What picture comes to your mind when you hear the word "HELL"?
The most common thought would be of an ever-burning furnace where evil men are tortured and scorched with everlasting heat!
As scary as it may seem, you might have overlooked the story or history behind that word.
What is Hell?
Let's take a look at the brief history of the word hell. The word hell in greek is called gehenna, which was derived from the Hebrew expression ge hinnom. In ancient Jerusalem, ge hinnom was a referral to the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, which was used as a place to dump trash and dead bodies of condemned criminals. Fires were kept burning to consume all that was dumped in it.
Now, as if ge hinnom was not enough. You'll find out that there are 2 more Greek words and 1 Hebrew word where the word "hell" was translated from.
Which hell are we talking about?
The next time we hear this, before you get that scary thought, you'll soon be able to ask first which hell is being mentioned. The other 3 words where the word "hell" was derived was mostly used in the bible.
Sheol - This one is a Hebrew word. This word occurs 65 times in the Old Testament, and is translated 31 times as "grave," another 31 times as "hell" and three times as "pit." The New International Version of the Bible always translates sheol as "grave"-never as "hell." The word sheol simply means a "pit" or a "grave." Take note this one denotes underground or ground as where all who dies is put to rest.
Hades - This one is a Greek word and is commonly known in Greek mythology. However to put it in plain use, this actually is just an equivalent term of the Hebrew word sheol which means grave or pit.
Tartarus - This is a Greek word that is a not commonly used word and denotes a condition and not necessarily a known place. In the bible this word was only used in this part of the book 2 Peter 2:4. The meaning is used for the condition of fallen angels that were to be reserved for judgement at a future time. In other words a confinement for fallen angles.
Now that was something! So the next time you hear that word again, you will know what kind of hell it may be. Not too scary stuff right?
You might wonder where the fire came from? Obviously it's from the term ge hinnom.
But still it really is not a place where bad people are aware being tortured and scorched continually.
Now you know!