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What features are common in all religions (heaven/hell, rebirth, soul, demons, spirits, etc.)?
Other than the fact that there is no hell of eternal punishment by fire, that is an excellent point which most churches that teach hell carefully avoid discussing. The word “hell” is an archaic English translation of the Hebrew word (sheol) and the Greek word (Hades) that appear in the original writings. These words rendered into modern spoken and written English would read, “the grave or under the ground” (sheol), “the place or location of the dead” (Hades). Nothing about a place of eternal punishment. Jesus and the apostles had taught that death is a sleep, to be followed by resurrection. The early church leaders – Clement, Ignatius, Hermas, Polycarp, and others who believed that death is a sleep, taught that the deliberate and unrepentant wicked are destroyed forever as if consumed in a fire – their punishment was to be annihilation. These leaders did not teach of an immortal soul to be tortured by fire for eternity. Athenagorus (133 -190 AD), a professed Christian and church leader but whose teachings, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, were heavily influenced by Plato’s philosophies, introduced Plato's teaching of an immortal soul into Christianity. In doing so he opened the way for the adoption of Plato’s philosophy of eternal torment for immortal, but sinful, souls. This was a hundred years after the apostle's and came straight from Greek philosophy. There are no such words in the bible.
Add Page Numbers to PDF: All You Need to Know
It is clear that Hell has nothing to do with an end of life or punishment by fire, a place of eternal torment. A place of everlasting torment is the result of a deliberate, selfish, and evil act done in pursuit of eternal reward. Some of these persons have a choice in this life. Others have no choice in their death.