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Does the Hell/ECT Doctrine Hold Up to Scrutiny...?

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posted on Jul, 25 2020 @ 10:08 PM
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Does the Hell/ECT Doctrine Hold Up to Scrutiny?

Most folks listen to their priest/preacher/minister and also read their Bibles, and most of the time they hear or see “Hell” mentioned, and accept it as a given, in a prima facie sense. I ask you, however, is it so? Does this word and concept belong in the Bible? Does it really belong in t,he theology of so many churches? Let’s dig down into the “infernum” of our subject, “infernum” simply meaning originally that which is below...or simply underground.

The witness of the creation accounts

In Genesis, chapters 1 and 2, is the basic Biblical story of the creation of the cosmos and everything in it. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” as we read in Genesis 1:1. Note that there is no mention of God also creating hell. Chapter 1 goes on to state six times that the creation was good, the last time VERY good. The existence of hell would have made it less good, but then, that was before the Fall, so it may not apply. If God made it later, it is not mentioned anywhere, but don’t believe me – examine this list of scriptures mentioning creation:

Exodus 20:11
Isaiah 40:26
Isaiah 45:7-8, 18
Mark 10:6
John 1:1-5
Romans 1:20,25
Romans 8:19-22
I Corinthians 8:6
II Corinthians 5:17
Ephesians 2:10
Colossians 1:16-17, 20
Hebrews 11:3
Revelation 4:11
In Isaiah 45:7 we see a mention of light and darkness, but this is not a hint of hell, if someone were hoping so, for darkness is simply where the light has yet to penetrate.

So, hell appears to be uncreated, but there is more.

The witness of the translated terms

We will find the origin of hell presently, but first let’s look at the words and terms it was translated from.

1. Sheol

“Sheol” is is from the Hebrew, and generally defined as the realm, state or abode of the dead, apart from the literal grave. It is translated in the KJV and probably other translations into one of three words: grave, pit (about half) or hell (about half). Overall, I can think of no good reason to separate “sheol” into three words, as the translators have done. They could have very well let “sheol” stand transliterated, to let it be understood by context and usage. I suppose they needed some support for the hell doctrine in the Old Testament, for besides sheol-rendered-as-hell, there is so very little to go that way.

I find a strong tendency (not consistent) for “sheol” to be rendered as “grave” or “pit” when the context places the instance in the real world. The verses in the “hell” list mostly lack context to connect them to the real world, but this is, again, not consistent.
Besides context, there are solid reasons why some verses were translated in one way or another, mostly theological reasons. Consider I Samuel 2:6 – I’m sure the translators would have been happy to have rendered it as, “…he bringeth down to hell…”, but what would they have done with the following, “…and bringeth up.”? It would have violated the doctrine and belief that damnation is final and irreversible. We can see the same thing going on with Psalms 30:3, 49:14-15, 89:48 and Hosea 13:14, all quoted in the “grave/pit” half.
We have the same problem in reverse, in the “hell” half.Splatter Pak PsalmSplatter Pak 16:10’s “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell…,” should have been given over to the “grave/pit” camp, thus avoiding the ban on exit from hell. As it reads, the translators made a mistake, from their point of view. We see it again in Psalm 86:13, Psalm 139:8 and Amos 9:2.
2. Hades
“Hades” is the best Greek eqivalent for the Hebrew term “sheol.” However, it is a pagan word from a pagan culture, and thus, brought in some unfortunate theological baggage. It is translated as “hell” consistently in most Bibles, except for one instance. I wondered if it were a matter of context, so I examined all eleven instances of the word, and found that context did allow in ten, if a whole town (Capernaum) going to hell is not too much to swallow. The one time when “hades” was rendered as “grave,” was in I Corinthians 15:55. Now context might have allowed, but Paul’s taunt of, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” follows after Hosea 13:14 – “O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction…”. If either were rendered as “hell,” it would have violated the no-exit/eternal-hell doctrine, and the whole idea would have been exposed if hell were robbed of its victory and subject to destruction.

The last two instances of “hades” to “hell” are in the Revelation, 20:13-14. “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them…And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” As these verses stand, they are confusing, and just muddy the waters – “hades,” in the sense of the realm/place of the dead, would be clearer, and that is precisely what my Bible’s references suggest. The translators may have over-reached themselves here, however – hell delivering up its dead, and hell cast into the Lake of Fire (destruction?) violate the no-exit/eternal-hell doctrine. Using “grave” or “sheol” would have cleared up the problems.
3. Gehenna
“Gehenna” is used in the Bible some twelve times, depending on the version, and refers to a physical place in the real world that you can visit today. In the OT, it was the “Valley of the Sons of Hinnom,” where children were sacrificed to idols. The form we read in the NT is a Greek transliteration. Now since it is a place in the real world, a fact no one can dispute, I believe its translation as “hell” is NOT justified.
4. Tartarus
This is yet another pagan word from a pagan culture, and only used once, in II Peter 2:4. For the Greeks, it was a prison for the Titans and some people - to Peter, it was a prison for some spirit beings. Should we really hang a doctrine on the single use of a term?
Further, if these four terms were NOT translated as ”hell,” would any of us have suspected such a place, such an outcome? If we take the Bible at face value, how do we explain God failing to tell us that He made the place? How we view God’s sketchy warnings – why did He warn Adam and Eve of only death...if hell were a real place? The warnings He gave to many after that follow the same pattern: simple death was the only listed outcome.
So, examination of the four underlying words translated to “hell” fails to support the concept, especially as two of them are pagan terms. So let’s move on to...
The witness of paganism
You the reader may be wondering something like “What the hell?” and I fully sympathize. Where did this word “hell” come from, anyway? Happily, we have some bread crumbs. Not only do we have the help of our Bible’s marginal references, telling us to “see sheol,” “see hades,” “see gehenna,” and “see tartarus” - we have the following:
1. I have an Oxford English Dictionary, and it lists the year in which a word first appears in the English language. For “hell” that year is about 825 AD. In that period, Norse and Danes were pouring into the eastern part of Britain, and the Danelaw resulted. New Nordic words were coming into use as well as Nordic rule, and “hel” was one such word. Here’s a sampling from related languages:
Old English – hel
Old Frisian – helle, hille
Old Saxon – hellja, hella
Old High German – helle
Old Norse – hel, heljar
Gothic – halja
Original Teutonic – halja
It’s useful to know that the original meaning




posted on Jul, 25 2020 @ 10:13 PM
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Old English – hel
Old Frisian – helle, hille
Old Saxon – hellja, hella
Old High German – helle
Old Norse – hel, heljar
Gothic – halja
Original Teutonic – halja
It’s useful to know that the original meaning of such words was “to hide, to cover” used as verbs, and “hidden, covered” used as adjectives – a reference to the grave, but not to the common understanding of hell. We pick up breadcrumbs in the 1611 KJV, where we see “hell,” and also “hel,” used twice. We see “hel” a lot more in “Beowulf,” which was written in Old English – in fact, it was the Anglo-Saxon language, spoken also on the continent. Under the baptized veneer of the story is a pagan subtext, and the Angles and Saxons were pagans if you go very far back in time. Note in the list above that Old Norse shared “hel” with Old English/Anglo Saxon, so maybe that breadcrumb could lead to something in the culture of Old Norway.
In Norse mythology, we find paydirt – the Norse believed that if you did not rate going to Valhalla when you died, you would spend th,e afterlife in Helheim, or “House of Hel.” Hel was the ruler of Helheim, they thought, and was thought to be a goddess or ogress, and very ugly.
2. Have you ever seen a depiction of the Tibetan Buddhist hell? It is all too familiar: fire, demons and the suffering damned in scenes of torture and misery. The Islamic hell is much like it, but less inventive. Some other religions have a hell, and some don’t.
The witness of truth
So – having tracked hell down to its likely source in pagan mythology/religion, what should we believe? God has some cheery news for us: the Jubilee. Every 49 years, at a set time, everyone who had fallen into slavery was freed, and had land and possessions returned – see Leviticus 25:8-13. Are you mired in sin? Aren’t we all? The Bible tells us to resist sin, the flesh, the adversary...but so few seem to overcome in this life. However, do not despair – the same Book has the solution: Romans 6:7, “For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

This is our Jubilee – after a lifetime as slaves to sin, we are freed! How do we know we are all saved? First Corinthians 15:28 tells us, “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” Yes, “all” in this verse really means ALL – you, me and everyone! Jesus the Christ really is the Savior of the World, in fact, of the entire created Cosmos. I need to add that the Lake of Fire is not Hell, and is not ID’d as Hell in the Revelation. After a long word study on “fire” in the Bibe, which is beyond the scope of this short essay, I concluded that all mentions of fire in the Bible are either natural fire or a manifestation of God, or as I like to call it, Godfire. Therefore, I am compelled to see the Lake of Fire as Godfire, which is both punitive, corrective and transformatinal. I will leave you with First Corinthians 3:15 - “ If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”



posted on Jul, 25 2020 @ 11:48 PM
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I've never been to hell as far as I know but I havent been many places. It's never too late for some creating. The New Jerusalem isn't on earth yet either.

Fear God.
edit on 25-7-2020 by Out6of9Balance because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 12:27 AM
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But
Satan, it’s demons are eternal so, where do they go
Humanity was not created to be eternal so they shall burn away up to nothing, gone, forgotten, nothing left, vanish to eternal shame as the bible states

As for eternal creatures, demons, what is your solution for their banishment?



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 12:50 AM
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a reply to: Lazarus Short

The Semitic worldview was pretty much developed in Mesopotamia by the Sumerians(non-semitic). Then adopted pretty much wholesale by the Akkadians(Semitic) after the conquest by Sargon the Great. His daughter, Enheduanna, invented poetry. She translated the Sumerian texts into Akkadian. These texts describe the underworld/land of the dead, and the god in charge there, and Inanna's descent and return from there.

The Sheol is pretty much the same for the Israelites. The difference is that the Judeans decided to switch from henotheism to monotheism. Thus, there were no gods or goddesses associated with the dead. No stories to tell about a god or goddess descending there and returning, to be elevated to the heavens, like Inanna.

So the Christian idea of Jesus dying, descending to the underworld, rising back, and ascending glorified to heaven goes back in narrative at least to the Inanna stories.

But as far as hell being a place of eternal torture, that seems to be absent in Old Testament as well as New Testament.



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 03:08 AM
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"Hell" was just more convenient for the church hierarchy, for keeping the plebs in line and increasing their own power and wealth.
Another of religion's crimes against humanity imo, taking the beauty of Jesus's teachings and corrupting them with hate, fear, guilt, division and greed.
edit on 26-7-2020 by Osirisvset because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 07:05 AM
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a reply to: pthena

That’s crap, nothing less than utter crap
In fact the Jews didn’t believe in life after death, the Sanhedrin were against it completely, the Pharisees not so much but not really sure and didn’t really care
So far from the truth it beggars belief younwould even say that

The idea of Jesus returning from the grave was shocking as the afterlife wasn’t assumed or mostly believed in Judaism. It wasnt till the Greek culture through Alexander, came into Israel that life after death was even considered

You just can’t make crap up and say it’s the truth pthena, just lies, blatant lies, I can’t even imagine why you would make that up or pretend you even know what Judaism taught when you are so far from the truth



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 07:08 AM
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originally posted by: Osirisvset
"Hell" was just more convenient for the church hierarchy, for keeping the plebs in line and increasing their own power and wealth.
Another of religion's crimes against humanity imo, taking the beauty of Jesus's teachings and corrupting them with hate, fear, guilt, division and greed.


This is so wrong as well because the plebs don’t go to hell, Jesus taught the plebs not to fear he’ll, not to fear sin.
You are right, Jesus taught His followers to love, have no fear of sin or judgement from God, just to try their best.
Catholic hierarchy maybe?



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 09:55 AM
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originally posted by: Raggedyman
But
Satan, it’s demons are eternal so, where do they go
Humanity was not created to be eternal so they shall burn away up to nothing, gone, forgotten, nothing left, vanish to eternal shame as the bible states

As for eternal creatures, demons, what is your solution for their banishment?


Demons - why do you think they are eternal? I have no solution...but God does.

Humans - why do you think they are not eternal? God has a solution: the resurrection.



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 09:59 AM
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pthena said:

So the Christian idea of Jesus dying, descending to the underworld, rising back, and ascending glorified to heaven goes back in narrative at least to the Inanna stories.

Laz replies;
Jesus the Christ died and descended only as far as His tomb. He never descended to Hell, because there is no such place. Pagan myths have nothing to do with it.



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 10:02 AM
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originally posted by: Osirisvset
"Hell" was just more convenient for the church hierarchy, for keeping the plebs in line and increasing their own power and wealth.
Another of religion's crimes against humanity imo, taking the beauty of Jesus's teachings and corrupting them with hate, fear, guilt, division and greed.


Yes, hell helped keep the pews and the offering plates full. With Hell out of the way, we are free to be human beings and hopefully ready for the liberty of being the sons and daughters of God.



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 10:16 AM
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I missed putting this into my essay, a vestige of hell meaning "to hide, to cover." My father explained it to me: if a farmer lacked a root cellar or a cellar/basement under the house, and needed a place to keep veggies or fruits over the winter, he would do the following. First, he would dig a pit or trench deeper than the local frost line. Then, he would line the bottom with straw. On top of that, he’d place a layer of, say, potatoes. More straw went on top of the potatoes, and he would finish the job by shovelling in the dirt previously dug out. Note – it is called “helling the potatoes.

It is much more accurate to state that "Hell" is the grave, than to say it is a place of eternal, conscious torment.



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 10:31 AM
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a reply to: Lazarus Short

That would have been simply because of the ignorance of the people.
edit on 26-7-2020 by Out6of9Balance because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 11:26 AM
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originally posted by: Lazarus Short

originally posted by: Raggedyman
But
Satan, it’s demons are eternal so, where do they go
Humanity was not created to be eternal so they shall burn away up to nothing, gone, forgotten, nothing left, vanish to eternal shame as the bible states

As for eternal creatures, demons, what is your solution for their banishment?


Demons - why do you think they are eternal? I have no solution...but God does.

Humans - why do you think they are not eternal? God has a solution: the resurrection.


To understand takes a fair bit of study
though
Start here
rightwordtruth.com...

And it’s my understanding so I won’t say I know exactly but reasonably confident

Hell was prepared for satan, it’s eternal fire

Let us consider verses 31-46 which tell us that some will “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). It is about these that Christ said that the righteous shall enter into eternal life (verse 46). But some will “go away into everlasting punishment” (Matt. 25:46). Of these Christ said, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (verse 41). In verse 46 we read that they “shall go away into everlasting punishment”.

God forced aAdam and Eve leave from the Garden before they ate the fruit of eternal life
www.learnreligions.com...



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 12:51 PM
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a reply to: Raggedyman



You just can’t make crap up and say it’s the truth pthena, just lies, blatant lies, I can’t even imagine why you would make that up or pretend you even know what Judaism taught when you are so far from the truth

Okay. I've re-read my post. I didn't mention Judaism. Judaism is like Christianity, split up into various sects, some believe one way and some believe another way.

What I should have expanded on was this:

Thus, there were no gods or goddesses associated with the dead. No stories to tell about a god or goddess descending there and returning, to be elevated to the heavens, like Inanna.


There aren't Semitic stories, at least that I know of, about dead people doing this and that as if they were still alive. The stories are about the god/desses doing this and that. Sometimes a seer (such as Balaam son of Beor) is depicted as witnessing that in such a way that they seem to be participants.

The point being, polytheists have enough gods to be characters in those stories. Monotheists do not. So they don't have those stories. And if they do have those stories, they don't go around telling each other. And even if they tell each other, they say it was a dream or a vision or just something they made up.



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 01:33 PM
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a reply to: Lazarus Short



Laz replies;
Jesus the Christ died and descended only as far as His tomb. He never descended to Hell, because there is no such place. Pagan myths have nothing to do with it.

Well yeah. Isn't that what this thread is about? Hell not an actual place.
Take this hymn as an example, which scholars say was not from Paul, but rather cited by Paul in Philippians 2:

5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6Who, being in very nature a God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

7rather, he made himself nothing

by taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

8And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death—

even death on a cross!

9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

and gave him the name that is above every name,

10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Who could the under the earth knees belong to? Worms don't have knees.

Those must be the gods and goddesses of the underworld, referred to by the civilized (not pagan) writings of prior times.



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 02:09 PM
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a reply to: Lazarus Short

Yes!!! To hide. To cover. That's why the dead are buried. To protect human dignity.

Now consider a rather horrifying scene from Isaiah 66:23,24:

22“For just as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, will endure before Me,” declares the LORD, “so your descendants and your name will endure. 23From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come to worship before Me,” says the LORD. 24“As they go forth, they will see the corpses of the men who have rebelled against Me; for their worm will never die, their fire will never be quenched, and they will be a horror to all mankind.”…


That is very much like the punishment of Prometheus.

The punishment of Prometheus as a consequence of the theft of fire is a popular subject of both ancient and modern culture. Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, sentenced the Titan to eternal torment for his transgression. The immortal was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to eat Prometheus' liver, which would then grow back overnight to be eaten again the next day (in ancient Greece, the liver was often thought to be the seat of human emotions). Prometheus was eventually freed by the hero Heracles.
Prometheus

People go on and on about how great Heracles was, while the discerning and wise will easily see how much greater is Chiron.

His nobility is further reflected in the story of his death, as Prometheus sacrificed his life, allowing mankind to obtain the use of fire. As the son of Cronus he was immortal, so it was left to Heracles to arrange a bargain with Zeus to exchange Chiron's immortality for the life of Prometheus, who had been chained to a rock and left to die for his transgressions. Chiron was pierced with an arrow belonging to Heracles that had been treated with the blood of the Hydra,
...
Ironically, Chiron, the master of the healing arts, could not heal himself and willingly gave up his immortality. For this reason, his half-brother Zeus took pity of him thus placed him among the stars in the sky to be honored. The Greeks identified him as the constellation Centaurus.
Chiron-Death

It's a matter of perspective. Sure, Prometheus, Heracles, and even Zeus get to hang out on Mount Olympus. But there ... way out there among the stars, so much higher than Olympus, is Chiron.



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: Lazarus Short

Regardless of what name you want to give it, here's what the Bible says...

Isaiah 33:14 - The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?

Daniel 12:2 - And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Matthew 18:8 - Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

Matthew 25:41 - Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Matthew 25:46 - And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

2 Thessalonians 1:9 - Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 07:30 PM
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originally posted by: Deetermined
a reply to: Lazarus Short

Regardless of what name you want to give it, here's what the Bible says...

Isaiah 33:14 - The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?

Daniel 12:2 - And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Matthew 18:8 - Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

Matthew 25:41 - Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Matthew 25:46 - And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

2 Thessalonians 1:9 - Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;





None of those verses specify a place of eternal, conscious torment, known as "hell" - it is read or assumed. For the threatening language, you should try the same verses in other versions/translations. Some have "enduring" or "age-long" for eternal or everlasting. Remember that your Bible was probably translated by Damnationists, but some were not. Isaiah 33:14 is especially easy to deal with when you realize that God lives in fire and burnings. It is His nature - remember that He dwells in "inapproachable light"? We must be glorified before we can endure His presence, and that glory is part of the light, fire and burning of God. It began with the swords of fire guarding the way to the Garden of Eden, showing that flesh cannot enter the Kingdom. We see the fire in the burning bush, which was not consumed by the fire, showing our state in the coming Kingdom. You are even saved "as through fire" but that fire burns up your works, if they fall into the category of dross, chaff, wood, hay and stubble.

If you doubt me, do a word study on "fire" and related words in the Bible.



posted on Jul, 26 2020 @ 07:32 PM
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a reply to: pthena

Why do you fall back so often on pagan Greek mythology?




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