Could anything be more absurd?
And yet people have been duped by this brow-beating religious fairytale for centuries.
The real hell is just a valley outside of Jerusalem, the “Valley of Hinnom”. It was used by both Jesus and Jews as a symbolic illustration of judgement. For Jews, hell (Gehenna, the Valley of Hinnom) was a place for non-Jews, while Jesus used it as a metaphor for judgement on unrepentant first century Jews. Every time the word “hell” is used, it’s associated with Jews. Paul warned of the wrath to come but never preached hell to foreigners of Israel.
Jeremiah described the Valley of Hinnom as a place of slaughter.
(Jeremiah 19:6-7) “Therefore, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when this place will no longer be called Topheth, or the Valley of Hinnom, but rather the Valley of Slaughter. I’ll shatter the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I’ll make them fall by the sword before their enemies and at the hands of those seeking their lives. I’ll give their dead bodies as food to the birds of the sky and to the animals of the land.
Just as Jeremiah prophesied that Jews would “…give their dead bodies as food to the birds of the sky and to animals of the land” during a time of war and judgement on them, the Revelation records this as…
(Rev 6:8) I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild [BEASTS] of the earth.
(Rev 19:21) And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls [BIRDS] were filled with their flesh.
When in Mark 9:43-44 Jesus referred to Isaiah 65:24, a verse Jews would have been very familiar with, He was telling them that Jerusalem would become like hell (Hinnom), the valley of slaughter). This actually happened.
Recall that Jesus wept over Jerusalem as he approached it.
Luk 19:41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,
Luk 19:42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
Luk 19:43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side
Luk 19:44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Within that generation (forty years) of the time Jesus warned the Pharisees, scribes and the disciples, war, destruction and judgement came to Jews, Judaism and Jerusalem.
Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees….
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, yegeneration of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
And a few verses later we see when they would experience it.
Mat 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
In 70AD, the temple was destroyed. Their nation was destroyed. The Jewish people were decimated. The dead bodies of thousands of unrepentant Old Covenant Jews were thrown into the Valley of Hinnom, just as Jesus had warned.
Gehenna (hell) has never existed as a spiritual place. It remains the Valley of Hinnom, located just outside of Jerusalem. We should extricate ourselves from such religious traditions like the modern-day version of hell with its imaginary, unending fiery torment. Don’t allow railers and fear-mongering fundamentalists to brow-beat you into submission to their sadistic version of the God of the Bible.
– Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley is a dedicated husband and father of three children, a tugboat captain, pilot, world-traveler, has lived in SE Asia for fourteen years, a self-taught theistic apologist and advocate of Israel Only, the view that the bible’s redemptive narrative pertains only to Old Covenant Israel.
He enjoys spending time with his wife and children, and one Siberian husky and a cat named Gracie. He enjoys supporting his children in their interests and activities, shooting guns, playing chess, traveling and is currently studying Forex trading.
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