O U S E o f W I S D 0 M
18 February 2015
HELL - Place or a Condition?
Does the Bible teach that
there is a physical place called hell, a place where God punishes the wicked
are tormented through-out eternity? For hundreds of years
there has existed
a difference of opinion as to the existence of hell. Of these, there three
primary views on hell:
1.Views of a physical place of eternal torment were only taught in “intertestamental
writings of Jewish scribes during the time, 400 years, when God
did not call
This is the approximate
time between when the Old Testament writings ended, and New Testament writings
Daniel 12:2: And many of them that sleep in the dust
of the earth shall awake,
some to everlasting life, and some
to shame and everlasting contempt.
Based on this scripture,
all lay in the graves until resurrection, after which the righteous go to
heaven and the wicked are destroyed. Malachi 4:2-3: 2. But
unto you that fear
my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall
go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
3. And ye shall
tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your
feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. (i.e. people lie in the grave
2. The theory that when a person dies, the soul is separated from the body
and goes, either to heaven or to hell to be tormented. (this seems to be the more common belief among Christians)
3. Limbus, Latin for limbo, the place where good people went before the
cross, plus babies who were not baptized. This doctrine was held by the Roman Catholic Church
1300s until April of 2007, when they
did away with it.
There is one Hebrew word,
sheol (h7585), rendered 31 times as grave and 31 times as hell. In more modern
Bible, the Hebrew word is often transliterated as sheol
other versions. There are three words in the Greek,
hades (g86), tartaroo (g5020) and gehenna (g1067) translated as
Hebrew sheol (h7585):
The meaning of this is word grave, pit. Lexicons add the definition of hell.
The concept of
hell as it is taught today, is not found in the O.T. (It is
the concept is from Greek mythology, applied
both in the N.T. and the O.T.) Here is a big problem theologians
have with the current doctrine of hell in O.T.:
Genesis 37:34-35: 34. And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth
upon his loins, and mourned for his son
many days. 35. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to
comfort him; but he refused to be comforted;
and he said, For I will go down into the grave (h7585) unto my
son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
Numbers 16:30: But
if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow
them (Korah, Dathan, Abiram) up, with all that pertains unto them, and they go down
quick into the pit (h7585); then ye shall
understand that these men have provoked the Lord.
So, both good and bad
go into sheol (h7585). These scriptures are what led the Roman Catholic Church
the doctrine of Limbo, explained under #3 above.
Other passages use the
word as a figure of the place where the spiritually dead go:
From the parable of the sower (Mark, chapter 4) can be
seen that the earth is a symbol for the mind of man.
grave, a hole in the earth, is a person buried in man’s
way of thinking and understanding.
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