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Author Topic: Sheol, Hades, Hell, and Ghenna - Orthodox Understanding?  (Read 3349 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 05, 2011, 04:48:53 PM »

Grace and Peace,

I've been reading Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev's book "Christ The Conqueror of Hell".

Could someone knowledgeable give a brief definition of these four terms?

As I understand it Sheol and Hades are synonymous, correct?

Hell and Ghenna also synonymous?

Am I to understand that Christ 'only' entered Hades and not Hell? Please explain. Thank you very much.
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 04:52:59 PM »

Grace and Peace,

I've been reading Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev's book "Christ The Conqueror of Hell".

Could someone knowledgeable give a brief definition of these four terms?

As I understand it Sheol and Hades are synonymous, correct?

Hell and Ghenna also synonymous?

Am I to understand that Christ 'only' entered Hades and not Hell? Please explain. Thank you very much.

In its original context, the Germanic word Hel is a direct parallel to the Greek Hades and the Hebrew Sheol.  All three were simply the "abode of the dead".  There is no judgment as to the persons "living" there.

The translators of the KJV, IIRC, used the word "Hell" indiscriminately when translating Hades/Sheol and Gehenna, conflating both very different places/contexts with the same English word.
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 04:58:29 PM »

Grace and Peace,

I've been reading Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev's book "Christ The Conqueror of Hell".

Could someone knowledgeable give a brief definition of these four terms?

As I understand it Sheol and Hades are synonymous, correct?

Hell and Ghenna also synonymous?

Am I to understand that Christ 'only' entered Hades and not Hell? Please explain. Thank you very much.

In its original context, the Germanic word Hel is a direct parallel to the Greek Hades and the Hebrew Sheol.  All three were simply the "abode of the dead".  There is no judgment as to the persons "living" there.

The translators of the KJV, IIRC, used the word "Hell" indiscriminately when translating Hades/Sheol and Gehenna, conflating both very different places/contexts with the same English word.

Okay, so this is probably where I am getting confused. In our modern context... Hell (i.e. Hel) has been largely used to describe Gehenna... correct?
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 04:59:31 PM »

I have a problem with that book, but unfortunately not the time to offer a thorough critique. It's not a terrible book, but the methodology he uses (dividing up classes of fathers, and by period, as if the Orthodox teaching can be limited to times and places) is problematic, and I think he speculates too much along the lines of universal salvation toward the end. I prefer "the Mystery of Death" by Nikolaos Vassiliades.
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2011, 05:02:53 PM »

As I understand it Sheol and Hades are synonymous, correct?

Essentially yes, in their most common usages. But Hades can be used particularly to refer to the state of the damned between Christ's Resurrection and His Second Coming in a way I've never seen Sheol used.

Hell and Ghenna also synonymous?

No, particularly in non-Protestant traditions. Hell is fairly often used to refer to Gehenna, but also fairly often used as another synonym of Sheol/Hades.

Am I to understand that Christ 'only' entered Hades and not Hell? Please explain. Thank you very much.

Essentially, yes. Christ entered into the state of death (Sheol/Hades), but not that of torment (Gehenna).
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2011, 05:04:16 PM »

Grace and Peace,

I've been reading Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev's book "Christ The Conqueror of Hell".

Could someone knowledgeable give a brief definition of these four terms?

As I understand it Sheol and Hades are synonymous, correct?

Hell and Ghenna also synonymous?

Am I to understand that Christ 'only' entered Hades and not Hell? Please explain. Thank you very much.

In its original context, the Germanic word Hel is a direct parallel to the Greek Hades and the Hebrew Sheol.  All three were simply the "abode of the dead".  There is no judgment as to the persons "living" there.

The translators of the KJV, IIRC, used the word "Hell" indiscriminately when translating Hades/Sheol and Gehenna, conflating both very different places/contexts with the same English word.

Okay, so this is probably where I am getting confused. In our modern context... Hell (i.e. Hel) has been largely used to describe Gehenna... correct?

Among Protestants, yes. The closer you get to Eastern Christianity, the more Hell becomes used as a synonym of Sheol/Hades.
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2011, 05:05:57 PM »

I have a problem with that book, but unfortunately not the time to offer a thorough critique. It's not a terrible book, but the methodology he uses (dividing up classes of fathers, and by period, as if the Orthodox teaching can be limited to times and places) is problematic, and I think he speculates too much along the lines of universal salvation toward the end. I prefer "the Mystery of Death" by Nikolaos Vassiliades.

Thank you Father.

Is Gehenna populated? Was it populated when Christ descended into the abode of the dead? Schultz spoke of Sheol, Hades, and Hel being places absence of judgment... what of the bosom of Moses? Was there not a presence of judgment in the separation of the rich man and Lazarus?

Just curious and asking question.
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2011, 05:21:59 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Another question I have... is what of Tartarus? St. Peter speaks of it... are we to understand this as Hades or Gehenna?
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2011, 05:26:22 PM »

Is Gehenna populated?

Sorry but I have to do this . . .

Yes about 32,636 folks.

This is always lulz when I drive by:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gahanna,_Ohio

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The name Gahanna is derived from a Native American word for three creeks joining into one and is the former name of the Big Walnut Creek.

Yeah, sure it is . . .
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 05:29:07 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Another question I have... is what of Tartarus? St. Peter speaks of it... are we to understand this as Hades or Gehenna?

Sort of both. This is Hades in the sense of those in the state of the dead who are also in the state of the damned. Tartarus has been referred to as the deepest, darkest part of Hades. It might qualify as Gehenna, though I have seen disagreements on whether Gehenna is generally the state of the damned or particularly the Lake of Fire at the Last Judgment.
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 05:33:50 PM »

Is Gehenna populated?

Some people actually understand Gehenna as simply the state of the damned, so referring to it as "populated" would be odd. I even remember a story of a Saintly Bishop who would refuse people in certain sins Communion lest they partake unto Gehenna.

Before the Harrowing of Hades, Gehenna and the Bosom of Abraham were both in Hades, but were separated by a spiritual chasm. So if there is any sense of "place" referred to, it is more often Hades than Gehenna.

Was it populated when Christ descended into the abode of the dead?

Most likely there were some in Hades who were in the state of Gehenna, yes.

Schultz spoke of Sheol, Hades, and Hel being places absence of judgment...

Yes, because before the Harrowing of Hades both the righteous and the wicked would go there.

what of the bosom of Moses? Was there not a presence of judgment in the separation of the rich man and Lazarus?

The Bosom of Abraham/Moses was the state of the righteous in Hades.
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2011, 05:40:29 PM »

Is Gehenna populated?

Some people actually understand Gehenna as simply the state of the damned, so referring to it as "populated" would be odd. I even remember a story of a Saintly Bishop who would refuse people in certain sins Communion lest they partake unto Gehenna.

Before the Harrowing of Hades, Gehenna and the Bosom of Abraham were both in Hades, but were separated by a spiritual chasm. So if there is any sense of "place" referred to, it is more often Hades than Gehenna.

Was it populated when Christ descended into the abode of the dead?

Most likely there were some in Hades who were in the state of Gehenna, yes.

Schultz spoke of Sheol, Hades, and Hel being places absence of judgment...

Yes, because before the Harrowing of Hades both the righteous and the wicked would go there.

what of the bosom of Moses? Was there not a presence of judgment in the separation of the rich man and Lazarus?

The Bosom of Abraham/Moses was the state of the righteous in Hades.

Thanks  a lot man... you've been pretty fabulous.
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 05:42:23 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Another question I have... is what of Tartarus? St. Peter speaks of it... are we to understand this as Hades or Gehenna?

As my grandson discovered reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Tartarus is the darkest deepest hole in Hades a place wher the Zeus' Titan father was cast after being cut to pieces by Zeus. When I asked my grandson what he thought it meant his answer was "It is the worse place you could ever be sent." The prayers of the church mention that "you will not send my soul to Tartarus"  so I guess he was right.
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2011, 05:45:46 PM »

Thanks  a lot man... you've been pretty fabulous.

Sure!  Smiley

Did you just use that word because of my homosexuality?  laugh
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2011, 06:04:12 PM »

Wait didn't Hades come from Greek Mythology?
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2011, 06:06:41 PM »

Wait didn't Hades come from Greek Mythology?

Yes.
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2011, 06:07:07 PM »

Wait didn't Hades come from Greek Mythology?
It's used to translate Sheol.

Masoretic Psalm 138:8 reads "If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there."

Septuagint reads "If I ascend to the sky, you are there; if I descend to Hades, you are present."
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2011, 11:41:32 AM »

Grace and Peace,

In talking to a Jehovahist Witness(sp?) he spoke of the dead being without consciousness... What evidence do Orthodox offer for the teaching of 'active' Saints and the immortality of the soul?
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2011, 11:52:51 AM »

Grace and Peace,

In talking to a Jehovahist Witness(sp?) he spoke of the dead being without consciousness... What evidence do Orthodox offer for the teaching of 'active' Saints and the immortality of the soul?

Fwiw, here is an excerpt of something I posted last year, which might be at least partially relevant regarding saints being "alive" or "active" in the afterlife (though there is some other stuff mixed in, such as angels interceding for us)...

Quote
The first example that comes to mine which describes this type of thing is in the book Second Maccabees, where it speaks of "a dream, a kind of vision, worthy of belief," in which Onias and Jeremiah (both deceased) are praying for the Jews on earth (2 Mac. 15:11-14).

Here are a few other random passages from Scripture which I think contribute something to the discussion (I apologize for not organizing them more systematically).

- In the Gospel accounts Jesus tells the Sadducess that the Lord "is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living" (Mark 12:26-27; Luke 20:37-38). Thus we see in the Gospels the example of the Transfiguration, when Moses (who had certainly died) appeared with Elijah and Jesus Christ to Peter, John and James (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36)

- In Hebrews it says that we are we are "surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses," that is, saints in the past who have died and are now alive in heaven. (Heb. 11:1-40; 12:1, 22-24)

- In Revelation we see people in heaven, concious and aware of what is going on. For example we find a passages such as this: "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, 'How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?' Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed." (Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-17; 8:3-4; cf Rev. 4:4, 9-11; 5:8-14)

- The Orthodox Church believes that "neither death nor life will be able to separate us from the love of God," (Rom. 8:38-39; cf Rom. 14:8-9), and we believe that death cannot seperate us from experiencing that love in a real, actual way.

- In the book of Tobit we find the Archangel Raphael saying: "I can now tell you that when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed, it was I who presented and read the record of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord; and I did the same thing when you used to bury the dead. When you did not hesitate to get up and leave your dinner in order to go and bury the dead, I was sent to put you to the test. At the same time, however, God commissioned me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah. I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord." (Tob. 12:12-15)

- We also find an angel interceding for people in Zechariah (Zec. 1:12)

Regarding patristic works, I've found the following examples of prayers to the dead:

- The Matyrdom of Ignatius (chapter 7) supports the idea that those who pass on are conscious and able to pray for people on earth.

- Inscriptions near the places that "dead" Christians were layed also shows this idea. Fr. Anthony Coniaris says that these inscriptions provide evidence that "the first Christians prayed for those who had died, and also asked their prayers" (Introducing the Orthodox Church, pg. 98)

- St. Clement of Alexandria speaks of being "in the society of angels, as being already of angelic rank, and he is never out of their holy keeping; and though he pray alone, he has the choir of the saints standing with him [in prayer]." (Miscellanies 7:12) Apparently Origen also believed this, saying: "not the high priest [Christ] alone prays for those who pray sincerely, but also the angels...as also the souls of the saints who have already fallen asleep" (Prayer 11)

- Now getting a bit later (into the fourth century), St. Methodius wrote: "And you also, O honored and venerable Simeon, you earliest host of our holy religion, and teacher of the resurrection of the faithful, do be our patron and advocate with that Savior God, whom you were deemed worthy to receive into your arms. We, together with thee, sing our praises to Christ, who has the power of life and death, saying, Thou art the true Light, proceeding from the true Light; the true God, begotten of the true God" (Oration on Simeon and Anna 14)

- The Cappadocian Fathers affirmed this belief on prayer to the dead in a number of places (e.g., St. Gregory of Nyssa, Encomium to Martyr Theodore; St. Gregory the Theologian, Orations 17; 18:4; St. Basil, Letter 360)

- Speaking of such prayer, St. Cyril of Jerusalem says that "[during the Eucharistic prayer] we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition" (Catechetical Lectures 23:9)

- Likewise, St. Ephraim the Syrian says: "You victorious martyrs who endured torments gladly for the sake of the God and Savior, you who have boldness of speech toward the Lord himself, you saints, intercede for us who are timid and sinful men, full of sloth, that the grace of Christ may come upon us, and enlighten the hearts of all of us that so we may love him" (Commentary on Mark -- I apologize for not having a more specific reference)

- Others that I have found supporting this belief include: St. Augustine (City of God, 20, 9, 2; Homilies 159, 1), St. Leo (Sermons 85, 4), St. Ambrose of Milan (The Six Days Work 5, 25, 90), and St. John Chrysostom (Encomium to Julian, Iuventinus and Maximinus, 3; Homily 26 on 2 Corinthians; Orations 8:6)
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2011, 12:09:55 PM »

Excellent, Asteriktos. Allow me to add Wisdom of Solomon, 3:1-4:

"But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be an affliction,
and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace.
For though in the sight of men they were punished,
their hope is full of immortality."
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« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2011, 02:40:27 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Did Our Lord establish immortality for our souls through his Birth, Death, and Resurrection or is this a state that predates the work of the Saviour?

Thanks.
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2011, 03:03:25 PM »

Below are my two cents on the subject, already posted elsewhere.

I believe that we have to distinguish three periods:
1. before Christ's Resurrection,
2. after Christ's Resurrection,
3. after the Final Judgement.

Re:1. Both the righteous and the sinners went to Hades (the Greek name) or Sheol (the Hebrew name), although the righteous went to a part of Hades/Sheol called the Bosom of Abraham, or Paradise (by analogy to the real Paradise which was the Garden of Eden and which will the Garden of Eden restored, i.e., the Heavenly Jerusalem) - both names used by our Lord - while the sinners went to Hades/Sheol the proper, a.k.a. Tartarus. The righteous were receiving a partial reward, while the sinners - a partial punishment (as described in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus).
Re:2. All the righteous from the Bosom of Abraham were transferred to Heaven and that's where the righteous go now. Their reward is still partial but greater then the one offered in the Bosom of Abraham. The sinners still go Hades/Sheol the proper where their punishment is the same as it used to be.
Re:3. The righteous will be dwelling with Christ in the Heavenly Jerusalem which will be on the New Earth, under the New Heaven - all of it constituting the Heavenly Kingdom, or the Kingdom of God. They will be receiving the fullness of their reward. The sinners will be dwelling with Satan and all the demons in the Lake of Fire (to which Hades/Sheol will be thrown in), that is Hell or Gehenna. They will be receiving the fullness of their punishment.

At least that's how I understand it.

. . . Hades can be used particularly to refer to the state of the damned between Christ's Resurrection and His Second Coming in a way I've never seen Sheol used.

Probably because there was no need to talk about it using the Hebrew term.
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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2011, 03:27:40 PM »

Below are my two cents on the subject, already posted elsewhere.

I believe that we have to distinguish three periods:
1. before Christ's Resurrection,
2. after Christ's Resurrection,
3. after the Final Judgement.

Re:1. Both the righteous and the sinners went to Hades (the Greek name) or Sheol (the Hebrew name), although the righteous went to a part of Hades/Sheol called the Bosom of Abraham, or Paradise (by analogy to the real Paradise which was the Garden of Eden and which will the Garden of Eden restored, i.e., the Heavenly Jerusalem) - both names used by our Lord - while the sinners went to Hades/Sheol the proper, a.k.a. Tartarus. The righteous were receiving a partial reward, while the sinners - a partial punishment (as described in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus).
Re:2. All the righteous from the Bosom of Abraham were transferred to Heaven and that's where the righteous go now. Their reward is still partial but greater then the one offered in the Bosom of Abraham. The sinners still go Hades/Sheol the proper where their punishment is the same as it used to be.
Re:3. The righteous will be dwelling with Christ in the Heavenly Jerusalem which will be on the New Earth, under the New Heaven - all of it constituting the Heavenly Kingdom, or the Kingdom of God. They will be receiving the fullness of their reward. The sinners will be dwelling with Satan and all the demons in the Lake of Fire (to which Hades/Sheol will be thrown in), that is Hell or Gehenna. They will be receiving the fullness of their punishment.

At least that's how I understand it.

Grace and Peace Michal,

Thank you for this info. Why would Orthodox say St. Peter used 'Tartarus'? I've read the descriptions of it in Virgil's Aeneid and it's pretty horrible. I mean it seems to me to be a description of Gehenna... ? Are Orthodox saying that Gehenna is worse?
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« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2011, 04:00:02 PM »

Why would Orthodox say St. Peter used 'Tartarus'? I've read the descriptions of it in Virgil's Aeneid and it's pretty horrible.

The fact that St. Peter used the term "Tartarus" does not necessarily mean that what he had in mind was identical with the virgilian Tartarus. I think he used the term to give a general idea, not any specific details. We know from Luke 16:23-24 that souls in Tartarus are tormented in flames and are constantly thirsty (or at least that's what they feel).
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« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2011, 05:31:59 PM »

That breakdown is very concise.

In the context of the three points posted by Michał, can someone shed some light on the ability (or not) for the unrighteous in Hades/Sheol to eventually be deemed worthy of the Kingdom? I've been Orthodox for awhile now, but this whole area still confuses me.

My current understanding is that it's kind of like Purgatory, but with two distinctions:
1. It's not a material "place", it's a state within the context of Hades
2. Going to heaven is not automatic after overcoming the passions. It is still contingent upon the Final Judgment.

And as far as I know, this is a theologumenon anyway. But a little more clarification could help.
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« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2011, 05:36:41 PM »

That breakdown is very concise.

In the context of the three points posted by Michał, can someone shed some light on the ability (or not) for the unrighteous in Hades/Sheol to eventually be deemed worthy of the Kingdom? I've been Orthodox for awhile now, but this whole area still confuses me.

My current understanding is that it's kind of like Purgatory, but with two distinctions:
1. It's not a material "place", it's a state within the context of Hades
2. Going to heaven is not automatic after overcoming the passions. It is still contingent upon the Final Judgment.

And as far as I know, this is a theologumenon anyway. But a little more clarification could help.

Just so you know... Purgatory is in Hell...
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« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2011, 06:44:55 PM »

Hell, as in Lake of Fire (final destination), or Hell, as in Hades (temporary destination, until Final Judgment)? Or something else?

I always get confused what people mean by Hell.
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« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2011, 11:16:15 PM »

Hell, as in Lake of Fire (final destination), or Hell, as in Hades (temporary destination, until Final Judgment)? Or something else?

I always get confused what people mean by Hell.

If Tartarus is located within Hades... then the whole abode is be understood as the Roman Catholic Hell which holes everything. The Lake of Fire appears to be within Tartarus.
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« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2011, 07:10:37 AM »

The Lake of Fire appears to be within Tartarus.

I don't think so. The not yet existing Gehenna is the Lake of Fire into which Hades will be cast in (cf. Revelation 20:14-15).
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« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2011, 07:19:37 AM »

Repeat of an old post...

There is no agreed teaching in Orthodoxy about the details of the afterlife. Beyond a very broad outline we are "looking through a glass darkly." For example, Saint John Maximovitch says that the damned go to Gehenna. Other modern teachers see Gehenna as the Lake of Fire and not yet in existence.  It is the Lake of Fire which will be created in the future on Judgement Day. And again, other people will tell you it is already in existence but uninhabited.   So that raises a question or two.

In the 1970s when Fr Seraphim and The Orthodox Word had made sure that we all had the schema of the afterlife firmly fixed in our brains, at least according to Fr Seraphim's ideas, I could have rattled off the difference between hell and hades and gehenna, sheol and tartarus in 10 seconds.   

But when I learned through my spiritual father at the monastery in Serbia that this schema cannot be found in the Fathers, that they do not teach much about the afterlife very precisely, that they interchange terms constantly and that it is not possible to draw up any consistent schema based on the Fathers - well, what was the point of adopting any one schema and insisting that it was *the* one?     So it is not a case of "simply not knowing."  It is more a case of giving up and admitting with Saint Paul that at the very best we can only "see through a glass darkly" and all our speculative systems about the afterlife are pretty much based on the pride of the human mind which cannot bear to admit that it does not know something and so to fill the vacuum it spins theories of its own.

Again, I see the profound wisdom of the bishops of the Russian Church Abroad who warned people in their 1980 Resolution on the toll houses that there is great spiritual danger in creating conjectures about the afterlife.  After all, if even such a Saint as Saint John of San Francisco has his own theories, are we ourselves really qualified to pick and chose between dissonant theories?
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« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2011, 07:22:07 AM »

As I understand it Sheol and Hades are synonymous, correct?

Hell and Ghenna also synonymous?

Am I to understand that Christ 'only' entered Hades and not Hell? Please explain. Thank you very much.

Russian cannot distinguish linguistically between hades and hell.  There is one word -ad.

If you read the English translations of what is written on hell by Met Hilarion you will see that the translators use hell and hades interchangeably, even though in Russian he is using only one word (ad.)

Have a look at an extract from one of his articles here.  There in an indiscriminate use of both "hades" and "hell" by the translators.

See Message 8 at http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,26716.msg420385/topicseen.html#msg420385
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« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2011, 08:00:07 AM »

Russian cannot distinguish linguistically between hades and hell.  There is one word -ad.

That is not accurate, Father. The Russian Synodal Orthodox Bible does have the distiction.

1) Geenna (i.e., Gehennah): http://goo.gl/K86OZ, http://goo.gl/jHuHR, http://goo.gl/J1vTk, http://goo.gl/4L34J, http://goo.gl/LATDK, http://goo.gl/J6jOr, http://goo.gl/DAOWe, http://goo.gl/00UKH, http://goo.gl/bsRhJ, http://goo.gl/L1FGC, http://goo.gl/g7dpn, http://goo.gl/EY2dV

2) Ad (i.e., Hades): http://goo.gl/SBEe6
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« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2011, 08:18:11 AM »

Russian cannot distinguish linguistically between hades and hell.  There is one word -ad.

That is not accurate, Father. The Russian Synodal Orthodox Bible does have the distiction.

1) Geenna (i.e., Gehennah): http://goo.gl/K86OZ, http://goo.gl/jHuHR, http://goo.gl/J1vTk, http://goo.gl/4L34J, http://goo.gl/LATDK, http://goo.gl/J6jOr, http://goo.gl/DAOWe, http://goo.gl/00UKH, http://goo.gl/bsRhJ, http://goo.gl/L1FGC, http://goo.gl/g7dpn, http://goo.gl/EY2dV

2) Ad (i.e., Hades): http://goo.gl/SBEe6

The Gehenna in these verses is the eternal lake of fire which Saint John Maximovitch says exists now and into which the damned are cast after death.     Other writers disagree with Saint John and have the theory that Gehenna does not yet exist and will be created on Judgement Day.   There's a lot of contrary teaching.

When one compares the verses with Gehenna and those with ad, in what you have quoted, what is the distinction?


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« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2011, 08:40:27 AM »

When one compares the verses with Gehenna and those with ad, in what you have quoted, what is the distinction?

All I wanted to say is that where the Greek text has γέεννα, the Russian has Геенна, and where the Greek text has ᾍδης, the Russian has Ад.
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« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2011, 08:41:05 AM »

The toll houses.    

Another after-death place which has not so far been mentioned is that of the toll houses.  This is a very important place since it is the first after-death place encountered by Orthodox souls, the place where their future state is determined, the place of the Partial Judgement and assignment to happiness or misery.  This is hotly disputed among the Orthodox, some claiming that this place exists and some denying it.   Some, such as Fr Seraphim Rose, contend that the place of the toll houses is very close above our heads and that it may be seen with physical eyes by those who are spiritually advanced.   Some contend that only the Orthodox will go to this place of toll houses since anyone without an Orthodox baptism must go to hell immediately at death, as per the angelic revelation to Saint Theodora when she was in the toll houses..  
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« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2011, 01:35:40 PM »

Grace and Peace,

I just want to say that I am very thankful for everyone how has aided me in understanding the Orthodox Teaching of the Underworld. In talking to a Jehovahist Witness I was trying to 'frame' my answers more in an Orthodox response instead of relying on what I've learn in the Western Church.

He argues that Sheol is a place where the dead slumber... and they are not conscious...  He offers passages that say so in the Sacred Writ. I am curious to know if there is greater information from Orthodox Saints and teachers.

Also... if I had the capacity which language would be more helpful for me to learn Russian or Greek?
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