Christian Universalism
Holy Bible Jesus Christ

The Myths of Hell
by Mark Sanguinetti

Page 2

There should be no reason to learn from Greek and then Roman mythology. And for a warning, the God of this world, Satan, who is a spiritual entity, is very good at deception and promoting myths of falsity. The first and primary example of this is seen in Genesis chapter 3:1-6. Here Satan the spiritual being is symbolically referred to as a serpent, which is a crawling reptile or snake. In Genesis 2:16-17 after God created the world including agriculture, animals and mankind, God told Adam that he was “free to eat from any tree in the garden”. However, “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die”. This commandment by God was given as a test to Adam of his obedience to God the creator with proof that Adam was dependent of or needing God the creator.

Later in Genesis 3:4 the serpent says to the newly created woman called Eve that you won’t die when you do something that God said not to do. The woman did not agree with the serpent at first. However, Satan was and is a master of deception and got her to ignore the Word of God, while instead following what the serpent said to do. Then Eve talked Adam into following the same deception. As a result as worded in Genesis 3:17-19 we have some pain in life today that physically ends with decay and deterioration or as the bible says humanity physically returning to dust. Figurative language is used, but a simple explanation of humanity is no eternal life for our physical bodies. Instead working to live and survive with the eventual death of our physical bodies which biblically is seen as being buried in “the grave”. As this relates to this myth of hell being eternal torment, this would also mean that death does not exist. Instead a much worse, no death, never ending eternal existence of torture. In contrast, God has warned us that death or the grave does exist. However, God has also provided a means to eternal life through Jesus Christ our loving savior.

Genesis 3:17-19
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. KJV

There is no reason to promote ancient Greek or Roman mythology as the truthful word of God for either the Old or New Testaments. With regard to actual biblical quotes of the New Testament for the Greek word “hades”. Two of the ten usages are seen in Acts chapter 2, verses 27 and 31. From verse 27 we see that this is a quote from Psalms 16:10. Here are the two verses from both the New International and New King James Versions.

Acts 2:27
27 because you will not abandon me to the grave (hades), nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
NIV
Psalms 16:10
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave (sheowl), nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
NIV

Acts 2:27
27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
NKJV
Psalms 16:10
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. NKJV

The above renders the New Testament Greek word “hades” having the same meaning in the bible as the earlier Hebrew Old Testament word “sheowl” or “sheol”. With the Old Testament word “sheowl” or “sheol” meaning “the grave” or “the state of death”. This means the Greek word “hades” when used in the New Testament should also be viewed as “the grave” or “the state of death”. This is seen with the death of Christ. When He died, the Old Testament from Psalms 16:10 and the New Testament from Acts 2:27 using the New International Version says that Jesus Christ will not be abandoned to the grave.

Jesus was placed in the Hebrew “sheowl” or Greek “hades” or grave after his death, but was not left there to decay. Jesus Christ was left in his grave (hades) for three days as stated by scriptures (Matthew 12:40, Matthew 27:40, Matthew 27:63, Mark 8:31, Mark 9:31, Mark 10:34, John 2:20-22). Then as we read in the New Testament, for example 1 Corinthians chapter 15, Christ was raised from the dead not from among the living.

A primary myth of hell after death is relating death to fire with torment. There were certainly no fires inside of Christ’s tomb while He lay there dead for three days. His grave clothes were not scorched (John 20:6–7) nor did His body show any evidence of burns. The hades where Christ was, was simply "the grave" (or tomb), and that is what hades or sheowl means in the bible.