Of all the wonderful promises God gives us in the 23rd Psalm, this is one of the most glorious.
Did Jesus believe in "hell" himself? Is there a single Bible verse in which Jesus clearly said that anyone would go to "hell"? Does Jesus damn human beings to "hell" for not believing in his godhood, forcing them to guess which earthly religion is the "correct" one?
If someone guesses wrong and goes to hell, does that seem loving, just, wise or fair to you? What does the Bible teach about "hell"? What did the first great Christian evangelist, Saint Paul, say about "hell"?
Is there any clear teaching anywhere in the Bible about a place where human beings suffer for all eternity? Would it surprise you to learn that "hell" was never mentioned, not even once, in the entire Hebrew Bible the Old Testament?
If there is a hell, why was it never mentioned, not even once by God and the Hebrew prophets, in biblical chronologies covering many thousands of years? Why were the worst people even at the worst times never threatened with "hell" or suffering after death: Would it surprise you to learn that Sheol does not mean "hell" in the Old Testament, and that Hades does not mean "hell" in the New Testament?
Would you be surprised to learn that even the conservative Bible scholars trusted by the famously literal Southern Baptist Convention to create the Holman Christian Standard Bible HCSB found absolutely no occurrence of the word "hell" in any book of the Old Testament, and only a scant ten verses in the New Testament, with nearly half of those being duplicate verses in the parallel gospels of Matthew and Mark?
Would it surprise you to know that even in those few unique passages the word used, Gehenna, does not seem to mean "hell" either? And doesn't this suggest that only one major Bible writer the writer of the original text that became the Gospel of Mark knew anything about Gehenna being "hell," if indeed he intended it to mean "hell"?
How is it possible, if there really is a "hell," that a loving, wise, just God would have told only one person about it? Would it surprise you to learn that the Apostle Paul, who wrote most of the books of the New Testament, never mentioned a place called "hell" in any of his epistles?
Would it surprise you to learn that only verse in the entire Bible 2 Peter 2: But that verse which mentions Tartarus, the Greek hell, is about a pit where fallen angels await judgment, meaning it is not eternal and not for human beings!
If such things interest you, the following article studies the issue of "hell" in the Bible systematically and comprehensively. The author makes the point that we know "purgatory" was the non-biblical invention of Catholic theologians But there is no such verse anywhere in the Bible.
This is clearly and unmistakably true: Because "hell" is not a biblical teaching. The Hebrew language doesn't even have a word that means "hell," an inexplicable omission if Moses and the Hebrew prophets spoke directly to an all-wise God.
Therefore, my personal conclusion is that "hell" has always been a mistranslation of a very few verses in the Bible, because for thousands of years there clearly was no mention of "hell" at all, and when a smattering of verses started popping up that might possibly be taken to be talking about "hell," there was never any confirmation from God, the Hebrew prophets, Jesus, or any of his apostles that such a place even existed.
This study will cause you to re-examine current teaching on hell and urge you to further study on what happens to the wicked after death. I was righteously indignant when, a number of years ago, a caller uttered these words on a call-in radio show I was conducting.
Yet none of our concepts of hell can be found in the teaching of Jesus Christ! We may also find that our popular concepts of hell came from the same place that purgatory did-Roman Catholicism. A Plea for Open-Mindedness as We Begin If we strive for open-mindedness and truly want to know what the Bible teaches, the following quotation will help us in our search: We do not start our Christian lives by working out our faith for ourselves; it is mediated to us by Christian tradition, in the form of sermons, books and established patterns of church life and fellowship.
We read our Bibles in the light of what we have learned from these sources; we approach Scripture with minds already formed by the mass of accepted opinions and viewpoints with which we have come into contact, in both the Church and the world.
It is easy to be unaware that it has happened; it is hard even to begin to realize how profoundly tradition in this sense has moulded us. We may never assume the complete rightness of our own established ways of thought and practice and excuse ourselves the duty of testing and reforming them by Scriptures.
Of course, Packer just reminds us of Biblical injunctions to test everything proposed for our belief. For example, in II Cor. Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves.
In New Testament times, one was only a disciple of Christ when he was willing to examine himself, his beliefs, and everything proposed for his belief as a child of light. Nothing less is required now. Righteous Job also longed for it in Job Likewise, in the New Testament, in Mt.
Luke 16 pictures righteous Lazarus there.Strabo, the celebrated geographer, speaking of the Parthenon, a temple in Athens, says: “In this was the inextinguishable or unquenchable lamp” (asbestos, the very word used in Mark , Luke , and Mark ).Of course, all it means is that the lamp was kept constantly or regularly burning during the period alluded to, though extinguished or quenched ages ago.
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