Gehenna

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

(Mark 9:43-44) KJV

Jesus tells us that the punishment for sin is burning in hell, a fire like in Hinnom (gehenna). However, hell hasn’t been replaced by burning trash in Hinnom. Hell is expanding, it’s the cause of global warming.

Gehenna is, technically, referring to the Vale of Hinnom outside Jerusalem where the inhabitants of the city burned trash. There are about a dozen places in the Bible that render the Greek word gehenna as hell. Gehenna is hell but it isn’t, but this doesn’t mean that there’s no hell. Gehenna is an escape route that theologians use to get as far away as possible from the reality that hell is inside the Earth.

They burned so much trash and dead bodies that the fire was not quenched and the smoke rose up perpetually. Modern scholars want you to believe that this means that hell isn’t inside the earth, it’s merely referring to the disposal of trash. However, the fire in Hinnom has subsequently been quenched and there’s no smoke. The problem is that we’ve established the reality of hell beyond any doubt and identified it as the cause of global warming. As such, use of the word Gehenna is a picture of what hell is like.

Jesus used this word more frequently than anyone else. It’s clear that he was using it to make a point. Gehenna was something that the people in Israel in his time could relate to. I know what a furnace looks and feels like. If someone tells me that hell is like that, then I know what they mean. Jesus refers to trash burning in the vale of Hinnom as a way to help his people understand what hell is like. Gehenna isn’t a replacement for hell.

Here are some examples. In each case the English word hell, or hell fire, is a translation of the word gehenna:

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

(Matthew 5:22) KJV

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

(Matthew 5:29) KJV

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

(Matthew 10:28) KJV

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