Posts Tagged ‘sinners’

Exploring Hell – Part 4

Friday, August 13th, 2010 by Jason Wermuth

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.

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Exploring Hell – Part 3

Friday, July 30th, 2010 by Jason Wermuth

In our last discussion, I wrote about hell in the Second Temple Period and how certain texts such as 1 Enoch and Jubilees portray eternal judgement. What we saw was that the place of judgment in Second Temple Jewish literature was primarily the place of judgment for the fallen angels and their offspring. Now we must enter the New Testament to find out what Jesus thought about eternal judgment. This week we will focus on Jesus’ use of the term Gehenna in the gospels:

A sampling of passages translated “hell” that use the term Gehenna:

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. (Matt 5:22)

If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. (Matt 5:29)

If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell. (Matt 5:30)

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt 10:28)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. (Matt 23:15)

If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell. (Mk 9:45)

But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! (Lk 12:5)

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