Stepping Toes 2015 in review

WordPress for you and me

WordPress blue logo.svgThere are a huge amount of articles on the internet to find. We are happy that we can use Word Press were also many people try to place their word. It is an incredible fact: together, those bloggers published more than 660 million posts on WordPress.com in 2015, and made more than 655 million comments.

That’s a whole lot of joy, laughter, tears, insight, and thoughtfulness. And it’s just one part of a huge global community of people — WordPress now powers more than 25% of the internet — with interests ranging from the news shaping our world to personal stories that shape our own families and lives.

Bloggers and their issues

Stepping Toes -aim Nov. 14 14.12On this site and on our other sites for sure we shall not be able to receive as many viewers several bloggers may receive on theirs. Our subjects are of lesser interest. We do know it is not always good to compare with others, but as human beings we also are sensible for that. On this site and on From Guestwriters we may also talk about the serious and the mundane, the silly and the sorrowful. Marriage, parenthood, love, differences, divisions, and identity may be subjects you might find on this site and From Guestwriters as well on the Ecclesia site and the Brethren site. On this site there is not much place for the very popular subjects, like sports, movies, television, showbiz, entertainment  and politics. Sometimes love, romance, and much more often inner feelings may find some place here and on our sibling From Guestwriters.

Xanga and two new readers digests.

Stepping Toes - About Nov. 14 11.32On 28 September 2011 we started on Xanga to present some controversial themes. For some readers when Xanga closed down and found us on WordPress it could have been a revisiting. Two years after our start on Xanga we came to Word Press on October 2013. On this New Platform for us, we hoped to continue in the same way as on Xanga, presenting a readers digest of interesting material around religion and spiritual matters. We created this platform to bring more difficult issues and we present From Guestwriters to bring more social news and family related issues as well offering there a choice of what we could find interesting on the WordPress blogs and on selected material from the huge amount of publications on the internet, with the intention of bringing also some positive news in this world were there is a lot of suffering.

On this site eyes directed to the Master Creator

man in praiseWe took 2015 to look at religion, as usual, and looked at this world with or without religion and with or without a god or The God, wondering also why so many think there has to be a competition between those religions.

Once again the past year we had to come to the conclusion that there are many churches without faith. For that reason we wanted to continue our work of preaching and showing people that there are still several lovers of God and seekers and lovers of truth.

Gretchen Kelly of Drifting Through may think that

There is no After – happily ever or otherwise. There is only today. Just today – During.

on “The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About.” But we showed that even when there is no such thing of ourselves what people call ‘soul‘ that would continue to live when we die, we are convinced and hope to bring you to see, that we have reason enough to believe our hope in a later life is grounded in promises which will come true. We wrote that there is a more than great God to look for, Who promised a “heaven on earth” and had a short series on the mortal soul and mortal psyche.

To come to see what those promises are we pointed out to that Book of books which tells everything. We also looked at an anarchistic reading of the Bible. and at this and at our newest baby site ‘Messiah for All‘ we showed that nothing in the Bible has to exclude science. Yes a scientist has enough reason also to believe in God. Also an historian has enough reason to believe God’s Word, but he will be worried more, because he or she shall understand the predictions in the Bible and shall see the connection with what is going on now. Many people  may perhaps also see that we are entering a new period of cold war. We all should see what happens in the region or land of Euphrates and Tigris. It is very important that people come to understanding from sayings written long ago.

Calling on the Name Jehovah to be DeliveredWith the Bible at hand we continue to show you and our readers that we have a sword of the Spirit to come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man. In a year when it is still possible that girls can do anything that boys do but sometimes it turns out that they get killed for it {The story of “A Senseless Death,” from don of all trades.} on this site and on From Guestwriters we want to bring such anomalies in the news and have people think about it. In 2015 some people tried it to make impossible for parents to have their children growing up in a certain religious way. In the Middle East was there a oppression group which forced its own beliefs to all around. The problem with them is that they managed to get some Westerners to believe that what they say is in their holy scriptures, the Quran, though it is not and often contrary to what is written in it (like the abusing and killing of children, burning of the Quran and mosques, etc.)

In the year that Muslims denied the Jewish claim to the temple mount, we looked at Pascal’s possibility and the scientific evidence for God. We also continued to show were people go wrong in their thinking about the person of God and about God His son, whom we consider our Messiah. Closing the year we looked at that man, his skull and his skin and how certain pagan elements entered Christendom and still keep many Christians celebrating the birth of Christ on an other day than he is born, and how a framework and vehicle for Christian scholasticism and loss of confidence has been created.

Writings, happenings, perspectives, ciphers, visitors and viewers

Up to December the 29th 387 articles were published of which 77 were published this year, having this site looked at 3,200 times.

At our other sites we looked more at the tragedy of the EU refugee crisis. For sure 2016 shall bring that refugee crisis often in the picture. Also the ones who want to force all thinking and handling in the same way shall come more often in the news with their acts of terror.

WordPress Logo 中文: WordPress Logo

We do hope we shall be able on this site and on From Guestwriters to show the community how important it is that we keep an open mind to all sort of people and all sorts of believes. With others who write on WordPress, we like to come together to uplift each other. Following attacks in Paris and Beirut, WordPress.com bloggers offered unique perspectives on what happened around the world in 2015:

“Most never thought they’d be in this position.”

—From Lionel Beehner’s visit to the Zaatari refugee camp. More blogs featured in On the Run: Blogging the European Refugee Crisis.”

We don’t have to be united. We don’t have to agree. We don’t always have to “stand together,” even. That’s precisely what makes us strong, and that’s precisely what makes our way of life worth defending.

—Drew Messinger-Michaels (Everybody’s Talking at Once) on the Paris attacks. Featured in “Don’t Be Who ISIS Wants You to Be”: Bloggers on Paris and Beirut.

This is a day for celebrating equal treatment by the law, and equal recognition by the state.

—Lela Urquhart, at Tropics of Meta, on the history of marriage. Featured in the roundup “#LoveWins! LGBTQ Bloggers Make Their Voices Heard.”

Global Community

We could reach 75 countries in all with this site and do hope in the coming years to reach more people in more countries.
Most visitors came from The United States (2314). United Kingdom (141) & Netherlands (117) were not far behind. Belgium with only 61 viewers come far behind. Australia with 101 did even better.

For 2016 we shall continue our way trying to bring people closer to the Only One True God. We also shall try to show people that they do not have to change their own ‘I’ when becoming a Christian. On this site and on our sibling site From Guestwriter we shall try to get people not to neglect to live their life, but to make it fit in accordance with the ordinances of the Most High Almighty God. As the teacher Junah writes

We spend too much time to copy the life of others. Try to live life according to what you like. You have your own identity to showcase in the stage of life. {There is Life}

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Find also to read

  1. Stepping toes
  2. Xanga Toe Stepper made silent
  3. A new voice calling for peace
  4. Looking for writers for two Lifestyle Magazines
  5. The 2015 WordPress.com Year In Review!
  6. Five years on WordPress
  7. Bible and Science: Scientific Facts and Theories
  8. Is it “Wrong” to Believe that the Earth is a Sphere?
  9. Cosmogony
  10. First man’s task still counting today
  11. Can a scientist believe in God
  12. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  13. From Guestwriters 2015 in review
  14. Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear
  15. Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees
  16. 2015 In the Picture
  17. Belgian Bible Students review of 2015
  18. Bijbelvorsers Blogging annual report and 2015 in review

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Further reading

  1. New Zealand’s 2015: the year we hid from a world in need
  2. 2015 Review—–Year Of The Fracturing Bubble And Clueless Bull
  3. In 2015, India was Busy Watching Porn !!!
  4. 2015 Media Log Summary – Kendra’s Favorites!
  5. End of Year Review: Top 10 Psychology, Coaching and Confidence Blog Posts for 2015
  6. 2015: A Year in Review and Looking Ahead to 2016
  7. 2015 Blog Review – Thank You Followers – Now over 1000 posts
  8. The Main Event on BRT Radio 02/01/2016 – The Bayrak International DJ’s and 2015
  9. Year at a glance
  10. What I’ve learnt in 2015
  11. 2015 Writing Review (petergermany)
  12. 2015 In Review & Other Crunchy Numbers
  13. 2015 What the hell happened?
  14. 2015 in review (lifeingeelong)
  15. 2015 In Review (ingridandjimmy)
  16. 2015 Year-In Review (teaandsea)
  17. 2015 year in review (marathang)
  18. 2015 Review (balladblood)
  19. 50 Things that made me smile in 2015
  20. Let’s Try This Again
  21. 5 Quotes to describe my #TalesOf2015!
  22. It’s the New Year, Have You Changed in the last 365?
  23. New Year … New Projects !

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Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #2 Psyche, the word

Psyche, the word

In psychoanalysis and other forms of depth psychology, the psyche refers to the forces in an individual that influence thought, behaviour and personality. The Greek word ψυχή (psūkhē) meant “life” in the sense of “breath”, from the verb ψύχω (psukhō, “to blow”). This Greek word, rendered in Latin as ‘anima, has traditionally been rendered in English as “soul”.

In the minds of most persons, the connotations of the word “soul” are not in agreement with the meaning of the Hebrew [נֶפֶשׁ] ‘ne′phesh” (Nepes, Nephesh)(Nefesh) and Greek ‘psy·khe′’ [ψυχή]) as used by the inspired Bible writers. This fact has steadily gained wider acknowledgement amongst scholars. Back in 1897, in the Journal of Biblical Literature (Vol. XVI, p. 30), Professor C. A. Briggs, as a result of detailed analysis of the use of ne′phesh, observed:

“Soul” in English usage at the present time conveys usually a very different meaning from נפש [ne′phesh] in Hebrew, and it is easy for the incautious reader to misinterpret.”[1]

We should see the “soul” as “the capacity to live”, that is, any life chance for plants, animals and human beings.

46 is the earliest (nearly) complete manuscrip...

46 is the earliest (nearly) complete manuscript of the Epistles written by Paul in the new testament. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although the Hebrew word nefesh [in the Hebrew Scriptures] is frequently translated as ‘soul,’ it would be inaccurate to read into it a Greek meaning. Nefesh … is never conceived of as operating separately from the body. In the New Testament the Greek word psyche is often translated as ‘soul’ but again should not be readily understood to have the meaning the word had for the Greek philosophers. It usually means ‘life,’ or ‘vitality,’ or, at times, ‘the self.’[2]

Greek-English lexicons give such definitions for psyche as life,” and

“the conscious self or personality as centre of emotions, desires, and affections,” “a living being,”

and they show that even in non-Biblical Greek works the term was used of animals. We also can find all the meanings that the pagan Greek philosophers gave to the word, including that of “departed spirit,” “the immaterial and immortal soul,” “the spirit of the universe,” and “the immaterial principle of movement and life.” Evidently because some of the pagan philosophers taught that the soul departed from the body at death, the term psyche was also applied to the “butterfly or moth,” creatures which go through a metamorphosis changing from caterpillar to a winged creature.[3]

In the past, translators brought their background in philosophical literature to the translation the Holy Scriptures. Those translators interpreted psyche to mean something that was of a different substance than the body. This translation of the NT psyche was inconsistent the OT nephesh, which referred to the whole living being. The Bible does not say humans have a special separate substance called a soul. The soul, psyche or nephesh, is the person, the whole being including the mind, the body with its need for food, the very blood in the veins – all of the person.

Years ago the definition of death used to include only cessation of heart and lungs but now after further development it has been altered so that it can include permanent and irreversible brain failure. In the Germanic speaking countries, from a medical perspective, it is considered that when the ‘psyche’ or mind is not working any more, when the brain does not function any more, the person is considered to be death. In Europe the specific criteria used to pronounce legal death are variable and often depend on certain circumstances in order to pronounce a person legally dead. Controversy is often encountered due to the conflicts between moral and ethical values. Legal death is usually pronounced when a person is considered brain dead. Brain death is considered an irreversible coma. A patient is diagnosed as brain dead when there is no detectable brain activity. In the United States, brain death is legal in every state.[4]

This actually accords with the view of Scripture. It is when breath goes out of a person and the spirit (psyche) gives way, i.e. when the brain is not working any more, that a person dies and is dead. At that moment the memory is gone, and like plants or animals when they die, the person can no longer function and the body begins to decay. Then they shall rot or to cause to waste away and there shall take place a disintegrating of their body to end up into tiny particles of solid or powdery matter, called dust. Whatever the psyche is, ends at death.

Ecc 3:19-20 ESV For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.

[1] C. A. Briggs ; Journal of Biblical Literature (Vol. XVI, p. 30)

[2] The Encyclopedia Americana (1977), Vol. 25, p. 236.

[3] Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, revised by H. Jones, 1968, pp. 2026, 2027; Donnegan’s New Greek and English Lexicon, 1836, p. 1404.

[4] Brain death is not the same as a vegetative state, but the two are often confused.

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Preceding: Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #1 Intro

Next: Historical background

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Additional reading:

  1. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  2. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  3. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  4. Creation of the earth and man #13 Formation of man #5 Living soul
  5. Elul Observances
  6. Human beings and creation
  7. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  8. Soul
  9. The Soul not a ghost
  10. Is there an Immortal soul
  11. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  12. Dying or not
  13. What happens when we die?
  14. How are the dead?
  15. Dead and after
  16. Sheol or the grave
  17. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality

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Further reading material:

  1. Be a Mensch..
  2. Absolute Being and the relative universe
  3. “One is not born, but made, a human”
  4. A definition can never explain the essence of a thing
  5. Life is much more than a cluster of cells
  6. Finding the True Self
  7. Daily Bliss – October 20
  8. Poi Dog Pondering-All Saints Ascension
  9. Today
  10. Set Your Soul on Fire
  11. The Soul vs The Ego
  12. Influencing the soul
  13. The Crucial Distinction Between Your Soul and Your Spirit
  14. “Whispers of Hope”
  15. For yourself
  16. God First
  17. My God, My Hope!
  18. The Way
  19. Prayer to The Dead
  20. The Petition For Souls
  21. Do All Living Beings Have Souls???
  22. I Walk Upon the Path of the Occult
  23. A Season for Souls.
  24. Souls’ mission II
  25. The More We Have
  26. #37 Evaporating Souls
  27. The Threat of Faith
  28. Where Word Belongs to Man
  29. Rest for Weary Souls
  30. Grief and Writing
  31. Life Depends upon a Sentence
  32. Life can change in a heartbeat, or none at all
  33. Hell
  34. Falling into Beautiful Death
  35. Grave Choice
  36. Allhallowtide
  37. meeting God in the garden
  38. The Voice of the Shofar
  39. Five Smooth Stones
  40. Chewing the Cud
  41. Praying Dirt
  42. The Repairer of the Breach

 

I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell

Me neither. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to go to suffer everlasting torment, however bad they were in life, and I don’t like the idea of a god would want that either. The idea of unending pain is not only intolerably cruel but to pretend that in any sense someone could deserve that fate so unjust as to be positively wicked. Regardless of how bad someone behaved, regardless of how many crimes they committed, no-one could do enough evil to justify an infinite punishment. Even worse is the suggestion that anyone who misses out on salvation will end up with the same punishment; petty crook and genocidal dictator alike, they all must endure an eternity of pain and suffering. A god who behaved in this way could not be described as “merciful“, could not even be described as “just”. Such a god could only be described as wicked. But the God I believe in is both merciful and just, so I can’t believe that He would send anyone to hell.

There is another reason why I can’t believe it – the idea isn’t even biblical. Look at what Jesus says about hell:

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28)

Leave aside for a moment what Jesus meant by “soul” and “hell”, it is clear that Jesus did not think of hell as many Christians do. For Jesus, hell is not a place where the soul suffers eternal conscious torment. Instead hell is a place where the soul is killed, destroyed, finished, done.

Look at what Jesus promises to anyone who will accept it:

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them (John 3:36)

Jesus promises eternal life. The opposite of eternal life is not eternal conscious torment but eternal death. Jesus makes this clear in the words considered above. Whoever rejects the offer will “not see life”. They don’t go on living in torment and agony for all eternity. They just stay dead. That’s the fate of the wicked, that’s the fate of those who reject Jesus’ offer of life, they stay dead.

The question then is why do so many Christians believe in hell, given that is a horrible idea and not what Jesus taught? For some people, though they call themselves “Christian”, just use the doctrine of hell as a stick to beat their neighbours. There also probably some truth in the claim that the historic church used the threat of hell as a way of controlling its followers. But there are also many sincere and well-intentioned Christians who still believe in hell. This is because they are used to reading the Bible a certain way and have never been shown that it was written differently.

Many Christians believe that the soul is immortal, that it not only survives death but can never die. This is not what Jesus or the early Christians taught, but if you believe that the soul cannot die then you must believe it goes somewhere after death. You wouldn’t want to belief that wicked people end up in a good place (a lot of Christians believe they go to heaven when they die), so there must be a bad place for the bad people to go to. Once you’ve got this idea in your mind then you read the Bible to fit that idea. For example, whilst Jesus never talks about eternal conscious torment, he does talk about “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46). If you already believe that bad souls go to a bad place when they die, it is convenient to read “eternal punishment” as though it said “eternal conscious torment”. That’s not what Jesus said, but that’s what many Christians think.

English: Ge-Hinnom, c. 1900.

Ge-Hinnom or Valley of Hinnom, c. 1900. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It also does not help that Christians today have forgotten what Jesus meant when he used the word “hell”. When Jesus talks about hell he is usually using the word gehenna, which literally means “Valley of Hinnom“. This was a place in ancient Israel where the worshippers of the pagan god Molech would perform human sacrifices, including burning children (e.g. 2 Kings 23:10). This practice is condemned by God through the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:35). Jeremiah uses the imagery of being burnt in the Valley of Hinnom to portray the fitting punishment for those who practiced such evil (Jeremiah 7:31-32). This is the background to the word gehenna in the New Testament where it represents the fate of the wicked. When Jesus talks about the ‘fire of hell‘ (Matthew 5:22) he is using the word gehenna, using this imagery for the destruction of death. The other word used by Jesus for hell is hades. Though in greek mythology hades was both the abode of the dead and the god of the dead, in the New Testament hades simply refers to the grave. In either case Jesus was not referring to a place of eternal conscious torment for the wicked, as many people now think about hell.

As you can see from this overview I do not think that Christians should believe in hell and as such I do not think that hell provides any obstacle to believing in God. Jesus does not teach that the wicked go to hell and I do not know of any other part of the bible that teaches this idea. Wherever people got the notion of hell from it was not from God and not part of his message to mankind. I can understand that you would not want to believe in a god that condemned people to hell, though your personal dislike would not determine whether or not such a god existed. But the notion of hell is inconsistent with everything we know about the God who does exist; inconsistent with his goodness and inconsistent with his message to mankind.

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Additional reading:

  1. Another way looking at a language #3 Abraham
  2. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  3. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  4. Darkness, light, burning fire, Truth and people in it
  5. Jesus three days in hell
  6. Hellfire
  7. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  8. The soul
  9. Dying or not
  10. Is there an Immortal soul
  11. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  12. Set free from any form of mental torment or self-condemnation
  13. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  14. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  15. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  16. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  17. We are ourselves responsible
  18. Self inflicted misery #6 Paying by death
  19. Self inflicted misery #8 Pruning to strengthen us
  20. Bad things no punishment from God
  21. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  22. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  23. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  24. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  25. Edward Wightman
  26. Fear and protection
  27. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  28. Eternity depends upon this short time on earth
  29. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower

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  • Biblical Hell (focusedandfree.com)
    Because of the symbolic nature of the language, some people question whether hell consists of actual fire. Such reasoning should bring no comfort to the lost. The reality is greater than the symbol. The Bible exhausts human language in describing heaven and hell. The former is more glorious, and the latter more terrible, than language can express.
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    In Christian tradition it is usually associated with the notion of eternal punishment, especially by fire. This idea appears in Isaiah. 66:24, but it is not clearly associated with a place. Jewish writings from the third century B.C. onward, speak of places of punishment by fire for evil spirits and the wicked dead (1 Enoch 18:11-16108:3-7152 Esdras 7:36-38). The book of Revelation describes a lake that burns with fire and brimstone in which the wicked will be eternally punished (Revelation 19:2020:14-1521:8).
  • Gehenna in the ‘Love Wins’ controversy (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
    One aspect of the great controversy about hell, and about Bell’s thesis, is the meaning of the word Gehenna in the New Testament. Most English translations contribute to the confusion by replacing the word Gehenna with hell, instead of leaving it untranslated, as it should be, since it is the name of a specific geographical place on earth.
  • Is Gehenna the same as the lake of fire? (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
    Arthur W. Pink compared Gehenna with the lake of fire in Revelation 20 in his article on Eternal Punishment. He thought these two things were identical. But Pink may have been mistaken about this, as he was about the doctrine of dispensationalism. He eventually realized dispensationalism was false, and wrote a series of articles against that theory, which he previously supported.In his discussion of Gehenna, Pink compared things said of it with the information that is provided about the lake of fire. His comparison is summarized
  • Is Literal Hellfire Torment A Bible Teaching? (debatepolitics.com)
    The teaching of literal hellfire torment is commonplace in Christendom and non-Christian religions. This teaching defames the Creator and portrays him as a sadist who tortures people in flames of fire for all eternity—as punishment for wrongdoing committed during the relatively brief human lifespan. The hellfire dogma was brought into Christianity by the Roman Catholics who copied it from pagan religions. (Pagans are those who do not worship the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.)
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    The scriptures indicate that hell is nothing more than mankind’s common grave. Proof of this is provided by a verse of scripture in the Bible, which no hellfire-believing Christian can explain away. I’m referring to the scripture that says Jesus Christ–the epitome of a perfect, sinless, and obedient man–died and went to hell.
  • What and Where is Hell Anyway? (robertjrgraham.com)
    When most people think of hell, they think of Satan in that red suit with two horns and a pitchfork somewhere in the depths of the Earth where souls are tormented day and night on some kind of giant char broiler. Do something wrong in life and you’re condemned to an eternal damnation of flames. None of this could be further from the truth, and we should know better, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (II Corinthians 2:11).The English word hell comes from the Anglo-Saxon hel, or in the genitive case helle, which means a “hidden place”, from the Anglo-Saxon word helan, meaning “to hide”.
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    Whether it’s the word sheol in the Old Testament, or gehenna or hades in the New Testament, they all mean either the grave or the state of death.
  • Is Hell eternal or do those who do not choose Christ just cease to exist? (askthepastors.wordpress.com)
    There are four words used in the Bible for the place of the dead, Sheol, the Hebrew term for the grave and also for the place of departed spirits, Hades, the Greek version of Sheol, the Abyss (used for the place of the dead in Romans 10:7, but usually reserved for place of judgment for demons, Luke 8:31; Rev. 9:1,2, 20:1) and Gehenna, the term taken from the Valley of Hinnom just south of Jerusalem where trash was perpetually burned. This last word refers specifically to the final place of torment, most properly translated “hell” (Matthew 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9, etc.)
  • Comments on Walter Balfour’s interpretation of Gehenna (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
    In their disputes about the meaning of Gehenna, both men overlooked the significance of Gehenna as a topographical feature in the land of promise, and one of the valleys which Isaiah said will be filled, as John the Baptist proclaimed. [Luke 3:5]From Gehenna, one views Jerusalem as an outsider; the teachings of Jesus encourage us to get into the kingdom of God, and obtain life.
    +The sayings of Jesus about Gehenna also apply to the present age. Gehenna is a judgment. [Mat. 5:22, 23:33] Jesus referred to it as something we should avoid at any cost, even if it means loss of our right eye, or our right hand, or our right foot. [Mat. 5:29, 30] Jesus said God is able to destroy “both soul and body” in Gehenna, and that we should fear him. [Mat. 10:28, Luke 12:5] This suggests that the warnings about Gehenna apply to our present lives; being cast into it represents the spiritual condition, of being outside the holy city.Being cast into Gehenna contrasts with entering into life. [Mat. 18:9] Scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites are called “children of Gehenna.” [Mat. 23:15] Balfour correctly pointed out “no Gentile is ever threatened with Gehenna punishment,” as that threat applies especially to those in Jerusalem. One must be in the holy city, in order to be cast out of it. While the threat of “the damnation of Gehenna” applies only to Jews, the heirs of salvation, who are “in Christ,” are called Jews, and “the circumcision,” in a spiritual sense; Jesus used the threat of Gehenna figuratively and metaphorically to warn the saints who dwell in the heavenly Jerusalem.
  • Is Punishment Eternal? (pilgrimpassing.com)
    Thus, sheol and hades were the same place and must have been occupied by the redeemed since the Messiah was there while His body lay in the grave. That the lost were also there, but in a separate area, is clear from Christ’s statement that when the rich man died, “in hades he lift up his eyes, being in torment….” That in his torment he could see Lazarus and Abraham in comfort (Luke 16:19-31) further indicates that the redeemed were also in hades yet distinct from the damned. That part of hades, which Christ referred to as “Abraham’s bosom,” must have been the “paradise” in which Jesus promised to meet the believing thief on the cross that very day (Luke 23:43).
    +
    If God is so loving why doesn’t He universally forgive everyone? Love is only part of God’s character. He is also infinitely and perfectly just. How can God forgive someone who admits no guilt? How can He forgive those who insist that there is nothing for which He needs to forgive them? And would it not be the utmost folly to do so? If in His mercy and grace God simply passed over human rebellion, would that not be condoning evil and even encouraging it? Would that not in itself undermine God’s control of His universe?
  • Walter Balfour’s discussion of Gehenna
  • Hope in Gehenna?
  • John Calvin on Gehenna
  • Gehenna applies to the church, not the world
  • Gehenna in the ‘Love Wins’ controversy
  • To Hell with Hell
  • Philosophy – What Is Hell?
  • Jason Erb critically analyzes biblical doctrines on Truth Hertz with Charles Giuliani, January 1, 2013
  • Lost Soul in Hell
  • The Amazing Race of God
  • God versus Satan
  • A Full Documentary About the Signs of Apocalypse
  • Reality of Hell…
  • To Hell with HellIs Punishment Eternal?
  • There Is No Hell, Look It Up