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Author Topic: Hell  (Read 4325 times)

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« on: April 04, 2007, 11:24:16 PM »

Hello Mr. Smith,
I have been reading information on ancient Jewish beliefs and I have come to find out that Jews thought Sheol was a ghostly realm of a shadowy existence, with neither pain nor joy of any kind (but definitely consciousness,unlike what you post on your site). Over time, Jews began to borrow from pagan myths and added on to their idea of the hereafter. The Apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees shows examples of Jewish belief in the afterlife, somewhat different than the Canon of the Tanakh.
I have learned that by the time of Christ, Jews came to believe that Sheol/Hades had two separate compartments (I read they borrowed this from the Greeks about Hades). One compartment was the "Bosom of Abraham" and the other was "Torture" separated by an impassible gulf.
Isn't it possible that Jesus was referring to the actual compartments of Hades in the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus? Since Jews believed in such things, isn't it possible Jesus was warning them of Hell since that's what they believed in?
Thanks in advance.

Dear Isaac:
No, Jesus was not warning them of "hell."  Rather Jesus was warning them of HIS judgments;  God's judgments.  Jesus may well have been using an analogy of pagan ideas they were not believing, but Jesus was not literally warning the Children of Israel of the horrors of the pagan GREEK hell of Hades which was borrowed from the pagan Egyptians.  God warns against paganism. He assuredly does not break His own declarations by then using pagan religious doctrines to fulfill His Own Judgments.
God be with you,
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