No Eternal Hell

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    May 04, 2016 1:51 AM GMT
    If God is good, would he really want to torture a person for trillions and trillions of years – and that would only be the beginning – in exchange for disbelief of a few years?

    What do we think of humans who torture others for, say, three hours? We think they are among the lowest life-forms in the universe. Do you mean God is worse than that? Trillions of times worse? That he is gazillions times worse than the most malicious and evil Nazi the world has ever seen? I simply don’t believe it. And if someone does believe it, well, I think it would be interesting to explore why people would believe that a good God was at heart totally evil. (I know that people who believe in eternal punishment would say that God is not evil but “just.” But “justice” means, among other things, devising punishments that fit the crimes. We don’t torture people for months for robbery. Surely God is better than us, not worse.
    - Bart Ehrman
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    May 04, 2016 2:01 AM GMT
    Biblical Jesus

    Matthew 25:
    …44"Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'

    45"Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'

    46"These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
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    May 05, 2016 2:34 AM GMT
    Is there New Testament Criticism on the verses above? Would you say Jesus did not say this because it was added later; or is there some other problem?

    ~ ~ ~

    Interesting that you say Jews didn’t believe in Hell given this:

    “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

    Daniel 12:2

    ~ ~ ~

    As for the letters of Paul

    He will inflict vengeance on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

    9They will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His might,

    10on the day He comes to be glorified in His saints and regarded with wonder by all who have believed, including you who have believed our testimony
    2 Thessalonians Chapter 1

    (but 2Thessalonians is not an undisputed authentic letter of Paul)
  • JackNNJ

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    May 05, 2016 2:56 AM GMT
    Ehrman is a very sloppy scholar.
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    May 05, 2016 5:52 AM GMT
    People choose hell by their actions.God is good and merciful but also just.Those who do not seek forgiveness for their sins are damned.I am Catholic and yes I absolutely believe in hell.
  • rrazvy

    Posts: 69

    Jul 24, 2016 11:24 PM GMT
    A lot of these things depend on translation and interpretation. Also history is insightful. The West built its theology on God's justice -- the legal side of God. Rome was an apt centre for this.

    The Eastern Orthodox think differently. Hell is more a subjective thing here -- kind of how we feel in the experience of God's presence. Is his love all 'wrong'? Or is it paradise to us?

    Ultimately, an Eastern tradition hopes for the transfiguration of the entire cosmos -- the coming of the Kingdom of God.
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    Jul 25, 2016 1:14 AM GMT
    sweetpussyboy said

    The Eastern Orthodox think differently. Hell is more a subjective thing here ...


    For how long?
    For how long before death?
    For how long after death?
  • rrazvy

    Posts: 69

    Jul 25, 2016 7:50 AM GMT
    StephenOABC said
    sweetpussyboy said

    The Eastern Orthodox think differently. Hell is more a subjective thing here ...


    For how long?
    For how long before death?
    For how long after death?


    There are no certainties here. We're not big on systematic theology!

    But probably both before and after death, yes. Maybe for a long time. But eventually, God will be all in all. Evil isn't ontologically eternal, neither is goodness. Good and evil are temporal and a result of the Fall. God is beyond Good and beyond Evil. The Gospels talk of the Kingdom shaking up our ideas of justice and mercy... A foretaste of a new way of being entirely.