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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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The concept of hell - March 13th 2012, 07:40 AM

Yo people,

I'd like to ask a few questions and talk about a few things.

Firstly, do you believe that hell exists? if you don't, and it does what would you want it to be like? (pretty odd question I know)

Although I no longer believe in it, there's a reason why it still annoys me and why it is extremely evil.

Firstly, there are people that believe it's the fiery pit of eternal torture while others believe its the simple absence of god. I'm focussing on the first type.

I don't think people realise what they are saying when they say "you'll go to hell if you don't believe". It's eternal torture. You can't even measure that. Yet people say those sorts of things with a smile on their face?

Then there's the torment that it causes children to go through, I've heard my brother say he's scared of going to hell sometimes because of something silly, like getting into an argument during a football match. That should never happen, it just scares people into believing something then if they criticise it they're doing something wrong! Ok... that's clearly a good thing. Stopping people from thinking.

Then there's the idea of calvanism in which they think everything is pre determined so god has already decided who's going to hell and who isn't.

Also the crappy use of pascal's wager for every religion. I've heard a lot more Muslims tell me I've got nothing to lose by believing because you could end up in hell... why base spreading your religion on fear?

There's also the issue of how you end up there. I've heard a few.

1. 'you need to be saved' so start believing and praying in whoever, Jesus, Allah etc if not ... hell for you
2. you'll be judged by your deeds in life. If you weren't a dick in you initial life you'll chill with the angels in heaven
3. only if you reject god from the bottom of your soul you'll end up there. So you've chosen it yourself basically (although some think that gods existence is so obvious that non believers have rejected it in this life)

anyway, you can probably see that I despise everything about the mere concept since I don't believe in it. What do you think about it? do you think that it might give justice to the criminals that kill themselves?


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Re: The concept of hell - March 13th 2012, 02:19 PM

As a Christian, I truly hope that no Christian ever tells you that you're going to hell "with a smile on their face". That's horrible. Telling people that sin will send them to hell if they aren't saved should be used only to warn them because you want to do everything in your power to stop it from happening. I'm usually on the verge of tears when I mention hell to people and I quickly add that there is a way out if they choose it. You're absolutely right when you say that people need to realize how serious hell is. It shouldn't be taken lightly.

The reason I feel the need to tell people that they'll go to hell if they're not saved is because you can't appreciate the cure if you don't know that you have the disease. If you handed someone medicine and said "here, you need this", it wouldn't help them if they didn't know they were sick- they would just throw it away. But, if you first let them know that they had this terrible disease that would claim their life and you had the only cure for it, they would be more eager to take the medicine because they understand their need for it. In the same way, people can't accept Jesus to save them if they don't know that there is something they need to be saved from.

When you say that maybe hell is justice for criminals, you're right....because we are ALL criminals. Maybe not in the eyes of the world, but we have all broken God's law and have to pay the penalty- which is hell. Or, we can let Jesus save us and accept that penalty that He already paid for us on the cross, then we won't have to.

I hope that helped.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 13th 2012, 03:15 PM

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Maybe not in the eyes of the world, but we have all broken God's law and have to pay the penalty- which is hell.
Why in the heck to God make laws that he knew "all" of humanity would break and therefore he would have to torture them in hell for all eternity?
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 13th 2012, 03:33 PM

Love is a choice, and God wants us to love Him. If He didn't make laws, we couldn't choose to love Him, because there would be no other choice...so we would be mindless robots who couldn't love. God didn't want that. So, He made laws. We all broke them, but we can choose to take His sacrifice for forgiveness and choose to love Him. We couldn't do that if He didn't give us the option.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 13th 2012, 03:44 PM

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
Love is a choice, and God wants us to love Him. If He didn't make laws, we couldn't choose to love Him, because there would be no other choice...so we would be mindless robots who couldn't love. God didn't want that. So, He made laws. We all broke them, but we can choose to take His sacrifice for forgiveness and choose to love Him. We couldn't do that if He didn't give us the option.
Blind love "faith"

or

Eternal torture.

Yep, sounds like the Abrahamic God all right. Only "He" would believe that kind of "choice" is reasonable.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 13th 2012, 04:16 PM

@megan: It just sounds like something a jealous psychotic girlfriend would do. "I WANT you to love me. I give you the choice to. But if you don't, I will hurt you."


Personally, I agree wholeheartedly with chicken on hell


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Re: The concept of hell - March 13th 2012, 04:50 PM

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As a Christian, I truly hope that no Christian ever tells you that you're going to hell "with a smile on their face". That's horrible. Telling people that sin will send them to hell if they aren't saved should be used only to warn them because you want to do everything in your power to stop it from happening. I'm usually on the verge of tears when I mention hell to people and I quickly add that there is a way out if they choose it. You're absolutely right when you say that people need to realize how serious hell is. It shouldn't be taken lightly.

The reason I feel the need to tell people that they'll go to hell if they're not saved is because you can't appreciate the cure if you don't know that you have the disease. If you handed someone medicine and said "here, you need this", it wouldn't help them if they didn't know they were sick- they would just throw it away. But, if you first let them know that they had this terrible disease that would claim their life and you had the only cure for it, they would be more eager to take the medicine because they understand their need for it. In the same way, people can't accept Jesus to save them if they don't know that there is something they need to be saved from.

When you say that maybe hell is justice for criminals, you're right....because we are ALL criminals. Maybe not in the eyes of the world, but we have all broken God's law and have to pay the penalty- which is hell. Or, we can let Jesus save us and accept that penalty that He already paid for us on the cross, then we won't have to.

I hope that helped.
Hmmm, Megan, you have helped by giving me your perspective.

Yet, your position would be a lot more justified if your belief in God wasn't so faith based and more justified.

Understand this, you're telling people that they could burn in hell for all eternity but they could be 'saved' if they accept Jesus. Realise what you're saying, especially when it comes to children and how impressionable they are. Their imaginations are astonishing so telling them they'll burn forever ,if and only if, they accept Jesus; so when they grow older they have no ability to question it because they are so scared. You're reducing the ability for people to be enlightened. Which is using their own reason and understanding. It's a great movement put forward by Immanuel Kant.

No offence to you personally, but I'm rather relieved not all Christians think the way you do. About the idea of everyone needing salvation when getting into heaven. If that was the case, God would be pretty vain wouldn't he?

Furthermore, why would god send anyone there? He's meant to love people right? Why should a finite crime ever result in an infinite punishment? The main response I have to goes like this:

You steal a book from somewhere and the punishments goes as follows
  1. Your mum punishes you = grounded for a week
  2. your school teacher punishes you = detentions for a week
  3. the police arrest you = jail for 2 months
  4. (it's an armed robbery) special police catches you = 10 years
  5. God catches you = hell
So the higher the authority the higher the punishment. Yet none of the ones before claim to be all loving and their punishments have an end. If you don't see the reason why I hate the concept so much, I'm not sure what else I should say.

I just ask you this. Don't base spreading your beliefs on fear, especially with children. It's a rather disgusting way to go about things, just threatening people like that. You may have the best intentions but I promise you it does more harm than good to their wellbeing if they think about it for themselves.

PS Don't use Pascal's wager ... it's useless to the thinking mind.


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Re: The concept of hell - March 13th 2012, 06:56 PM

I believe in Hell, but the Biblical view, known as annihilation. I am still learning more about it, but the Bible teaches that the lost will be destroyed, both body and soul, in the lake of fire. Not tormented.

People often, as seen in another one of my threads, will point to Revelation which says some will be tormented day and night and the smoke of their torment will rise up forever and ever. However, these verses are referencing the millenial kingdom. It also means their smoke will rise up and up until it disappears. It does not mean people will be tormented for eternity, as eternal life is only promised to those being saved.

There are many instances in the Bible where forever doesn't mean eternally. In Isaiah, another prophetic book, like revelation, says that edoms smoke from its destruction will rise forever and ever. Same in the book of Jude. Edom has already been destroyed and the smoke isn't still rising.

I do believe people will be punished to the degrees of their sins, and finally, death, hades etc. will all be destroyed, along with the wicked in them.

Another popular example is the rich man burning in gehenna in one of Jesus parables, which is easily refuted, and if interested, I can do so.

The Bible clearly teaches annihilation, not eternal conscious torment. And anyone who believes the latter, is rooted in tradition, not the Bible. There isn't one verse nor passage which teaches eternal conscious torment.


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Re: The concept of hell - March 13th 2012, 10:13 PM

I don't have all of the answers to give you, but I will tell you this- I don't tell people about hell to scare them, I tell them to inform them. It's like a doctor telling someone they have cancer. They don't say it to scare them (although it probably will), they tell them because they can't get treatment before they realize their disease.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 13th 2012, 11:19 PM

Regardless of whether or not you tell them about hell to scare them, it still does.
When I was little, my mother told me about hell and all that. I was terrified. I'm scarred by that now. Because of some of the things she said, I'm scared to NOT believe in God, even though I don't think I do. Does that make sense? I'm kind of a living example of what these people are talking about.
I've talked to one or two people about how I feel and they know just how scared I am. It hurts people.

I'm not sure who said it, but I know I read somewhere about how God would be vain if he sent all his non-believers to hell to be
eternally tormented or destroyed (whichever you believe in). I agree with that. It IS extremely vain, think about it.

Sorry to go off on random tangents, this is how I feel about the whole big issue of hell.
Please don't talk to children (at least) about hell. Please.
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Re: The concept of hell - March 14th 2012, 12:23 AM

When I talk to children (I teach Sunday school), I just say that we have to be saved in order to go to Heaven; I don't use the word hell...mainly because most kids think it's a swear word and I don't want them to go home and tell their parents I was swearing. lol
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 15th 2012, 12:04 AM

I do believe in hell, but I don't believe that hell is a place of fire and brimstone. In fact, most modern day theologians don't subscribe to this theory, either. I'm going to be speaking from a Christian point of view.

In my opinion there are a lot of things in the Bible that are metaphorical. The concepts that are conveyed in the Bible are insanely big, over-your-head kind of stuff. It's probably pretty hard to explain that in ways people will really GET, so a metaphor is used. You will be cast into a lake of fire for all eternity, and fire and brimstone will rain down upon you, etc.

I believe that this was more to describe a FEELING than an actual place. I believe hell is, truly, separation from God. Absence. Void. Nothing. It is honestly being truly, utterly without anyone or anything.

I grew up surrounded by many devout Christians, but no one has ever said it with a smile on their face. In a sense I know what you mean, though. I was talking to my cousin at Christmas time (she's a really devout Christian, works at a Christian summer camp, goes on frequent mission trips). And I asked her what she thought about gay people and if they are going to hell.

She told me that some gay people are wonderful people; she knows at few at school. But that they are sinners, and it "really stinks," but they are going to go to hell. And she said it with such nonchalance, I couldn't help wondering how she could say something of that magnitude so casually.

Faith as it's meant to be isn't supposed to bully people into believing, or a scary story to tell children at bedtime. Faith is not about fear. It's not about wrath, but about love. And I don't think it should be taught that if you don't believe, you'll go to hell and be in pain forever. Of course people will choose God, especially small children. But they shouldn't be doing so because they are scared. They should be doing so because they want to.

I don't subscribe to Calvanism. There's no Predetermined "List." He's God, not Santa Claus.

Pascal's Wager is a completely bogus reason to follow religion. For one, it's only meant to work for Christianity, which causes a host of problems in and of itself. For two, it completely negates the point of believing in God, which is willing faith. Not "fire insurance."

I would never tell someone they won't be saved if they don't believe in God, because that a situation I believe they have to come to that conclusion on their own. I will tell them MY story, if they want to hear. How God saved ME. But I will never tell someone what they should or shouldn't place their faith in. And I don't think anyone else should, either.

According to the Bible, you get to heaven by believing Jesus is Lord and Savior. Not by good works. You go to hell by rejecting God from the bottom of your heart. Yes, atheists count as rejecting God from the bottom of their heart. I thought that was actually pretty obvious.

However, I believe people will do with their lives what they will, and that it's no business of mine what they choose to do or not do. I have my beliefs in what makes for an exemplary life. I follow them. I encourage people to follow decent human rules and values, like respect, compassion, charity, justice, kindness, etc. But beyond that I do not presume to have say over what they should do.

I have no idea why this would justify criminals killing themselves. I personally believe killing oneself in those situations (like Judas) is a cowardly thing to do. There is no heroism in crime, and it's just despicable to not take responsibility for your own choices.



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Re: The concept of hell - March 15th 2012, 07:27 AM

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Originally Posted by Superstar View Post
In my opinion there are a lot of things in the Bible that are metaphorical. The concepts that are conveyed in the Bible are insanely big, over-your-head kind of stuff. It's probably pretty hard to explain that in ways people will really GET, so a metaphor is used. You will be cast into a lake of fire for all eternity, and fire and brimstone will rain down upon you, etc.

I believe that this was more to describe a FEELING than an actual place. I believe hell is, truly, separation from God. Absence. Void. Nothing. It is honestly being truly, utterly without anyone or anything.
How do you differentiate between literal and metaphorical saying?

Quote:
Faith as it's meant to be isn't supposed to bully people into believing, or a scary story to tell children at bedtime. Faith is not about fear. It's not about wrath, but about love. And I don't think it should be taught that if you don't believe, you'll go to hell and be in pain forever. Of course people will choose God, especially small children. But they shouldn't be doing so because they are scared. They should be doing so because they want to.
well guess what it does? You guessed it. It scares the living daylight out of them. Children don't choose god lol its chosen for them. How many children convert to christianity? They usually stay with Christianity because they've been told to not question their faith. If they continue with it after they've questioned it, I wouldn't want more from them.

Quote:
I don't subscribe to Calvanism. There's no Predetermined "List." He's God, not Santa Claus.
if we aren't predetermined I don't think god is timeless.


Quote:
According to the Bible, you get to heaven by believing Jesus is Lord and Savior. Not by good works. You go to hell by rejecting God from the bottom of your heart. Yes, atheists count as rejecting God from the bottom of their heart. I thought that was actually pretty obvious.
it'd help of god would stop playing hide and seek but your wrong anyway. It isn't a rejection of god. You can only reject god if it is obvious he exists in the first place.


Quote:
I have no idea why this would justify criminals killing themselves. I personally believe killing oneself in those situations (like Judas) is a cowardly thing to do. There is no heroism in crime, and it's just despicable to not take responsibility for your own choices.
Well, if salvation is Christ is all that's needed, what's the point in living? You can't call life a test if just believing Jesus will save you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
Another popular example is the rich man burning in gehenna in one of Jesus parables, which is easily refuted, and if interested, I can do so.
I've read that parable, please do refute it if you can.


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Re: The concept of hell - March 15th 2012, 08:25 PM

I do not have much time to go into detail, so I will copy an article, which is much more thorough and gives a much fairer explanation than I could dream of. It may help to click the link at the bottom of the second post, but for those who can't click it:
LAZARUS AND THE RICH MAN
The parable of Lazarus and the rich man has been the foundation for many of the erroneous beliefs about "hell" within traditional Christianity. Some have viewed it not as a parable, but as a true story Yeshua told to give details about the punishment of sinners in hell. Yet a thorough, unbiased examination of this story will show that the generally accepted interpretations of this passage of Scripture are erroneous and misleading. In this article, we will go through the parable verse by verse to determine what the Messiah was truly teaching.
Those who insist that this is not a parable but a true, literal story Yeshua told to describe the condition of the lost in hell must overlook several facts to arrive at that conclusion. First, Yeshua the Messiah never accuses the rich man of any sin. He is simply portrayed as a wealthy man who lived the good life. Furthermore, Lazarus is never proclaimed to be a righteous man. He is just one who had the misfortune to be poor and unable to care for himself. If this story is literal, then the logical implication is that all the rich are destined to burn in hell, while all the homeless and destitute will be saved. Does anyone believe this to be the case?
If hell is truly as it is pictured in this story, then the saved will be able to view the lost who are burning there. Could anyone enjoy eternal existence if they were able to see lost friends, family, and acquaintances being incinerated in hell, yet never burning up? Additionally, if hell (as it is traditionally taught) is an abyss of fire and brimstone where sinners are tormented forever, does anyone really believe that one drop of water would relieve the pain and anguish of someone suffering in its flames?
These are just some of the difficulties we encounter when we try to make the account of Lazarus and the rich man literal, instead of realizing that it is a PARABLE. If it is a true story, then all of the things Yeshua said must be factual. If all the points of the story are not literal, then we must view this tale as an analogy Yeshua used to teach larger spiritual truths.
Many think that the Messiah spoke in parables to make the meaning clearer for the uneducated people he was teaching. Reflecting this belief, an appendix to the NKJV says that "Jesus' reputation as a great teacher spread far and wide. And no wonder. He taught in parables, simple stories, that made His lessons clear to all who were ready to learn" (p. 1870, "Man for All Times"). Yet the Messiah said his purpose for speaking to the people in parables was exactly the opposite of the explanation cited above:
MATTHEW 13:1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to him, so that he got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 Then he spoke many things to them in parables . . . 10 And the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" 11 He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.' " (NKJV)
As this passage and the parallel Scripture in Mark 4 clearly state, Yeshua spoke to the people in parables to hide the spiritual meaning of what he was saying. He only intended for his disciples to understand what the parables truly meant. It is no wonder, then, that so many have misunderstood what Yeshua was teaching with the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.
Let's start by getting some background information on the situation in which Yeshua told this parable. Luke tells us that all the tax collectors and sinners were coming to the Messiah to hear what he had to say (Luke 15:1). This made the Pharisees and scribes jealous and they complained, vehemently criticizing Yeshua for receiving sinners and eating with them (Luke 15:2). They were likely envious of his growing fame, afraid that his popularity would diminish their own authority and prestige.
So the Messiah first spoke a trio of related parables (the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son) to those gathered around him. They were designed to show the tax collectors and sinners (as well as the Pharisees) that God was concerned for them and that He would seek out the lost and welcome them into His family when they repented and turned back to Him.
The self-righteous Pharisees and scribes, acknowledged by Yeshua as the legitimate religious teachers of the Jews (Matt. 23:1-3), should have been the ones telling these people of God's love for them. They should have been the ones teaching these sinners, exhorting them to return to God and receive His love and forgiveness. However, because of their faith in their own righteousness and their contempt for these tax collectors and sinners who didn't measure up to their standards, the Pharisees and scribes excluded them and considered them accursed (John 7:49).
Afterward, speaking primarily to his disciples but with the Pharisees (and probably the crowd) still listening in, Yeshua related the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-13). The Pharisees, who were "lovers of money" (Luke 16:14), realized that the Messiah was alluding to them with this parable and took offense. They scoffed at Yeshua. The final part of his response to the derision of the Pharisees and scribes was the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.
We'll now examine this parable in detail to grasp exactly what the Messiah was teaching about the kingdom of God:
LUKE 16:19 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day." (NKJV)
We begin by scrutinizing the description Yeshua gives us of the rich man. First, he tells us that this man was clothed in purple and fine linen. This type of clothing would not have been out of the ordinary for one of considerable wealth during this time period. However, this attire also has symbolic meaning. The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary says: "The wearing of purple was associated particularly with royalty . . ." (p. 863, "Purple"). In addition, the New Bible Dictionary tells us: "The use of linen in OT times was prescribed for priests (Ex. 28:39). The coat, turban and girdle must be of fine linen." (p. 702, "Linen").
So we see that the garments worn by this rich man were symbolic of royalty and the priesthood. With that in mind, let's see what God told Moses just before giving the Israelites the Law on Mount Sinai:
EXODUS 19:6 And ye shall be to me a royal priesthood and a holy nation: these words shalt thou speak to the children of Israel. (Brenton's LXX)
The clothing of the rich man identifies him symbolically with the people of Israel, chosen by God to be His special people. They were called to be a witness to the nations surrounding them, confirming the blessings available to those who would obey God and keep His laws. Unfortunately, they frequently did not live up to the high calling given to them by God. Eventually He sent them into captivity for their refusal to honor their part of the covenant ratified at Mount Sinai. At the time of Yeshua, only the House of Judah continued to have a covenant relationship with God. The rich man in this parable represents the religious Jews of Yeshua's day, exemplified by their teachers, the Pharisees and scribes.
Verse 19 also tells us that the rich man "fared sumptuously every day." Figuratively, this represents the magnificent spiritual feast available only to the Jews, who were the sole remaining part of God's called people, Israel. In the 1st century CE, they were the only people on earth who had the true religion. Indeed, Paul recounts the glorious station of the House of Judah in Romans 9:
ROMANS 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen by race. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; 5 to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen. (RSV)
The Jews were truly rich, feasting on God's spiritual blessings. Yet these very gifts caused them to stumble because they prompted them to self-righteousness. They gloried in the gifts, without glorifying the Eternal God who gave them. Instead of being a "royal priesthood" that was a blessing to all nations, they instead loathed and despised the surrounding peoples. Certainly, as Paul wrote, "their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them" (Rom. 11:9).
LUKE 16:20 "But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores." (NKJV)
In contrast to the rich man, we now see Lazarus. The first thing to note is that he is depicted as a beggar. This is an apt description of the Gentiles who "laid at the gate" of Judah. Paul describes the predicament of the Gentiles before they accepted the Messiah in his letter to the Ephesians:
EPHESIANS 2:12 Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (RSV)
This Scripture is also a fitting representation of the position of the nations before the Messiah's sacrifice for the world's sins. They were certainly "excluded from the commonwealth of Israel," "strangers to the covenants of promise," and "without hope and without God in the world." The Gentiles were beggars, located outside Judah and longing to be fed spiritual crumbs from the table of the divinely blessed Jews.
Additionally, we are told that dogs came and consoled Lazarus in his misery, licking his sores. The Jews considered the surrounding Gentiles to be unclean "dogs." Even Yeshua himself used this unflattering comparison when he conversed with the Greek Syrophoenician woman while in the region of Tyre (Mark 7:24-30).
Also important to the story is the meaning of the name Lazarus. This Greek name is a form of the Hebrew Eleazer, and it literally means "he whom God helps." The use of this particular name is very significant to the message of the parable, for the Gentiles would indeed become "those whom God helped" through the sacrifice of His son, Yeshua.
LUKE 16:22 "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried." (NKJV)
The next events recorded in this parable are the deaths of Lazarus and then the rich man. Since the parable has been figurative up until this point, there is no reason to assume it becomes literal now.
First, to prove that this language is symbolic and not meant to be taken literally, let's examine exactly what we are told by Yeshua. He says that first, Lazarus dies and is taken to the bosom of Abraham. Notice, there is no mention of his burial here. Then later the rich man dies, and he is buried (in Hades, according to verse 23). So the time sequence given indicates that upon his death, Lazarus was taken immediately to Abraham's bosom, while afterward the rich man was buried in Hades when he died.
If this story is literal, then we have a contradiction in the Bible. Here, Lazarus is shown to have immediately received the promise of eternal life. Yet the author of Hebrews clearly tells us that Abraham, as well as all the other Old Testament saints, have not yet received the promises given to them by God:
HEBREWS 11:13 All these [Abraham, Noah, Abel, etc.] died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. . . . 39 And all these [including Abraham], having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. (NASU)
The great men and women of faith listed in Hebrews 11 have not yet been made perfect and given eternal life. They, along with all the saints of God from every age, are currently sleeping in their graves (Job 3:11-19; Psa. 6:5; 115:17; Ecc. 9:5, 10; I Cor. 15:20; Isa. 57:1-2; Dan. 12:2; Acts 2:29, 34; 13:36). These saints are awaiting the first resurrection, which will take place when Yeshua the Messiah returns at the sounding of the last trumpet (Matt. 24:30-31; I Cor. 15:51-52; I The. 4:16; Rev. 11:15-18).
Clearly, there is no way to reconcile the numerous Scriptures listed above with a literal understanding of the story of Lazarus and the rich man. What, then, does the death of these two men represent?
The deaths of both the rich man (who represented the Jews) and Lazarus (who represented the other nations) are symbolic in this parable. Here, their demise depicts an elemental change in the status and position of the two groups.


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Re: The concept of hell - March 15th 2012, 08:27 PM

To confirm this, let's look at the meaning of Lazarus being "carried to Abraham's bosom." The figurative meaning of being in one's bosom is to be in a position of closeness, to be highly regarded. This symbolism is indicated by the ancient practice of having guests at a feast recline on the chest of their neighbors. The place of highest honor would therefore belong to the one seated next to the host, calling to mind the example of John at the Last Supper (John 13:23).
Paul explains this imagery in his letter to the Galatians by telling us how the Gentiles could be in this place of highest honor:
GALATIANS 3:6 . . . Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. (NKJV)
As the passage above (as well as chapters 4 and 9 of Romans) shows, Gentile believers become "sons of Abraham" through faith in the Messiah. This faith allows Gentiles to no longer be "strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God" (Eph. 2:19). For centuries the Jews had received the benefits of being God's chosen people by virtue of being Abraham's physical descendants. But after the sacrifice of Yeshua, this place of honor and blessing would be predominantly given to the people represented by Lazarus. This is the meaning of being "carried to the bosom of Abraham" in this parable.
In contrast to Lazarus, the rich man was buried in Hades. An understanding of the original meaning of the Greek word hades is necessary to grasp the message of the parable. Regarding the possible etymology of this word, the The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology states that hades ". . . comes from idein (to see) with the negative prefix, a-, and so would mean the invisible . . . In the LXX hades occurs more than 100 times, in the majority of instances to translate Heb. she'ol, the underworld which receives all the dead. It is the land of darkness . . ." (p. 206, vol. 2).
Most likely, hades originally meant "unseen." Later, it came to refer to the hidden state of those buried in the earth. Symbolically, this parable shows that a point would come when the House of Judah would become "unseen" by God, out of favor because of their unbelief. There would come a time when the Jews as a whole would no longer be God's favored nation. God would harden their hearts, leading them to reject their Messiah (John 1:11).
LUKE 16:23 "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." (NKJV)
What did Yeshua mean by saying here that the rich man was in "torments in Hades"? The key to discovering the symbolic meaning of this verse is the Greek noun basanois, translated "torments" above.
According to Friberg's Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, basanois, which is a form of the noun basanos, means "strictly, a touchstone for testing the genuineness of metals by rubbing against it . . ."
The etymology of basanos found in Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament is very helpful in correctly understanding this verse:
In non-biblical Gk. [basanos] is a commercial expression, or is used in relation to government. It then acquires the meaning of the checking of calculations, which develops naturally out of the basic sense of [basanos, basanizein] . . . In the spiritual sphere it has the figur[ative] sense, which is closely related to the original concrete meaning, of a means of testing . . .

The word then undergoes a change in meaning. The original sense fades into the background. [Basanos] now comes to denote "torture" or "the rack," espec[ially] used with slaves . . . [Basanos] occurs in the sense of "torment" . . .

The change in meaning is best explained if we begin with the object of treatment. If we put men instead of metal or a coin, the stone of testing become[s] torture or the rack. The metal which has survived the testing stone is subjected to harsher treatment. Man is in the same position when severely tested by torture. In the testing of metal an essential role was played by the thought of testing and proving genuineness. The rack is a means of showing the true state of affairs. In its proper sense it is a means of testing and proving, though also of punishment. Finally, even this special meaning was weakened and only the general element of torture remained (pp. 561, 562, vol. I).
In this verse, basanois simply conveys a sense of testing and proving through punishment. When this understanding is combined with a proper discernment of the symbolism of Hades, we can begin to see the point Yeshua is making. As a whole, the House of Judah would to be cut off and replaced during this current age by those from the nations who in faith would accept the sacrifice of the Messiah.
If the Pharisees and scribes understood Yeshua's prophetic parable, it must have astonished and infuriated them. How could the Jews become alienated from God while the elect Gentiles became the "seed of Abraham"? The implication that the House of Judah and those called from the Gentile nations were to change places would have been almost impossible for the Pharisees and scribes to believe.
LUKE 16:24 "Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.' " (NKJV)
First, notice that the rich man identifies Abraham as his father, just as the Pharisees did (John 8:39). The rich man (Judah) is now shown to be undergoing reproof, testing, and punishment in "this flame" (singular, not "these flames"). It is quite obvious that the flame is not literal, because a wet fingertip on the tongue would do nothing to quench the pain inflicted by real flames.
The word rendered "torment" here is a form of the Greek verb odunao, which literally means "grief," "pain," or "suffering." Predominantly, it conveys the sense of mental anguish, not physical pain. Forms of this word are found only four times in the Scriptures, all in the writings of Luke. It appears twice in this parable, in verses 24 and 25. In Luke 2:48, it is used to describe the anxious distress that Mary and Joseph felt after they discovered the 12-year old Yeshua missing on the trip home from Jerusalem after the Passover feast. In Acts 20:38, it depicts the sorrow the elders of the Ephesian Church felt at Paul's farewell announcement that they would never see him again.
The rich man cries out from the symbolic darkness of Hades for comfort because of the suffering caused by the flame. The explanation of the symbolism of the flame will require a little background information.
In Deuteronomy 11 and 28, Moses delineates God's part in His covenant with Israel. Moses told them that if they obeyed God, they would be the most blessed nation on earth. Conversely, if they disobeyed, God promised to curse and eventually destroy them because of their sins.
As the history of Israel in the Tanakh shows, only rarely did they obey God. Although God was patient and forgave them many times when they repented and turned back to Him, eventually He brought about the curses on Israel as He had promised.
First the House of Israel (the 10 tribes that composed the northern kingdom of Samaria) was carried into captivity by Assyria (c. 722 BCE). Hosea, who prophesied during the end of the northern kingdom, said this about God's chosen people who were called to be a royal priesthood and a holy nation:
HOSEA 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (NKJV)
Then, a little over a century later, the southern kingdom of Judah was subdued and finally carried captive by Babylon (c. 586 BCE). Because of their sins, God had delivered His people to their enemies, as He had promised.
The people of Judah were given another chance, however. After the Persians defeated the Babylonians, the Jews were allowed to return to Judea (c. 538 BCE) and eventually they rebuilt the Temple. Chastened and aware that their sins had brought about the captivity, many sought to obey God's laws upon their return to the land.
But by the time of the Messiah, once again unbelief had become a major problem. Many of the religious teachers of the day had substituted human traditions for the laws God had given Israel (Matt. 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13). Because of their lack of faith, they didn't really believe the very Scriptures they professed to follow (John 5:39, 45-47). Ultimately, they rejected the anointed one God sent to them and had the Romans crucify him.
Now back to the question at hand. What does the flame in the parable represent?
When one looks at the history of the Jewish people from the time of Yeshua until today, one theme remains constant — PERSECUTION. With the quashing of the Jewish revolts against Rome (66-70 CE and 132-135 CE), the saga of the Jewish people in the Diaspora has been one of persistent and harsh persecution from virtually all quarters. The Inquisition of the 15th century and the Holocaust of the 20th century are two of the more well-known antisemitic episodes, but many more are recorded on the bloody pages of history. Due to their unbelief and rejection of Yeshua, God has brought the "flame" of suffering and grief down upon the Jews through the centuries. Unfortunately, most of that mistreatment has come at the hands of those who called themselves "Christians."
The Jews pictured by the rich man in this parable are in their present state because of their unbelief, which ultimately manifested itself in the rejection of the Messiah, Yeshua. Unfortunately, this parable shows that the punishment and testing they would undergo would not immediately lead them to Yeshua. Instead of calling on the Messiah, the rich man calls on his ancestor Abraham to help ease his suffering.
LUKE 16:25 "But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. (NKJV)
Abraham clearly identifies the rich man as his descendant by calling him "son." He tells him that things have changed. When the Jews were God's chosen people, they enjoyed the spiritual blessings associated with that status. But now, Abraham says, Lazarus is enjoying those blessings while the rich man is grieving and in sorrow. "Tormented" here is another form of odunao, the same Greek verb found above in verse 24.
LUKE 16:26 " 'And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.' " (NKJV)
What is the "great gulf" which stands between the rich man and Lazarus? Paul aptly explains it to us in the 11th chapter of Romans. He tells us that God has blinded the Jews and "given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day" (Rom. 11:8). He goes on to say that "a partial hardening would happen to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles had come in" (Rom. 11:25). In II Corinthians 3:14-15, Paul says that the Jews' "minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart."
The "great gulf" mentioned by Abraham is nothing less than God's blinding in this age of the Jews as a whole to the truth about their Messiah! It's not that the Jewish nation won't acknowledge Yeshua as the prophesied Messiah; they cannot recognize his true identity because of God's actions! Yet because of the Eternal Father's great mercy, this state of affairs will not last forever (Rom. 11:26).
LUKE 16:27 "Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.' " (NKJV)
Yielding himself to his destiny, the rich man asks one more thing of his forefather Abraham. He pleads with him to send someone to warn his brothers, so that they may escape "this place of torment" (basanou), the testing and punishment that he was undergoing.
The fact that the rich man has five brothers is a vital clue to his true symbolic identity. Judah, the progenitor of the Jews, was the son of Jacob through Leah (Gen. 29:35). He had five full-blooded brothers: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, and Zebulun (Gen. 35:23).
While the significance of this seemingly pointless detail has been neglected by scholars throughout the centuries, you can be certain that it did not escape the notice of the Pharisees and scribes to which Yeshua was speaking. They thoroughly knew their history and were extremely proud of their heritage. Yeshua wanted those self-righteous Pharisees to know exactly who he was referring to with this parable. This detail cements the identity of the rich man as the House of Judah, the Jews!
LUKE 16:29 "Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' " (NKJV)
Once again Abraham refuses the rich man's request, telling him that the brothers already have a witness in the writings of Moses and the prophets that will allow them to escape his fate. Moses, as well as the prophets, are shown several times in the New Testament to support Yeshua's identity as the Messiah (Luke 24:27, 44; John 1:45; 5:46; Acts 3:22-24; 7:37; 26:22-23; 28:23). Abraham tells the rich man that his brothers would have to recognize the prophesied Messiah because of the things written about him in the Tanakh. This echoes what Yeshua told the Jews in John's Gospel:
JOHN 5:45 "Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you — Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?" (NKJV)
As the Scriptures show, the Jewish leaders of Yeshua's day generally failed to recognize the very one Moses wrote about (Deu. 18:15, 18).
LUKE 16:30 "And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' " (NKJV)
Yeshua uses the last two verses of this parable as an amazing prophecy of his pending resurrection from the dead. The rich man says that although his brothers may not accept the scriptural evidence for the identity of the Messiah, they will accept the evidence of one who is raised from the dead.
But Abraham answers and plainly tells him that anyone who rejects the Bible's teaching about the Messiah will also refuse to acknowledge the evidence of a miraculous resurrection. This last verse is a sad prophecy about the Jews who, despite God's resurrection of His son from the power of the grave, have failed to recognize Yeshua as the prophesied Messiah.
Yeshua ends this parable abruptly, with no real resolution presented. The picture presented is a bleak one, yet there is hope for the Jews and for all Israel. In Romans 11, Paul laid out that hope in such a manner that scarcely few today have really believed it.
In Romans 11:1 Paul rhetorically asks if God has cast away His people, Israel. He answers his own question emphatically by saying "Certainly not!" He tells us that God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Paul writes that there is currently a remnant of Israel that God has elected by His grace. This group is analogous to the 7,000 God reserved for Himself in the time of Elijah (I Kings 19:18). The rest God hardened, Paul says, that the Gentiles might also be saved. He gives the resolution of the situation at the end of chapter 11:
ROMANS 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins." 28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (NKJV)
The same God that blinded Israel unto disobedience will have mercy on all that have been rebellious due to that blindness. To quote Paul once again, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!" Praised be the Eternal Creator of all things!
CONCLUSION
The parable of Lazarus and the rich man, long used by mainstream Christian ministers to teach the "reality of hell," really has nothing to say about punishment or reward in the afterlife. Yeshua used this story, which fit the common misconception about life after death in his day, to show the fate that awaited the Jewish nation because of the unbelief and faithlessness which caused them to reject him as the Messiah. They still suffer from that fate to this very day. Yet the time is soon coming when God will pour on the Jews the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on their Messiah whom they pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn (Zec. 12:10).
Bryan T. Huie
January 9, 1998
Revised: April 8, 2009
Source: http://www.herealittletherealittle.n...e_name=Lazarus


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Re: The concept of hell - March 16th 2012, 01:44 AM

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
Love is a choice, and God wants us to love Him. If He didn't make laws, we couldn't choose to love Him, because there would be no other choice...so we would be mindless robots who couldn't love. God didn't want that. So, He made laws. We all broke them, but we can choose to take His sacrifice for forgiveness and choose to love Him. We couldn't do that if He didn't give us the option.
Do you mean the mitzvot (613 Jewish laws)? There's no concept of Hell in Judaism, not obeying the laws wouldn't send you to Hell. They only apply to Jews anyway, not Gentiles (non-Jews).

I never understand the, "Oh, God is so gracious. He gave us freewill," view. It wouldn't really be much of a choice if you burn forever if you don't chose Jesus. Even worse, he would know you were going to hell at the end of your life for not choosing Jesus. If he didn't he wouldn't be omniscient, right?

It was never taught the messiah was divine and going to be sacrificed for everyone's sins.

It doesn't make sense. God thought the best course of action after people kept screwing up, was to send his son (who was him) to earth to be killed for the sins of everyone, even though in the past he said a person can't die for the sins of another(Deuteronomy 24:16).

Telling people they'll go to hell is like telling people Zeus will be mad at them for rejecting him.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 16th 2012, 03:33 AM

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Originally Posted by Up In The Clouds View Post
Do you mean the mitzvot (613 Jewish laws)? There's no concept of Hell in Judaism, not obeying the laws wouldn't send you to Hell. They only apply to Jews anyway, not Gentiles (non-Jews).

I never understand the, "Oh, God is so gracious. He gave us freewill," view. It wouldn't really be much of a choice if you burn forever if you don't chose Jesus. Even worse, he would know you were going to hell at the end of your life for not choosing Jesus. If he didn't he wouldn't be omniscient, right?

It was never taught the messiah was divine and going to be sacrificed for everyone's sins.

It doesn't make sense. God thought the best course of action after people kept screwing up, was to send his son (who was him) to earth to be killed for the sins of everyone, even though in the past he said a person can't die for the sins of another(Deuteronomy 24:16).

Telling people they'll go to hell is like telling people Zeus will be mad at them for rejecting him.
I mean the Law of Moses when I talk about God's laws. And the actual word "hell" may not be mentioned in Jewish scirpture, but it does use the word "sheol" which means "the grave"- but most Christians think that is talking about hell rather than a literal grave since it mentions fire being there....fire isn't found in regular graves. Plus, God makes it very clear that those who are His children (those who get saved) will have eternal life, which implies that those who aren't will not. So even though that doesn't directly talk about hell, it does talk about separation from God for eternity, which isn't good either way.

Many prophets, such as Isaiah, definitely did say that the Mesiah would have to suffer and die to pay for our sins. Isaiah in particular said that the Mesiah would be "pierced for our transgressions", "despised and forsaken", and "scourged so we can be healed". It also said that the LORD would be pleased to crush Him as a guilt offering. That's all Jewish scripture from Isaiah 53, written almost 700 years before Jesus was even born. Other Jewish prophecy also predicted that He would be born in Bethlehem, people would gamble for His clothes when He died, He would be pierced in the side, He would be humble and not speak up when being tortured, etc. There are over 400 of these, and all except the ones about the end of the world have come true with Jesus. You can deny that He is the Mesiah, but you can't deny that Jewish scripture says that or that Jesus did those things- both are recorded in history. Whether or not you beleive it's a coincidence is up to you. Read Isaiah 53 and then read the book of John in the bible (written about 60 years after Jesus died) and see how similar the events of Jesus' life are to the prophecy.

You're right that a mere human can't pay the penalty for our sins, but Jesus isn't just a human, He's also God.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 16th 2012, 04:27 AM

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I mean the Law of Moses when I talk about God's laws. And the actual word "hell" may not be mentioned in Jewish scirpture, but it does use the word "sheol" which means "the grave"- but most Christians think that is talking about hell rather than a literal grave since it mentions fire being there....fire isn't found in regular graves. Plus, God makes it very clear that those who are His children (those who get saved) will have eternal life, which implies that those who aren't will not. So even though that doesn't directly talk about hell, it does talk about separation from God for eternity, which isn't good either way.

Many prophets, such as Isaiah, definitely did say that the Mesiah would have to suffer and die to pay for our sins. Isaiah in particular said that the Mesiah would be "pierced for our transgressions", "despised and forsaken", and "scourged so we can be healed". It also said that the LORD would be pleased to crush Him as a guilt offering. That's all Jewish scripture from Isaiah 53, written almost 700 years before Jesus was even born. Other Jewish prophecy also predicted that He would be born in Bethlehem, people would gamble for His clothes when He died, He would be pierced in the side, He would be humble and not speak up when being tortured, etc. There are over 400 of these, and all except the ones about the end of the world have come true with Jesus. You can deny that He is the Mesiah, but you can't deny that Jewish scripture says that or that Jesus did those things- both are recorded in history. Whether or not you beleive it's a coincidence is up to you. Read Isaiah 53 and then read the book of John in the bible (written about 60 years after Jesus died) and see how similar the events of Jesus' life are to the prophecy.

You're right that a mere human can't pay the penalty for our sins, but Jesus isn't just a human, He's also God.
Law of Moses and Mitzvot are the same thing. Which only applies to the Jews. Aren't the Jews God's chosen people. It always seemed kind of weird to me God just sends his chosen people to Hell for sticking true to their beliefs.

Isaiah is not talking about Jesus. It's talking about Israel. Read Isiah 52. Jews have different views of the Messianic prophecies than Christians. They are:

Isaiah 1:26: "And I will restore your judges as at first and your counsellors as in the beginning; afterwards you shall be called City of Righteousness, Faithful City." Some Jews interpret this to mean that the Sanhedrin will be re-established."(Isaiah 1:26)

Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance. (Isaiah 2:4)

The whole world will worship the One God of Israel (Isaiah 2:11-17)

He will be descended from King David (Isaiah 11:1) via Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:8-10, 2 Chronicles 7:18)

The "spirit of the Lord" will be upon him, and he will have a "fear of God" (Isaiah 11:2)

Evil and tyranny will not be able to stand before his leadership (Isaiah 11:4)

Knowledge of God will fill the world (Isaiah 11:9)

He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations (Isaiah 11:10)

All Israelites will be returned to their homeland (Isaiah 11:12)

Death will be swallowed up forever (Isaiah 25:8)

There will be no more hunger or illness, and death will cease (Isaiah 25:8)

All of the dead will rise again (Isaiah 26:19)

The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness (Isaiah 51:11)

He will be a messenger of peace (Isaiah 52:7)

Nations will recognize the wrongs they did to Israel (Isaiah 52:13-53:5)

The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance (Zechariah 8:23)

The ruined cities of Israel will be restored (Ezekiel 16:55)

Weapons of war will be destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9)

The people of Israel will have direct access to the Torah through their minds and Torah study will become the study of the wisdom of the heart (Jeremiah 31:33)[5]

He will give you all the worthy desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4)

He will take the barren land and make it abundant and fruitful (Isaiah 51:3, Amos 9:13-15, Ezekiel 36:29-30, Isaiah 11:6-9)

Got those off Wikipedia. There's a reason Jews don't believe in Jesus. They're not just being stubborn.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 16th 2012, 08:26 PM

The Jews are God's chosen people, but Gentiles can be saved too.

If Isaiah is talking about Israel and not God, why did He capitalize "He"? It is indeed capitalized in the original scripture (or however they did it at that time). The only time "He" is ever capitalized in the rest of Jewish scripture is when it is referring to God.

And how is it that Israel would be "pierced for our transgressions" and would be "a guilt offering for us"? Isaiah 53 says both of those things, so how do you apply that to say that it's talking about Israel and not the Messiah? Especially when even you admit that much of the other things Isaiah said ARE prophecy- even in the chapter right before it.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 17th 2012, 11:49 PM

I don't see the big deal of Isaiah 53. It's not even part of the Jewish synagogue liturgy. But, Isaiah is talking about Israel until verse 13 of chapter 52, the G-D says the LORD, his servant, and guard for the Jews, is coming. Which is clearly a prophesy of the Christ. As Christ said, He came for the chosen race of Israel, but He became a stumbling block towards them, and so, to make them jealous, the gentiles were grafted in. This was done to make the Jews jealous until the apppointed time when they call upon the LORD.


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Re: The concept of hell - March 18th 2012, 01:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
The Jews are God's chosen people, but Gentiles can be saved too.

If Isaiah is talking about Israel and not God, why did He capitalize "He"? It is indeed capitalized in the original scripture (or however they did it at that time). The only time "He" is ever capitalized in the rest of Jewish scripture is when it is referring to God.

And how is it that Israel would be "pierced for our transgressions" and would be "a guilt offering for us"? Isaiah 53 says both of those things, so how do you apply that to say that it's talking about Israel and not the Messiah? Especially when even you admit that much of the other things Isaiah said ARE prophecy- even in the chapter right before it.
I know Gentiles can believe in Jesus. I was saying they're not under law.

Wait for it...

There is no capitalization in Hebrew!

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15984

Not all versions capitalize "He" in Isaiah.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible...1&t=RSV#vrsn/5
http://www.deepbiblestudy.net/2008/0...ew-scriptures/

Isaiah 53:10 in the Tanach says: And the Lord wished to crush him, He made him ill; if his soul makes itself restitution, he shall see children, he shall prolong his days, and God's purpose shall prosper in his hand.

Isaiah 52:1-12 tells Israel not to lose hope in God. The Assyrians were blaspheming their God. The author talks about God redeeming Jerusalem. Isaiah 52:13-15 talks about a servant (Israel) who is raised and exalted. Israel is called a servant other times in Isaiah. The author is speaking from the views of the Gentile kings seeing the deliverance of Israel. They are marveling at Israel. Isaiah 53:10 talks about God delivering and exalting his servant.

Isaiah 53 is one of the four servant songs in Isaiah. They talk about how God's servant suffers then is delivered. Isaiah 52 sets the stage for 53 to be about Israel from perspective of the gentile nations.

Isaiah 53:10 can't apply to Jesus because he had no offspring and died young. The word זֶרַע (zera) used for offspring refers only to physical offspring in other verses. Banim (בנים) is used for spiritual children.

Can I gently guide this thread back to hell?

   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 19th 2012, 03:43 AM

Isaiah 53:10 is a prophetic book, thus, the "offspring" is likely symbolic or a metaphor for something Spiritual. Therefore, it can clearly be a reference to Christ's spiritual offspring. I.E. John 10:24 which reads, "24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Which seems to be the perfect cross reference to Isaiah 53:10. In fact, many times in the NT Christian's are referenced to contain a seed. This seed is referencing G-D's seed. The word used for seed is Gk. for sperma, which means sperm. G-D has raised an offspring, a Spiritual one, through His seed. Christ did, also, see some of His offspring, and continues to.

This is not to mention the ancient interpretations of Isaiah throughout Jewish history, namely the Parables of Enoch. In nearly all ancient interpretations of this passage (that I've heard of -- feel free to prove me wrong), they understood Isaiah to be a messianic reference of G-D's chosen one. It wasn't until apologetics sprung up to defend the Jewish faith, post C.E., that it was interpreted as Israel.

But, yes, back to Hell.


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Re: The concept of hell - March 19th 2012, 08:24 AM

I would just like to point out some flaws in this argument.

Firstly, the big man Jeebus himself was a representative of God and all his shit in Heaven. So if it was Jeebus and his crew who were responsible for the Bible, then I'm failing to understand how any of you feel you have a good understanding of Hell. Frankly, that's outrageously biased and one-sided to be making judgments about Hell when all you have is a centuries old book written by the dudes who were Satan's sworn enemies. As far as I know, Satan hasn't put out his book, so don't be fucking judging him and his crib just yet, yeah?

Secondly, who would actually want to go to Heaven? You're talking about a place where all I get is a bunch of bullshit rules, a population of goody-goods and religious zealots who haven't done an interesting thing in their life, and heaps of butterflies, unicorns and all sorts of peaceful shit. And you're offering me the chance to go there. And stay there. For Eternity. Not only no, but fuck no.

Thirdly, why wouldn't I want to go to Hell? You don't actually know what *Hell* is, but you're doing your best to make it sound pretty bad. To me, it sounds like the land of all good rock bands, the badasses of history, big-titted whores and everything which is both sinful and good. Hell is arguably the one place where I can snort coke, get a blowjob and dual wield machine guns. At the same time. I might be at rock bottom, but at least I'll be having a good time.

Fourthly, if I'm going to Hell, then I'm certainly a terrible person. So why would Satan punish me if I'm a bad person? I'm one of his boys. We'll like, fistbump each other at the front gate and then go spitroast some chick together. It just doesn't make any sense that he'd be punishing his followers.

Clearly, you have all been blinded by your religious fanaticism. What you are saying about Hell makes no sense at all, and I wish you would stop propagating your venal lies to the children.







My kids are going to have an interesting upbringing.

- Yogi

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Re: The concept of hell - March 19th 2012, 03:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogi View Post
I would just like to point out some flaws in this argument.
I don't know who you are referencing, but you didn't really point out any flaws. You just gave your opinions, like everyone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogi View Post
Firstly, the big man Jeebus himself was a representative of God and all his shit in Heaven. So if it was Jeebus and his crew who were responsible for the Bible, then I'm failing to understand how any of you feel you have a good understanding of Hell. Frankly, that's outrageously biased and one-sided to be making judgments about Hell when all you have is a centuries old book written by the dudes who were Satan's sworn enemies. As far as I know, Satan hasn't put out his book, so don't be fucking judging him and his crib just yet, yeah?
If I understand this correctly, you are arguing assuming Satan is the leader of some sort, in Hell. Ironically, the Bible never teaches this. The Bible says that Satan will be tormented. Not that Satan is the tormentor. Satan also didn't create Hell. So, I'm not quite sure I follow your logic. Satan isn't said to have created anything.

It is also unreasonable to dismiss a book just because of its age. If we do this, we would have no understanding of any history, or Western philosophy, for that matter (since it originated in ancient Greece).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogi View Post
Secondly, who would actually want to go to Heaven? You're talking about a place where all I get is a bunch of bullshit rules, a population of goody-goods and religious zealots who haven't done an interesting thing in their life, and heaps of butterflies, unicorns and all sorts of peaceful shit. And you're offering me the chance to go there. And stay there. For Eternity. Not only no, but fuck no.
This is an opinion, not a flaw in an argument. Not to mention a misguided one at that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogi View Post
Thirdly, why wouldn't I want to go to Hell? You don't actually know what *Hell* is, but you're doing your best to make it sound pretty bad. To me, it sounds like the land of all good rock bands, the badasses of history, big-titted whores and everything which is both sinful and good. Hell is arguably the one place where I can snort coke, get a blowjob and dual wield machine guns. At the same time. I might be at rock bottom, but at least I'll be having a good time.
More opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogi View Post
Fourthly, if I'm going to Hell, then I'm certainly a terrible person. So why would Satan punish me if I'm a bad person? I'm one of his boys. We'll like, fistbump each other at the front gate and then go spitroast some chick together. It just doesn't make any sense that he'd be punishing his followers.
Satan doesn't punish anyone. He is punished.


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Re: The concept of hell - March 19th 2012, 03:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Up In The Clouds View Post
I know Gentiles can believe in Jesus. I was saying they're not under law.

Wait for it...

There is no capitalization in Hebrew!

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15984

Not all versions capitalize "He" in Isaiah.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible...1&t=RSV#vrsn/5
http://www.deepbiblestudy.net/2008/0...ew-scriptures/

Isaiah 53:10 in the Tanach says: And the Lord wished to crush him, He made him ill; if his soul makes itself restitution, he shall see children, he shall prolong his days, and God's purpose shall prosper in his hand.

Isaiah 52:1-12 tells Israel not to lose hope in God. The Assyrians were blaspheming their God. The author talks about God redeeming Jerusalem. Isaiah 52:13-15 talks about a servant (Israel) who is raised and exalted. Israel is called a servant other times in Isaiah. The author is speaking from the views of the Gentile kings seeing the deliverance of Israel. They are marveling at Israel. Isaiah 53:10 talks about God delivering and exalting his servant.

Isaiah 53 is one of the four servant songs in Isaiah. They talk about how God's servant suffers then is delivered. Isaiah 52 sets the stage for 53 to be about Israel from perspective of the gentile nations.

Isaiah 53:10 can't apply to Jesus because he had no offspring and died young. The word זֶרַע (zera) used for offspring refers only to physical offspring in other verses. Banim (בנים) is used for spiritual children.

Can I gently guide this thread back to hell?
Jewish scripture is clear that ALL humans have sinned. If they weren't under the law, them doing things wouldn't be wrong, so they couldn't have sinned. Yes I know that they have original sin too, but they have also sinned on their own.

I was pretty sure that there wasn't capitalization in Hebrew. I wasn't positive, that's why I said "or however they did it back then". And I don't care what "some versions" do, I only care what the original version did.

I need to go back and re-read Isaiah 52 and 53 before responding to the rest, because I don't want to tell you my thoughts based just on memory.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 19th 2012, 05:56 PM

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
Jewish scripture is clear that ALL humans have sinned. If they weren't under the law, them doing things wouldn't be wrong, so they couldn't have sinned. Yes I know that they have original sin too, but they have also sinned on their own.

I was pretty sure that there wasn't capitalization in Hebrew. I wasn't positive, that's why I said "or however they did it back then". And I don't care what "some versions" do, I only care what the original version did.

I need to go back and re-read Isaiah 52 and 53 before responding to the rest, because I don't want to tell you my thoughts based just on memory.
Original manuscripts have no capitalization, punctuation, etc. The Bible also clearly states that some Jewish people were sinless. I.E. John the Baptist parents (see Luke 1). They only had inherited sin from our human race. And Paul confirms in Romans 5 that there are those who had not willfully sinned, ever. There are a lot of examples of OT people who were blameless. It's modern theologians who say, "everyone willfully sins." So, they bow down to the Protestant theologians such as Calvin, Luther, and submit to their philosophies, traditions, and interpretations, rather than the Bible.


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Re: The concept of hell - March 19th 2012, 06:23 PM

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
Original manuscripts have no capitalization, punctuation, etc. The Bible also clearly states that some Jewish people were sinless. I.E. John the Baptist parents (see Luke 1). They only had inherited sin from our human race. And Paul confirms in Romans 5 that there are those who had not willfully sinned, ever. There are a lot of examples of OT people who were blameless. It's modern theologians who say, "everyone willfully sins." So, they bow down to the Protestant theologians such as Calvin, Luther, and submit to their philosophies, traditions, and interpretations, rather than the Bible.
I already agreed with you that there was no capitalization.

It doesn't say that they were sinless; it says that they were blameless. There is a difference. Like you said, even blameless people have sin, but it's inherited sin instead of sin that they committed on their own. I completely agree with you about that part. However, there definitely ARE gentiles (non-Jews) who have sinned on their own too (me being one of them). Most of us do, but you're right that there are those few people in history who haven't. That's very rare.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 20th 2012, 04:07 AM

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I already agreed with you that there was no capitalization.

It doesn't say that they were sinless; it says that they were blameless. There is a difference. Like you said, even blameless people have sin, but it's inherited sin instead of sin that they committed on their own. I completely agree with you about that part. However, there definitely ARE gentiles (non-Jews) who have sinned on their own too (me being one of them). Most of us do, but you're right that there are those few people in history who haven't. That's very rare.
Sinless, in the context of my writing, was being free from willful sins. Which is why I acknowledged they still contained inherited sin. As regards to those who haven't sin, I don't believe it is that rare. Especially in the times scriptures were written, I think there are evidences of people all throughout who had not sinned on their own. That's because of the Pharisaical attitude back then. Then, when they heard the Gospel, they were like, "What? We can sin and STILL go to Heaven? Let us sin all the more!" Which, Paul obviously rebuked.

Anyways, I'm withdrawing from this thread. I don't like debating about theology, especially being ignorant in such matters, and uncertain of their meanings. Not to mention this thread has drifted off.


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Re: The concept of hell - March 20th 2012, 04:33 AM

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I don't know who you are referencing, but you didn't really point out any flaws. You just gave your opinions, like everyone else.
As I so playfully tried to illustrate, your source is shit.

Imagine if all I knew of the United States came from a book written by a Taliban warlord who had never seen anything other than the inside of his own desert compound. He replaces all his logical descriptions with metaphors. Then he has it translated to English. Then to Dari. Then to Pashtun. Then to Dari and then back to English. Then he decides it's still lacking in Anti-American rhetoric, so he adds some more. Then I take said book, and I come to you. Then I, using this book as my only source, and with no other knowledge myself, begin to preach to you about the United States, how evil and twisted it is, and how everybody there lives a life of fear, slavery and torture. And if you don't follow my rules and do what I say, we will send you there for the rest of eternity.

This is why I hate it when I hear religious types preaching their bullshit, especially to young children. It fucks me off. You don't know anything about the concept of Hell. You don't know anything about the concept of how the world came about. All you have is a single, biased, ancient, poorly-written, agenda loaded non-academic source. Anybody who takes that and preaches to a young child as if it's fact should be ashamed of themselves.

That is all.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 20th 2012, 05:03 PM

I never claimed to know anything objectively, nor did I say I teach little kids. Second of all, your example is terribly flawed.

It doesnt even seem like you read my post. Or if you did, you don't see the logic behind my post, which was never meant to be taken factual or objectively, but as an interpretation. Which, is less valued than your own. You also don't seem to understand how things are interpreted, or the use of hermeneutics. Your post seems more of a emotional response than a refutation to anything.


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Re: The concept of hell - March 20th 2012, 05:16 PM

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
Sinless, in the context of my writing, was being free from willful sins. Which is why I acknowledged they still contained inherited sin. As regards to those who haven't sin, I don't believe it is that rare. Especially in the times scriptures were written, I think there are evidences of people all throughout who had not sinned on their own. That's because of the Pharisaical attitude back then. Then, when they heard the Gospel, they were like, "What? We can sin and STILL go to Heaven? Let us sin all the more!" Which, Paul obviously rebuked.

Anyways, I'm withdrawing from this thread. I don't like debating about theology, especially being ignorant in such matters, and uncertain of their meanings. Not to mention this thread has drifted off.
I can honestly say that I don't know a single person who hasn't sinned. I know they exist, but it can't be that common. But anyways, yeah, my point was simply that there are Gentiles who have sinned on their own too.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 20th 2012, 05:35 PM

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Originally Posted by Up In The Clouds View Post
Isaiah 53:10 in the Tanach says: And the Lord wished to crush him, He made him ill; if his soul makes itself restitution, he shall see children, he shall prolong his days, and God's purpose shall prosper in his hand.

Isaiah 52:1-12 tells Israel not to lose hope in God. The Assyrians were blaspheming their God. The author talks about God redeeming Jerusalem. Isaiah 52:13-15 talks about a servant (Israel) who is raised and exalted. Israel is called a servant other times in Isaiah. The author is speaking from the views of the Gentile kings seeing the deliverance of Israel. They are marveling at Israel. Isaiah 53:10 talks about God delivering and exalting his servant.

Isaiah 53 is one of the four servant songs in Isaiah. They talk about how God's servant suffers then is delivered. Isaiah 52 sets the stage for 53 to be about Israel from perspective of the gentile nations.

Isaiah 53:10 can't apply to Jesus because he had no offspring and died young. The word זֶרַע (zera) used for offspring refers only to physical offspring in other verses. Banim (בנים) is used for spiritual children.
Okay, I did some more research and I'm ready to reply to this. Also, I am using the most literal translation available in English, translated straight from Jewish scripture with only gramatical things changed so it would make sense to us. Also, please know that I'm not aimlessly trying to fight with you; I just want to show you how amazing Jesus is and what He did for us.

In Isaiah 52, verses 1-12 clearly are talking about Israel, I agree with you there. But, as far as I can tell, verses 13-15 aren't. In fact, 52:14 can't be talking about Israel, because it describes the servant as being like Israel.

Since the chapter numbers and verse numbers were added much later, Isaiah 53 continues straight on from Isaiah 52:15, which is clearly not talking about Israel as the servant since it compares the servant TO Israel.

Isaiah, who was an Israelite, wrote this. So, in 53:2 when it describes "our" reaction to "Him", how could "He" be Israel? We know that when Isaiah says "us", He is referring to Israel, so why would he be saying "our reaction to ourselves"?

53:3 says that "He" is a man, not a nation. I guess that could be symbolic though, which is probably what you think.

53:4 says that "He" took "our" burdens. Once again, an Israelite wrote this, so why would He write it like that if He meant "Israel took Israel's burdens"?

53:6 says that all of them had gone astray, but that the LORD caused all of their iniquities to fall on "Him". Again, if that meant Israel, why would it say "Israel sinned, but God caused Israel's sins to fall on Israel"? That doesn't make sense.

Same with 53:8, it says that "He" did that FOR "my people" (which was Israel). If "He" was referring to Israel, it would say "Israel did this for Israel", which makse no sense the way that Isaiah wrote it.

53:9 says that "He" had done no violence, and earlier in the chapter it says that Israel has done violence, so how could this be about them?

In 53:10, "zera" means "seed". It can mean "human seed", but it doesn't have to.

53:11 clearly says that God is still talking about the servant from 52:15 here, but I think you agree with that much anyways.

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Re: The concept of hell - March 20th 2012, 05:47 PM

Well, to weigh in here:

Regardless of who you are, if you're genuinely religious, you've won your ticket to heaven. However, for everyone else that's where the idea of good vs evil truly weighs in. If your soul is good, you can still make it to heaven, but repenting to God is simply a ticket out, as his son, Jesus Christ died to save the Christians. However on a personal level, I believe that all Gods are the same God, and humans are the ones who created the differences. So in reality all religious people have their get out of jail free card.

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Re: The concept of hell - March 24th 2012, 08:31 AM

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Okay, I did some more research and I'm ready to reply to this. Also, I am using the most literal translation available in English, translated straight from Jewish scripture with only gramatical things changed so it would make sense to us. Also, please know that I'm not aimlessly trying to fight with you; I just want to show you how amazing Jesus is and what He did for us.
I’m not going to believe in Jesus and he didn’t do anything for me.

If you saw Isaiah 53 as being about Israel none of the tenants of your faith would be destroyed. Jesus would still be God and would still have died on the cross for you. This one passage being about Israel would not destroy Christianity. All I’m saying is you don’t need this to prove Christianity.

Did you by any chance read Jewish interpretations or research on Christian apologetic websites? Did you use the Tanakh or the Old Testament? Which translation was it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
In Isaiah 52, verses 1-12 clearly are talking about Israel, I agree with you there. But, as far as I can tell, verses 13-15 aren't. In fact, 52:14 can't be talking about Israel, because it describes the servant as being like Israel.
All the chapters previous to Isaiah 53 are about Israel. I’m confused about what you read from the text in Isa 52:14 to think the servant is being compared to Israel. Isaiah 52:13-15, is about a servant who will be raised up and highly exalted. Can you explain what you mean?

Why would Isaiah suddenly just start talking about the coming messiah if all the previous chapters were talking about Israel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
Since the chapter numbers and verse numbers were added much later, Isaiah 53 continues straight on from Isaiah 52:15, which is clearly not talking about Israel as the servant since it compares the servant TO Israel.
I’m sorry; I have no clue what you’re talking about. How is the servant compared to Israel exactly? I’ve read it again and again and all I see is verses about a servant raised up. Pease clarify this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
Isaiah, who was an Israelite, wrote this. So, in 53:2 when it describes "our" reaction to "Him", how could "He" be Israel? We know that when Isaiah says "us", He is referring to Israel, so why would he be saying "our reaction to ourselves"?
The Jewish people are referred to singularly throughout the bible. Isaiah 53:1 starts talking from perspective of the Gentile kings marveling at Israel. It continues this way until Isa 53:11.

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
53:3 says that "He" is a man, not a nation. I guess that could be symbolic though, which is probably what you think.
The Jewish people are one. They are referred to as one throughout the bible. In Exodus 20:1-14, they are addressed as one, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
53:4 says that "He" took "our" burdens. Once again, an Israelite wrote this, so why would He write it like that if He meant "Israel took Israel's burdens"?

53:6 says that all of them had gone astray, but that the LORD caused all of their iniquities to fall on "Him". Again, if that meant Israel, why would it say "Israel sinned, but God caused Israel's sins to fall on Israel"? That doesn't make sense.

Same with 53:8, it says that "He" did that FOR "my people" (which was Israel). If "He" was referring to Israel, it would say "Israel did this for Israel", which makse no sense the way that Isaiah wrote it.
Isaiah 53 is from perspective of the Gentile kings marveling at Israel. Isaiah speaks from perspective of the gentile kings and nations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
53:9 says that "He" had done no violence, and earlier in the chapter it says that Israel has done violence, so how could this be about them?
Where exactly does it say he committed violence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
In 53:10, "zera" means "seed". It can mean "human seed", but it doesn't have to.
When zera is used in Genesis it refers to physical offspring. As in Genesis 12:7, 15:2-4, and 15:13.

What sites are you researching on? Or are you just reading the text straight?

This is what I have been using, as well as reading the text.

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/index....=48&Itemid=500

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_...Chapter-53.htm

http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/Isaiah_53_...g_Servant.html

http://godlesshaven.com/articles/isaiah53.html

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...53&version=ERV (looking at the different translations)

Of Mike and Men: Sorry I haven't responded yet. It's been a busy week.

EDIT: Perhaps if we want to discuss Isaiah we should create a new thread?


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Re: The concept of hell - March 24th 2012, 06:43 PM

Up in the clouds, no problem, I understand. I don't like debating scripture, anyways.


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Re: The concept of hell - March 25th 2012, 01:55 PM

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Originally Posted by Up In The Clouds View Post

I’m not going to believe in Jesus and he didn’t do anything for me.

If you saw Isaiah 53 as being about Israel none of the tenants of your faith would be destroyed. Jesus would still be God and would still have died on the cross for you. This one passage being about Israel would not destroy Christianity. All I’m saying is you don’t need this to prove Christianity.

Did you by any chance read Jewish interpretations or research on Christian apologetic websites? Did you use the Tanakh or the Old Testament? Which translation was it?



All the chapters previous to Isaiah 53 are about Israel. I’m confused about what you read from the text in Isa 52:14 to think the servant is being compared to Israel. Isaiah 52:13-15, is about a servant who will be raised up and highly exalted. Can you explain what you mean?

Why would Isaiah suddenly just start talking about the coming messiah if all the previous chapters were talking about Israel?



I’m sorry; I have no clue what you’re talking about. How is the servant compared to Israel exactly? I’ve read it again and again and all I see is verses about a servant raised up. Pease clarify this.



The Jewish people are referred to singularly throughout the bible. Isaiah 53:1 starts talking from perspective of the Gentile kings marveling at Israel. It continues this way until Isa 53:11.


The Jewish people are one. They are referred to as one throughout the bible. In Exodus 20:1-14, they are addressed as one, for example.



Isaiah 53 is from perspective of the Gentile kings marveling at Israel. Isaiah speaks from perspective of the gentile kings and nations.



Where exactly does it say he committed violence?



When zera is used in Genesis it refers to physical offspring. As in Genesis 12:7, 15:2-4, and 15:13.

What sites are you researching on? Or are you just reading the text straight?

This is what I have been using, as well as reading the text.

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/index....=48&Itemid=500

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_...Chapter-53.htm

http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/Isaiah_53_...g_Servant.html

http://godlesshaven.com/articles/isaiah53.html

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...53&version=ERV (looking at the different translations)

Of Mike and Men: Sorry I haven't responded yet. It's been a busy week.

EDIT: Perhaps if we want to discuss Isaiah we should create a new thread?
I know that none of my faith would be destroyed if Isaiah 53 was about Israel, but that doesn't mean that I'm just going to agree with you that it is when I don't believe at all that it is.

I didn't get my information from any teaching or website. I just prayed for disernment and then read Isaiah 52 and 53. I read it from the Old Testament, but the bible translation that I use translates straight from original Jewish scripture originally written by the prophets as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls. And when there is any word that could have more than one meaning, it mentions all possible meanings. The only thing that they changed in my translation from the original scrolls are gramatical things, simply so it would be readable.

The servant is compared to Israel in Isaiah 52:14 when it says "Just as many were astonished at you, My people (which we know is Israel), So His appearance was marred more than any man". It says that just like many were astonished at Israel, many people are astnished at the servant. If the servant was Israel, why would it be written that way? If the servant was Israel, that would be saying "Just like many people were astonished at Israel, many people were astonished at Israel." That makes no sense.

As far as why Isaiah would start talking about the Messiah when he was previously talking about Israel, I'm pretty sure it's to say that the Messiah was going to save Israel (save their souls, that is). You yourself even admitted that some other parts of Isaiah (such as Isaiah 11:2) are about the Messiah.

You said that Isaiah 53 is from the perspective of gentile kings speaking TO Israel. I'm not saying for sure that you're wrong, but I don't really understand how that could be, because Isaiah 52:14 says "you, my people"...meaning that whoever is talking belongs to the group of people that he is talking to. Unless that verse is God talking, but it doesn't indicate anywhere that God was going to start talking.

You asked where it says that he committed violence. It says in 53:5 that Israel sinned, plus there are several cases throughout the old testament where people of Israel specifically did violent acts, murder, and war. And in Isaiah 53:9, it says that the servant hasn't done those things.

I know that zera refers to a human seed in many other places, but that's not the only definition of it and it doesn't always have to mean that.

And feel free to make a separate thread for this if you'd like. I don't really know how much I would be able to add to it though, because I've already said everything here.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 25th 2012, 02:50 PM

Religion is so much based on fear. I consider myself a Christian simply because I believe in the Christian God. But I don't agree with the religion that Christians preach. I don't like their religion because they make it about so many other things rather than just believing in God. I don't like the idea of basing the entirety of my beliefs on a book that was written thousands of years ago. I don't believe the bible is a piece of junk, but I don't think it's infallible.

I'm not entirely sure what my views are on Hell. It seems kind of hypocritical. Jesus taught us to forgive everyone who has wronged us, yet He only forgives those who believe for their sins? I don't really want to believe that. I've gone as far as researching other religion's view of Hell, and the closest one to my own beliefs is Mormonism.

Mormons believe that those who do not repent for their sins will go to a temporary Hell, but will be given a chance to repent after dwelling there for a period of time. If they choose to repent then, they will be rewarded for the good they did in life, but will not be able to enjoy the glory of being with God, as they did not believe in Him. However, the truly wicked and those who do not wish to repent will be sent to an eternal Hell where they will always suffer.

I think that this is much more fair and makes more sense than the Christian views. Everyone gets an equal chance regardless of their beliefs, and only those who deserve to be punished will spend eternity in hell. God doesn't want us to suffer, and He'll do everything he can to make sure we don't. He will always forgive and reward us for the good we did in our lives. I like this belief because no life goes to waste, and there is more to life than believing; you also must be a good person.

I just want to say that honestly a lot of Christian views disgust me. You might not like Christianity. That's fine, and I understand, probably because I'm not 100% Christian myself. But not all religion is corrupt. I have a hard time believing that myself sometimes, but I know that there are a lot of religions out there that teach about the good of people and not just the bad.





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Re: The concept of hell - March 26th 2012, 12:34 AM

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
I know that none of my faith would be destroyed if Isaiah 53 was about Israel, but that doesn't mean that I'm just going to agree with you that it is when I don't believe at all that it is.

I didn't get my information from any teaching or website. I just prayed for discernment and then read Isaiah 52 and 53. I read it from the Old Testament, but the bible translation that I use translates straight from original Jewish scripture originally written by the prophets as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls. And when there is any word that could have more than one meaning, it mentions all possible meanings. The only things they changed in my translation from the original scrolls are grammatical things, simply so it would be readable.
Just straight up tell me what translation you’re using. King James? Young’s Literal? Why is it a secret? How does praying now constitute as research? Old Testament version usually put a Christian spin on it to make it look like it prophecies Jesus. Is “Jehovah” used? Is “he” when referring to the servant capitalized? Those are signs of a Christian spin right there. Is that where you got the idea of the Hebrew being capitalized in the original scripture because you believe your bible translated directly and it capitalized He? Have you looked at Hebrew concordance, the Tanakh, or other translations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
The servant is compared to Israel in Isaiah 52:14 when it says "Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man". It says that just like many were astonished at Israel, many people are astonished at the servant. If the servant was Israel, why would it be written that way? If the servant was Israel, that would be saying "Just like many people were astonished at Israel, many people were astonished at Israel." That makes no sense.
Can I guess you’re using the New American Standard bible? It has the exact same translation as you wrote of Isa 52:14 and “he” and “his” are capitalized. The Christian spin is showing. It is Christian after all. That translation really does fail to make sense. Can we look at another translation of the verse? Awake, Megan! Rouse thyself and check out these websites!

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_...Chapter-52.htm

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible...&t=HNV#vrsn/14

In Isa 52:13, the servant is lifted up and exalted. Isa 52:14 speaks about how the servant suffered and others were amazed at him. In Isaiah 52:15 the Gentile Kings shut their mouths. I believe the word king is even used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
As far as why Isaiah would start talking about the Messiah when he was previously talking about Israel, I'm pretty sure it's to say that the Messiah was going to save Israel (save their souls, that is). You yourself even admitted that some other parts of Isaiah (such as Isaiah 11:2) are about the Messiah.
I think you were the one who said this. Isaiah used to have no chapter divisions. There were no subtitles or chapters, it was just flowing. We can’t think of Isaiah 53 as a new subject. It flows from the previous chapter where Israel is the servant, as in Isa 41:8, 44:21, 45:4, and 49:3. All of those verses identify Israel as the servant. Care to say anything about that? You even said Isaiah 52 is speaking about Israel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
You said that Isaiah 53 is from the perspective of gentile kings speaking TO Israel. I'm not saying for sure that you're wrong, but I don't really understand how that could be, because Isaiah 52:14 says "you, my people"...meaning that whoever is talking belongs to the group of people that he is talking to. Unless that verse is God talking, but it doesn't indicate anywhere that God was going to start talking.
Isaiah 53 changes to Isaiah speaking through perspective of the Gentile kings marveling at Israel. It’s not only me who thinks this. I didn’t just make this up.
Note the “our” in Isaiah 53:1. The Gentile kings are seeing Israel raised up by God. I don’t know how I can show this to you anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
You asked where it says that he committed violence. It says in 53:5 that Israel sinned, plus there are several cases throughout the old testament where people of Israel specifically did violent acts, murder, and war. And in Isaiah 53:9, it says that the servant hasn't done those things.
Isaiah 53:9 says Israel was innocent and not deserving for its suffering from the gentiles.

The people Jesus was crucified with may not have even been wicked. Perhaps they opposed Rome, like Jesus. Are robbers really wicked people anyway?

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/index....ant&Itemid=500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
I know that zera refers to a human seed in many other places, but that's not the only definition of it and it doesn't always have to mean that.
Please find in instance where zera is used to refer to spiritual children. It refers to physical children and plants quite a lot, but I have trouble finding a reference to spiritual children.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/...3&t=KJV&page=1

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Originally Posted by Megan1 View Post
And feel free to make a separate thread for this if you'd like. I don't really know how much I would be able to add to it though, because I've already said everything here.
What you said could have been cleared up by reading a different version of the Old Testament, the Tanakh, or reading interpretations of Isaiah about Israel.

I don't feel more convinced to convert to Christianity, but I kind of feel convinced to convert to Judaism. You worked a little in turning me to God.
   
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Re: The concept of hell - March 26th 2012, 06:44 PM

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Originally Posted by Up In The Clouds View Post

Just straight up tell me what translation you’re using. King James? Young’s Literal? Why is it a secret? How does praying now constitute as research? Old Testament version usually put a Christian spin on it to make it look like it prophecies Jesus. Is “Jehovah” used? Is “he” when referring to the servant capitalized? Those are signs of a Christian spin right there. Is that where you got the idea of the Hebrew being capitalized in the original scripture because you believe your bible translated directly and it capitalized He? Have you looked at Hebrew concordance, the Tanakh, or other translations?



Can I guess you’re using the New American Standard bible? It has the exact same translation as you wrote of Isa 52:14 and “he” and “his” are capitalized. The Christian spin is showing. It is Christian after all. That translation really does fail to make sense. Can we look at another translation of the verse? Awake, Megan! Rouse thyself and check out these websites!

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_...Chapter-52.htm

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible...&t=HNV#vrsn/14

In Isa 52:13, the servant is lifted up and exalted. Isa 52:14 speaks about how the servant suffered and others were amazed at him. In Isaiah 52:15 the Gentile Kings shut their mouths. I believe the word king is even used.



I think you were the one who said this. Isaiah used to have no chapter divisions. There were no subtitles or chapters, it was just flowing. We can’t think of Isaiah 53 as a new subject. It flows from the previous chapter where Israel is the servant, as in Isa 41:8, 44:21, 45:4, and 49:3. All of those verses identify Israel as the servant. Care to say anything about that? You even said Isaiah 52 is speaking about Israel.



Isaiah 53 changes to Isaiah speaking through perspective of the Gentile kings marveling at Israel. It’s not only me who thinks this. I didn’t just make this up.
Note the “our” in Isaiah 53:1. The Gentile kings are seeing Israel raised up by God. I don’t know how I can show this to you anymore.



Isaiah 53:9 says Israel was innocent and not deserving for its suffering from the gentiles.

The people Jesus was crucified with may not have even been wicked. Perhaps they opposed Rome, like Jesus. Are robbers really wicked people anyway?

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/index....ant&Itemid=500



Please find in instance where zera is used to refer to spiritual children. It refers to physical children and plants quite a lot, but I have trouble finding a reference to spiritual children.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/...3&t=KJV&page=1



What you said could have been cleared up by reading a different version of the Old Testament, the Tanakh, or reading interpretations of Isaiah about Israel.

I don't feel more convinced to convert to Christianity, but I kind of feel convinced to convert to Judaism. You worked a little in turning me to God.
I really want to stop talking about this now, because you already know what I believe, so it's going to do no good to argue about the details. I'm going to reply to this one first so I'm not just ignoring your questions, but after this I'm going to be done. You can private message me if you have any serious questions.

I didn't mean for it to be a secret. I use the New American Standard Bible. I have read a few other translations since I've been a Christian (NIV and NLT mostly), but now I mainly only read NASB because it is translated accurately as much as possible. I understand you wanting me to read original Jewish scriptures, but I don't understand you wanting me to read other bible translations...other translations are just edited by random people and not based on what was originally said. In the NASB, it does not mention "God" or "Jehova" when talking about the servant in Isaiah 52 and 53. Like I said, the NASB doesn't add or change anything. It does capitalize "He", since there wasn't capitalization back then and that's something they'd have to guess. But even without the capitalization of "He", my beliefs on those chapters are still the same. There is a page at the beginning of the NASB to warn you that they had to assume some things when it came to gramatical things since that wasn't something that could just be translated straight.

You're right that there was no chapter divisions. I believe that it starts talking about the Messiah in 52:13 and then continues the whole way through at least the end of 53.

As far as 52:13-15: There is no doubt that this is being written TO Israel (reguardless of who is writting it). So when it says "you", it is referring to Israel. So if the servant was Israel, verse 14 would say "Just as many were astonished at Israel, Israel's appearance was also marred more than any man". How does that make sense?

In the bible and Jewish scriptures, zera might not be used to mean spiritual children anywhere else. I never said it was. I just said that the actual definition of zera can be used that way and it still fits perfectly. The definition of zera is just "seed", which could be used in more than one way. Plus, even if Isaiah did use that to mean a literal human seed, it could be symbolic. I don't really think that though, it's just a possibility.

The point is that the other people who Jesus was killed with had actually done something wrong to be killed. Jesus didn't.
   
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