My reply to a conversation about hell:
"Hello, Yes, I think I mostly understand your points. I guess the argument lies in words that were used from original and the English translations of the ancient biblical manuscripts. My thought in response to that is, words are used that were already in existence. Understandable, no? In 2 Peter 2:4, Peter uses the Greek word Tartarus ("Tartaros" Strong's Greek 5020.) which was a word adapted by Peter (or his scribe) describing a place very similar to the standard definition of "hell". This word was already allegedly in use at the time (Plato 400BC). The Aramaic translation there says "fiery regions" according to Aramaic English New Testament by Andrew Gabriel Roth. Which bible I don't recommend btw, but the translation of that word seems accurate at least. Are you saying words should have been invented for "hell"? Please forgive me if that is a ridiculous question. I'm just trying to make sure I understand the subject.
"Many of those who sleep in the dusty ground will awake, some to everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting abhorrence. " ~Daniel 12:2 NET Bible
"...when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in blazing fire. He will inflict vengeance on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His might,.." — 2 Thessalonians 1:7b-9
I think a huge argument FOR an eternal burning hell is logically, what exactly did Jesus save us from? He had to die this horrible death so that we wouldn't face annihilation? Paul faced peril constantly to save people from... annihilation? It makes the whole New Covenant not make sense to me. If Jesus was God manifest in the flesh and He died for us on the cross (which I'm sure He did), I would think we have a pretty big responsibility to properly react to that truth. And I would think the rejection of God's tremendous love for us unworthy sinners would bring about a very serious retribution from God. Even eternal anguish and torment.
Additionally, what about in Revelation, the part about death and hell (or hades) being thrown into the lake of fire where the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever? Or in Mark where Jesus warns about a place where the fire is not quenched and their worm dies not? (Mark 9:44-48 and Isaiah 66:24) 165. aión. An era at the end when time has ended can be understood as "eternity". "eternity" is where God is. He is not constrained by time and never was. "Time" was something created for this world. And when time ends we will all experience eternity. 166. aiónios - 71 Occurrences in the NT All appear to be translated as "eternal" or "everlasting" or "forever". For argument's sake, Even IF it's not forever, it's for a very long time. At least that much is crystal clear I believe. Which makes it not something I want to go through.
If we only face a "disintegration" in the end then what does any of this matter? "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." (1 Corinthians 15:32b). Paul speaks of the terror of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:11). There is no terror in annihilation at the end of our lives. Weeping and gnashing of teeth, outer darkness, judgment. All no big deal if there's just an annihilation afterward.
What I believe based on Scripture is this; We have a resurrection and a judgment and the sheep will go to the right and goats to the left (Matthew 25:31-46). In the meantime we are held in some kind of place, either Hades or Paradise. The rich man in Luke said he was in torment and wanted desperately for someone to warn his family (Luke 16:19-31). And this job the Lord is giving to those who respond to Him (those who "call on the name of the Lord") is a very serious one.
Psalms and Proverbs both say that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. Because the fear of the Lord causes us to understand the desperate need for a savior, and that we face a horrible future without Mashiach, Yehoshua.
Please don't misunderstand this next part. I am not trying to be combative, hostile or the slight bit argumentative. I just have some questions and I hope you don't mind me asking them. I'm not looking for you to answer me. But maybe provoke you to reflect a bit?
Why are you asking about this topic? Is it to persuade yourself and others that the punishment for disobedience wont be THAT bad? Have you ever been born again and baptized in God's Holy Spirit? The Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, "Abba, Father"? (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6) I was, when God saved me over 20 years ago. And God saved me personally. I was not witnessed to or indoctrinated. I had long ago stopped going to church when I was saved. And everything I read in God's Word was nothing I had ever heard before. It was extremely shocking. And what caused me to cry out to God as urgently as I did was when He opened up my understanding of eternal punishment. The fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom for me. Just as His word says. A few days later I was miraculously lead through a sinner's prayer through the TV. My testimony is online if you're interested. But I guess my point here is this, I never thought anything of the Bible until God talked to me through it. Until then, I had no clue. And so I always wonder, why are you looking at the Bible? Are you looking to be made whole? Are you looking for fulfillment, or are you just curious? Do you feel God is drawing you to Him? For me, I felt I was dying in this world. I felt like I couldn't face another day. And God saved my soul through the death of His Son. I experienced it when reading the gospels as if it happened in front of me right then in 1997. And God instantly healed me of acute anxiety and depression through it all and I haven't suffered with anything like that since. So I know the power of God is real. I know He is real. And I know He's the same exact God I read about in Scripture.
It sounds like you're really studying the Bible though. I am as well. Every day. I've bought about 40 books over the past few months. Including the one you mentioned coincidentally (Rotherham Emphasized). Lexicons, books by translators etc. Two of my favorites are by Dr. Spiro Zodhiates.
1. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament [Dr. Spiros Zodhiates]
2. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible
I have several more favorites if you're interested in hearing about them.
Online tools I use the most is biblehub.com and I read their Strong's and NASB with every word is linked and shows Strong's definition, Thayer's and also another really great commentary by HELPS Studies which, from what I understand is mainly (now deceased) Archer Gleason Jr who is one of my favorite theologians.
But, all these teachers I have found to be good teach an eternity in hell. These are professors and scholars. Eternal hell is a very basic fundamental doctrine. Not Catholic inspired at all. Just Scripture inspired. God inspired.
But God surely is my inspiration in my studies. I wouldn't be doing this if He didn't make Himself real to me over 20 years ago. Jesus said we must be born again to see the kingdom of God. This is true. God has to open our understanding to His Word. It has to be Him. So I would seek Him one on one. That's where I started and that's where I remain. In constant prayer, in constant study. In pulling down my thoughts into the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5). With all my heart, mind soul and strength. This is all required of humanity. Its the whole duty of man.
"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.
Its the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-40).
Here are some other verses on hell to consider.
Isaiah 66:24 "Then they will go forth and look On the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die And their fire will not be quenched; And they will be an abhorrence to all mankind."
Luke 3:17; Matthew 3:12 His winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing floor and to gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Matthew 25:41 Then He will say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
May God the Father bless you all, in Yeshua's holy Name Amen
You can be saved!
God loves the people in the world so much that He came down to die for us. If God is opening your heart to His message and you feel convicted for your sins which have separated you from a holy God and you feel the need to be forgiven, then say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully converted to the Christ in 1997!
Say, "My Lord and my God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe Jesus the Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and is now on the right-hand side of God listening to this prayer. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You in, Lord Jesus. Thank you, God, for saving my soul and I vow to serve you with all my heart which is the first and greatest commandment. Amen."