The Origin of Hell

Before you can really understand the doctrine of hell, you must first understand some things concerning God’s people (The Israelites) who were under captivity of the Egyptians for about 400 years. During this time, they were introduced to many of the pagan gods in Egyptian mythology. This is where the origin of the hell doctrine started.

In Egyptian mythology, Duat (pronounced “do-aht”) (also Tuat and Tuaut or Akert, Amenthes, Amenti, or Neter-khertet) is the realm of the dead. The Duat is the realm of the god Osiris and the residence of other gods and supernatural beings. It also was the place where people’s souls went after death for judgement, though that was not the full extent of the afterlife. The geography of Duat is similar in outline to the world the Egyptians knew. There are realistic features like rivers, islands, fields, lakes, mounds and caverns, along with fantastic lakes of fire, walls of iron and trees of turquoise. In the Book of Two Ways, one of the Coffin Texts, there is even a map-like image of the Duat. The dead person must pass a series of gates guarded by dangerous spirits, depicted as human bodies with grotesque heads of animals, insects, torches or knives. These beings have equally grotesque names, for instance “Blood-drinker who comes from the Slaughterhouse” or “One who eats the excrement of his hindquarters”. Other features emphasized in these texts are mounds and caverns, inhabited by gods or supernatural animals, which threatened the spirits of the dead. The purpose of the books is not to lay out geography, but to describe a succession of rites of passage which the dead would have to pass to reach the afterlife. If the deceased successfully passed these unpleasant demons, he or she would reach the Weighing of the Heart. In this ritual, the heart of the deceased was weighed by Anubis, using a feather, representing Ma’at, the goddess of truth and justice. The heart would become out of balance because of failure to follow Ma’at and any hearts heavier or lighter than her feather were rejected and eaten by the Ammit, the Devourer of Souls. Those souls that passed the test would be allowed to travel toward the paradise of Aaru.

In spite of the unpleasant inhabitants of the Duat, this was no hell to which souls were condemned; the nature of Duat is more complex than that. The grotesque spirits of the underworld were not evil, but under the control of the Gods. The Duat was also a residence of gods themselves; as well as Osiris, Anubis, Thoth, Horus, Hathor and Ma’at all appear as a dead soul makes its way toward judgement. It was also in the underworld that the sun, Ra, travelled under the Earth from west to east and was transformed from its aged Atum form into Khepri, the new dawning Sun. Just as a dead person faced many challenges in the Duat, Ra faced attack in the underworld from the evil serpent Apep.

It should be easy enough to see that all of this stuff you just read comes from ancient mythology. A myth is a false story otherwise known as a fable. None of this stuff is truth. It is no more true than the Loch Ness Monster of the Scottish Highlands. There were many other pagan beliefs that crept in to the minds of God’s people including man having an immortal soul, belief in reincarnation, and the afterlife. Many people today still believe these things that have their origin from ancient pagan belief systems. Over the centuries, new ideologies were formed to create this modern view of hell more specific, eternal punishment. The sad truth is that these pagan ideas have no origin in the holy scriptures. If you choose to continue believing this garbage, you are simply putting your faith in lies and the bible teaches us that the devil is the father of lies.

John 8:44 YE ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. WHEN HE SPEAKETH A LIE, HE SPEAKETH OF HIS OWN: FOR HE IS A LIAR, AND THE FATHER OF IT[So let me ask you this – who is your daddy?]

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, hell– is defined as the realm of the devil and the demons in which the damned suffer everlasting punishment; a place or state of misery, torment, or wickedness.

Does this definition not sound like some fabricated garbage similar to the beliefs of the Egyptians? Where do you think Merriam Webster got this definition from in the first place?

The word “hell” isn’t and never was a biblical word. The actual word “hell” never came out of the mouth of Jesus Christ. Hell was translated from the Hebrew word, “shĕ’owl” (31 times) and the Greek word(s) “hadēs” (10 times), “geenna” (12 times), and “tartaroō” (1 time). The King James Version is the only English translation in modern use to translate shĕ’owl, hadēs, geenna, and tartaroō as hell. This fact alone should tell you that something is just not right about this word.

If the King James translators made translation mistakes, how did this happen? The first thing that you need to understand is that the King James translators were not inspired of God in contrast to the men who penned the holy scriptures under divine inspiration of God. Many people believe that the King James bible is God’s perfect restoration of his word. What people fail to realize is that the King James translators made this admission in their own preface to the readers;

“No cause therefore why the word translated should be denied
to be the word, or forbidden to be current, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it.”

This is stated in the preface of the King James bible of 1611 but it is no longer included in many modern translations. Does this mean that we shouldn’t study the bible or trust God’s word? Absolutely not but it is important to consider these interesting facts regarding the history of the bible;

  • In 382, the first Latin translation was produced by St. Jerome and this translation was known as the Latin Vulgate.
  • The holy scriptures were translated in to many other languages, however, the Roman Catholic Church made it punishable by death to possess a non-Latin bible.
  • The Latin Vulgate was the primary and in many places the only version of the holy scriptures controlled by the Roman Catholic Church for nearly 1,000 years. (This period is known as the Dark Ages)
  • During the Protestant Reformation period, the first English translation of the holy scriptures was written by John Wycliffe around the year 1380.
  • The Wycliffe English bible was translated from Latin to English due to the fact that the original manuscripts were not available to John Wycliffe.
  • Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1450’s making it easier to make copies as opposed to hand written copies which were in limited supply.
  • Towards the end of the Dark Ages, the truth about the corrupt Roman Catholic church began to be exposed and the Latin Vulgate was considered by many to be inaccurate even to the point of taking away the gospel of Christ.
  • In 1537, John Rogers completed the English bible which was the first English bible translated from the original biblical languages of Hebrew & Greek.
  • The first English bible that was authorized for public use was the “Great Bible” published by Myles Cloverdale at the request of King Henry VIII.
  • Queen Mary I of England took the throne after King Henry’s death, and she made it her purpose to destroy the Reformation movement and to return England back to Roman Catholicism.
  • Fleeing persecution, a group of Reformers including John Calvin published the Geneva Bible in the 1560’s and this bible is commonly known to be the first bible taken to America.
  • The Roman Catholic church eventually had there own English translation (Douay–Rheims Bible) published fully in year 1610 directly from the Latin Vulgate which was known to be a corrupt translation.
  • The Geneva Bible was well accepted by the people, however, the marginal notes grossly criticized the Roman Catholic church for their heretical practices and the powers that be sought to have a less than controversial translation.
  • From 1605 to 1611, about 50 bible scholars used the the Tyndale New Testament, the Coverdale Bible, the Matthews Bible, the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible, and the Rheims New Testament to evetually publish the well known King James bible.
  • All bibles discussed so far included 80 books (66 old and new testament books + the 14 books of the Apocrypha) until the 1880’s when they were removed.
  • Today, there are hundreds of translations available and the most recognized translations in America remains to be the King James, the New American Standard Bible, and the New International Version.

In consideration of these facts, what can we learn about God’s plans? If the holy scriptures were locked in the Latin language for nearly a millennium, how does the doctrine of hell make any sense? With that said, the bible used during that time (the Latin Vulgate) was known to be corrupt and full of inaccuracies only to promote the power and business of the Roman Catholic church. How can a person’s eternal fate depend on a message that is false? If God is all knowing and all powerful, then we can surmise that God knew that this would happen to his word and he of course allowed it to happen. Many people do not understand the mysterious ways about God but I can assure that these actions did not occur against God’s will. My point in showing you these facts is to illustrate to you how the times have changed in regards to people seeking the truth in God’s word. During the time that the Roman Catholic church was in control, the primary way for people to hear God’s words was to hear it from a Catholic priest. There weren’t any pocket bibles or stores where you could just stop by and buy a copy. Of course there wasn’t any Internet so these people had no way of determining if God’s truth was actually being delivered. This stuff was serious business back then and in no way compared to the soft holier than thou Christians of today. People were executed by being burned at the stake for doing something as petty as having a non-Latin bible in their possession. Can you imagine being burned alive just for having a English pocket bible? Thank God we live in a time of relative peace but I believe that it is this peace that has created a spirit of stupor in this country.

The doctrine of hell is an evil doctrine that originated from pagan mythology, but the Roman Catholic church used it to put fear in to the minds of people only for control. It is documented that many Roman Catholic officials would charge fees for the forgiveness of sins and for the indulgence of certain sins. The people that lived during this time cannot be held responsible for being under that kind of spiritual tyranny. By understanding the history and the translations we have, we can learn a lot concerning the truth about this evil doctrine of hell. If we are to trust and believe that the bible is the word of God, we need to understand the differences in the translations. Since the doctrine of hell is believed by the whole Christian church, consider these differences in the usage of the word hell in these following translations;


Bible Version OT NT Total


Latin Vulgate 87 24 111


King James 31 23 54
1862 Young’s Literal Translation 0 0


1901 American Standard 0 13


1982 New King James 19 13


Who is right and how can we know? The truth is that the word hell is not necessarily a bad translated word. The actual word “hell” has German origin. If you study Teutonic mythology, which is the study of Germanic paganism, you will learn that the word “hell” orginated from the word “hel” which meant that which is hidden or out of sight. In ancient German culture, the common phrase, “they went to hel” meant that two people went to go hide. The Old Norse (an ancient Germanic language) word hel derives from the Proto-Germanic word haljō, which means “one who covers up or hides something”, which itself derives from Proto-Indo-European word kel-, meaning “conceal”. The cognate in English is the word hell, which is from the Old English forms hel and helle. In Norse mythology, Hel is a being that resides over a place of the same name Hel, where this being receives the dead.

It is the modern interpretation of the word hell that involves literal torture that is the primary problem. People have long been plagued with fear because of this terrible false doctrine that is deceiving millions but it is time for the truth to come forth. Even though I use to believe in hell, I find it strange that people continue to believe it even with overwhelming evidence that it is complete garbage. I think most people believe in hell because they really think it is God’s word. I also think that other people really like the idea of their enemies burning in real fire forever. Sadly for the most part, people just haven’t heard the truth and they’ve been brainwashed in to believing a counterfeit gospel.

Case in point: a common misconception that people spread about the teaching of hell is that Jesus talked more about hell than he did about heaven. Maybe you have even said this before not really knowing if in fact it is even true at all. Let’s fact check this common belief;

The word hell appears (54) times in the King James Version bible; 31 times in the Old Testament, and 23 in the New Testament. Of the 23 times hell is used in the New Testament, 16 times the usage was accounted to Christ. The words punishment, judgment, and damnation appear 42 times and many of these are also accounted to Christ. However, the majority of the accounts of these words are in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, & Luke) which all give accounts of some of the same messages. Irregardless of this fact, I will count all of these uses anyway. So we have a total of 58 uses of hell, damnation, punishment, and judgment. Would you believe that the words heaven, kingdom, kingdom of heaven, paradise, kingdom of God is used some 242 times with the majority of these references accounted to Christ? People are infatuated with this teaching of hell and eternal punishment. You see the numbers; believe what you will but I chose to believe the truth.

In Part 2, I will be explaining the meaning of the Hebrew word shĕ’owl and the Greek word hadēs.

Click the link to go to Part 2: The Meaning of Shĕ’owl & Hadēs

12 thoughts on “The Origin of Hell

    1. Jesus says that because that is the reaction that the Jews will have when they see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of God while they themselves are trust out. Jesus was condemning the evil self-righteous Jews with his words and the phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth” is never used to describe the reaction of any person going to some place called hell. You have to read the whole scripture and interpret all of the words instead of just picking out phrases to justify commonly accepted ideas of Christianity.


    1. The word “hell” is often used as hyperbole but it really has no correlation with the actual literal doctrine of a torturing fire burning hell. Whatever a person suffers through on earth it will eventually end at death. There is no end to the suffering and misery in the teaching of a literal hell.


    1. If by accurate you mean as closely to the original language as possible then I would say the Concordant Version. Go to to access the online versions for free but they do have purchase options. The King James Version is not a bad translation overall but by eliminating the words hell, eternal, and everlasting you will have solved the majority of that translations major errors. Most of the errors are of little consequence but hell and bible translators changing “age-abiding” to eternal/everlasting has severe consequences. Which translation do you prefer?


  1. So where would you say those who don’t accept Christ go then? The Bible tells us the only way to Heaven is through Christ, meaning if you don’t accept Christ you won’t go to Heaven. So what happens to those people?


    1. There are assumptions in your questions that I must first correct before I can properly answer your question. Firstly, going to “heaven” after death is a teaching based on Christian tradition but there is no scripture that says that anyone goes to “heaven” at death. Jesus said that NO MAN has ascended up to heaven except for him that came from heaven.

      Heaven is not a place it is a spiritual realm. A person can dwell in heaven now! The closer a person comes to the understanding and knowledge of the truth the closer they are to heaven which is the place of complete truth. There are levels of heaven but heaven is not a physical place somewhere in outer space. It is a place of spiritual understanding and knowledge.

      The second assumption is suggesting that a person can accept Christ with his own free will outside of any influence from God. Jesus said that NO MAN can come to him unless they be drawn by the Father. Many people are drawn to Christianity but not to Christ. Many people accept Christianity but deny Christ and this is why Christ says many will say to him in that day Lord Lord we prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and did many wonderful works and Christ will say depart from me you workers of LAWLESSNESS I never knew you. What group of people prophesizes in the name of Christ? Atheist, unbelievers, the wicked? No, Christians do these things. What group of people cast of demons in the name of Christ? Atheist, unbelievers, the wicked? No, Christians do these things. What group of people do many wonderful works in the name of Christ? Atheist, unbelievers, the wicked? No, Christians do these things. There will be MANY Christians that Jesus will tell to depart from him and that he never knew them. This idea that you must accept Christ is how the church has put the burden of salvation on the responsibility of the sinner but sinner cannot save themselves anymore than a baby can provide for themselves. There are many called but few chosen. There is an order to God’s salvation and it has nothing to do with people accepting Christ into their hearts whatever that means anyway.

      There is NO scripture that says the only way to “heaven” is through Christ. There are some scriptures that might seem to allude to that idea but those ideas are based on faulty Christian interpretation. Narrow is the way that leads to LIFE and only a few find it – there are many called and few chosen. Christ is talking about the reward of aionios life – or an extra age of life that the rest of the world doesn’t experience. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever so believes in him will not perish but will have aionios (age-abiding) life (not everlasting life). God is talking about not perishing into the coming age because it is clear that the righteous and unrighteous both perish (die).

      Those who are not chosen in this life will rise from the dead in the resurrection to judgment after the saints reign with Christ for the millennia but when God’s judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9). How is it that Christianity teaches that a person is saved?

      Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

      Okay, so you must confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus? How does a person come to do that?

      1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

      No one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit? That’s interesting but this proves that there must be Holy Spirit intervention and influence before a person can be lead to salvation.

      Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

      But before that we read;

      Philippians 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

      Do you know that the word “should” is not in the original Greek? The bible translators added the word should to make it seem as if there is room for doubt but there is no doubt because in Romans 14:11, it says every tongue shall confess to God. The Greek word “exomologeō” is the word translated as confess and it means to acknowledge openly and joyfully.

      Everyone will accept Christ in God’s timing when God judges the world in righteousness.


  2. Those who don’t accept Christ as their Savior and his death on the cross and the shedding of his blood and his subsequent reserection from the dead for the forgiveness of our sins and so that we shall have eternal life will certainly go to hell along with Satan and the rest of his fallen angels!


    1. Hello Diane and thanks for commenting. I have a question for you and the question is ,”How does one come to “accept” Christ as their Savior?” Show me one scripture that says that a person much “accept” Christ before they die to avoid going to some pagan hell? It is a commonly held theme within Christianity that a person can just “accept” Christ with their own free will but this theme is NOT supported by the scriptures in any way.

      John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

      The Father must draw (Greek – drag) a person to Christ before a person can come to or (accept) Christ as you claim and it is clear that the Father is not drawing everyone to Christ in this present age. Jesus says 12:32;

      If I be lifted up from the earth, I will DRAW all men (humanity) to Myself.

      Do you believe the words of Christ? What does it mean for Christ to be lifted up from the earth? The answer is in the very next verse in John 12:33;

      This he said, signifying what death he should die.

      So Christ will draw all of humanity to Himself if He is lifted up from the earth to die on the cross for the sins of the world. This is how the Father will draws all of humanity to Christ in His timing and not yours or the timing of Christianity. There is not a single scripture that says God’s salvation runs out or expires at persons death.

      Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

      What is judgment? According to you and the dogmas of Christianity, God’s judgment is barbecuing billions of people in real fire for all eternity but thanks be to God that the truth needs neither your approval nor the approval of your religion of men. This is what happens when God’s judgment is upon the earth;

      Isaiah 26:9 With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; For when Your judgments are in the earth, The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

      Do you understand this? When (not now but in some future time or age) God’s JUDGMENTS are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Who is left out of the inhabitants of the world? The truth of the mattes is that you don’t want God to save the whole world because you think you are special. Your “heaven” is something to be desired of your ilk because of the people you exclude from it. It is convenient for you or someone in your position to appoint themselves to the winning side of your own argument while having no issue damning billions of losers to some godless hell. You don’t know what you are talking about. You are a repeater of dogmas – a religious parrot. Do you know how many times I have heard your regurgitated claims spewed just on this site alone? Did you really think I was going to submit to your line of thinking when I’ve clearly addressed nearly all if not all of your run on sentence? You seemingly did not bother to read anything I’ve written on this site because you would know that the word “eternal” is not a scriptural word and hell is a terrible false doctrine perpetuated by the church to control people through fear. You haven’t accepted Christ, you have accepted Christianity and with it all of her heresies. The fact that you have embraced such heresies is proof that you have not accepted Christ nor can you.


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