Now, I am going to keep it short but I want the people who constantly complain about hell to get a little perspective because they seriously lack one. I want atheists to read this too because they talk about this one more than anything.
Nowadays, atheists and Christians alike have a very strange version of hell, a hell which burns with fire, sulfur brimstone, a red man with little red horns holding a trident in his hand. The fear of mutilation, bodily punishment etc etc. This is the most romanticized version of hell.
Let me tell you how this version was made, it started with medieval age where artists like Michelangelo and others of the time, took artistic license to fill in the simplicity of scriptures and made hell more colorful, an artistic rendition so to say.
An interesting thing is that the horns on the devil came with an artist’s interpretation of the character too, which is amusing since it was a mis-translation of some note-taking office boy of the artist, who wrongly assumed the word torched light with pointed horns and so instead of Lucifer being the “morning star”, he became the horned beast. And this depiction showed him as cruel and savage and being the bad guy and all, the image stuck.
The same is true for Michelangelo’s famed Sculpture of Moses with the tablets of the ten commandments, since in the biblical account the light of God shone on Moses face. It was that mistake about the translation about the word light that ended with Moses having a set of horns, same as the devil.
The idea of punishment and torture became popular with Dante’s Divine Comedy and his epic poem, Inferno which actually portrayed a very imaginative, artistic view of hell. With the idea being in print and in art, the image got so mixed up in culture that now for many people that is the default version there is and many are too lazy to research otherwise.
Some Christians believe the entire opposite, like hell being a place separate from God, a place of sorrow; which is the most closest to the scriptures.
Now, as of late I saw some people saying that I was actually avoiding the biblical chamber of torture. That I was trying to soften it up. And that it is JUST A MATTER OF INTERPRETATION.
Well, let me inform you guys, it is not a matter of interpretation, and if someone thinks it is; he is wrong and he can think what he likes but that does not change how proper hermenuatics work.
Important points to note:
1. Christian doctrine does not believe in the eternity of physical but the spiritual. The body that we have now will be replaced by a spiritual one. Therefore anything related to this body can not possibly exist thereafter.
For example those who think hell is place for torture, can you just imagine a fork being pushed into you when you don’t have a physical body? My! what tremendous pain you will suffer right?
Hello, if there is no physical body, how can the fire burn you? How can you be tortured?
Short answer: you can’t.
2. Jesus said the place was a place where people will be sorry or feeling about their lives one earth, nothing else.
3. How can hell have fire when we know it ain’t going to burn human flesh? How can it have torture devices, does the devil have engineers making guillotines. The slight mention of the word brings back scenes from the middle ages where such devices were wrongly equated to God’s judgement on the wicked and thus the common perception became that such would also exist in hell too.
4. The biblical language of apocalypse is very much vivid and colorful and yet it is only symbolic, words like fire, do not mean actual fire, the words “lake of fire” is a symbolic representation of justice, not a real place.
This is so obvious and so simple that I am baffled at times when someone tells me that my God is torture freak who likes to put people in hell and burn them. I get sad and at times a little amused as to how emotional a reaction, this scenary which is only imagined at best, sparks in them.
I mean you have to leave all evidence aside to not to see the obvious.
If we don’t have a physical body, how can we feel pain?
There is no mention of torturing anyone in hell, so don’t even go there.
If you are mesmerized by Hollywood and artistic works then don’t equate them to theology. You have no right to do so on any grounds except misrepresenting someone.
As have always said, study. At least know what you are attacking.