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Thread: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

  1. #1
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    How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    I wish I had a nickle for every time I heard someone say this: "Jesus spoke about hell and eternal punishment more than anyone else in the Bible." Often the line is added at the end, "...more than everyone else in the Bible put together!" But I'd like to get some feedback on this. Do you think Jesus spoke about eternal torment more than anyone else in Scripture? Did he speak about it occasionally? Did he even speak about it at all?

    Of course Jesus spoke to his contemporaries about judgment, but do any of those occurrences of judgment-language qualify as eternal torment after death? Or is the intended meaning more often (or perhaps even always) concerned with temporal judgment resulting in death? And as a sub-question to this, is Jesus' use of the word "Gehenna" intended to be (a) a picture of eternal torment after death, (b) a picture of the finality of God's postmortem judgment, or (c) a picture of the temporal fate of Jerusalem if it did not accept his offer of peace (i.e. the Roman armies would come and turn the city into a smoldering rubbish heap)? Or perhaps a combination of these?

    For all who have thoughts on this and would like to reply, I do have one guideline: I would like to keep all discussion centered on the relevant material in the four gospels, and not the Bible in general, since the question has to do with what Jesus himself said, not what Paul or Peter or Isaiah said. Thanks in advance for your replies!

    - Hitman


    "Test all things; hold fast what is good." - Advice from the Apostle Paul


  2. #2

    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    Well, to get technical, He doesn't speak of "hell" in the gospels at all. There are references to hades and gehenna, both of which have been translated as "hell," originally by the King James translators; a less than accurate tradition that has carried over into our more modern translations.

    As for those who insist that "Jesus talked about hell more than heaven," even when willing to change His teachings of hades and gehenna into teachings about "hell," it does not take a lifetime of study to see that those claims are simply not true.

    In total, the word "hell" (hades and gehenna combined) is used about 10-12 times in all four gospels combined, and that's it. Even when adding the teachings about the "outer darkness, fiery furnace, eternal fire prepared for the devil," etc, it still isn't even close. Christ speaks of the kingdom of heaven far more than he speaks about "hell."

    As far as Him speaking about it more than anyone else in the bible, the fact is that in all of Paul's letters, the word "hell" is not to be found at all. I believe "hades" is used a few times in his writings, but translators have deemed the terms "death" and "grave" as being more appropriate in those cases.

    And as for the Old Testament, again, in modern translations, the word "hell" is not to be found at all. In the KJV 1611 translation, it is found about 30 times I believe, however the Hebrew word "sheol" is actually used in the OT scriptures over 60 times, with the remaining usages of "sheol" being translated as "grave" or "pit."

    Exactly what criteria was used by the translators to justify translating the same Hebrew word into different English words (in the OT) and different Greek words into the same English word (in the NT), still remains a mystery to those who have sought out answers on this subject.

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    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    What I get out of it is, Jesus spoke of justice.

    What is the purpose of Hell? Justice.

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    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by We Are View Post
    Well, to get technical, He doesn't speak of "hell" in the gospels at all. There are references to hades and gehenna, both of which have been translated as "hell," originally by the King James translators; a less than accurate tradition that has carried over into our more modern translations.

    As for those who insist that "Jesus talked about hell more than heaven," even when willing to change His teachings of hades and gehenna into teachings about "hell," it does not take a lifetime of study to see that those claims are simply not true.

    In total, the word "hell" (hades and gehenna combined) is used about 10-12 times in all four gospels combined, and that's it. Even when adding the teachings about the "outer darkness, fiery furnace, eternal fire prepared for the devil," etc, it still isn't even close. Christ speaks of the kingdom of heaven far more than he speaks about "hell."

    As far as Him speaking about it more than anyone else in the bible, the fact is that in all of Paul's letters, the word "hell" is not to be found at all. I believe "hades" is used a few times in his writings, but translators have deemed the terms "death" and "grave" as being more appropriate in those cases.

    And as for the Old Testament, again, in modern translations, the word "hell" is not to be found at all. In the KJV 1611 translation, it is found about 30 times I believe, however the Hebrew word "sheol" is actually used in the OT scriptures over 60 times, with the remaining usages of "sheol" being translated as "grave" or "pit."

    Exactly what criteria was used by the translators to justify translating the same Hebrew word into different English words (in the OT) and different Greek words into the same English word (in the NT), still remains a mystery to those who have sought out answers on this subject.
    This was really insightful, thanks!

    As for the several occurrences of "Gehenna" throughout the Gospels, do you see those as speaking of eternal conscious torment, or more simply of destruction, temporal or postmortem?

    - Hitman


    "Test all things; hold fast what is good." - Advice from the Apostle Paul


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    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthehitmanhart View Post
    I wish I had a nickle for every time I heard someone say this: "Jesus spoke about hell and eternal punishment more than anyone else in the Bible." Often the line is added at the end, "...more than everyone else in the Bible put together!" But I'd like to get some feedback on this. Do you think Jesus spoke about eternal torment more than anyone else in Scripture? Did he speak about it occasionally? Did he even speak about it at all?

    Of course Jesus spoke to his contemporaries about judgment, but do any of those occurrences of judgment-language qualify as eternal torment after death? Or is the intended meaning more often (or perhaps even always) concerned with temporal judgment resulting in death? And as a sub-question to this, is Jesus' use of the word "Gehenna" intended to be (a) a picture of eternal torment after death, (b) a picture of the finality of God's postmortem judgment, or (c) a picture of the temporal fate of Jerusalem if it did not accept his offer of peace (i.e. the Roman armies would come and turn the city into a smoldering rubbish heap)? Or perhaps a combination of these?

    For all who have thoughts on this and would like to reply, I do have one guideline: I would like to keep all discussion centered on the relevant material in the four gospels, and not the Bible in general, since the question has to do with what Jesus himself said, not what Paul or Peter or Isaiah said. Thanks in advance for your replies!
    If physical death were the penalty for sin everyone who has ever died would have paid for their sins. Death,in the biblical sense,is more than just the cessation of biological activity. Jesus did speak of eternal torment. Did he speak more about it than everyone else put together? Not sure,however he spoke about it enough to warn us that it exists and he came so that we might avoid it.

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    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    He talked about it more than the other folks. Jesus certainly spoke more of the kingdom of God than hell but even in many of the "the kingdom can be compared to..." parables... Jesus spoke of hell.


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  7. #7

    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthehitmanhart View Post
    This was really insightful, thanks!

    As for the several occurrences of "Gehenna" throughout the Gospels, do you see those as speaking of eternal conscious torment, or more simply of destruction, temporal or postmortem?
    Well this is a complicated issue. For those who wish to see "hell" in those passages, then hell is in those passages. But they must be careful because the Christ teaches that for those who think He is a "hard man," they will be judged according to their own words.

    However I would point out that I don't think "hell" as it might be applied to those passages is an actual, physical "place." It will be more of a state of mind - a state of torment than a place of torment. We will all be different beings, spiritual beings, by then, so it will be of a spiritual nature; a different dimension, even as the ressurected Christ was interdimensional and not bound by the physical laws of this 3D existence. At that time, "heaven and hell" will have more to do with consciousness and state of being than physical locations.

    This is how I believe it could end up being, but no one really knows for sure exactly how it's going to be.

    As for the duration of it - there are scriptures that seem to indicate it could be unending, and scriptures that indicate there could be an end to it. I do believe that the faithful ones who are rewarded with reigning in the kingdom, who "take charge of many cities" as taught in the parables, will have a say-so in the matter.

  8. #8

    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    A lot more than we usually do...
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    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by PilgrimPastor View Post
    A lot more than we usually do...
    There is no doubt of that.


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  10. #10

    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by PilgrimPastor View Post
    A lot more than we usually do...
    I seriously doubt that. Unfortunately too many so called "preachers" are so relentless talking about hell that they never get around to talking about the gospel, the good news. Then they make up their blatant lie that Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven. They make Jesus Christ out to be the cruelest meanist being who ever walked on this earth when the truth of the matter is there was never anybody who walked on earth who was more loving and out of love made the greatest sacrifice ever. Maybe these so called "preachers" should talk about the good news just a little.

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    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by rom826 View Post
    I seriously doubt that. Unfortunately too many so called "preachers" are so relentless talking about hell that they never get around to talking about the gospel, the good news. Then they make up their blatant lie that Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven. They make Jesus Christ out to be the cruelest meanist being who ever walked on this earth when the truth of the matter is there was never anybody who walked on earth who was more loving and out of love made the greatest sacrifice ever. Maybe these so called "preachers" should talk about the good news just a little.
    Um... hell is a reality. Not a very pleasant one sure... but just as much a part of the gospel as is the love of Christ. Judgment to come is just what it is... and it is coming. No one is going to be crawling up in the lap of Jesus giving him a big old sloppy kiss on the rosy red cheeks come judgment day. Figure a lot of folks will think it rather mean.


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    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    I see people overlooking the key concept of all this: JUSTICE.

    Basically that 100% of the people in Hell right now 100% deserve to be there and that 100% of the people who will ever be in Hell will 100% deserve to be there.

    It has nothing to do with cruelty or meanness. It has everything to do with JUSTICE.

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    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by rom826 View Post
    I seriously doubt that. Unfortunately too many so called "preachers" are so relentless talking about hell that they never get around to talking about the gospel, the good news. Then they make up their blatant lie that Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven. They make Jesus Christ out to be the cruelest meanist being who ever walked on this earth when the truth of the matter is there was never anybody who walked on earth who was more loving and out of love made the greatest sacrifice ever. Maybe these so called "preachers" should talk about the good news just a little.
    What preachers are those? I'd love to do a survey on the last time folks here heard a good sermon on hell. I doubt you'll find many pulpits in America that have done a series or even a sermon on it over the last 10 years.
    The Rookie

    Twelve is the number of government. Thus, it is quite apropos that I am on my way towards wielding the power of twelve bars - each bar like, say, a tribe.....or a star.....or, maybe an apostle. A blue apostle. Like apostle smurfs. Does anyone remember smurfs? And all the controversy about them being from the devil? It's probably bad that I juxtaposed "apostle" and "smurf" in the same sentence. But then, I probably lost you at "blue apostle". Yes, my friends, this is what "rare jewel of a person" is actually implying. "Rare Jewel of a Person" really means, "Potentially Insane".

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    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    My point is, it isn't enough to just tell people about Hell. People need to be told the PURPOSE of Hell.

    JUSTICE.

    I was turned off to Christianity for years by the concept of Hell.

    Then, I came to realize that I 100% deserve Hell. I came to the conclusion that if I could do the things I did, and NOBODY pay for those things, die, and NOT end up in Hell, then there is no justice in this universe.

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    Re: How often did Jesus talk about hell?

    Quote Originally Posted by gringo300 View Post
    My point is, it isn't enough to just tell people about Hell. People need to be told the PURPOSE of Hell.

    JUSTICE.

    I was turned off to Christianity for years by the concept of Hell.

    Then, I came to realize that I 100% deserve Hell. I came to the conclusion that if I could do the things I did, and NOBODY pay for those things, die, and NOT end up in Hell, then there is no justice in this universe.
    This hits an interesting point that I have some questions about. I agree with you in principle here, but I'm not quite sure I can follow the logic of "justice" into the justification of "eternal conscious torment". Is that really justice? Are the finite transgressions that we commit in our few years on earth really deserving of infinite and eternal punishment? I don't mean to belittle the severity of sin, but really? Infinite, unending, eternal torment, night and day, forever and ever, without relief, and without distinction? I freely admit that I have a hard time swallowing this. But according to the traditional view, what is it about God's righteousness and man's sin that I'm just not getting?

    - Hitman


    "Test all things; hold fast what is good." - Advice from the Apostle Paul


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