When ministers are dismissing UR, one of the most common statements used is “There is certainly a Hell for Jesus preached on Hell more than anyone else in the Bible.” This statement irritates me because it is so wrong and it comes from ministers who should know better, from men and women who know how to study the text in Greek, and know that Jesus was actually warning of Gehenna, the valley of Hinnnom.
And it is significant to note that it is actually “Matthew” who preaches on Gehenna, quoting Jesus, more than anyone else. Matthew uses the word Gehenna 7 times of the 10 times it is mentioned in the Gospels. Mark uses the word 2 times in 1 passage, and Luke only uses the word 1 time. So 7 out of 10 times in the Gospels of the actualy few uses of Gehenna are used by Matthew, in 8 out of 10 passages. Mark and Luke only quote Jesus speaking of Gehenna in one passage each. And John, the evangelist, doesn’t even quote Jesus warning of Gehenna. So even Gehenna was not a predominant them of Jesus’ ministry.
Matthew, writting to Jews, and writting with a clear theme of opposition to the Pharisees, quotes Jesus using Gehenna to warn the Pharisees of their unrighteousness. And Gehenna was a theological metaphor that the Pharisees used to speak of the judgment of God against unrighteousness. So it seems that the Pharisees’ assumptions and use of Gehenna would be significant, for it seems that Jesus used Gehenna to warn them for they had likely used Gehenna to instill fear in others, in people they wished to influence to submit to them and their leadership.