Spiritual Realms (Introduction)
Many are the terms used in scripture to reference the other-worldly realms. These abodes include the habitations of the dead, both righteous and unrighteous, and angels, both righteous and unrighteous. Some of these realms are temporary. Some permanent. And, in many cases an English rendering of scripture alone does not do justice to the interpretational necessities of the biblical student. At times it is unclear, for example, in the Old Testament whether one’s afterlife abode is “Hell,” as the King James Version may translate, or “the grave,” as the NIV may translate for the very same verse. The term “Hell” certainly brings a vivid picture of eternal destruction to the mind of the biblical student, while the terms “the grave” do not indicate such a specific judgment to have yet been rendered. Continue reading
Spiritual Realms (Sheol)
Sheol is a Hebrew term, found, of course, in the Old Testament. The term sheol literally means “the grave” or “the world of the dead.” It is frequently translated into English as “the grave” and at times, “Hell,” though “Hell” is not the best translation for modern English thought.
Sheol occurs over 60 times in the Old Testament. Continue reading
Spiritual Realms (Hades)
Hades is a Greek word, thus appearing only in the New Testament, and then only ten times is it used. It is translated in the NIV as “the grave,” “the depths,” “death” or left in the original Greek as “Hades.” Also it is translated “Hell,” in Luke 16 (below), but in our modern understanding of that term, “Hell” is not the best translation (more on that later). Being a modern translation, this is an egregious miscalculation of the NIV. It is translated as “Hell” in all ten usages of the KJV, a much older translation. Continue reading
Spiritual Realms (Abaddon)
Abaddon is a Hebrew term, thus is constrained to the Old Testament, except for one occasion when the Hebrew term is referenced in the New Testament. It appears seven times in the bible. Since it is used so sparingly, this section will be able to examine each use of the term.
Abaddon is translated “destruction” throughout the NIV and KJV, except for the Revelation passage, where Abaddon is rendered in its native Hebrew, for obvious reasons we’ll examine in this section. Continue reading
Spiritual Realms (Paradise)
“Paradise” is a Greek term meaning a royal park or a garden. While Paradise is uniquely a Greek term, it should also be noted that the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) translates the garden of Eden “the garden of Paradise.” Continue reading
Spiritual Realms (The Pit)
Obviously, “The Pit” is rendered in English because two different Hebrew terms are used metaphorically to describe “the pit.” Yet, both are clearly speaking of the same place, and both mean “the pit,” so they are grouped together in this section.
· Heb. Shachath, means “destruction, the pit, or corruption.”
· Heb. Bowr, means “a pit or dungeon” Continue reading
Spiritual Realms (The Migration of Paradise)
The Migration of Paradise/Abraham’s Bosom
Abraham’s Bosom, or Paradise, are demonstrated to be a place that “moves” in scripture.
· Abraham’s Bosom is demonstrated to be the righteous side of Hades/Sheol
· Paradise is demonstrated to be the same location
· Yet, this location is demonstrated to be actually two different realms in history
o In the Old Testament, Sheol is noted to be in a downward place, as is Hades in the New Testament.
o Also, in both testaments, Sheol/Hades is demonstrated to contain both the righteous and the wicked
o However, at a certain point in time, Abraham’s Bosom/Paradise is noted to not be in Sheol/Hades any longer, but in Heaven proper.
§ That certain point in time is the resurrection of Christ Continue reading
Spiritual Realms (Abraham’s Bosom)
This term is found only in Luke 16, in Jesus story of Lazarus and the rich man. The terms are Greek “kolpos Abraam.” Kolpos (or kolpon) is rendered “bosom” by the KJV and “side” by the NIV. “Bosom” is the most accurate term and the most historically known, thus the term “Abraham’s bosom” is familiar in theology. The definition of kolpos is the area between the arms, or the chest. While the English use of “bosom” frequently implies the mammary specifically, it is not intended such in Greek, but the chest area. Continue reading
Spiritual Realms (The Lake of Fire)
The Lake of Fire
This phrase occurs four times in scripture, each in the book of Revelation. Being a phrase of several very common terms, the “Lake of Fire” is a simple translation. It is found as “lake of fire and burning sulfur,” with slight variances, in three places, and simply “lake of fire” in the fourth. Variances are slight throughout numerous translations. Continue reading
Spiritual Realms (The Abyss)
“Abyss” is a Greek term occurring nine times in the New Testament. The NIV derives it as “Abyss” from the Greek abyssos (pronounced “ab’-us-os”) while the KJV uses “bottomless pit” seven times and “the deep” in Luke and Romans.
Abyssos is derived from two Greek terms: Continue reading