T Nation

Jehovah's Witness Q & A


This thread is one of simple interest. I have read up on the various beliefs of JW's and so I just want some biblical clarity.

If you are an atheist, please do not post in this thread, as it is not a debate whether or not God exists. I'm just looking for answers.

We have obviously discussed the Trinity and the deity of Jesus in the Trinity thread. Lets bring up more points of beliefs, starting with the teaching of hell. JW's don't believe in this eternal prison, so I ask, why don't you?


Ha ha you're kidding right? That's like asking ants to stay out of your picnic. Part (maybe most) of the satisfaction of being an atheist is to mock God in derogatory terms. They live for this stuff. Their faith is mocking the Christian faith. You actually think they can stay away from any sort of religious thread? You want them to suffer withdrawal symptoms? You're cruel man.


Put simply, because it isn't a Bible teaching.

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6

"For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten. Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun."

The dead are just that, dead. They don't suffer anywhere. A good example to show this is if you look at all the suffering that Job had to go through. His family was destroyed, all his wealth was gone, and then his health took a turn for the worse; he was suffering greatly. What did he wish for?

Job 14:12,13

"so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep. Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!

Sheol is the Hebrew version of the Greek word Hades, roughly. Which, in many instances, is translated as hell. Why would Job wish to go to "hell"? It is because Hell/Hades/Sheol, is just a grave or pit. The common grave of mankind. There is no suffering there, which would be a welcome change for a man in Job's situation.



Why does it have to be in the Bible?


I believe hell is always self-imposed. It is always the result of vain imaginings. It is the result of morbid thinking.

If God is All, Omnipotent, Loving, then where is this hell? If God is for us, who is against us? Christ has swallowed up all sin in His glory for us. Either you believe this, or you believe in hell.


Mocking God?

He does not care, either because He does not exist or because he is top dog.

Now mocking people who twist their own holy scriptures like a bretzel until it reads exactly what they want it to read like, now that I like to do.

Whether that applies to the Constitution or the Bible is irrelevant to me.


It's also the result of being reality according to the Christian Bible - It's in there many, many times.


Actually he does care it's called blasphemy. You don't care right now I know....but you will....you will.


Does not help one bit, because God creates "reality".


Yeah, you just wait!

Can prev. JW turned atheist answer?


Yeah, when he high fives me for using the brain he gave me.

Just trying to put the talents I was given to good use, as the Lord demands.


Think about the first punishment. You have 2 perfect people starting out, Adam and Eve. They have no desire to sin, and God gives them one simple rule. Don't eat from the tree. What does he say will happen if they do? Does he say that they are going to burn in a hell? Does he say they are going to spend eternity "spiritually separated" from God? If God was going to do something like that he would have said it right there in Genesis. So what does He tell them?

Genesis 2:17

"but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

The punishment was very clear. They will die if they eat from the tree. And that is what happened.


So...Adam and Eve died when they ate the fruit?


Yes, he created it, and it's a reality.


This passage talks all about hell and how a rich man was sent there and was in torment. So as far as hell being in the Bible it's there. And anyone who say it's not is laboring under a very serious false impression.



They did die after they ate the fruit, correct.


There are multiple options of meanings behind that passage:

1) It is a glimpse into a real "hell" with tormenting.
2) It is figurative speech.

I will discuss why it is the second option tomorrow. Really quite simple.

But if you feel that it is a real hell, it would have to somehow harmonize with scriptures that show that we just go to the ground. You would also have to explain somehow, how Jesus went to hell.


They died because they didn't eat from the tree of life.

A subtle difference.


When Christ talked in parables it was very clear that it was a "story". This was not a "story" it was real. If we do not take the scripture as literal at any point in time we can choose to simply say it was a story. Again, that's why it's crystal clear when someone is talking metaphorically or otherwise.

Are you going to try to explain away every single reference to hell in the entire NT? Because if you are we might as well stop right now. Nothing personal but I've been around the circle before with GW and it just gets comical.

"No he didn't mean a literal hell, he just meant a hot place"

No, no that time he meant 'helingo' it was a warm place to the south of there"

"No Peter meant that the fallen angles are being held in a Roman prison he didn't mean to say hell he stuttered you know"

Maybe we shouldn't waste the time huh? Hell is mentioned 45 or 50 times in the Bible and just about every one of them are very clear that it's a place of torment. AND..speaking of places of torment that exact word, "torment" or words to that effect are used several times as well. Honestly I have no idea how GW came to the conclusion that hell is not mentioned, or that there is no place of eternal punishment - It is as clear as anything in the Bible.

Your call we can go back and forth for 50 pages but I just don't see how you rationalize that out of the book.


I told you I would get to it tomorrow. The concept is very clear in the Bible. To start off with, here are the meanings for the Hebrew word Sheol:


and the Greek word Hades:


Hell is translated from one of those two words.