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Saturday, September 5, 2009

(26) What is Hell?



When Christians talk about the afterlife and the two choices, heaven or hell, do they really know what they are talking about? Perhaps not. One problem we have today in all the Christian world is we have translated the word 'hell' incorrectly. The word we use in English is actually a German word. So what happened?

First of all here are the results to the poll of "What is hell?"
  • 51% said hell is a place of torment for unrepentant sinners
  • 21% said it is not one of the choices given
  • 12% said it was only a symbolic place meaning separated from God
  • 9% said there is no hell
  • 6% said it was a place for satan and his angels only
  • 0% said it was only a place on earth in the end times
The most important thing to realize is that 'hell' is not a place on earth, nor a place where only satan goes, nor is it only symbolic. It is a real place. But what is it for real? Technically, the word itself is not in the Holy Scriptures. If we go back to the original languages of the Scriptures (Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek) we find three main words that Scripture describes as an afterlife, She'ol, Hades, and Gehenna. There are other words used in scripture for places of the afterlife, some are mentioned in this lesson. Unfortunately, today we translate all three words as 'hell' and may have well destroyed the true meaning of the final place of the afterlife, especially when some of it may only mean death.

The abode of the dead or as Deuteronomy 32:22 calls it, the realm of the dead. The Greek equivalence to this word is Hades and was substituted for She'ol when the Greek manuscripts were created. But of course you should keep out all of the mythological non-sense that many of these stories have added, e.g.; Styx. Perhaps this is where we associate Hades with Hell since many mythological stories and Hollywood have sewn the two together by placing a man in charge of it-namely satan or the god Hades himself.  The NIV translation uses the word 'grave' in its place.  Any of these words are okay to use when you are referring to this place since it only means one thing-the resting place of a body.  Where do their souls go? Using the example that Jesus used while He was on the cross, souls that lived according to God's word will live in a place called Paradise after death. Other scripture calls it the "side of Abraham" (Luke 16:22). Perhaps this is the place that those "dead in Christ" shall rise from on the return of Jesus that Paul writes about 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

This word is Greek and is translated from the Hebrew term Ge Hinnom, or Valley of Hinnom. Hinnon was an area just outside the city of Jerusalem that was used as a garbage dump where its inhabitants, trash and unwanted items, were waiting to be burned; a refuse waiting for destruction. In Matthew 23:33, Jesus talks about this place but too many translations uses the word 'hell'.
  • You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
Those who have not accepted Christ or who did not live by the Law on the point of their death will have their souls cast into Gehenna, a waiting place of torment until the final judgement is upon them. They have gone into the first death (loss of the flesh). And now they await the second death (loss of soul). But while they wait in Gehenna they will be tormented. They gnash their teeth in their waiting because they know they have passed the chance to believe. It would be like being on death row and you see the guards coming your way. You have no chance to repent and no chance of escape. You will now reap what you have sowed.

But, Gehenna and She'ol, even Paradise are not the final places. After the judgement, all of those who lived for Christ and are resting in Paradise and those living at the time of His return will go to live with Him forever in heaven. But those who are in Gehenna and are in torment will be judged for their sins and then thrown into the final death. They will be thrown in along with She'ol (Hades) and Gehenna because once the judgement has happened there is no more need for these places. Death will be swallowed up in victory.

After the judgement comes the real "hell" for many. The final destruction of their soul. Gehenna is just the waiting area while the real place of destruction perhaps does not have a biblical name save "lake of fire" where satan and his angels will be tormented day and night forever. While those who have been judged righteous will live forever in heaven.


Elder John said...

Your last paragraph caught my eye. Gehenah is not a waiting place. If anything that would be what the NT refers to as Hades (Rich man and Lazarus). Gehenah was named after a valley once used to sacrifice babies and in Christ's day was a garbage heap that burned constantly. An accurate picture.

As for Hell (lake of fire being only for Satan and his angels? we are told The beast is also cast there as is death and hadies and all who worshipped the image of the beast. I simply do nnot know where folks get some of their ideas.

Gozreht said...

Good research John. Could you tell us if there is more than one translation for Hades from the Greeks? Is tartarus a better translation for this word or is there any difference. Most references I have come across do not have "hades" as the place of actual torment, just a place of the dead.

And I see your point about satan and his followers. Here is a follow up question which I hope you also share your opinion with us on: is there a special place for satan and his angels that is even "worse" than what non-believers go to?

Thanks John, please keep commenting so we can all get something out of these lessons.

Gozreht said...

Oops, by the way. I did say the same thing about Gehenna that you did. Christ used this term to describe what the grave for nonbelievers would be like. Stuff was packed into the valley and burned. But while it was being piled up it was "waiting" to be burned. That is why I think it is an excellent picture!

Elder John said...

In Luke 16:23 we are told the rich man lifted up his eyes, being in torment in Hades. Meanwhile Lazarus is in close proximity in Abrahams bosoom. Hades coincides with the Hebrew Sheol, the abode of the dead. Greek thought separates Hades into two compartments separated by a vast chasm as seen in the above example but close enough to see either side

Tartarus only appears once in thhe entire NT so it is difficult to get a handle on it.

While we are told Satan and the beast and death and hades are all thrown into the same lake of fire, It would not surprise me is there were differing levels of torment although I cannot "prove" this from Gods word

Gozreht said...


Do we have any translation errors from the Greek? Do we trust Greek 100%? Just openers for some readers.

So you agree that there are two "abodes" then for the dead? Are they waiting places for something else or are they final places? In other words does the rich man have something else that is worse than where he is at now. I think he does.

Now I know you will not agree with this since I know some of your background, but maybe catholics had some of this right. That there is a sort of "purgatory" after you die.

Could you refresh my memory of where tartarus is mentioned? And why it is mentioned the way it is?

Thanks for sharing John. Keep doing it. People are listening.

Sensei said...

The Bible is Oriental. Every line breathes the spirit of the East, with its hyperboles and metaphors, and what to us seem as utter exaggerations. If such language be taken literally, its whole meaning is lost. When the sacred writers want to describe the dusky redness of a lunar eclipse, they say the moon is “turned into blood.” or pluck out my right eye. Literally? Or Egypt is said to have been an iron furnace to the Jews (Deu.4:20; Jer. 11:4), and yet they said, “it was well with us there,” and sighed for its enjoyments (Nu. 11:18). Therefore can we maintain that doctrine based on Eastern imagery, on metaphors, or mistranslated words can lead to misinterpretation?

“If you will not heed Me…then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched” (Jer. 17:27). Have the palaces stopped burning yet?

I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree and every dry tree in you; the blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be scorched by it. All flesh shall see that I, the LORD, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.
Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! They say of me, “Does He not speak parables?” (Ez. 20:47-49).

When you look at things in a proper context when using pharses like gnashing of teeth, the worm that never dies, everlasting, eternal damnation, destruction , beatings, etc. and view them in the proper context and the original language minus the mistranslation you will find nothing but righteous justices, constructive purpose, salted with fire for purification, a process of limited duration. You will not find a judgement/doctrine of endless torture or an unending period of “eternity“. When ALL TRUTH is revealed to everyone who ever lived and all lies are melted away by His Presence …then what? At what point deos God stop communicating, at what point does God stop being God? And after the lake of fire has accomplished its purpose when the last enemy “death” is done away with …What then? When every tear is whiped away by God Himself … then what?
When the final restitution of all things has been reconciled, then what? After every knee has bow, every tongue confess, when the whole earth is filled with His Glory, then what? As God becomes All in All , then what? When the revealation of the full understanding of the Atonement rips thru the universe what then?

Sensei said...

Hell certainly is not the lake of fire, nor is it eternal. I have for the past few years been intrigued by the subject. I have been challenged to research, rethink and modify some of my former beliefs regarding hell. So what in the hell is hell? See how easy it is to misuse? You are correct when you stated that hell has several mistranslation issues. I would also add the historical reinforcement of the concepts of hell have not been helpful at all. Fundamentally if one would just limit its use to the grave or death it would make more sense. The word Hades would not have come across the lips of Jesus. When Christ spoke about Gehenna He was also referencing all the historical knowledge that needs to go along with this topic, due to the audience that was listening to Him, establishing a limited nature relating to the Nation of Israel. Was Jesus really advocating that someone “literally” pluck their eye out? We need to keep it in context to what the subject was at hand. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, He could have been confirming the Mosaic code of justice. The folks back then seemed to have a greater focus of the outside or the body than what was on the inside.

I find it interesting that no where in the Old Test. is there a concept of folks being tortured in the after life, of course we see the concept of destruction but not anyone burning endlessly. In the beginning God informs Adam and Eve and perhaps future readers of the consequences for sin …death. This would have been a perfect time to reveal this concept of an eternal hell would it not. Something of this grand magnitude certainly needs to be forewarned many times over!! But nowhere in the O.T. will you find this thinking.
I also find it strange that none of the other writers or His disciplines saying anything about hell, nor the book of Hebrews. nor the book of Acts, this great work of the church, this evangelistic historical data says NOTHING about the traditional concept of an eternal hell. Although It does say in Rev. that even hell (grave) will be destroyed.

I think that there is a real need to start all over and re-examine the doctrine of hell and truly search the scriptures.

Anonymous said...

43And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to ENTER INTO LIFE maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be CAST INTO HELL, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
49For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

Again there is nothing about the UNending torture! Hell is probably not the best word. But the refining fires of Gehenna would be appropreiate. Gehenna judgement, measurable penalty, remedial correction with and constructive purpose.

Also my understanding is the word “never” is not used in the Greek. These phrases fire not quench or a better phrase fire that is unstoppable,

♦ You tested us; refined us as silver, brought us into the net; laid
affliction on our backs, caused men to ride over our heads; We
went through fire.…But You brought us out to rich fulfillment
(Ps. 66:10-12).
♦ He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s soap. He will sit as a
refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi,
and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the
LORD an offering in righteousness (Mal. 3:2, 3).
♦ He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Mt. 3:11;
Lu. 3:16).
♦ I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already
kindled (Lu. 12:47-49 RSV)!
220 Hope Beyond Hell
God’s purifying purpose
of removing all that is
impure in those judged
will be fully accomplished.
♦ Each man’s work will become manifest…it will be revealed with fire,
and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If any
man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will
be saved, but only as through fire (1Co. 3:13-15).
♦ Your faith…is tested by fire… (1Pe. 1:7).

Here is something that I just recently read referencing the lake of fire. I did not consider the difference between the to Greek words tumpanizo and basanizo. (torture and torement) and the application of, end results, and purpose for existence are in real harmony with God’s character. The ancient usage of sulphur and brimstome and the symbolism purification. This lake of divine purification (theion) Whenever death is absent only Life remains. The greatest things why we as believers can not suffer the second death , we have already died twice. We died to our flesh and our wills. Perhaps in the midst of the lake of fire theses folks will experience this second death as well the altimate surrendering of their wills, until they have paid back the very last cent. Truly for all of us we are in this process continuely.

Gozreht said...

So what I an=m getting out of this is the following:

The final destination of those who were against God and His kingdom have a second death that Christians will not experience. And this second death is actually a limited punishment based on time. Those who did wrong will be there for a while and those who did a lot wrong will be there even longer. All will eventually "pay their debt" and will be released from punishment by an all-Mericiful God. But since He is also Just, then when they are released they just lose existence and instead being allowed to be with Christ forever. A pergatory almost in the true sense. Is that what you are saying?

Only problem I have with that is how can time be measured outside of our physical world? God is beyond all time. It has no meaning to Him. So how can it be measured?

Gozreht said...

I did a little more reading on this subject and saw some things I wanted to point out.

Hell as a concept is in the OT. All of the words I used in the original posting is mentioned in the OT. And mentioned many more times than in the NT.

Gehenna was a perpetual fire. The smoke was constantly rising which means it was a place of constant fire. Now it is no longer there due to modernization but that doesn't mean the realization of hell is gone.

Many of our ideas about hell not being a place of eternal punishment stems from Jehovah's Witnesses teachings. Be careful about their interpretation. But if you get any more stuff let us all know.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I think you crossed a few wires in my poor attempt to explain. That's the problem when you try to bottleneck a topic as such. I noticed you did not post my last posting .....?
The JW's has nothing to do with nothing! The RM rediscovered truths regarding baptism , that does not make them the inventors of that doctrine. Again much of what I have expressed can be found in early church history how the bent use of the word hell, etc.

Gozreht said...

Resend the post you are referring to. I have only stopped one in the existence of these blogs and that was due to an outright attack on one of the posters.

I agree that the term hell is twisted and bent and overused. That was in my original "lesson". Or at least should have been.

But the main concept of a place of torment is the key here. Is there a final resting place that is for the wicked and is it an eternal place of torment?

Anonymous said...

Again lets start over. Show me a verse in the OT that says those in Sheol are in torment? Or that there is fire in Sheol?

Another point to consider, Adam and Eve were forewarned about their consequence of disobedience, that being death. I wonder if their decision may have changed if God would have told them that they were going to suffer in an unending torment place? And no one as yet has logically explained to me what reasonable purpose does it serve for one to be in a place of endless torment? Please don’t say “for a deterrent.”

Please understand I am not dogmatic about this. I am also viewing this in the context that words like eternal damnation, everlasting punishment ,etc. may have possible other meanings and not what tradition has made it to mean.

Gozreht said...


I won't argue about the fact that in the OT "hell" as an eternal place of torment is not mentioned.

But I also looked and saw that the only "eternal life" mentioned is in Psalms 16:11. When heaven is mentioned n the OT it is usually referring to the sky or "from above" or something to that nature, or to the most where God resides.

So does that mean there was no promise of eternal life in the OT as well? Maybe there is no such thing as eternal anything in the OT.

I think the concepts of both are there. I also think there may be perhaps other writings out there that we have never found that may explain that. Why do we not have them? I do not know. Maybe they do not exist. That doesn't change any of the story to me. There are also other Jewish writings that are just as trusted in the Jewish faith as much as the OT is. Why they are not "scripture" is beyond me. I guess it's because they weren't considered prophets, kings, priests, or patriarchs. But they are there. Christians don't read them at all probably since they are considered "Jewish" writings and not "Christian". A huge mistake if you ask me.

Take the story of Lazarus the beggar. Where did Jesus get this story? Was it something he made up? Was it a story he heard from the Pharisees who were in opposition to the Sadduccees about the resurrection? Or was it a real person whom Jesus knew the outcome of? Who knows? But the concept of an afterlife was not new at this point in time. Where did they get the concept? Who knows? But it had been around for a long time apparently. If they knew of an afterlife then there must have been stories about what goes on after you die. And then what would have been the purpose of believing in the one true God if there was no "death" in the after life?

This non-mentioning of any after life may be the reason why Sadducces did not believe in any resurrection (which is also not mentioned in the OT).

So although I can agree that nothing is mentioned in the OT and I can hope for a quick and merciful vanishment of those who disobey God and His ways, that is all I can do. Until it is made known, I will have to "preach" of a torment no one wants to go through and that may perhaps be eternal.

You have great comments. Please keep giving the info so people can learn.

Gozreht said...

Sorry, forgot to add:

Show me a verse in the OT that says those in Sheol are in torment? Or that there is fire in Sheol?

I don't think I said Sheol was a place of eternal torment or even had fire. I said Gehenna was used as that word but even then the term is only used as an analogy.

Anonymous said...

Several months ago I had a small discussion with someone and they were convinced that as soon as a person dies they are judged and the one found without grace went straight to hell and are there today, burning.

I think that most have come to realize that hell is misused or mistranslated. Books and articles that I have read and studied in the last few years seem to point to the fact that Sheol and Hades should be limited to the grave, pit, etc. This two-compartment idea is not in the OT. Although it is in other cultures and other religions. If we minus the Lazarus story which there is some really good insight written by others as to what was really going on there and the real purpose behind the illustration, we really do not have this idea.

I think most agree that the like of fire is not hell/Hades.
The three basic ideas are about the lake of fire and its purpose or function are:

1. Certain types people, the devil and stuff related to him, and death a hell. Of course I have to ask “death” thrown into Fire? And there something happens day and night. Day and night, some would not think there would be a need for day and night. And most think that this will go on for eternity or an “unending process”. of course without taking into consideration that words like “eternity“ and “forever“ may not mean what they have been told.

2. The lake of fire is a process for dealing with those that need to be taught the final lesson and suffer before being anihilated, burned up like wood, stubble, hay, being eternally destroyed.

3. This is more figurative than anything else (as most of the book of Revelation uses language as such) and the process is more about being melted with the fire of truth (the truth can be very painful) that no one can refuse. A truth and love so revealing, and a fire so purifying and when the last cent has been paid back....?
Well you tell me what happens when the punishment (when a driven remedial purpose in mind) has brought one into a state “full” repentance and one falls to his knees and confesses Jesus as Lord? What “might” be the possibility? What would you do if you were God and this was your child? Could it be the wiping away of very tear, is the result of your plea for your child become true?
Please don’t go into the Lazarus story!

Gozreht said...

How can "sin" be measured? How much will one have to repay? Does one lie equal one millenium in the fire? If we all end up being saved then why not just live life the way we want if we're going to repay it all anyway?

For the sake of everyone I love and know I pray that God is that merciful and allows each and everyone to work their way out of the "fire".

I can see what you're saying. Every knee will bow and confess Jesus is Lord. God wants all men to be saved. Some things do point to that concept.

I think though if we preach that there will be no eternal place of torment then we're playing with fire (no pun intended). And we run the risk of hurting more than helping.

It's definitely something that we do not have the full story on nor the real idea of what the after life will be like.

Anonymous said...

Part 1
Can one forgive sin? Well, yes and no! When someone wrongs me and ask for forgiveness and I forgive them am I not in some respect forgiving their sin? Well, yes and no. In this life one has to have the insight that in some respects we are "paying" a price for our sinful life in general. Are we really paying for our sin? Well, yes and no. In the lake of fire are we suffering and getting rid of “our sin” on the sole basis of our suffering? Well yes and no. Does the blood of Christ cleanse the “whole” world from sin? Well yes and No. Some would agree only to those special ones, so no, the "only if" clause comes into play. Of course I see it as a big YES! In the final end of all ends!

Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained. Is this true or not true? Do you want to view it in the positive manner?

To what extent do you view the lake of fire? For what purpose does it serve? Can folks pay back what is owed for the wrongs they have done? Well ,Yes and No!
Ultimately everything must be filtered thru the atonement! Does the applications have many of implications? Sure!

Again a lot will depend on how you see the character of God. Is it so hard to believe that God has a perfect plan that balances out everything?

Again you have to view these scriptures thru the context of an ALL LOVING God. And understand the language is just an expression of disappointment, serious yes but a balance of retribution is totally involved. The punishment is in a correctional fashion. Again after the beatings, then what? After casting into outer darkness, then what? After you have paid back the last cent, then what?

Luke 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
48But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Matthew 5:26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Anonymous said...

1 Timothy 4:10 "For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."

For us who are of the elect no fire thank you! Those who are walking in His perfect will no fire for us thank you! But what about those who are not walking in that perfect will? What about all those who were not born with all the same privileges or those who have never heard or never got the 50 chances like others, or those who could grasp, or understand and on and on and o? Even the God-haters, His enemies of the cross, we know in this life they are dammed! But in the lake of fire……?Just re-read what I have already stated.

Now about your concern about what to preach. Preach what they did in the Book of Acts!!! Nothing there about “hell”! And they did a wonderful job!

One of the saddest comments that I hear is how folks became Christians so they would not go to hell! Personally I like to preach hell and we continue to do such. It is a great way to control folks, same as guilt! Would it not be wonderful to love God because He first loved us, no strings!
If you are concerned that this type of thinking may send the wrong message then you have not understood the message! People even today still use grace to sin! Do we stop preaching grace? No! Hell has not converted the world yet has it? The turn or burn thinking has not brought comfort as it? Will the doctrine of universal salvation send the wrong message? That depends! But if given and received like it ought to be, this will produce a hope and a new praise and appreciation for God that you did not have before. Now I can go on in this life believing that there is hope beyond the grave. I can give comfort to those who are struggling about their lost dead loved ones. I am not saying that we start a baptism by proxy but what is, is.

Anonymous said...

I forgot your other more direct question:

How can you measure sin? In an abstract manner probably can not unless you look at the cost factor. How much did it cost Jesus?Can that be measured? I think the Catholic Church tried to help us in classifying different sins. Does the lake of fire deal with each man’s “works” of sins so to speak as far as the retribution process? Maybe!

sensei said...

Serpents! brood of vipers! how may ye escape from the judgment of the gehenna?

You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

I found it very interesting that some translators refused to place their biased viewpoint and leave it in original. When you read the historical account and the connection that Jesus was trying to make, that this is all inference to the national judgment and not the abiding place for “souls”. Again read Edward Fudge book and you will see how it beautifully fits.

Anonymous said...

Passage Luke 12:57:
57And why even of yourselves, do you not judge that which is just?

There are somethings that are deep in our conscience that says this is not right. I have ask several times for someone to tell me what is just about unending torment? For what purpose does it serve to the Glory of God?

If unending torment is just then it……
Maligns God’s character before the world.
Contradicts His unending and unfailing love for all people.
Makes our worship stem from fear instead of true affection.
Denies His unlimited power to accomplish His will.
Makes man’s will greater than God’s will.
Infinitely minimizes Christ’s triumph over Satan.
Denies Christ fully accomplished His mission on earth.
Violates the divine witness revealed in every conscience.
Negates the most glorious promises in the Bible.
Ignores the testimony of the early Church.
Robs us of peace and joy.
Affects what we become; like father—like son.
Hinders world evangelism.

sensei said...

Another word and concept that we should take a much closer look at is the Hebrew word “olam” and its Greek equal “aion.” These words are many times mistranslated in order to fit the traditional concepts of “unending” or eternal, everlasting , etc. verses a duration of time concept. Also, when correctly interpreted as age to age , or use it as scripture really does then scripture like, Matthew 25:46 “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Does not support the traditionl concepts but actually opposes it.
Along with a close examination of the word kolasis or punishment and seeing what Paul was inferring when speaking scripture as in 1 Corinthians 5:5: To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. —Paul had in mind a corrective purpose, had Paul not explicitly stated the corrective purpose himself (“that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”). So as this text illustrates, even harsh punishment of a seemingly retributive kind can in fact serve a redemptive

Anonymous said...

1 Corinthians 3:15
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Now when I read scripture like this it harmonizes with the other scriptures and concepts like;

According to Aristotle, there is a difference between revenge
and punishment; the latter (kolasis) is inflicted in
the interest of the sufferer, the former (timōria) in the interest
of him who inflicts it, that he may obtain satisfaction.
Plato also appealed to the established meaning of
kolasis as support for his theory that virtue could be
taught: “For if you will consider punishment (kolasis)…and
what control it has over wrong-doers, the facts will inform
you that men agree in regarding virtue as procured.” Even
where a punishment may seem harsh and unforgiving,
more like retribution than parental chastisement, this in no
way excludes a corrective purpose.
Also The Greek word for punishment here [Mt. 25:46] is kolasis,
which was not originally an ethical word at all. It
originally meant the pruning of trees to make them grow
better. I think it is true to say that in all Greek secular literature
kolasis is never used of anything but remedial punishment.

sensei said...

Lets go to the middle ground and see so far what we may agree on. Hell can not be the final place of torment , right?
Hell can not be, quote “eternal”, correct?
It would have been better as several translators have left it , the grave or the pit, agreed?
And better to have left others words to themselves like, Hades, the valley of Gehenna, and look for the real meaning in the context of how they are used without trying to make them connect all the dots.
The lake of fire should be our real focus.

Anonymous said...

Here we have “hades” and “gehenna” used and yet folks still want to use the same word ..hell to describe both places.
Notice how this translator used the original language , because they are different.

Matthew 16:18
`And I also say to thee, that thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my assembly, and gates of Hades shall not prevail against it;

Now here is hades and What shall prevail? (the Church …?) ok then hades or the grave will not, we see in Rev. that they will no longer remain , done away with, nothing “eternal” here!

Revelation 20:14
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:14:
and the death and the HADES were cast to the lake of the fire -- this [is] the second death;

Matthew 10:28
`And be not afraid of those killing the body, and are not able to kill the soul, but fear rather Him who is able both soul and body to destroy in gehenna.

Gehenna, the best I can see should only be referenced when referring to the judgement of the Nation of Isreal and the object lessons that Jesus was trying to teach during that moment of time in history.

Remember that No where in the book of Acts are these concepts dealt with nor taught, none of His disciples spoke of these places in the traditional sense.

Hell ….hades , gehenna, grave, death, are NOT eternal subjects! The traditional hell preached today can not be the place of judgement or a place of torment. This is the lake of fire , we need to stop calling it hell !!! When we die, the whole world when they die will go to hell / hades/ the “grave” ( the unknown) why do we call it “unknown?”

I know folks will want to jump right into:

23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

If you try to connect all the dots using this story , and not see what Jesus was really teaching ,you will be mislead. Jesus was using some of their own misconceptions to get to a greater truth.

Luke 10:15
`And thou, Capernaum, which unto the heaven wast exalted, unto hades (grave) thou shalt be brought down.
National judgement!

Anonymous said...

Matthew 10:28
`And be not afraid of those killing the body, and are not able to kill the soul, but fear rather Him who is able both soul and body to destroy in Gehenna.

Gehenna was a despicable place to the Jews of Jesus day. They were obsessed with the association that this place stood for. They were more concern about the body more than morals. I was talking to someone who is Jewish and even today cremation is not allowed and they look down of surgery requiring amputation and if body parts are removed they must be buried with that person or they will not go to heaven. Jesus was trying to get across to them that things like this is minor in comparison to other important issues in this life. So what if you have to go thru this life as a cripple and some of your body parts are in the dump , burning , so what?. There is a greater judgment or correction , retribution, chastisement, concerning our character. If you research the words destory or distruction it does not have to mean “total” annihaltion.

Now if this scripture stated or inferred about our spirit then I may have some other thoughts. But to say this implying about the end time lake of fire judgment , then I would have to disagree. It seems to me that most of Jesus ministry was dealing with Israel, the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Which it was “destroyed”, and please note that that city is still here today!!!

Anonymous said...

I would like to restate what I have said many times over regarding the concerns that this doctrine of the Reconciliation of All Things will have a reverse affect on people making a decision to follow Christ. I have heard comments like “well if there is no unending suffering what’s the point?... “just live like hell”. “If we are all going to end up in heaven one way or another, what’s the point?” I suppose any doctrine folks will look for wiggle room or loopholes of some sorts. My only comment is that you are looking though the wrong end of the scope. Whether it’s the doctrine of once in grace always in grace or the baptism for the dead, wrong insight is always wrong insight. Keeping the proper balance and application of attitude and the right heart, right motive, is at the center of all doctrine. Folks can have a twisted view on any doctrine, example if the traditional idea about unending torment were “really” believed to its fullest, then the abortionist would be our greatest friends, the killing of new born would be the greatest evangelizing method to be used! Just look at all the souls that would be save, knowing the percentages that are going to hell.
If your only reason for loving God is so that you will not end up in the lake of fire then how sad you have missed out on so much. If knowing Jesus is not enough for you , how sad. There is a life to be lived in God’s Kingdom… NOW! Those who understand this doctrine have a greater desire to bring people into the Kingdom, and greater reason to worship, a greater cause not to worry when we don’t understand things, like when someone we love commits suicide, a blessed hope kicks in that can get thru that experience that we can rejoice and go forward. Let me ask you a question if you thought that there was no heaven no lake of fire would you still love God, would you want to serve Him and help others in this life to experience the love of God.
I have had folks say dumb stuff like ….well for Jesus to suffer and die was not a big deal. He knew He was going to be raised and back in heaven, etc. How horrible even for one second was it for Jesus to experience that God was not there with Him on the cross , enough to make Him cry out loud “My God why have you….”
For the experience to be horrible does it require it to go on forever (unending)? NO!

Anonymous said...

I forgot one other point, I have never stated that the punishmemts of God are not serious, server, without retribution.
I have stressed that they are with meaning, purpose and are in line with His true character. But more important it is what the bible teaches and not tradition.

Gozreht said...

Okay so in a nutshell:
1. The term hell has been abused.
2. The idea of an eternal (forver lasting) damnation has been misconstrued.
3. We do not know what the actual place of torment is really called.
4. God in His full mercy will eventually allow the embers to burn out.
5. The torment that the Godless will have to face is beyond compression and is something that noone would ever want to endure even for a second but will not be forever as we know and understand.

Anonymous said...

Okay so in a nutshell:
1. The term hell has been abused.
2. The idea of an eternal (forver lasting) damnation has been misconstrued.
3. We do not know what the actual place of torment is really called.
4. God in His full mercy will eventually allow the embers to burn out.
5. The torment that the Godless will have to face is beyond compression and is something that noone would ever want to endure even for a second but will not be forever as we know and understand.

1. YES
2. YES

3. Place of torment will occur in the lake of fire…. 3 possiblities
a). unending, in the tradition sense
b) a duration of time (eternal or everlasting if you will in the original language)
c) total annihilation ( “eternal” destrution if you will, for some who have another opinion)

4. Literally? “burn out”… a literal amber …? Until the last cent is paid, or “stripes” have been given, until full repentance comes forth , and confession that Jesus is Lord.

5. Basically , yes.

Gozreht said...

1. Never disagreed. The original article explains that.
2. Hope so.
3. Agreed.
4. Hope so.
5. Agreed.

Anonymous said...

So who goes to hell?
Everyone! Except for those that are alive at the coming of Christ, who are changed at a blink of an eye and are taken up. But maybe death happens so quick they miss out on the big sting.(?)

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