Satan and Hell?

Hello, I have a few questions about satan and hell.

Does hell really exist? It seems that in much of the old testament “hell” as in a place of eternal torture and suffering did not really exist. The old prophets never consigned anyone to hell. They would curse their families, or pray for their crops and cities to fail, but never though to torture them in the after life. Satans appearences in the bible are about 10 give or take a few.

It seems Jesus in the new testament is the first person in the bible to realy talk about hell at length. Jesus also came about several centuries after the greeks and romans colonized judea.

The Hell of Christianity has much in common with the Tartarus/Hades of Greek mythology, which may have influenced people belief in such a place.

Any thouhgts?

The “place of the dead” in the old testament is called Sheol. The book of Enoch, as referenced in Jude, goes on to divide that place into 4 hollows of varying degrees of admission. (these are holding places of the dead)

Hell is a real place, but it’s a complicated place.

Luke 13:28
“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out”

The visions we know of hell are symbolic. The weeping and gnashing of teeth come from the seeing of the city and not being able to enter it, though it may seem simple that goes into deep and terrible ways. Even in John Boscos vision of hell we see that those who suffer can see heaven. The fire is symbolic but completely accurate. The visions of repetitive sins, burning, tearing of the flesh are accurate symbols for mankind who could not otherwise understand how a spirit can suffer.

I will quote F. Amorth books directly here because it explains that symbolism well. In one of his exorcisms a demon said this “Down there everyone lives folded within themselves and torn apart by his regrets. There is no relationship with anyone; everyone finds himself in the most profound solitude and desperately weeps for the evil that he has committed.” ( In my nobody opinion this is what is symbolized by fire, repetitive sins, and tearing of the flesh)

Further from F. Amorth, and I mention it to edify that our God is merciful in spite of the existence of hell.

“It wasn’t he(God) who made hell, It was us. He had not even thought about it” When asked if they contributed to the creation of hell. “All of us cooperated”.

I do not say any of these things of my own accord. I only quote the chief exorcist of Rome.

Its a terrible place, just as terrible as the symbolic hades we imagine.

No. Hell is essentially a total loss of God. Anything else that hell would be–flames, volcanos, red-skinned demons with pitchforks–would be non-essential qualities. Perhaps those non-essential images have come under Hellenic influences, but they are either symbolic or accidental (in the Aristotelian use of the word).

Satan come from a Hebrew word that simply means “the accuser”. It is first seen in the book of Job. Now in Job’s time, the Jews didn’t believe in an afterlife, and indeed it wasn’t until a few centuries before Christ that the idea of one started to appear. They believed that justice had to do strictly with the present life. So cursing one’s family, etc. would be tantamount to telling them to “go to hell”.

But why are people condemned to hell forever? Why no set term? This seems awfully harsh.

Are they being tormented and attacked by the demons and Satan himself?

In Old testament, they speak of sheol, a vague shadowy netherworld for the virtuous and unvirtuous alike. I just want to really be familiar with this topic.

Dante and John Milton I guess are not orthodox Church doctrine?

In the words of C.S. Lewis, “the gates of hell are locked from the inside.” You can’t accidentally go to hell. Many people don’t seem to understand that. You choose to go there because you don’t choose to give yourself fully to God. Why would anyone choose to go to hell? Lying to themselves is the only answer I can summon. Ignoring the obvious. It’s the same reason I don’t make good choices 100% of the time, even though it’s blatantly before me. That is sin, “to miss the mark”.

There is no set term because the human soul is immortal. Complex things break down over time, and this is why the body breaks down. Simple things that have no parts, like the soul, do not break down, and are thereby immortal.

It’s only 7 min but I thought this explanation by Father Barron was really great.

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