I was kind'a fired up about a Hebrew New Testament. Then I saw a translation that had "hell" in it, and seemed to translate/interpret eternal torment. So that sort of took the wind out of my sails on that, and I still don't understand it. If a Hebrew translation is supposed to be more accurate, how can that be?
Ron, WW, anyone else that's delved into the Hebrew at all; comments/insight on that? I'm sure there can still be bias, pre-conceived ideas in how one translates even from the Hebrew?....
When I hear the term 'Hebrew New Testament' I think of those writings being written in Hebrew. But you say you saw the word 'hell' so you must be speaking of an English translation? Do you remember what it was?
Yes, there can still be preconceived ideas no matter what language you translate from. Sh'owl (Sheol) and especially Ga Hinum (Gehenna) are translated as hell, not because of what the word actually means etymologically, but because of a preconceived idea when one reads the text that causes them to choose that word, thinking it most accurately describes those words. It is not the Hebrew that is inaccurate, but the translation.
Sheol, in my translation, is 'asked for [place]'. This is based on the 2 letter marriage root Shin (teeth) and Lamed (staff). It conveys the action of pressing out (teeth) toward (staff).
It is related to several other words, one of which is Sha'al. This is the word which means 'ask', such as in making a request for something. To ask is a pressing out forwardly of something currently unknown, but which the one asking seeks to know. The answer would then be that which is pressed forward to be seen. Hope you can visualize that.
Forgetting what Sheol has come to mean over time, originally it was considered an unknown, or hidden place, to the Hebrew people. It is an asked for place for that reason, for a question is only asked with relation to the unknown, the only exception being when a question is used to teach, where the answer is already known by the asker. I am referring though, to the normal use of the word.
Because it is unknown there is a seeking, an asking, a pressing out and forward to find the answer to its unknowableness. That is one of the things people have demonstrated throughout history, a seeking to understand what happens after death. Thus the God given definition, defined by the letters themselves, give the definition, and shows how it relates to other words which share the same root, such as the simple word 'ask.'