Hell is a Conspiracy Theory - Proved false from The Bible

This was originally posted by the user "Blue_Jay33" on AboveTopSecret.com back in 2009. I've kept it bookmarked and read it time and time again and looked up the reference bits on Bibles online. It is rather fascinating, even if you don't believe in anything like me, you can overlook what the book is talking about and focus on how bigoted the Church is regarding pushing fear at all costs just to get people to join their cause.

Sauce: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread456908/pg1#

21-4-2009 @ 09:37 PM by Blue_Jay33

One of the greatest conspiracies within Christendom is the doctrine of "Hellfire" or "Hell"
Below is the basic theology and doctrine, it may deviate slightly from church to church but basically this is it:

Hell, in Christian beliefs, is a place or a state in which the souls of the unsaved will suffer the consequences of sin. The Christian doctrine of hell derives from the teaching of the New Testament, where hell is typically described using the Greek words Gehenna or Tartarus. Unlike Hades, Sheol, or "purgatory" it is eternal, and those damned to hell are without hope. In the New Testament, it is described as the place or state of punishment after death or last judgment for those who have rejected Jesus. In many classical and popular depictions it is also the abode of the devil and of evil spirits. Hell is generally defined as the eternal fate of unrepentant sinners after this life. Hell's character is inferred from biblical teaching, which has often been understood literally. Souls are said to pass into hell by God's irrevocable judgment, either immediately after death (particular judgment) or in the general judgment. Modern theologians generally describe hell as the logical consequence of the soul using its free will to reject the will of God. It is considered compatible with God's justice and mercy because God will not interfere with the soul's free choice. In some older English translations of the Bible (such as the KJV), the word "hell" is used to translate certain words such as sheol (Hebrew) and hades (Greek). These words do not typically refer to the place of eternal punishment, but to the underworld or temporary abode of the dead.

 Opposition to this doctrine began early in the 20th century.

In what later appeared to be an attempt by the Pittsburgh ministerial alliance to discredit C. T. Russell's scholarship and Biblical views, on March 10, 1903, Dr. E. L. Eaton, minister of the North Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, challenged Russell to a six-day debate. During each session of this debate, held that autumn in Allegheny's Carnegie Hall, on the whole Russell came off victorious. Among other things, he Scripturally maintained that the souls of the dead are unconscious while their bodies are in the grave and that the object of both Christ's second coming and the millennium is the blessing of all the families of the earth. Russell also made a very strong Biblical denial of the hellfire doctrine. Reportedly, one clergyman approached him after the last session of the debate and said: “I am glad to see you turn the hose on hell and put out the fire.” Interestingly, after this debate many members of Eaton's congregation became Bible Students.

Where we need to start is with our Greek and Hebrew and what the transliteration actually is. Transliteration is the representation of a foreign word by rendering the spelling in the alphabet of another language.

Hell is only an English word and that is key to understanding this false doctrine. Many translations of the bible insert "Hell" instead of using the following proper words, this confuses people. The correct words are Sheol, Hades, Gehenna & Tartarus.


Sheol (pronounced "Sheh-ole"), in Hebrew שאול (Sh'ol) The common Grave of Mankind; Gravedom
Sheol is the common destination of both the righteous and the unrighteous dead, as recounted in Ecclesiastes and Job.

The following scripture shows how a bible reader could get confused, but then common sense comes into play.

Job 14 verse 13
Douay-Rheims Bible
Who will grant me this, that thou mayest protect me in hell, and hide me till thy wrath pass, and appoint me a time when thou wilt remember me?

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
I wish you would hide me in Sheol and keep me hidden there until your anger cools. Set a specific time for me when you will remember me.

Bible in Basic English

If only you would keep me safe in the underworld, putting me in a secret place till your wrath is past, giving me a fixed time when I might come to your memory again!
New Living English
I wish you would hide me in the grave
and forget me there until your anger has passed.
But mark your calendar to think of me again!
So what was Job really saying here? That he wanted to go to hell? To be safe and protected? Does that make any sense? No, he wanted to die and go to the grave, and then be remembered by God to be resurrected at a later date. He knew the principle behind Ecclesiastes 9 verse 10.

Amplified Bible
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol (the place of the dead), where you are going.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Whatever presents itself for you to do, do it with [all] your might, because there is no work, planning, knowledge, or skill in the grave where you're going.
Douay-Rheims Bible

Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly: for neither work, nor reason, nor wisdom, nor knowledge shall be in hell, whither thou art hastening
Previously, Ecclesiastes 9 verses 5 & 6 tell us the state of those in Sheol:

5 For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.
6 Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun.
  • Death = non-existence = Sheol = common grave
  • Hell = Fictitious place of torment which was heavily sponsored by the church when the clergy taught this, hiding the true meaning of Sheol from the people.


Hades (from Greek ᾍδης, Hadēs, originally Ἅιδης, Haidēs or Άΐδης, Aidēs, probably from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-wid- "the unseen place". It also is the equivalent of the Latin word infernus which is again translated mistakenly into hell.

In Acts 2 verse 27 Peter quotes Psalms to link Hades and Sheol, so they are the same:

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)

because you do not abandon my soul to the grave or allow your holy one to decay.
King James Bible
Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Even Jesus spent some time in Hades as shown in Acts 2 verse 31!

American Standard Version

he foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
David knew that the Messiah would come back to life, and he spoke about that before it ever happened. He said that the Messiah wouldn't be left in the grave and that his body wouldn't decay.

King James Bible
He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
  • Hades = Sheol = non-existence but with a hope of future life. 


Symbol of Complete Destruction
Heb., גי הנם (geh hin·nom′, “valley of Hinnom”);
Gr., γέεννα (ge′en·na); Lat., ge·hen′na

"Gehenna" means "valley of Hinnom," for it is the Greek form of the Hebrew geh hin·nom′. In Jos 18:16, where “valley of Hinnom” occurs, LXX reads "Gehenna."
The valley of Hinnom lay to the west and south of ancient Jerusalem. (Jos 15:8; 18:16; Jer 19:2, 6) Under the later kings of Judah it was used for the idolatrous worship of the pagan god Molech, to which god human sacrifices were offered by fire. (2Ch 28:3; 33:6; Jer 7:31, 32; 32:35) To prevent its use again for such religious purposes, faithful King Josiah had the valley polluted, particularly the part called Topheth.—2Ki 23:10.

The Jewish commentator David Kimḥi (1160?-1235?), in his comment on Ps 27:13, gives the following historical information concerning "Gehinnom": "And it is a place in the land adjoining Jerusalem, and it is a loathsome place, and they throw there unclean things and carcasses. Also there was a continual fire there to burn the unclean things and the bones of the carcasses. Hence, the judgment of the wicked ones is called parabolically Gehinnom."

The valley of Hinnom became the dumping place and incinerator for the filth of Jerusalem. Bodies of dead animals were thrown in to be consumed in the fires to which sulphur, or brimstone, was added to assist the burning. Also bodies of executed criminals, who were considered undeserving of a decent burial in a memorial tomb, were thrown in. If such dead bodies landed in the fire they were consumed, but if their carcasses landed upon a ledge of the deep ravine their putrefying flesh became infested with worms, or maggots, which did not die until they had consumed the fleshy parts, leaving only the skeletons.

No living animals or human creatures were pitched into Gehenna to be burned alive or tormented. Hence, the place could never symbolize an invisible region where human souls are tormented eternally in literal fire or attacked forever by undying worms. Because the dead criminals cast there were denied a decent burial in a memorial tomb, the symbol of the hope of a resurrection, Gehenna was used by Jesus and his disciples to symbolize everlasting destruction, annihilation from God's universe, or "second death," an eternal punishment.

Therefore, to have one's dead body cast into Gehenna was considered the worst kind of punishment. From the literal Gehenna and its significance, the symbol of the 'lake burning with fire and sulphur' was drawn.—Re 19:20; 20:14, 15; 21:8.

What's interesting is that death & hell/Hades get thrown into it, seems strange, they aren't alive, so they can't die.

Revelation 20 verse 14
International Standard Version (©2008)
Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. (This is the second death-the lake of fire.)
King James Bible
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

How can hell/hades/death have a second death??? They don't.
  • Gehenna = Lake of fire = Second Death = non-existence with no hope of a return for all eternity.
So when that scripture is fulfilled, Hades no longer exists, if somebody dies after this scripture is fulfilled they don't go to Hades, they go into Gehenna which is non-existence, for some it will be literally a second death because they will have come out of Hades only to rebel against God after a period of time. That's what John 5 verses 28 & 29 speaks about:

28 Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, 29 and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment.
Notice it says "continue in evil", that's right, they are not judged on their past sins, only if they persist in evil and bad ways after God brings them back from the grave/Hades/Sheol will they then go into Gehenna experiencing the second death.

It is permanent destruction of soul and body as Jesus warned about in Matthew 10 verse 28:

Young's Literal Translation
And be not afraid of those killing the body, and are not able to kill the soul, but fear rather Him who is able both soul and body to destroy in Gehenna.

International Standard Version (©2008)
Stop being afraid of those who kill the body but can't kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell.
This is also another example of poor translation as we have clearly shown the difference between Gehenna and Hades and hell, again this misleads the common Bible reader.


2Pe 2:4—"By throwing them into Tartarus"
Gr., Tar·ta·ro′sas; Lat., de·trac′tos in Tar′ta·rum;
Syr., ‛a·gen ’e·nun beThach·ta·ya·th
"Tartarus" is found only in 2Pe 2:4. It is included in the Greek verb tar·ta·ro′o, and so in rendering the verb, the phrase "by throwing them into Tartarus" has been used.

In the Iliad, by the ancient poet Homer, the word tar′ta·ros denotes an underground prison as far below Hades as the Earth is below Heaven. Those confined in it were not human souls, but the lesser gods, spirits, namely, Cronus and the other Titans who had rebelled against Zeus (Jupiter). It was the prison established by the mythical gods for the spirits whom they had driven from the celestial regions, and it was below the Hades where human souls were thought to be confined at death. In mythology tar′ta·ros was the lowest of the lower regions and a place of darkness. It enveloped all the underworld just as the Heavens enveloped all that was above the Earth. Therefore, in pagan Greek mythology tar′ta·ros was reputed to be a place for confining, not human souls, but Titan spirits, and a place of darkness and abasement.

The inspired Scriptures do not consign any human souls to tar′ta·ros but consign there only spirit creatures, namely, "the angels that sinned." Their being cast into tar′ta·ros denotes the deepest abasement for them while they are still living. This serves as punishment for their sin of rebellion against the Most High God. The apostle Peter associates darkness with their low condition, saying that God "delivered them to pits of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment."—2Pe 2:4.

The pagans in their mythological traditions concerning Cronus and the rebellious Titan gods presented a distorted view regarding the abasement of rebellious spirits. In contrast, Peter's use of the verb tar·ta·ro′o, "cast into Tartarus," does not signify that "the angels that sinned" were cast into the pagan mythological Tartarus, but that they were abased by the Almighty God from their heavenly place and privileges and were delivered over to a condition of deepest mental darkness respecting God’s bright purposes. Also they had only a dark outlook as to their own eventuality, which the Scriptures show is everlasting destruction along with their ruler, Satan the Devil. Therefore, Tartarus denotes the lowest condition of abasement for those rebellious angels.

In the inspired Scriptures, Tartarus bears no relationship to Hades, which is the common grave of the human dead. The sinful angels and the dead human souls are not associated together in tar′ta·ros as a place of eternal conscious torment of creatures. Tartarus will pass away when the Supreme Judge destroys the rebellious angels presently in that condition of abasement.

2 Peter 2 verse 4
International Standard Version (©2008)
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but threw them into the lowest hell and imprisoned them in chains of deepest darkness, holding them for judgment; 
Young's Literal Translation
For if God messengers who sinned did not spare, but with chains of thick gloom, having cast them down to Tartarus, did deliver them to judgment, having been reserved,
Again poor translation that misleads.


Less controversial, but some might think Satan is in hell here.
He isn't, again there no Hell, in fact Satan never goes into Hades/Sheol that's only for humans that die.

Revelation 20 verse 3
International Standard Version (©2008)
He threw him into the bottomless pit, locked it, and sealed it over him to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were over. After that he must be set free for a little while.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
and he threw him into the Abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
Bible in Basic English
And put him into the great deep, and it was shut and locked over him, so that he might put the nations in error no longer, till the thousand years were ended: after this he will be let loose for a little time.

No humans ever go into this Abyss, in that way it is related to Tartarus but it's not the same. Satan and his Demons have no mobility in this jail-like location.

Hypothetical scenario

Imagine a spirit trapped at the very bottom of the Mariana Trench, because it doesn't need food, water or oxygen to survive, it could exist there. But it also has no ability to affect anybody or anything. It would have no ability to even know what was happening on the Earth. We don't know if Satan will even be conscious for this period of time, whatever the situation, being in the Abyss, takes away all his power over humanity.

Revelation 20 verse 7
International Standard Version (©2008)
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be freed from his prison.
Amplified Bible
7 And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his place of confinement,
The Message
7 When the thousand years are up, Satan will be let loose from his cell
It sure seems like the Abyss is the equivalent of solitary confinement for a spirit.