Question about Hades and Gehenna

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Mike McK, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    I have a question.

    If Gehenna is the place of torment and Hades is the place of the dead, which I've always interpreted to not be a place of suffering, why is "Hades" used for Hell in Jesus' account of Lazurus and the Rich man, where the Rich Man is clearly in Gehenna?

    I understand that there are a couple of different words that translate into "Hell" but are any of these interchangable?
     
  2. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    Gehenna is a word from the Jews. It is even used in the Jewish Talmud to refer to the place of eternal torment. Hades is a greek word and necessarily one must consider the greek history of it as well - greek mythology put hades under Pluto, Lord of the Underworld; the Elysian Fields were there as well as the places of torment; stuff like that. As used in the scripture, it is simply the place of the dead, with nothing else in the word itself to clue us in; instead, we learn from the way Jesus spoke of it, as he spoke of the torment of the rich man, the great gulf fixed, and so forth.
     
  3. IfbReformer

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    I think the way we can best understand what Hades is, is to see how it used in this passage from Acts 2:29-33(NIV):

    "29"Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave[HADES], nor did his body see decay. 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear."

    Peter is quoting from the Old Testament and he directly correlates HADES to Hebrew Sheol.

    While I like the NIV best, this is one area where I disagree with them on their translation. They almost always translate HADES as the grave. They give a lengthy defense of this in a book I have but I think it is wrong.

    However I think the KJV is wrong for translating it as hell most of the time to. I think the NASB has it right - they always translate it as Hades and Sheol as Sheol.

    This allows the reader to see what the texts really says. Now from my studies of this from both the Old and New Testaments is that good and bad people go to Sheol/Hades. It is the realm of the dead. It has a place for the righteous(saved) and a place for the wicked(unbelievers). In fact in greek mythology, the bad place in hades was called tartaroo.

    This greek word is used one time in the New Testament in II Peter 2:4(NIV):

    "4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell[tartaroo], putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;"

    Here is a defintion I found for tartaroo:

    "the name of the subterranean region, doleful and dark, regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead, where they suffer punishment for their evil deeds; it answers to Gehenna of the Jews"

    So Gehenna would be directly equivalent to tartaroo and and Sheol would be directly equivalent to Hades.

    Hope this helps.

    IFBReformer
     
  4. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    Thanks Paul and IFB. Both of your explanations help a lot.

    I think what I'm confused about is why Jesus would use the word Hades in the account of Lazarus and the Rich Man.

    If He's using it in a specific sense, then how does this play with what we understand the word to mean.

    If He's using it in a general sense, including the totality of the two places for the righteous and for the wicked, why does He use such non specific language? Or is this just something that would be read differently in the Jewish understanding of Hades?
     
  5. IfbReformer

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    Mike,

    Let me see if I can help you with this passage:

    Luke 16:22-
    "22"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In hell[the realm of the dead], where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away[but still in the realm of the dead], with Lazarus by his side. 24So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'
    25"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'
    27"He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'
    29"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'
    30" 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
    31"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"

    It is clear from the passage that they were both in the same place - the realm of the dead. But Lazarus was with Abraham in peace while the rich man was in torment. What seperated them even though they were in the same place - the realm of the dead - we told in verse 26:

    26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

    This completely blows away the idea of purgatory and the fact that people could pass from one side to the other - it is clear they could not and cannot.

    IFBReformer
     
  6. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Forget what it says in English. What's the word that was used in the Greek?
     
  7. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    OK, That helps a lot.

    It's so funny but in all of the years I've read that, I think I've misunderstood v26.
     
  8. GODzThunder

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    As stated in previous posts, Hades is a Greek term referring to the place of the dead. In Jewish theology, Hades or Hell as some translate it is the place for the dead period. In Hell, before the blood of Christ was shed, the saints went to one section (paradise) and the wicked went to the place of torment (Gehenna).

    The blood of Christ, according to traditional Baptist theology, covered the saints of the past who "looked forward to the promise of the coming messiah on faith" and gained them entrance into heaven with the Father by covering all their sins in complete forgiveness. When this happened the Bible says "hell enlarged" meaning Gehenna became all of Hades, and the saints went to heaven. thus today, we refer to Hell universally as the place of torment until the final judgment.
     
  9. IfbReformer

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    GODzThunder,

    I believe you are refering to Isaiah 5:14 right?

    "14 Therefore the grave[SHEOL] enlarges its appetite
    and opens its mouth without limit;
    into it will descend their nobles and masses
    with all their brawlers and revelers."
    Isaiah 5:14(NIV)

    Not to nit pick, just because it says Sheol enlarged this does not destroy the Paradise section of Sheol.

    You said
    "When this happened the Bible says "hell enlarged" meaning Gehenna became all of Hades, and the saints went to heaven."

    Where does the Bible says that hell enlarged after Jesus's resurrection and all the saints went with him. You can't find that anywhere in the Bible.

    I am not saying the saints are definitely not in heaven, and I am not saying that things might not have happened the way you said.

    But the Bible is not very clear on this point.

    I can see this discussion turning a whole new way so I will put a new thread on this so other can chime in.

    IFBReformer
     
  10. HankD

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    OK I'll play the devil's advocate...

    "...they could not and cannot"

    But God can.

    In other words, it's like a prison in which the prisoners cannot escape until God decides to let them out.

    HankD
     

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