Views on Hell in Ancient Judaism

Theology Pathfinder

Beliefs about the nature of hell have always been diverse. This was the case even in ancient Judaism before and during the time of Jesus, as well as in early Christianity. For those who are curious, here’s a small sampling of some ancient Jewish writings on hell. These writings are from the time just before and during the ministry of Jesus and the writing of the NT (c. 200 BCE to 100 CE), so they can help give us a bit of a window into the cultural context and show us what prevailing opinions might lie behind what the NT authors wrote.

This list is far from exhaustive, as I’m by no means an expert in this arena, but it should be enough to demonstrate that there wasn’t a unanimous tradition on the subject even in those early days other than that God would, in fact, judge unrepentant sinners with…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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