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Alter2Ego

Is LITERAL Hellfire Torment A Bible Teaching?

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ALTER2EGO -to- EVERYONE:

The teaching of literal hellfire torment is commonplace in Christendom and non-Christian religions. This teaching defames the Creator and portrays him as a sadist who tortures people in flames of fire for all eternity—as punishment for wrongdoing committed during the relatively brief human lifespan. The hellfire dogma was brought into Christianity by the Roman Catholics who copied it from pagan religions. (Pagans are those who do not worship the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.)

The Bible makes it clear as to how God views the ritual burning of people. Jehovah ended up rejecting the ancient Israelites after they got involved with pagan worship, which included burning their children to death.

"And they [the Israelites/sons of Judah] have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that HAD NOT COME UP INTO MY HEART." (Jeremiah 7:31)

The scriptures indicate that hell is nothing more than mankind’s common grave. Proof of this is provided by a verse of scripture in the Bible, which no hellfire-believing Christian can explain away. I’m referring to the scripture that says Jesus Christ--the epitome of a perfect, sinless, and obedient man--died and went to hell.

"{21} In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely. {22} He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth." (1 Peter 2:21-22)

"He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that HIS SOUL WAS NOT LEFT IN HELL, neither his flesh did see corruption." (Acts 2:31--King James Version)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1. Are there scriptures in the Bible to support the teaching of literal hellfire torment? If so, quote up to four (4) scriptures and include Bible book, chapter, and verse. Then bold or italicize or colorize the words within the quotations that you are focusing on, and explain why you believe the scriptures you present are talking about literal hellfire torment.

2. According to Jeremiah 7:31, did Jehovah command the ancient Israelites to burn anyone in the fire?

3. According to Jeremiah 7:31, did the burning of people come to God's heart?

4. According to those who believe in literal hellfire torment, hell is a place for people who are wicked. So why did Jesus spend three days in hell, considering what's said at 1 Peter 2:22?

5. If hell is a place of literal torment, why is it that the word "hell" also means "Sheol" and "Hades" and "the grave"?

6. When people are being tortured in hellfire, wouldn't they have to KNOW or be conscious/aware of the fact that they are being burned? I mean to say, what's the point of punishing people in hell if they aren't even aware?

7. Does the Bible teach that humans have an immortal soul that survives the death of the person so that the soul can then be burned in eternal flames? If so, please present scriptures to this effect to prove it, and follow the steps indicated at Question #1.

8. Those who believe in literal eternal torment say that the person's soul is being burned forever. What is the soul? Are animals souls also or is this only for humans?

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The Bible makes it clear as to how God views the ritual burning of people. Jehovah ended up rejecting the ancient Israelites after they got involved with pagan worship, which included burning their children to death.

Before you bring your preaching on a forum i suggest you read up on Paganism.

You seem to have got confused or blinded with this:

Moloch, also rendered as Molech, Molekh, Molok, Molek, Molock, Moloc, Melech, Milcom or Molcom (representing Semitic מלך m-l-k, a Semitic root meaning "king") is the name of an ancient Ammonite god.[1] Moloch worship was practiced by the Canaanites, Phoenician and related cultures in North Africa and the Levant.

As a god worshipped by the Phoenicians and Canaanites, Moloch had associations with a particular kind of propitiatory child sacrifice by parents. Moloch figures in the Book of Deuteronomy and in the Book of Leviticus as a form of idolatry (Leviticus 18:21: "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch"). In the Old Testament, Gehenna was a valley by Jerusalem, where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baalim and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6; Jer. 7:31, 19:2–6).

Moloch has been used figuratively in English literature from John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667) to Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" (1955), to refer to a person or thing demanding or requiring a very costly sacrifice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch

So before you slag off someone elses beliefs, provide a link to the particular bit you are referring to instead of insulting them all!

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Before you bring your preaching on a forum i suggest you read up on Paganism.

You seem to have got confused or blinded with this:

Moloch, also rendered as Molech, Molekh, Molok, Molek, Molock, Moloc, Melech, Milcom or Molcom (representing Semitic מלך m-l-k, a Semitic root meaning "king") is the name of an ancient Ammonite god.[1] Moloch worship was practiced by the Canaanites, Phoenician and related cultures in North Africa and the Levant.

As a god worshipped by the Phoenicians and Canaanites, Moloch had associations with a particular kind of propitiatory child sacrifice by parents. Moloch figures in the Book of Deuteronomy and in the Book of Leviticus as a form of idolatry (Leviticus 18:21: "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch"). In the Old Testament, Gehenna was a valley by Jerusalem, where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baalim and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6; Jer. 7:31, 19:2–6).

Moloch has been used figuratively in English literature from John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667) to Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" (1955), to refer to a person or thing demanding or requiring a very costly sacrifice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch

So before you slag off someone elses beliefs, provide a link to the particular bit you are referring to instead of insulting them all!

ALTER2EGO -to- FREE TO ROAM:

In case you did not notice, I quoted scriptures in my OP and asked specific questions dealing with those scriptures. As soon as you can find scriptures from God's inspired word, the Judeo-Christian Bible, to support Christendom's version of Dante's fictional hell, you will have made a point. As of now, you have not made any.

BTW: If you feel insulted by a thread that questions the false teaching of a sadistic Jehovah--on a debate forum where people routinely debate religious dogma--that is not my problem. You know the saying: "if you can't stand the heat. . . ." (No pun intended.)

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I'm not a big Rob Bell fan by any means, but I do like the questions he poses about God, and the concept of hell in this short 3 minute video.

Edited by Jack Skellington

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ALTER2EGO -to- FREE TO ROAM:

In case you did not notice, I quoted scriptures in my OP and asked specific questions dealing with those scriptures. As soon as you can find scriptures from God's inspired word, the Judeo-Christian Bible, to support Christendom's version of Dante's fictional hell, you will have made a point. As of now, you have not made any.

BTW: If you feel insulted by a thread that questions the false teaching of a sadistic Jehovah--on a debate forum where people routinely debate religious dogma--that is not my problem. You know the saying: "if you can't stand the heat. . . ." (No pun intended.)

Quoted scriptures mean absolutely nothing to me.

I was referring to the part about Pagans, I certainly will not be looking for anything in the bible.

I have no problems with discussing others beliefs, but you should provide links to a specific part of a belief, because what you have stated there does not portray what Paganism is about and the way you have put is as if it is fact.

I will do what every Tombi, Dicra and Hamza does when they get offended...say something. If its good enough for them to play that card, then its good enough for me!<p>%2

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Quoted scriptures mean absolutely nothing to me.

I was referring to the part about Pagans, I certainly will not be looking for anything in the bible.

I have no problems with discussing others beliefs, but you should provide links to a specific part of a belief, because what you have stated there does not portray what Paganism is about and the way you have put is as if it is fact.

I will do what every Tombi, Dicra and Hamza does when they get offended...say something. If its good enough for them to play that card, then its good enough for me!<p>%2

ALTER2EGO -to- FREE TO ROAM:

And therein lies the problem of all hellfire howlers and those who believe in a trinity god. They do not care what the Bible says. It is all about their traditions, about what they have chosen to believe.

In case you did not notice, the questions in my OP are based on scriptures. If you cannot produce scriptures to confirm that Christendom's version of Dante's fictional hell is a Bible teaching, then we've nothing further to discuss. If you write me anything else complaining about weblinks not being provided, do not hold your breath waiting for a response. None will be forthcoming.

Start with your first four (4) verses of scriptures and explain to the forum why they are proof that literal hellfire torment is a Bible teaching.

Edited by Alter2Ego

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I wrote an essay on this topic a while back. Due to moving houses my PC is not connected, so I can't upload the document to this post. What I can do is paste the following link:

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=248433&st=360&p=4795899entry4795899

To a post I made several months back before leaving Sydney. About a third of the way down there's a word document uploaded that is titled "the opposite of heaven", and outlines what I think is the biblical position on hellfire. Take 15 minutes to read it (3,500 words takes time) and I hope you enjoy it.

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How about you just summarize it?

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As often comes to pass in matter of Christian spirituality, tradition and theology within UM, PA has stolen my "fire and brimstone"--or thunder--as the case may be.

Well done essay, PA, and I recommend it to all who would care to compare and contrast the Biblical variations on the theme of hellfire/damnation, etc. (and heaven).

Freetoroam does us all a service by fleshing out how certain pre-Christian (ancient Near Eastern 'non-Hebrew') practices were experienced in the Old Testament. Part of Israel's history was a repeated return to the worship of foreign false gods in times of crisis, even to the extreme of emulating child sacrifice. No less can be said of the apostasy and "backsliding" of the Christian church universal, in different forms.Thanks for your references.

When dissecting the Judeo-Christian and early-to-medieval Christian threads of doctrine about hell and damnation, things get downright syncretistic.The ancient Hebrews believed in a realm of the dead called 'Sheol,' but it was not overtly connected with damnation. All the dead went there to exist in a vaporous, shadowy underground world. There are analogues in the ancient world, one being 'Hades,' the realm of the dead (run by the god "Hades"). Once the prophets reached distinction a sense of future judgment developed. However, even by Jesus' time, not all Jewish people believed in the resurrection or a final condemnation/damnation (Luke 20:27ff).

Within the New Testament we read of Sheol-like post-mortem places (the 'outer darkness' of Matthew 8:12; 23:13; 25:30) but with the added feature of punishment (Matt. 25:46). Just as Paul refines the concept of 'heaven' ("caught up in the third heaven," 2 Corinthians 12:2), the notion of the negative afterlife evolves. The Greek word translated as "hell" for us English speakers is derived from the Hebrew "gehinnom," the declivity outside Jerusalem's walls used as a refuse dump; also alleged to be the area of burnt offerings of children in certain OT times.By Revelation we are served the vision of a veritable "Lake of Fire" (Rev. 19:20; 20:10,14,15) which continues to this day to be a favorite of some Christians who think we need room (does the Lake have a bottom??). Hades and gehenna were brought into Anglo Saxon and Old English as "hel" or "hell," a nether-region of punishment and torment.For European Christianity the syncretism is complete in the early Dark Ages, coincidentally.

Nowadays, various theologians--professional and amateur--provide their own historical-cultural-linguistic veneer to develop a doctrine of what does--or does not--happen to those people identified as beyond salvation/deserving of damnation/however one parses it. We can say the same of any significant Christian tenet or doctrine (hence the multiplicity of Christian sects and denominations).

There is no rock-solid, incontrovertible meaning to "hell" or "damnation" in any one or many Biblical quotes. The Biblical witness conveys multiple possibilities which have nothing to do with endless torment or eternal combustion in a physical, sensate manner of speaking.

Edited by szentgyorgy
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How about you just summarize it?

Summary - hell doesn't exist!

If you want more detail, read the essay. I can't simply summarise the translations of five Greek/Hebrew words, outline the 20+ times these words appear in the Bible, address the nature of salvation, , the history of church doctrine, and other Bible passages to make my point. I would think if you want to know a point of view you should know it in detail, not just a summary. It's not like I'm asking you to watch an hour-long video.

Edited by Paranoid Android
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As often comes to pass in matter of Christian spirituality, tradition and theology within UM, PA has stolen my "fire and brimstone"--or thunder--as the case may be.

Well done essay, PA, and I recommend it to all who would care to compare and contrast the Biblical variations on the theme of hellfire/damnation, etc. (and heaven).

Freetoroam does us all a service by fleshing out how certain pre-Christian (ancient Near Eastern 'non-Hebrew') practices were experienced in the Old Testament. Part of Israel's history was a repeated return to the worship of foreign false gods in times of crisis, even to the extreme of emulating child sacrifice. No less can be said of the apostasy and "backsliding" of the Christian church universal, in different forms.Thanks for your references.

When dissecting the Judeo-Christian and early-to-medieval Christian threads of doctrine about hell and damnation, things get downright syncretistic.The ancient Hebrews believed in a realm of the dead called 'Sheol,' but it was not overtly connected with damnation. All the dead went there to exist in a vaporous, shadowy underground world. There are analogues in the ancient world, one being 'Hades,' the realm of the dead (run by the god "Hades"). Once the prophets reached distinction a sense of future judgment developed. However, even by Jesus' time, not all Jewish people believed in the resurrection or a final condemnation/damnation (Luke 20:27ff).

Within the New Testament we read of Sheol-like post-mortem places (the 'outer darkness' of Matthew 8:12; 23:13; 25:30) but with the added feature of punishment (Matt. 25:46). Just as Paul refines the concept of 'heaven' ("caught up in the third heaven," 2 Corinthians 12:2), the notion of the negative afterlife evolves. The Greek word translated as "hell" for us English speakers is derived from the Hebrew "gehinnom," the declivity outside Jerusalem's walls used as a refuse dump; also alleged to be the area of burnt offerings of children in certain OT times.By Revelation we are served the vision of a veritable "Lake of Fire" (Rev. 19:20; 20:10,14,15) which continues to this day to be a favorite of some Christians who think we need room (does the Lake have a bottom??). Hades and gehenna were brought into Anglo Saxon and Old English as "hel" or "hell," a nether-region of punishment and torment.For European Christianity the syncretism is complete in the early Dark Ages, coincidentally.

Nowadays, various theologians--professional and amateur--provide their own historical-cultural-linguistic veneer to develop a doctrine of what does--or does not--happen to those people identified as beyond salvation/deserving of damnation/however one parses it. We can say the same of any significant Christian tenet or doctrine (hence the multiplicity of Christian sects and denominations).

There is no rock-solid, incontrovertible meaning to "hell" or "damnation" in any one or many Biblical quotes. The Biblical witness conveys multiple possibilities which have nothing to do with endless torment or eternal combustion in a physical, sensate manner of speaking.

Nice summary.

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Just for the record--I don't claim my post is equal to PA's essay, and I only skimmed his work and saw that we shared salience on some points. It is worth reading in its entirety. It's well done.

I was, rather superficially, calling attention to the plurality of ideas in scripture about hell/damnation.

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Summary - hell doesn't exist!

If you want more detail, read the essay. I can't simply summarise the translations of five Greek/Hebrew words, outline the 20+ times these words appear in the Bible, address the nature of salvation, , the history of church doctrine, and other Bible passages to make my point. I would think if you want to know a point of view you should know it in detail, not just a summary. It's not like I'm asking you to watch an hour-long video.

I haven't yet read your essay...but I will. I am curious, because I don't know...what denomination are you affiliated with? I ask because, in all of the First Baptist Churches that I have had the Enlightented Pleasure of experiencing...Hell is very real...a place you ARE going to burn in...forever...end of story Unless...you pray this prayer: Jesus, please come into my life and forgive me of my sin. Then, you are under the 'umbrella of grace' and you cannot undo what has been done...all the sinning in the world cannot undo the fact that you were forgiven for ALL of your sin, past, present and future.

So...I am guessing you are not a Baptist?

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It's amazing to see that while Jesus speaks directly about hell (with some 40+ references) you have little trouble understanding that he is speaking conceptually and not about a specific place, yet with no direct references whatsoever to a Triune God (One yet three) you imagine three distinct, united, but unequal entities???

What is amazing is the nonsense that folks can convince themselves of when they want to... Non sense.

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I haven't yet read your essay...but I will. I am curious, because I don't know...what denomination are you affiliated with? I ask because, in all of the First Baptist Churches that I have had the Enlightented Pleasure of experiencing...Hell is very real...a place you ARE going to burn in...forever...end of story Unless...you pray this prayer: Jesus, please come into my life and forgive me of my sin. Then, you are under the 'umbrella of grace' and you cannot undo what has been done...all the sinning in the world cannot undo the fact that you were forgiven for ALL of your sin, past, present and future.

So...I am guessing you are not a Baptist?

I am not affiliated with any denomination. I get my beliefs from the Bible, not an earthly organisation. I suppose if I were to categorise, I'd probably describe myself as a Bible-believing, conservative, evangelical, non-denominational protestant.

For what it's worth the last church I attended was Anglican. But I don't call myself "Anglican", only a follower of Christ - and that transcends doctrine, dogma, and denominational boundaries.

I hope you get a chance to read the essay. At the very least it opens the floor for you to different possibilities. Though just clarify, in saying "hell does not exist" I'm not therefore arguing universal reconciliation (as some liberals do). The Bible does speak of an alternative to heaven, I just don't think "hell" is the correct term (hence the title if my essay - "The Opposite of Heaven".

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It's amazing to see that while Jesus speaks directly about hell (with some 40+ references) you have little trouble understanding that he is speaking conceptually and not about a specific place, yet with no direct references whatsoever to a Triune God (One yet three) you imagine three distinct, united, but unequal entities???

What is amazing is the nonsense that folks can convince themselves of when they want to... Non sense.

My beliefs are based in the Bible, they begin there and they end there. I've shared a link about the Trinity before, and I've shared an essay on hell before. Does Jesus talk about hell? I don't think he does, the places where Jesus is usually quoted are actually other words that don't mean what those who quote them think they mean (Gehenna being the most popular of these).

Which is why summarising the essay is unhelpful. Had you read it, you may perhaps not have made such an erroneous comment about 40+ direct references. There are no direct references! *ok, perhaps one -though it's still incorrect to call it "hell" and it is contrasted by dozens of comparable passages that dispute this interpretation. But again, I addressed this verse within the essay, so that's that.

Edited by Paranoid Android

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ALTER2EGO -to- FREE TO ROAM:

And therein lies the problem of all hellfire howlers and those who believe in a trinity god. They do not care what the Bible says. It is all about their traditions, about what they have chosen to believe.

In case you did not notice, the questions in my OP are based on scriptures. If you cannot produce scriptures to confirm that Christendom's version of Dante's fictional hell is a Bible teaching, then we've nothing further to discuss. If you write me anything else complaining about weblinks not being provided, do not hold your breath waiting for a response. None will be forthcoming.

Start with your first four (4) verses of scriptures and explain to the forum why they are proof that literal hellfire torment is a Bible teaching.

Jeeze, it like being back in my old RE class many moons ago, I walked out of that.

The bible, its gods and their beliefs are not up my street.

I will surely not be getting involved in any of that or script stuff.

Was only having a pop about the generalization of Pagans killing their children bit, its crap and IMO so are the scriptures.

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Ok-- I read it! Thank goodness you wrote "that this paper is not intended as a definitive work on the topic" --- because for a minute there I thought that everything had been decided and the discussion was over.

I will provide a paper summary that you were unwilling to offer. Please correct me if I get it wrong...

1. Hell doesn't exist. Jesus didn't really know what he was talking about when he talked about hell. He just threw out a bunch of meaningless ideas and descriptions of a place that doesn't exist. The 46 or so, references in the new testament are examples of "the opposite of heaven" and the Bible isn't clear about hell as a concept at all.

2. Heaven doesn't exist. At least not yet. It simply hasn't been invented yet, but once it is created it will certainly be the opposite of hell-- which doesn't exist.

3. Certainly, if there was a hell, which there isn't-- it would not be a place of punishment and torture and screaming. That place is Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

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Ok-- I read it! Thank goodness you wrote "that this paper is not intended as a definitive work on the topic" --- because for a minute there I thought that everything had been decided and the discussion was over.

I will provide a paper summary that you were unwilling to offer. Please correct me if I get it wrong...

I'll correct you where I can, but it seems your sarcasm has already decided, and you can't fill a cup that's already full:

1. Hell doesn't exist. Jesus didn't really know what he was talking about when he talked about hell. He just threw out a bunch of meaningless ideas and descriptions of a place that doesn't exist. The 46 or so, references in the new testament are examples of "the opposite of heaven" and the Bible isn't clear about hell as a concept at all.

It was beyond the scope of the paper to discuss every verse in the Bible, but I provided definitions of the Greek words, plus references to each place the word is used. For example, the reference to Gehenna is a burning garbage dump and Jesus on several occasions uses the fires of this dump and contrasts it to the purifying fire of God, but it's often mistranslated as hell and people use it incorrectly to argue for fiery afterlife torment.

As noted I provided the definition of the Greek and referenced each place it's used. That's the best I can do.

2. Heaven doesn't exist. At least not yet. It simply hasn't been invented yet, but once it is created it will certainly be the opposite of hell-- which doesn't exist.

Actually there are three heavens that exist, but the one Christians speak of in terms of "I'll be in heaven with God" had not yet been created by God (the word create is more appropriate than "invented").

3. Certainly, if there was a hell, which there isn't-- it would not be a place of punishment and torture and screaming. That place is Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

If there is an opposite to heaven (which there is) it isn't punishment with torture/screaming/etc. It may be an eternal separation from God rather than destruction of existence, but not fiery pain and torment. But I think destruction the more likely.

Hope this helps :tu:

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I was just funnin' ya PA. I liked it. I really like that you are willing to look at it from a different perspective and consider something beyond the tripe and dogma that is generally latched upon by so many.

Rather than saying that hell doesn't exist, I think it would be more accurate to simply say that hell simply isn't what a lot of people think it might be. Jesus certainly did speak of "something" and while you try to coin the term "opposite of heaven" -your definition of heaven is somewhat lacking as I know you readily admit even within the essay. One thing to consider if you want to take the "opposite of heaven" tact, is to look at the many times Jesus taught what the kingdom of heaven is like... It's a worthy search to make a list of all the things he says heaven is like, and I bet his descriptions will surprise you.

With those things in mind, you will see that "hell" in it's various likenesses is not at all heaven's opposite, rather it is much closer to the absence of heaven-- or what you called Eternal Death, though that too is a misnomer because the destruction (second death) is final, and not eternal at all.

Anyways--- let me know if you do the search. If not, I can summarize it for you. :yes:

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I was just funnin' ya PA. I liked it. I really like that you are willing to look at it from a different perspective and consider something beyond the tripe and dogma that is generally latched upon by so many.

Rather than saying that hell doesn't exist, I think it would be more accurate to simply say that hell simply isn't what a lot of people think it might be. Jesus certainly did speak of "something" and while you try to coin the term "opposite of heaven" -your definition of heaven is somewhat lacking as I know you readily admit even within the essay. One thing to consider if you want to take the "opposite of heaven" tact, is to look at the many times Jesus taught what the kingdom of heaven is like... It's a worthy search to make a list of all the things he says heaven is like, and I bet his descriptions will surprise you.

With those things in mind, you will see that "hell" in it's various likenesses is not at all heaven's opposite, rather it is much closer to the absence of heaven-- or what you called Eternal Death, though that too is a misnomer because the destruction (second death) is final, and not eternal at all.

Anyways--- let me know if you do the search. If not, I can summarize it for you. :yes:

About the words of Jesus...they are all 'hearsay'. Remember that party you went to and your Uncle said something that was quite clever and right on and then a couple of years later you are describing what he said to a friend of yours....memory is a funny thing you know...

Besides that...many things Jesus was purported to have said...well...he didn't. If one is to really understand Jesus...one has to study the New Testament with the intent being to Know Jesus. Once you know the character of Jesus...you can more easily guage what he would have and what he would not have said or done. That's what I think anyway.

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I've read this whole thread top to bottom. I was actually thinking about this topic today so this is perfect timing..

PA - your paper was fantastic. A single word translation from language to language isn't rocket science: that makes a compelling argument against traditional teachings, IMO.

There's a good documentary on Netflix I watched a few weeks ago called "Hellbound?". It's a guy on a mission to find out if the classic version of Hell is real. He talks to priests, Westboro Baptist (lol), historians, etc. If you can, i recommend it!

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I've read this whole thread top to bottom. I was actually thinking about this topic today so this is perfect timing..

PA - your paper was fantastic. A single word translation from language to language isn't rocket science: that makes a compelling argument against traditional teachings, IMO.

There's a good documentary on Netflix I watched a few weeks ago called "Hellbound?". It's a guy on a mission to find out if the classic version of Hell is real. He talks to priests, Westboro Baptist (lol), historians, etc. If you can, i recommend it!

What really worries me is the staunch position by the OP.

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I was just funnin' ya PA.

Sorry, I was thrown by your sarcasm, misinterpreted your meaning.
I liked it. I really like that you are willing to look at it from a different perspective and consider something beyond the tripe and dogma that is generally latched upon by so many.

Rather than saying that hell doesn't exist, I think it would be more accurate to simply say that hell simply isn't what a lot of people think it might be. Jesus certainly did speak of "something" and while you try to coin the term "opposite of heaven" -your definition of heaven is somewhat lacking as I know you readily admit even within the essay.

When I say the "opposite" of heaven, I use the word in terms of an alternative - if you don't get heaven, the what's the biblical alternative? I think it is flawed to use your "hell isn't what people think it is" because that would mean accepting that it's theologically accurate to even call it "hell". Maybe it's just a semantics issue, and destruction by any other name is still hell, but it's clear that the alternative to heaven is certainly not the word "hell".

And I admit I cannot say exactly what heaven is like. It's a spirit existence, and I as a physical entity cannot even conceive of a future spirit being existence, which is nevertheless what the Bible promises. Even Jesus was only ever able to say "the kingdom of heaven is like..." Which segues nicely into your next comment.

One thing to consider if you want to take the "opposite of heaven" tact, is to look at the many times Jesus taught what the kingdom of heaven is like... It's a worthy search to make a list of all the things he says heaven is like, and I bet his descriptions will surprise you.

With those things in mind, you will see that "hell" in it's various likenesses is not at all heaven's opposite, rather it is much closer to the absence of heaven-- or what you called Eternal Death, though that too is a misnomer because the destruction (second death) is final, and not eternal at all.

Anyways--- let me know if you do the search. If not, I can summarize it for you. :yes:

Indeed the opposite of heaven is the absence of heaven. As noted, I'm using the term in the sense of the alternative to heaven. I get your meaning by attempting to clarify, and next time I revise the essay I may incorporate the idea of "alternative" rather than "opposite", depending on how it goes.

In any case, Jesus uses several parables and examples to suggest what heaven is. For example, a rich man throws a party and invited all his friends, who make up lame excuses not to come, so he sends his servant to invite the poor who come and feast, meanwhile the friends originally invited see a rocking part but are thrown out in the wilderness. The problem with any human analogy is that it's framed within a physical realm (as noted, heaven is a spirit realm). Even the greatest party ever held would get boring if done for eternity.

I haven't taken the time right now to attempt a complete outline of Jesus' teachings of heaven. I've done it before, though never catalogued it into an essay like several other topics I've done. But the following link:

http://julianfreeman.ca/doctrine/jesus-heaven

That I found in a 30-second google search (and have not studied to vouch for accuracy of specific verses) begins by addressing an important point (in my opinion). Jesus far more often teaches about how to get to heaven, rather than what it will be like. He (the link writer) hypothesises that if someone asked Jesus "what is it like in heaven", Jesus would respond along the lines of "you're asking the wrong question". And I think that's a fair observation.

For me, I don't know for certain what heaven will be like. And though I've argued the alternative is destruction I'm again not absolutely certain. But I know that in heaven my God will be there, and in its alternative God won't be. And that's enough for me to know to decide that I want heaven.

Edited by Paranoid Android
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Infernal world is a lower world. Any place away from god is a form of torture. This is my interpretation. If god is true, we cant know how a person will feel to be away from it, when faced with its truth. that may be gruesome. this is my opinion.

On the other hand, last of abrahamic books, quran, which also recognizes the bible and says that it is altered in time and not anymore in its original form, makes it a must to believe in heaven and hell.it is one of the pillars in belief. in other words, you cant deny heaven and hell if you are believer. it is not optional :) Hell and torture in it is described in many verses.so according to abrahamic religions hell and torture in it exists.

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