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Gehenna and bible translations
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TOPIC: Gehenna and bible translations

Gehenna and bible translations 7 months ago #5080

Dear friends,
As this is my first time Just a short note of encouragement to say how much your work has helped me. My experience has I fear been that of many Christians - I never really thought through the issue of ECT. Hence the absolutely vital importance of your work encapsulated aptly in your name rethinking hell. For many years I paid lip service to the belief of ECT, partially I think to being a member of a traditional church strong on devotion and subjective experience but weak on thinking through issues like this.
The reasons for my change may be of interest to you. I have heard mentioned in your discussions the philosophical argument against ECT. I don't know if my experience can be classed as philosophical but it was when I was experiencing pain - on one occasion being scalded with hot water in the bath!   It just came to my mind the utter cruelty and uselessness of keeping someone in pain or torment for ever.  I then came across your website and this gave me the biblical data I needed to see how wrong this ECT is .  So this is the way I seek to speak to others -to look clinically at the concept of ECT - take it to its logical conclusion and then ask the questions - is this really what the Bible teaches and does this truly represent the character of God revealed in the Bible. That is why the reasons item in the explore section on this website is so important.
Thank you again for your work - let me encourage you to continue  - and the two vital areas that impress me -
first - the gracious manner in which you conduct the debate - this is so vital 
second - your love and commitment to God's word.  These two things under God's hand will surely gain a hearing.
Finally - here is my item for discussion -  one of the problems I feel that we have is that our Bible translations still have the word hell when in most cases it should read Gehenna.  Do you think this would make a big difference if our bibles in the future did have the proper word and not hell and is there any way we could work toward this - by contacting the various Bible publishers - just a thought.

God bless

Steve Cash   ( over here in England )
The following user(s) said Thank You: John Haak

Re: Gehenna and bible translations 7 months ago #5081

I don't think "hell" is necessarily bad to use as long as it's translated consistently. The problem is that the word has so much baggage. It's hammered into us from a young age that Hell is a place of unending conscious torment and that the wicked go straight there when they die. Traditionalist scholars and conditionalists alike would dispute the latter, since it confuses the intermediate state with the final judgment. For the most part, "hell" refers to the final judgment rather than the intermediate state. That much is not in dispute between traditionalist and conditionalist intellectuals.

The word itself is not the issue, it's the baggage. Changing the word used in the Bible translations will only do so much. We're here to address the presuppositions people carry with them into the text and to show what Hell really is from a biblical perspective. The word "hell" is a battleground, and I believe it should stay that way. It helps the discussion have a focal point and it's a succinct way to refer to the final judgment.
So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’
The following user(s) said Thank You: John Haak

Re: Gehenna and bible translations 5 months, 3 weeks ago #5140

  • John Haak
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Welcome Steve and Kyle,

I agree also with the appreciation you express and the importance of gracious debate that is exemplified here.

Kyle is right that it is not the word "hell" that is a key among Bible believers. It will always have to be unpacked as to what it really means so keeping it is the best.

Now when I speak to non-believers I feel free to translate Gehenna as "garbage dump" since that is most historically accurate and relevant I think.

Re: Gehenna and bible translations 5 months, 2 weeks ago #5148

  • chloebess
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I am new here also..........and want to "weigh in" on Gehenna vs Hell. I think the translators are in error in the first place. Gehenna is a known geographical location and it would better serve any student of the Bible to use it. Hell carries a common definition and when someone reads hell they assume whatever they want. But if it said Gehenna they would have to think more.

Re: Gehenna and bible translations 5 months, 2 weeks ago #5151

  • John Haak
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Gehenna is the literal Greek so it is hard to argue against it. It does create the need to interpret rather than grab a faulty image we have so that is certainly better too.

Thanks for putting it this way.

Re: Gehenna and bible translations 5 months, 2 weeks ago #5152

  • chloebess
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Maybe you can explain why the translators use Hell and not Gehenna. For me, it never made sense, and so far no explanation has helped me on this. My question implies that I believe a prejudged position regarding ECT has a part in this.

Please tell me I am wrong. For if it does, then what else do I need to be wary of?
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