The Greatest Gamble is the title of the twelfth episode from season two of The Way of the Master.

Episode Walkthrough[]

(00:00 - 00:17) Starts off with Ray Comfort interviewing two young females. Ray asks them "Las Vegas is called 'Sin City.' Why is that?" The shorter lady is not sure why, they discuss it, together they say "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

Except for herpes, those tend to follow you around.

Camera work of showing various sites in Las Vegas.

(00:17 - 01:17)

  • Kirk says they are in Las Vegas, the fastest growing city in America, riches are made there overnight, in a moment a life can change. It is a place where dreams and nightmares can begin. They will ask why people gamble?
  • Ray says they will probe their soul, ask people about life and death, whether they believe in God, whether they pray when they gamble or when they are not gambling. And they will ask what is the biggest gamble.

The Intro to this program shows Ray and Kirk asking several questions in line with the are you a good person? routine.

The Biggest Gamble[]

(01:48 - 01:53)

  • Ray "So what is the biggest gamble? I mean, what are the highest stakes?"

I'll tell you. Betting on Jesus wouldn't work because an omniscient god would be able to see the hypocrisy of people who try and force belief to avoid hell but deep down know there is no evidence for god. Kirk Caneron has demonstrated that.

(01:54 - 04:37) Jump to WOTM interviewing several people. Ray interviews a man, asking him what was his biggest gamble, the man answers changing careers. Ray asked him if he ever bet his life? Ray asked the man if he would play Russian roulette with one bullet in a six-shooter for $10,000,000? The man answers no, because he values his life. Another man tells Kirk he just might do it. Kirk then offers a briefcase, they open the brief case with the ten million dollars in cash and a six-shooter gun with a bullet. The man declines the challenge. Next a lady says she would not do it but another lady says she might for the experience rather than the money. Ray presents the case with the cash and gun, and challenges her (but they cut from the scene to next interview). Two further ladies do not accept for 20 million dollars. Next, a man refuses to bet his life for 20 million dollars but the next man says he would do it. He takes the gun, and just when he is about to lift it the scene dissolves.

I will gamble and say that the man was going for the prize and took the gun to his head. Perhaps did it and survived, or when he picked up the gun WOTM refused to give him the bullet (if there ever was one). In the end I bet, WOTM refused to cough up the dough and it's probably stage money because they would guard real money more carefully.

(04:38 - 04:54)

  • Ray says the biggest gamble is to say that there is no Hell since a mistake can mean going there and losing ones soul."

Basically, this entire episode is focused around Pascal's Wager, but lets examine the flaws in Ray's argument. One very important flaw is assuming that any god rewards and punishes as Ray imagines. There may just as well be a god who rewards critical thinking and punishes blind faith. In that case Ray and Kirk could be in big trouble because they spent a lifetime encouraging blind faith as well as upsetting people for the wrong reason.

Ray says to the position that there is no Hell is the greatest gamble. Next, it depends on what version of Christianity you adopt. There are over 30,000 different denominations that each claim to have the correct interpretation of Scripture. So already, Christians like Ray Comfort, have a 1/30,000 chance of being wrong. Also, another person could say to say there is no Valhala is the greatest gamble. Another person could say there is a Hell, but only non-Muslims go there. And it can go on and on. There are literally hundreds of billions (possible infinite) number of realms that exist in the after life. Picking out Hell as the greatest gamble of them all is ludicrous. Basically, the chances of there being a hell (one divided by hundreds of billions) is really minuscule. Actually, since there are an infinity of realms that could theoretically exist that means the chances of Hell being real is near absolute zero. Finally, if there was a hell, Ray is wrong about losing the thing most important to you. There is absolutely no evidence for the soul. So basically, you have nothing to lose and nothing to look forward to.

(04:55 - 05:24) Ray asks a man about the biggest possible gamble and when the can't answer, Ray asks about the afterlife. The man says they go into the dirt, nothing else. The man does not think hell exists and is willing to bet his life on it?

This guy is the smartest man interviewed on the show yet.

(05:25 - 05:39)

  • Kirk asks if Hell exists as the Bible describes with terrible, eternal punishment would you want to be warned about it. Kirk wants a warning and any sane person would want to know how to avoid it.

If Hell was a real place, it depends who you ask. For many who see the real monstrous nature of God may gladly go to Hell rather than spend an eternity with a tyrant. And in any case a tyrant cannot be trusted to keep promises to save the righteous or to save believers.

(05:40 - 05:55) Two men tell Ray if Hell was a real terrible place they would he want to be warned about it.

Please take note of the "IF" Hell is x,y,z... What has not been established if Hell even exists. So far, it is based on a list of presuppositions: 1) that Ray's narrow version of God exists, 2) this God punishes people, 3) that God create a special place for punishment and 4) based on the previous presuppositions, faith demands that this place must be real. This argument is no better than a person saying that if you travel to Nevada or anywhere near Area 51, you will be abducted by fat one-eyed purple aliens with yellow hands, so should we be warning tourists who cross at the state lines into Nevada? No. Why don't we? Because there is no proof that purple aliens even exist or have so much as abducted a grasshopper.

(05:56 - 06:12)

  • Kirk promises two apparently convincing evidences for Hell, and asks people "to have an open heart and listen and think carefully" while they show REASON first.

Two convincing evidences of Hell's existence? Intriguing, but not very promising considering this is coming from WOTM (let's say not always truthful). Funny, how Kirk asks us to "keep an open heart" and not an open mind. Why? Because he wants our emotions to take over our ability to reason and let fear take control over our judgment. He basically wants us to shut off our intelligence and rationality, and let emotions and superstition guide us. Kirk and Ray wish to use reason as evidence? This is no evidence at all, anyone can use reason to attempt to prove any fantasy land exists in the afterlife, it just depends on the limits of your imagination. Reason would also tell us an omni-benevolent God would never create such a place as Hell, but reason can also tell us that the concept of God (and all the traits given to him like the Holy Trinity) cannot logically exist.

(06:13 - 06:49)

  • Ray says that "obviously God is good" rather than evil quoting Jeremiah 9:24. and asks if a good god would punish evil, various serious crimes are listed.

Obviously, this is all starting with a presupposition that there is a God, and it is Ray's narrow version of God. To another person, God could be evil, and the Bible sure portrays God as a tyrannical monster.

(06:50 - 07:33) Another interview. a man agrees God is good and should punish evil.

(07:34 - 08:10)

  • Ray says we pay out vast sums to bring murderers to justice. We go to great lengths to get justice while animals, horses, cattle sheep and apes have no court systems and don't care about right and wrong justice or truth. We are moral beings made in God's image, we are moral like God. A good god must punish sin justly.

As much as Ray will deny it: HUMANS ARE ANIMALS. That is a fact. We are mammals, vertebrates, and such which has been known for centuries. Ray says apes do not care about right or wrong and justice and truth...well apparently apes do, because WE ARE APES. Also, we are not the only species with a sense of right and wrong, justice and truth. Studies have shown that monkeys and apes have a basic sense of right and wrong. There is no big mystery to morality. Morality is simply acting with the intention to minimize harm. Since harm is natural, its avoidance is a material exercise. Organisms suffer as they bump into their environment and each other, and as rational animals with some ability to anticipate the future, we humans have some choice about how this happens. If we try to minimize harm and enhance the quality of life, we are moral, see humanist morality. If we don’t, we are immoral or amoral, depending on our intentions. Even if we make a mistake, we can still be called moral or ethical if it is truly out intention to minimize harm. And the way to avoid making a mistake is to try to be as informed as possible about the likely consequences of the actions being considered. To be moral, atheists have access to the simple tools of reason and kindness. There is no cosmic code book directing our actions as Christians believe. Evolution can also answer where morality comes from. Since humans are social animals and they benefit from interactions with others, natural selection should favor behavior that allows us to better get along with others. Fairness and cooperation have value for dealing with people repeatedly (Nowak et al. 2000). The emotions involved with such justice could have evolved when humans lived in small groups (Sigmund et al. 2002). Optional participation can foil even anonymous exploitation and make cooperation advantageous in large groups (Hauert et al. 2002). Kin selection can explain some altruistic behavior toward close relatives; because they share many of the same genes, helping them benefits the giver's genes, too. In societies, altruism benefits the giver because when others see someone acting altruistically, they are more likely to give to that person (Wedekind and Milinski 2000). In the long term, the generous person benefits from an improved reputation (Wedekind and Braithwaite 2002). Altruistic punishment (punishing another even at cost to yourself) allows cooperation to flourish even in groups of unrelated strangers.

(08:11 - 09:19) Another interview with a man with a black cowboy hat. Ray takes him down the Are you a good person? routine, and Ray finds this man guilty. The man does not believe a good moral and perfect being could send him to hell, therefore he does not believe he will be punished. Ray says he is a sinner and lowering God beneath him. Ray then asks the man if he had ever made a mistake, and if he could be mistaken right now? The man does not think he is mistaken on this issue and will take his chances. The interview ends with a Bible quote from Exodus 34:7.

Not once does Ray consider that he may be mistaken right now, nor does he seem to care. He is only worried about installing doubt and fear into others, just to make them follow his same belief system. Incidentally a perfectly merciful God must forgive all wrongs while a perfectly just God must punish all wrongs, it looks like a perfectly good God is a contradiction.

(09:21 - 10:22)

  • Kirk says a man must repent to be saved? The Scriptures tell us that.

Kirk claims sin drives a wedge between the sinner and God and due to our sinful nature a wall exists between us and God preventing communication and God will not hear our prayers. The wall comes down if we repent, change our mind about sin and change our sinful lifestyle. We need to "forsake our sin and turn to our maker and put our faith in Jesus Christ." That brings salvation.

Bronze Age and Iron Age mythology tells Kirk that. Incidentally if God is omniscient he must know our prayers at all times.

(10:24 - 11:32)

  • Kirk is concerned because 200,000 murders happened during the last 20 years in the USA but only about half the murderers faced justice. Vast numbers who murdered in vivividly described ways went unpunished. Kirk is sure God being good cares and will punish murderers. A good God will also deal justly with thieves, adulterers and liars. "You see, the depth of God's justice will be in direct proportion to his goodness. If God is absolutely good, then he will require absolute justice? if he didn't, and just let crime go unpunished, he would be corrupt. "

It does not mean 100,000 murders got off Scot free. Ever heard of serial murderers? In addition, according to Kirk's theology, every single one of these murderers is living it up in heaven providing they 'repented' in the final seconds of their lives. How can this possibly by considered to be divine justice?

(11:33 - 12:39) Another interview with a couple. Kirk brings the man through the idea that God's justice should punish all sin. It seems Kirk already took them through the Are you a good person? routine, because he already addresses the importance of the Ten Commandments as the standard to what God allows and does not allow into Heaven.

Wake up call[]

(12:56 - 13:29)

  • Ray says any sane person would normally prefer a fist full of diamonds to a glass of cool clean water. But a person close to dying of thirst in a desert would prefer life saving water. Priorities change in different situations.

At least we know that Ray knows what that means, which means he knows his analogies are purposely devious. "If I were to give you x or y, which would you choose...nobody in their right mind." This means he sets up a choice that is painstakingly obvious, but the problem is that it is way off from what is being discussed at hand: it is not painstakingly obvious that an afterlife, God, Heaven, Hell, soul, etc. exists. Finally, as for Ray maintaining no sane person would is not accurate. Humans are unpredictable, and a person may have a set of standards or philosophy and live a life of poverty or simplicity (like a monk).

(13:30 - 13:55)

  • Kirk says if getting eternal life is possible, we should naturally be interested. God offers eternal life, but we may prefer the sparkling diamonds of our sins. On judgement day the situation will change and we will beg too late for salvation.

Who in their right mind would want eternal life? An eternal life is not bliss or a blessing, but a punishment. A finite life is a meaningful life. Doesn't rarity increase value? Of course it does. So what Kirk and Ray are offering (which is not true to begin with) is not a gift. Only the simple or uncritical mind would fall for such a desire.

(13:56 - 14:07)

  • Ray "We are now going to look at another evidence of the existence of Hell. It is the evidence of the conscience. No, what does you conscience do for you?"

The conscience? Really? How about some real evidence. How about a rock taken from the furnace? A photograph? Anything feasible or provable? Nobody will ever provide any evidence such as this. Why? Because Hell's foundation is based on faith - that's it. So basically, there is no evidence for Hell. All Ray and Kirk can do is play with human emotions in an attempt to forge an illusion that there is a connection.

Knowing right from wrong[]

(14:08 - 14:11)

  • Kirk "Well, you conscience tells you the difference between right and wrong, and we all have one."

Do we? Does Kirk know that? Has he met every single human that ever existed on this planet and checked?

(14:12 - 14:15)

  • Ray "So, is it something we are born with? Or is it something that you learn?"

(14:16 - 14:46) Several people interviewed randomly on the street all say our sense of right and wrong comes from society. (14:47 - 15:30)

  • Ray gives an example of a 28-year-old man who viciously raped and murdered a woman. The defense says that he was isolated from birth, had no human contact and no human taught him right from wrong. Ray asks if the judge would dismiss the case because the man had no moral instruction. Kirk thinks the judge probably would not dismiss the case but Ray thinks dismissing it would be ridiculous. Ray believes all humans are born knowing right from wrong.

The Comfortable guide to Satanism quotes St Paul as saying he wouldn’t know what sin was without the law. Do we have an innate understanding of right and wrong or don’t we? Ray and Kirk can’t have it both ways.

Scenarios like this do not matter. If we were to scientifically examine where our morals come from, we would actually discover that it is an evolutionary trait. Unfortunately, several people can be born without a sense of right and wrong. Incidentally in the case imagined where someone grew up totally isolated with no moral instructions a judge in a civilised country would most likely say he isn't responsible for his actions. The case couldn't be dismissed as the violent man is clearly a public danger but he would be locked up in an institution rather than punished in a prison.

In Ray Comfort's book You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think, in chapter 8, section 6, Ray says that a judge who dismisses a criminal's charges is merciful. Ray firmly believes that God is a merciful God, but apparently only merciful to Christians.

(15:31 - 15:58)

  • Kirk claims that our conscience comes from God because the bible says so though parents and society help shape our conscience. We can't excuse our actions before God by claiming that we didn't know right from wrong.

There is nothing immoral with lying, not even the 10 Commandments say anything about lying. As already explained, the Commandment "Thou shall not bear false witness to thy neighbor" does not forbid lying altogether. It only deals with misrepresentation of another in court. Lying is very broad, and even several biblical characters were liars and were never punished. Therefore, lying is not wrong (and Ray and Kirk know that since they do it all the time regarding science and religion). Lying can be harmful just as it can be beneficial (such as lying to a Nazi and pretending that you are not hiding a Jew during WWII). Stealing is not entirely immoral either. Isn't Robin Hood considered a folk hero? You know him; the outlaw who stole food and money and gave it to the poor and needy. Even though it was for a good cause, but due to Ray and Kirk's moral absolutes this does not matter since stealing is stealing, and thus Robin Hood should burn for eternity for feeding starving villagers. As for murder, several biblical characters are indeed guilty of murder, but are never punished by God. Ray Comfort believes killing anybody for any reason is murder (unless it is self defense). So basically, if you accidentally get in a car accident on a rainy day and someone dies, you are guilty of murder. However, society recognizes the fallacy of such moral views. In today's court systems, we have different names and punishments for various homicides and killings (whether accidental or intentional). What the Bible says it has given us is irrelevant unless empirical proof can be provided, otherwise it is no better than claiming the Qu'ran or the Vedas tell us their particular god(s) gave us a conscience. This is all about guilt tripping us but proves nothing about whether God exists or not

(15:59 - 17:25) Jump to an interview with the same couple from 11:33 - 12:39. Kirk describes to them what conscience means (con = with and science = knowledge) and therefore when you lie you do it with knowledge that you are doing something wrong. Basically, anything you do you do it with knowledge whether it is right or wrong.

(17:26 - 17:50)

  • Ray and Kirk repeat what they have said in different ways many times before that in their opinion a good God must punish major and minor sins.

God is said to be good and will punish murderers, rapists, thieves, and liars.

  • Isaiah 45:5-7 –God describes himself being as much evil as he much good; and that he created evil –not as the absence of good, but proud of that creation. [1]
  • Murderers: Exodus 2:12 –Moses was a murderer which in the Comfort system is not excused by provocation. [2] He was also guilty of theft, arson, and genocide (among many other crimes).
  • Rapists: Deuteronomy 22:28 –Rapists get to marry a virgin they violate, and those victims must submit to his lusts forever. [3] Otherwise, rape isn’t even considered a crime unless the girl belongs to another man. 1st Kings 11:3 –Solomon had 700 wives and princesses and 300 extra-martial concubines “and his wives turned his heart away.” Numbers 31:17-18 –Moses ordered whole families to be slaughtered including little boys, -but not pre-teen girls (if they were believed to be virgins). Those he awarded to his soldiers to ‘keep for themselves.’…except for concubines and as-yet unmolested girls orphaned and enslaved prisoners of war. They are in trouble. Any evil thing we do can be forgiven, even offering your own innocent children to violate mobs to be brutally gang-raped (Genesis 19 [4] and Judges 19[5]) rather than let strangers suffer such indignity. But never EVER challenge the accuracy or authority of the priests and the dogma they’re selling. That’s the only thing their “god” will never forgive. Now why do you think that is?
  • Punish thieves and liars: not according to the extravagant revenue of faith-healing or pseudoscience ministries (like Way of the Master dot com) & the fraudulent charlatans behind them, like Ray Comfort.

WOTM shares a Bible verse. "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, and vile, and murderers, and sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur: this is the second death." Revelations 21:8

(18:10 - 18:24)

  • Ray "We have also established that anyone who has been proven guilty on the day of Judgment cannot plead moral ignorance because of the inner light. Because of the conscience giving warning, we can't say 'I did not know right from wrong.'"

WOTM shares another Bible verse. "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto they are without excuse." Romans 1:19-20

This is no better than the Primordial Covenant in Islam. The Covenant states (or by Ray's logic proves) Allah knows everything you do and you are without excuse. The Covenant goes as follows: (7:172-174: "When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam -from their loins- their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): "Am I not your Lord (Who cherishes and sustains you)?" They said: "Yea! We do testify!: (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: "Of this we were never mindful;" or lest ye should say: Our fathers before us took false gods.) Basically, before you were born, your soul/spirit testified to Allah that he was your God, and thus when you die and meet him again in the afterlife during Judgment, you cannot deny that you testified to Allah and you are without excuse. It is common for religions to include a system that links all human beings as being created by a specific creator and humans are without excuse, such as "thetans" in Scientology.

(18:34 - 18:46)

  • Ray says that on judgement day good people will enjoy seeing murderers get justice while only guilty people will cringe.

That day will only come in Ray and Kirk's imagination. This further shows Ray and Kirk's ethical bankruptcy. The punishment they seek unto others is an immoral punishment; an infinite punishment for a finite crime. Ray and Kirk's moral absolutes are flawed and unstable. The punishment should fit the crime.

Street Interviews: One 2 One[]

(19:00 - 23:15) First interview, Ray asks a man the Russian roulette for 10 million dollar question. That man said he would do it with 1/6 chances he would lose his life and he would do it if there were two bullets or even 3 (making it a 50% chance he loses). Then Ray asks the guy if he believes in Heaven or Hell? The guy says sure, shows he has Jesus tattooed on his chest. Ray then asks where he would go, and the guy proudly says to Hell (right next to the furnace). Ray asks what did he do to deserve that? The guy answers he did a lot of things, but he is not ashamed. Ray then takes the man down the Are you a good person? routine, which seems redundant since the man already claims he is guilty and has no problem going to Hell. The guy is of course found guilty but has no problem burning forever. Ray then asks him if he would sell one of his eyes for a million dollars. The guy says no, he likes his eyes. Ray says his eyes are windows for his soul and the reason he would not get rid of them is because Jesus said that he who values his eyes values his soul. Ray ends this interview by explaining what Jesus did and how the man could be saved (without showing us the man's reaction or response.

(23:16 - 24:14)

  • Kirk yet again asks us if we will be inocent or guilty, will go to heaven or hell on judgement day and insists that God sees every sin. Kirk begs us not to gamble with our souls, we should confess our sins and turn from our sins finally and have faith in Jesus saving us. We should read the bible daily and obey it to prove our love for God. "God demonstrated his love for you when he sent his son to die on the cross and take your punishment upon himself. Listen to what Jesus said, 'What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?'"

There will be no Day of Judgment, nor will there be a soul to lose. Incidentally if you feel like reading the Bible The Skeptics Annotated Bible is a good place to access it.

(24:15 - 27:45) Interviewing a young lady. Ray asks her where to people go when they die? She says some to Heaven, some to Hell. She thinks that you have to wait until after you die to figure out whether you go to heaven or Hell. Ray then takes her down the Are you a good person? routine and convinces her she is in danger of Hell.

Explaining Hell[]

The word Hell appears at least 54 times in the King James Version of the Bible, at least 31 times in the Old Testament from the Hebrew Word Sheol or and at least 23 times in the New Testament from the Greek words Hades, Gehenna or as it is in 2nd Peter 2:4 the word tartaroō (Tartaros/Tartarus). tartaroō appears only once.

In the Hebrew Bible the word Sheol appears at least 67 times. In the Old Testament of The King James Version of the bible when Sheol is not translated as hell it is translated as Grave or Pit and in Isaiah 7:11 Sheol is not translated at all in The King James Version but it is translated in other version of the bible such as The New American Standard Bible and the New Revised Standard Version. In the Septuagint, or The Old Testament in Greek, Sheol is translated as Hades. In The New American Standard Bible and The New Revised Standard Version Sheol is properly translated in The Old Testament as Hades is properly translated in the New Testament but Gehenna and tartaroō are left translated as Hell.

In The Book of Ecclesiastes (9:9,10) and Job every person, righteous and wicked will end up in Sheol and in Numbers (16:30) even the living can be swallowed by the Earth and to and go down live to Sheol but what is Sheol?

In Jewish Mythology Sheol is the land of the dead, apparently under the earth (Isaiah. 7:11, Isaiah 57:9; Ezekiel. 31:14; Psalms 86:13) from which the pillars of the earth extend on which the world is set (1 Samuel Chapter 2) , a place ruled by God himself (Amos 9:2; Hosea 13:14; Deuteronomy 32: 22; I Samuel 2:6, Proverbs.15: 11), an abode of Silence (Psalms 6:5, Psalms 30: 9 Psalms 94:17, Psalms 115:17, Isaiah 38:9, 24) where God is not praised, a place from where you should not expect to return from (II Samuel 12: 23; Job 7:9, 10; Job 10:21, Psalms 6:5). In Sheol though there is apparently a place of comfort commonly referred to as The Bosom of Abraham (Luke 16:22), the place of the righteous, an idea that predates Christianity (4 Maccabees 13:17). The idea of Sheol seems removed from the idea of the separate places of heaven and hell and more closely resembles the early concept of Hades in Greek Mythology which can be confirmed by comparing verses such as Acts 2:27 or Acts 2:31 to Psalm 16:10, but what about tartaroō.

In Greek Mythology the God Cronus and Goddess Rhea had Children and due to Cronus’s fear of one of his Children dethroning him as Cronus did to his father Uranus Cronus ate his children while they were new borns. Rhea angered by this gave Cronus a stone in place of the sixth child. That child was Zeus who would later drug his father. The drug cased Cronus vomit. This released the consumed children Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. Zeus would challenge Cronus and eventually Cronus and the other Titans would be defeated by the Children of Cronus. Some of the Titans were cast into tartaroō, a great pit beneath the underworld, a place of torment and suffering while others were punished such as Atlas who is tasked with holding up the world. A perfect example of the type of torment that would be expected in tartaroō would be that of Tantalus who is chained to a rock. Any time he reaches for grapes or water the grape vine or river recedes. He is left to hunger and thrust forever. The punishment of Tantalus is where the word tantalize comes from. In Roman Mythology tartaroō is surrounded by the river Phlegethon, a river of flame. No one escapes tartaroō with its columns of solid adamantine, a substance as hard as diamond with the gates guarded by the great multi headed Seperent Hydra. This should bring up imagery of the Book of Revelation. Tartaroō though is not Hades, it is lower than Hades. Hades the place is the abode of the dead as well as abode of the God Hades. Just as Shoel is a gloomy place for the dead, so is Hades but how do these Greek ideas such as tartaroō apparently arrive in the bible?

It is widely accepted among biblical Scholars the original texts that lead to the New Testament were likely written in Greek although there are a few who have argued Aramaic for at least some of the text, this can be supported not just from analysis of biblical text but also due to the fact that other religious sources that are Jewish in nature such as the Dead Sea Scrolls are at least in part written in Aramaic but this is beside the point. Judah became part of the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great. This brought Greek Culture to the region including Greek Philosophy. In Plato’s Socratic Dialogue called Gorgias Socrates introduces the idea that Cronos judged men just before they died which was later corrected by Zeus to have them judged after they died. The righteous were sent to the Isles of the Blessed. The unjust were sent to tartaroō. After the death of Alexander the Great Judah came under Control of Egypt until Syria took control in 198 BCE. Under Antiochus (anne Tie a Kus) IV Hellenization was forced upon the Jews which ended in the Maccabean Revolt in 166 BCE. This is during this period when apocalyptic writings begin to appear such as the apocalyptic sections of the book of Daniel. The concept of God releasing evil into the world became prevalent at this time, a subject that will be covered in another video. This leaves the final translation for hell, Gehenna.

The Valley of Hinnom is a valley south of Jerusalem. In the Old Testament it is referred to as Ben-Hinnom. Gehenna is the the Valley of Hinnom where the Bible claims Canaanites offered Children as sacrifices to the Flames of the god Moloch. Gehenna would later become a garbage dump and it is claimed to be the place where dead criminals and the carcasses of animals were left. Fires were left to continually burn in Gehenna. Jewish myth has the gates to a molten lake of fire located at Gehenna. In this lake of fire the souls of most mortals would burn for 12 months to either be purified before entering the Hereafter know as Olam Ha-Ba, a spiritual Garden of Eden so to speak or consumed and completely destroyed depending on the crimes of the sinner. Olam Ha-Ba begins to appear in early rabbinic sources. This would make the idea of Olam Ha-Ba exilic or post exilic but the idea of Sheol is pre-exilic as it can be found in the non Deuteronomist sections of Isaiah which dates between 740 and 700 BCE, Yawhist source from Judah. Gehenna is not the same place as Hades as indicated in Revelation 20:11-15. As per these verses those who are not written in the book of life are brought out of Hades and cast into the lake of fire after being judged. Hades is also cast into the lake of fire.

The concept of hell seems to be an evolution of a basic concept of an underworld from early Hebrew and Greek Mythology, later to be influenced by rabbinic sources then finally Greek Philosophy which cumulates in the apocalyptic writings found in the book of Daniel and later in the New Testament writings. Many New Testament writings including but certainly not exclusive to The Book of Revelation contain apocalyptic elements such as the Gospels and Paul’s Epistles. Regardless the concept of hell, Sheol or Hades has been elusive with a flat earth three tier model of an underworld of the dead, the material world we live in and celestial kingdom or a remote Mountain where the House of some God or a pantheon of Gods reside above. This idea of a three tier model was already outdated not long after the concept of Sheol and Hades, outdated by Pythagoras who deduced the earth was a sphere. This is around the time of the Babylonian Exile, later the Earths circumference would be calculated to a high level of precision for the time by Eratosthenes 250 years prior to the first Christians. Eratosthenes used no more than simple math. This there tier concept should not have been able to survive this.

External links[]

The Way of the Master
Season One Episodes:

1. The Firefighter   2. The Mirror of the Ten Commandments   3. The Motive of the Sinner   4. The Summary of Salvation   5. Practice What You Preach   6. Idolatry—The Darling Sin of Humanity   7. The Beauty of a Broken Spirit—Atheism   8. WDJD?   9. Blasphemy, Sabbath, Parents   10. Murder   11. Adultery   12. Theft   13. Lie and Covet

Season Two Episodes:

1. God's Wonderful Plan   2. Conscience   3. Alcatraz, Al Capone, Alcohol   4. True and False Conversion   5. When Things Go Wrong   6. The Satanic Influence   7. How to Witness to Someone Who's Homosexual/Gay   8. Evolution   9. How to Witness to a Loved One   10. The Fear of God   11. Ice Breakers—Gospel Tracts   12. The Greatest Gamble  13. How to Get on Fire for God

Season Three Episodes:

1. Battle for the Lost   2. Where Has the Passion Gone?   3. Joe Average   4. Caught in a Lie   5. The Divine Butler   6. Why Christianity?   7. Jehovah's Witness   8. Mormonism   9. Are You A Genius?   10. Last Words of the Rich and Famous   11. How to Find God's Will   12. What Scares You   13. Hollywood Be Thy Name

Ray Comfort — Kirk Cameron

Adapted from Iron Chariots