But is this idea of Hell a Biblical truth?
After preparing for a Sunday evening bible study that I was teaching I began to ask myself that very question.
Here are some interesting points that I found out in my studies:
In the New Testament, the word 'hell' is mentioned 23 times.
Of these 23, 12 times it is translated from the Greek word 'Gehenna.' Gehenna is an actual place. It is a deep ravine and located just south of Jerusalem. It is still there. Originally, it was a place used by the pagans where babies were sacrificed to their gods. In the times of Jesus, this area was used as a sort of city dump where trash was burned constantly.
10 times, the word 'hell' is translated from the Greek word 'Hades.' Hades was the Greek god of the underworld. In this underworld, souls were sent to await judgment and if deemed unworthy stayed to be punished forever.
The other time it is mentioned in the New Testament, is in 2nd Peter and translated from yet another Greek word 'Tartarsus' which is actually a lower area of Hades where wicked spirits were sent for punishment.
So that is where the actual word 'hell' appears in the New Testament.
So where do we actually get the idea of what hell is like?
In the Bible, there is a verse that mentions an eternal fire set aside for the devil and his angels (Matt 25:41) however.....
It may surprise you that most of what we know or have been told about hell comes from a work of fiction.
Almost all of the information that we have about the physical place hell comes from Dante's Inferno (The Divine Comedy).
So, is there a hell? When we die do we go somewhere for punishment if we are unbelievers?
Yes and no.
According to the Bible, there is a place where those that have rejected God will go.
But is that place called Hell. Maybe. Nobody knows.
Is it a burning lake of fire? Nobody knows.
We actually have no idea what kind of place it is or what sort of punishment those that go there will endure.
In the movie The Prophecy, the character Lucifer tells a former priest:
You know what Hell is?......It's the absence of God."Interesting thought.
On a more humorous note, Denis Leary once said:
"You know what hell is? It's Andy Gibb. Singing Shadow dancing for eons and
eons. And you have to sit next to the Bay City Rollers. "
Well, that was all I had to say about it. I just found this information somewhat interesting.