Veritas News – (Eng) Jesus in Hell

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By: Woodsy

Jesus in Hell

Renowned atheist Christopher Hitchens is quoted as saying: “There is no Hell in the Old Testament… there is no torture of the dead until Jesus meek and mild.” The idea of a place of Everlasting Torment despite atheistic claims had its roots in Jewish tradition long before the time of Jesus. Take for example the two schools of theological thought which existed in the first century.

The Schools of Shammai and Hillel

(Rosh haSh. 16b last four lines, and 17a)

Shammai had mankind divided up into one of three camps 1. Perfectly Righteous (written and sealed for eternal life) 2. Perfectly Wicked (written and sealed in Gehenna or Hell) 3. Intermediate Class who go down to Hell and are resurrected and judged based on Zechariah 13:9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” Also they considered the words in the Song of Hanna to be comparative to Zechariah 13:9, 1 Samuel 2:6 “The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.”

The School of Shammai taught that Daniel 12:2 “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” is speaking of events after the resurrection and consequential Judgment.

Hillel also taught as regards to an Eternity of Punishment (Rosh haSh. 12a, lines 7ff. from top) for the bodies and souls of the wicked to be burned up for 12 months and the ashes of their body and soul to be scattered under the feet of the righteous this was to be their a punishment suffered “to ages of ages.”

The teaching of Eternal Punishment was held by the Synagogue through out the whole first century.  It was the main theme of many Jewish parables at the time (Shabb. 152b, 153c; Ber. 28b).

Even in the Talmud the concept of Eternal Punishment in Hell is perpetuated and you may be surprised to see who they place in there and why.

In Gehenna

The Talmud editor uses the Bavli Eruvin in order to explain who is in Hell and the strange punishments found in it. Take for example Balaam who spoke against Israel and caused the Israelite men to commit fornication with the Midianite women (Numbers 22-24) his punishment was to fit his crime having to spend Eternity sitting in the Netherworld in boiling semen.

There is also the interesting case in which Onqulos, (a nephew of General Titus who destroyed the second temple) wanted to convert to Judaism like Nero (the current Cesar). Through the act of necromancy Onqulos finds his dead uncle Titus in Gehennom and asks what punishment he has suffered. Titus answers that he is burned everyday and his ashes are scattered over the seven seas. This punishment was to fit his crime of burning down the Temple. It also corresponds to his dying words “Burn me and scatter my ashes over the seven seas so that the God of the Jews will not find me and bring me to trial.” (b Git 56b)

In the Talmud Jesus is also found in Gehennom not as God, but as a sinner who lead Israel astray. His punishment is to sit in a pot of boiling excrement. This is considered a fitting end to a false prophet and speaks against the Gospel message of the partaking of the flesh (bread) and blood (wine) of Jesus. (b Git 56b-57a)

But perhaps no one is treated worse than Jesus’ mother Mary. Her punishment for bearing a false prophet is to hang at the gates of Hell suspended with hooks through her breasts, since her breasts nourished the apostate Jesus. (see Lighfoot’s Horae Hebraicae on Luke 3:23 for more details)

It can not be claimed that the concept of punishment in Hell originates with the man Jesus in the gospel. When you read the gospel accounts you never get the impression that Jesus is introducing a new concept to his listeners. Many times his disciples were stumbled at his words but never on this topic. Also of note he does not correct the prevailing teaching of Hell as being incorrect.

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