Hell doesn't exist in the bible

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One thing that most Christians are unaware of is the fact that hell doesn't exist in the bible. While you will find the word "hell" scattered all throughout English translations of the various books, when you read the books in their original languages, you will find that none of them actually refer to hell. Instead, you will find the words sheol, gehenna, hades, and tartarus. Each of these words has their own cultural history, but none of them fit the Christian depiction of hell. Sheol is Hebrew underworld within the earth where everyone goes when they die, regardless of whether they're good or bad. Gehenna was a valley Jerusalem believed to be cursed. Hades is the name of a god in ancient Greek mythology who resides in the underworld, and so the underworld is often named after him. Tartarus is a location within the Greek underworld.

English translators have done Christians a great disservice not just because they translate several different words to the same English word, but because each of these different words has a different meaning with a different cultural context. Older translations like the King James Version simply translate all four words to "hell," while the New International Version at least attempts to show some difference by using "realm of the dead" for sheol and hades. Some less-known translations, like the World English Bible, actually keep the words untranslated which makes it much easier for the reader to get the proper context.

Passage Language Text Transliteration Literal English KJV NIV WEB
Psalms 16:10 Biblical Hebrew שאול‬ sheol grave / underworld hell realm of the dead Sheol
Matthew 5:29 Ancient Greek γέενναν gehenna Valley of Hinnom hell hell Gehenna
Acts 2:31 Ancient Greek ᾅδου hades unseen hell realm of the dead Hades
II Peter 2:4 Ancient Greek ταρταρόω tartaroo throw to Tartarus hell hell Tartarus