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Is LITERAL Hellfire Torment A Bible Teaching?

ALTERED -to- EVERYONE:
The teaching of literal hellfire torment is commonplace in Christendom and non-Christian religions. This teaching defames the Creator and portrays him as a sadist who tortures people in flames of fire for all eternity—as punishment for wrongdoing committed during the relatively brief human lifespan. The hellfire dogma was brought into Christianity by the Roman Catholics who copied it from pagan religions. (Pagans are those who do not worship the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.)

The Bible makes it clear as to how God views the ritual burning of people. Jehovah ended up rejecting the ancient Israelites after they got involved with pagan worship, which included burning their children to death.

"And they [the Israelites/sons of Judah] have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that HAD NOT COME UP INTO MY HEART." (Jeremiah 7:31)


"{58} And they kept offending him with their high places, and with their graven images they kept inciting him to jealousy. {59} God heard and got to be furious, and he condemned Israel very much. {60} And he finally forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent in which he resided among earthling men." (Psalms 78:58-60)



DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
1. Are there scriptures in the Bible to support the teaching of literal hellfire torment? If so, quote up to four (4) scriptures and include Bible book, chapter, and verse. Then bold or italicize or colorize the words within the quotations that you are focusing on, and explain why you believe the scriptures you present are talking about literal hellfire torment.


2. According to Jeremiah 7:31, did Jehovah command the ancient Israelites to burn anyone in the fire?


3. According to Jeremiah 7:31, did the burning of people come to God's heart?



4. According to those who believe in literal hellfire torment, hell is a place for people who are wicked. So why did Jesus spend three days in hell, considering what's said at 1 Peter 2:22?


5. If hell is a place of literal torment, why is it that the word "hell" also means "Sheol" and "Hades" and "the grave"?


6. When people are being tortured in hellfire, wouldn't they have to KNOW or be conscious/aware of the fact that they are being burned? I mean to say, what's the point of punishing people in hell if they aren't even aware?


7. Does the Bible teach that humans have an immortal soul that survives the death of the person so that the soul can then be burned in eternal flames? If so, please present scriptures to this effect to prove it, and follow the steps indicated at Question #1.


8. Those who believe in literal eternal torment say that the person's soul is being burned forever. What is the soul? Are animals souls also or is this only for humans?

Answer Question
 
Altered

Asked by Altered at 3:55 PM on Jul. 4, 2013 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 4 (55 Credits)
Answers (25)
  • To be fair, I'm not reading all of that, lol. But based on my study of the original language and context the Bible is not talking about a literal place of eternal torment.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 3:59 PM on Jul. 4, 2013

  • yeah- we really dont do bible study here.


    you may find a more receptive group here

    feralxat

    Answer by feralxat at 4:34 PM on Jul. 4, 2013

  • No, and the modern concept of Hell, a bastardized version of Hel turned into something evil that it was never meant to be, does not appear at all. It's Gehenna, basically a burning pile of remains.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:05 PM on Jul. 4, 2013

  • The teachings of an actual place of fire called hell are not Biblical. Jesus refers to Gehenna eleven times from His own mouth, and it is also in James 3:6, but Gehenna was used to illustrate what eternal separation from God would feel like. It was a literal place outside Jerusalem where people burned their trash, and Jesus was drawing a picture in the minds of his listeners about how being sent away from God forever would feel like being cast out into Gehenna--rejected and abandoned where the trash was burned. So while separation from God is mentioned as punishment, burning in hell is just another thing that has been taken out of context over the years.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 6:19 PM on Jul. 4, 2013

  • Part of it, too, Ballad, was that criminals and other "low lifes" were often burned in the fire (their corpses), which was a HUGE no-no in Judaism, where a proper burial is very important. Improper burial was a sign of rejection and sin. ;)
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 7:13 PM on Jul. 4, 2013

  • I don't know about the NT, but there's nothing in the OT to support that belief.
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 7:29 PM on Jul. 4, 2013

  • NOT PANICKING:
    No, and the modern concept of Hell, a bastardized version of Hel turned into something evil that it was never meant to be, does not appear at all. It's Gehenna, basically a burning pile of remains.


    ALTERED:
    I agree with you that literal hellfire torment is not a Bible teaching.

    As you mentioned, Gehenna was a garbage dump in ancient Israel where garbage was completely destroyed by burning. Some who believe in literal hellfire torment confuse "hell" with "Gehenna." In reality, the terms "hell" and "Gehenna" are not interchangeable. Even when both words are used in the Bible, they are only used figuratively or symbolically. Their use is NEVER literal.
    Altered

    Comment by Altered (original poster) at 2:45 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • BALLAD:
    The teachings of an actual place of fire called hell are not Biblical. Jesus refers to Gehenna eleven times from His own mouth, and it is also in James 3:6, but Gehenna was used to illustrate what eternal separation from God would feel like. It was a literal place outside Jerusalem where people burned their trash, and Jesus was drawing a picture in the minds of his listeners about how being sent away from God forever would feel like being cast out into Gehenna--rejected and abandoned where the trash was burned.

    ALTERED :
    You made excellent points. The Bible says Jesus always taught by means of illustrations, and his illustrations included everyday events that people could relate to.

    "All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds by illustrations. Indeed, WITHOUT AN ILLUSTRATION HE WOULD NOT SPEAK TO THEM;" (Matthew 13:34)
    Altered

    Comment by Altered (original poster) at 2:53 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • If you're really interested in the topic, OP, have you read Hope Beyond Hell or At the End of the Ages...the Abolition of Hell? They are both really good sources for the original language :)
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 3:04 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • WTF is all this "ALTERED -to- EVERYONE:" crap??????
    Crafty26

    Answer by Crafty26 at 11:04 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

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