"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
Bible Spotlight - ON HELL quotes
1) The word “hell” itself is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and before it was used in English translations of the Bible, it simply meant “to cover, to conceal” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, under word “hell”).
2) The Hebrew word for hell is “sheol” (#7585 in Strong’s Exhaustive Hebrew Concordance), and it translates and means “hades or the world of the dead located in a subterranean retreat, grave, hell, pit”.
3) The Babylonians believed that a person was made up of a body and an immortal spirit, and that when they died, their spirit would enter the “Netherworld” or “Underworld”, or in other words “hell”, as a ghost or a shade (Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet XII, col 1, Line 70, at http://looklex.com/textarchive/mesopotamia/gilgamesh12.htm, accessed 12-11-11). They believed that the place of Hell itself was located within “a great cavern” deep within the earth (Books on Egypt and Chaldea, Volume IV, titled Babylonian Religion and Mythology, p 35, by Leonard William King, published by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., London, 1899, at http://www.archive.org/details/babylonianrelig00kinguoft, accessed 1-18-12).
Hell was thought by them to be “the land of darkness”, “the house of shadows” (see Descent of the Goddess Ishtar Into the Lower World, taken from The Civilization of Babylonia and Assyria, by M. Jastrow, 1915, http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/ishtar.htm, accessed 12-14-11), and “a place full of horrors” (The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, p 581, by Morris Jastrow, Jr., Boston, 1898).
The Babylonians also believed that the Underworld of hell was ruled over by a pantheon of gods of the dead, the two highest being the male god Nergal, and his co-ruling wife, who could be very brutal (Examining the Afterlife in Early Babylonian and Assyrian Religions, p 2, by Paula Marie Staunton, 2007, at http://www.helium.com/items/378814-examining-the-afterlife-in-early-babylonian-and-assyrian-religions, accessed 12-3-11), was the goddess Ereshkigal, who was also known as Allatu (Examining the Afterlife in Early Babylonian and Assyrian Religions, p 1, by Paula Marie Staunton, 2007, at http://www.helium.com/items/378814-examining-the-afterlife-in-early-babylonian-and-assyrian-religions, accessed 12-3-11; and Wikipedia, online Encyclopedia, under word Nergal, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nergal, accessed 2-1-12).
Nergal was known as the "raging king", the "furious one", and he was also the god who presided over and controlled fire (Wikipedia, online Encyclopedia, List of War Deities section, under word Mesopotamia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_deities). As such, Nergal was known as "the burner" (Wikipedia, online Encyclopedia, under word Nergal, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nergal, accessed 2-1-12). So Nergal, this “fiery god of destruction” (Wikipedia, online Encyclopedia, under word Nergal, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nergal, accessed 2-1-12), this furious and raging king, was the god who ruled over all the inhabitants of the dead within this hell, and so if any of the dead should happen to get on the wrong side of “the burner” then they would obviously feel his hot fiery displeasure.
These two gods of the dead also had helpers, which included both “male and female demons” who were depicted as bird-like beings (Myths of Babylonia and Assyria, Chapter IV titled “Demons, Fairies, and Ghosts, p 65, by Donald A. MacKenzie, 1915, at http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/mba/mba10.htm, accessed 12-3-11). These gods and demons were obviously not friendly to their dead subjects, but could “brutally and sadistically” assault and torture them at will (Examining the Afterlife in Early Babylonian and Assyrian Religions, p 2, by Paula Marie Staunton, 2007, at http://www.helium.com/items/378814-examining-the-afterlife-in-early-babylonian-and-assyrian-religions, accessed 12-3-11).
4) "[W]e [Christians] are persuaded that when we are removed from this present life we shall live another life, better than the present one....Then we shall abide near God and with God, changeless and free from suffering in the soul...or if we fall with the rest [of mankind], a worse one and in fire; for God has not made us as sheep or beasts of burden, a mere incidental work, that we should perish and be annihilated." Plea for the Christians, p 31, by St Athenagoras – early church father, about 177 A.D.).
5) "The [Catholic] Church took the pagan philosophy and made it the buckler of faith against the heathen.” Paschale Gaudium article, by William L. Gildea, published in The Catholic World (a Roman Catholic weekly magazine), vol 58, March, 1894, p 809.
6) "The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’" Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 12, #1035, at http://old.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt1sect2chpt3art12.shtml, accessed 2-2-12.
This has been the Catholic Church’s belief for some 1700 years, with all the early church councils and synods confirming and reaffirming this belief in hell! Pope John Paul II stated: "In point of fact, the ancient [church] councils rejected the theory...which indirectly abolished hell....Is not Hell in a certain sense the ultimate safeguard of man’s moral conscience?” Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p 185-186, by Pope John Paul II, Knopf Publisher, Canada, 1994.
7) In February of 380 A.D., the Roman emperor Theodosius the Great “issued a decree...in favor of the faith of St. Peter and Pope Damasus of Rome...to be the true catholic faith” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol 23, p 259, under Theodosius, editor Thoman Spencer Baynes, C. Scribner's sons publishers, 1888).
8) “I will go down into sheol unto my son mourning.” Genesis 37:35.
The prophet Job prayed to go to “sheol”, but in translating this prayer the translators gave us the word “grave” instead (Job 14:13). Job had been going through much hardship and suffering. It had gotten to the point where he felt he couldn’t endure life any longer, and so he asked God to let him go to “sheol” where he knew he would be at rest (Job 3:17-19).
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with they might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, now wisdom, in sheol, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10.
9) One of the Greek words for “hell” is “hades” (Strong’s, word #86), which translates and means “unseen, the place or state of departed souls, grave, hell”.
10) In Acts 2:27, Peter quoted Psalms 16:10 which states: “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”
11) “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore....and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelation 1:18.
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead with were in them...And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Revelation 20:13-14.
12) Another Greek word which is translated as “hell” is the word “Gehenna” (Strong’s, word #1067), which translates and means “valley of the son of Hinnom; a valley of Jerusalem, used figuratively as a name for the place or state of everlasting punishment, hell”.
13) “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” Matthew 10:28.
“Gehenna...where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Mark 9:43-48.
14) “The wages of sin is death [not eternal torment in everlasting fire], but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23.