The Evangelical Universalist Forum



Unfortunately, Josephus Flavius can also be viewed as a coward and liar who allegedly committed treason against his people, sacrificing his men in an ambush where he exchanged information on Jewish armies for Roman favor, where he conveniently became the adviser to the Caesar later in his life. I find most of his ‘first hand’ witness account, suspect.

With the lack of a second or third witness, we can take what he wrote with a grain of salt.


They were thrown into Gehenna, the desecrated Valley of Ben Hinnom which was the garbage dump of Jerusalem.


Could you show me a place where it says those who die cannot be forgiven after death? That the “vapor” of this life is their only chance to be reconciled back to God?

Does Gods judgement produce righteousness or suffering and damnation?

Does Christ give the unrighteous to His inheritance or not?

The way i see it nothing but the eventual salvation all makes sense when you use logical deduction as thus

God is willing to save all people
God can do all that He wills
Therefor all will be saved.

To say all will not be saved is to either call God;

  1. a liar who lied about His will to save all people
  2. unable, thus calling Him impotent.


Not directly related to the topic, but fits here.

I’m discussing in another forum what the average Jew most likely believed at the time of Christ.

We can assume the average Jew possessed no biblical writings? How were they instructed in their faith, in the Synagogue? What about villagers? Is it likely that extra biblical teachings were taught in the Synagogue or can we infer that the average Jew only knew the Tanakh if not the Thora only?

How widespread was the Book of Enoch and how relevant is it on the matter Gehenna, I consider it irrelevant in this matter since it only makes a vague allusion about an accursed valley. I’ll come to this later in an extra post.


I think people came to the conclusion that Gehenna is Hell from the scriptures that contain the word. Here are ALL the New Testament verse that contain the word “Gehenna.” These verses are quoted from the NKJV which translates “Gehenna” as “hell.” I have added the word “Gehenna” in brackets after the word “hell.”

Mt 5:22 “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell [Gehenna] fire.

Mt 5:29 “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. [Gehenna]

Mt 5:30 “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. [Gehenna]

Mt 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. [Gehenna]

Mt 18:9 “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell [Gehenna] fire.

Mt 23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell [Gehenna] as yourselves.

Mt 23:33 “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?. [Gehenna]

Mr 9:43 “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, [Gehenna]<1067> into the fire that shall never be quenched —

Mr 9:45 “And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell [Gehenna], into the fire that shall never be quenched —

Mr 9:47 “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell [Gehenna] fire —

Lu 12:5 “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell [Gehenna] ; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.[Gehenna].


You think the people simply misunderstood Jesus? But why would His enemies (i.e. the pharisees) adopt His terminology or haven’t they? I’m not sure if there is any genuine Jewish writing that has the term Gehenna in the sense of hell, 4th Esra is a Christian writing?


I could not find the Greek word “γεεννα” in either the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament nor in the Septuagint translation of the apocrypha. So I don’t know what the Pharisees would have made of the word as used by Jesus.


See my thread on the case for Jesus’ universalism and the relevance of His views on Gehenna or Hell. Jesus basically accepts the contemporary rabbinic perspective. In rabbinic Judaism, “Gehenna” (or “Gehinnom”) is the Jewish equivalent of Purgatory. Most of the unrighteous spend only a few months and no more than a year there. Therefore, Jesus’ references to “Gehenna” are relevant to the universalist question. For a good summary with documentation of the ancient rabbinic view of Gehenna, see:


Jewish teaching on hell is weird. According to the Talmud, murder and rape don’t deserve eternal torment, but embarrassing someone and calling someone a derogatory name do.


Bull Crap. Gehenna is not the hell that Christians have come to understand AND FEAR. You of all persons being one who understands Greek, should be able to see the conundrum of the situation, but you, unfortunately are caught in a crossfire between hell and afterlife correction idea. You want a ‘hell,’ a place where individuals are brought before a place and made to repent, made to ‘bow the knee’ in fear and trembling, brought to God in a position of fear as opposed to a position of love.

Why can’t we be who we are and realize God loves us?


Chad it just dawned on me that you are Trolling. Yes my friend, you trolled. I don’t know why, but you did, it’s the only explanation for you missing the boat, the train, and the automobile.
Plus why is it always the Bull? Are you a Bullist? Female cows do much the same thing; I know that even though I was not brought up on a farm.


You can cuss my words all you like! I have presented scriptures that indicate hell is an unpleasant place to be. Go ahead and ignore it—you who professes to believe the Bible to be “the word of God.”

Either you’ll be corrected now by submitting to the authority of God and living righteously by the grace of God, or you’ll be corrected later after your death. “Everyone will be salted with fire.” (Mark 9:49)

Here is what Jesus said to the Pharisees:

I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:4,5)

Go ahead! Call the words of Jesus “Bull Crap” and see where it gets you!


First of all I had to look the word ‘trolling’ up. You have some nerve telling me that my post is in some way meant to cause a response. When I post I post. Period.

We’ll deal with this later.


I do have nerve. So do you. That’s why we tangle.
You did NOT write to cause a response? Oh come on, that’s why we all write, for cryin’ out loud.
No need to get knickers in a twist. :grin:


When my grandson opens the bible I have laying on the counter and scrolls to luke and says “granpa, what does this mean?”

4“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5“But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who after He has killed has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!

I can say to him, "son, this means you have to do everything that God wants you to do or blah blah blah, " everyone here knows the rest of that story.

Or I can say that “son, that was Jesus telling his people they needed to listen to him. And if they didn’t, God was going to deal with them in a most unsavory manner, which He did.”

I’ll take #2 thanks.

And in response to Dave, I

guess I have nothing to say. Call me a name and then tell me

You are a hoot.


This seems to be a later development, I also have read that for some period Sheol/Hades became the name of hell and then was later replaced by Gehenna, this might make sense since in the Book of Enoch there is spoken of torments in Sheol, neither Josephus nor Philo use the term Gehenna, Josephus wrote, that the Pharisees believed in endless punishments for some in Hades.

I doubt that the purgatorial believe was mainstream in Judaism at the time of Christ, and some passages in the Talmud indicate a belief in everlasting punishment, I think modern day Jews want to whitewash their religion in some sense and the Talmud, who contains a lot bad passages.

@ Paidion, the term γαιεννα is found in Joshua 18:16 as a geographical name, it’s important I think that the term existed as actual geographical name.

I think this book is one of the first that contains the name Gehenna in the sense of hell, yet it is preserved only in Latin, maybe the original Greek or Hebrew version had Hades/Sheol instead of Gehenna.

Is it possible that Gehenna became the name of hell in Judaism in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem?


It’s certainly possible. Like I said, the Talmud is weird. No eternal torment for rapists and murderers, but ET for people who embarrass someone and call someone a derogatory name. Perhaps they got their strange afterlife beliefs after the Romans kicked them out of Palestine.


No, Sven, the rabbinic view of Gehenna as a Purgatory or temporary abode is not a later development. Indeed, it fits neatly with the way Jesus combines His Gehenna teaching with His view of Hell as a debtor’s prison (Mathew 18:34; cp. 5:25-26 par.). Yes, a few rabbis believe in eternal damnation for certain types of wickedness, but the dominant perspective is a 3 month tio 1 year sojourn in a purgative Gehenna.


I was not yet able to find any evidence that the term Gehenna was in use at the time of Christ, be it in the sence of hell, purgatory or anything other than an actual place. None of the relevant apocrypha have the term, neither have Josephus or Philo and I honestly doubt that the Rabbis from the time of Christ were as lenient as to limit punishment to a few months. To me it appears the most common view was the ressurection of the righteous and a more or less miserable existence of the wicked in Hades (not Gehenna).

I have the feeling that we are going in circles but this is my fault since I picked up the topic.


MM - if in fact you were not posting statements that almost everyone here disagrees with, in order to stimulate a reaction, I am most abysmally sorry. That’s all ‘troll’ means to me; and that puts a lot of us into that category.
I would have thought that the ‘bullist’ comment would have been a tip-off that humor was involved, but I will try to be more obvious in the future.