Bible Questions and Answers

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The word "hell" in the New Testament of the English Bible covers two different words in the original text: Hades and Gehenna.

What is Hades? In most of the passages where the word "hell" occurs in English, the original is "Hades" which is just another name for the grave. It is used for rendering the Old Testament word for the grave "Sheol" when quoted in the New Testament. There is no knowledge or activity in "Hades" or "Sheol", the grave. (See Ecclesiastes 9:5,10, Ezekiel 32:27-29; Matthew 11:23; 16:18).

Who goes to Hades? Everyone, good or bad, goes to "hades" - "the grave" - to sleep unitl the resurrection. When Jesus was buried he was laid in "hell" (Hades), and when he was raised from the  dead he came out of "hell" (Hades). (See Acts 2:25-31).

What is "Hell fire"? The New Testament was first written in Greek; and the Greek word that the Lord Jesus used when he spoke of "hell fire" is "fire of Gehenna" (See Matthew 10:28; James 3:6).

What is Gehenna? This is actually the name of a place on earth. The Valley of Hinnom or Gehenna is a real place on the south-west side of Jerusalem. In the Old Testament the Israelites sacrificed their children in the fire there (Jeremiah 32:35). In later times it was where Jerusalem’s rubbish was destroyed by fires that never went out. When the Lord Jesus uses the word "Gehenna", he is using it as a parable to show that the wicked will be destroyed as completely and as permanently as the fires of Gehenna destroyed the rubbish of Jerusalem. 

Here is a link to information you will find useful: Heaven and Hell

I hope you have found this helpful.

God bless,