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Does Hell really mean eternal torment after death?

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by franklin, Aug 26, 2002.

  1. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    ah wildfire, cuse me brother but, I chose to stay with the inspired books and BTW, this thread is not about heaven!  If you want to talk about heaven, I posted another thread on that at: http://www.christianforums.com/showthread.php?postid=299186#post299186 

    Unfortunately I will not be able to engage in an open forum discussion with you on that thread that I originated. Because of my un-orthodox views  :rolleyes:   I am no longer allowed to post comments in the Christian only forums.  However, if you do post a reply to me, I will be more then glad to reply back to you in the form of a PM.  Other then that, thank you for expressing your interest in response to the topic being discussed in this thread.

  2. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    Jehovahs Witness
    I think it best if we stick to accepted and inspired scripture if we want to get to the truth of the matter about Hell.

    Sorry Franklin, didnt read next page before posting.
  3. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    Jehovahs Witness
    Torment need not mean physical pain either. The Greek noun ba·sa·ni·stes' occurring at Matthew 18:34 is rendered “jailers” in some translations (AT, Fn, NW; compare Mt 18:30) and “tormentors” or “torturers” in others. (AS, KJ, JB) Torture was sometimes used in prisons to obtain information (compare Ac 22:24, 29, which shows that this was done, although ba·sa·ni'zo is not used here), so ba·sa·ni·stes' came to be applied to jailers. Regarding its use at Matthew 18:34, The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia observed: “Probably the imprisonment itself was regarded as ‘torment’ (as it doubtless was), and the ‘tormentors’ need mean nothing more than jailers.” (Edited by J. Orr, 1960, Vol. V, p. 2999) So, the mentioning in Revelation 20:10 of ones who will be “tormented day and night forever and ever” evidently indicates that they will be in a condition of restraint. So held in death forever, or more accurately, destroyed. That a condition of restraint can be spoken of as “torment” is indicated by the parallel accounts at Matthew 8:29 and Luke 8:31.
  4. NurseMK

    NurseMK New Member


    The man in Luke 16:24 cries: ". . .I am tormented in this FLAME."

    In Matthew 13:42, Jesus says: "And shall cast them into a FURNACE OF FIRE: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

    In Matthew 25:41, Jesus says: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting FIRE,. . ."

    Revelation 20:15 says, " And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the LAKE OF FIRE."
  5. Sky

    Sky Active Member

    So does that mean that there is no "hell", just that death is the end for the unsaved?
  6. excreationist

    excreationist Former Believer

    What about the talk of the sheep and the goats at the end of Matthew 25?

    Verse 41 - "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'"
    Verse 46 - "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

    In that passage, the nations are separated into two groups - those who go to paradise and those who are eternally punished. Those who are eternally punished go to the same fire that is for the devil and his angels.

    About the phrase "eternal punishment".... doesn't that suggest the people are feeling bad or unpleasant sensations, which last forever? i.e. they would be eternally conscious of the pain?

    I mean say you whipped a horse until it died, then you continued to whip the carcass forever... I would say that the horse was only punished or tormented while it remained alive rather than the torment being eternal. Remember that eternal torment is an actively negative thing - not a neutral thing like a person dying and ceasing to exist.
  7. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    Jehovahs Witness
    This verse is referring to “The lake of fire” into which death, Hades, the symbolic “wild beast” and “the false prophet,” Satan, his demons, and the persistent practicers of wickedness on earth are cast and is shown to mean “the second death.” (Re 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8; Mt 25:41) Initially death resulted from and was passed on to mankind as a result of Adam’s transgression; hence “the second death” must be distinct from this inherited death. It is evident from the cited texts that there is no release possible from “the second death.” The situation of those in “the second death” corresponds to the outcome warned of in such texts as Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26, 27; and Matthew 12:32. On the other hand, those represented as gaining “the crown of life” and having part in “the first resurrection” are free from any possibility of harm by the second death. (Re 2:10, 11) These, who are to reign with Christ, receive immortality (deathlessness) and incorruption and hence are beyond the “authority” of the second death. 1Co 15:50-54; Re 20:6; compare Joh 8:51.

    Franklin has already mentioned that this “Lake of Fire” is also refered to in scripture by the name (Ge·hen'na) [Gr. form of the Heb. Geh Hin·nom', “Valley of Hinnom”]. But I will add a little more detail in order to answer your question.

    This name appears 12 times in the OT or Greek Scriptures, and whereas many translators take the liberty to render it by the word “hell,” a number of modern translations transliterate the word from the Greek ge'en·na. Mt 5:22, Ro, Mo, ED, BC (Spanish), NC (Spanish), also the footnotes of Da and RS.

    The deep, narrow Valley of Hinnom, later known by this Greek name, lay to the S and SW of ancient Jerusalem and is the modern-day Wadi er-Rababi (Ge Ben Hinnom). (Jos 15:8; 18:16; Jer 19:2, 6; see HINNOM, VALLEY OF.) Judean Kings Ahaz and Manasseh engaged in idolatrous worship there, which included the making of human sacrifices by fire to Baal. (2Ch 28:1, 3; 33:1, 6; Jer 7:31, 32; 32:35) Later, to prevent such activities there in the future, faithful King Josiah had the place of idolatrous worship polluted, particularly the section called Topheth. 2Ki 23:10.

    Jesus Christ associated fire with Gehenna (Mt 5:22; 18:9; Mr 9:47, 48), as did the disciple James, the only Biblical writer besides Matthew, Mark, and Luke to use the word. (Jas 3:6) Some commentators endeavor to link such fiery characteristic of Gehenna with the burning of human sacrifices that was carried on prior to Josiah’s reign and, on this basis, hold that Gehenna was used by Jesus as a symbol of everlasting torment. However, since God expressed repugnance for such practice, saying that it was “a thing that I had not commanded and that had not come up into my heart” (Jer 7:31; 32:35), it seems most unlikely that God’s Son, in discussing divine judgment, would make such idolatrous practice the basis for the symbolic meaning of Gehenna. It may be noted that God prophetically decreed that the Valley of Hinnom would serve as a place for mass disposal of dead bodies rather than for the torture of live victims. (Jer 7:32, 33; 19:2, 6, 7, 10, 11) That being so, at Jeremiah 31:40 the reference to “the low plain of the carcasses and of the fatty ashes” is generally accepted as designating the Valley of Hinnom, and a gate known as “the Gate of the Ash-heaps” evidently opened out onto the eastern extremity of the valley at its juncture with the ravine of the Kidron. (Ne 3:13, 14) It seems obvious that such “carcasses” and “fatty ashes” are not related to the human sacrifices made there under Ahaz and Manasseh, since any bodies so offered would doubtless be viewed by the idolaters as “sacred” and would not be left lying in the valley.

    Therefore, the Biblical evidence concerning Gehenna generally parallels the traditional view presented by rabbinic and other sources. That view is that the Valley of Hinnom was used as a place for the disposal of waste matter from the city of Jerusalem. (At Mt 5:30 Ph renders ge'en·na as “rubbish heap.”) Concerning “Gehinnom,” the Jewish commentator David Kimhi (1160-1235?), in his comment on Psalm 27:13, gives the following historical information: “And it is a place in the land adjoining Jerusalem, and it is a loathsome place, and they throw there unclean things and carcasses. Also there was a continual fire there to burn the unclean things and the bones of the carcasses. Hence, the judgment of the wicked ones is called parabolically Gehinnom.”

    It is evident that Jesus used Gehenna as representative of utter destruction resulting from adverse judgment by God, hence with no resurrection to life as a soul being possible. (Mt 10:28; Lu 12:4, 5) The scribes and Pharisees as a wicked class were denounced as ‘subjects for Gehenna.’ (Mt 23:13-15, 33) To avoid such destruction, Jesus’ followers were to get rid of anything causing spiritual stumbling, the ‘cutting off of a hand or foot’ and the ‘tearing out of an eye’ figuratively representing their deadening of these body members with reference to sin. Mt 18:9; Mr 9:43-47; Col 3:5; compare Mt 5:27-30.

    Jesus also apparently alluded to Isaiah 66:24 in describing Gehenna as a place “where their maggot does not die and the fire is not put out.” (Mr 9:47, 48) That the symbolic picture here is not one of torture but, rather, of complete destruction is evident from the fact that the Isaiah text dealt, not with persons who were alive, but with “the carcasses of the men that were transgressing” against God. If, as the available evidence indicates, the Valley of Hinnom was a place for the disposal of garbage and carcasses, fire, perhaps increased in intensity by the addition of sulfur (compare Isa 30:33), would be the only suitable means to eliminate such refuse. Where the fire did not reach, worms, or maggots, would breed, consuming anything not destroyed by the fire. On this basis, Jesus’ words would mean that the destructive effect of God’s adverse judgment would not cease until complete destruction was attained.
  8. Jephunneh

    Jephunneh Active Member

    " Does Hell really mean eternal torment after death?"

    Yes, after Hell gets cast into the Lake of Fire.
  9. psycmajor

    psycmajor self-Banned

    That is in the book of Revelations and has not occurred yet. It doesn't necessarily make sense to us, but it makes perfect sense to God:
    Isa 55:8
    "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
    Isa 55:9
    "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

    Luke 16:19-31

    19 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.' 25 But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.' 27 Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.' 29 Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' "

    Sounds pretty explicitly stated as to what hell is.
  10. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    Jehovahs Witness
    This is clearly a Parable

    JESUS has been talking to his disciples about the proper use of material riches, explaining that we cannot be slaves to these and at the same time be slaves to God. The Pharisees are also listening, and they begin to sneer at Jesus because they are money lovers. So he says to them: “You are those who declare yourselves righteous before men, but God knows your hearts; because what is lofty among men is a disgusting thing in God’s sight.”
    The time has come for the tables to be turned on people who are rich in worldly goods, political power, and religious control and influence. They are to be put down. However, the people who recognize their spiritual need are to be lifted up. Jesus points to such a change when he goes on to say to the Pharisees:

    “The Law and the Prophets were until John [the Baptizer]. From then on the kingdom of God is being declared as good news, and every sort of person is pressing forward toward it. Indeed, it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one particle of a letter of the Law to go unfulfilled.”

    The scribes and the Pharisees are proud of their professed adherence to the Law of Moses. Recall that when Jesus miraculously gave sight to a certain man in Jerusalem, they boasted: “We are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses.” But now the Law of Moses has fulfilled its intended purpose of leading humble ones to God’s designated King, Jesus Christ. So with the beginning of John’s ministry, all kinds of persons, especially the humble and the poor, are exerting themselves to become subjects of God’s Kingdom.
    Since the Mosaic Law is now being fulfilled, the obligation to keep it is to be removed. The Law permits divorce on various grounds, but Jesus now says: “Everyone that divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he that marries a woman divorced from a husband commits adultery.” How such pronouncements must irritate the Pharisees, especially since they permit divorce on many grounds!

    Continuing his remarks to the Pharisees, Jesus relates an illustration that features two men whose status, or situation, is eventually changed dramatically.

    “But a certain man was rich,” Jesus explains, “and he used to deck himself with purple and linen, enjoying himself from day to day with magnificence. But a certain beggar named Lazarus used to be put at his gate, full of ulcers and desiring to be filled with the things dropping from the table of the rich man. Yes, too, the dogs would come and lick his ulcers.”
    Jesus here uses the rich man to represent the Jewish religious leaders, including not only the Pharisees and the scribes but the Sadducees and the chief priests as well. They are rich in spiritual privileges and opportunities, and they conduct themselves as the rich man did. Their clothing of royal purple represents their favored position, and the white linen pictures their self-righteousness.

    This proud rich-man class views the poor, common people with utter contempt, calling them `am ha·’a'rets, or people of the earth. The beggar Lazarus thus represents these people to whom the religious leaders deny proper spiritual nourishment and privileges. Hence, like Lazarus covered with ulcers, the common people are looked down upon as spiritually diseased and fit only to associate with dogs. Yet, those of the Lazarus class hunger and thirst for spiritual nourishment and so are at the gate, seeking to receive whatever meager morsels of spiritual food may drop from the rich man’s table.

    Jesus now goes on to describe changes in the condition of the rich man and Lazarus. What are these changes, and what do they represent?

    The rich man represents the religious leaders who are favored with spiritual privileges and opportunities, and Lazarus pictures the common people who hunger for spiritual nourishment. Jesus continues his story, describing a dramatic change in the men’s circumstances.
    “Now in course of time,” Jesus says, “the beggar died and he was carried off by the angels to the bosom position of Abraham. Also, the rich man died and was buried. And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, he existing in torments, and he saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in the bosom position with him.”

    Since the rich man and Lazarus are not literal persons but symbolize classes of people, logically their deaths are also symbolic. What do their deaths symbolize, or represent?
    Jesus has just finished pointing to a change in circumstances by saying that ‘the Law and the Prophets were until John the Baptizer, but from then on the kingdom of God is being declared.’ Hence, it is with the preaching of John and Jesus Christ that both the rich man and Lazarus die to their former circumstances, or condition.

    Those of the humble, repentant Lazarus class die to their former spiritually deprived condition and come into a position of divine favor. Whereas they had earlier looked to the religious leaders for what little dropped from the spiritual table, now the Scriptural truths imparted by Jesus are filling their needs. They are thus brought into the bosom, or favored position, of the Greater Abraham, God himself.

    On the other hand, those who make up the rich-man class come under divine disfavor because of persistently refusing to accept the Kingdom message taught by Jesus. They thereby die to their former position of seeming favor. In fact, they are spoken of as being in figurative torment. Listen now, as the rich man speaks:

    “Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in this blazing fire.” God’s fiery judgment messages proclaimed by Jesus’ disciples are what torment individuals of the rich-man class. They want the disciples to let up on declaring these messages, thus providing them some measure of relief from their torments.

    “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you received in full your good things in your lifetime, but Lazarus correspondingly the injurious things. Now, however, he is having comfort here but you are in anguish. And besides all these things, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you people, so that those wanting to go over from here to you people cannot, neither may people cross over from there to us.’”

    How just and appropriate that such a dramatic reversal take place between the Lazarus class and the rich-man class! The change in conditions is accomplished a few months later at Pentecost 33 C.E., when the old Law covenant is replaced by the new covenant. It then becomes unmistakably clear that the disciples, not the Pharisees and other religious leaders, are favored by God. The “great chasm” that separates the symbolic rich man from Jesus’ disciples therefore represents God’s unchangeable, righteous judgment.

    The rich man next requests “father Abraham”: “Send [Lazarus] to the house of my father, for I have five brothers.” The rich man thus confesses he has a closer relationship to another father, who is actually Satan the Devil. The rich man requests that Lazarus water down God’s judgment messages so as not to put his “five brothers,” his religious allies, in “this place of torment.”

    “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to these.’” Yes, if the “five brothers” would escape torment, all they have to do is heed the writings of Moses and the Prophets that identify Jesus as the Messiah and then become his disciples. But the rich man objects: “No, indeed, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them they will repent.”

    However, he is told: “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.” God will not provide special signs or miracles to convince people. They must read and apply the Scriptures if they would obtain his favor.
  11. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

  12. Jephunneh

    Jephunneh Active Member


    "the Bible does not teach that hell (the grave) is a place of conscious souls. "

    You are a J.W. aren't you?

  13. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    Jeph, No, are you?  Just curious, but what would give you the idea that I might be a Jaydubya?  Let's just see what the scriptures say about consciousness after death:

    "For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten".   Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.....  Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.   (Ecclesiastes 9:5-10)

    The last I checked Ecclesiastes is in the Bible is that correct? Did you ever wonder why you never hear a message coming from the pulpits on Ecclesiastes?  I think if we did, people might start living there lives a whole lot differently don't you think? Just ponder these passages and I think you will understand where I'm coming from.
  14. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    Jehovahs Witness
    Also, that thought is backed up in the Psalms where it says, Do not put YOUR trust in nobles, Nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; In that day his thoughts do perish”. Psalm 146:3,44.

    If there is no conscious thought then there is no life. 
  15. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    Interesting points guys. Perhaps after punishment, the souls are destroyed forever in Hell.
  16. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    Let's see what the scripture has to say about the soul........

    What is the soul?  the Scripture says, man became, or was made, a living soul. The Scripture does not say, God placed a soul into man (Genesis 2:7, Ecclesiastes 12:7, Isaiah 57:16, 1 Corinthians 15:45). The Hebrew word translated "life" in Genesis 1:20,30 is the same word translated as "soul" in Genesis 2:7.  The Scripture is very clear, in Numbers 31:28 and Revelation 16:3 that both man, animals, and the fish in the sea are souls. Every living creature has the "breath of life" (Genesis 7:21-23). The word "soul" is used to refer to a person or people in James 5:20, Exodus 1:5, Genesis 12:5, Numbers 9:13 and Proverbs 25:25.

    Where is the "soul" located? In the blood (Leviticus 17:11-14). "Life" and "soul".  This explains Acts 17:26. "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;" 

    Can a "soul" die?   Yes (Psalm 22:29; 49:15, Job 7:15). The Hebrew word translated "soul" in Ezekiel 18:4,20 is the same as "soul" in Genesis 2:7. If a soul couldn't die, then there would be no need to "save a soul from death" (James 5:20).


    [/color]Where is the "soul" at death? The grave (Job 33:18,22,28,30, Psalm 30:3; 89:48).
  17. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    Jehovahs Witness
    "And the Man came to be a living soul". That is a profound statement, it says man is a soul. Ask yourself, is there a difference in these terms.

    I have a dog or I am a dog. Clearly one would make you a dog and the other the owner of a dog. Now take a fresh look at the scripture "And the man came to be a living soul". What would Adam have said of himself, I have a soul or I am a soul.
  18. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    Jesus said both body and soul could be destroyed in Gehenna, thus causing us to deduce that they are separate.
  19. franklin

    franklin Sexed up atheism = Pantheism

    souljah, Gehenna does not refer to torment after death. Read the prophecy concerning the apostate Israel in Jeremiah 7:30-34

    This passage undoubtedly refers to the literal destruction that would befall the Jewish nation in 70 A.D., when many Jews experienced literally the condemnation of Gehenna, by perishing miserably by fire and sword. Every Bible reference about hell is to this world. Only Jesus and James ever used the term Gehenna. Neither Paul, John, Peter nor Jude ever employed it. Would they not have warned sinners concerning it, if there were a Gehenna of torment after death? Neither Christ nor His apostles ever used the term Gehenna to Gentiles, but only to Jews, which proves it is a locality known only to Jews, whereas, if it were a place of punishment after death for sinners, it would have been preached to the Gentiles as well as to Jews. 

    I also have a post in this thread on Gehenna: 


  20. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    Jehovahs Witness
    Soul in scripture can refer to the creature or the life enjoyed by that creature.

    Example: Myself = My soul. My life = My soul. So having both body and soul destroyed simply means body destroyed (soul) and life destroyed (soul) no prospect of future life = destruction in Gehanna.