Imagine if somebody said, “No Christian leaders taught the doctrine of eternal torment prior to Augustine.”
That sounds like a pretty bold statement, right? No teachers taught what is now the traditional view of hell back then? None? And yet, it’s no more bold or over-the-top than many of the claims some theologians make in defense of the traditional view. In the last few years I’ve heard or read a number of people making the extraordinary claim that the Early Church Fathers “unanimously” taught the eternal torments of the damned in hell, or that this was their “consensus.”
Now I’ll admit, the opening line was an intentional overstatement—mainly for the purposes of trying to show how absurd the opposite claim sounds to anyone who knows a bit about the Early Church Fathers (by “early” here I mean prior to Augustine). The truth is that several Early Church Fathers did teach eternal torment, and others may well have believed it without saying so. But to those with a bit of knowledge about early church history I put the question: How many can you think of in the first couple of centuries who actually taught it?
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Author: Glenn Andrew Peoples
Keywords: Annihilationism, After death, After life, Afterlife, annihilation, Cast to hell, Cast down to hell, Chains of darkness, Damned go to hell, Death, Death state, Departing soul, Departing spirit, Destroyed in hell, destructionism, Dieing, Dominion of the grave, Do the wicked go to hell, Eternal fire, Eternal judgment, Eternal judgement, Eternal punishment, Eternal torment, Eternal hell, Eternal pit, Everlasting fire, Everlasting judgment, Everlasting judgement, Everlasting hell, Everlasting hellfire, Everlasting hell fire, Everlasting pit, Everlasting punishment, Everlasting torment, Everlasting torture, Ever lasting fire, Ever lasting judgment, Ever lasting judgement, Ever lasting hell, Ever lasting hellfire, Ever lasting hell fire, Ever lasting pit, Ever lasting punishment, Ever lasting torment, Ever lasting torture, Eternal hellfire, Eternal hell fire, Eternal torture, Eternal soul, extinctionism, Fable hell, Fabled hell, Fiery hell, Fire not quenched, Gehenna, Gehena, Gehenna fire, Gehena fire, Go to hell, Going to heaven, Grave, Gravedom, Hell, Hellfire, Hell fire, Hell forever, Hell real, Hades, Hinnom, Immortal spirit, Immortal soul, Life in hell, Lost souls in hell, Never ending fire, Never ending hell, Placed in hell, Punished in hell, Punished for eternity, Punished in hell for eternity, Reserved in hell, Rich man Lazarus, Rich man Lazaras, Roasting in hell, Send to hell, Sent to hell, Sheol, Sleeping in hell, Soul in hell, Soul punished in hell, Soul sleep, Soulsleep, Spirit in hell, State of the dead, Tartarus, There is no hell, Torment in hell, Tormented in hell, Undieing worm, Undying worm, Unquenchable fire, Waiting in hell, Wicked punished in hell, What happens when I die, What happens when we die, When the roll is called up yonder, Where is hell, Where do the lost go when they die, Where do the wicked go when they die, Where do we go when we die, Wicked hell, Worm does not die, Worm won't die, Worm will not die, Worm dieth not, Worm do not die, eternal reward, reward in heaven, heavenly reward
Bible reference(s): Genesis 3:19, Deut. 32:22, 2 Sam. 22:6, Job 11:8, Job 26:6, Ps. 9:17, Ps. 16:10, Ps. 18:5, Ps. 55:15, Ps. 86:13, Ps. 116:3, Ps. 139:8, Prov. 5:5, Prov. 7:27, Prov. 9:18, Prov. 15:11, Prov. 15:24, Prov. 23:14, Prov. 27:20, Isa. 5:14, Isa. 14:9, Isa. 14:15, Isa. 28:15, Isa. 28:18, Isa. 57:9, Isa 66:24, Ezek. 31:16, Ezek. 31:17, Ezek. 32:21, Ezek. 32:27, Amos 9:2, Jon. 2:2, Hab. 2:5, Matt. 5:22, Matt. 5:29, Matt. 5:30, Matt. 10:28, Matt. 11:23, Matt. 16:18, Matt. 18:8-9, Matt. 23:15, Matt. 23:33, Mat. 25:41, Mk. 9:43-47, Lk. 10:15, Lk. 12:5, Luke 12:20, Lk. 16:23, Acts 2:27, Acts 2:31, Jas. 3:6, Jude 1:7, 2 Pet. 2:4, Rev. 1:18, Rev. 6:8, Rev. 20:13, Rev. 20:14, 2 Esdras 2:29, 2 Esdras 4:7, 2 Esdras 4:8, 2 Esdras 7:36, 2 Esdras 8:53
Source: “History of Hell: Hell before Augustine—Afterlife,” afterlife.co.nz
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