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The Two Chambers of Hell

Updated on June 8, 2008

The Two Chambers of HELL

There are a number of opinions, books and paintings about hell, but are they accurate?

What does the Bible state concerning hell?

As you read this article, settle back with a cup of coffee, (decaffeinated), take some calcium, (500 mg) clear your mind, and get ready for some controversial comments based on Bible research, along with other books concerning "hell". (Documentation given at end of article.)

Hell" is often used to indicate place of burning fire and brimstone.

While accurate, hell is more complicated than that. Parts of hell are really more like your modern holding cell in a prison. For example: Hades serves as an intermediate place of the dead. In reading the Bible, (in Koine Greek, which is one of the original languages), you will discover that hell is divided into chambers.

One of the rooms is called Hades, and another area is called Gehenna.

HADES: So there is no confusion at this point, Hades is not purgatory. The word "purgatory" is not found in the Bible, nor the concept of a dead soul being transferred from Hades to heaven though prayer or candles being lit or any other action. Once a dead person is in the room called, "Hades," it's final, you can not change locations. Read the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the beggar in Luke 16:33. A person will be there until the Great White Throne Judgment found in Revelation chapter 20 verse 14. After being judged, the person will at that time be cast into the Lake of Fire. (Matthew 5:22, 29 and 30.)

GEHENNA: Once the Great White Throne Judgment occurs, (Revelation 20:14), a person is sent to ."Gehanna". This is a place of lasting torment. Genenna is a physical location on earth, and was once used for child sacrifice. It is located in a valley south of Jerusalem. At the time of the Christ it was used as a dump and for the burning of dead criminals and garbage. There was always a fire there, and worms around the area. At this time, no one is in "Gehanna", since a person in Hades must appear at, "The Great White Throne", judgment first to try and convince the Lord of their righteousness. They will not convince Him, and at that time will be sent to Gehanna.

Documentation: 1. The Holy Bible (New American Standard Version), 2. The Holy Bible (New International Version), 3. The Holy Bible (King James Version) ,

4 Thompson Chain Reference Bible 5. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of The Bible, 6.Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 7. Unger's Bible Dictionary, 8. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 9. Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, 10. Zondervan

Handbook To The Bible, 11. Various Internet Commentaries , other Christian Web Pages. 12 Advice from knowledgeable persons on the subject.


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      Barbara Mims 4 years ago

      Is this the same as the 2 abodes of demons?

    • Carrie Bradshaw profile image

      Carrie Bradshaw 8 years ago from Manhattan

      LOL That's sooooo funny ~ to propose to your wife in a graveyard, that is!! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! 46 years ago; wow!! Congratulations :-) God bless both of you and your families.

    • profile image

      Ray P Burriss 8 years ago

      Hello Carrie: Thanks for the remarks. Like you, I "Use to put it out there" and in certain areas I still do. For example: there is no waviering on the matter of salvation and other doctrines, but over time, (I'm 72), I've learned that some matters are not worth arguing about. (As far as I'm concerned, the devil just likes to get the Christian to loose focus on what's important. If he can get us arguing with other Christians so he can get us on loseing our focus.) I hope I never become "politically tactful" on important issues. (My wife says I don't know how to be tactful. I ask for her hand in marriage in a graveyard, and that was 46 years ago - today is our anniversary.)

    • Carrie Bradshaw profile image

      Carrie Bradshaw 8 years ago from Manhattan

      Wow, I had no idea there were doctrines out there that differ on Paradise. I have certainly found out there are regarding Hell. Wise man, you are! I'm still learning about being "politically tactful" on this site, as I tend to just "put it out there, bold as can be!" lol. God bless!

    • Ray P Burriss profile image

      Ray P Burriss 8 years ago from Chattanooga

      Hello Carrie: Appreciate your comments - they are very constructive, informative and encouraging. One of the benefits of having been a missionary is you meet Christians from all types of backgrounds and various doctrines that may not always be what a person thinks - but they know Christ as Savoir, and that's all that's really important. "Hell" is an interesting topic but a persons salvation does not depend on it. Having been, "around the block" a few times, (I'm 72), some things just aren't worth arguing about. This is one of the reason for not putting more information about Paridise in this Hub. I agree with your findings, but after calling on the phone a number of pastors who are friends of mine, realized it was better to leave any comments on Paridise out.

    • Carrie Bradshaw profile image

      Carrie Bradshaw 8 years ago from Manhattan

      Hi there! I so appreciate that you "deleted" comments that would cause doctrinal dissention on this subject of hell and eternal.  I've spent hours addressing these persons not only in comments placed on my hubs regarding the subject, but on other hubs.  It appears to be time-wasting, for sure.  I agree whole-heartedly that doctrines are not what saves a person and therefore we should be focusing on how to get to heaven!!  AMEN, brother!

      Regarding "Paradise":  Jesus told the thief on the cross that "This day, you shall be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43)

      I looked up the word Paradise and in the Greek dictionary of the Strong's Concordance, "Paradise" is #3857 (this is for all New Testament references to Paradise): of Oriental or. [comp. 6508 in the Hebrew*]; a park, i.e. (spec.) an Eden (place of future happiness, "paradise"):-paradise.

      #6508 in the Old Testament (Hebrew): a park:-forest, orchard.


    • Ray P Burriss profile image

      Ray P Burriss 9 years ago from Chattanooga

      To all those who made comments, but their remarks were deleted.

      First:  After further study on the subject concerning, hell, my first comments in the article above are accurate.  But, let me emphasis what I stated in the article, "hell" makes for interesting conversation, but is not that important to the Christian.   A Christian friend of mine, who like me was a missionary, believed in complete destruction, but both of us were more concernend on how to get a person into heaven, rather than to keep him/her out of hell.

      Second, Here is additional information on the subject of hell, and especially the word, "eternal"  All, including the references made at, "Bible.Com" that one person wanted me to read, hold to eternal suffering for the non-Christian.

       Third, here are some scriptures that support eternal suffering for the non-Christian:  Matthew 25:46 - but read the complete chapter to get correct context. (For additional information, I know this is a parable and Christ knew how to use the parable as a teaching tool.  He used the parable to teach a truth not to waste time.)  Another Scripture reference would be 2 Thessalonians 1:9 - and again, read the whole chapter.  Lastly is Jude 1:7. Remember to read the complete chapters to get the correct context.  (Was critized by one reader for this, but was really just trying to save time.)

      Fourth, here are additional resources,  Commentaries used, John Gill Exposition of the Bible, John Darby's Synopis of the New Testament.  (This is in addition to the ones already cited in article.

      Let me stress again, that a person's view of hell has nothing to do with going to heaven.  If you want to know about how to get to heaven, let me know.  By the way, this is my last comment on hell. 

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 10 years ago from Manila

      Great hub. Very informative and very interesting.

    • Ray P Burriss profile image

      Ray P Burriss 10 years ago from Chattanooga

      To PattyMS In the Jewish tradition, they do put in paridise as a part of hell, but I have not found enough documentation on it to comment. The story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19 is the one incident I found that might support this. It's not enough, though, to convience me that paradise is part of hell with a "great gulf fixed", between the two. A "third" chamber could also be a place called, "Tartarus", which is considered to be a place for rebellious gods and other wicked angels. (You can read about this in 2 Peter 2:4), but, again, I could not find enough evidence to expound on this term of "Tartarus". Since nothing I did read indicated any humans would be there, did not consider it important enough to anymore research into this. (Spent over 6 weeks doing research for what I did write.) To answer your question, PattyMS, while I don't have a "Hebrew-English" translation of the Bible, I have "The New Strong's Exhaustive Concodance of the Bible" This gives me both the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries..

      Ray P. Burriss

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Very interesting Hub. There was a comment by a Bible scholar a few years back (I cannot recall who) that Paradise was actually a room in hell as well and it appeared on a printed page he showed on TV. I thought he was incorrect and I could never find documentation of his statement anywhere. What do you think? Do you use the original Hebrew text at all, or do you have one of those side-by-side Hebrew-English versions of the Bible? I have made myself a note to get one. Thanks!