βάλε ἀπὸ σοῦ:συμφέρει γάρ σοι ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν τῶν μελῶν σου καὶ μὴ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου βληθῇεἰς γέενναν.

A transliterated form of the Hebrew ‘Gehenna’ is used here, γέεννα. In many versions of the Bible, this is translated as ‘Hell’, but once again, this is a mistranslation. Gehenna is in fact a physical valley, known as a ‘place of burning’. It was known as this because ‘Gehenna’ was Jerusalem’s waste dump, with a fire kept constantly alight to incinerate all of the waste. Therefore, a correct translation is:
But, if thy right eye doth cause thee to stumble, pluck it out and cast from thee, for it is good to thee that one of thy members may perish, and not thy whole body be cast to Gehenna.

Indeed, none of the manuscripts ever talk about a fire that will torture and punish the sinful at all. If there is indeed a spiritual meaning to this, I refer you to Malachi 3:2, in which God is described as a “refiner’s fire”, which suggests that this ‘Gehenna’ is merely intended as being a cleansing fire rather than a horrendously torturous fire.

Acts 2:31 wrote:
Original Greek wrote:προϊδὼν ἐλάλησεν περὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὅτι οὔτε ἐγκατελείφθη εἰς ἅδην οὔτε ἡ σὰρξ αὐτοῦ εἶδεν διαφθοράν.

KJV wrote:He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.


The Greek word ᾅδης or ‘Hades’ is used here in place of ‘Sheol’, which I have covered earlier. Therefore the KJV is wrong yet again, as the Bible is in fact referring to a place of the dead and not ‘hell’.

Pagan Origin of ‘Hell’

Now that I have explained that the Bible doesn’t contain any reference to the ‘Hell’ that is so widely taught in Christianity. However, there has to be a reason why this teaching was introduced.

Firstly, it should be noted that Jewish teachings of ‘Sheol’ began to alter slightly around the time of the Second Temple, when the Jews were under occupation by the Persians. Whilst never actually taught in the Bible, certain Jewish teachers began to teach that ‘Sheol’ was a place solely for the wicked; whereas others continued to teach that it was for both the righteous and the wicked.

This can be explained rather simply, as these teachers were clearly influenced by the Persian ‘Zoroastrianism’, the first religion of its kind to teach the idea of a ‘hell’, because they were being occupied by the Persians when this teaching first began appearing. Further evidence of this can be seen in the Book of Daniel:
Daniel 12:2 wrote:And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to long-lasting* life, and some to shame and long-lasting* contempt.

*The Hebrew word עוֹלָם or ‘olam’ here is often mistranslated as ‘everlasting’ (as in ‘lasts forever’), but in fact correctly translates as ‘long-lasting’.

Although slightly vague, this passage is the first hint in the Bible to a form of ‘resurrection’ or ‘life after death’, which is also a Zoroastrian belief. Conveniently, the Book of Daniel was written at the time of the Persian occupation.

With this in mind, Paganism also began to affect the teachings of Early-Christians after the death of Jesus. In A.D. 70, the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and exiled the Jewish population to parts of the Roman Empire. With the Early-Christians now scattered to Greece and Rome, they began to adopt some of the Pagan teachings there, specifically the idea of punishment after death, which evolved into the Christian concept that we now call ‘Hell’.

The Medieval Church and the Latin Vulgate

The doctrine of ‘Hell’ began to flourish beginning in the 5th Century, as can be seen through ‘The Gospel of Nicodemus’. The aforementioned Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible was indeed the worst offender of mistranslating words into ‘hell’, and interestingly enough the Latin Vulgate was the sole edition of the Bible used by the Church for over a millennium. Indeed, many were persecuted for attempting to translate the Bible into English, most notably John Wycliffe.

This allowed the Medieval Church to heavily exaggerate the concept of ‘Hell’ despite not actually existing in the original translation. The intent of this was to terrorise the masses with the threat of eternal damnation and suffering, which not ensured the absolute loyalty of the People, but also ‘encouraged’ them to make donations of land and money and purchase ‘indulgences’. Indeed, this influence is even powerful today, as ‘Hell’ still remains a doctrine of most if not all Churches of Christianity across the world, and still plays an important factor in the faith of many Christians.


Conclusion

The Church has been spreading false teachings of the Bible for almost two millennia now, which is the result of mistranslation in certain texts and pagan influence from the Greeks and Romans. Whilst this may come as a shock to many Christians, this also means that they need not fear ‘Hell’, unless they still wish to subscribe to the teachings of the world’s many Churches.

Sometimes, as a Christian, you have to choose to believe what the Bible teaches or what the Church teaches.
Last edited by Gilgamesh on Mon Aru 17, 2467 BC 10:56am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Distruzio » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:49 am

Incorrect. The Church cannot produce "wrong" or "false" teaching about what the Bible says because it was the Church who compiled and wrote the Bible.A Christian defers to the doctrines of the Church on Biblical interpretations lest they fall into heresy. What you are advocating is sola scriptura. A persuasive and perverse heresy.
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Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:51 am

Distruzio wrote:Incorrect. The Church cannot produce "wrong" or "false" teaching about what the Bible says because it was the Church who compiled and wrote the Bible.A Christian defers to the doctrines of the Church on Biblical interpretations lest they fall into heresy. What you are advocating is sola scriptura. A persuasive and perverse heresy.

Wait, so are you suggesting that the Bible is inaccurate in what it says about Jesus' teachings?
Last edited by Gilgamesh on Mon Aru 17, 2467 BC 10:56am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Distruzio » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:54 am

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Distruzio wrote:Incorrect. The Church cannot produce "wrong" or "false" teaching about what the Bible says because it was the Church who compiled and wrote the Bible.A Christian defers to the doctrines of the Church on Biblical interpretations lest they fall into heresy. What you are advocating is sola scriptura. A persuasive and perverse heresy.

Wait, so are you suggesting that the Bible is inaccurate in what it says about Jesus' teachings?


I'm suggesting that the person who reads the Bible is inaccurate in assuming the Church is wrong in what it says about Jesus' teachings.

I'm explicitly saying that the Bible has NO authority without the Church.
Last edited by Distruzio on Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cill Airne » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:56 am

Hell is mentioned in Mt 8:12, Mt 25:41, 2 Thes 1:9, 2 Pt 2:4, Rv 14:11 for example. It is a very real place and the Bible most certainly discusses it and names it. Many have chosen to reject or modify the doctrine of hell so radically that it is no longer viewed as serious or a threat. In recent decades I believe it has become more and more common for evangelists to reject the notion of hell. But that does not mean it wasn't found in the Bible, or still is - its there, throughout it.
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Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:07 pm

Distruzio wrote:
Nationalist State of Knox wrote:Wait, so are you suggesting that the Bible is inaccurate in what it says about Jesus' teachings?


I'm suggesting that the person who reads the Bible is inaccurate in assuming the Church is wrong in what it says about Jesus' teachings.

I'm explicitly saying that the Bible has NO authority without the Church.

Then how can we use the Bible as the basis of a faith if everything it says is merely produced and regulated by an organisation?

Cill Airne wrote:Hell is mentioned in Mt 8:12, Mt 25:41, 2 Thes 1:9, 2 Pt 2:4, Rv 14:11 for example. It is a very real place and the Bible most certainly discusses it and names it. Many have chosen to reject or modify the doctrine of hell so radically that it is no longer viewed as serious or a threat. In recent decades I believe it has become more and more common for evangelists to reject the notion of hell. But that does not mean it wasn't found in the Bible, or still is - its there, throughout it.

1. Not a reference to hell.
2. i.e. the cleansing fire mentioned in the OP.
3. Not a direct reference to hell, "everlasting" is a mistranslation from the Greek αἰώνιος.
4. I covered 2 Peter 2:4 in the OP.
Last edited by Gilgamesh on Mon Aru 17, 2467 BC 10:56am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Distruzio » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:11 pm

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Distruzio wrote:
I'm suggesting that the person who reads the Bible is inaccurate in assuming the Church is wrong in what it says about Jesus' teachings.

I'm explicitly saying that the Bible has NO authority without the Church.

Then how can we use the Bible as the basis of a faith if everything it says is merely produced and regulated by an organisation?



We don't. The Bible itself declares that the "pillar and foundation of the Faith is the Church." Christianity would not exist without the Church. It did exist for centuries without a Bible and did exist for more than 1400 years without widespread access to that Bible that did not exist. Please, refer to the links I provided to you for more information on this fact.
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Postby Typhlochactas » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:14 pm

Nationalist State of Knox wrote: In Christianity, this ‘damnation’ is supposed to be the punishment for refusing Christ and failing to repent one’s wrongdoing (or sin) against God.


Uhh...

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Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:15 pm

Distruzio wrote:
Nationalist State of Knox wrote:Then how can we use the Bible as the basis of a faith if everything it says is merely produced and regulated by an organisation?



We don't. The Bible itself declares that the "pillar and foundation of the Faith is the Church." Christianity would not exist without the Church. It did exist for centuries without a Bible and did exist for more than 1400 years without widespread access to that Bible that did not exist. Please, refer to the links I provided to you for more information on this fact.

So, you don't believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God? Do you believe that the Church is infallible?
Last edited by Gilgamesh on Mon Aru 17, 2467 BC 10:56am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Distruzio » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:19 pm

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Distruzio wrote:

We don't. The Bible itself declares that the "pillar and foundation of the Faith is the Church." Christianity would not exist without the Church. It did exist for centuries without a Bible and did exist for more than 1400 years without widespread access to that Bible that did not exist. Please, refer to the links I provided to you for more information on this fact.

So, you don't believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God? Do you believe that the Church is infallible?



The Bible is infallible. The Church is infallible. The person reading the Bible, however.... is NOT infallible. Which is why the Church is needed.
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Postby Cill Airne » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:21 pm

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Distruzio wrote:

We don't. The Bible itself declares that the "pillar and foundation of the Faith is the Church." Christianity would not exist without the Church. It did exist for centuries without a Bible and did exist for more than 1400 years without widespread access to that Bible that did not exist. Please, refer to the links I provided to you for more information on this fact.

So, you don't believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God? Do you believe that the Church is infallible?

No, the Bible is infallible, as is the Church. The teaching authority of the (Catholic) Church is obtained both from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. An individual reading the Bible is fallible and that is why individual interpretations aren't viable - the understanding of those qualified and authorised to do so is.
Last edited by Cill Airne on Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:24 pm

Distruzio wrote:
Nationalist State of Knox wrote:So, you don't believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God? Do you believe that the Church is infallible?



The Bible is infallible. The Church is infallible. The person reading the Bible, however.... is NOT infallible. Which is why the Church is needed.

The Church and The Bible contradict each other (on the concept of "Hell"), and The Bible has several inaccuracies.

Cill Airne wrote:
Nationalist State of Knox wrote:So, you don't believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God? Do you believe that the Church is infallible?

No, the Bible is infallible, as is the Church. The teaching authority of the (Catholic) Church is obtained both from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. An individual reading the Bible is fallible and that is why individual interpretations aren't viable - the understanding of those qualified and authorised to do so is.

Authorised by whom, might I ask?
Last edited by Gilgamesh on Mon Aru 17, 2467 BC 10:56am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DogDoo 7 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:24 pm

Jewish hell is better. There's just a lot of waiting and feeling guilty before you get to go to heaven. Although if you're a dick, you'll get the room next to the ice machine.
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Postby Distruzio » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:26 pm

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Distruzio wrote:

The Bible is infallible. The Church is infallible. The person reading the Bible, however.... is NOT infallible. Which is why the Church is needed.

The Church and The Bible contradict each other (on the concept of "Hell"), and The Bible has several inaccuracies.


Incorrect. You create the contradiction when you read the Bible. Again, refer to the links I provided.
Last edited by Distruzio on Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:29 pm

Distruzio wrote:
Nationalist State of Knox wrote:The Church and The Bible contradict each other (on the concept of "Hell"), and The Bible has several inaccuracies.


Incorrect. You create the contradiction when you read the Bible. Again, refer to the links I provided.

By that logic, every interpretation is incorrect because it's me 'creating that interpretation' when I read it.

Also, I'm reading the links. I'm onto the second.
Last edited by Gilgamesh on Mon Aru 17, 2467 BC 10:56am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Distruzio » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:30 pm

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Distruzio wrote:
Incorrect. You create the contradiction when you read the Bible. Again, refer to the links I provided.

By that logic, every interpretation is incorrect because it's me 'creating that interpretation' when I read it.


Now you're catching on.

Also, I'm reading the links. I'm onto the second.



Thank you.
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Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:32 pm

Distruzio wrote:
Nationalist State of Knox wrote:By that logic, every interpretation is incorrect because it's me 'creating that interpretation' when I read it.


Now you're catching on.

Also, I'm reading the links. I'm onto the second.



Thank you.

Then who creates the correct interpretation? The 'infallible' Church?
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Postby Distruzio » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:32 pm

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Distruzio wrote:
Now you're catching on.




Thank you.

Then who creates the correct interpretation? The 'infallible' Church?


Correct.
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Postby Cill Airne » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:35 pm

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Cill Airne wrote:No, the Bible is infallible, as is the Church. The teaching authority of the (Catholic) Church is obtained both from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. An individual reading the Bible is fallible and that is why individual interpretations aren't viable - the understanding of those qualified and authorised to do so is.

Authorised by whom, might I ask?

The Church is authorised by God as it acts on behalf of God.
"... does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."
"The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. "
"task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him."
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Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:39 pm

Distruzio wrote:
Nationalist State of Knox wrote:Then who creates the correct interpretation? The 'infallible' Church?


Correct.

I'm beginning to get a clearer picture here. You believe that the Church is infallible because it has divine authority passed on from Jesus to his disciples, who began the Church. You also reject the authority of any Church other than the Eastern Orthodox, including the Catholic and the Protestant Churches, correct?
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Postby Menassa » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:40 pm

The Original 24 books of the Bible do not mention a Christian version of hell.... they speak of something known as Sheol... a dark bottomless chasm away from God... however, Jews believe in some sort of temporary punishment for your sins... indeed it is a fiery place.

I believe the Talmud says that one such punishment is angles batting your soul across the entire universe.

Lot of Religious threads today... for Purim?
Last edited by Menassa on Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Distruzio » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:41 pm

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Distruzio wrote:
Correct.

I'm beginning to get a clearer picture here. You believe that the Church is infallible because it has divine authority passed on from Jesus to his disciples, who began the Church. You also reject the authority of any Church other than the Eastern Orthodox, including the Catholic and the Protestant Churches, correct?


I only reject the non-apostolic churches. Protestants aren't Christian, in my opinion. The Catholics, Orientals, Nestorians, and others are merely schismatic rather than heretical. I may disagree with certain doctrines of theirs, but I recognize them as Christian.
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Nationalist State of Knox
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Founded: Feb 22, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Nationalist State of Knox » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:42 pm

Cill Airne wrote:
Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Authorised by whom, might I ask?

The Church is authorised by God as it acts on behalf of God.
"... does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."
"The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. "
"task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him."

Who said this?
Last edited by Gilgamesh on Mon Aru 17, 2467 BC 10:56am, edited 1 time in total.
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Distruzio
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Ex-Nation

Postby Distruzio » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:43 pm

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Cill Airne wrote:The Church is authorised by God as it acts on behalf of God.
"... does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."
"The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. "
"task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him."

Who said this?


Jesus.
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Cill Airne
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Postby Cill Airne » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:46 pm

Nationalist State of Knox wrote:
Cill Airne wrote:The Church is authorised by God as it acts on behalf of God.
"... does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."
"The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. "
"task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him."

Who said this?

The quotes come from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Last edited by Cill Airne on Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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