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Is Gehenna the same as Hell?

  1. davidkaluge profile image74
    davidkalugeposted 5 years ago

    I understand that Gehenna, and Hell were used in similar verses of the bible as if the word means same thing. However, it seem they have different meaning as a Jehovah witness member explained. From his explanation Gehenna is a known place in the world where sacrifices were made to God when the wrong people ruled Israel. It will be interesting to know the actual word that was translated to mean Hell or Gehenna. I know that the witness do not really believe in the concept of Hell. So which is right?

    1. Disappearinghead profile image87
      Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I'm not a Jehovah's Witness but on the subject the JWs are correct.

      Gehenna comes from the Hebrew Ben Hinnom or Hinnom Valley. It runs to the south west of Jerusalem. Kings Asa and Mannaseh sacrificed their children in furnaces to pagan gods there, and so the place became synonymous with evil. King Josiah turned it into a rubbish dump.

      Being a rubbish dump it was invited with maggots ( worms) and it was regularly set on fire. Hence it was described as a place where the worms do not die and the flames do not die out. The Church leapt on this and turned Gehenna into Hell. However Hell as described by the Church is not a Jewish concept.

      When Yashua told his disciples if a got or eye causes you to sin cut it off and throw it way as it is better to be maimed that be thrown whole into Gehenna. The Church picks and chooses what is literal and figurative. You don't see self maimed Christians as the say the cutting off of body parts fs figurative, yet they insist Gehenna is literal. You can't have half of Yashua's saying as figurative and half as literal.

      The Church borrowed hell from the Greeks and Romans.

      1. profile image0
        Virgil Newsomeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I agree with most of what you wrote here.  One thing I am not sure about is the burning.  I am not saying you are wrong, just saying I don't know for sure.

        It is my understanding that a garbage heap, once set on fire, will burn forever until it is consumed completely.  If garbage is added to it constantly, it will never go out because as the garbage rots, it gives off methane gas.  Hence, the fire is not quenched.

        Of course I might be wrong and would have to study it further to be certain but those are the thoughts off the top of my head.

        1. Disappearinghead profile image87
          Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Yes I agree. In principle the rubbish dump could burn forever.

      2. mom101 profile image60
        mom101posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        DH, good morning, I am just curious, what was the name of the mound that cities came together to do battle? Was it armageddeon? I know i missed the mark on spelling. lol

        1. Disappearinghead profile image87
          Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          This is what I copied and pasted from Wikipedia.

          Armageddon (from Hebrew: הַר מְגִדּוֹ‎, Har Megiddo, lit. Mount Megiddo; Ancient Greek: Ἁρμαγεδών Harmagedōn,[1][2]Late Latin: Armagedōn[3]) is, according to the Bible, the site of a battle during the end times, variously interpreted as either a literal or symbolic location. The term is also used in a generic sense to refer to any end-of-the-world scenario.

          The word Armageddon appears only once in the Greek New Testament at Revelation 16:16. The word may come from Hebrew har məgiddô (הר מגידו), meaning "Mountain of Megiddo". "Mount" Megiddo is a Tell on which ancient forts were built to guard the main highway, the Via Maris, which connected Ancient Egypt with Mesopotamia. Megiddo was the location of various ancient battles, including one in the 15th century BC and one in 609 BC. Modern Megiddo is a town approximately 25 miles (40 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee in the Kishon River area.[5]

    2. peterxdunn profile image60
      peterxdunnposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Gehenna was an actual place on the outskirts of Jerusalem in the first century AD. It was the site of a rubbish dump that burned continuously.

      Being 'consigned to the lake' of fire' probably related to the Roman law under which a person would not only be executed but also the memory of that person totally eradicated. To even mention such a person's name would be 'anethema'. The bodies of such people were probably disposed of by throwing them into the rubbish dump so as to deny them a decent burial and a marked grave.

  2. davidkaluge profile image74
    davidkalugeposted 5 years ago

    Disappearinghead, thanks for your comment. In fact the witness read a book that explained what you said. My main aim is to know the actual word that was translated to mean Hell or Gehenna. Then secondly, if Gehenna was actual an earthly place it then becomes clear that it was used figuratively. Then why the other bible translators choose Hell instead of Gehenna? People may not know the original words that were translated so they will be deceived to accept things as written in the bible after all its God's.

    1. Disappearinghead profile image87
      Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      It seems to me that the Church had its own agenda when translating the bible. If you pick up a random translation the preface should tell you how it was translated. You might see something along the lines that a literal translation is not possible for various reasons so the translators give us something that reas well in English and gives us the picture of what the original writer wanted to get across. The prOblem is that what you get is the translator's interpretation instead. These interpretations over time form the consciousness of the Church and it's doctrines.

      Another word translated as hell is Hades. In the king James it was translated hell 10 times and grave once. This should immediately make us suspicious. We are given grave in 1 Cor 15:55 'where o grave (hades) is your victory, where o death is your sting?'. The Church did not translate hades as hell here because that might give the impression we could escape hell.
      Unfortunately the Roman and Greek Hades is quite different from the Jewish Sheol (grave), but the Church chose the pagan definition instead of Jewish.

  3. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
    Mikel G Robertsposted 5 years ago

    Disappearinghead, I'm not sure what entity you're calling 'The Church' but if it is the Christian church, then you should be aware that the Romans created that church. It is a Roman entity.

    That is why it's formal name is "The Roman Catholic Church"

    It is the church of Caesar, created by the Roman senate to prevent the Roman people from overthrowing the Roman Government. It created a more managable population through the fear of eternal torture for the disobedient. Caesar created the concept of 'Hell'.

    1. profile image0
      Virgil Newsomeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      You are confusing Catholicism with following Christ.  Christ built the Church upon the revelation given to Peter as to who Jesus is.

      1. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
        Mikel G Robertsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        The Protester Churches didn't get started until Martin Luther broke away from the Roman Catholic Church 1,500 years after the death of Christ. So which church are you talking about?

        300 years after the death of Christ, Caesar created the Roman Catholic Church. 1,200 years after Caesar had the senate create the Roman Catholic Church Martin Luther broke away and formed the Luthern Church, the rest of the protestant(protester) churches were created after that.

        1. profile image0
          Virgil Newsomeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I am talking of the one that started with Peter and the disciples in the upper room when the Holy Ghost came upon them.  It had nothing to do with a pope or Catholicism and everything to do with God.

          1. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
            Mikel G Robertsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            They all say that was when they, when thier, church was started. History shows none of them were.

            Jesus' following died with him. Caesar created christianity. Christianity is all about following Jesus, Obeying authority, since Christ is portrayed as the only 'Son' of God there is no higher earthly 'authority'. Consequences for dis-obeying are eternal torture in 'Hell'.

            Jesus taught about following GOD. (What Would Jesus Do? Jesus made it about God.)

        2. Disappearinghead profile image87
          Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I'm referring to the established Church, Catholic and Evangelical of varying denominations. At the reformation and with the split of the Anglican Church, the Catholic teachings on Hell were largely retained. Today evangelical Churches still retain much that is Catholic, although many may not insist that one goes to Hell immediately following death for torture by Satan and his demons, they still retain the idea of eternal torment.

          So which Church? Pretty much all of them.

          1. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
            Mikel G Robertsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Then you are lumping several different churches, started as far apart as 1,500 years, together creating a distorted mental image instead of the historically verifiable reality.

            Again... 300 years after the death of Christ, Cesaer created the Roman Catholic Church. 1,200 years after Cesaer had the senate create the Roman Catholic Church, Martin Luther broke away(1,500 years after the death of Christ) and formed the Luthern Church, the rest of the protestant(protester) churches were created after that.

            1. Disappearinghead profile image87
              Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I appreciate the different Church denominations and the history of the Catholic Church and the Protestant/evangelical off shoots. However, if they all generally agree on a Hell which is a distortion of the biblical Sheol/grave, then it is a fair argument to lump them all together on this individual shared belief. If I was talking the deification of Mary, then I would not be fair in lumping them together.

              1. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
                Mikel G Robertsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                The History of the Roman Catholic Church is the history of Christianity.

                The Christian Church, 'The Church' as it is called in the various versions of the bible is the 'Roman Catholic Church'. The proof is that the 'Bibles' were already written hundreds of years before any 'church' existed with the exception of the 'Roman Catholic Church'.

                The writing of 'the Bible' was the creation of the 'Roman Catholic Church'.
                The authors/editors of 'the Bible' were members of the Roman Senate. Yes they incorporated older writings including those of the Jews in thier new book. But that is the origin of 'The Bible' and the 'Christian' faith.

                1. Disappearinghead profile image87
                  Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  I stand by my previous post Mikel.

                  1. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
                    Mikel G Robertsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    ok...then I don't understand your use of the term "the Established Church"...


                    hmm

  4. profile image0
    Virgil Newsomeposted 5 years ago

    A quick check shows m e that at least three different words are translated as hell.  Sheol, Tartaroos and Gehenna.  Sheol and Hades are the same.  Sheol is Hebrew and Hades is Greek.  Disappearinghead already wrote what Gehenna is so I will not try to add anymore details about it.

    Came back to edit  What I wrote in this comment is not an end-all nor is it complete in being studied out.  It was just a quick look and search and what came of it.

    1. profile image0
      brotheryochananposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Tartaroos only occurs once in the bible and we cannot make a doctrine using just one verse, there must always be others to back it up and tartaroos is not backed up at all.
      2 peter 2:4
      For if God spared not the angels that sinned , but cast them down to hell (tartaroos strongs G5020) , and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
      2 Peter 1:20   Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private (singular) interpretation. there must always be confirming scriptures.
      I believe Peter is either taking time out to mention the enoch book of fallen angels which is a big no no or he is mentioning about the sons of korah, which is the only example of the earth opening up and swallowing people, but i believe he is mentioning something from enoch as the word tartaroos is unique and not really attributed to the sons of korah, plus the gospels do not mention such a place. Angels is malak, which means messenger - human or angelic. its kind of androgynous in its usage, which means it can go either way depending on the text.

      if we look at this whole chapter we clearly see that before this verse and after false prophets, false teachers bringing in damnable heresies, etc.

  5. davidkaluge profile image74
    davidkalugeposted 5 years ago

    I think Mike is trying to make a point which he, personally, do not understand the bases. In my unpublished work, I found out sometimes as I journeyed with an unborn child. Okay Mike, Lurther broke away from Catholic and before that he was a Catholic. He only disagreed with them after some time as a member but you want to make it sound as if he just started another from no where. The point disappearinghead made is that they all used same bible which you claim was written by Catholic senate. Isn't it?

  6. davidkaluge profile image74
    davidkalugeposted 5 years ago

    Simply put Roman catholic was the established church and others broke out from them with modifications. Just as I my journey revealled, it followed that if Christains now claim that the Catholic are wrong and not real, then it simply means we do not know the real Christains because we lost them when the Catholic was formed and they maybe going by other names different from what people call Christains or Churches.It is sounds strange or mysterious but what else explains it if the first formed church is fake?

  7. profile image0
    brotheryochananposted 5 years ago

    Gehenna... garbage dump.. a place where rubbish is entirely consumed.
    hell..... grave

    Gehenna... the second death
    hell ..... first death

    1. sonfollowers profile image87
      sonfollowersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Jesus didn't teach this.  In fact, Jesus specifically stated that, in hell, the fire never consumed.  He taught that hell was eternal torment.  See my hub about hell for details.  Jesus, God's Son, definitely did not equate "hell" with the grave (and I would think that He would know better than any of us).  It's clearly much more than simply the grave, according to scripture.  Hell itself is in fact the second death.  There is no death that comes after hell, otherwise Jesus would not have said that hell was "everlasting."

      1. profile image0
        brotheryochananposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Mark 9:44   Where their worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched.
        -the fire is not quenched - which means the fire shall do what it is intended to do - utterly obliterate.
        -worm dies not - the worm consumes, so if this worm dies not and its a personal worm, then whomever the worm is eating has to regenerate to be eaten again. eat, regenerate, eat, regenerate.. is this what christ taught. in the same light, the worm will do its job to consume the garbage.

        He never taught eternal torment.
        Romans 6:23   For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord". No Lord no eternal life which i am sure covers, torment forever in hellfire because that would be a form of eternal life.

        Matthew 10:28   And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. <-- gehenna. Notice the word destroy, what does destroy mean? destroy fully, perish, destruction.
        that's right the second death... death... not eternal torment.

        3 words are translated hell and none of them mean a place of eternal torment forever. People sleep in the grave and then are resurrected and then the garbage is burned up and destroyed fully.
        hell is a catholic doctrine.

        1. Disappearinghead profile image87
          Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          There is more than one way to interpret these verses:
          Fire consumes dross and purifies that being subjected to it. Forging, smelting and purifying metals was a well known technology. Worms (maggots) only consume dead flesh, hence their use medicinally; wrapped in bandages to cleans wounds. He would have also been very familiar of the Jewish allegorical use of the term Gehenna; a period of time of spiritual purification. It also ties up with Paul's statements on fire testing each man's work, which then ties up with the lake of fire with the mix of brimstone (sulphur) as a purifying agent. Immediately following His statement on worms and fire, he states that everyone will be salted with fire.

          The wages of sin is indeed death and as everyone sins (both followers of Christ and those who don't) death would ordinarily be everyone's wages. However He has given Hinself to humanity as a gift, which ultimately yield eternal life fit all.

          Now with regards to Matt 10:28, I have always read this as a statement primarily to tell us to fear no one but God. The statement that He is able to destroy both body and soul in Gehenna, should not be taken as an explicit statement that He will. I am able to inflict corporal punishment on my children, but that in no way means that I actually will.

          When Abraham was about to die, God told him he would rest with his fathers. Did his fathers worship God? No Terah for example worshipped other gods. Resting jointly with his fathers dues not imply that they will be utterly destroyed in Gehenna.

          What is the point of resurrecting those to just destroy them anyway? Why not just leave them alone? Is destroying 98% of the population "Good News"?

          Judaism as far as I can tell prior to the exile and assimilation of Zoroastrian beliefs, does not have a history of belief in the utter destruction of the person by fire after resurrection. He would have well been aware of the Jewish understanding of Gehenna and He was not talking to Western Gentiles at the time; he was talking to Israel.

          Finally at the end of Revelation we are told about those outside the new Jerusalem, yet if they have all been consumed, how can they still be conscious outside the city? The tree of life has leaves for healing the nations, who are these people that still need healing after the saints are living iv the city?

        2. sonfollowers profile image87
          sonfollowersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Jesus said:

          "“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left... Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels... And these will go away into everlasting PUNISHMENT, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 25:31-33, 41 ,46) NKJV

          Also, Revelation 20:20 seems even more clear:

          "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where[b] the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be TORMENTED day and night FOREVER and ever."

          Then later in that chapter (vs. 13-15), John says that this "lake of fire" is not just reserved for the beast, the devil, and false prophet.

          "The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.  Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."

          The "lake of fire" didn't change suddenly from being a place of everlasting torment to a something completely different in the span of 3 verses.  This coupled with the clear message of Matthew 25 indicates that this is not a "poof, gone" kind of thing.  The soul continues forever, tormented.

          And finally, the story of Lazarus and the Rich man (Luke 16) certainly communicates that some manner of eternal torment awaits those who do not know Jesus at the end of this life.  This is consistent with the other verses listed (which could not be more clear, in my opinion).  All of this together seems to clearly contradict the view that hell is anything other than a place of eternal torment.

          My hub on the subject is more detailed than this, but hopefully you understand where I'm coming from.

          1. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
            Mikel G Robertsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Hell...

            What a childish concept.

            My Hub on it says that.

          2. Disappearinghead profile image87
            Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            An arch fiend of God aka Satan and demons do not exist. They are alien concepts to monotheistic Judaism and only became part of Jewish superstitious beliefs after they adopted them from the Persian Zoroastrian religion during their exile.

            The Rich man and Larzarus is a parable. The message is about the Jewish religious leaders being usurped from their inheritance by the gentiles.

            The word used by Yahshua translated as 'punishment' is the Greek 'kolasis'. According to Strongs #2851, checking the growth of almond trees, chastisement, correction. In fact the English sense of punishment is hardly used in the NT.

            Eternal is a mistranslation of the Greek 'aionios' which is the adjective form of 'aion' or 'age'. That is something is being described that had the time property of age, where age is a period of finite time of unspecified length.

            1. profile image0
              brotheryochananposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              forever and ever is definitely a catholic tweak. Its hard to put fear into people when they aren't going to be tortured forever and ever.

              I always wondered why "and the dogs licked his sores" occurred. I figured it was a Semitic thing.

              Satan doctrine, lol that is good for a chuckle

  8. davidkaluge profile image74
    davidkalugeposted 5 years ago

    So which one is it? A waste point or somewhere unknown?

  9. livelonger profile image88
    livelongerposted 5 years ago

    Gehenna (Gehinnom) is a Jewish concept, and hell is a Christian concept borrowed from the Mediterranean sacrificial cults at the time of Christianity's creation.

    Gehenna is a place of temporary spiritual purification in Judaism, which can last no longer than 12 months. It is most closely similar to the Catholic concept of Purgatory, but without the macabre imagery of Dante's Inferno. Jews believe it's a place where you confront the sins of your life and are forced to reflect on them before moving on to join everyone in the World to Come.

    1. Disappearinghead profile image87
      Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Good points Livelonger. The Jewish Gehenna (something temporal) seems to be much more in keeping with the testing consuming fire that Paul talked about in 1 Cor 3, which in turn is related to the Lake of Fire. That is the second death being a cleansing of sin and purification. Which also explains why we have brimstone in the mix because sulphur was used as a cleansing, purification, and fumigation substance.

      It seems to me that eternal torment in hell at the hands of Our Father is as unlikely as demons and an arch fiend aka Satan actually existing.

      1. livelonger profile image88
        livelongerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, eternal torment is incongruous with a just, loving G-d, which is why it doesn't exist in Jewish theology.

        Interesting, Satan (ha-Satan, "the opposer") exists in Judaism, but it's an angel that opposes Jews, not G-d. He's like a prosecuting attorney that catches Jews violating the commandments and reports back to G-d about it. This has yet another idea that has morphed in Christianity into something different. That G-d would have an adversary not over his control is a heretical thought in monotheistic Judaism.

        I understand all these concepts as metaphorical myself, but it's interesting how Christian doctrine can draw such different conclusions about so many things from the original Jewish thought about them.

        1. Disappearinghead profile image87
          Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I've only discovered these things in the last year or so when I started to look at Jewish theology. I had suspected that much of what Church spoon fed me was crap for some time. I reasoned that Jews had been studying this stuff for almost 4000 years so it might be useful to find out what they have to say. The scales fell from my eyes like dinner plates.

          I think that wherever there js a difference between a Jewish or a Christian view of the Hebrew scriptures, it is likely that the Christian will be in error.

          1. livelonger profile image88
            livelongerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            That's my feeling, too.

  10. Shaisty-Chase-Tea profile image61
    Shaisty-Chase-Teaposted 5 years ago

    seems that 'looking something up' isn't sufficient (as there seems to be a lot of that going on in these conversations)... so i ask this question, which is not limited to just this debate on hubpages:

    is anyone qualified to answer these questions?

    by this i mean, how many of you took extreme measures to learn about these topics?  how many of this is founded in the spirit of God? what leads your literary vocal spats of unfound illiteracy?  plz, from a christian that wants to know (and i don't exclude my fellow christians from answering this question because to the same degree i wonder)

    1. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
      Mikel G Robertsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      If by this you mean: Is anyone 'allowed' to point out the obvious.
      Then the answer is: Yes we are qualified.

      1. Shaisty-Chase-Tea profile image61
        Shaisty-Chase-Teaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        honestly, i only read english and can only pronouce our latin (i think but am not sure exactly) derived phonetic structure... but i do know linguistics, and languages differ greatly...

        what i see as "qualified" is a deeply instilled pastoral gifting

        or a christian that attended multiple semanaries and is exellent at reading Hebrew and Greek in their original alphebets

        (for a christian world view interpretation, as opposed to the scripture that you know how to locate in the 'appropriatly termed' Torah and Gospel)

        1. Mikel G Roberts profile image88
          Mikel G Robertsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          ...a deeply instilled pastoral gifting...

          A call from God to serve... A call from God to discover truth, and share that truth with others... A call from God to uncover falseness and misunderstandings...

          I think I know what you mean.  wink

  11. davidkaluge profile image74
    davidkalugeposted 5 years ago

    From what had been said so far, it seems Christians changed some Jewish concepts like Satan, Hell among others,. The point is that way was Hell and Gahenna used as if there mean same. That is some bible interpreted it as hell or as Gehenna and it may not be easy for us to know the original words. Secondly, is it not possible that Christians built their own  concept of Satan out of revelation they got or do we have prove to think that the developed it from the Jews?  The point is that since the early Christians were Jews maybe we shall check what they said or thought about Satan.

 
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