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Old 12 April 2013, 03:12 AM
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Devil Hell

Comment: I have been told that the early tracts of the Bible have no
mention of Hell. That Hell is an addition to the bible by the church and
was never even conceived of in the old scrolls. True or not true?
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  #2  
Old 12 April 2013, 06:46 AM
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Does it matter when a made-up place is included in a fiction book?
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Old 12 April 2013, 11:09 AM
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Why is Hell a place of suffering? Isn't the Devil's job to be totally opposite of God? So, if you are so heinous in life that God wants nothing to do with you, and you go to Hell, why would the Devil punish you? Wouldn't it be party time? Or is the Devil really God's jailer in disguise?
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Old 29 April 2013, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Jefuemon View Post
Why is Hell a place of suffering? Isn't the Devil's job to be totally opposite of God? So, if you are so heinous in life that God wants nothing to do with you, and you go to Hell, why would the Devil punish you? Wouldn't it be party time? Or is the Devil really God's jailer in disguise?
Actually, yes. The book of Job describes the Devil as a prosecutor, who wants God to let him punish people.
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Old 02 May 2013, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
Actually, yes. The book of Job describes the Devil as a prosecutor, who wants God to let him punish people.
What I've heard is a little different. It's not that The Devil is a prosecutor working for God. There is no "The Devil." Instead the whole notion of "The Devil" as an anti-God figure hadn't yet been invented in ancient Hebrew thought during the writing of the Hebrew bible. There was occasionally a prosecutorial figure, but it wasn't necessarily the same one and it was an antagonistic but not evil figure.

I listened to this analysis of the book of Job two years ago and it's stuck with me ever since:

Quote:
So the moral virtue and innocence of Job is established in the opening line as a narrative fact, a non-negotiable narrative fact. And yet this Job is to become the victim of a challenge issued by "the satan" in the heavenly counsel. I say "the satan" deliberately. The satan. The satan is certainly not the devil. There's no such notion in the Hebrew Bible. The phrase, "the satan," occurs four times in the Hebrew Bible, here and in Numbers 22 and in Zechariah 3.

"The satan" is simply a member of the divine counsel — one of God's minions whose function it is to investigate affairs on earth and to act as a kind of prosecuting attorney. He has to bring evildoers to justice. And it's only in later Jewish, and especially Christian thought, that the term loses the definite article — from "the satan" which means "the prosecutor" essentially, the prosecuting attorney — and becomes a proper name, Satan, for an enemy or opponent of God.

This later concept of Satan develops as a means of explaining evil without attributing it to God, but that isn't the function of the satan here. He works for God and when Yahweh boasts of his pious servant Job, the prosecuting angel wonders, as his portfolio requires him to do, whether Job's piety is sincere
http://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studie...145/lecture-20

Last edited by Mr. Billion; 02 May 2013 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 02 May 2013, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom o' Bedlam View Post
I find the attitude that the details and history of the Bible "don't matter" to be not only socially disrespectful, but historically, anthropologically, and literarily irresponsible.
Then you must feel the same way about the Roman, Greek and Norse gods? The Australian Aboriginal mythology holds that the world was born of the rainbow serpent. We dismiss that as them not understanding the reality. Same with the young Earth creationists. (Who hasn't laughed at them?)

It's nothing more than vanity that makes a person think that their faith ( beliefs without evidence) is the truth. If a christian child was born into a Hindu family, they'd be taught that Hinduism was the truth.

In the broader scheme of life, I don't really have an issue with childish thinking that people haven't grown out of. But the reality is that those beliefs are still used to try to control society.
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Old 12 April 2013, 12:04 PM
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Frying Pan

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Originally Posted by damian View Post
Does it matter when a made-up place is included in a fiction book?
Couldn't have said it better myself. I always marvelled at the eye-witness accounts of hell we were given by the nuns.
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Old 12 April 2013, 02:03 PM
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Eye witness? When I was a kid we all knew that blue jays went to Hell on the weekends to help gather firewood (this was before Hell got central heating) but I didn't know the nuns were in on it too.
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Old 13 April 2013, 02:44 AM
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When people died in the Old Testament, they went to Sheol. It meant going into a common grave. Didn't matter if you were good or bad.

Gehenna was a place outside the town where everyone tossed out their trash (including dead bodies), which was kept perpetually burning. The word is used alternatively with Hell.

Here is a quote:

Quote:
Matthew 18:8-9 (PHILLIPS) | In Context | Whole Chapter
The right way may mean costly sacrifice

8-9 “If your hand or your foot is a hindrance to your faith, cut it off and throw it away. It is a good thing to go into life maimed or crippled—rather than to have both hands and feet and be thrown on to the everlasting fire. Yes, and if your eye leads you astray, tear it out and throw it away. It is a good thing to go one-eyed into life—rather than to have both your eyes and be thrown on the fire of the rubbish heap.
In most other translations, "rubbish heap" is called "hell".

I'm no biblical scholar, I welcome corrections.
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Old 29 April 2013, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Thera View Post
Gehenna was a place outside the town where everyone tossed out their trash (including dead bodies), which was kept perpetually burning. The word is used alternatively with Hell.
There's a Columbus suburb called Gahanna. I don't know what the origin of the name is, but it always reminds of Gehenna.
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Old 29 April 2013, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damian View Post
Does it matter when a made-up place is included in a fiction book?
Not that I believe in Hell either, but the Bible is a religious scrpicture, not a fiction book. Even if you don't believe in any of its stories, there's a difference.
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Old 30 April 2013, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
Not that I believe in Hell either, but the Bible is a religious scrpicture, not a fiction book. Even if you don't believe in any of its stories, there's a difference.
Not really. If the stories contained in a book are not true, there's really nothing for them to be but fiction, regardless of whether or not some people believe otherwise.
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Old 30 April 2013, 08:45 AM
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That's not a very nuanced attitude to language - "truth" and "fiction" aren't binary well-defined things. There are lots of types of writing which aren't "true" but aren't "fiction" either. What about a discredited scientific theory? Or a history book written before a particular discovery was made that changed the interpretation?
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Old 30 April 2013, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Not really. If the stories contained in a book are not true, there's really nothing for them to be but fiction, regardless of whether or not some people believe otherwise.
How do you know that they're not true? Even if some aren't, others could be. And myths, whether you happen to believe in them or not, are never fiction.
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Old 30 April 2013, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
Not that I believe in Hell either, but the Bible is a religious scrpicture, not a fiction book. Even if you don't believe in any of its stories, there's a difference.
If it's not fiction, then it is a lie. Subtle distinction. One is meant to entertain, the other is meant to deceive.

People are taught to believe it is real. Doesn't mean it is. Calling it religious scripture doesn't make it real.
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  #16  
Old 30 April 2013, 09:38 AM
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Ponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
How do you know that they're not true? Even if some aren't, others could be. And myths, whether you happen to believe in them or not, are never fiction.
How do you know Harry Potter's not true?
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  #17  
Old 30 April 2013, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
If the stories contained in a book are not true, there's really nothing for them to be but fiction, regardless of whether or not some people believe otherwise.
Parables are neither truth nor fiction.

Ditto a great deal of poetry.

Also, there's quite a bit of ancient writing, both religious and otherwise, in which, unless somebody actually comes up with a working time machine, we're never going to know the degree of factual accuracy involved. It's often hard enough to figure out, in our massively documented current society, which description of what happened only a few years ago is accurate.


-- some of this may depend on how one's defining "fiction", of course. If "fiction" is defined as "everything that can't be mathematically or historically proven to be accurate in detail", then what crocoduck_hunter said above is not only true but a tautology. "Fiction" in the sense in which Harry Potter is fiction strikes me as having a different meaning, just as "lie" in the sense of "deliberate falsehood meant to deceive" has a different meaning that "fiction" in the Harry Potter sense.
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Old 30 April 2013, 04:57 PM
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There are many of us on this "board of skeptics" that do not find the Bible to be lies. We also aren't religious nutjobs. Also, there is no intent to deceive.

If you find this is true in g/your own life, maybe you have a serious problem with yourself, labelling "religious" as nutjobs, and their reading material as lies. some of us find that offensive; not just publicly, but personally. Maybe a book on language skills would work, but I think those are also lies intended to deceive.

Read thorny's post - some good points in there.
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