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Series 2 - Lesson 11 - Annotation 17

Series 2 - Lesson 11 - Annotation 17

Give the meaning of the words translated "hell" in the Bible.

17. "Hell" as used in the Bible represents a state of consciousness, a state of mind. The word hell is derived from the Saxon verb helan, which means to cover or conceal, and contains no meaning of a place of torment. The word hell was translated also from Gehenna, "the Valley of Hinnom," a ravine where fires were kept going all the time to burn the refuse of Jerusalem.

We have the word Sheol from the original Hebrew, meaning a grave or pit. Later it came to mean a place of quietness in which the souls of the dead rest, awaiting resurrection, and not a place of torment or punishment. Sheol was translated into Greek in the Septuagint as Hades, which had the Greek classical meaning of "kingdom of the dead."

All of these terms have given rise to the popular misconception that the dead writhe in flames, tormented for their sins, unforgiven and forgotten by the God of love and of Absolute Good!

Preceding Entry: What is the meaning of "fire" spoken of in the Scriptures?
Following Entry: Explain the "unpardonable sin."