Why are so many people disinterested and turned off by religion? Why do the same many want to have nothing to do with God? There may be any number of reasons as to the answer to these questions one of which I would like to discuss here.
The concept of an everburning and torturing "hell" simply does not equate to an ALL LOVING FATHER GOD in many people's mind. Could it be that this concept of hell and eternal torment was NEVER a part of the original scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments. And, that through the translation by one man, St. Jerome, in 382 A.D. all words and wording relating to the grave, pit, unknown, unseen, in the Old Testament and the words relating to grave, Hinnom garbage dump, place of restraint, and age lasting chastisement were CHANGED in St. Jerome's new translation of scripture known as the LATIN VULGATE in which these words were changed to "hell" and eternal torment. The concept of a fiery hell and eternal torment were not in the originals nor did Jesus and the early church teach such a doctrine for 500 years!
St. Jerome and St. Augustine were great students of Plato's writings ( 400 B.C.) and saw that the fear factor of such a teaching tended to keep morally "in line" and that the concept would work well in the church as well. ( Actually it was Plato who invented the idea of Purgatory and hell in his writings even naming Hell after a Greek goddess whose name was 'hel') The only way this could occur was to RE-TRANSLATE the Bible and replace the wordings accordingly which would now teach this concept of hell and torment. It has stayed in most churches and their Theologies and doctrines until today and it remains in MOST Bible translations extant in the world today. I personally call the idea the GREATEST SINGLE HERESY THAT EVER ENTERED THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH. Sadly, most all churches have bought into the teaching and most will, at this time, NOT look into the subject to change their paradigms on the matter.
For any who would like to know the truth or at least be 'exposed' to it there is ample information on the Internet and in libraries to inform you. This will be an amazing study for you and you will come away with a new and inspiring view of our loving Father God who loves YOU dearly and has aldready saved you in Jesus. Eph.2:8.
To check our the words for hell in the Old Testament, just go to a web site, the Hebrew and English Interlinear and for the New Testament go to Greek and English Interlinear and compare the words for hell and eternal punishment, etc.
God bless and Happy Learning.