When Did God Create Hell?

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This post has 74 Replies | 7 Followers

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JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, May 22 2013 3:17 PM

I know some of you will smile, perhaps others will roll their eyes, at the protestant Baptist seminarian (who is only a 2 point Calvinist and tonight I have forgotten which TULIP points) asking this foundational question but biblically speaking When Did God Create Hell?

How did you use Logos 5.0 to arrive at your answer please?

Please assume God DID create Hell for your replies. 

God bless those with divergent theological views in this matter, but I am asking please for replies that do not mention purgatory.  Thanks.

Respectfully,
Joshua

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 3:50 PM

I searched for the phrase "created hell" and "made hell", and found the following, which isn't much use:

It may be observed, in passing, that the Jewish Rabbinism has discovered strange reasons why, in the account of the second day, there does not also stand the expression: “He saw that it was good;” it was because, say they, on that day the apostate angels fell, because on it God created hell, or because the waters brought the flood over the world. (Lange's Commentary)

I also looked at commentaries on Matthew 25:41 using the Passage Guide, but didn't find anything useful there, either.

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JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 3:56 PM

Thanks brother, Mark.

Its one of those questions I need to answer before I preach on what Jesus about Hell and I always appreciate your responses/replies.  I cannot be prepared for every question that is bound to be asked of me later after the sermon (where I do not remotely ask this question or attempt an answer) but I do want to have something that is Biblical.  Perhaps - "Only God Almighty knows" will be enough.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 4:18 PM

I've never heard such a question nor ever even guessed that it was possible to know (or necessary to know) when God created hell, assuming God did create it. We have a hard enough time arguing over when God created the earth. Do you really think it's possible to know when he created hell? There's obviously going to be no science that helps us with that one, and it's not revealed in Scripture, so it will all be speculation.

Nevertheless, I did find this (my bold):  [EDIT: I see Mark Barnes already posted this first one for you before I had a chance to finish the rest of my post. I still hope the others are helpful.]

"It may be observed, in passing, that the Jewish Rabbinism has discovered strange reasons why, in the account of the second day, there does not also stand the expression: 'He saw that it was good;' it was because, say they, on that day the apostate angels fell, because on it God created hell, or because the waters brought the flood over the world."

John Peter Lange et al., A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Genesis (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 191.

Likewise (again, my formatting):

"The Jews, to show God’s unwillingness to punish, imagine that hell was created the second day, because that day’s work is not pronounced good by God as all the other days’ works are225 (Gen. 1:8)."

Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2002), 493.

Heavy emphasis on the word "imagine". Smile

Footnote 225 says "Mercer in Gen." There is no bibliography that gives the full citation for this book, so I'm not sure what it is. Would like to look further into the Jewish Rabbinic speculation on this.

I did find in Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg, in Chapter 1: The Creation of the World > The Second Day:

"The second day of creation was an untoward day in more than the one respect that it introduced a breach where before there had been nothing but unity; for it was the day that saw also the creation of hell. Therefore God could not say of this day as of the others, that He 'saw that it was good.' A division may be necessary, but it cannot be called good, and hell surely does not deserve the attribute of good.54"

Louis Ginzberg, Henrietta Szold, and Paul Radin, Legends of the Jews, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2003), 8–13.

Footnote 54 explains more of where you might be able to find some of the original Jewish Rabbinic sources if you're interested in probing this further:

You might want to look at "A BRIEF HISTORY OF HELL" in Focusing on the Future: Key Prophecies and Practical Living, by Jack Hayford.

You might also want to look at "The Theology of 'Paradise Lost'" in Bibliotheca Sacra 105, no. 420 (Oct 1948). It mentions "Milton’s account of the creation of hell, earth and mankind." Thus you might also want to read Paradise Lost.

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Gordon Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 4:22 PM

Here's one from John of Damascus:

OUR CHOICE CREATES HELL. JOHN OF DAMASCUS: The dead shall rise again, and they that are in the graves shall awake. They that have kept the commandments of Christ and have departed this life in the true faith shall inherit eternal life; and they that have died in their sins and have turned aside from the right faith shall go away into eternal punishment. Do not believe that there is any true being or kingdom of evil or suppose that it is without beginning, or self-originated or born of God—forget such an absurdity! But believe rather that it is the work of us and the devil, come on us through our inattentiveness, because we were endowed with free will, and we made our choice, of deliberate purpose, whether it be good or evil. BARLAAM AND JOSEPH 19.164–65.28

Kenneth Stevenson and Michael Gluerup, Ezekiel, Daniel, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture OT 13 (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), 305.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 4:29 PM

Joshua Lieder:
Perhaps - "Only God Almighty knows" will be enough.

The emphasis throughout Scripture, and in the resources I read whilst researching your question, was that Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, rather than for people. I think that's good to remember. It may also suggest that hell was created after the fall of Satan, but before the fall of man. I don't think we can say any more than that.

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 5:01 PM

Joshua Lieder:

Please assume God DID create Hell for your replies. 

Maybe add "lake of fire" to any searches?

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 5:57 PM

Joshua Lieder:
Perhaps - "Only God Almighty knows" will be enough.

The older I get, and the more "education" I receive (both formal and informal), the more I am inclined to answer this way. FWIW - I would encourage you to get a copy of Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley. It is helpful as a balance to traditional homiletics courses.

EDIT: Thanks for helping me get the right title, Rosie. Smile

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 6:06 PM

alabama24:
Communicate for a Change by Andy Stanley

Couldn't find a book by that title on Amazon.com (their search engine isn't smart like Google's to suggest: did you mean Communicating for a Change). Here's the link: http://amzn.com/B001E2WM54 

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 6:10 PM

Yup. I seem to always mess the title up. I actually typed the correct one this time, and deleted it thinking I was wrong. Tongue Tied

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 6:23 PM

Rosie Perera:
Heavy emphasis on the word "imagine". Smile

Methinks a wee bit of Creative Biblical Exegesis: Christian and Jewish Hermeneutics through the Centuries by Henning Graf-Reventflow and Benjamin Uffenheimer is needed.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 6:37 PM

MJ. Smith:

Rosie Perera:
Heavy emphasis on the word "imagine". Smile

Methinks a wee bit of Creative Biblical Exegesis: Christian and Jewish Hermeneutics through the Centuries by Henning Graf-Reventflow and Benjamin Uffenheimer is needed.

Good! I've got that one. I'll have to have a look at it.

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 23 2013 8:01 AM

Mark Barnes:

Joshua Lieder:
Perhaps - "Only God Almighty knows" will be enough.

The emphasis throughout Scripture, and in the resources I read whilst researching your question, was that Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, rather than for people. I think that's good to remember. It may also suggest that hell was created after the fall of Satan, but before the fall of man. I don't think we can say any more than that.

Thank you Mark for saying what I was about to say when I read the title to this thread.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 23 2013 8:07 AM

Joshua Lieder:

I know some of you will smile, perhaps others will roll their eyes, at the protestant Baptist seminarian (who is only a 2 point Calvinist and tonight I have forgotten which TULIP points) asking this foundational question but biblically speaking When Did God Create Hell?

How did you use Logos 5.0 to arrive at your answer please?

Please assume God DID create Hell for your replies. 

God bless those with divergent theological views in this matter, but I am asking please for replies that do not mention purgatory.  Thanks.

Respectfully,
Joshua

No Logos used.  I understand that someone asked what God did before he created the universe to which the reply was that he created hell for those who asked.  Big Smile

george
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יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 23 2013 9:09 AM

Mark Barnes:
It may also suggest that hell was created after the fall of Satan, but before the fall of man. I don't think we can say any more than that.

I agree with saying "It may suggest.." that chronology. It is logical to man but could the omniscient God have created Hell before the fall of the angels? After all, he did foreordain our salvation before the fall of man. 1 Peter 1:19-20

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 23 2013 10:21 AM

George Somsel:
I understand that someone asked what God did before he created the universe to which the reply was that he created hell for those who asked.  Big Smile

That would be a paraphrase of Luther, unverified.  I tend to agree with him.  ;-)

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 23 2013 11:15 AM

Doc B:
That would be a paraphrase of Luther, unverified.  I tend to agree with him.  ;-)

I thought it was Luther, but Calvin (who ought to know) attributes it to Augustine's Confessions 11:12:14. Augustine cites it disapprovingly:

Behold, I answer to him who asks, “What was God doing before He made heaven and earth?” I answer not, as a certain person is reported to have done facetiously (avoiding the pressure of the question), “He was preparing hell,” saith he, “for those who pry into mysteries.” It is one thing to perceive, another to laugh,—these things I answer not. For more willingly would I have answered, “I know not what I know not,” than that I should make him a laughing-stock who asketh deep things, and gain praise as one who answereth false things.

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JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 23 2013 12:16 PM

Rosie, thanks...I really appreciate your reply and the others (some of which I just started reading).

 

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Giovanni Baggio | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 23 2013 2:29 PM

Here's your answer champ: Deuteronomy 29:29 I think this verse pretty much sums it up cabbish ;-)

Giovanni

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Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 23 2013 5:25 PM

Giovanni Baggio:

Here's your answer champ: Deuteronomy 29:29 I think this verse pretty much sums it up cabbish ;-)

Giovanni

I'm appreciating Joshua's searching for the truth, asking questions, engaging in dialog, listening, responding.  Sounds alot like what the Apostles did.  I wonder if our Lord and Savior wants us to do the same.  Hmmm.

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