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JimR

Hell, Sheol, hades

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The KJV seems to use the word hell where other versions use Sheol or hades.  This is from ESV. Psalm 16:10.

 

10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
    or let your holy one see corruption.[a]

Kjv. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
 
akjv 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell;
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
 
 
Ecclesiastes paints a much different picture of the state of the dead (Sheol) than we normally associate with hell.  There is no lake of fire or eternal torture in Sheol.  Even though the situation is now different since the resurrection, it looks like the correct word in the OT should be Sheol.
 
Ecclesiastes 9:5
For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
 
in luke 16:23 kjv says hell and esv says hades.  This is about poor Lazarus and the rich man.  It takes place prior to the resurrection.
 
Should we conclude that kjv is wrong on this one issue?

 

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Hell/Hades/Sheol are the same thing.   'Sheol' is the old Hebrew word, 'adas' the Greek translation/equivalent, 'hell' the English translation (from Germanic etymology).

Psalm 16:10 is talking about Jesus - he went down to Hades (the holding place of the dead before His resurrection, and the remaining holding place of all unrighteous dead until the End). He definitely did not go to the Lake of Fire.  In similar fashion, the account of Lazarus and the rich man, taking place as it did before the resurrection, also takes place in Hades (which had two parts; Abraham's bosom being the 'nice' side for the righteous dead).  

There is torment in the unrighteous section of Hades - we know that from the account of the rich man - and it is likely hot (hell fire?) because the rich man wanted water. However, it is not the same place as the lake of fire, and it is not eternal. Notice that in Hell will eventually be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). The Lake of Fire is part of the second death, while Hades/hell is only part of the first death. 

My take on Ecclesiastes is that it's talking about the dead in context of what is going on in the living world. The dead have no portion in the living world. They don't know what's going on in it.  I don't think this precludes the dead from having consciousness (being self-aware) in the place where they are.

I would suggest that just because we have a cultural understanding that hell=the ultimate lake of fire does not mean that is the correct understanding. The unrighteous dead are in Hades now, and will ultimately be in the lake of fire, so I can see where the connection has risen (I wonder whether Mark 9 is referring to this logical progression, rather than a single event).

I don't see a disagreement here, and there's no reason to conclude the KJV is wrong.

Edited by Salyan
Edited to clarify

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Salyan,

What you wrote makes sense to me.

”I would suggest that just because we have a cultural understanding that hell=the ultimate lake of fire does not mean that is the correct understanding. The unrighteous dead are in Hades now, and will ultimately be in the lake of fire, so I can see where the connection has risen (I wonder whether Mark 9 is referring to this logical progression, rather than a single event).”

So hell is the correct English word if we do not define it as the lake of fire or as eternal.  This view resolves a big discrepancy  between popular views of the afterlife and what the bible actually says.  Most people seem to assume that after death believers go straight to heaven and others go straight to eternal damnation.  

You also wrote that per Ecclesiastes the dead are not conscious.  This contradicts the story about poor Lazarus and suggests it might be at least partly a parable.

You also wrote that Mark 9 might be collapsing a progression of steps when it says we either enter the Kingdom at death or go to the eternal fire.  Maybe it all comes down to how you interpret Revelations. 

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2 hours ago, JimR said:

You also wrote that per Ecclesiastes the dead are not conscious.  This contradicts the story about poor Lazarus and suggests it might be at least partly a parable.

That's not what I meant to say... maybe it was unclear. I meant to say that the dead are conscious/self-aware (as per Lazarus), but not aware of what's going on in the living world (any more than I know what's going on in your house right now - i'm just not there).

2 hours ago, JimR said:

 Most people seem to assume that after death believers go straight to heaven and others go straight to eternal damnation.  

You're right - people do assume that! But we know that the dead do not go straight to eternal damnation... that part doesn't come until after the Judgement. 

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Salyan,

Sorry if i misquoted you.

Regarding Poor Lazarus, i still sense some poetic license was used.  Why do they have bodies?  How can they talk to each other across a Chasm?

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Hell is an English word, Sheol is an Hebrew word, and Hades  and Tartarus are Greek words. It would not be wrong to translate them from the native language to the English equivalent. Many modernist try to uses the foreign words as a way to teach concepts not actually used in the Bible but the pagan cultures the word came from. Sometimes they are used spimply to convey particular aspects of Hell but it can run the risk of adding the pagan ideas of hell that the bible does not actually teach. 

Edited by John Young

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