Apologetics - Universal Reconciliation > Word Studies

A Quick Look at "Hell" in the King James II

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Lazarus Short:
Well, all the word studies and word interest here got me to thinking.  Given all the hoopla about "hell" here at Tentmaker, and how it is so connected with the KJV, I got to wondering how my King James II fared.  This version is not too well known, so a few words about it:  The KJV II was produced by Jay P. Green, who you may have heard about (especially) if you're a Baptist, and some other people.  They ran (so they claim) ALL of the Biblical manuscripts, ALL the schools of manuscripts, ALL of it through a supercomputer, with the KJV somehow factored in.  Their main bias was to modernize the language from "99%" modern to "100%" modern.  They claim to have done thousands of computer runs, with the same result.  That's what I recall from the intro, and I don't recall how a stack of different manuscripts produced, by computer, an updated KJV.  Of course, this just fuels the KJV super-loyalists, but that's grist for another thread.

I decided to see how the KJV II translated "hell."  It was easy - look up "hell" in Strong's, check the references in the KJV II, and see what's there.  If "hell" was a mistranslation, maybe the supercomputer corrected it.  Ya think?!   Here's what I found:

Strong's has 54 mentions of "hell."

The KJV II translates it thus -

as "hell" or "Hell" 49 times

as "Hades" 3 times

as "Hell-Fire" 2 times

I could have gone on to other "hell"-related words, but what would be the use?  It looks like "hell" has been tweaked through some kind of bias.  Perhaps the "supercomputer" had some doctrinal programming not mentioned in the preface/intro.  I can't help but think about what Robert Heinlein said about giving a text a new coat of paint and filing off the serial numbers.  I was disappointed by the recent "Geneva" Bible, which had modern, not Reformation, notes, and now my initial enthusiasm for the KJV II has just been tempered.  Maybe the worth of a translation lies partly in the difficulty in finding a copy... :sigh:

BTW - I did find this:  "Hell" is not mentioned in the gospel of John - not once!

Strongs only mentions hell because the KJV does and Strong's is based on the KJV not the other way around. "Hell" was never mentioned in any manuscript before the KJV because it is an English word taken from Norse mythology (the English were made up of Danes and Jutes(Vikings) and Angles and had absorbed much of their language and mythology).

IMO, Hell was an invention with no root in the scriptures at all.


How Sheol Became Hell

Sheol                >Hades       >Inferno         >Hell
Hebrew            >Greek        >Latin             >English
Paleo-Hebrew*>Septuagint>Latin Vulgate>KJV


Hades came from the Greeks and was primarily a place of darkness. The word morphed from "Haides" which was originally Aionis and Aides (from aidos meaning "unseen"). Tartarus was below Hades and was a special prison for titans and involved torment.

The similarities are striking enough to make you wonder if these mythologies(egyptain, greek, roman) did not originate from stories passed down through the ages from the children of Noah re-called from pre-flood times(notably Gen 6).

Inferno came from the Romans and incorporated the idea of flames and torment. It was ruled by Pluto who was also god of time and earth and wealth. Dante took "inferno" and popularized the idea of the devil tormenting souls in worse and worse ways as you went lower and lower into it.

 Hel came from the Norsemen, it was ruled by a female god Hela and was the place for the departed dead who were not warrior heroes, who went to Valhalla. "Go to Hel" was a Norse curse meaning, DIE

The English (KJV)took all three and rolled them up into one and translated Sheol (which originally meant "the unknown"and came to mean "the grave" among the Hebrews) into Hell, bringing with it all the mythological baggage of Hades, Inferno and Hel.

Hades (play /ˈheɪdiːz/; from Greek ᾍδης (older form Ἀϝίδης), Hadēs, originally Ἅιδης, Haidēs or Άΐδης, Aidēs (Doric Ἀΐδας Aidas), meaning "the unseen"[1]) was the ancient Greek god of the underworld. Thayer

Lazarus Short:
Thanks for that!  Your answer is well informed, and I think the shine is off the KJV II.  :sigh:

Am I wrong to want to see a UR translation? I don't think so :o)

BTW Laz, I could be mistaken but I don't recall a single instance of Paul mentioning hell in any of his letters.
I have to agree with the first thing that got me started toward UR was, "IF hell is an important doctrine (and it would be of prime importance if it were true) why don't Paul or John or the old testament mention it as a doctrine at all?"
I mean if Paul tells the other Apostles to make sure the new gentile believers don't eat strangled meat, it doesn't make sense that he wouldn't mention SOMETHING about hell. Many of the new gentile believers had no idea of the doctrines of judaism or christianity other than trusting in christ to save them.
"doctrine"- something a group believes, that is important to the group. (Jeffs dictionary -for those that like to correct me)


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