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Eternal Hell, Scripture or ignorant theory?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Truth101, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Truth101

    Truth101 Member

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    In my research and studies I have found the same information. The one thing I see differently would be the reason for translating Gehenna, Hades and sheol into hell.

    As you can see even the writers of this excerpt were unsure of the reason as they used the word "probably". In my studies I have come to believe that the translation from Hebrew and Greek into the "Latin" word "hell" was actually the correct translation at the time. The problem really lies in the change of definition the word hell has taken on since the translation. Although the definition of the word "hell" over time may have been inspired by the events that transpired from "the gorge of killing" (Gehenna) we know by the following that the word "hell" was at the time of translation a correct one.

    The "hell" as the English used it in everyday life in the 1600’s:

    Webster’s Twentieth Century Dictionary: "hell, n. [ME, helle; AS, hell, hell, from helan, to cover, conceal.]"

    The "hell" of the 21st Century:

    The American Heritage Collegiate Dictionary: "The abode of condemned souls and devils...the place of eternal punishment for the wicked after death, presided over by Satan…a state of separation from God…a place of evil, misery, discord, or destruction …torment, anguish.":eek:

    Now the definition of "hell" was officially changed as of 400 years ago but obviously it was a gradual change that took place since the original translation into Latin that caused the official change in 1600. You can see that in pre 1600 the definition of "hell" was really a correct translation.


    Anyways, God bless, Dave
     
  2. Truth101

    Truth101 Member

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    As for understanding of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, it will be better for both you and I if I give you a link to the best verse by verse analysis of the parable. It will be impossible after reading this to ever see the parable of the rich man and Lazarus as a description of heaven and hell again. You will never use this parable as proof of eternal torment again.
    http://bible-truths.com/lazarus.html
     
  3. angellous_evangellous

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    Just for what it's worth, there are scholars who question that the "Gorge of Hinnom (Ge-Hinnom)" was used to burn garbage. It seems that this is a myth started by 18th or 19th century NT scholars - if I recall correctly, there is no archeological evidence to support this claim.

    EDIT: Correction - I found that the myth goes back to "Rabbi David Kimhi's commentary on Psalm 27 (around 1200 CE). He remarked the following concerning the valley beneath Jerusalem's walls:


    Gehenna is a repungant place, into which filth and cadavers are thrown, and in which fires perpetually burn in order to consume the filth and the bones; on which account, by analogy, the judgement of the wicked is called 'Gehenna.'

    Quoted from page 188 of Lloyd R. Bailey, Enigmatic Bible Passages: Gehenna: The Topography of Hell, The Biblical Archaeologist > Vol. 49, No. 3 (Sep., 1986), pp. 187-191

    You will no doubt find many sources who mindlessly follow Kimhi.

    "Kimhi's otherwise plausible suggestion, however, finds no support in literary sources or archeological data from the intertestamental or rabbinic periods. There is no evidence that the valley was, in fact, a garbage dump, and thus his explanation is insufficient." - Bailey, pg 189.
     
  4. sparc872

    sparc872 Active Member

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    Angellous, even if that is the case, why would the writers of the NT and Jesus himself use the word Gehenna? It was a physical location that is still in existence. By saying that it was not a trash dump takes no merit away from the argument that Gehenna was not intended to mean a burning Hell, it adds to it.
     
  5. Truth101

    Truth101 Member

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    In 70ad, 1.1 million Jews were slaughtered. It would also make perfect sense that 1.1 million dead people would have to be burried or burned. Since we have no archeological evidence to support a mass burial site of this magnitude do we assume these 1.1 million people were never slaughtered since we cannot find even their bones? Its not like the dead bodies were lieing in some open field out in the middle of nowhere. They were all slaughtered in Jerusalem where the rotting corpses would have spread all kinds of disease and sickness. These would no doubt need to be burned in order to keep the city clean from disease.
    So if you cant bury 1.1 million corpses, you burn them.


    This is a perfect point. The truth is, this is exactly where these 1.1 million people ended up. Their dead bodies were thrown into Gehenna just as Jesus said they would. This is a literal place that had a name (noun).

    God bless, Dave
     
  6. angellous_evangellous

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    I don't argue that it's not a physical location or that it loses any of its force. Jesus would have used the term only because of it's usage in the Hebrew Bible.
     
  7. angellous_evangellous

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    The point is that if Gehenna was used to burn a large number of bodies, there would be evidence. Using Gehenna as actual place of burning is incorrect due to lack of evidence, no matter how fanciful you want to get in making the evidence up.

    There is literary and archeological evidence for the slaughter of Jews when Jerusalem was taken by the Romans in 70 CE and 135 CE. If there were no evidence, there would be no conclusion about them, and if all we had was a myth the myth could not be used as historical evidence.
     
  8. angellous_evangellous

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    Do you have any evidence whatsoever for this claim?

    First of all, had you read any of the literary evidence, you would know that not all 1.1 mil people died in the vicinity of the valley of Hinnom. The 1.1mil number comes from the estimated total dead from the First Jewish War as recorded in Cassis Dio. If all the 1.1mil people ended up in the valley of Hinnom, they would have to be carried from the various towns in which they died.

    footnotes:
    Mordechai Gichon, New Insight into the Bar Kokhba War and a Reappraisal of Dio Cassius 69.12-13, The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Ser., Vol. 77, No. 1. (Jul., 1986), pp. 15-43.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish-Roman_War

    Josephus - http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/JOSEPHUS.HTM
     
  9. sparc872

    sparc872 Active Member

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    Gehenna in the OT:
    Now whether or not this is where the idea of burning bodies in gehenna came from, the OT clearly states that people were sacrificed there. We may not have any archaelogical evidence of that, but the story would have been very familiar to Jews in the area. The concept of Gehenna would be known to all Jews.
     
  10. Truth101

    Truth101 Member

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    Evidence of biblical events are for the most part brought to us from literary sources. In most cases people just dont trust those literary sources which brings us to where we are now, debating over whether there was or was not a garbage dump where garbage was burned or a pit that the dead were burned in. The point is is that this place did exist and this is the Place Jesus was talking about. Concluding that He was refering to a place of eternal torment brings us to a point of no evidence of a fact but a myth of theology. These are your words, not mine. I just gave it its proper place.

    God bless, Dave
     
  11. logician

    logician Well-Known Member

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    The idea of a place of eternal suffering as an inducement fear has been an effective means for some religions to gain converts. Of course, this idea is absurd from a logical viewpoint, that being that a supposed benevolent god would torture people eternally.
     
  12. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Exactly, that's silly, I defintley don't believe that.
     
  13. Truth101

    Truth101 Member

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    Its absolutely absurd from any viewpoint. The common sense light comes on in anyones reason wether Athiest, agnostic, Catholic, etc. Most of all it is just unscriptural on any level. I have scripture coming out of my ears to disprove it yet very FEW recieve that understanding. Please read the following. There is a pattern in scripture that you will see that leads us to see that salvation is on a universal level. All will be saved. The following is a quote from the book "Christ Triumphent" by Thomas Allin. Its long but well worth the read.

    "e now turn to an examination of the very many passages in the New Testament that clearly declare, or imply, the salvation of all men -- how numerous these are we shall see. The time has fully come for appealing with all boldness on behalf of the larger hope, alike to the letter and the spirit of the New Testament. One thing only I ask, which common fairness and honesty require, that our Lord and His Evangelists and Apostles may be understood to mean what they say. Thus, we shall look at a FEW instances out of MANY. When they speak of all men, I assume them to mean ALL men, and not some men. When they speak of all things, I assume them to mean ALL things. When they speak of life and salvation as given to the world, I assume them to mean GIVEN, and not merely offered. When they speak of the destruction of death, of the devil, and of the works of the devil, I assume them to mean that these shall be DESTROYED and not preserved for ever in hell. When they tell us that the whole of Creation suffers but that it shall be delivered, I assume that they mean an ACTUAL deliverance of all created things. When they tell us that Redemption is wider, broader, and stronger than the Fall, I assume that they mean to tell us at least this, that ALL the evil caused by the Fall shall be swept away. When they describe Christ's empire as extending over all things and all creatures, and tell us that every tongue must join in homage to Him, I assume them to mean what these words convey in their ordinary sense. If I did not, should I not be making God a liar???
    What does the traditional creed require? It practically requires a MUTILATED BIBLE. More than this, it bids us to expunge precisely that which is noblest and divinest in Holy Scripture. I have no desire to ignore "the Terrors of the Lord" -- (see next chapter). They deserve and shall have full recognition. I do insist, however, that those teachers misread Holy Scripture who forgets that its essential purpose is to unfold His name, Who is "our Father", and to proclaim His full victory in the extinction of all evil, and not in its perpetuation in hell. I protest against teaching that "All" means in scriptural phrase absolutely "All" when some evil is foretold, but that "All" means only "some" when spoken of final salvation. So rooted is this most inequitable mode of interpretation, that it has become involuntary. The restitution of all things means, we are told, that only some beings are to be restored, while some are tortured for ever, or annihilated. That God shall be finally "All in All" means that He will shut up many for ever in endless evil, to blaspheme and hate Him eternally, and only save the rest. That His tender mercies are over all His works means, in the ordinary creed, that His tender mercies expire at the gates of hell. Solemn as is the question, there is something almost ludicrous, when we find those who so teach, then turning around to charge us with evading the words of Scripture.
    I submit that the entire history of exegesis contains no stranger fact than this persistent ignoring of so large a part of the New Testament. To bring this out clearly, I append the following chain of passages from a long series. They, clearly and closely linked, claim for Christ a saving empire coextensive with the race, or (perhaps) rather with the whole universe. This connection is clearly marked, for each passage suggests or contains the same central idea, and thus forms a link in a continuous chain. This chain begins at creation, when all things were created by Christ, who therefore, as S. PAUL implies, reconciles (re-creates) all things unto God -- Col. 1:16-20. Hence, His work is the restitution of all things -- Acts 3:21. He is Heir of all things -- Heb. 1:2. In him all nations are to be blessed -- Gal. 3:8. The Father has given Him authority over all flesh, to give to whatsoever was given to Him eternal life -- S. John 17:2 (see original). So all flesh shall see the salvation of God -- S. Luke 3:6. For God, Whose counsel is immutable -- Heb. 6:17,18, Whose attitude towards His enemies is love unchanging -- S. Luke 6:27-35, will have all men to be saved -- 1 Tim. 2:4, and all to come to repentance -- 2 Pet. 3:9. He has shut all up unto unbelief, so that He may show mercy upon all -- Rom. 11:32. For (out) of Him, as Source, and unto (or into) Him, as End, are all things whatsoever -- Rom. 11:36. He has, therefore, put all things in subjection under Christ's feet -- Eph. 1:22. So we are assured that God will gather into one all things in Christ -- Eph. 1:10. His grace comes upon all men unto justification of life -- Rom. 5:18. So Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands -- S.Jno. 13:3, promises by His Cross to draw all men unto Himself -- S. John. 12:32. For having, as stated, received all things from the Father -- S.Jno. 3:35, all that was given comes to Him, and He loses none -- S. John. 6:37-39, but if any stray, goes after that which is lost till He finds it -- S. Luke 15:4, and so makes all things new -- Rev. 21:5.
    Thus, He comes so that the world through Him may be saved -- S. John. 3:17. His grace brings salvation to all men -- Tit. 2:11. He takes away the sin of the world -- S. John. 1:29. He gives His flesh for its life -- S. John. 6:51.
    Because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (are irrevocable) -- Rom. 11:29, He gives life to the world -- S. John. 6:33. He is the Light of the world -- S. John. 8:12. He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world -- 1 John. 2:2. He is the Savior of all men -- 1 Tim. 4:10. He destroys the works of the devil, not some of them only -- 1 Jno. 3:8, and the devil himself -- Heb. 2:14. He abolishes death -- 2 Tim. 1:10. He is manifested to put away sin -- Heb. 9:26, and thus subdues all things unto Himself -- Phil 3:21 (the context clearly shows this subjugation to be conformity to Himself). He does not forget the dead, but takes the gospel to Hades -- 1 Pet. 3:19, of which He holds the keys -- Rev. 1:18. He is the same (Savior) for ever -- Heb. 13:8. Thus, even the dead are evangelized -- 1Pet. 4:6, and death and Hades destroyed -- Rev 20:14. All are therefore made alive in Him -- 1Cor. 15:22. Christ finishes, completes His work -- S. John. 17:4, restores all things -- Acts 3:21, and there is no more curse -- Rev. 22:2,3. Every knee of things in heaven and earth, and under the earth, bends to Him -- Phil. 2:10. The creation is delivered from the bondage of corruption -- Rom. 8:21, and every creature joins in the song of praise -- Rev. 5:13. So comes the END, when He delivers up the Kingdom to God, Who is then ALL IN ALL -- 1Cor. 15:24-28.
    These passages are, I repeat, not taken at random and piled up any way. They are the expression of that Purpose that runs though the Bible. It is a Purpose first stated in man's creation in God's image; a Purpose to be traced in the Law, the Psalms and Prophets; and most clearly in the New Testament. From it we learn that (I.) Christ came, claiming as His own the entire human race, to the end that He might save and restore the WHOLE, and not any fraction of it, however large. (II.) He came with full power "over all flesh", having received power in heaven and on earth -- over all hearts, all evil, all wills. (III.) He lived and died, and rose again, victorious in the fullest sense, "having FINISHED His work," as He expressly claims."

    Eternal damnation is just foriegn to these scriptures and this is not all that support universal salvation but this get the point across.

    God bless, Dave
     
  14. Truth101

    Truth101 Member

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    In addition to the above post I would like to quote by A. E. Knoch to explain the spirit behind those who, even in the face of opposing scriptural proof still insist on holding to their belief in eternal torment.

    "God's thoughts and man's imaginations are nowhere more at variance than on the subject of judgment, or punishment. God is love, man is hate. Jonah went through the streets of Nineveh, crying, "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way, and God repented concerning the evil that He said He would do unto them, and He did it not (Jonah 3). What did Jonah do? Was he not pleased at the success of his mission? Did he not glory in the character of his God? Alas! He was like the majority of the Lord's people today. Like Jonah, they imagined that God has a streak of hate in His character, and that He wanted to destroy Nineveh to give it exercise. He had an object, though, in threatening its destruction. Now that they repented and the object was attained, why should He belie His character and destroy them from sheer vindictiveness?? Jonah thought He ought, and so think those today whose prototype he was.
    Is it not unfortunate that Jonah's God was a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenting of the evil that He had threatened? (Jonah 4:2). What did Jonah care for Nineveh? What pains had it cost him? What comfort did it bring to him? God, however, looked at it from His standpoint. In it there were sixty thousand souls more in tune with Him than sulky Jonah. He was their Creator, and He had not created them for naught. This is God's way with the unbeliever."

    The ugly spirit behind Jonah's hatred toward the Nenevites is no different from the spirit behind those who have the same hatred for the unbelievers. Whatever happened to "love the sinner, hate the sin"? Its ok to feel intolerance for sin wether yours or someone elses but tolerance for the person is a must. The truth is many who call themselves Christ's followers seem to be upset that God will save the unbelievers even after death because they feel it to be unfair to those who have labored and studied to show themselves approved and given up their lives of sin to follow after God just to have God still save all those who have not. Boils down to jelousy. Theres a parable about this as well. Those who feel this way fit that parable well.

    God bless, Dave
     
  15. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Not only for a logical viewpoint, but from a religious one too, I would suggest. To find, believe and have Faith in God is not a journey that should be undertaken with a carrot.
     
  16. Truth101

    Truth101 Member

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    Because most of the posts surround the concept of eternity Iwill address that issue and prove that the bible is void of any word to describe timelessness. I know you think that reason and common sense are useless in understanding scripture but think about that. What are you using to make your claims? Common sense and your reasoning. We are even told in scripture to study to show thyself approved. You study with your brain and yes God opens up the understanding but that does not mean close off your reasoning and common sense. So with this in MIND lets look at my proof.

    If you look to scripture you will find many times where the words "eternal", "everlasting" and "forever and ever" are used to describe events that were not or are not eternal or everlasting. Read the following. You will have to completely mutilate scripture in order to explain this away.

    OT "eternity" rebuttal
    Sodom's fiery judgment is "eternal" (Jude 7)--until--God "will restore the fortunes of Sodom" (Ezek. 16:53-55). Sodom has a promise of restoration. WOW.

    Israel's "affliction is incurable" (Jer. 30:12)-until--the Lord "will restore health" and heal her wounds (Jer. 30:17). How is something incurable cured?

    The sin of Samaria "is incurable" (Mic. 1:9)-until-- Lord "will restore ... the fortunes of Samaria." (Ez. 16:53). Again?

    Ammon is to become a "wasteland forever" and "rise no more" (Zeph. 2:9, Jer. 25:27 --until--the Lord will "restore the fortunes of the Ammonites" (Jer. 49:6). Its strange that our translators insist on using infinite words to describe finite events.

    An Ammonite or Moabite is forbidden to enter the Lord's congregation "forever"-until--the tenth generation (Deut. 23:3): Theres no escaping the misuse of these words of timelessness

    Habakkuk tells us of mountains that were "everlasting", that is -until-- they "were shattered" Hab. 3 3:6).

    The Aaronic Priesthood was to be an "everlasting" priesthood (Ex. 40:15), that is-until-it was superceded by the Melchizedek Priesthood (Hebrews 7:14-18).

    Many translations of the Bible inform us that God would dwell in Solomon's Temple "forever" (1 Kings 8:13), that is,--until the Temple was destroyed.

    The children of Israel were to "observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant" (Exodus 31:16)-until--Paul states there remains "another day" of Sabbath rest for the people of God (Heb. 4:8,9).

    The Law of Moses was to be an "everlasting covenant" (Leviticus 24:8) yet we read in the New Covenant the first was "done away" and "abolished" (2 Corinthians 3:11,13), and God "made the first old" (Hebrews 8:13).

    The fire for Israel's sin offering (of a ram without blemish) is never to be put out. It shall be a "perpetual"-- until-- Christ, the Lamb of God, dies for our sins. We now have a better covenant established on better promises (Lev. 6:12-13, Heb. 8:6-13).

    God's waves of wrath roll over Jonah "forever"-until--the Lord delivers him from the large fish's belly on the third day (Jonah 2:6,10; 1: 17);

    Egypt and Elam will "rise no more" (Jer. 25:27)-until--the Lord will "restore the fortunes of Egypt" (Ez. 29:14) and "restore the fortunes of Elam" (Jer. 49:39).

    "Moab is destroyed" (Jer. 48:4, 42)-until--the Lord "will restore the fortunes of Moab" (Jer. 48:47).

    Israel's judgment lasts "forever"-until--the Spirit is poured out and God restores it (Isa. 32:13-15). How much clearer can it get?


    How about this? As you believe "the wages of sin is ("eternal") death". Yousay that because this second death is spiritual in nature it also makes it eternal in nature. So, My question to you is,

    If the wages of sin is eternal death and Jesus came to pay that debt than why is He (Jesus) not still paying our debt if the debt is eternal? Jesus should still be in "eternal damnation". He should still be "destroyed". He should have "parished". He should still be burning away. Scripture bares this out, that He (Jesus) came to give Himself a ransom for us. Well that ransom, according to Orthodox Christianity is eternal death. The smoke of His torment should still be ascending forever and ever.
    Do you see how rediculous it is with all this eternal nonsense contradicting scripture after scripture? You must see the problem with our translation of the words "aion", "aions"(as if eternity could be pluralised) and "aionios". The proper translation is "age" or "ages"(an age can be pluralised but eternity cannot). "Aionios" is pertaining to the "ages". It is the adjective of the noun "aion" and an adjective cannot take on a greater meaning than the noun it is derived from. Example: "Aionios God" = "God of the ages", not "eternal God". And before you say that I am saying that God is not eternal I assure you, although God is eternal that is not what this saying. If we say that God is the God of Abraham, does that mean He is not the God of the world? No that would be silly. Just because the scripture is saying that God is the God of the ages does not limit God one bit from being eternal. What I am saying is The bible is void of any one word to describe timelessness and these scriptures are not dealing with eternal issues but finite issues.

    Now this post eliminates anything anyone has to say about mankind being tortured "eternally" by our Father who IS love.


    God bless, Dave
     
  17. bibleonly

    bibleonly Member

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    Truth101
    How long is eternal?
     
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  18. Truth101

    Truth101 Member

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    Without beginning or end.
     
  19. bibleonly

    bibleonly Member

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    Truth101,

    How long is forever?
     
  20. Truth101

    Truth101 Member

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    You are asking me for the definition of ENGLISH words although the question at hand is "what is the definition of the hebrew word "olam" and the Greek word "aion".
    If you wish to know the definitions of ENGLISH words, any english dictionary will give you the proper definition.

    The ENGLISH definition of "forever" would be without end but not nessessarily without beginning. In other words from this point on.

    "Evermore" would be the same.

    As I said these words you are inquiring about are english words. The question at hand is "what is the Hebrew "olam" and the Greek "aion" and its adjective "aionios" true definitions?

    I have given you a vast amount of scriptural proof that these words and their usage never apply to that which is eternal but to things which have an end yet our translators insisted on using english words of an endless duration to define events that are WITHOUT A DOUBT not eternal or endless.

    Dave

    Dave
     
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