King James Version KJV hell occurs 54 times

Hell Really Exists

Hell Really Exists

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New King James Version (NKJV) hell occurs 32 times Revised Standard Version (RSV) hell occurs 17 times New International Version (NIV) hell occurs 14 times

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Darby Translation Version (DT) hell occurs 12 times Young Literal Version (YLT) hell occurs 0 times

In some Bible Versions, sheol and hades are translated to mean the underworld in a couple of places. This meaning is a mistranslation. It is clear that the translation of sheol and hades to mean the underworld has been influenced by pagan Greek mythology and it is not supported anywhere in Scripture.

The Greek word tartarus, which is also incorrectly translated as hell in the KJV and some other Bible versions, occurs only once in the Bible in 2 Peter 2:4, in connection with the judgement of fallen angels. Tartarus does not mean hell but it means a prison of spiritual darkness, which all fallen angels are confined to until their final judgement as explained in Chapter 13.

Let us now consider the meaning of the Greek word gehenna, which is also mistranslated as 'hell' and occurs 12 times in the New Testament. Jesus Christ used the Greek word gehenna, in the four gospels, to refer to the future Lake of Fire judgement of unbelievers during the Great White Throne Judgement Age. We need to understand the importance of the Greek word gehenna and why Jesus Christ used it to refer to the Lake of Fire judgement.

The Valley of Hinnom

"The Hinnom Valley is a deep, narrow ravine located in Jerusalem, running south from the Jaffa Gate on the west side of the Old City, then eastward along the south side of Mount Zion until it meets the Kidron Valley which separates the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives on the east side of the city. It is named from a certain "son of Hinnom" who apparently owned or had some significant association with the valley at a time prior to Joshua 15:8.

The Valley of Hinnom had a very horrendous history in ancient times. It was used as a place where the pagan worshipers did all sorts of vile and wicked things -including burning children alive as sacrifices to the idols Moloch and Bal. One section of the valley was called Tophet, or the "fire-stove," where the children were slaughtered (2 Kings 23:10). It was a place of tremendous evil for many years.

After their return from Babylon, the Jews turned the Hinnom Valley into the city dump where garbage and anything deemed unclean (including the bodies of executed criminals) was incinerated. For that purpose, a fire was kept constantly burning there. Even though it was no longer used for evil worship, with all the filth and thick smoke it remained a very dark and dreary place."

(Taken from an internet site called: 'Valley of Hinnom' by The Church of God, Daily Bible


It is interesting to note that the present day Valley of Hinnom is nothing like what is described above. The Israeli government transformed the Valley of Hinnom into a garden. We believe that this transformation has a prophetic and spiritual significance.

Let us be absolutely clear that Jesus Christ did not speak about hell as understood by traditional Christianity. Jesus Christ spoke about gehenna and not hell. Bible translators have mistranslated and misinterpreted the Greek word gehenna to mean hell, a place of eternal punishment for all unbelievers.

It is clear that Jesus used the imagery of the Valley of Hinnom in Matthew, Mark and Luke to describe the future fiery judgement of unbelievers in the Lake of Fire. We have already established in Chapter 12, using clear biblical texts, that the future judgement of all unbelievers will take place at the Great White Throne Judgement. Therefore, the important question facing us is 'Why did Jesus use the imagery of the Valley of Hinnom to describe the age to come judgement of unbelievers in the Lake of Fire?'

The Valley of Hinnom is associated with death, fire, rubbish, dung, shame and darkness. All these words have spiritual meanings. Unbelievers are not fit to enter the Kingdom of God whilst clothed in the filthy rags of their own works of self-righteousness. They are spiritually dead and in darkness. Their self-righteous works, just like filthy rags, are rubbish fit only for throwing away and burning. Unbelievers are of no use to God until and unless they have first been humbled, cleansed by God's fire, repented and received the free gift of God's Salvation and Righteousness. They need to be clothed with the garments of salvation and covered with the robes of righteousness. God's standard to enter the Kingdom of God never changes. Our salvation is always through grace, and it is always by faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ uses strong words and terminology to describe gehenna, which is the judgement of unbelievers in the Lake of Fire during the Great White Throne Judgement Age. Examples of these are: perish, unquenchable fire, undying worm, darkness, kill, weeping and gnashing of teeth, cut off the part of the body that offends, fear, destruction of body and soul, fiery furnace, wrath, condemnation and death.

These descriptive words spoken by Jesus about the judgement of unbelievers fall into four groups.

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