I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. KJV
I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades . NIV
I am the living one. I died, but look–I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. NLT
I am he who lived and died, and behold, I am alive to the eternity of eternities, amen, and I have the key of Death and of Sheol. Aramaic English Bible
While comparing these 4 English translations we notice the words hell, Hades, Sheol, and death are all used interchangeably. However, the word “hell” has an entirely different meaning.
Sheol- (Hebrew) mean grave, realm of the dead
Hades– (Greek) same as Sheol, means grave, realm of the dead . Hades is actually a Greek God of the underworld, which is where the word derived from Greek Mythology
Hell- derived from Old English helle from pagan period. Usually depicted as a place of eternal torment with fire
And you shall not be afraid of those who kill the body that are not able to kill the soul; rather be afraid of him who can destroy soul and body in Gehenna.” Aramaic English Bible Matthew 10:28
In some English Bibles the world “Hell” is often translated for the word “Gehenna” So what is Gehenna?
In short Gehenna was a place where pagens sacrificed their children to pagen gods. When this practices stopped obviously this place was cursed so it became a large garbage dump that was continually on fire . Also when dead bodies were found that weren’t claimed by a family, they were thrown into Gehenna to be destroyed.
So in English Bibles when you see Jesus referencing “Hell” such as Matthew 10:28, the correct usage is he is referencing “Gehenna” because all Jews were familiar with this place. It’s a place that represented eternal death and destruction not eternal torment.
So where did the concept of “Hell”, the eternal torture concept come from? In short in came from the influence of Greek mythology. Remember Rome was a pagan empire. When it took Christianity it infused many of its pagen ideas and practices into it. For example, Christmas and Easter, were originally pagan Holidays that were converted to a Christian holidays.
Some things to consider:
- The concept of Hell is nowhere found in the Old Testament
- The New Testament doesn’t teach about an eternal torture
- Since Jesus died for our sins, wouldn’t he be thrown in Hell?
- If God is love, would he really torture people for eternity?
- Since Adam and Eve caused mankind to sin, why didn’t they get thrown in hell?
Remember perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18) when you truly understand the salvation of Christ, you truly understand the love and mercy of our Father in Jesus Name Amen