“Hell is Neither Jewish Nor Christian …Like The Word ‘Church’, It’s Pagan”
Another Patton Associates S-M-A-R-TBriefing™
The Old Covenant (Testament) doesn’t use the word ‘Hell’. Jesus never spoke the word either. Nor did any of His Apostles (Sent-Out-Ones). It’s a pagan word with diabolical overtones.
The modern English word ‘Hell’ is derived from the Old English ‘hel’ or ‘helle’. This scary English noun is from about 725 AD. It referred to a “nether world of the dead”. It’s a vivid word-picture which conjures up dreadful thoughts for some.
Hell is from Britain’s Anglo-Saxon, pagan period. The usage came over from northern Europe with the Saxon barbarians that invaded Britain. Etymologists tell us it originally comes from the Proto-Germanic ‘halja’, meaning “one who covers up or hides something”.
Although Jesus never once used the word hell, He did speak about ‘Gehenna’ (Hebrew), e.g., Matthew 10:28. However, King James I (1603-1625), the publisher of the first, popular English Bible in 1611, commanded that ‘hell’ must replace Gehenna in Jesus’ mouth. The King probably insisted because ‘Gehenna’ (the name of the “Valley of Hinnom“, outside of ancient Jerusalem) and ‘Jesus’ (a transliteration, not a translation of Yeshua, meaning Joshua, His actual name) were bigotry-producing words for the Jewish concept and person.
King James instructed the substitution of still another core biblical word. This substitution was the English word ‘church’. It too has a pagan root originally meaning “a place where demon gods are worshiped”. James required the non-biblical insertion of church throughout the New Covenant instead of a correct translation for the Greek word, ‘ekklesia’ …accurately translated only: ‘assembly’, ‘congregation’, or ‘gathering’.
The King insisted the above three, common, English, and non-biblical words be substituted for the correct translations in his “Authorized Version” of the English Christian Bible. He did so via his “Translation Rules”about which few Christians have ever heard, in my experience. The Monarch made the Anglican Bishops, who translated the first, and still very popular, English Bible, follow his Rules without variation for His own political reasons. You’ll learn more about James dictates to his translators here.
In Jesus’ actual usage, ‘Gehenna’ was an after-life place of punishment reserved for those deemed unworthy of its opposite …His glorious heaven. In His day, Gehenna also was the name of the garbage dump which was in the Valley of Hinnom. In it, refuse and dead animal carcasses burned and smoldered, continuously. For Jesus’ original listeners Gehenna prompted a vivid picture of a very nasty and uncomfortable place.
To Hell With Hell
According to some very controversial, current authors, Jesus was speaking using hyperbole whenever He mentioned Gehenna or ‘Hades’. Hades is the Greek concept which Jesus also used for the same potential, human destination as Gehenna. In the opinions of these new, radical interpreters of the Bible, all the God-man’s references to a hell-like place are intentional exaggeration.
These deniers of a hell-like place say Jesus did not intend people to take seriously His clear descriptions of what His Gehenna would be like …even when the God-man added details like these in Mark 9:47-49:
“And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where ‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’[a] 49 Everyone will be salted with fire.”
The hell-deniers thinking is Jesus’ so-called hyperbole was a teaching tool to help people motivate themselves to live ‘rightly’ in this life. In the case of Jesus’ use of His word-picture, Gehenna, I suggest these end-times-emerging ideas turn a literal, sensible reading of Scripture, which makes common-sense, into nonsense by giving words an uncommon sense.
I do not agree with the new opinions about Scripture texts which deny what Jesus clearly said. You’ll decide for yourself. But please reflect on whether this new position on a very old concept makes sense to you …given the many different ways, the many different times, and the variety of Greek and Hebrew words which the Bible recounts Jesus used in repeatedly talking about a hell-like after-life for all wrong-doers? And do you really believe Jesus intentionally ‘cons’ His listeners by ‘playing’ to our fears in repeatedly referring to an awful place that doesn’t exist?
Sticks vs. Carrots
However you decide, we probably can agree that “The Lord of the Universe’s” many references to Gehenna are metaphorical, negative ‘sticks’ when Jesus used that word. And when he used the related, scary Greek word, ‘Hades’.
Loving King Jesus used His Gehenna/Hades “stick” only to make the crucial point that God does punish people for violations of His laws. But He does so ONLY when we refuse to accept His way out explained in the graphic to the left.
In addition, Jesus spoke more about his many “carrots” for those who would follow Him. He held out His carrots whenever He talked about the Kingdom of God, Heaven, or the abundant-life benefits, plus the many other blessings of living a Godly lifestyle which He alone can empower when we follow Him.
Jesus’ many carrots demonstrate clearly that His true Followers can live our lives” in God’s beloved community and realm in the “dirty here and now” …not just the hereafter. All they had, or we still have, to do was/is follow Him. (Romans 10:8-13 quoted in full above explains “How To Personally Connect With the One Living God, Jesus“.)
For more about hell, please see my Goodreads reviews of two currently VERY controversial books. Each of the following share from opposite perspectives on a hell-like place and whether Jesus, “God The One & Only”, means what He says in His Gospels about the destiny of sinful people outside of Jesus’ covering of our sins: “Hell Is Real (But I Hate To Admit It)” by Brian C. Jones, and ”Love Wins …A Book about Heaven, Hell and The Fate of Everyone Who Ever Lived” by Rob Bell.
Please let me have your questions and comments below re what you’d add to, or disagree with, about the above. Also, let me know how else I might be useful to you in any way?
Blessings in Jesus all …’till next we interact!
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