Help us out with Hell

Posted: April 4, 2014 by J in Bible

Bible-007Ok so you’ve been reading these posts about hell, and you’ve had some sort of reaction.

I know the evangelicals among you are justdying for the detailed exegesis of texts to begin. I know this because:

a) I know how much we love to read our doctrine in a single verse, and

b) you guys keep telling me so

So, alright, texts. Which ones? Which are the texts I need to deal with to satisfy your guys? Which texts are the hardest to reconcile with the annihilationist position I’m currently leaning towards?

If there are passages or verses that don’t fit easily with the drift of these posts – I’m open, hit me with it. Have your say.

Don’t let me get away with suggesting something unbiblical. Lots of people are reading this stuff and being influenced by it.

We are going to deal with specific passages, soon. But we’ll have to be selective.

So bring ’em out. Give me…hell.


  1. kristanslack says:

    Thanks Jono, I have a few:

    What does it mean to die in Genesis 1-3? How does this judgment/curse set the tone for understanding life/death/hell through the Bible? Especially given that they didn’t immediately, literally die when they ate the fruit?

    If annihilation fits the Biblical picture, how is it that Daniel (12:1-2) and Jesus (5:28-29) speak of a resurrection of both good and wicked people. Why be raised back up to life only in order to be obliterated?

    Why is there language of the smoke of torment raising up forever (e.g. Rev 14:11) – and for that matter, of them having “no rest”, if the actual people who are judged cease to exist? I understand that apocalyptic language functions differently, but it is hard not to get past this reading as some kind of ongoing existence of the wicked in some way.

    Those are just the few that have stuck with me as I’ve been reading your posts. I don’t believe I hold to a hell because of an immortal soul idea, nor because of the idea that sins necessitate some kind of ongoing punishment (a priori) but because I feel the Biblical narrative and the specific references to the judgment of the wicked does seem to state those outside of God’s forever new-creation blessing seem to be aware of that permanently (though I haven’t done the complete rigourous work to establish this – it’s a vibe thing).

    • J says:

      Good job, Kristan, that’s helpful input. I won’t try to respond here, but hopefully in later posts.

      Keep’em coming, folks.

  2. Dennis Kuhns says:

    On of the things I have been thinking about is the relationship of the references to hell, out darkness, etc. and Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God. I have the impression that Jesus refers to hell, etc. when he is talking about the Kingdom. Those who refuse the invitation of the Kingdom are those that end up in out darkness, hell, etc. So references to hell, etc. only make sense in the context of Jesus’ invitation to the Kingdom. I say this is my impression after years of reading, teaching and preaching. But I need to give this line of thought deliberate study.

    • J says:

      That’s a very interesting comment, Dennis, thanks for sharing it with us. I’d ever made that connection before : I’ll check it out. If it’s true it would be quite significant for interpreting Jesus’ ‘Hell’ teaching.

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