Why do most bible translations not have the word Hell in them?

Bible Translations
Old Testament
New Testament

“Authorized” King James Version

New King James Version

American Standard Version

New American Standard Bible

Revised Standard Version

New Revised…

There are alot of reasons why the word “Hell” doesn’t show up in several bibles today. Why? Because the word “Hell” was just used to replace the words Sheol or Hades which was originally used to interpret hell but not the hell used today. If you read in the book of Job, when Satan was testing Job’s faith in God, Job asked God to send him to Sheol (or Hell in most biblical translations today). Now when you ask the average person what they think hell is, They would probably say somewhere people go when they don’t do good, or only do bad, or when they don’t find Jesus, etc. And if you ask them what happens in this hell, I bet money they’ll say that those people will be tormented or will burn forever in a pit of fire. Job was a very smart person and knew very well what was in the bible when it was written. If Hell was such a place, then why would Job ask God to send him there? God is a loving god (as stated in the bible). If God was a loving God, do you think he’d really let bad people go to Hell? Alot of bibles also don’t use the word Hell because they are starting to realize that it contradicts what the bible really says about hell (or Sheol/Hades). I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and IT WOULD BE MY PLEASURE TO ANSWER ANY RELIGOUS QUESTIONS THAT YOU HAVE (and any other question if you’d like).

Excellent research.

Concerning the use of “hell” to translate the original words (Hebrew she´ohl´ and the Greek hai´des) from the Hebrew and Greek, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (1981, Vol. 2, p. 187) says:

“HADES . . . It corresponds to ‘Sheol’ in the O.T. [Old Testament]. In the A.V. of the O.T. [Old Testament] and N.T. [New Testament], it has been UNHAPPILY RENDERED ‘Hell.’”

Collier’s Encyclopedia (1986, Vol. 12, p. 28) says concerning “Hell”:

“First it stands for the Hebrew Sheol of the Old Testament and the Greek Hades of the Septuagint and New Testament. Since Sheol in Old Testament times referred SIMPLY TO THE ABODE OF THE DEAD and suggested no moral distinctions, the word ‘hell,’ as understood today, IS NOT A HAPPY TRANSLTION.”

Why it is an unsatisfactory translation of these original Bible words is because of the way that the word “hell” is understood today. It is not a fiery place of torment. Rather, as Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, unabridged, under “Hell” says:

“fr[om] . . . helan to conceal.”

The word “hell” originally conveyed no thought of heat or torment but simply of a ‘covered over or concealed place.’ In the old English dialect the expression “helling potatoes” meant, not to roast them, but simply to place the potatoes in the ground or in a cellar.

A good scriptual example is found at Acts 2:27 in the KJV where it mentions Jesus as having been in “hell”:

“Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”

Clearly, Jesus was not in a fiery place of torment. Rather, this word means, as the KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon describes, “the realm of the dead; later use of this word: the grave, death.”

Hell is made up. I do not mean that in a cynical atheistic type rhetoric. The old testament never mentions Hell nor does the new testament, with the exclusion of II peter 2:4 where a place of “demon incarceration” is referenced. The notion of hell started as a scare tactic (much as it is today). As it became the world order, the Catholic church began encountering resistance to those who would not be converted from other religions, particularly the pagans of Denmark and England and the Muslims of Africa (especially Morroco as the Spanish moved south) and middle east. The church took from the writings of the Q’uran which references multiple times a place of suffering called “Jahannam”, a place for the souls of the condemned to be burned in a fiery ash. Sound familiar? In fact one reason they encountered such resistance with Islam is that they overlooked the second circle of hell in Q’uran known as “Zamhareer” which is a place for the souls of those who have accepted Allah and turned from his teachings.

Incorporating this new belief of a place of suffering for sinners, Christians became more adherent and more regularly attended mass. But there was one problem. In the Catholic belief system, if one does not pray for forgiveness of a sin before he or she dies, then he or she is condemned to hell. This belief did not last long as it inspired great fear amongst Christians, even more so than the Papacy likes people to be. So they came up with a another new idea…Purgatory. So that when you die, if you are not purified of your sin, you do not go to hell, you just wait to get into heaven. That calmed people’s nerves a little bit. There you have it, The creation of Hell.

From a Christian perspective it comes out of tradition built around the Hebrew word sheol and the Greek word hades. Both of these are places where the dead would go. Now, not everyone in ancient times believed in life after death, so there would be conjecture here, about whether sheol or hades would even exist and the scholars of those days could argue on both sides of the issue. ‘Hell’ as we think of it in terms of eternal fires and torture is not really a Hebrew notion. The greatest punishment one could suffer is absolute separation from God. Not being in God’s Presence would be seen as torture enough.
The word for hell most often associated in current Christian context comes from the Greek ‘Gehenna’ which is the name of the Jerusalem City Dump which sits at the base of the hill where it is believed Jesus was crucified. My assumption is that when Jesus was taken from the cross he quite literally passed by Gehenna to be buried. Gehenna was seen as a local site where there were fires burning 24/7. I can just hear the Roman soldiers jeering at many crucified at Golgotha saying after they had taken their last breath they would continue to live in the flames and the stench of the fires just down the hill. Likely these victims were already suffering from lungs filling with the stench.

Fascinating research. I checked on a couple of these translations online and saw they used the original Greek word Hades, the word grave or the term place of the dead. These are accurate translations of Hades as they are also translations of the Hebrew word Sheol.

I think it’s because the word “Hell” was merely the way *some* christians were trying to malign a perfectly respectable, gentle guardian Goddess of the dead, Lady Hel (face half in shadow, face half in light, she is especially protective of women and children who die in childbirth). My ancestors were notoriously difficult to convert, so they really went out of their way to demonize our faith – going so far as to mistranslate their own “sacred” texts!

I only say “sacred” the way I do because if they truly were sacred to the christians they would not have mistranslated the word “sheol” in the first place and they definitely would fix that now that it’s not necessary.

Oh, and no – it didn’t work. We still know that Hel is not a bad deity. She is misunderstood by many, just as her father and my own patron deity Lord Loki is horribly misunderstood.

it appears in my bible Mark 9:41-48

You study Bible good! Even your I.Q. must be over 200.

because hell is the common grave nothing more. in the bible you will see the word hades

it man world

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *