exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
The Fire That Consumes
return to the main-page article on "Hell"
The Fire That Consumes:
A Biblical & Historical
Study of Final Punishment
by E.W. Fudge
Many years ago, in my research travels, I came across a scholarly work by E.W. Fudge, one that would prove influential in my thinking.
I appreciated this author's work because his exhaustive style is similar to my own. He analyzed every occurrence of words relating to hell and judgment in both the Old and New Testaments! This is the right way of covering a topic - the way I used to do it when I was a young man.
The bottom line of Fudge's study:
There is no credible evidence of an eternally-burning hellfire or unending punishment to be found in the Bible!
Nearly 20 years ago, when Word Gems was new, I posted much of Fudge's book here. I no longer feel moved to do that; primarily, because I've come to see that Biblical analysis is not the final testing-ground for this subject.
Nevertheless, it's important to know that the Bible does not teach concepts such as eternal hellfire or everlasting punishment. Those verses which seem to suggest otherwise reveal more about Bible translators' private prejudices than any revelation of ultimate truth.