Gehenna – What is Gehenna?
For example, Gehenna is translated as Hell in Matthew 10:28. Do I agree with this translation?
Yes. Here’s why (please allow me to explain my understanding of it from Holy Scripture as follows):
Gehenna is a valley at Israel, a garbage place, no doubt.
That’s the physical Gehenna. In the time of Christ the usage of the word Gehenna paralleled a spiritual afterlife place of punishment. Hence, Gehenna may be seen as a region of Sheol or Hades just like “Abraham’s Bossom” too (there are punishment vs reward regions and also different punishment regions in Hades too).
The Verse below clearly implies that Gehenna being referred to is NOT the physical Jewish garbage dump but the spiritual afterlife punishment region. So, the term Gehenna in New Testament usage at the time of Christ refers to the “spiritual or afterlife torment in Hades” where the earthly physical location of Gehenna is alluded as an “analogy”. It’s clear as James 3:6 uses “Gehenna” as an “analogy” for the tongue to be set on (spiritual) fire from “Hell” (Gehenna).
“And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell (Gehenna).” (James 3:6, NASB)
Also, Lord Jesus Christ pronounces afterlife Judgment toward the Pharisees by using the term “Gehenna” proving again that its New Testament usage (His usage of it) refers to afterlife punishment regions in Verse below too (not all Pharisees died in 70 AD at the earthly-physical-Gehenna or around that time & Christ’s Judgment is clearly toward their afterlife punishment as these never got punished by God generally on earth being ‘somewhat immune to earthly Judgment by the Torah as religious leaders’):
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell (Gehenna) as yourselves.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:15, NASB)
“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell (Gehenna)?” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:33, NASB)
How may Christ save from Gehenna or other regions in Hades itself? Example: “spirits in afterlife prisons” to whom He preached and Saved. Here are four posts explaining such details & thank you for reading:
1) Judgment and Love – Example from the “formerly disobedient spirits in prison” from the “Days of Noah” (1 Peter 3:19 – 20) being Preached to and Saved by Christ (implied, 1 Peter 4:6 mentions the “spirit will live to God” = “spirit is Saved”).
Please note that the “spirit” does NOT immediately return to God (as Ecclesiastes mentions). This is clearly seen in the case of the aforementioned “spirits in prison from the days of Noah” who did NOT return to God ‘immediately’ (as erred by some claiming such against 1 Peter 3:19 – 20) and were only able to return to God (that is, “live to God in spirit”, 1 Peter 4:6) after Lord Jesus Christ is Manifested & Descended to Hades.
Please also note that the “rich man in Hades” also did NOT immediately return to God but was punished in the afterlife there. Even if this is Parable (as some claim), it still proves Hades as an afterlife punishment region simply because Lord Jesus Christ cannot use an analogy of a non-existent object (e. g. a “unicorn”) to describe something.
In other words, by quoting the “rich man being in torment in the fires of Hades” —> there must EXIST a place like that in the “afterlife” for the rich man went there ‘after he died’ —-> as Christ CANNOT use an “imaginary non-existent object to explain real objects in analogy even if this was a parable”.
So, whether we see the “Lazarus and rich man story” as a parable or literally, it still proves the EXISTENCE of such an afterlife conscious torment or relief at death though it was unknown before Christ to such levels of clarity.
God kept it thus and that’s why Sheol means “unseen” and so almost no such description exists in Inspired Jewish Scripture earlier too as it was meant to be “Hidden or Unseen” living up to its name till Christ Revealed it thus in that story.
2) Body, Soul and Spirit
3) Lake of Fire and Salvation from Hell
4) All vs His godly ones – All His Works
In the end, God Will Save ALL MEN (or “All flesh” including the wicked too be it from Hell or the Lake of Fire itself) but the “believers” (or ‘godly ones’, His Bride) are ‘more special’ (e. g. being spared of afterlife Judgment):
“For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” – apostle Paul (1 Timothy 4:10, NASB)
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4, KJV)
Please note the words “all men” vs “believers” (or ‘those who believe’) being distinct or different in 1 Timothy 4:10 proving this Truth Irrefutably. The “all men” in both 1 Timothy 4:10 and 1 Timothy 2:4 are the SAME (same letter, same inspired author – apostle Paul, same usage, same timeline, same “Koine” Greek —> proving “context” perfectly as it is Written).
This Beautiful Truth of some being Saved from the Lake of Fire itself is Beautifully Prophesied in Verse below where both His Spirit (God) and His Bride (“believers”, Church) call out to “thirsty ones from the Lake of Fire (implied)” to partake of the “Water of Life” freely:
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (Revelation 22:17, NASB)
Peace to you