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

  • Vanderhoven7
  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    2 Cor. 5:8 - We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.


    If what you argue is true, Can you explain how the disciples of the apostles could have gotten everything so “wrong” so quickly?

    This is powerful data indicating that people simply believed Jesus.

    The burden is really on you to explain their testimonies away. Seems pretty hard to do.

    See Below:

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

    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 (110 AD)

    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 (150 AD)

    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” (155 AD)

    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)

  • Vanderhoven7

    "in 2 Corinthians 5:8, the apostle Paul is saying, “Look, I am living a tough life, and I would prefer to be at home with the Lord.” A lot of Christians today feel the same way, and they will be at home with the Lord at the Rapture, when Jesus comes from heaven to get us."

    Jerusalem was destroyed by unquenchable fire. Is it still burning today?

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    So what do you think was "absent from the body"?

  • Rattigan350

    9 pages of a thread containing wrong answers. Sheol/hades/hell is not symbolic and it is not literal. It is the state of being dead. Dead is dead. Not living on anywhere, until the resurrection. First the dead in Christ from Pentecost to 1914 were raised, then the rest of the 144,000 were raised when they died from 1918 to now. Then in the kingdom hell will be emptied of its dead by the people being resurrected to earth.

    The problem is that so many people read the Bible shallowly such as "I would prefer to be at home with the Lord." They take Paul's words at face value. What Paul said applied only to him and those of his time. But people like to fantasize and want all of the gusto and glory that they see as the Lord can provide them.

  • Vidiot
    Sea Breeze - Why do JWs believe that Hell is symbolic when the Disciples of the Apostles believed it was literal?”

    If “Christendom” zigs, the Org wants to zag.

    It’s practically baked into their ideological DNA at this point.

  • Vanderhoven7

    @ Sea Breeze

    <<So what do you think was "absent from the body"? II Cor.5:8>>

    Hey, read the verse in context.

    Certainly I want to be absent from the body and present with the Lord without being unclothed for a season. But it's only those who are alive at the coming of Christ that will miss being unclothed.

    II Cor. 5:4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

    Now consider when this mortal will put on immortality and be forever with the Lord

    1Cor. 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

    John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.


  • Halcon

    If a burning hell is a literal place, then it must mean that there is a civilization of human beings literally deep underground or on another literal planet experiencing pain as punishment.

  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

    7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

    8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

    So, when we (believers) are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord.

    JW’s deny this truth and reject fellowship with the Lord in yet another way.

  • Halcon

    7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:smile:

    I think this verse is a big clue regarding how hell or heaven is to be experienced.

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