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The Veracity of Hell?

Discussion in 'General Afterlife Discussions' started by silverfang77, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. silverfang77

    silverfang77 New Member

    I love the idea of Hell simply being a fabrication of the church to frighten people into submission. However, there is the passage in Mark 9:44-48, where Christ says:

    Is there any evidence that this was added in by someone of the church at a later time, or perhaps that this passage has been grossly misinterpreted?

    Thank you.
  2. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Religions and their discussion is off-limits on ALF.
  3. silverfang77

    silverfang77 New Member

    Sorry. I read an article about the subject with a link to this forum, so thought we could discuss this.
  4. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Did you read the article on this website?
  5. Greyportal

    Greyportal New Member

    When you look at the history of the concept of hell it's hard not to conclude that the concept is a man-made construct. Further the word "hell" is a translation from Hebrew word scheol. Biblical scholars have a long disapproved of the way Christianity has misinterpreted and misused the word in the Christian Bible. Translators of the Christian Bible significantly reduced the number of mentions of the word hell in an effort to present a correct translation of biblical text..

    The concept of hell predates dates Christianity by 2100 years. The oldest known mention thus far is in Mesopotamian text of Gilgamesh. The hell in Gilgamesh wasn't a permanent place--the gods could free those in hell. The devil was the Goddess Ereshkigal. When Enkidu jumped into hell to retrieve an object dropped by Gilgamesh, he was seized when he failed to heed Gilgamesh's warning to not engaged the dead; so he was seized by Ereshkigal. But the god Ea raised Enkidu from hell after hearing Gilgamesh mourn the loss of his closest friend. So neither death nor hell were permanent.

    There are three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Biblical interpretation has to begin with Judaism since as the oldest of the Abrahamic religions, it influenced those that came later. Judaism is the foundation of Christianity. Judaism predates Christianity by 700 years. The English word "hell" is a translation of the Hebrew word sheol and the Greek word Hades. Scholars agree the two words, sheol and hades, hold the same meaning.

    The interpretation and concept of sheol by biblical scholars is a place where EVERYBODY goes in death. Their interpretations are based on both wording and context. Ecclesiastes 9:2,4 states:

    "Everything that confronts them is vanity, since the same fate comes to all, to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to those who sacrifice and those who do not sacrifice. As are the good, so are the sinners; those who swear are like those who shun an oath. This is an evil in all that happens under the sun, that the same fate comes to everyone. "

    While Sheol is a place for all, there appears to be separate chamber. Yet these chambers are not in isolation. The original text of Luke supports this concept of sheol being a place where all go in death. The parable of the rich mans and the beggar Lazarus in the book of Luke describes an interaction between the unrighteous rich man and Abraham. The rich man can see and speak to Abraham, yet the are in separate chambers. There's no indication that Abraham is in a heaven. Being a prophet and the patriarch of all Abrahamic religions, you would expect Abraham to be in heaven. But the actual biblical text places him in sheol. So that reinforces the conclusion from Ecclesiastes that everyone goes to sheol.

    Another important detail about the man made construct of the common interpretation of hell is the different translations of the story of the beggar Lazarus in Luke.

    In the older King James version of Luke there is no mention of a "great chasm" between Abraham's location and the unrighteous rich man. The unrighteous man can see Abraham and Lazarus. But in the current version of the Bible, translators insert the words "great chasm" in describing where the two are located. The addition of two words reinforces the modern concept of a heaven way up above us, and hell, way down below us.

    I mentioned the significant number of deletions of the word hell in the most recent translations of the Christian bible. While hell occurs 54 times in the King James Version, the New Revised Standard version only has 14 mentions of hell. That's roughly a 75% reduction in appearances of the word hell. The reason for the dramatic decrease in number of occurrences of the word hell is due in part to the abundance of criticisms for the blatant misuse and misinterpretation of the words sheol and hades in previous versions. These two examples from Ecclesiastes and Luke illustrate how doctrine influences/determines how the text is both translated and edited. That in turn shapes how people perceive and practice.

    Another thing I wanted to mention the concept of heaven and hell as reward and punishment. That concept is not supported in biblical text. Ecclesiastes 9 teaches the importance of enjoying life on earth now. It describes death as a void of nothingness.

    "The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no more reward, and even the memory of them is lost. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished; never again will they have any share in all that happens under the sun.

    Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago approved what you do. "

    So the modern Christian concept of death and hell is not the same concept of death and hell in the Bible or the earliest Mesopotamia concept of death and hell.

    The take away is the concepts of death, heaven, and hell are all human constructs that have evolved as religions evolved.
  6. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    As I've already pointed out the discussion and/or comparison of religions is not allowed on Roberta's website.
  7. Greyportal

    Greyportal New Member

    1. Religion, spirituality, science, and art are so entwined you cannot separate them.
    2. Gilgamesh is one of the great epic literary works taught in just about every secular college and university in the world. It is in fact frequently taught in high school
    3. The Bible is also considered a extraordinary piece of literature. Nearly everything I've read in the Bible came from a Bible as Literature class in a secular college. It is in fact one of the most, if not the most, studied pieces of literature, not from all religious perspective, but purely secular.
    4. The notion that people cannot ask a question rooted in spirituality is outrageous.
    5. Free-speech is one of the founding principles of this country. And in fact is a basic human right.Free-speech is one of the founding principles of this country.
    6. Censorship has no place in an open forum

    Now that I see what kind of place this is, I'm want nothing to do with it.
  8. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I'd hate to have misrepresented the situation and to be the cause of your leaving so soon after arriving. You should ask website owner, Roberta, if I've got things wrong.
  9. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Yes, quite a bit was added to and also deleted from the Gospels by the Council of Nicaea in 325. This is one of many such additions.
  10. Arbutus Eric

    Arbutus Eric Member

    I bet Jesus was pretty upset when all that went down. Like a whole 'nother crucifixion. Silver Birch mentions that Jesus, "the Nazarene" has been crucified a thousand times since Calvary. I know Roberta can attest that he is still at it, working tirelessly on our behalf! I am no longer a Christian, and I love that guy more than ever. And understand him better too. Sorry, but Christianity got it wrong. You can find yourself in a hell-like place if you are wicked and cruel, but you'll never be banished there for all eternity. There is always hope.
    kim marine likes this.
  11. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Eric, I understand. For a long time I said that I was not a Christian because all the Christian dogmas are wrong, but eventually - darn it - I decided that those who ignore the dogmas and only strictly follow and love the Lord's teachings are actually more Christian than are all the folks who believe in sacrificial redemption and all that other nonsense but who disrespect the Lord's words and His message. So now I call myself a Christian who follows Jesus. That seems to confuse the dickens out of them!

    I think that Jesus was indeed frustrated to see how Paul and His followers garbled his mission. He says specifically in the Gospels NOT to do what they did - don't package the new wine of His teachings in the old wineskins of first-century Judaism - but I have never been told specifically how He feels. We only know that He has decided now to bring to us His new revelation (which is exactly the same as His old revelation), and He is very active on earth in the process of raising this planet's vibration. All of which is truly wonderful!
    kim marine and Arbutus Eric like this.
  12. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    There have been other important guides and leaders who, I suggest, it's logical to expect will also be continuing to serve this physical world. Unless, of course, it's being suggested that the role of the Nazarene - as dear Silver Birch referred to the individual whose incarnation and influence were observed two millennia ago - is unique in this dimension. But that IS a possibility....

    If we accept the argument frequently made on ALF that we each incarnate with a so-called life plan with specific aims and a range of exit points then it's likely that the special individual Jesus quickly 'hit his targets' two thousand years ago and soon exited stage left. He'd be prepared at the time for the likelihood of a shed load of nonsense being written about his time here although it was perhaps also a 'test-run' to see how his teachings would later get changed. Based on the outcome I'd say it's unlikely anything similar would again be tried!

    Exactly who this now-discarnate individual is, and what his current and future roles may be, fall into the realm of conjecture. Whatever changes may come about in this dimension as a consequence of planning for its continuing spiritual progression there's no way to support the notion that it's a single-entity that's bringing it all about but it really doesn't matter anyway.

    And when we eventually get back 'over there' (some of us sooner than the others!) we'll be able to research the situation and see more of the big-picture for this world. And, linking this back to the thread subject, any notion about there being a place known as Hell will be seen for what it is - a human construct.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
    Amore likes this.
  13. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    disagree - You can if you choose to.

    Your point being?
    Don't think spirituality was mentioned although, actually, one definition of that word is: "...the quality that involves deep feelings and beliefs of a religious nature, rather than the physical parts of life." As for it being an outrage well there are much more sensitive issues that cause me to feel outraged.

    It certainly ought to be a basic human right but not all governments or regimes accept that. And even in those that do you can't just walk into someone else's house and exercise a right to free-speech in it, the way you may enjoy doing that elsewhere. An owner is free to restrict your freedom.

    We all signed up to the website's rules when we applied to be registered members here. If anyone doesn't agree with an interpretation of them, take it up with the website's owner, Roberta, because she may agree with you.
  14. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Mac, you said it all better than I ever could. Thank you!

    Greyportal, when in the past we allowed religious discussions here, all we got was utterly unproductive arguing about people's differing beliefs. We are happy to have members here who are religious, but we have found that religious discussions are not productive on a forum that is dedicated to better understanding what actually is true. Your complaint might be valid if we were touting one religion over others while pretending not to do that, but we are doing nothing of the kind. If religious discussions had not proven to be disastrous in the past, we would still allow them; but as it is, we can't. Sorry!
  15. kim marine

    kim marine Active Member

    I love Jesus too, but don't consider myself a Christian either. It offends some people to hear that I am not a "Christian" so I call myself a "Cosmic Christian", because I see God in an bigger way than the typical religious way.

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