Is LITERAL Hellfire Torment A Bible Teaching?


The teaching of literal hellfire torment is commonplace in Christendom and non-Christian religions. This teaching defames the Creator and portrays him as a sadist who tortures people in flames of fire for all eternity—as punishment for wrongdoing committed during the relatively brief human lifespan. The hellfire dogma was brought into Christianity by the Roman Catholics who copied it from pagan religions. (Pagans are those who do not worship the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.)

The Bible makes it clear as to how God views the ritual burning of people. Jehovah ended up rejecting the ancient Israelites after they got involved with pagan worship, which included burning their children to death.

“And they [the Israelites/sons of Judah] have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that HAD NOT COME UP INTO MY HEART.” (Jeremiah 7:31)

“{58} And they kept offending him with their high places, and with their graven images they kept inciting him to jealousy. {59} God heard and got to be furious, and he condemned Israel very much. {60} And he finally forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent in which he resided among earthling men.” (Psalms 78:58-60)

The scriptures indicate that hell is nothing more than mankind’s common grave. Proof of this is provided by a verse of scripture in the Bible, which no hellfire-believing Christian can explain away. I’m referring to the scripture that says Jesus Christ–the epitome of a perfect, sinless, and obedient man–died and went to hell.

“{21} In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely. {22} He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:21-22)

“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that HIS SOUL WAS NOT LEFT IN HELL, neither his flesh did see corruption.” (Acts 2:31–King James Version)

NOTE #1: The Bible uses the word “fire” symbolically to indicate cleansing OR permanent death OR permanent destruction. Literal death by burning, when used in the Bible, is never everlasting and is almost immediate. In other words, it takes the usual length of time that it normally takes a person to die in the world.

NOTE #2: the words “Hell” and “Hades” and “Sheol” and “Pit” are synonyms that mean THE GRAVE (of mankind).

NOTE #3: the words “Gehenna” and **“the Lake of Fire” **as used in the scriptures refers to permanent death from which there is no resurrection.

**1. Are there scriptures in the Bible to support the teaching of literal hellfire torment? If so, quote up to four (4) scriptures and include Bible book, chapter, and verse. Then bold or italicize or colorize the words within the quotations that you are focusing on, and explain why you believe the scriptures you present are talking about literal hellfire torment.

2.** According to Jeremiah 7:31, did Jehovah command the ancient Israelites to burn anyone in the fire?

3. According to Jeremiah 7:31, did the burning of people come to God’s heart?

4. According to those who believe in literal hellfire torment, hell is a place for people who are wicked. So why did Jesus spend three days in hell, considering what’s said at 1 Peter 2:22?

5. If hell is a place of literal torment, why is it that the word “hell” also means “Sheol” and “Hades” and “the grave”?

6. When people are being tortured in hellfire, wouldn’t they have to KNOW or be conscious/aware of the fact that they are being burned? I mean to say, what’s the point of punishing people in hell if they aren’t even aware?

7. Does the Bible teach that humans have an immortal soul that survives the death of the person so that the soul can then be burned in eternal flames? If so, please present scriptures to this effect to prove it, and follow the steps indicated at Question #1.

8. Those who believe in literal eternal torment say that the person’s soul is being burned forever. What is the soul? Are animals souls also or is this only for humans?


I’m not going into detail, and I’m not sure whether or not eternal fire is what hell really is, but even if it is, it’s not God who is doing the tormenting; the people who go to hell choose their path. Satan is the one who not only has deceived them but now torments them. In any case, hell was originally created for the Devil and his angels. This passage would also seem to indicate that it is literal eternal fire.

(Matthew 25:41) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

And in Isaiah, it is said that hell had to be enlarged to accommodate the people who rejected God.

(Isaiah 5:14) Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it
And if you need to see more info on that second passage, I’m sure you can find Isaiah 5.


Since that’s the route you want to take, below are a few questions for you.

QUESTION #1 to SUSANNA: Who else but God would send wicked people–against their will–to the supposed literal hellfire, to burn for all eternity?

QUESTION #2 to SUSANNA: Who else but God would cause the supposed literal hellfire to continue burning?

QUESTION #3 to SUSANNA: So you are telling me that the entity who created an eternal barbeque pit, and knew perfectly well that the wicked would end up there to be burned for eternity, that the entity is not in fact responsible for the torment within the place he created specifically for that purpose?

I read both of the scriptures you quoted, but saw nothing in either of them that said anything resembling literal hellfire torment.


Yes Hell is real
Yes God knew when He created it that many humans were destined for it
Yes there is literal fire
Yes God is the one “keeps it burning” just as God sustains every other thing that endures in the Universe
Yes it is the same thing to say “God allows” something as saying “God wills” something

Maybe “All” of the unsaved end up in the eternal fire, they clearly do not end up with God and God clearly can keep them in eternal fire but the only place in scripture that I know of that mentions humans as partakers of the literal eternal fire and torment is in Revelation and those humans are specifically identified as those who chose to worship the beast and receive his mark.

That could mean all those not born of the Spirit or just those who make the conscious decision to join forces with Lucifer against God, not enough information to be dogmatic either way.


Luke 16:19-31

Please enlighten us as to the meaning of flames and Hades in this Scripture.

And please support your response with exactly four verses, no more, no less. The counting shall be four, not three, nor five. But four. Or else it will be rendered moot and not worthy of discussion.


… LOL … an eternal barbeque pit…****?!!

I’ve never heard it called that before!


They clearly don’t want to go to Heaven, so there is no other place for them to go, but to Hell.


not enough information to be dogmatic either way.

There is plenty of information in the world about Hell. You just have to get dogmatically educated and work to avoid Hell. :devil:


That may be a record for errors in just 22 words when you take into account the butchering of the context you quoted.


I hope Hell also has nice things like cramming spikey pineapples up people’s backsides. I figure Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, Sherman, Bin Laden, and OJ Simpson deserve it.


Like your new avatar.


Dante was a bit more creative even than that with those who were the ones he considered the worst of the worst. IIRC, he had them “standing” on their heads, which were encased in ice. BTW, I nominate Mao, Pol Pot, Kim I and Kim II to your monsters list; and those nominations will each, I’m sure, be seconded by millions.


Except by the progressives.


How about making them sit in a room with Kim and Kanye having a discussion about baby names?


Can you elaborate on this? What dogma must one be educated in to avoid hell?


With that Avatar you need to find a great quote from Airplane! for your sig, the young ones have probably never seen the spoof that started them all!

“Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue”
“Don’t worry Stewardess, I speak Jive”
“Ever seen a grown man naked Billy?”
“Yes I do, and stop calling me Shirley”


I hope Hell also has nice things like cramming spikey pineapples up people’s backsides. I figure Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, Sherman, Bin Laden, and OJ Simpson deserve it.

You just put an image in my head that I will never rid myself of…


That would be too nice for them. I’ve read somewhere that hell is whatever you hated here on earth, only F-O-R-E-V-E-R!!! So, if I were to go to hell, it would be hot, humid, I’d have to teach in a public school with BO as the principal, Bill Maher’s show perpetually blaring in the background on Comcast night and day, and intermittent “rap music” playing in between. Now that would be HELL for me!!

So, Hitler would be in a concentration camp with Jews, gypsies, and communists as the camp guards, Stalin would have to stare at pictures of FDR and Churchill for all eternity, Saddam would be wrapped in bacon, Sherman…don’t know what his problem was/is, Bin Laden (same as Saddam), and O.J. would have to read for eternity. I wonder what Madalyn Murray O’Hare is up to down there?


Randy Alcorn depicted Hell as complete isolation from any other human being - or spirit. He did a depiction of Mao in hell; besides the total isolation, he got a brief glimpse of many of his victims in Heaven. He thought that they would be talking about what a terrible foe he was, and what terrible things he did, and would be cursing him. Instead, what he saw was that they didn’t think about him at all - which was far worse as far as he was concerned.


Wow…interesting. That would be BO’s hell, too. Just to be ignored.