Author Topic: Aslan and Jesus, Gehenna and hell  (Read 558 times)

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Average_Bear

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Aslan and Jesus, Gehenna and hell
« on: January 16, 2008, 12:56:19 AM »
Blessings to all,
I just published an article challenging some traditional Christian doctrines such as immortal soul, hell, age of accountability, and free will.
You can see it at:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/1019161/Where-the-Hell-is-Hell
Comments are welcome
Here's an excerpt:
It's true that Jesus used Gehenna as a metaphor, but the questions is, a metaphor for what?  The idea of using a metaphor is that it should have several features in common with what you are trying to represent and your listeners or readers should be familiar with it. You may have read the C.S. Lewis classic work, The Chronicles of Narnia. In the story,  the lion Aslan is a metaphor for Christ. He has several things in common with Jesus:
Aslan                                       Jesus
is a Lion                                 is called the Lion of Judah
is King                                          is King
gave his life to save the Sons of Adam          gave his life to save the Sons of Adam
died on the stone table                      died on the cross
rose from the dead                        rose from the dead

Now let's try this little exercise with Gehenna and hell:
Gehenna                                 hell
visible, on earth                  invisible, location unknown
known to Jesus' audience         unknown to Jesus' audience
dead criminals thrown there         live sinners thrown there
dead bodies destroyed               live bodies and souls preserved
no torment                        torment
unquenchable fire               eternal fire
undying worms                       animal life in hell unknown
filthy, unclean                           sanitary conditions in hell unknown

Does Gehenna have anything in common with the Christian idea of hell? The only things that Gehenna and hell share are fire and judgment, and even these are not the same. The fire of Gehenna consumed everything whereas the fire in hell consumes nothing. The judgment of Gehenna was a human judgment and was temporal. The judgment of hell is divine and perpetual. Another important difference is that in previous centuries, it was disobedient Jews, following the false gods of the heathen, who burned their own children in fire. This is something that "never entered the mind" of the Lord. (Jer. 7:31) Whereas, in hell, according to modern Christian theology, it is God himself who tortures his own children, not for short time, but for eternity. Thus, if Jesus was giving us a metaphor for hell, it wasn't a very good one. And how could he use a metaphor for something his listeners had never heard of?  As I pointed out before, the Jews had no concept of eternal torment in hell. If this is new teaching, Jesus would have described and named this terrible place before using any metaphors. Unlike heaven, Jerusalem, and the Nile River, hell has no name in the Bible. 

jabcat

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Re: Aslan and Jesus, Gehenna and hell
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2008, 08:40:44 AM »
I like that, and it makes a lot of sense.  I've seen some similar comparisons, but not quite a side by side like this one...
Thus, if Jesus was giving us a metaphor for hell, it wasn't a very good one. And how could he use a metaphor for something his listeners had never heard of?  As I pointed out before, the Jews had no concept of eternal torment in hell. If this is new teaching, Jesus would have described and named this terrible place before using any metaphors. Unlike heaven, Jerusalem, and the Nile River, hell has no name in the Bible. 
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I've had this discussion before with someone who stated something along the lines of "if Jesus was using an example, it was of real things that could/would happen", i.e., eternal hellfire...I think your points make a lot more sense, that Jesus would seem more probably to use pictures/analogies of things that were present/understood in their day...