By Gary Amirault
Having several thousand dollars of Bible research software and dozens of English Bible translations, we wanted to see if these top respected English Bibles (NIV, NASB, etc.) just made a serious mistake or whether we stumbled on to something which should cause us to reevaluate what we have just accepted because we heard it so many times and just assumed was correct. Most of us picture an apple tree as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but you won’t find it in any Bible, none of them! Most of us, I am sure, when thinking of the Passover, think of a lamb, but a goat was equally acceptable. Our minds have been doctrinally contaminated by traditions much more than perhaps we are willing to admit.
Of the many English Bible translations we searched, the King James Bible had the most number of cases where we found the word “hell” in the Old Testament. It translated the Hebrew word “Sheol” as “grave” 31 times, “hell” 31 times, and “pit” 3 times. Almost without exception, all the other leading Protestant Bibles didn’t have the nerve to do what the King’s translators did, that is, take the Hebrew word “Sheol” where everyone went, according to the Old Testament teachings, and divide it into “hell,” a place for the unrighteous, and “grave” or “pit,” presumably the place for the righteous. They translated this word according to their theology, and not according to the Hebrew. Most of the translations did not have the word “hell” in any part of the Old Testament. The ones that did, have mentioned it only a handfull of times, always from the Hebrew word “Sheol” which they translated the vast majority of times “grave, underworld, etc..” Those translations that use the word “hell” are so inconsistent with it, that it is impossible to determine which Scriptures clearly refers to “hell” and which refers to “grave.” Where one translation had “hell,” another had “grave.” In other words, those translations that tried to put “hell” into the Old Testament couldn’t agree with each other as to which verses spoke of “hell” and which spoke of the “grave.”
People, if the love of Christ is in your hearts, this should cause you to really look into this. This world needs to be set free of false images and concepts of our wonderful Father. Please meditate on this very thoughtfully and prayerfully. If eternal torment is the penalty for sin and the Creator did not want anyone ending up there, then it should stand to reason that He would make the warning as absolutely clear as He could make it. If He is not a respecter of persons, as He claims in the New Testament, then that warning should be loud and clear to all mankind, past, present, and future. But the fact of the matter is that Adam was never warned, he was warned the penalty would be death, not eternal torment. Thousands upon thousands were born after Adam and they were never warned. Moses came along and gave to Israel His Law, which was binding only to Israel, and it mentioned that the wages of sin was death, not eternal torment. He wrote about blessings and cursing in this lifetime, not of some pending judgment which would set one’s course for all eternity. He destroyed Sodom for great sin and promised to restore them one day and give them to Jerusalem as a daughter. (Ezekiel chapter 16) According to the Mosaic Law, the blessings and cursings dealing with the Law dealt with this lifetime, not with eternity. The consequence of breaking Moses Law was cursings in this lifetime, the greatest of which was a shortened life through an early death. Period!