In the previous three posts we have been discussing hell from the Old Testament, the Second Temple Period and from the Gospels. In this final post I want to conclude with some thoughts on what the rest of the New Testament has to say about hell. As we saw in post 3, Jesus certainly taught that there will be a place of judgment for those who are sinners. That place is primarily referred to as Gehenna by Jesus, which was a valley known for death and agony. In the rest of the New Testament there is hardly any mention of hell. In the Pauline Epistles, hell is almost completely absent aside from a few allusions.
In James we have one mention of hell with reference to what will happen to those whose tongues run unbridled.
And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell (James 3:6).
As with Jesus’ use of the phrase in the gospels, James here uses the word Gehenna. It is not clear what he is envisioning when he says this, but it appears that James is using this term in a manner similar to the way Jesus used it. Namely as a phrase to denote a real punishment that will take place, in this case for those who use their tongues violently.