It truly is. Gehenna, the word hell is translated from in the New Testament, is rooted in an Old Testament location. It is generally regarded as
derived from a valley nearby Jerusalem that originally belonged to a man named Hinnom. Scholars say the word is a transliteration of the Valley of the
Sons of Hinnom, a valley that had a long history in the Old Testament, all of it bad. For example Molech worship (human sacrifice) occurred there.
During Jesus lifetime, the Hinnom valley was the trash dump outside of Jerusalem. The belief in the eternal part comes from the mistranslation of the
Greek aion: it always meant a period of time
- not forever. It's where our word eon comes from. So when Jesus said Gehenna, his listeners
knew where he was talking about as a real physical place they had seen with there own eyes, not a spiritual place of eternal torture.
The OT word the KJV mistranslates as Hell is actually sheol and it means grave, not hell. . Eternal torture was never mentioned once in the entire
Old Testament. The continued contemporary belief stems from mistranslation of the Greek and Hebrew which brought Hell into our English translations.
Words like Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna, and aion. Hell actually come from a old word, hel, that means to bury, i.e. you hel your potatoes. The
Bible truly does not teach Hell in its correct translation.
I am a Christian. I believe the concept of eternal damnation to be an invention from the same minds that came up with indulgences. To control the
population with fear. God takes no joy in torment, punishment is supposed to be instructive, what would be the use of eternal punishment? Yes there
is sin and evil in the world but God created man for happiness. He just wants you to choose him over the world.