What the Hades?! (Part 4)


Thus far, in my series on “hell,” I have posted 3 articles: 1) discussing the nature of the words sheol and hades, 2) looking at the oft-discussed passage of Luke 16:19-31, and 3) considering the word gehenna, which is the word usually translated as “hell”.

My contention is that most popular discussion around the topic of hell is not greatly centered in the ancient Jewish understanding embedded in Scripture. This leads to some problematic interpretations of the various terms and concepts. And I believe it ultimately steers us toward an unhealthy view of God.

In this article in particular, I want to consider specific descriptors such as eternal and everlasting, especially as they are used in phrases like, “eternal punishment” and “everlasting destruction.” Continue reading

What the Hades?! (Part 3)


I’m in the midst of a short series on “hell.” My contention is that the modern concept of “hell” for many is a far stretch from what the ancient Jewish text of Scripture teaches. Thus far, I have posted 2 articles: one discussing the nature of the words sheol and hades and then a second looking at the oft-discussed passage of Luke 16:19-31. It’s amazing what we find out when we get down into the nitty-gritty of the details.

I have a couple more articles I’d like to post, but this current one will consider the term gehenna (what usually gets translated as “hell”). Continue reading

What the Hades?! (Part 2)


I recently began a series on the topic of “hell”. My main premise is that, for some, there is a bit of an off-base teaching concerning this topic. And I believe this is due to a few reasons: not knowing the terminology used throughout Scripture, conflating different biblical terms, and being driven by a post-biblical, abstract theology that is inconsistent with the Jewish narrative of Scripture. Continue reading

What the Hades?! (Part 1)

Michelangelo BuonarrotiHell. For varying reasons, it’s a topic oft-approached by some and all-together avoided by others. Some see it as part and parcel to the gospel and, thus, must be preached; others struggle with the notion of everlasting torment for all unbelievers.

What are we to make of hell?

For starters, I’ve become convinced that much of our ideas concerning hell are centered in post-biblical, medieval theology, rather than the actual scriptural narrative of the Hebrew-Jewish people.

I’d be so bold as to say our typical pop-idea of hell itself is unbiblical. This is because “hell” is another whole concept quite different from the actual terms used in Scripture.

So perhaps we need to take a step back and talk about the biblical terminology. Continue reading

Parable From Hell

scot-mcknight1One of my favourite Bible teachers is Scot McKnight. I appreciate his historical study of Scripture, his respect for church history and also for his strong focus on helping the church be what God has called it to be in the 21st century.

He recently gave a short teaching at Fuller Theological Seminary in which he looked at Luke 16:19-31, which is Jesus’ well-known parabolic teaching on hell (or really hades).

In the short teaching, McKnight says that our focus on this parable is not really in line with Jesus’ main point. The text isn’t given so much to teach us whether God’s judgement entails eternal conscious punishment or that of annihilationism. Rather this parable teaches us something connected to the figure of Lazarus.

What is it? Watch the short teaching below. And just to say, as the teaching finished, tears began welling up in my eyes. Continue reading