Prior to discussing Hell in the Bible; Hell in Quran should be put a bit light on, owing to this is continuation chain of revelation and Quran is the Book that confirms the message sent before and sets an article of faith; unless not believed the message came before beginning from Adam to Jesus Christ peace be upon them all; no one can be Muslim, most of the message sent before is lost and this is not controversial however exists a little bit at the moment may be part of Turah, Injeel and Zaboor; however according to Hadid 57:27 not the actual one rather lost; what exists at the moment is the corrupted message; some parts may be Word of God.
Nevertheless Quran does confirm the message sent to all the prophets Rad 13:38; though the evidence found for this message is very little, the best I suggest as confirmatory test for any Word of God is; match all the messages (Holy Scriptures) and what’s confirmed by all the religious scriptures to be common; unescapably that’s confirmation for the message to be Word of God apart from this no confirmatory statement can be put before the people about the old scriptures as don’t pass even scientific basic test; containing thousands of errors and contradictory directions.
Right away, looking into the Quran what does it say about Hell; one thing should be clear, among Muslims or in their doctrines there is no controversy at all about Hell; every Muslim believes Hell in accordance with the instruction of Quran which is the fundamental and preeminent source of knowledge in Islam. One of the best definitions found amid precision in Quran in plain words is Imran 3:185 “Every soul shall have a taste of death and verily on the Day of Judgment you shall be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire (Hell) and admitted to the Garden (Heaven) will have attained the object of Life for the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.” Besides, a complete Chapter of Quran explaining the Hell as place of those whose good deeds balance will be light (in weight) is Qarea (Great Calamity) 101:3-11,
“A Day whereon men will be like moths scattered about and the mountains will be like carded wool then he whose balance of good deeds will be found heavy will be in a life of good pleasure and satisfaction, but he whose balance of good deeds will be found light will have a home in a (bottomless) pit, knowest thou what it is?, a Fire blazing fiercely!”
Baqara 2:24, 206, Imran 3:12, 103, 131, 151, 191-192, 197, Nisa 4:56, 4:121, Aaraf 7:18, 38,179, Yunus 10:52, Toba 9:81, Hud 11:119, Abrahim 14:16-17, 28-30, Hijr 15:43-44, Nahl 16:29, Isra 17:97, Kahf 18:29, Taha 20:74, Ambya 21:98-100, Haf 22:19-22, Mominun 23:103-108, Furqan 25:11-12, 65-66, Ankubut 29:54-55, Sajda 32:13-14, 20, Fatir 35:36, Yasin 36:63-64, Suad 38:55-64, 85, Zumr 39:16, 35, 60, Gafir 40:71-76, Fusilat 41:28, Shura 42:13-16, Zukhruf 43:74-77, Dukhan 44:43- 50, Jasia 45:10, Qaf 50:24-26, Qamar 54:48, Rahman 55:43-44, Waqea 56:41-56, 94, Hadid 57:15, Mujadala 58:8, Hashar 59:3, Tehrim 66:6, Mulk 67:7-8, Marij 69:30-37, Muh 70:15-18, Jin 72:23, Muzamil 73:12-13, Mudasir 74:26-31, 74:28, 42-48, Insan 76:4, Murslat 77:29-33, Naba 78:21-30, Nazeat 79:36-39, Takwir 81:12, Infitar 82:14-16, Mutaffifin 83:16-17, Inshiaqat 84:11, Aala 87:13, Ghashya 88:4-7, Fajr 89:23, Balad 90:20, Layl 92:14-16, Takasur 102:6-7, Humaza104:4-9, Lahab 111:3 are the verses of Quran which confirm Hell an abode for the evil people in the Hereafter, no doctrine in Islam is taken out of these verses; many hadith do confirm but those Hadith are based on the verses above mentioned thus these verses in Islam are the basis for the Doctrine of Hell. Now let us research in Bible and analyze what Bible talks about Hell and how if differs from Islamic Doctrine?
Concept of Hell in the Bible is one of the most misunderstood notions among majority of Christians and Jews who hold the doctrine that Bible doesn’t teach about Hell; they misquote to the new people particularly those who’ve weak knowledge of Bible; in most of the cases they cite Romans 6:23 where “punishment for sin is death.” Another misquote with regard to this doctrine is 2 Peter 2:4; however next verses i.e. 2 Peter 2:4-10 are never suggested to emphasize on; owing to in these verses the concept of Hell becomes clear, perhaps 2 Peter 2:4-10 are the verses which clearly defines Hell and for whom it is prepared for.
Prior to coming to this point; let us analyze how subsequent to 325 AD where emphasis to corrupt this sacred message was strong; concern to change this doctrine was one of the major concerns; chronological order justifies transparently.
The word Hell in Bible according to “Authorized” King James Version (KJV) appears 31 times in Old Testament and 23 times in New Testament, in total 54 times; however the interesting point is; in New Kings James Version (NKJV) this word has been replaced from 12 places in Old Testament and 10 in New Testament; so now rather than 54 times; it appears only 32 times. However this slow speed of removal is appreciable because when compared with other versions the speed is pretty fast. New International Version (NIV) didn’t like to use this word in Old Testament nevertheless 14 times in New Testament. American Standard Version (ASV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), Revised English Bible (REB), New Living Translation (NLT) and Amplified used this word in Old Testament zero time (0), contrariwise in New Testament 13 times. Revised Standard Version (RSV), New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), Darby and New Century Vision (NCV) didn’t put this word in Old Testament nonetheless 12 times in New Testament. Here one point is appreciable with regard to Revised and New Revised Standard Versions; in both versions the number of times using this word is same.
In Young’s Literal Translation 1891, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (reprinted, 1902), Fenton's Holy Bible in Modern English (1903), Jewish Publication Society Bible Old Testament (1917), New American Bible (1970), Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible (1976), Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, Old Testament (1985) Christian Bible (1991) and Original Bible Project neither used this word in Old Testament nor in New Testament. When traced the dates of these versions becomes clear most of the versions are of late 19th or after 20th century.
In addition, Wesley's New Testament (1755), The New Testament in Greek and English (Kneeland, 1823), Twentieth Century New Testament (1900), Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech (1903), Panin's Numeric English New Testament (1914), The People's New Covenant (Overbury, 1925), Hanson's New Covenant (1884), Western New Testament (1926), New Testament of our Lord and Savior Anointed (Tomanek, 1958), Concordant Literal New Testament (1983), The New Testament, A Translation (Clementson, 1938), Emphatic Diaglott, Greek/English Interlinear (Wilson, 1942), Emphatic Diaglott, Greek/English Interlinear (Wilson, 1942), Orthodox Jewish Brit Chadasha (New Testament only), Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English (1975), Interlinear NASB-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English (1993) and Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (Berry,1897) didn’t use this word even in New Testament putting ambiguities in Old Testament.
In Romans 6:23 the “Penalty for sin is death”, Christians are said to follow, read and quote 2 Peter 2:4 where “if God didn’t spare angels when they sinned but sent them to Hell putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment”, any sensible person can understand if sinful are held for judgment what does it mean, now continue to read 2 Peter 2:5-8 where different people were destroyed and will be held for judgment where all righteous were saved. In 2 Peter 2:9 “if this is so then God knows how to rescue Godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the Day of Judgment while continuing their punishment.” Now if any person doesn’t understand what means to hold the unrighteous for the Day of Judgment to continue their punishment it simply means he/she is not truthful rather mendacious.
In addition, one more simple explanation transparently putting the truth about Hell is Mathew 5:27-30 “Do not commit adultery, but I tell you anyone who looks at a women lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart, if your right eye causes you to sin gouge it out and throw it away, this is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell and if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away this is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” No difficult language or approach is used, extremely simple if you sin you will go to hell; that means hell is the place for those who sine and exactly opposite of the place for righteous. In Ezekiel 18:20 “the son shall not bear the inequity of the father” that means there will be inequity and on the Day of Judgment there will be some punishment for inequity what? 1 Corinthians 3:8 “every man shall receive his own reward to his own labor.”
Also in Mathew 7:21-23 “everyone who says to me lord, lord will not enter the kingdom of heaven but only he who does the will of my Father, many will say to me on that day lord, lord did we not prophesy in your name and in your names drive out demons and perform many miracles, then I’ll tell them plainly, I never knew you; away from me you evil doers.” These verses put the plain truth against the misquote of Romans 6:23 “the penalty for sin is death” because in heaven if only righteous people will enter who are these people Jesus peace be upon him prophesized with the title evildoers; what they would be doing there; of a surety the evildoers will be there on the Day of Judgment (Psalm 94:15) held to continue their punishment according to 2 Peter 2:4-10.
Another important point put by the Christians and Jews with regard to Hell is; the word Heaven appears over 550 times in Bible; this word is about those who follow the instructions of Bible; so about those who don’t follow Bible the word (Hell) for them should appear thousands of times. Overwhelmingly poor logic, because Christians and Jews fail to realize the verses of Bible Psalm 12:6 “the Words of the Lord are flawless like silver refined in a furnace of clay purified seven times.” Besides Psalm 119:160 “All Your words are true, all Your righteous laws are eternal,” this is irrational approach for the Words of God to put in the category of truth that means only words appearing frequently can be true; on the contrary those appearing less times can’t be true. This is absolutely illogical, unscientific and poor approach with regard to reaching the truth; owing to Bible says all words of God are true; quality never demands quantity; qualities of God being one and unique never means He is not true, the best thing to do will be if some commandment is given by God, Jesus Christ and Moses; the truthful and sincere adherents of Bible straightaway must follow the commandment rather than putting fake and erroneous excuses.
Jonah 2:1-2, Jonah 2:2-6, Job 17:13, 2 Sam. 22:6, Job 24:19, Ps. 116:3, Job 7:9; 10:21, 16:22, 21:13; Ps.49:14, Isa.38:10, Num.16:30,33, Ps.55:15, Prov.1:12, Acts 2:27-31, Psalm 16:10, 1 Corinthians 15:55, Matthew 11:23, 16:18, 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13, 24:51 Luke 10:23, Revelation 1:18, 6:8, Revelation 20:13-14, Matthew 5:22,29-30, 10:28; 18:9; 23:15,33, Mark 9:43,45,47, Luke 12:5 and James 3:6, Leviticus 18:21; 20:2; Joshua 15:8; 18:16; 2 Kings 23:1, 2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6, Nehemiah 11:30, Jeremiah 7:30-33, 19:2, 6, 32:35, Psalms 92:7, Philippians 3:18-19, Psalms 37:20, Psalms 55:15, Ezekiel 32:21,27, Psalms 86:13, Proverbs 15:24, Isaiah 14:9, Isaiah 14:15, Ezekiel 31:16, 104:35, Malachi 4:1, Matthew 13:40, John 15:6, Isaiah 66:24, 66:24, Jeremiah 17:27, Genesis 19:24, Deuteronomy 29:23; 2 Kings 1:12,14, Job 1:16, 18:15; Psalm 11:6, 18:13, Isaiah 30:33, 34:9, Proverbs 11:31 Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 17:29, Revelation 14:10, 19:20, 20:10, 21:8, Leviticus 6:12-13, 2 King 22:17, 2 Chronicles 34:25, Isaiah 34:10, 42:3, 43:3; 66:24; Jeremiah 4:4, 7:20, 17:27, 21:12, Ezekiel 20:47, Matthew 12:20, Mark 9:43-48, Isaiah 24:21, Psalms 92:7, Philippians 3:18-19, Psalms 104:35, Malachi 4:1, Matthew 13:40, John 15:6, Isaiah 66:24, 17:27, Genesis 19:24, Deuteronomy 29:23; 2 Kings 1:12,14, Job 1:16, 18:15, Psalm 11:6, 18:13, Isaiah 30:33; 34:9, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 17:29, Revelation 14:10, 19:20; 20:10, 21:8, Leviticus 6:12-13, 2 King 22:17; 2 Chronicles 34:25, Isaiah 34:10, 42:3, 43:3, 66:24; Jeremiah 4:4, 7:20, 17:27, 21:12, Ezekiel 20:47, Jer.17:27; 52:12-13, 2 Chron.36:19-21 and many others are misquoted; out of these verses there is no a single verse which unequivocally says there is no Hell however all these verse are either linked or connected with the concept of Hell, grave etc. but in most of the cases the translations are changed in different versions emphasis is still on to remove this word from the Bible, some Bible followers say just counted people will go to the Heaven and other will be given good place on the earth which according to the Bible is baseless as Psalm 102:25-26 “the earth will perish” so how word of God can be contradictory as word of God can’t contain errors in it, in Psychology the weakest defense mechanism is denial; similarly in religious scriptures to change the meaning or translation!
Conclusion and Future research
Every law in the world is based on reward and punishment; all the prophets came with a message that God created man and he is sent on the earth for the test of Hereafter. If the concept of punishment is removed from reward; reinforcement policy can’t be put before the people. If in the way of evilness there are no ending dire consequences who would care to avoid wickedness. Mature people understand if given verifiable evidence however those deafness in their ears and blindness in their eyes never understand Mathew 13:13, nonetheless my concern to write this article is not to hurt anyone rather I welcome all the Christians and Jews to understand the concept of Hell in the Bible truthfully and I’m pretty sure if anyone would read this article with open heart and mind would understand the concept of Hell in the Bible as Bible clearly defines Hell as abode for evildoers in the hereafter. Any person who would strive to find the truth will find one day; educated and mature people never follow blindly rather they explore and I’m pretty sure they can decide for selves subject to provided they are truthful in their research without any influence.
Future articles can be about other misconceptions among Christians and Jews and the true doctrine in the Bible.
The New Testament and Psalm, New International Version, The Gideons International (Publishers) Leicestershire.
Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Quran, Amana Publications Beltsville, Maryland USA.
By: Zahid Nawab