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Hell

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Green Gaia, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    People who advocate Hells physcial existance have one secret they have not shared with the rest of us. The secret is where is it? I mean on a map. Is it etheral or physical? Has it been located or location unknown? You could substitute the theory of Atlanits being a phycial place and get the same questions. For those who think there is a hell where is it and why on a planet with over 4 billion people has nobody seen it? (is it etheral not on earth ect ect) just hoping for a locality.
     
  2. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    Tartarus is not the same as the Hebrew Sheol or the Greek Hades, both of which refer to the common earthly grave of mankind.

    Tartarus is a prison like, abased condition into which God cast disobedient angels in Noah’s day.(2 peter 2-4)not humans

    Gehenna refers to the valley of Hinnom, outside the walls of Jerusalem. When Jesus was on earth, this valley was used as a garbage dump, "where the dead bodies of criminals, and the carcasses of animals, and every other kind of filth was cast." (Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible) The fires were kept burning by adding sulfur to burn up the refuse. Jesus used that valley as a proper symbol of everlasting destruction.

    So just as Gehenna is a symbol of everlasting destruction the lake of fire is a symbol of eternal destruction

    Revelation 14:9-11 speaks of some who are "tormented with fire and sulphur . . . And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever." Does this prove eternal conscious torment in hellfire? Actually, all this passage says is that the wicked are tormented, not that they are tormented forever. The text states that it is the smoke—the evidence that the fire has done its work of destruction—that continues forever, not the fiery torment. so from my own personal research , which is from many sources,i do not believe that there is a hell fire doctrine as taught by some religions and yes we all read and use books and information including the watchtower magazine which i have found to be very
    useful along with others
     
  3. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Tartarus is more than a mere prison. The word denotes a place of torture. It's not just some pit. Since it's a Greek word, here's some Greek stories. Tantalus was placed in Tartarus, where he was given an unrelenting hunger and thirst. Grapes were placed before his face, and water up to his waist. If he leaned forward to get the grapes, then the grapes would move out of reach. If he leaned down to get the water, it would lower so that he couldn't reach it. I believe that is the place where Prometheus was bound so that ravens could come and pluck out his liver every day before it could grow back. This word *requires* torture.

    A good Jewish book compiled sometime before the time of Christ, has Enoch talk with his guide as follows:

    "`How fearful is this place and how terrible to look upon!' Then Uriel answerd me, one of the holy angels that was with me, and said to me: `Enoch, why hast thou such fear and affright?' And I answered, `Because of this fearful place, and because of the spectacle of pain.' And he said to me: `This place is the prison of the angels, and they will be imprisoned for ever.'" (I Enoch 21.9-10)

    Lest you object "This isn't Scripture," Jude 14 quotes it as Scripture. It may not be a part of the Bible now, but if a NT writer considered it a prophesy, do you think we should disagree? The fact that Tartarus isn't for humans in any way, shape, or form, doesn't lesson the fact that it is a place of perpetual torment, not destruction. That it is cited as a precedent for how God will deal with the ungodly is very telling to me.

    It is a symbol. If we take what you are saying seriously, God resurrects everybody and just has a bonfire until it's done. Whereupon the "eternal" fire would just go out.

    I would tell you that this is an analogy, not a literal fire consuming everything. After all, Jesus also describes this same state as the "outer darkness" and a darkness "where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth." there is weeping and gnashing of teeth." Do not fires give light?

    Just like it isn't a literal fire that it should give light, it isn't a literal fire that can consume fuel. Jesus never *once* said that people in the afterlife would be annihilated. He does talk about a place "where the worm dieth not," "everlasting punishment," and other such things. That He frequently sets terms like "everlasting punishment" and "eternal life" side-by-side is just as telling; it indicates that He considered them comparable in duration.

    You're being awfully literalistic to avoid what I think is an obvious metaphor. Unless you believe there is an endless supply of people to burn up, that smoke cannot last forever. If we take the rules of your interpretation, what happens when a fire runs out of fuel? It goes out. So...in order to avoid a Hell, you have substituted "eternal torment" for a "temporal torment," that will inevitably run out of fuel, doing away with the reference to "eternal" entirely. There'll only be so many people at the end of time.

    Now, is there really all that big a difference between God building a place to torment people for an eternity and a God who just decides to torture people for a little while? The core of the JW argument against Hell is that a God of love would never do this. I would posit, that with such a principle, a God of love must never torture at all. Whether it's temporary or eternal really doesn't matter in the equation.

    Since I don't have the Watchtower literature right in front of me, I'm going to assume that this book isn't cited in the Watchtower article just for honesty. However, if you get your information ultimately from a Watchtower book, please cite the Watchtower book, and do not present it as if you discovered it in your own reading. I feel that is lying and is dishonest. So do most people, and many a student has flunked college for plagarism.

    That said, those books don't bear in mind that those books don't carry much weight with me. My mother and siblings became involved in the Jehovah's Witnesses, so I became familiar with the literature for my own reference and have much of it. Even though they've left, my reading of the literature leaves me questioning its reliability, and sometimes honesty. As factor, my family's experience with the JWs leaves a very, very bad taste in my mouth.

    I'll respect your faith and seek to avoid saying anything against you or them in the thread. It's dishonest to pass another person's work off as your own, and if I get that feeling of deja vu in too many posts, I'm quite likely to go digging through books to check and see if it's already. I want to assume that most Jehovah's Witnesses aren't like the ones I have experience with.
     
  4. Ardhanariswar

    Ardhanariswar I'm back!

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    "

    People who advocate Hells physcial existance have one secret they have not shared with the rest of us. The secret is where is it? I mean on a map. Is it etheral or physical? Has it been located or location unknown? You could substitute the theory of Atlanits being a phycial place and get the same questions. For those who think there is a hell where is it and why on a planet with over 4 billion people has nobody seen it? (is it etheral not on earth ect ect) just hoping for a locality."


    its a state of mind or a spiritual existance. you suffer, you are in hell, you do good, you obvioulsy feel good, and you are in heaven. its not a place. and as many myths go, its portrayed as a physical place so its easier to understand (like the whole fire and brimstone scene).

    cept that spiritual suffering is far worse.
     
  5. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned in my last post ,i find the watchtower to be very informative , and after reading their mags and books which to my mind are all based on the bible, i find that rather than leaving a very very bad taste in my mouth JWs leave a very very good taste in my mouth.so, as mentioned in my last post,through my own personal research i have come to my own conclusions with help from JWs and other books not printed by them that there is no such thing as a hellfire so please refrain from inplying that i am a lier and dishonest
     
  6. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    May,

    I didn't assume you shared the same beliefs on how to treat using books and things. I was trying to share that for future references. I'm pretty sure that first post on Hell makes pretty extensive use of the literature in question, but it doesn't cite it. It's not dishonest to do that if you believe that there's nothing wrong. I'm just saying that I tend to be more than a little apprehensive about that matter.

    My primary problem comes not from the lit., though I don't trust it. My problem comes from what happened with my family. Up until that time JWs were just another group. What happened with my family is what left such a bad taste in my mouth.
     
  7. WitnessofJah

    WitnessofJah Member

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    Genesis 3:19: In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return."

    Ecclesiastes 9:5 : "For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten."

    Revelation 20:14: "And death and Ha´des were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire." It is evident that this "lake" is a symbol, because death and hell (Hades) are thrown into it. Death and hell cannot literally be burned. But they can, and will, be done away with, or destroyed.

    "Much confusion and misunderstanding has been caused through the early translators of the Bible persistently rendering the Hebrew Sheol and the Greek Hades and Gehenna by the word hell. The simple transliteration of these words by the translators of the revised editions of the Bible has not sufficed to appreciably clear up this confusion and misconception."—The Encyclopedia Americana (1942), Vol. XIV, p. 81.

    Q. After one’s death, is he still subject to further punishment for his sins?

    A. Rom. 6:7: "He who has died has been acquitted from his sin."

    Q. Does this supposed "eternal torture in hell" reflect God's qualites?

    "...God is love...."—1 John 4:16

    "...Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort..." (2 Cor. 1:3)

    "Man’s wrath does not produce God’s righteousness."—Jas. 1:20.

    "Jehovah YOUR God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness, and he will certainly feel regret on account of the calamity." - Joel 2:13
     
  8. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    Religion:
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    When I died the whole universe is made, it appered to me as quarks(smaller then atoms,like strands of energy) everything is made up of them and they are spirit.
    The lowest dimension is Hell(EGO) and the top 3 are Heaven(oneness)
    Hell is dense matter with no control over the levels below.
    Heaven was wisdom and love,trancending the dense matter of the universe becoming pure thought.
    I have explain the dimension on my site from what I saw, cross refrenced with the I ching, the bible and many mythologies.
    Basicly though hell is well compact and you could hardly move, everyone was talking about them selfs, yet no one was listening.
    Also like Christ described with the long forks, trying to feed them selfs rather then each other.
    So this is why we conatin both good and bad, as ego is hell and oneness is heaven made up of wisdom and love.
    so the more we see that it is only through oneness and God that we can achieve anything the more we are allowed up in dimension.
     
  9. Ronald

    Ronald Well-Known Member

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    Joh 10:2 but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

    The one who goes over the wall is there to steal.

    The shepherd is Hebrew.
     
  10. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    [QUTOE=WitnessofJah] Genesis 3:19: In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return."[/QUOTE]

    If you are going to use this passage about physical death to indicate annihilation, then what did God mean when He said "For when the day you eat of it, you shall surely die" (Gen. 2.17)? We both know that Genesis has Adam and Eve lived longer.

    Hades is a Greek word as loaded as Hell is in English. It denotes a shadowy, insubstantial existence, wherein the person is scarcely able to even recognize their own existence. It is fleshed out in detail in the Odyessy. Plato has Socrates argue against it in great length, and it was chosen by the translators of the LXX as an adaquate translation of "Sheol." They never translated it as "nothingness" or something like that. They translated it as "Hades."

    Do you have any reason not to take the word in its plain sense (a shadowy, insubstantial form)? It doesn't contradict your Ecclesiastes verse in any way. It harmonizes rather well, and that is exactly what the word means.

    In fact in Psalm 139.8, God is present in Sheol/Hades. How can God be present in nothing? In the book of Jonah, was he not conscious in the fish? Annihilation wouldn't prove a good analogy there, but a shadowy, indistinct, and insubstatial state of being would be.

    Yep, it is a symbol, and we agree on that. However, I can't see it being any form of annihilation. Instead, I draw on the name of the lake: The Lake of Fire and Brimstone. Brimstone is "theion," and "theion" is "divinity." Simply put, the presence of God is hell. It has nothing to do with a place where mean are tortured unceasingly.

    Considering the NT and other such documents have a tendency to make Hades, Death, and Sin into something like demons, their being cast into the lake isn't a problem at all. That would also harmonize well with the statement that "the smoke of their torment goes up forever." Being in God's presence for these beings is like fire, and they will experience Him as torment while others experience Him as love.

    Lastly, what you say must ignore or nullify the "smoke of their torment" phrase.

    The quote is perfectly accurate. It gives no support of annihilation, though.

    You haven't established that Paul thought of death as annihilation.

    In reference to the resurrection Paul asked, "Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead?" It harmonizes well with II Maccabees account. Were Elijah and Moses resurrected specifically for the Transfiguration. Lastly, Jesus explicitly taught that "God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" and that "God was not the God of the dead, but the God of the living." The Sadducees, after all, denied the resurrection.

    God is "The One Who Is" as a translation of God's name in the LXX (Ex. 3.14).

    "A fire goes before Him, and a flame circles His enemies." (Ps. 96/97.3, where the former is the LXX numbering).

    God "makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." (Mt. 5.43b). So too, will He send Himself out into all creation, and He will fall on the just and the unjust, just as He loves all men and sends rain upon the just and unjust. Only our perspectives alter how we will experience this.

    No disagreements at all. God hasn't prepared a special place just for torture.
     
  11. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    SOmething to think about is another prophecy in the book of Isaiah at 34;9-10 this shows the real meaning of revelation 14;10-11, in isaiah it says
    And her torrents must be changed into pitch, and her dust into sulphur; and her land must become as burning pitch. By night or by day it will not be extinguished; to time indefinite its smoke will keep ascending. From generation to generation she will be parched; forever and ever no one will be passing across her.
    So, was the land hurled into some mythical hellfire to burn foever,no of course not,rather,the nation completely disappeared from the world scene,as if she had been totally consumed by fire .The final result of the punishment was not everlasting torment but emptiness, wasteness, nothing.(Isaiah 34;11-12.)The smoke ascending to time indefinate vividly illustates this.
     
  12. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    That is a strong argument May, and I appreciate it. The two passages do, indeed, use very similar language. There are some differences here, though.

    First, I'd like to point out that this is a reference to God's jusdgement on a nation. The case in Revelation is referring to the Final Judgement. As such, we have two separate cases all together.

    Second is that this passage makes no reference to eternal torment, where Revelation explicitly states that torment is occuring. This passage refers only to destruction.

    I would say that "smoke going up forever" in reference to a people's destruction is a fairly different type of expression than "the smoke of their torment goes up forever" in reference to the final state of people.

    I think those differences are enough to call the use into question. I can see why you use it, but it cannot serve that purpose to me.
     
  13. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    When a house burns down, smoke keeps coming from the ashes for some time after the flames have died down, providing onlookers with evidence that there has been a destructive conflagration. Even today God’s people remember the lesson to be learned from the destruction of Edom. In this way ‘the smoke of her burning’ is still ascending in a symbolic way.yes i agree they are two separate cases i was just illustrating how smoke ascending is symbolic.also the torment is refering to the tormenting efects of Jehovahs disaproval before they are destroyed. back in the days of Isaiah,Jehovah,warned the nation of Edom that they would be punished because of there enmity towards Israel,its similer with those in Revelation 14;10-11

     
  14. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    And you illustrated that the smoke can be symbolic well. We both at least agree that Revelation is symbolic. I take the lake of fire to be God Himself, and that the torment is caused on account of being in God's presence. Hence, I would just as easily translate it "the Lake of Fire and Divinity," because English doesn't have the same pun on words Greek does.

    We are thinking on very similar lines, because neither of us accept a literal place of torment. What I assert is that God, Himself, is the torment. Not His disapproval, nor anything of the sort. When the rich man in Jesus' parable is tormented, neither I nor my Church do believe it to be some literal place where he's tormented by flames. Rather, this is the presence of God, and he cannot withstand it.

    I cannot accept annihilation, because for starters, my Church condemns the teaching. Secondly, Hell is a historic teaching of Christianity. It has been there since before Christianity, because we have several Jewish writings that demonstrate a belief in some form of Hell before death. Lastly, I firmly believe it is a biblical teaching. I cannot abandon the teachings of my Church since its beginning, historic Christian belief, or the teaching of Scripture. This explanation is explained in full in a post above.

    Naturally, you believe it because your group teaches it and because you believe it is taught in Scripture. On that last one we can agree.

    Sadly, anybody can prove anything from Scripture, and they often do. This means that without common ground, we'll be debating the sense of the words for a long time, and each of us honestly believe that we understand them aright. As I said, my post that explains the teaching my Church has taught is earlier in this thread. In the end, that's all we can do, because we each will see the words differently, and unless we want to turn this into a discussion of "which teaching came first," we won't get anywhere further, and I doubt you want to do that.
     
  15. goodjewishboy

    goodjewishboy Shalom!

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    Of everything that is not clear in Judaism, the afterlife is probably the least clear. We're supposed to focus on this life. Discussion on the afterlife is mostly found in Jewish Mysticism. I've heard it said that when we die we go back to G-d. If there is a hell than it must be absolute nothingness, a complete lack of G-d.
     
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  16. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Hmm, is this at all uniform? I'd always heard Judaism was pretty vague about it today (they got pretty explicit back in the Hellenistic era lol). And if there are any differences, how sharply does it divide along ideological lines (I seriously doubt that Judaism has sects like Christianity's, though I could be wrong)?
     
  17. jewscout

    jewscout Religious Zionist

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    Unless you get into the Jews for Jesus where it can get a little grey, most of Judaism today holds that view that the after-life is not our concern. Kabala talks about the after life and Ghenna and a bunch of stuff i haven't even begun to get into because it can consume you in how deep it gets. But i'd imagine even real Kabalists (not Madonna!) would still agree to concern yourself with this world and not to worry about what's to come.
     
  18. SoulTYPE

    SoulTYPE Well-Known Member

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    Hell is basically a meeting place for the Anti-Christians, wether they be dead or alive.
     
  19. goodjewishboy

    goodjewishboy Shalom!

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    The most consistant thing Judaism says about the afterlife is not to concern oneself with it.
     
  20. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    the Bible itself explains the meaning of the lake of fire and sulfur: "This means the second death, the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14) It is clearly the same as the Gehenna that Jesus spoke of, a place where the wicked remain destroyed,. (Matthew 10:28) It is complete, utter destruction without hope of a resurrection. It will never release its captives


     
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