What the [H]ell?
Walking down Market St. in San Francisco just at the south side Powell St. entrance to the BART station is a place that is known to be frequented by megaphone preachers. It seems like a tourist spot for well-intentioned firebrand salvation peddlers who find the evils of the city to be worthy of amplified castigation. The ubiquity of the message is striking among these visitors: according to god we all deserve to go to hell. They are here to make sure we know it with a public spectacle at one of the busiest human foot traffic intersections in the world.
for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men
Hell isn’t even mentioned in any of the original texts of the bible, it wasn’t made up by the church until 425CE when Augustine introduced it to mainstream christianity. the first 400 years of the christian church held a view of the afterlife known as annihilation (where the wicked would cease to exist) or universal salvation (where eventually everyone is saved). there was no concept of “eternal punishment” at all in any original text of the bible. it is entirely fabricated by the church and there was obvious intent to alter later translations to support this false doctrine.
iIt begs the question of what possible motive could the church; that totally by coincidence just happens to make obscene profits from the sale of indulgences and donations from their frightened subjects: possibly have for blatantly lying and committing an obvious fraud for over 1500 years?
“Hell” is entirely 100% made up by humans, borrowed mostly from roman mythology and has zero legitimate biblical support. every single instance of the word “hell” in modern translations are mistranslating one of 4 words.
In the old testament those words were “sheol” which was the hebrew concept of the afterlife that everyone went to upon death to await judgement. it was not a lake of fire or eternal punishment and it was not a place for “bad people” -it was a place for everyone and was a limited duration. in the greek texts the word “hades” was used but it was just the greek word for the afterlife and its usage referred to the same concept as “sheol”.
In the new testament all but one instance was a translation of the word “gehenna” which does not and never did refer to this concept of hell.. it was actually a reference to a very specific valley in jerusalem, not even half a mile from the temple. Gehenna was the location of the “trash dump” in the first century CE where refuse and dead bodies were taken to get rid of. there was a constantly burning fire from the incinerator where the garbage was burned. when they reference the “eternal flame” the text is actually referring to the continously burning fire in the incinerator and when jesus is allegedly talking about the rich people going to gehenma he is saying that when they die they will be disposed of in the same incinerator as the poor people,
The only other new testament usage came from the word “tartarus” which is actually the closest thing we have to eternal torment. tarturus is “the lowest layer of hades” and does actually imply eternal suffering however that one single usage is from 2 peter 2:4 in reference to a place where “fallen angels” are sent; not humans…. that passage also specifically states that those fallen angels will be in tartarus “until the day of judgement”. so despite the word “tartarus” actually referring to a place of eternal suffering the passage where the word is used clearly limits the time.
This concept of “hell” is all a massive, centuries old con job conducted by the church for profit and control. i am sure lots of people today actually think it’s real but the church knowingly made this up and it has zero legitimate biblical support.