The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Church Fathers who speak of a metaphorical view of Hell

In a Roman Catholic forum at, someone said this:

And someone asked me this very same question.

Any of the Christian historians here have any ideas, about which Church Fathers spoke of a metaphorical view of Hell? And perhaps give a reference link or links?

It will save me, a bit of research.

Of course, a metaphorical view could also be seen, in any universalism, postmortem refinement process.

Holy Fool, by “a metaphorical view of Hell”, do you mean “a view of Hell that does not include literal fires”?

I cannot imagine any of the eastern Church Fathers believing in literal fires.

Yes, that is correct, Geoffrey.

What surprised me is that the “Calvinism in Disguise” site - Got Questions at:

Is hell literally a place of fire and brimstone?

Is talking about a symbolic, allegorical or metaphorical view of hell. Let me briefly quote, part of their answer:

So who originated the fire and brimstone model - in church history? That’s as important a question, as to whom - among the church fathers - supported a metaphorical view of hell.

I would guess Tertullian, or the Apocalypse of Peter.

(BTW, I read that Tertullian has a unique Latin style. Supposedly, once one developes a taste for Tertullian’s Latin prose, all other Latin authors will seem rather thin. I would love to ask Reginald Foster his opinion on this.)

Why do you quote that site?

Because while they (i.e Got Questions) are Calvinists, they do look at a metaphorical view of hell. Which is something that some Protestant fundamentalists do not. And they also answer many biblical questions. And for some questions raised, their answers are a good starting point. I like their answering of various theological questions, even though I don’t always agree with them. But on this one, I do agree that all Biblical passages regarding hell - however we view it - are metaphorical.

Before I came to this site I didn’t even know what a Calvinist WAS, nor that I (as I was raised Methodist) was an Arminian.
(Now of course, I’m both. :laughing: ) So, in case…if you don’t know, Kyle, do ask.