MAGICIAN’S SMOKE OR PERSUASIVE ARGUMENT
Our examination of hell in the Bible revealed plenty of evidence that the existence of such a place is not supported by the scriptures. The argument is so convincing, as a matter of fact, that its going to be difficult to understand how it is that anyone could dispute its final premise.
Evidence in the Old Testament
- The Hebrew sheol unhappily rendered “hell” 31 times in the Old Testament (W.E. Vine)
- Newer revised editions of many Bibles have inserted sheol back into the text of scripture where it appears in the original manuscripts
- The Hebrew word, sheol, is defined as the “grave” or the “realm of the dead”.
- We showed that translating sheol as the “grave” is contextually supported in all the passages in which it is rendered “hell”.
- The very first mention of the word “hell” does not occur until Deuteronomy 32:22 – nearly 2500 years in the account of human existence before anyone mentions … hell?
- Hell was never mentioned to Adam and Eve, Noah never mentions hell to those lost in the flood, nor does Lot to the people of Sodom.
- The Hebrew language does not even have a word that means hell
- To the ancient Jew of the Old Testament, dead meant dead.
Evidence in the New Testament
- The Greek hades is unhappily rendered “hell” 10 times in the New Testament (W.E. Vine)
- Newer revised editions of several versions of the Bible have inserted hades back into the text of scripture where it appears in the original manuscripts
- Bible dictionaries position hades as the New Testament parallel to sheol of the Old Testament defined as the “grave”, the “unseen” and all receiving, “realm of the dead”.
- We showed that translating hades as the “grave” is contextually supported in all the passages in which it is rendered “hell”.
- The Hebrew sheol is translated hades throughout the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) – another indicator of the parallel nature of the two words
- The Greek Gehenna is translated “hell” twelve times requiring a difficult interpretive approach to the passages, rather than the literal (Valley of Hinnom) throughout, which is contextually supported in all twelve passages.
- Modern translators and textual critics have begun inserting the word Gehenna in the new Bible revisions where it appears in the original manuscripts rather than the word “hell”.
- A more plausible interpretation of the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus shows it to be a parable addressing the condition of the Jews and not of the state of the dead. This would mean that the passage cannot stand as an example of the conditions in hell.
- Peter’s use of the word Tartarus as a metaphor to show to his readers God’s willingness to judge evil, not a description of an angel thug lockdown.
There is a triad of translation and interpretation mishaps regarding the subject of hell in the Bible:
- The “unhappy” rendering of sheol and hades as “hell” in the Old and New Testaments, respectively
- The interpretation of Gehenna (the Valley of Hinnom) as a figurative representation of the fires of hell
- The idea that Jesus’ parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is portraying a real event with real people in a real place giving hell a rounded-out description
These three routinely appear as a three-pronged exegesis in commentary to validate the myth of the existence of hell, but they crumble under the weight of this examination. Without them, there is no hell.