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What is Hell?

             Webster's Third New International Dictionary, unabridged, under "Hell".
             " The word "hell" thus originally conveyed.
             no thought of heat or torment but simply of a 'covered over or concealed.
             place.' In the old English dialect the expression "helling potatoes" meant,.
             not to roast them, but simply to place the potatoes in the ground or in a.
             Collier's Encyclopedia (1986, Vol 12, p.28) says concerning "Hell":.
             First it stands for the Hebrew Sheol of the Old Testament and the Greek.
             Hades of the Septuagint and New Testament. Since Sheol in the Old Testament.
             times refered simply to the abode of the dead and suggested no moral.
             distinctions, the word 'hell,' as understood today, is not a happy.
             The meaning given today to the word "hell" is that portrayed in Dante's.
             Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost, which meaning is completely.
             foreign to the original definition of the word. The idea of a "hell" of firey.
             torment, dates back long before Dante or Milton. The Grollier Universal.
             Encyclopedia (1971, Vol. 9,p.205) under "Hell" says: "Hindus and Buddhists.
             regard hell as a place of spiritual cleansing and final restoration.
             Islamic tradition considers it as a place of eternal punishment." The idea.
             of suffering after death is found among the pagan religious teachings of.
             ancient peoples in Babylon and Egypt. Babylonian and Assyrian beliefs.
             depicted the "nether world . . . as a place full of horrors, . . . presided.
             over by gods and demons of great strength and fierceness." Although ancient.
             Egyptian religious texts do not teach that the burning of any individual.
             victim would go on forever, they do portray the "other world" as featuring.
             "pits of fire" for "the damned."--The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, by.
             Morris Jastrow, Jr. 1898, p. 581; The Book of the Dead, 1960, pp. 135-200.
             "Hellfire" has been a basic teaching in Christendom for many centuries,.
             it is understandable why The Encyclopedia Americana (1956, Vol XIV,p.

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