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Thanks Orbit.

 

I working on a series on hell to help de converts so this will be handy.

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According to the The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology, the word “hell” was adopted into our vocabulary as a way to introduce the pagan concept of hell into Christian theology– which it did quite successfully.

 

There hardly was a single "pagan concept of hell," and of course there was no religion called "paganism" in those times. I hope that doesn't sound pedantic, but the article is about the precise use of words. 

 

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However, it was a very literal place and the original audience of Jesus would have understood it as such. They would not have heard the word “Gahenna” and thought of our concept of hell– they would have realized Jesus was talking about an actual place outside the city.

 

Doubtful that "the original audience" of Jesus would have understood a reference to a place only mentioned a couple of times in the scriptures (which they couldn't read and didn't have copies of). The only audience we can actually be sure of is the gospel writer's elite peer group, who had some of the few extant copies of the Septuagint. Only this tiny elite group of Greek-speakers would have possibly understood the gospel writers' allusions to arcane Greek transliterations of rare Hebrew words. This game they played was basically the ancient world's equivalent to the Lovecraft Circle, or WWII era cryptographers. It's connection to reality was nil, which is why it was popular then and still popular today. 

 

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On 6/21/2018 at 10:26 PM, Blood said:

The only audience we can actually be sure of is the gospel writer's elite peer group, who had some of the few extant copies of the Septuagint. Only this tiny elite group of Greek-speakers would have possibly understood the gospel writers' allusions to arcane Greek transliterations of rare Hebrew words. This game they played was basically the ancient world's equivalent to the Lovecraft Circle, or WWII era cryptographers. It's connection to reality was nil, which is why it was popular then and still popular today. 

 

That's a strong consideration. 

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