Matthew 10:28

RyanB

Legacy of Elijah Guild Leader
First and foremost, I first want to mention that this may be a hot topic, and that's not what I'm wanting to do here. This is a very hot topic because we're dealing with a belief held by a majority of Christians that is actually talked about and studied very little, because "well, it's just a given".

I'm asking that we try not to have kneejerk reactions on something our particular denomination believes (I attend Southern Baptist, so I get it), and actually look at what the bible says.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

I grew up being told that hell is a place of eternal torture. As I've already said, it's talked about very little. After my first full read-through of the bible, I began to question this because I simply did not see much supporting that...whereas I felt the whole bible pointed towards annihilation.

I have a lot more to add, but I'll leave it at that for now because I am interested in what folks have to say on the matter.

Let's stay civil, and remember to keep our views bible-based, not our-church-said-based. :D
 

Wolfeman

Member
The answer really depends on which version you use.

Hell is a very real place taught about many times in the King James 1611. Not so much in the New KJV. Even less in the NIV. I'm not sure how often it's mentioned in the New NIV but you get the idea.

What version you use determines your doctrine.
 

Lloren

Christian Gamers Alliance Forums Administrator
Couple of quick thoughts, I'll come back to this...

- The rich man experienced torment (Luke 16:19-31) so it looks like the concept of annihilation doesn't fit.

- Jesus is the King over ALL heaven and earth and He is Sovereign over hell as well. This fairytale concept of the devil with a pitchfork being in charge isn't Biblical.

- What is condemnation and judgement if it can not be experienced?
 
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Abba San

Legacy of Elijah [LoE] - Proud Grandfather
10:28 "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." NIV The disciples might face death, yet Jesus warned them not to be afraid. People might be able to kill the body, but they would not be able to kill the soul. The only One worthy of our fear is God who can destroy both soul and body in hell. It is far more fearful to disobey God than to face martyrdom. The worst that people can do (kill the body) does not compare with the worst that God can do. While the Greeks believed that only the soul lived on after death, Jesus says unmistakably that hell is a place of destruction for soul and body—the whole person. (For more on hell, see commentary on 5:22.) Some have interpreted this as annihilation, the complete destruction of the person. But that conclusion is unwarranted by this verse. More likely, it is hyperbole, representing the fearful judgment of God. We are not to be afraid of people, but we are to be afraid of (that is, in awe of) God.

Life Application Bible Commentary – Matthew.

This is a simple response - but one I tend to agree with, particularly given the context. The passage is not a treatise on hell - but an exhortation to not be afraid. Verse 26 - "Don't be afraid of those who threaten you..." Verse 28 - "Don't be afraid of those who want to kill you..." Verse 31 - "So don't be afraid, you are more valuable to God..."

With regard to annihilation - I agree with the commentary. Jesus was using hyperbole. He often did.
 
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RyanB

Legacy of Elijah Guild Leader
Edit: Just saw there were other responses, but do not have time to read through them just yet as I'm headed home. Thanks for the dialogue. :)

The answer really depends on which version you use.

Hell is a very real place taught about many times in the King James 1611. Not so much in the New KJV. Even less in the NIV. I'm not sure how often it's mentioned in the New NIV but you get the idea.

What version you use determines your doctrine.

Thanks for this response. I do think that regardless of which version we use, we should be willing to look at the original when in doubt. After all, Jesus did not speak Elizabethian English; they're all translations and we need to see what God actually said when there is argument over translation.

I'm glad you brought up KJV, actually...because it happens to be (in my opinion) absolutely the worst translation in regards to the word Hell.

KJV translates 3 words to Hell: Sheole (Arabic), Hades (Greek), and Gahenna. Unfortunately, these three things are not the same thing. I was shocked to learn this, but this is also why your NKJV and NIV do not do this. Just a quick fyi on this; to avoid confusion, I'll refer to these as Hades, Sheole, Gahenna, and Hell - that fire you get thrown in when you die.

Hades and Sheole translate roughly to the place of the dead. These are widely regarded to be the same thing, just in two different languages. The parable of Dives (help! I'm burning! can you warn my brothers?) is talking about Hades...as well as where it speaks of a chasm and "Abraham's Bosom". I am not sure I fully understand exactly what we experience between here and judgement day, but I am confident that this place is not Hell.

Hades and Sheole do not refer to hell; in fact, you can see in Rev 20:14 that Hades will be tossed into Hell. Also, think of the parable of Dives. Has judgement day happened? How was he thrown into hell...then to be judged after Jesus comes back...then thrown into hell again? These are not the same place. :eek:

Gahenna was a valley where a battle was fought, and people burned their trash. This is only referred to in the New Testament and is used as a metaphor to describe Hell.

These issues have at the very least confused the issue on what people think of on what Hell is.

Just for clarification: the bible is quite clear that anybody who's name is not in the lamb's book of life WILL be thrown in to the hellfire, facing eternal punishment. The question I am asking is: what does the bible actually say about what that hellfire is? Does it say what we commonly think of when we think of Hell?
 
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Abba San

Legacy of Elijah [LoE] - Proud Grandfather
Most of what we think about hell comes from Dante's Inferno - not from the Bible. Most of the biblical references are just that - a reference, not an explanation or description.
 

Simonedes

New Member
I think to start we have to just look at the mischievousness of Satan himself. (Please don't take this out of context I am not saying to think he's great but to really understand and never underestimate him as an enemy of God). A great quote for what he has effectively done to himself and to our society and the world as a whole comes form the movie Unusual Suspects, "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist."

What a profound and accurate statement that is. When we immediately think of hell- and for that matter heaven- we get a terribly inaccurate, unbiblical, cartoony picture of both places. For heaven- everyone will sit on a cloud -naked, with a harp and we're gonna float around and sing songs. Yeah what a bunch of garbage, no wonder why the current generation has no problem with saying, "I've been to hell and I've picked my house etc." Our society has proven that people are satisfied in the judgement of hell because they think it'll be more "fun" than heaven. Just to clarify heaven: it'll have human society-purified and redeemed for the kingdom, their will be fun, and God will be the focus. That's heaven we get laugh, frolic, and have fun and most importantly be in eternal communion with the creator God - that is truly astounding and awesome and I can't frikkin wait.

So back to the hell issue. We immediately have conjured visions of a red figure with horns and a pointy tell tormenting people. We call this red devil Satan, and we think he has dominion over this place.... Yeah totally unbiblical. If Satan did have dominion over hell then God would not be ALL POWERFUL, it'd mean that evil had a hold over God- however minor. So God has dominion over hell. He rules over it, sentences people to it, and doesn't associate with it (read as: His presence isn't there). That's hell. Man's common grace will be taken away, our personal connection with our creator will be revoked, and we will live in torment because our peace- granted by God- we longer know it. Along with humans being tormented in this manner, Satan and the rest of the fallen angels will be as well.

Now for a specific physical picture of hell. Biblical speaking there's nothing, we get weeping and gnashing of teeth, and fire. That's about it. We do get a position of where it is and even then it is very vague.


So for biblical hell: All who do not follow God, man and angel alike, will go there and suffer for eternity. God rules over hell and his presence is not there. There will more than likely be fires.
More than that is speculation for the most part.
 

Durruck

Pirate!
"Gahenna was a valley where a battle was fought, and people burned their trash. This is only referred to in the New Testament and is used as a metaphor to describe Hell."

And it should be an effective metaphor. Imagine a place where there's nothing but broken plowshares, shattered pottery, carcasses, rotting food, manure, etc. Not exactly a place you want to go, much less spend the rest of eternity in.
 

Lazarus

New Member
Most of what we think about hell comes from Dante's Inferno - not from the Bible. Most of the biblical references are just that - a reference, not an explanation or description.

Yes.

I have never seen or heard anyone locate a place in the Bible where "hell" is explained or described in any detail as an actual place for the alleged damned souls of men.
 

Ethan

New Member
"And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." Revelation 14:11

Smoke implies a type of fire I would suppose.

A quick google revealed that the Greek word used for "torment" in that verse is basanizo.

Definition:

1. to test (metals) by the touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal
2.to question by applying torture
3.to torture
4. to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment
5. to be harassed, distressed
a. of those who at sea are struggling with a head wind
Translated Words:
KJV (12) - pain, 1; toil, 1; torment, 8; toss, 1; vex, 1;
NAS (12) - battered, 1; felt...tormented, 1; pain, 1; straining, 1; torment, 4; tormented, 4;
source

And yes I agree that satan has disfigured the meaning of heaven and hell. Hell is not hell because satan is there and God is not there. Hell is the pure flaming wrath and judgment of God himself. Now if you want to sit around and figure out what exactly that means you'll be sitting there until Jesus returns or you die. No human mind could ever understand what heaven is like "...No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"..." (1 Corinthians 2:9) I think the same goes for hell-- no one knows. One things for certain one should fear the wrath of God and it is the last thing you want to play around with.

-my 2 cents
 
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Lloren

Christian Gamers Alliance Forums Administrator
Luke 16:19-31 19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Matt. 13:49 "So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth".

A real place of torment exists and like said earlier, we can't know exactly what it will be like but Jesus did give us some good pictures.
 

Lazarus

New Member
All I will say about that,

is that if I was on fire,
and in agony,
I would not request,
that someone cool my tongue,
with the tip of their wet finger.

...
 

Durruck

Pirate!
I'll interject a little bit of my medical training here... people in heat emergencies are often dehydrated... and the first thing your body does to react is make you thirsty. In the patients I've seen with severe dehydration, they all said the thing that bothers them the most is how bad their mouth and throat hurt from being so dry (the severe headache is a close second, though).

Coleridge wrote in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.​

The sailors were complaining about the torment of their thirst.
 
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Patriot

Active Member
The point is emphasized in the meager request. Lazarus wished for the scraps from the rich man's table in life even though I bet he would have loved to have a truck full of food. The tables are turned and now even though I'm sure the rich man would love an ocean of water he is wishing for mere scraps.

We tend to shoot for what we think is more reasonable or attainable (notice the rich man does not argue that he does not deserve the agony he is experiencing, he is asking for pity). From the parable, the scraps appear to be unattainable for both the beggar (scraps of food) and the rich man (a drop of water).
 
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Brydon

Legacy of Elijah Officer
I recently read "The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis which has a fantastically mind-bending chapter on hell.

The short version is that he asserts (and I would agree) that the Bible uses three pictures to describe Hell: exile, torment, and annihilation. While to us, these three are mutually exclusive, the reality is so much beyond our experience that they are all true at once.

He explains it this way: Just as a log is turned by fire into smoke and ash, so will the soul be transformed when all of God's love has been finally refused and removed from it. These once-souls will be both in eternal torment because of their state of being AND at the same time utterly destroyed as human souls AND utterly cut off from all others.

If I didn't make enough sense, read his version. It does a nice job of assimilating all the different teachings, not just the ones we might fancy on this day or that day.

The most important point, is that we have to understand that the Bible was written in simple terms to give us the sense of the matter. We get into trouble when we presume that we are able to create a literal system from these word pictures that fits neatly within our limited understanding.
 

RyanB

Legacy of Elijah Guild Leader
Sorry, didn't mean to throw this bomb out there and then leave it for a week. Will post later, but did want to say:

Ethan: the verse you quoted from Rev is talking about the middle of the plagues/etc; it has nothing whatsoever to do with the hellfire.

Lloren: "In Hades, where he was in torment, "
Hades is not hell.

Hades and Sheole translate roughly to the place of the dead. These are widely regarded to be the same thing, just in two different languages. The parable of Dives (help! I'm burning! can you warn my brothers?) is talking about Hades...as well as where it speaks of a chasm and "Abraham's Bosom". I am not sure I fully understand exactly what we experience between here and judgement day, but I am confident that this place is not Hell.

Hades and Sheole do not refer to hell; in fact, you can see in Rev 20:14 that Hades will be tossed into Hell. Also, think of the parable of Dives. Has judgement day happened? How was he thrown into hell...then to be judged after Jesus comes back...then thrown into hell again? These are not the same place.

Would someone mind pointing to some biblical references for why we should conclude that Hades is the hellfire, aside from our own assumptions/precognitions? That's a genuine question, because I can't seem to find it but most people seem to think otherwise.

And if we can't find anything there, could you at least debunk the above points, such as a very reasonable question of, "how is Hades being thrown into the hellfire if Hades is the hellfire". So, it's being thrown into itself? There's gotta be a yo dawg meme in there somewhere.
 
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Lloren

Christian Gamers Alliance Forums Administrator
Lloren: "In Hades, where he was in torment, "
Hades is not hell.

This is probably under the agree to disagree category, but the extension of what your saying is what generated the common Catholic belief of purgatory. This was generated to explain this and other passages where the Bible refers to a "holding place" until final judgement.

how is Hades being thrown into the hellfire if Hades is the hellfire

God's final judgement is hard to contain into a geographical place. That's like saying don't go down that street it leads straight to.... Hades is just another word for grave. So either soul sleep is bunk and purgatory is right on ..........or in fact Jesus was referring to "Death and Grave" being destroyed (don't go there annihilation) and not in fact some geographic place.
 

RyanB

Legacy of Elijah Guild Leader
This is probably under the agree to disagree category, but the extension of what your saying is what generated the common Catholic belief of purgatory. This was generated to explain this and other passages where the Bible refers to a "holding place" until final judgement.

I agree that this is likely where purgatory comes from, though the early Catholic church added a lot that is not mentioned here. I'm more than happy to disagree...I'm simply asking why you disagree. I guess what I mean is...if you don't have a reason to disagree, why disagree?

And if you do have any reason at all to believe that Hades is the same as the hellfire, why not share it so that the rest of us can be enlightened?

I really hope that doesn't sound confrontational as it's not meant that way - I'm simply asking that we think critically and outside of our own predispositions. What does the bible say?

God's final judgement is hard to contain into a geographical place. That's like saying don't go down that street it leads straight to.... Hades is just another word for grave. So either soul sleep is bunk and purgatory is right on ..........or in fact Jesus was referring to "Death and Grave" being destroyed (don't go there annihilation) and not in fact some geographic place.

I am not sure what's between here and there - soul sleep/etc, and I definitely do not believe in purgatory as it is represented in Catholic doctrine.

As for what the line about Hades being thrown in, I believe it is both literal and symbolic. If there is some temporal place between now and then, that place will be literally destroyed in the hellfire. It is also symbolic, because death will be gone and we'll be receiving everlasting life.


So why bring this up on a forum?
I did want to say - I don't believe any of us can 100% know all of these things for certain until we sit at judgement.

The reason I want to bring this up is because there is very little in the bible remotely supporting our modern idea of hell. There is an abundant amount (which I haven't really gotten into) to the contrary. How does this affect us as Christians? Well, it sort of doesn't - we know we're covered and going to heaven.

However, if our not very supported modern view is incorrect, then we've been going around lying to people about God, telling them that He is a God who will torture them forever and therefor corrupting their image of God.

If this view is wrong, this could be the greatest and most harmful lie to ever creep into Christianity.

So yes, I think it's worth looking at.
 
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