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Grislygus Grislygus is offline
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Old Sep 9th, 2006, 09:24 PM        Hell
I'm curious. I was always under the impression that the Christian bible made little to no mention of Hell's aesthetic, and that early versions of it portrayed Hell as cold, since it was removed from God's warmth and light.

So, If my admittedly shaky analysis is correct, where the hell did the 'modern' Fiery Red Goat Devil view of Hell come from?
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Gorlack the Destroyer Gorlack the Destroyer is offline
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Old Sep 9th, 2006, 11:41 PM       
Puritans.
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Grislygus Grislygus is offline
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 12:00 AM       
Yes, the Puritans furthered the "fire and brimstone" thing with particular zeal, but the Catholic Church was ranting about it long before they did.

So when, exactly, did the icy cold dead zone from Dante's Inferno turn into a fiery hot spa ruled by a red little freak?
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ScruU2wice ScruU2wice is offline
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 01:17 AM       
One of the rings of hell is suppose to be a firey pit. I don't remember which one.
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 01:30 AM       
Well, in Dante's work the center of hell is a frozen lake.

"The flames of Gehenna" is a statement that appears at least once in Scripture, I believe. The parable of Lazareth, I think, talks about unquenching thirst due to heat.
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kahljorn kahljorn is offline
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 12:57 PM       
"since it was removed from God's warmth and light"

I think that's the accepted definition of hell, being absent from God's presence.
Which I don't understand because clearly we were removed from God's presence in the first book of the bible, which is where the idea of "original sin" or "Fall" comes from i guess.
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Grislygus Grislygus is offline
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 08:57 PM       
I always intepreted is as that we fell from God's grace, but we haven't been entirely removed from his warmth, since we still qualify for salvation. I think.

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"The flames of Gehenna" is a statement that appears at least once in Scripture, I believe. The parable of Lazareth, I think, talks about unquenching thirst due to heat.
...So, there were some references to Hellfire in scripture.

And Dante envisions the deepest, darkest pit of Hell to be cold, with the sinners submerged or, horribly, only partially submerged in the ice, with Brutus, Judas, and the other guy being eternally chomped on.

I've got that much, but I was under the impression that many other early religious texts refer to hell as cold, even before Dante's poem. So, if that is correct, did the idea of hellfire simply come back into fashion well after Dante? Or did people merely focus on the torment on the other levels of Dante's hell, rather than the icy pit?
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Sethomas Sethomas is offline
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 09:44 PM       
Well, the most obvious explanation is that it was a loan concept from Paganism. The ancients saw volcanoes and such as gateways to the underworld, and "the underworld" became associated with Hades which in turn became Hell. People bitch all the time about how religious holidays were just co-opted from the Pagans, but that's really not a fault of Christianity so much as just a powerful tool of conversion.
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kahljorn kahljorn is offline
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Old Sep 10th, 2006, 11:11 PM       
"I always intepreted is as that we fell from God's grace, but we haven't been entirely removed from his warmth, since we still qualify for salvation."

I don't know God's pretty bitter in genesis. I thought being banished to a world where you feel pain and hunger always kind of synched up with hell(eternal pain right).
Another way to look at it is that humans disobeyed god or "Sinned" and were sent here. Isn't hell where god sends sinners ;O


I hope it's not too uncouth for me to talk about other forms of Hell:

http://www.buddhanet.net/wheel1.htm

Here's an interactive wheel I just found when I was looking for a picture, it's pretty cool, if you hold it above different parts of the wheel it gives you information on them. According to this some of the sections are depicting firey/icey hells. It's the one on the bottom.
Read the top big portion of the pie, it's the abode of false gods! I always liked that about buddhism, that you could feel that you are enlightened and supreme and eventually you still succomb and fall again.
Also check out the cardinal sins of the world in the center ;O Ignorance hatred and greed. Anyway the thing to notice is that this wheel is saying suffering, torture and torment exist everywhere within this world. Also notice that the lord of death(or "monster of impermanance" as they call him here but I thought it was supposed to be yama traditionally), the big scarey guy, is holding the entire world in his clutches.
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 08:37 AM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grislygus
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sethomas
"The flames of Gehenna" is a statement that appears at least once in Scripture, I believe. The parable of Lazareth, I think, talks about unquenching thirst due to heat.
...So, there were some references to Hellfire in scripture.
There might be, but this is not one. Gehenna was a valley where they used to dump dead bodies and garbage and set it all on fire. So "you'll be burning in Gehenna" really means "you're gonna be killed dead and we'll dump you in a mass grave outside town and put you on fire."

The word Hell itself comes from the Norse Hel, which is the name of the god of Helheim, the underworld of those who died in sickness or with shame over their heads or some other not-dieing-in-war related fate.
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Sethomas Sethomas is offline
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 02:05 PM       
I know that you're right as far as history goes, but the literary effect you're describing was lost in the Middle Ages when people forgot that Gehenna was a tangible valley and not a different plane of existence.
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Grislygus Grislygus is offline
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 02:31 PM       
Right around the time that peasants couldn't (and weren't allowed to) read the bible, right?
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Sethomas Sethomas is offline
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 02:46 PM       
If by "not allowed" you mean that hearing lections at mass was ample because a copy of the bible was about level with the cost of an average house in today's market, then sure, whatever. If you mean that it was illegal, then no.
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Grislygus Grislygus is offline
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 03:14 PM       
I see. I didn't quite mean illegal, but yes, you more or less hit the nail on the head. How the hell were books distributed, anyway? Trade routes?
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kahljorn kahljorn is offline
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 03:34 PM       
Books were handwritten back in the day so it would take some time and alot of money (they also didn't have high quality paper factories), add to that any translation work involved. Remember alot of the world back in the day was very "illiterate" and most of their knowledge was orally based.
I'd imagine their method of distribution was dependant on who was getting the book. Unless they had some kind of superstition about bringing books onto boats or something. Like Sethomas said most of the books were very expensive so usually they were made for specific reasons so they probably didn't have warehouses full of them.
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Sethomas Sethomas is offline
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 03:35 PM       
Well, staple texts were their own commodity; people would bring them to learning centers as they collected them from travels and such. From there, monasteries would reproduce them by hand in scriptoriums for chapters of the bible to be given to Churches and books of hours or other philosophical works to the very very rich.
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Grislygus Grislygus is offline
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 03:46 PM       
So, the insane popularity of works like the Divine Comedy or the Bible would have been due to scholarly institutions and nobility?
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 04:11 PM       
also priests and other learned people who had access. There were also libraries but I don't know if there were any restrictions placed on that...

the college library near here has an original copy of the dante's inferno ;o
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:30 PM       
"Popularity" is a totally different game in the litarary world when less than 10% of the population is literate, you know.
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Grislygus Grislygus is offline
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 06:40 PM       
Well, yes, but the influence of a book obviously stretches beyond that ten percent when it entrenches itself as a core of European culture, no?
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Courage the Cowardly Dog Courage the Cowardly Dog is offline
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Old Sep 11th, 2006, 11:38 PM       
There are five words translated hell.

The first is Hebrew "Sheol" which means the grave, but not just in a death way but in a suffering eternally sense. But it can just symbloize death but it's usually very derogatory. Does that make sense? I'm bad at explaining.

The "flames of gehenna" is actually a flaming landfill/grave for diseased bodies in Israel in the time of Jesus in the area of the valley of Hinnom, It's meant as a simile to hell fire cause the flames not only burn hot with sulfer but smell like CRAP! Jesus uses this to not only symbolize the fires of hell, but also as the trash/corpse heap "pluck out your eye cast it in Gehenna (the trash?) if it causes you to sin" Only Jesus has ever refered to hell by this Simile no one else in the Bible ever compares the two.

It is likely a Middla ages version of Gehenna is where the corpses were going when you heard bell ringing and "Bring out your dead"

"Tarturus" is the greek term meant to portray a place of infinite suffering. No word of the relation to Tartar sauce.

"Hades" which is inclusively reffering to the underworld in greek, but in Christianity/Judiasm Refers to Sheol where you reside between death and ressurection.

There is also the "lake of fire" which some scholars see as something that means annihilation in the end "hell and death are thrown into the lake of fire" others see it as an all inclusive unescapable final hell that will never see anyone new come or go from it. I think it's the annihilation thing but that's just me.

Revelation says those who are cast in the Lake of Fire, all record of them is blotted out, so it's as if they never existed, we won't cry for those in hell anymore because it will be as if they never existed and we will not remember them. Kind of a bittersweet way for God to "wipe away every tear" but it's better then remembering who they were and crying for the then annihilated soul you cared for and loved.
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kahljorn kahljorn is offline
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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 04:04 AM       
"Kind of a bittersweet way for God to "wipe away every tear" but it's better then remembering who they were and crying for the then annihilated soul you cared for and loved."

This is really weird to me because I wasn't aware that the physical body, it's memories and ego came along with the soul. I thought that was what died?
What is a "SOUL"?

"Well, yes, but the influence of a book obviously stretches beyond that ten percent when it entrenches itself as a core of European culture, no?"

I know the divine comedy was popularized within the church as dante was involved with the church somehow. Same with the bible. When people are preaching generally they are talking about the bible, so that's how it was "Popularized" when it was shared with the populace every sunday.
Cultural anthropology is a pretty vast subject they have classes for it at school.
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Grislygus Grislygus is offline
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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 12:37 PM       
I love cultural anthopology, and history in general, but my knowledge on the subject is always slightly vague.

And with that in mind, I could have sworn there were pre-Dante references to a frozen Hell. Can anybody back that up?
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Courage the Cowardly Dog Courage the Cowardly Dog is offline
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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 02:01 PM       
Sheol and other translation of Hell reffering to the grave tend to be "cold" but that is reffering to the grave and not the spiritual hell.

Does it have to be christian/jewish/muslim hell? Cause i bet some of the others hells may be cold.
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kahljorn kahljorn is offline
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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 02:11 PM       
The tibetan buddhism thing I mentioned had a cold hell. Scroll up and read.

Sometimes I don't even know why I post on this message board.

Di Yu, the chinese hell, also has a frozen ice hell where they freeze disrespectful people. They also have something like 18 or 20 levels of hell, similar to dante's inferno.
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