The Ancient Inventors and
Modern Perpetuators of Hell
(Portions Taken from "The Origin and History of the
Doctrine of Endless Punishment" on this internet site.)
Introduction: The following quotes from ancient leaders prove where
the modern concept of a "Hell of everlasting punishment"
came from. The quotes also expose those who are still
perpetuating those concepts. The first group of quotes represents
proof regarding the originators of the concept. The second group
of quotations are from Christian leaders who have been
instrumental in perpetuating these diabolical thoughts.
NOTE: Additions will be made. If the reader knows any good quotes
which should be added to the list, please forward them with careful
references attached to: [email protected]
The Inventors of Hell
1. Polybius, the ancient historian, says: "Since the multitude is ever
fickle, full of lawless desires, irrational passions and violence, there is
no other way to keep them in order but by the fear and terror of the
invisible world; on which account our ancestors seem to me to have acted
judiciously, when they contrived to bring into the popular belief these
notions of the gods, and of the infernal regions." B. vi 56.
2. Dionysius Halicarnassus treats the whole matter as useful, but not as
true. Antiq. Rom., B. ii
3. Livy, the celebrated historian, speaks of it in the same spirit; and he
praises the wisdom of Numa, because he invented the fear of the gods, as "a
most efficacious means of governing an ignorant and barbarous populace."
Hist., I 19.
4. Strabo, the geographer, says: "The multitude are restrained from vice by
the punishments the gods are said to inflict upon offenders, and by those
terrors and threatenings which certain dreadful words and monstrous forms
imprint upon their minds...For it is impossible to govern the crowd of
women, and all the common rabble, by philosophical reasoning, and lead
them to piety, holiness and virtue - but this must be done by superstition,
or the fear of the gods, by means of fables and wonders; for the thunder,
the aegis, the trident, the torches (of the Furies), the dragons, &c., are all fables,
as is also all the ancient theology. These things the legislators used as
scarecrows to terrify the childish multitude." Geog., B. I
5. Timaeus Locrus, the Pythagorean, after stating that the doctrine
of rewards and punishments after death is necessary to society, proceeds as
follows: "For as we sometimes cure the body with unwholesome remedies, when
such as are most wholesome produce no effect, so we restrain those minds
with false relations, which will not be persuaded by the truth. There is a
necessity, therefore, of instilling the dread of those foreign torments: as
that the soul changes its habitation; that the coward is ignominiously
thrust into the body of a woman; the murderer imprisoned within the form of
a savage beast; the vain and inconstant changed into birds, and the slothful
and ignorant into fishes."
6. Plato, in his commentary on Timaeus, fully endorses what he says
respecting the fabulous invention of these foreign torments. And Strabo says
that "Plato and the Brahmins of India invented fables concerning the future
judgments of hell" (Hades). And Chrysippus blames Plato for attempting to
deter men from wrong by frightful stories of future punishments.
Plato himself is exceedingly inconsistent, sometimes adopting, even in his
serious discourses, the fables of the poets, and at other times rejecting
them as utterly false, and giving too frightful views of the invisible
world. Sometimes, he argues, on social grounds, that they are necessary to
restrain bad men from wickedness and crime, and then again he protests
against them on political grounds, as intimidating the citizens, and making
cowards of the soldiers, who, believing these things, are afraid of death,
and do not therefore fight well. But all this shows in what light he
regarded them; not as truths, certainly, but as fictions, convenient in some
cases, but difficult to manage in others.
7. Plutarch treats the subject in the same way; sometimes arguing for them
with great solemnity and earnestness, and on other occasions calling them
"fabulous stories, the tales of mothers and nurses."
8. Seneca says: "Those things which make the infernal regions terrible, the
darkness, the prison, the river of flaming fire, the judgment seat, &c., are
all a fable, with which the poets amuse themselves, and by them agitate us
with vain terrors." Sextus Empiricus calls them "poetic fables of hell;" and
Cicero speaks of them as "silly absurdities and fables" (ineptiis ac
9. Aristotle. "It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times
to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine
(Deity) compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the
mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and
for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state."
Neander's Church Hist., I, p. 7. 11
(The above quotes were taken from "The Origin and History of the Doctrine of
Endless Punishment" by Thomas Thayer.)
The question this book began with is now, I trust, answered by a sufficient
number of witnesses to settle the matter. Hell was invented by men of power
who felt it was the only way to hold the masses of ignorant people under
their power. It is the same today. If the people of power today REALLY
believed the myths they are perpetuating, they themselves would behave MUCH
differently than they are. Seeing their own corrupt behavior should make it
plain to anyone, these political, business, and especially religious leaders
have not the slightest faith in these things themselves; they do not think
them at all necessary to regulate their own lives, or keep them in order;
but it is for the average people, the dumb sheep who must be restrained with
fears of great terror in the afterlife. One cannot help noting the
resemblance between those wise men of old and some of our own day, who seem
so anxious to maintain the doctrine on the ground that it is necessary to
restrain men from sin. I think it is time we "dumb sheep" wise up and get
out from under the myths these men of corruption have used to hold the
fetters of our minds in check and check ourselves in at the sheepfold of the
Good Shepherd who knows how to restrain HIS sheep with love, not fear. What
do you think?
Quotes from Christian Perpetuators of the Mythology of Hell:
The following quotes are from Christian leaders who used the pagan concept of Hell
to keep the poor masses in subjection to power-hungry and often very evil political
and religious men and women. The Church has often been a more effective means
of enslaving the masses than military might. There are hundreds of thousands of other
Church leaders throughout the centuries who could be quoted expressing similar thoughts
to the ones below Compare these words to Jesus' words to the poor of this world and it
should become very obvious from which spirit these men were speaking. Satan has
controlled the Church for a long time. It's time for a great change.
"At that greatest of all spectacles, that last and eternal judgment how shall I admire, how
laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs groaning in the
lowest abyss of darkness "
"Reprobate infants are vipers of vengeance, which Jehovah will hold over hell, in the
tongs of his wrath, till they turn and spit venom in his face!"
"The view of the misery of the damned will double the ardour of the love and
gratitude of the saints of heaven."
"That the saints may enjoy their beatitude more thoroughly, and give more
abundant thanks for it to God, a perfect sight of the punishment of the
damned is granted them."
"Husbands shall see their wives, parents shall see their children tormented before
their eyes the bodies of the damned shall be crowded together in hell like grapes
in a wine-press, which press on another till they burst "
"How shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many
proud monarchs groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness; so many
magistrates liquefying in fiercer flames than they ever kindled against the
Christians; so many sages philosophers blushing in red-hot fires with their
deluded pupils; so many tragedians more tuneful in the expression of their
own sufferings; so many dancers tripping more nimbly from anguish then
ever before from applause."
Jeremy Taylor of the Church of England
"The bodies of the damned shall be crowded together in hell, like grapes in
a wine-press, which press one another till they burst; every distinct sense and
organ shall be assailed with its own appropriate and most exquisite sufferings."
Jonathan Edwards (A Calvinist of the "Great Awakening" fame. Newspapers
reported people leaving his sermons and committing suicide from the fear
he instilled in them.)
"The world will probably be converted into a great lake or liquid globe of fire,
in which the wicked shall be overwhelmed, which will always be in tempest,
in which they shall be tossed to and fro, having no rest day and night, vast
waves and billows of fire continually rolling over their heads, of which they
shall forever be full of a quick sense within and without; their heads, their eyes,
their tongues, their hands, their feet, their loins and their vitals, shall forever
be full of a flowing, melting fire, fierce enough to melt the very rocks and
elements; and also, they shall eternally be full of the most quick and lively
sense to feel the torments; not for one minute, not for one day, not for one
age, not for two ages, not for a hundred ages, nor for ten thousand millions
of ages, one after another, but forever and ever, without any end at all, and
never to be delivered."
John Calvin (Who had some of his theological enemies burned to death in
green slow-burning wood.):
Calvin describes hell as: "Forever harrassed with a dreadful tempest, they
shall feel themselves torn asunder by an angry God, and transfixed and
penetrated by mortal stings, terrified by the thunderbolts of God, and broken
by the weight of his hand, so that to sink into any gulf would be more
tolerable than to stand for a moment in these terrors."
The Reverend C. H. Spurgeon in his sermon Sermon on the Resurrection
of the Dead:
"When thou diest, thy soul will be tormented alone; that will be a hell for it,
but at the day of judgment they body will join they soul, and then thou wilt
have twin hells, thy soul sweating drops of blood, and thy body suffused
with agony. In fire exactly like that which we have on earth thy body will lie,
asbestos-like, forever unconsumed, all they veins roads for the feet of
pain to travel on, every nerve a string on which the devil shall forever play
his diabolical tune of 'Hell's Unutterable Lament.'''
(Quoted from Christ Triumphant by Thomas Allin)
Night Thoughts by Young
"Father of Mercies! Why from silent earth didst thou awake and curse me
into birth, tear me from quiet, banish me from night, and make a thankless
present of Thy light, push into being a reverse of Thee and animate
a clod with misery?"
(Quoted in "The Bible Hell" by J.W. Hanson, page 28)
Reverend J. Furniss, C.S.S.R in his book The Sight of Hell
(A Catholic book for children)
"Little child, if you go to hell there will be a devil at your side to strike you.
He will go on striking you every minute for ever and ever without stopping.
The first stroke will make your body as bad as the body of Job, covered,
from head to foot, with sores and ulcers. The second stroke will make
your body twice as bad as the body of job. The third stroke will make your
body three times as bad as the body of Job. The fourth stroke will make
your body four times as bad as the body of Job. How, then, will your body
be after the devil has been striking it every moment for a hundred million
of years without stopping? Perhaps at this moment, seven o'clock in he
evening, a child is just going into hell. To-morrow evening, at seven
o'clock, go and knock at the gates of hell and ask what the child is doing.
The devils will go and look. They will come back again and say, the child
is burning. Go in week and ask what the child is doing; you will get the
same answer, it is burning; Go in a year and asks the same answer
comes--it is burning. Go in a million of years and ask the same question,
the answer is just the same--it is burning. So, if you go for ever and ever,
you will always get the same answer--it is burning in the fire.)
-- (Quoted from Christ Triumphant by Thomas Allin)
More from Reverend J. Furniss, C.S.S.R
"The fifth dungeon is the red hot oven. The little child is in the red hot oven.
Hear how it screams to come out; see how it turns and twists itself about
in the fire. It beats its head against the roof of the oven. It stamps its little
feet on the floor."
(The Sight of Hell)
(Quoted from Christ Triumphant by Thomas Allin)
Reverend E.B. Pusey, D.D.
"Gather in one, in your mind, an assembly of all those men and women,
from whom, whether in history or in fiction, your memory most shrinks,
gather in mind all that is loathsome, most revolting * * * conceive the
fierce, fiery eyes of hate, spite, frenzied rage, ever fixed on thee, looking
thee through and through with hate * * * hear those yells of blaspheming
concentrated hate, as they echo along the lurid vault of hell; everyone
hating everyone * * * Yet a fixedness in that state in which the hardened
malignant sinner dies, involves, without any further retribution of God,
this endless misery."
(Quoted from Christ Triumphant by Thomas Allin)
Night Thoughts by Young from "The Bible Hell" by J.W. Hanson, page 28
"Father of Mercies! Why from silent earth didst thou awake and curse
me into birth, tear me from quiet, banish me from night, and make a
thankless present of Thy light, push into being a reverse of Thee and
animate a clod with misery?"
(The list will be expanded as time goes by. If the reader knows of any
other quotes which would be appropriate to add to this list, please
send them giving detailed references so they can be verified.
Send them to: [email protected])
#1 Universalism--The Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church During Its
First Five Hundred Years by Dr. J.W. Hanson
#2 The Bible Hell by Dr. J.W. Hanson
#3 Arguments in Favor of Universalism
#4 100 Scriptural Proofs Jesus is the Savior of the world
#5 Bible Threatenings Explained by Dr. J.W. Hanson
#6 The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail by Gary Amirault and Tony Hinkle
(Proves many Bibles do NOT contain Hell or "everlasting punishment."
#7 Early Christian View of the Savior by Gary Amirault
#8 Aion by Dr. J.W. Hanson
#9 The Power of Life and Death is a Four Letter Greek Word--Aion by Gary
#10 Time and Eternity by G.T. Stevenson
#11 Analytical Study of Words by Louis Abbott
#12 Rich Man and Lazarus Parable Explained
#13 Eternal Death: One Step Out of Hell, One Step Short of Glory
#14 Just what you do mean...Judgment? by J. Preston Eby
#15 Arguments in Favor of Universalism by E.E. Guild
#16 The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment by Dr.
Mistranslation of the word "aion":
Aion by Dr. J.W. Hanson
The Power of Life and Death is a Four Letter Greek Word--Aion by Gary Amirault
Time and Eternity by G.T. Stevenson
Mistranslation of Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna:
The Bible Hell by Dr. J.W. Hanson
Analytical Study of Words by Louis Abbott
The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment by Dr. Thomas
Rebuttals of Hell-supporting Scriptures in some Bibles:
Bible Threatenings Explained by Dr. J.W. Hanson
Rich Man and Lazarus Parable Explained
Proofs Annihilationism is NOT taught in the original languages of the Bible:
Eternal Death: One Step Out of Hell, One Step Short of Glory
God's punishment is NOT eternal:
Just what you do mean...Judgment? by J. Preston Eby
Arguments and Scriptures Favoring the Salvation of All Mankind:
Arguments in Favor of Universalism by E.E. Guild
Early Christian View of the Savior by Gary Amirault
The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail by Gary Amirault and Tony Hinkle
(Proves many Bibles do NOT contain Hell or "everlasting punishment."
100 Scriptural Proofs Jesus is the Savior of the world
About the Author:
I'd like the reader to be aware that I am a conservative
Christian who spent several years in very evangelical fundamental churches.
Even before I became a Christian my values were always conservative, not
liberal. I mention this because that is often the first line of attack
against this glorious truth. The belief in the salvation of all mankind
through Jesus Christ is NOT a far left liberal principle--it is simply a
plain fact which Christians of all kinds should pray about, study and then
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