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I heard an interesting discussion today between a Unitarian (lifelong) and a muslim.

 

They were delving into mythology and were debating the origin of the concept of hell.

Not hades per se - but hell as a place for those who "sin against God(god). 

 

At one point they sort of paused thinking it was a spin off of an Egyptian concept (as they muddled through it though they decided maybe not...it did not fit 100%)

 

Since this Forum has some pretty learned scholars....does any one know the origin of the concept of hell as a warehouse-punishment place for sinners?

 

(add on curiosity - is that strictly a Christian concept?)

 

thanks

 

von

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33 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

I heard an interesting discussion today between a Unitarian (lifelong) and a muslim.

 

They were delving into mythology and were debating the origin of the concept of hell.

Not hades per se - but hell as a place for those who "sin against God(god). 

 

At one point they sort of paused thinking it was a spin off of an Egyptian concept (as they muddled through it though they decided maybe not...it did not fit 100%)

 

Since this Forum has some pretty learned scholars....does any one know the origin of the concept of hell as a warehouse-punishment place for sinners?

 

(add on curiosity - is that strictly a Christian concept?)

 

thanks

 

von

 

 

I have only done a little reading of the Koran.  Hell is a prominent feature.  In particular, for the unbeliever.  

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Hel in Norse mythology is the Goddess of the Dead and the underworld, and also the name of the underworld.  I don't think it was considered anywhere near the same as the Christianized version, though.

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

Hel in Norse mythology is the Goddess of the Dead and the underworld, and also the name of the underworld.  I don't think it was considered anywhere near the same as the Christianized version, though.

 

The Norse Hel is only a place for the dead.  It is not the Christian Hell -- which is the place of eternal torment.  

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there is a concept in judaism  that is called sheol.it is from what i understand a very dark and nasty place,but it is not the same as the christian(or for that matter muslim)hell.if i understand it correctly,it is also a place for the dead.

Edited by mark 45

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1 hour ago, mark 45 said:

there is a concept in judaism  that is called sheol.it is from what i understand a very dark and nasty place,but it is not the same as the christian(or for that matter muslim)hell.if i understand it correctly,it is also a place for the dead.

 

 

In traditional Judaism, there is a place of purification.  Cleansing of the soul is painful, but is not eternal.  It lasts only until the stain is removed.  It's a  finite process.  It comes to an end.  

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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The Hebrew realm of the dead is Sheol. The NT Greek equivalent to Sheol is Hades. Its where all souls go after death.

My understanding is that Sheol/Hades is separated by a great gulf or chasm (Luke 16:26). On one side is Gehenna, the Greek word for hell, and the other side is paradise. So hell is not a place of eternal death that people often confuse with the Lake of Fire. Hell is simply the side of Sheol where souls/spirits are imprisoned until judgement. Hell is for the unrighteous, a precursor to the Lake of Fire, while the righteous in Christ are kept in paradise, a forerunner to heaven.

 

 

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I think the concept of Hell, as commonly understood, has more to do with Dante's Inferno than it does with Biblical interpretation. As has been pointed out, the Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek word Hades were both translated as Hell. Both refer to the place where the dead go. Although both seem to have different areas, some seem worse than others, from my reading neither is necessarily a place of eternal torment.

In the New Testament though, two other Greek words were also translated as Hell. First there is Gehenna. Gehenna is a valley outside of Jerusalem where, in ancient times, apostate Israelites, followers of Moloch and possibly other gods, sacrificed children by fire. It is also said to have been a city dump where the people burned trash and in Roman times condemned criminals bodies were also burned. While the fiery history of Gehenna may match many peoples mental picture of Hell this can not be the Hell which most people imagine.

That leaves one word, tartaroo, that was also translated as Hell. Tartaroo means to cast down to Tartarus, which is a deep, gloomy place, a pit, or an abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides beneath the underworld. This hell is found only one place in the New Testament; 2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; . While this is the only instance where tartaroo is used Matthew 25:41 is almost certainly referring to Tartarus also. Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: . This makes it quite clear that this pit of eternal damnation and torment was not made for human souls. It was made specifically for the fallen angels. While some truly evil people may end up in this pit it certainly was not made for human souls and, as is clearly shown in 2 Peter 3:9 it is not where God wants anyone to go; 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Edited by Pastor Dave

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Thought I'd add this. I'm not well versed in other religions so I did a quick search and found this on other versions of "hell".

 

Islam

The Muslim belief in jahannam (an Arabic transliteration of the Hebrew ge-hinnom) resembles that of other Abrahamic religions. In the Quran, the holy book of Islam, there are literal descriptions of the condemned in a fiery Hell, as contrasted to the garden-like Paradise enjoyed by righteous believers.

 

Chinese and Japanese religions

The structure of Hell is remarkably complex in many Chinese and Japanese religions. The ruler of Hell has to deal with politics, just as human rulers do. Hell is the subject of many folk stories and manga. In many such stories, people in hell are able to die again, but no one seems to care about the apparent contradiction. (Note: the strong influence of Buddhism (see below) on Chinese and Japanese Hells means that this is not necessarily a contradiction.)

See Feng Du for more information on Chinese Hell.

 

Other religions

Buddhism acknowledges several hells, which are places of great suffering for evildoers. Like all the different realms within cyclic existence, an existence in hell is temporary for inhabitants. Those with sufficiently negative karma are reborn there, where they stay until their specific negative karma has been used up, at which point they are reborn in another realm, like humans, hungry ghosts, animals, demi-gods or gods - all according to their karma.

Bahá'ís do not accept Hell as a place, but rather as a state of being. "Heaven is nearness to Me and Hell is separation from Me." – Bahá'u'llah

Taoism has a slightly nebulous version of Hell. Some claim it has no Hell at all, but - particularly in its home country China - popular belief endows Taoist Hell with many deities and spirits who punish sin in a variety of horrible ways. (See Feng Du.)

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the only buddhist"hell"as far as a place is part of the tibetan  book of the dead,and that is only if you make the choice to follow the path to there.other than that,most of the teachings i know of are that hell is a state of mind,not a place.

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8 hours ago, Pastor Dave said:

"Heaven is nearness to Me and Hell is separation from Me." – Bahá'u'llah

To me, this best describes what Hell really is.... eternal separation from the Divine.

Edited by Songster

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