The Evangelical Universalist Forum

A Good Rebuttal

What would be a good rebuttal for this? The guy claims to know Greek grammar.

Sorry about the link. See if this works -

It’s not very convincing, the phrase eis ton aiona has been used in a limited sense beyound doubt, he has no evidence that Gehenna meant hell at the time of Christ. Nobody denied that fire means fire in Greek, he equates Gehenna with the lake of fire, but is this valid? Gehenna is a valley, not a lake, if it were the same, John could have written about a valley of fire as in the Book of Enoch.

The outer darkness is literally “darkness outside” and not related to the afterlife at all in my opionon.

Concerning the word kolasis he refers to Theological dictionaries which appears as circular reasoning as they are most likely heavily biased, Aristotle defined the word as correctional punishment, this meaning might have changed though.

He takes the parable of the rich man and Lazarus literal and thus denying all verses that say that the dead sleep. He says spirits go to Hades, but spirits go to God and souls go to Hades, his arguments are flawed an unscriptural.

Many early Christians were universalists and they know Greek better than this guy.

It is more or less the standard argumentation, not very convincing, containing errors, unproven claims and unscriptural teachings.


I’m not sure exactly what a preterist is, but I guess rather not.

Interestingly, Bart Erhman is coming out with a book titled something about the afterlife. Should be a good read, offering many different points of view and how they came into origin.

I’m no preterist then, but the destruction of Jerusalem might have been the judgement of Gehenna; I don’t think that Gehenna and the lake of fire are the same.

To me, the Bible does not explain life after we leave this earth. That being said, I agree that the author goes a bit too far with the parable of the rich man. The sleeping dead refers to those that are not living in the truth of the Spirit. In other words, they need to “wake up and smell the coffee”. The soul and the spirit mean the same thing to me.

I think the lake of fire is basically the same thing as Gehenna. It refers to a place of destruction as in Sodom and Gomorrah.


Keep in mind. Got Questions claims to be non-denominational and they have their own spin on things.

Anyway, as to the PDF…when speaking of hell, or anything else Biblical…when are the authors using figurative and when are they using literal language? Or in terms of NT Anglican scholar, NT Wright…when are they using abstract and when are they using concrete language?

I also have, an “alternative” understanding of “the sleeping dead”!

I tend to a very literal understand of the Bible and lean towards the Concordant teachings.

The lake of fire might be the fiery remnants of the present earth destroyed wherein the devil and angelic beings are tormented while humans perish (second death). To be honest I doubt that the Bible teaches the literal destruction of the earth, though there are verses that support that view.

So the lake of fire might be some metaphysical punishment though, I’m not sure what is the most plausible view but I don’t believe people are punished by a literal fire other than being killed.

I think the future punishment is mental anquish as described in Romans 2:9. I think this verse is rarely considered when speaking about future punishment, this might likely happen at the white throne judgment.

I have to take issue with this. I’ve been reading a lot about the roots of Christianity in Judaism, even dipping into the Talmud.

Bear in mind that Jesus is initially speaking to a Jewish audience who will have Rabbinic teaching as a given. The idea of Gehenna which seems to have been common at the time, and is assumed by modern Rabbis, is a place of reflection and repentance, but residence there is strictly temporary. The Jewish idea is that the soul spends some time in Gehenna before moving to the afterlife proper, but this cannot be more than a year. This is why kaddish for the dead is said eleven times at monthly intervals.

Incidentally I personally think the version in the parable is a Jewish joke about this, implying that the rich man was so bad that he spent longer in Gehenna.

It’s also interesting that Jesus says to the thief on the cross “This day you will be with me in paradise.” To me this implied that belief had somehow fast tracked the thief through Gehenna and out of the other side.

You are correct on that point.

We do know that Christ was resurrected on the 3rd day, so ‘Paradise’ may be more than symbolic. We have a thread discussing that recently.

Once, I visited some Pentecostal friends - in Virginia - many moons ago. Well, from one I did receive - the touch of the Holy Spirit. Well, the same guy was sharing a story. He was out of work. And another member, said he would receive a new job - in 3 days. Well, it came to pass. But I couldn’t help but notice, the ‘coincidence’ of the third day.

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There is no historical evidence that the term Gehenna was already in use at the time of Christ, none of the contemporary apocrypha have the term, the first is 4th Esdras which dates about 90 AD as far as I know.

Concerning the thief at the cross, it depends where you place the comma, the Greek text has no punctuation marks.

It talks about an accursed valley, but it does not have the term Gehenna. I have seen some anachronisms, that translators or commentors use the term Gehenna, when there is Sheol in the text.