Why Do JW's Believe that Hell is Symbolic When the Disciples of the Apostles believed it Was Literal ?

by Sea Breeze 128 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    Looks like the early Christians believed Jesus when he warned about Hell over 40 times. Why don't the JW's do the same?

    From “The Epistle of Barnabas” (70-130AD)

    Barnabas, was the associate of Paul who is mentioned in the Book of Acts. The letter was written to new converts to Christianity:

    The way of darkness is crooked, and it is full of cursing. It is the way of eternal death with punishment.

    From Ignatius of Antioch (110AD)

    Ignatius was a student of the Apostle John, and succeeded the Apostle Peter as the City Overseer of Antioch. He wrote a number of important letters to believers in churches in the area:

    Corrupters of families will not inherit the kingdom of God. And if they who do these things according to the flesh suffer death. how much more if a man corrupt by evil reaching the faith of God. for the sake of which Jesus Christ was crucified? A man become so foul will depart into unquenchable fire: and so will anyone who listens to him. (Letter to the Ephesians 16:1-2)

    From Clement of Rome (150AD)

    Clement was the City Overseeer of Rome from 88 to 98AD, and his teaching reflects the early traditions of the Church. “Second Clement” reportedly a recorded sermon, and Clement discusses the nature of Hell:

    If we do the will of Christ, we shall obtain rest; but if not, if we neglect his commandments, nothing will rescue us from eternal punishment (“Second Clement” 5:5)

    But when they see how those who have sinned and who have denied Jesus by their words or by their deeds are punished with terrible torture in unquenchable fire, the righteous, who have done good, and who have endured tortures and have hated the luxuries of life, will give glory to their God saying, ‘There shall be hope for him that has served God with all his heart!’ (“Second Clement” 17:7)

    From “The Martyrdom of Polycarp” (155AD)

    This work was written by an Early Church Leader (unknown author) and is dated very early in the history of Christianity. It describes the death of Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John, and also describes early teachings of the church:

    Fixing their minds on the grace of Christ, [the martyrs] despised worldly tortures and purchased eternal life with but a single hour. To them, the fire of their cruel torturers was cold. They kept before their eyes their escape from the eternal and unquenchable fire (“Martyrdom of Polycarp” 2:3)

  • Rattigan350

    Why do people follow quotes and saying rather than learn the mechanics of how things work?

    How does hellfire work?

    When did it start?

    How was it told to Adam & Eve?

    What was the criteria to go there or not?

    Weren't they told from dust you are and dust you will return?

    No mention of spirit living on.
    What is there to burn?

    Since the dead are unconscious, Jesus likened it to sleeping, how can they feel anything or know anything?

    If it is eternal punishment in hell, why does Revelation 20:13 say that hell will be emptied and then hell will be thrown into the lake of fire

    No one asks these questions because they would rather just follow.
    Thinking is a lost art.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    Jesus warned people over 40 times not to choose to go to Hell.

    Man is a tripartite being just like scripture says.

    1 Thessalonians 5:23 and Hebrews 4:12

    God died:

    Act_20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

    The biblical definition of death is separation:

    And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin. - Gen 35: 18

    When Jesus died, his soul/spirit became separated from his body. He died. When he was dead “he went and preached unto the spirits in prison” (hell) and then he raised himself from the dead…. while he was dead.

    While dead, his body would appear as sleeping to an observer, would have no brain function and so his body would know nothing at all.

    All souls who sin will also become separated from their body (die) (Ez. 18: 4). Jesus warned people not to choose to go to a place called hell.

    Jesus told Nicodemas THREEE TIMES that you must be born again. Yet, the WT says, not to be born again. By choosing whom we believe, we choose where we will spend eternity.

  • Diogenesister

    Apocrypha or church father writings or folk tales etc don't carry any weight for JW's, as I'm sure you know.

    And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin. - Gen 35: 18

    I don't see any mention of it, or any concept here. She called him a different name to his father? Either on her death bed or before?

    he went and preached unto the spirits in prison” (hell) and then he raised himself from the dead…. while he was dead.

    Preaching to angels or spirit creatures?

  • Vanderhoven7

    Rest in Peace

    Always speak faith to death,

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze
    I don't see any mention of it, or any concept here.

    Scripture says that when Rachael's soul was in the process of departing she died.

    And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin. - Gen 35: 18

    Every man woman and child who ever lived will be conscious for eternity.... somewhere.

    Jesus told Nicodemas THREE TIMES that you have to be born again to go to a pleasant place where God's Kingdom Rules after you die. But the WT tells its members not to get born again.

    So, whom we believe will dertermine where we spend eternity. Jesus repeatedly urges people to believe him instead of others. (See Revelation 6:9-11 & 1 Samuel 28: 7-20)

    Especially after he predicted that he would raise himself from the dead, while he was dead.... and then did it; huge numbers of people kinda did the math and decided that even though their Jewish relatives would reject them forever, they would believe him anyway. It is difficult (but not impossible) to not believe a man who said that he woudl resurrect himself from the dead, and then did it.

    John 6:47

    Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

    John 6:29

    Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

    John 6:69

    We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”

    John 6:64

    But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.

    John 6:44

    No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

    John 6:35

    Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

    Acts 16:31

    They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

    John 20:31

    but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

    Romans 10:10

    for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

    John 9:22

    His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.

    JW's will put anyone out of their church if they talk too much about Jesus and especially if they encourage others to accept the new covenant "for the forgiveness of sins". (Mt., 26: 27-28)

    The Wt is a giant Satanic deception and should easily be recognized as such just from the false predictions alone.

    The fact that they tell people to do the opposite of what Jesus said to do is overwhelming evidence that JW's are nothing more than anti-christs.

  • Vanderhoven7

    @Sea Breeze

    Where did the religious leaders in Jesus day get torment after death?

    And where did the term Abraham' Bosom originate, if it also not found in the Old Testament?

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze


    First of all as Christians, we have more than ample teaching in the New Testament to establish the doctrine of a literal, eternal hell (see Matthew 3:7, Matthew 3:12, Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 18:9-12, Matthew 13:38-42, Matthew 13:49-50, Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-47, Luke 12:5, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Jude 7, Revelation 14:11, Revelation 20:13-15, and Revelation 21:8).

    This New Testament teaching is quite consistent, though, with the Old Testament. First, the OT contains many references to God’s wrath. He is often said to be angry at wickedness (see, for example, Deuteronomy 32:22, Psalm 2:12, and Psalm 18:7). Psalm 7:11 is one of many verses that indicate this indignation or anger is directed toward those who perpetrate this wickedness (“the wicked”).

    The OT prophets repeatedly speak of a time when the Holy One would have His “day” — a day of justice in which He would express His anger toward sin and visit judgment on sinners. They referred to this as “The Day of the Lord.” (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6, 9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi. 4:5).

    Daniel also speaks of eternal punishment:

    And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. - Daniel 12: 2

    “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” - Is. 48: 22

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim

    Its " symbolic" when the Borg says it is

    Its "literal" when the Borg says it is.

    Plain and simple.

    If you disagree,,, there's the door and kiss your family and most of your friends,,, good bye.



    people who were taught the faith from the apostles and the hearers of apostles know what was honest and originally preached better than someone 1850 years later who was disturbed by hell, and chose to teach that it doesn’t exist despite explicit biblical evidence.

    Thankfully the scholarly institutions of the world have tens of thousands of pages written from the apostles and the hearers of the apostles and the hearer’s of them.

    God loves us and doesn’t want to punish us for our choices? Yet angels, who God also loves are condemned eternally to hell (as it was prepared for Satan and his fallen angels)

    Why would an all loving God condemn his creation to hell?

    because God, the good creator does not destroy his creation but lets us all live and die by our choices.

    The dead are aware of nothing is 100% taken out of context. Reading the chapter and learning of the Hebrew writing technique of hyperbole will go along way in your understanding. Wishing you good luck in your honest studies


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