Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Doctrine of Hell Taught in the Old Testament

Many of those who don't believe in the existence of Hell think it is a New Testament invention, or at least a misinterpretation of Old Testament terms like "grave" and "Sheol." While it is true that the Old Testament believers did not have the benefit of seeing through the lens of the New Testament, there was an understanding of a permanent separation of the saved and the lost.

Take a look at Daniel 12:2: "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." If that doesn't teach the concept of eternal punishment, I don't know what does.


Unknown said...

I assume you're using Hell as short hand for a place of literal eternal punishment, right? If so then I think you're stretching the verse too far because it is the contempt (and debateably the shame) which is said to be everlasting not the punishment.

If you think that this is a definitive verse then I think you may wish to re-address the subject.

Also I posted on my view of hell recently. If you're interested it's:

God bless.

Lee Shelton said...

Because of progressive revelation we know that not everything was revealed to those who lived before Christ. A lot of what's in the Old Testament is shrouded in mystery. But Daniel 12:2 is a definitive verse in light of what's taught in the New Testament.

Unknown said...

Interesting but I would argue that the concept of a literal, eternal Hell isn't taught in the NT either.
I'm of the school of thought that believes you should interpret each text in itself before you start linking texts together (where possible).
God bless

Unknown said...

Paul the apostle, after his conversion speaking of his knowledge of God's word says concerning the law he was blameless then one might ask how could the apostle Paul have missed seeing Jesus was the Messiah in the old testament? His Vision obviously contradicted his bible understanding which changed his firmly held bible views. Peter also had a vision or trance that told him to rise and eat. Peter said no 3 times, but why? Because Peter's understanding of scripture didn't allow him to. yet Peter was also wrong in his INTERPETING scripture as Paul was. There have been far too many Christians that have had visions of Hell I suggest if Paul who had a brilliant mind and he misunderstood scripture, and Peter also. But it took a Vision to change their biblical views. Your view of their being no HELL needs a vision, or your biblical view which is also wrong. I pray you reconsider those who have had visions of the place be re examined. If your gonna throw their experience out..then why not Pauls and Peters?

Unknown said...

Hi Dennis, I assume that comment is addressed to me as Lee is clearly saying there is a hell? If not, sorry. If so here is my response:
Neither Paul nor Peter threw out the bible after their revelation. Rather they read their bible in light of the revelation. Much of their problem was not reading the scripture but rather being given a false paradigm in which to interpret it(cf new perspective on Paul). In the same way we must search the scriptures to see what visions are from God and which are not. Also, to see whether those visions are literal or cryptographic like revelation. Also, I do believe in a Hell it us just not a place of eternal torment as it will be destroyed at the judgement (see my blog linked above)

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