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Was Hell in the Original Bible? (The word “HELL” missing from the OT and NT).

by Michael R. Burch

The word “hell” did not appear anywhere in the original Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament (OT). Furthermore the word “hell” is very hard to find in the New Testament (NT) as well. You can confirm this by using an online Bible search tool to scan various Bible translations for the word “hell.” Or you can refer to the table below, which was produced by Gary Amirault, a Bible scholar who has extensively researched the question of “hell” as a biblical teaching. I have added two translations to his original list: the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), sponsored by the famously literal and conservative Southern Baptist Convention, and the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE), produced by more than a hundred Bible scholars working for the Roman Catholic Church. Amazingly, even conservative Bible scholars now agree that the God of the Hebrew prophets never mentioned “hell” even a single time, in Biblical chronologies covering thousands of years! You can also confirm this by reading the Bible and verifying that hell was never mentioned even to the worst people at the worst times. The remotest possibility of “hell” or suffering after death was never mentioned to Adam and Eve (the original sinners), nor to Cain (the first murderer), nor to the wicked people at the time of Great Flood, nor to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, nor even to the Pharaoh who defied Moses and his God repeatedly. 
The question raised by the table below is obvious. How can Christian churches continue to teach the dogma of “hell” when the Hebrew prophets, speaking for their God, never mentioned anything about “hell” or any possibility of suffering after death? And why did most of the writers of the NT never mention “hell” either? Modern Bible scholars seem to unanimously agree that the Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek word Hades do not mean “hell.” This is because both Sheol and Hades clearly mean “the grave” or the abode of all the dead, good and bad. King David said that if he made his bed in Sheol, God would still be with him. Other psalmists, the sons of Korah, said that God would redeem their souls from Sheol. Job asked to be hidden from suffering in Sheol. In his famous Valley of the Dry Bones vision, Ezekiel prophesied that all Israel would be resurrected and saved. But Israel himself said that he would be reunited with his son Joseph in Sheol. How can all Israel be saved, if Israel himself is in hell? Each of these verses clearly refutes the idea of a “hell” that cannot be escaped, where God is absent, and where suffering is eternal. And anyone who studies Greek mythology or the Wikipedia page on Hades can easily see that Hades was not “hell” either, because it contained heavenly regions such as the Elysian Fields and the Blessed Isles. The Greek hell was Tartarus, and that word appears in only a single Bible verse (2 Peter 2:4). If you read my hyperlinked article below, I believe I can prove that this is the only verse in the Bible that actually mentions hell, but it was for fallen angels awaiting judgment and thus was not for human beings nor eternal.

If this subject interest you, I have created a simple, logical proof that there is No Hell in the Bible, which you read without annoying ads by clicking the hyperlinked title.

“Authorized” King James Version (KJV) 31 23 54
New King James Version (NKJV) 19 13 32
New International Version (NIV) the best-selling English Bible 0 13 13
American Standard Version (ASV) 0 13 13
New American Standard Bible (NASB) 0 13 13
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Southern Baptist 0 11 11
Revised Standard Version (RSV) 0 12 12
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 0 12 12
Revised English Bible (REB) 0 13 13
New Living Translation (NLT) 0 13 13
Amplified Bible (AMP) 0 13 13
Darby 0 12 12
New Century Version (NCV) 0 12 12
New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) Roman Catholic 0 0 0
Scarlett’s N.T. (1798) 0 0 0
The New Testament in Greek and English (Kneeland, 1823) 0 0 0
Young’s Literal Translation (1891) 0 0 0
Twentieth Century New Testament (1900) 0 0 0
Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible (reprinted, 1902) 0 0 0
Fenton’s Holy Bible in Modern English (1903) 0 0 0
Weymouth’s New Testament in Modern Speech (1903) 0 0 0
Jewish Publication Society Bible Old Testament (1917) 0 0 0
Panin’s Numeric English New Testament (1914) 0 0 0
The People’s New Covenant (Overbury, 1925) 0 0 0
Hanson’s New Covenant (1884) 0 0 0
Western N.T. (1926) 0 0 0
NT of our Lord and Savior Anointed (Tomanek, 1958) 0 0 0
Concordant Literal NT (1983) 0 0 0
The N.T., A Translation (Clementson, 1938) 0 0 0
Emphatic Diaglott, Greek/English Interlinear (Wilson, 1942) 0 0 0
New American Bible (1970) 0 0 0
Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible (1976) 0 0 0
Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, Old Testament (1985) 0 0 0
The New Testament, A New Translation (Greber, 1980) 0 0 0
Christian Bible (1991) 0 0 0
World English Bible (in progress) 0 0 0
Orthodox Jewish Brit Chadasha [NT Only] 0 0 0
Original Bible Project (Dr. James Tabor, still in translation) 0 0 0
Zondervan Parallel N.T. in Greek and English (1975)** 0 0 0
Int. NASB-NIV Parallel N.T. in Greek and English (1993)** 0 0 0
A Critical Paraphrase of the N.T. by Vincent T. Roth (1960) 0 0 0

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