1. All the instances where neshâmâh appears are as follows: Genesis 2:7; 7:22; Deuteronomy 20:16; Joshua 10:40; 11:11,14; 2 Samuel 22:16; 1 Kings 15:29; 17:17; Job 4:9; 26:4; 27:3; 32:8; 33:4; 34:14; 37:10; Psalm 18:15; 150:6; Proverbs 20:27; Isaiah 2:22; 30:33; 42:5; 57:16; Daniel 10:17. In not one instance does the Bible ever even hint that this word is an entity that lives on after death.
2. ALL TEXTS IN WHICH “SHEOL” IS TRANSLATED “HELL” IN THE KING JAMES VERSION
(1) Amos 9:2.– “Though they dig into <hell,> thence shall mine hand take them.” [A figurative expression; but certainly pits of the earth are the only hells men can <dig> into.]
(2) Psalm 16:10.– “Thou wilt not leave my soul in <hell;> neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” [This refers to our Lord’s three days in the tomb.–Acts 2:31; 3:15.]
(3,4) Psalm 18:5 and 2 Sam. 22:6–margin.– “The cords of <hell> compassed me about.” [A figure in which trouble is represented as hastening one to the tomb.]
(5) Psalm 55:15.– “Let them go down quick into <hell”> –margin, “the grave.”
(6) Psalm 9:17.– “The wicked shall be turned into <hell,> and all the nations that forget God.”
(7) Psalm 86:13.– “Thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest <hell”>–margin, “the grave.”
(8) Psalm 116:3.– “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of <hell> gat hold upon me.” [Sickness and trouble are the figurative hands of the grave to grasp us.]
(9) Psalm 139:8.– “If I make my bed in <hell,> behold, thou art there.” [God’s power is unlimited: even over those in the tomb he can and will exert it and bring forth all that are in the graves.–John 5:28.]
(10) Deuteronomy 32:22.– “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn into the lowest <hell.”> [A figurative representation of the destruction, the utter ruin, of Israel as a nation–“wrath to the uttermost,” as the Apostle called it, God’s anger burning that nation to the “lowest <deep,”> as Leeser here translates the word <sheol.>–1 Thessalonians 2:16.]
(11) Job 11:8.– “It [God’s wisdom] is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than <hell> [than any pit]; what canst thou know?”
(12) Job 26:6.– “<Hell> [the tomb] is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.”
(13) Proverbs 5:5.– “Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on <hell [i.e.,> lead to the grave].”
(14) Proverbs 7:27.– “Her house is the way to <hell> [the grave], going down to the chambers of death.”
(15) Proverbs 9:18.– “He knoweth not that the dead are there, and that her guests are in the depths of <hell.”> [Here the harlot’s guests are represented as dead, diseased or dying, and many of the victims of sensuality in premature graves from diseases which also hurry off their posterity to the tomb.]
(16) Proverbs 15:11.– “<Hell> and destruction are before the Lord.” [Here the <grave> is associated with <destruction> and not with a life of torment.]
(17) Proverbs 15:24.– “The path of life (leadeth) upward for the wise, that he may depart from <hell> beneath.” [This illustrates the hope of resurrection from the tomb.]
(18) Proverbs 23:14.– “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from <hell” [i.e.,> wise correction will save a child from vicious ways which lead to premature death, and may also possibly prepare him to escape the “<Second Death.>”
(19) Proverbs 27:20.– “<Hell> [the grave] and destruction are never full: so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”
(20) Isaiah 5:14.– “Therefore <hell> hath enlarged herself and opened her mouth without measure.” [Here the <grave> is a symbol of <destruction.]>
(21,22) Isaiah 14:9,15.– “<Hell> [margin, grave] from beneath is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy coming.” …”Thou shalt be brought down to <hell”> [the grave–so rendered in verse 11].
(23) Isaiah 57:9.– “And didst debase thyself even unto <hell.”> [Here figurative of <deep> degradation.]
(24,25) Ezekiel 31:15-17.– “In the day when he went down to the grave,…I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to <hell> with them that descend into the pit…. They also went down into <hell> with him, unto them that be slain with the sword.” [Figurative and prophetic description of the fall of Babylon into destruction, silence, the grave.]
(26) Ezekiel 32:21.– “The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of <hell> with them that help him.” [A continuation of the same figure representing Egypt’s overthrow as a nation to join Babylon in <destruction>–buried.]
(27) Ezekiel 32:27.– “And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to <hell> with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads; but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.” [The grave is the only “hell” where fallen ones are buried and lie with their weapons of war under their heads.]
(28) Habbakuk 2:5.– “Who enlargeth his desire as <hell> [the grave] and as death, and cannot be satisfied.”
(29) Jonah 2:1,2.– “Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God, out of the fish’s belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of <hell> cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” [The belly of the fish was for a time his <grave>–see margin.]
(30,31) Isaiah 28:15-18.– “Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell [the grave] are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore, saith the Lord, …Your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with <hell> [the grave] shall not stand.” [God thus declares that the present prevalent idea, by which death and the grave are represented as friends, rather than enemies, shall cease; and men shall learn that death is the <wages of sin,> now and that it is in Satan’s power (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 2:14) and not an angel sent by God.]
ALL OTHER TEXTS WHERE “SHEOL” OCCURS–RENDERED “GRAVE” AND “PIT.”
Genesis 37:35.– “I will go down into the <grave> unto my son.”
Genesis 42:38.– “Then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the <grave.”> [See also the same expression in 44:29,31. The translators did not like to send God’s servant, Jacob, to <hell> simply because his sons were evil.]
1 Samuel 2:6.– “The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the <grave,> and bringeth up.”
1 Kings 2:6,9.– “Let not his hoar head go down to the <grave> with peace….His hoar head bring thou down to the <grave> with blood.”
Job 7:9.– “He that goeth down to the <grave.”>
Job 14:13.– “Oh, that thou wouldst hide me in the <grave,> that thou wouldst keep me secret until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldst appoint me a set time, and remember me [resurrect me]!”
Job 17:13.– “If I wait, the <grave> is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.” [Job waits for resurrection–“in the morning.”]
Job 17:16.– “They shall go down to the bars of the <pit> [grave], when our rest together is in the dust.”
Job 21:13.– “They spend their days in mirth, and in a moment go down to the <grave.”>
Job 24:19,20.– “Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the <grave> those which have sinned.” [All have sinned, hence “Death passed upon all men,” and all go down to the <grave.> But all have been redeemed by “the precious blood of Christ”; hence all shall be awakened and come forth again in God’s due time–“in the morning,” Rom. 5:12,18,19.]
Psalm 6:5.– “In death there is no remembrance of thee; in the <grave> who shall give thee thanks?”
Psalm 30:3.– “O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the <grave:> thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” [This passage expresses gratitude for recovery from danger of death.]
Psalm 31:17.– “Let the wicked be ashamed; let them be silent in the <grave.”>
Psalm 49:14,15, margin.– “Like sheep they are laid in the <grave:> death shall feed on them; and the upright [the saints–Dan. 7:27] shall have dominion over them in the morning [the Millennial morning]; and their beauty shall consume, the <grave> being an habitation to every one of them. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the <grave.”>
Psalm 88:3.– “My life draweth nigh unto the <grave.”>
Psalm 89:48.– “Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the <grave?”>
Psalm 141:7.– “Our bones are scattered at the <grave’s> mouth.”
Proverbs 1:12.– “Let us swallow them up alive as the <grave:> and whole, as those that go down into the pit” [<i.e.,> as of an earthquake, as in Num. 16:30-33].
Proverbs 30:15,16.– “Four things say not, it is enough: the <grave,”> etc.
Ecclesiastes 9:10.– “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the <grave,> whither thou goest.”
Song of Solomon 8:6.– “Jealousy is cruel as the <grave.”>
Isaiah 14:11.– “Thy pomp is brought down to the <grave.”>
Isaiah 38:10.– “I shall go to the gates of the <grave:> I am deprived of the residue of my years.”
Isaiah 38:18.– “The <grave> cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”
Numbers 16:30-33.– “If…they go down quick into the <pit,> then shall ye understand….The ground clave asunder that was under them, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They and all that appertained to them went down alive into the <pit,> and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.”
Ezekiel 31:15.– “In the day when he went down to the <grave.”>
Hosea 13:14.– “I will ransom them from the power of the <grave;> I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues; O <grave,> I will be thy destruction. Repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.” [The Lord did not ransom any from a place of fire and torment, for there is no such place; but he did ransom all mankind from the <grave,> from <death,> the penalty brought upon all by Adam’s sin, as this verse declares.]
The above list includes every instance of the use of the English word “hell” and the Hebrew word <sheol> in the Old Testament. From this examination it must be evident to all readers that God’s revelations for four thousand years contain not a single hint of a “hell,” such as the word is now understood to signify.
3. ALL PLACES WHERE THE WORD “HADES” APPEARS IN THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27,31; 1 Corinthians 15:55; Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13,14.
4. The scriptures nowhere speak of “disembodied existence.”
(1) Where do the disciples of Jesus look to find out what happens to us when we die?
(2) Does the Bible and science agree as to the constituents of the human body?
(3) Has science found any factual proof that man has a soul that exists separate and distinct from the human body? What proves that the thinking part of an individual is not separate from the organism?
(4) In general, what do doctors find regarding a person’s cognition during a period of unconsciousness? What evidence does this supply?
(5) Has science been able to find a spirit being that exists within yet separate from the body?
(6) What, then, does science teach us about the spirit?
(7) What does philosophy tell us about rewards for good and bad, and do we find that this is true in the world today?
(8) What can philosophy tell us about a future life where the virtuous will be rewarded?
(9) Where do some turn to find the answers concerning life after death, but what does the Bible say concerning such?
(10) Where can we find the true answer to our question?
(11) Reflect upon the creation of the first man and his soul.
(12) What definition do we give to the word “soul?” Does this apply to lower animals also?
(13) (a) If the soul is immortal, what would we have to conclude concerning those not worthy to be with God? (b) But if the soul is not immortal, what could God do with those who prove themselves to be wilfully wicked?
(14) How can one prove to himself that the soul is not immortal?
(15) (a) What offer did the late Dr. Thomas Clark make, with what results? (b) What did W. E. Gladstone write regarding the soul?
(16) Are there any scriptures which show that the soul dies? If so, what are some of these?
(17) What, then, is the wages of sin?
(18) In the apostle’s day, who alone amongst the rulers possessed immortality?
(19) What illustration is given that shows the absurdity of putting on something that one already has on?
(20) How did the teaching of the immortal soul get into the popular church?
(21) (a) What argument do some put forth for believing that man has an immortal soul? (b) If this argument were true, then what would it mean regarding God and sin?
(22) Does the phrase “breath of life” mean that God breathed immortality into man? Why do you so answer?
(23) Do we inherently have eternal life, and how is this shown in the Scriptures?
(24) If man has no immortal soul, then what hope does the Bible offer of life after death?
(25) Summarize some of the things we have learned so far.
(26) According to the popular view in the churches, what happens to a Disciple of Jesus when he dies?
(27) Are all of God’s faithful servants who have died now living in heaven? Why do so answer?
(28) (a) According to the scriptures who was the first to rise from the dead? (b) Does this conflict with scriptures that speak of others before who were awakened by death?
(29) When do the wicked receive their punishment, and what scriptures show this?
(30) Do believers in Jesus go immediately at death to be with Jesus? Why do so answer?
(31) Did the thief who died beside Jesus go to heaven on the day he died? Why do so answer?
(32) Does one have to be in heaven in order to be with Jesus? Why do so answer?
(33) How do some in the popular churches view this intermediate period between death and the receiving of rewards?
(34) How does the Bible describe man’s condition while dead?
(35) What figure in both the Hebrew and later Scriptures is often used to describe death?
(36) What experience describes the interval between death and the resurrection?
(37) How do we answer those say the sleep of death only means that the dead are no more active in the world which they left, but insist that they are active after death?
(38) How do some try to explain away the fact that Lazarus and other raised from the dead by Jesus said nothing about going to heaven?
(39) However, what facts should be kept in mind concerning death?
(40) How would the suggested argument concerning Lazarus further prove to unreasonable?
(41) Is it the body or the soul that is resurrected? Why do so answer?
(42) Does Psalm 73:24,25 prove that the righteous are immortal? Explain.
(43) Does John 14:2 prove that Jesus’s disciples go immediately to be with him when they die?
(44) Does Psalm 17:15 prove that the redeemed are beholding God’s face in righteousness and are satisfied with seeing his form while they sleep?
(45) Do John 17:24, Romans 8:18, 1 Corinthians 13:12,13; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21,23; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation, chapters 4,5,7,12; Revelation 5:9; 14:3; 6:10; 7:15; and 20:4 teach that those asleep in death are really conscious? Explain each scripture.
(46) Where, then, are dead, both good and bad?
(47) What is the meaning of 1 Timothy 6:15,16?
(48) What is the meaning of 2 Timothy 1:10?
(49) Is eternal death vanquished by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus?
(50) Are those who have everlasting life called immortal in the Bible?
(51) (a) How is the Hebrew word Sheol translated into English in the popular King James Version Bible? (b) What word in Greek corresponds with the Hebrew word Sheol, and how do we know this?
(52) How does Job’s prayer show that Sheol is not a place of torment?
(53) How do we know that Sheol is not an eternal place?
(54) Where did Jesus go when he died?
(55) What do some claim about the Hebrew word Sheol? Is this a valid claim?
(56) How do we respond to those who ask: “If Sheol is the place to which all people go when they die, how can descent into that place be held up as a warning (Psalm 9:17; Proverbs 5:5; 7:27; 15:24; 23:14)?”
(57) How do we respond to those who claim that sheol is a place of pain because God’s anger burns there?
(58) What question is raised by some concerning how believers faced death?
(59) Who is speaking in Numbers 23:10, and why does this scripture not prove that believers were looking forward to death with joyful anticipation?
(60) Why does Psalm 16:9-11; 17:15; 73:24-26 not prove that believers were looking forward to death with joyful anticipation?
(61) What about the claim that Leviticus 26:28 and Luke 12:47,48 refer to degrees of punishment in Sheol?
(62) Does Isaiah 14:12 give us proof that the saints will recognize each other in heaven? Clarify.
(63) What was Jesus illustrating in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus?
(64) Who are symbolized by the rich man?
(65) What class is represented by Lazarus?
(66) Who else are represented in Lazarus?
(67) Who received the message of the Good News first, why, and with what results?
(68)&(69) What statements did Jesus make just before relating the parable under discussion?
(70) How does Paul illustrate the death of Lazarus?
(71)&(72) What did Lazarus’ being taken to the bosom of Abraham mean?
(73) What righteousness did the Jews as whole miss and how?
(74) How did the rich man die?
(75) How did the rich man come to be torments?
(76) How did the rich man desire to receive Lazarus?
(77) What did the chasm represent that separated Lazarus and the rich man?
(78) What was the meaning of the rich man asking Abraham to send Lazarus to his “brothers”?
(79) How do some try to show that Abraham’s bosom in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus represents heaven or paradise? How do we reply?
(80) Does Hebrews 11:10,16 refer the condition of the dead? Explain.
(81) How did death enter into the world? Explain how death came to all.
(82) What provision did God make whereby we could have everlasting life?
(83) What does it mean to believe in Jesus?
(84) How do the justified pass from death to life?
(85) Where any justified before the Messiah came, and how so?
(86) What did Jesus mean as written in John 8:51?
(87) What two classes are therefore in the death-state?
(88) How do some of the justified become participants with Jesus as kings and priests, and how many are of this number?
(89) What kind of reward do the 144,000 receive?
(90) What will happened to the rest of just, those who fail to make the high calling, and those who lived before Jesus?
(91) What kind of resurrection will the unjustified receive?
(92) Why do the unjustified need a future trial?
(93) What assurances are given in the scriptures that all will be given full opportunity to believe? How only can we gain everlasting life?
(94) Are those who heard and rejected Jesus eternally condemned?
(95) What if one has received full knowledge of the good news and still refuses to obey it?
(96) Does this mean that we have a license to sin, since we will be given opportunity to gain everlasting life anyway?
(97) Will everyone receive justification to life? How do we know this?
(98) What three justified groups have we discussed that will share in blessing all the families of the world?
(99) What is the purpose of the Messiah’s return and what assurance is given to all men?
(100) Is faith alone sufficient for justification, as many insist?
(101) Are we made acceptable to God by the works we do? What will Jesus say to those who are faithful to the end?
(102) How long is the judgment day?
(103) What conditions will prevail upon the earth during the world’s judgment day?
(104) What knowledge will fill the earth during the world’s judgment day? Contrast this with today.
(105) How does Isaiah, chapter 25, describe the conditions that will prevail during the world’s judgment day?
(106) How does Isaiah 35:8-10 further describe that time, and who will not be around to cause trouble then?
(107) Contrast justice today with justice under the Messiah’s Kingdom.
(108) What will happen to those who prove themselves to be incorrigible sinners at that time?
(109) What is to happen after the 1,000 years of the Messiah’s reign?
(110) What is the difference between the first death and the second death?
(111) What is often used to symbolize the second death?
(112) How do we answer those who regard the literal fires spoken of in the valley that were continually kept burning as being a literal description of a supposed life in hell?
(113) How do we reply to those who claim that Hades refers is to the abode of the souls of the wicked before the judgment day and Gehenna refers to the abode of the wicked, body and soul, after the judgment day?
(114) Are those who enter the second death tortured for all eternity?
(115) What can be said regarding the believe that the English word “hell” indicates the place of everlasting punishment for the wicked?
(116) What become of those upon the earth who resist Satan at that time?
(117)(118)&(119) Summarize the scriptural hope of life after death.
(120) What other arguments are often used to try to show that the dead are not really dead?
(121) How does the context of the Matthew 17:1-8 show that Moses and Elias [Elijah] were not really alive? How does Peter show the meaning of the transfiguration?
(122) What scripture show that a vision should not be taken as a reality?
(123) To say that Moses and Elijah actually stood with the Messiah on the Mount would contradict what scriptures?
(124) What was Jesus referring to when he said that God is not a God of dead, but the living?
(125) What are some other scriptures that are often used to try to prove that saints are immediately taken to heaven at death?
(126) What was Paul talking about in Philippians 1:23?
(127) Why does II Corinthians 5:8 not teach that the believer immediately goes to heaven to be with the Lord at death?
(128) How do some claim that such passages as Ecclesiastes 3:19,20;9:2,3,5,10 cannot be used to refer to the state of the dead?
(129) How do we overturn to the above argument?
(130) How should we properly understand Ecclesiastes 2:26?
(131) How does Job agree with the statements of Ecclesiastes?
(132) How does Jeremiah agree with Ecclesiastes?
(133) How does Malachi agree with Ecclesiastes?
(134) How does King David and the apostle Paul agree with Ecclesiastes?
(135) How do other scriptures agree with Ecclesiastes’ description of death?
(136) What other argument is often stated concerning Ecclesiastes 9:10?
(137) What does John 9:4 refer to?
(138) Does John 11:17-26 prove that the dead are not really dead? Clarify.
(139)&(140) Does Ecclesiastes 12:7 prove that the righteous go to live with God after they die? Explain.
(141) Does Ecclesiastes 3:11 prove that the soul survives death? Explain.
(142) What can be said concerning the argument that Ecclesiastes 3:11 prove that man is not in every respect like the beast?
(143) What do Hebrews 11:13-16; 12:23 not say?
(144)&(145) What is the setting of Hebrews 12:23?
(146) Does the disciples’ approach to Mt. Zion mean they go to heaven? Explain.
(147) How are the disciples of Jesus approaching “the spirits of just ones” made perfect.
(148) Does 2 Corinthians 12:2,4 prove heaven and paradise mean the same thing? Why or why not?
(149) Does Psalm 16:11 support the claim that the dead are awake and alive, and that the redeemed are in heaven experiencing fullness of joy, pleasures forevermore, while they sleep?
(150) Does Ezekiel 32:11 present anything at all about the condition of the dead?
(151) Does Luke 16:9 tell anything about the condition of dead? Why do so answer?
(152) Does Revelation 21:27 refer to heaven? Explain.
(153) What do the references in scripture concerning God’s wrath mean?
(154) Do we teach that God would not punish temporal sin with everlasting punishment?
(155) How do we answer those who try to maintain that eh wicked are alive somewhere for all eternity by stating that God’s justice must be maintained?
(156) Are all those who die in infancy saved?
(157) Does 2 Peter 2:4,9 tell us that the eternal destiny of the wicked is determined at death? Explain.
(158) Does Matthew 25:1-13,46 show that our eternal destiny is fixed at death? Explain.
(159) Does Matthew 7:22,23 teach that one’s eternal destiny is determined at death?
(160) Do the words spoken in Matthew 10:32,33 say that one who denies Jesus before men will be eternally damned?
(161) Does Galatians 6:7,8 tell us that one’s eternal destiny is fixed at death?
(162)&(163) What does Hebrews 9:27 mean?
(164) What must be evident to the ready regarding the verses quoted?
(165) What does the Greek word Gehenna refer to, and how does the King James Versiontranslate this word?
(166) What did the term “cast into Gehenna” signify if Jesus’ day?
(167) Thus what did Jesus use the term, Gehenna, to signify?
(168) What time period do the remarks of Isaiah refer to?
(169) What question may be asked about Jesus’ preaching to the spirit in prison?
(170) According to the context of 1 Peter 3:19, what two groups could Peter possibly be referring to as “spirits in prison”?
(171) Who are the angels who disobeyed and how are they described in the scriptures?
(172) What privilege was taken away from the disobedient angels in the flood of Noah’s day? What scriptural evidence do we have angels taking on the form of men?
(173) What position do these disobedient angels occupy today, and what are some of the things they do to deceive mankind?
(174) Was Jesus in Hades while he preached to the spirit in prison? How did he preach to the spirits in prison?
(175) Why did Jesus preach to the “spirits in prison?”
(176) What prospects are before us now, and what should we do to attain them?
Updated: July 7, 2005.
Paragraphs are numbered for reference and use in group and individual study.