The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven: Appendix I – Four Key Words

Appendix I – Four Key Words

Below are the four words which are at least sometimes translated as “hell” in the King James version of the Bible.  In parentheses is shown the way each word is translated in the New American Standard Bible.  Beneath each word is listed every chapter and verse occurrence of the word along with a total.  If you take the time to study each of these words in their context, you will see clearly that Sheol/Hades (and Tartaros) refer to a netherworld of afterlife (which was emptied in the resurrection) while Gehenna refers to the fires of judgment on the earth in this life. 

Sheol (always transliterated as Sheol)

  • Genesis 37:35; 42:38; 44:29, 31
  • Numbers 16:30, 33
  • Deuteronomy 32:22
  • 1 Samuel 2:6
  • 2 Samuel 22:6
  • 1 Kings 2:6,9
  • Job 7:9; 11:8; 14:13; 17:13, 16; 21:13; 24:19; 26:6
  • Psalms 6:5; 9:17; 16:10; 18:5; 30:3; 31:17; 49:14, 14, 15; 55:15; 86:13; 88:3; 89:48; 116:3; 139:8; 141:7
  • Proverbs 1:12; 5:5; 7:27; 9:18; 15:11, 24; 23:14; 27:20; 30:16
  • Ecclesiastes 9:10
  • Song of Solomon 8:6
  • Isaiah 5:14; 7:11; 14:9, 11, 15; 28:15, 18; 38:10, 18; 57:9
  • Ezekiel 31:15, 16, 17; 32:21, 27
  • Hosea 13:14, 14
  • Amos 9:2
  • Jonah 2:2
  • Habakkuk 2:5

Total of 66 times

Hades (always transliterated as Hades)

  • Matthew 11:23 16:18
  • Luke 10:15; 16:23
  • Acts 2:27, 31
  • Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14

Total of 10 times

Tartaros (translated as “hell” without a footnote)

  • 2 Peter 2:4

Total of 1 time

Gehenna (always translated as “hell” with a footnote showing “Gehenna”)

  • Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23: 15, 33
  • Mark 9:43, 45, 47
  • Luke 12:5
  • James 3:6

Total of 12 times

Appendix II – Summary of the Book

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6 Replies to “The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven: Appendix I – Four Key Words”

  1. This is a great essay. It has really cleared up questions that I had been unable to resolve within my own mind.

  2. It seems to me that Gehenna is always used to refer specifically to the national judgment on Israel in this life. However, in the book, at one point you seem to equate this with the lake of fire. For reasons I think should be obvious based on your interpretations in this book, they should be separate things.

    1. Another thing I find interesting that you didn’t address in this book is the fact that no one in Paul’s letters or in Acts is ever threatened with eternal hell. That should be another big clue for people that the “traditional” doctrine of hell as a place of afterlife punishment is not taught in the bible.

      1. Your point is a good one, but I directed the book to a wide audience – including people only vaguely familiar with the Bible or “pet verses” of the traditional view. I did not want to complicate the issue by addressing too many arguments. Therefore, I chose what seemed to be most common: “bad people,” and “hell.”

        Nevertheless, you can see that many of the traditional arguments have shown up in the comments section of my blog of this book and that I have attempted to answer all of the serious ones. If someone merely dismisses my case without a logical argument, I let them have their say but don’t feel the need to respond.

        A book on this subject directed specifically toward evangelicals who are steeped deeply in “pet verses” of the traditional view would do well to include the point you make, as well as many others that could be made.

    2. What is clear to you is not to me. Please explain.

      I take Gehenna as referring to judgment, not strictly national judgment on Israel. That judgment is not restricted to a nation is seen in the examples of Sodom and Noah’s flood, both of which occurred before there was a nation.

      I take Gehenna and the lake of fire to be different metaphors describing the same reality. Isaiah, for example, writes often of judgment using words like “fire,” “burning,” and related terms – including “Ben-hinnom” which is, of course, the etymological antecedant to “Gehenna.”

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