The links at the left of this page lead to articles written by various Authors. I believe that much of the information presented here will help the Christian reader to better understand some of the important issues facing us today. God tells us in Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge". Some of the information (i.e., the history of the Holy Bible, manuscript evidence, etc.) in those articles are un-known to many in the Christian community. I encourage you to search the scriptures daily and re-search the facts with the same commitment demonstrated by the believers of Berea mentioned in the book of Acts. And grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Note: Inclusion of an article does not necessarily imply agreement with all of its contents.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
The Underworld Hell
by Pastor Joey Faust
"The Jews placed Hell in the center of the earth, and believed it to be situated under waters and mountains."
-The Complete Dictionary of 1764
"Hell: Although now almost universally applied to the state and place of eternal punishment, the word was originally used in the same sense as hades, meaning the underworld"
- A Standard Dictionary Of The English Language
The underworld is sometimes called Hell in the Bible. "Hell" is an older English word found in the A.V. (authorized version) and other early English versions. It once referred to a place a tailor threw his scraps on, or a printer his broken type. A hell is therefore any type of garbage dump or scrap-yard. It is therefore a proper word to use to refer to the place the Lord will cast all that are unworthy of His Kingdom (Matthew 5:28, Luke 9:62, etc).
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and Hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Notice that all the dead come out of Hell and the lost then go into the Lake of Fire. G.H. Lang (1874-1958) writes:
"When the A.V. was made, hell meant what the Greek Hades means, a vast covered region out of ken of our bodily senses, reached after death. Today, hell has come to mean the place of final judgment, "the lake of fire" which misleads the present reader of the A.V. (the authorized version is our closest translation from the original Greek and Hebrew texts, to the English language)
It should be noted that the A.V. reveals that Hell is NOT the final destination of the lost and therefore will not be found misleading anyone who takes the time to study it closely (2 Timothy 2:15).
The Imperial Bible-Dictionary agrees with Lang's definition of the word hell:
"Originally, indeed our hell corresponded more exactly to 'hades,' being derived from the Saxon helan, to cover, and signifying merely the covered or invisible place... its earlier meaning has been lost sight of."
"Hell" is derived from words meaning to conceal or cover. This can be seen in words such as helmet (i.e. a covering for the head). It is also associated with under (i.e. as in the underworld). A person's heel is the under-part and therefore concealed on the bottom. However, the Bible does not teach that the final Lake of Fire is concealed or under anything. It is therefore never called hell in the Bible. Hell is said to be down deep in the heart of the earth, under the foot of man. It is concealed and covered and its dark dungeon will hide the light from any soul sent to its depths. Notice how this definition of the word hell (a covered, concealed pit under the earth) is brought out in the A.V.'s English:
Job 11:8 It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?
Proverbs 9:18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
Isaiah 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Amos 9:2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:
Matthew 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
The various Hebrew and Greek words translated "hell" in the above verses all refer to the same place.
The definition for the word hell given by William Smith's, A Dictionary of the Bible (1863) is even more revealing. It states:
"Passing over the derivations suggested by older writers, it is now generally agreed that the word comes from the root... [meaning] 'to make hollow' (Comp. Germ. Holle, 'hell' with Hohle, 'a hollow'), and therefore means the vast hollow subterranean resting-place which is the common receptacle of the dead..."
It is therefore proper to refer to the center of the earth as "hell". On the other hand, this definition does not seem to correspond with the idea of a "lake".
The Lake of Fire is not a subterranean, hollow place under the feet of men. The real subterranean, hollow place (i.e. Hell) is cast into the Lake of Fire. The A.V. translators were correct in keeping Hell distinct from the Lake of Fire. Hell is not the final destination of the lost. The Devil himself comes out of the pit of Hell (Isaiah 14:15, Revelation 20:1) after the millennium only to be thrown into the final Lake of Fire.
Some commentators on the basis of Revelation 20:13, 14 would hold that the Lake of Fire is the final "Hell" and that the pit in the heat of the earth is another, temporary "Hell". This is true only in a loose sense, based on the definition of "Hell" in popular speech. Many preachers, for the sake of communicating to the public, have adapted the theological definition of such words to the general understanding of the masses based on tradition. Over time, "Hell" has become engrained in popular Christian speech as a synonym for the Lake of Fire. The same thing happened to the word baptize in the A.V. Even many of the better dictionaries and lexicons erroneously define the word baptize as "to sprinkle" based on its common usage in Christendom.
Technically, the A.V. makes a distinction between Hell and the Lake of Fire. Only the Lake of Fire endures eternally as a distinct place (though Hell's flames appear to merge with the Lake of Fire in Revelation 20:14). The warnings concerning Hell all refer to a premillennial (or millennial) judgment. Hell is contrasted in the same context with entering the millennial kingdom of God.
Hell and the Lake of Fire are different places, because hell is literally cast into the Lake of Fire:
And the sea gave up the dead
which were in it; and death
and hell delivered up the dead
which were in them: and they
were judged every man
according to their works.
And death and hell were cast
into the lake of fire. This is
the second death.