Did Jesus speak twice as much about hell as heaven?

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Steven L. Spencer | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Jan 11 2013 9:32 AM

In one of R. Kent Hughe's commentary he mentioned that Jesus spoke twice as much about hell as heaven.  Is there a way to a Bible search that confirms that statement?

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 11 2013 9:43 AM

Hi Steven

I can't think of any simple way to search for this - as sometimes other words than "hell" are used. So, for example, Matthew 25:46 speaks about eternal punishment but presumably this would be a reference you want to include.

So you would probably need to compile a list of words or ideas which refer to hell, search for these and see in which ones Jesus is speaking.

And then do the same thing for heaven

Sorry, I can't think of anything more helpful on this one

Graham 

PS: In Logos 5, a "Topic Guide" search for "hell" or "heaven" could provide some good starting points for creating such lists but you would still need to check them for completeness.

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Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 11 2013 10:23 AM

I don't know how to do it in Logos efficiently, but FWIW, doing a Google search seemed to show that this is grossly incorrect, but I only spent a couple of minutes looking. 

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steve clark | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 11 2013 10:27 AM

i think to be accurate in terms of heaven, you would also need to investigate all the metaphors that He used....e.g. Kingdom

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 11 2013 10:36 AM

Scholars debate what that word refers to:

steve clark:
e.g. Kingdom

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 11 2013 11:00 AM

Steven L. Spencer:

In one of R. Kent Hughe's commentary he mentioned that Jesus spoke twice as much about hell as heaven.  Is there a way to a Bible search that confirms that statement?

I know some people who speak of hell a lot more than Jesus ever did.  Big Smile

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

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Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 11 2013 11:02 AM

George Somsel:
I know some people who speak of hell a lot more than Jesus ever did.  Big Smile

Big Smile

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Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 11 2013 12:21 PM

I did a search of ESV NT in Words of Christ for hell, heaven, and kingdom and got this:

hell: 12

heaven: 118

kingdom: 107

Hell is translated as γέεννα every time but 1; I did a BWS on γέεννα to see if it was translated any other way (since Words of Christ uses surface words I believe), and it was not.

Maybe this is not entirely accurate, but my conclusion would be Jesus spoke of heaven much much more than hell.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 11 2013 12:34 PM

I don't have Kent Hughes' book but at least from the summarized quote above, it seems like the question is 'occasions'; not literal words?  If so, one would have to structure the analysis by pericope?


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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 11 2013 12:50 PM

Steven L. Spencer:
  Is there a way to a Bible search that confirms that statement?

Somehow,I never thought that that the Bible included everything that Jesus spoke, so I'd label the question unanswerable until we have a time machine and 33+ years to do research.Wink

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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BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 11 2013 1:13 PM

Dominick Sela:

I did a search of ESV NT in Words of Christ for hell, heaven, and kingdom and got this:

hell: 12

heaven: 118

kingdom: 107

Hell is translated as γέεννα every time but 1; I did a BWS on γέεννα to see if it was translated any other way (since Words of Christ uses surface words I believe), and it was not.

Maybe this is not entirely accurate, but my conclusion would be Jesus spoke of heaven much much more than hell.

Dominic - this is what I'd expect, given that His message & focus (& the Good News) is about His Father's kingdom (& how to enter), not about fire insurance. Big Smile

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Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 11 2013 2:44 PM

MJ. Smith:

Steven L. Spencer:
  Is there a way to a Bible search that confirms that statement?

Somehow,I never thought that that the Bible included everything that Jesus spoke, so I'd label the question unanswerable until we have a time machine and 33+ years to do research.Wink

Good point...we will need to make sure that we remember this thread so that we can update it then.  I will try to remember.

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

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Steven L. Spencer | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 12 2013 10:20 AM

Thank you all for your feedback.  Very much appreciated--Steve

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 12 2013 10:47 AM

Just an observation.

A few months back someone wondered "how many times" Pharaoh said or did something in Exodus and asked what search would yield the results he was looking for. Many suggestions were offered. My response was "read the account...and count". I would suggest doing the same thing here. The are cases when no pre-programed search will yield satisfactory results...you just have to read and count.

Another observation...with a query.

Suppose Hughes is absolutely right. What of it?

Suppose Hughes is absolutely wrong. What of it?

After you've read and counted, what conclusion would you be able to make, other than restating the fact? I suppose what I'm wondering is...why does it matter?

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Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 12 2013 11:20 AM

David Paul:
I suppose what I'm wondering is...why does it matter?

 

How do you know there is not meditative, contemplative, or discernment opportunities in the question? Since when did the Bible become the basis only for asking and answering obvious quesitons? Sometimes the most obvious, obscure, or apparently meaningless from Scripture are an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to speak to us.  I would never challenge someone else in a question they are pondering from scripture.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 12 2013 11:37 AM

"Wondering" is not "challenging"....and "challenging" another person is not necessarily a bad thing. Don't you challenge your children to do their best?

That said...just answer the question. Explain why it matters. Of course, in doing so, "you" (i.e. whomever is offering the explanation) will want to avoid reading into the explanation a lot of suppositions that are little more than eisegesis.

 

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Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 12 2013 12:19 PM

Why don't we just leave the OP to his thoughts since theology discussions are not part of these forums anyway. Take it to Faithlife or another forum if you want to challenge someone why they care about something they care for, please!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 12 2013 1:14 PM

Dominick Sela:
How do you know there is not meditative, contemplative, or discernment opportunities in the question?

Steven L. Spencer:
In one of R. Kent Hughe's commentary he mentioned that Jesus spoke twice as much about hell as heaven.  Is there a way to a Bible search that confirms that statement?

While there may or may not be merit in asking  if "Jesus spoke twice as much about hell as heaven", haven't we missed the OP's point?

Steven L. Spencer:

In one of R. Kent Hughe's commentary he mentioned that Jesus spoke twice as much about hell as heaven.  Is there a way to a Bible search that confirms that statement?

The OP is trying to confirm or deny something said by a particular writer ... which may make a great deal of difference in how much salt one wishes to read him with.

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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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 10:09 PM

Steven L. Spencer:

In one of R. Kent Hughe's commentary he mentioned that Jesus spoke twice as much about hell as heaven.  Is there a way to a Bible search that confirms that statement?

Personally puzzled ? since Bible analysis shows more Heaven than Hell.  Searching Words of Christ likewise finds much more Heaven than Hell.

Keep Smiling Smile

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 11:59 PM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):
Personally puzzled ? since Bible analysis shows more Heaven than Hell.  Searching Words of Christ likewise finds much more Heaven than Hell.

I was puzzled as well. I'd never heard this before (and it seems suspicious). That sent me searching to see if I could find the source of this information:

Comes from R. Kent Hughes, Preaching the Word: Sermon on the Mount:

Note the quote that precedes that comment. It is footnoted as coming from D. A. Carson's The Sermon on the Mount (1978). That is not available in Logos, but I was able to look inside it on Amazon.com and with the aid of some other sources that had more of the surrounding context quoted was able to discover this from Carson:

"“You may not believe that a hell exists. In that case, you may dismiss Jesus as a liar or a fool. Alternatively, you may be so attached to your sin that even the threat of final and catastrophic judgment may not induce you to leave it. But you will be foolish indeed if you simply accuse Jesus of frightening you into the kingdom. The real issue is the truth behind Jesus’ words, the truth which prompts Jesus’ warning. Either there is a hell to be shunned, or there is not. If there is not, then Jesus’ entire credibility is shattered, for he himself speaks twice as often of hell as of heaven."

So the source of Hughes' statement is D.A. Carson. It remains to be learned where Carson got that idea. He might be just repeating an unsubstantiated cliche. Here's a whole forum discussion about that subject: http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php?topic=5257.0. So it appears that Hughes and Carson are flat out wrong, even if you're very generous in counting all the metaphorical references to hell (fire, utter darkness, gnashing of teeth, etc.).

This all goes to show, never take anything you read at face value without determining its source and checking up on it, especially if it goes against your gut instinct. But your gut can be wrong too sometimes.

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