Hot in hell?

The traditional images we have of Hell with all the burning sulphur, brimstone, lakes of fire, man who looks a bit like Rupert Murdoch brandishing a pointy stick, etc owe much to the Middle East.

Judeo-Christian imagery was mainly developed (trying to avoid putting my foot in it here by saying that these religions were “invented” in this area…! Well avoided Chris!) in the Middle East, a dry, arid area where discomfort could rightly be equated to heat, sweatiness, thirst and the like. It is almost inevitable, therefore, that Hell would come to be depicted in a similar way.

It is telling that in Viking mythology (imagery mainly influenced by Scandinavian weather/conditions) the equivalent of Hell is freezing cold.

So, this got me thinking… Mainly about how only an English person could relate Hell to the weather, but also how Hell would be depicted if Judaism and Christianity had originated in England. My guess is that it would be… damp. There would probably also be a hosepipe ban, a tea shortage, and the buses would run late, if at all. I want to put that it would be full of American tourists, too, but I know it will get me (and probably others) in trouble, so I have wisely refrained… Well done me.


30 thoughts on “Hot in hell?

  1. The only problem with that logic is that it talks about the fires of Hades(Hadees?)…Sorry, got technical and missed your meaning. Will try again tomorrow (well, it’s 2:15am here so later today) after I’ve slept.

  2. To be honest if heaven had only British people in it we would moan about how perfect it is, or how its “too perfect”. I mean the last 2-3 weeks have been awesome (weather wise) and all I have heard is:

    “its the wrong sort of heat”

    “I like it hot but not this hot!”

    “It’s too humid”

    “it’s too dry” etc etc

    My main point being… ummn … nope my main point has left the building.

  3. Bit of a transition there Teri. Sleep is very important!

    I thought Hades was Greek? Are you a polytheist then? I thought you were Christian?

    What do people think Hell would be like as imagined by people from their country?

    PS Jason, yes I love the idea of British people wandering around Heaven saying “Well, of course it’s lovely, but sometimes I do find it a bit too peaceful, don’t you Doris?”

    You have made me laugh (out loud, but quietly).

  4. The Bible speaks of Hades, of course the Bible was written with several different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek).

    Hell in America…hot, firey, barren….pretty much like Death Valley (in California)

  5. come to think of it Hell is probably full of Californians! (a joke, calm down!)

  6. “Bit of a transition there Teri. Sleep is very important!” Yes, very important! I wish I got more of it, but alas I’m a busy bee.

    “I thought Hades was Greek? Are you a polytheist then? I thought you were Christian?” Uh, I always understood Hades and Hell as being 1 & the same. Christian, Greek, Aethiest(sp?), whatever…I dunno..Kids annoying, time for work, I’m outta here..

  7. I just thought I’d put in what the Bible says about Hell…

    Hell is described throughout Scripture as “everlasting fire” (Matthew 25:41), “unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12), “shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2), a place where “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44-49), a place of “torments” and “flame” (Luke 16:23,24), “everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9), a place of torment with “fire and brimstone” where “the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever” (Revelation 14:10,11), and a “lake of fire and brimstone” where the wicked are “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). Jesus Himself indicates that the punishment in hell itself is everlasting – not merely the smoke and flames (Matthew 25:46).

  8. It’s so fun to research…

    The Old Testament teaches life after death, and that all people went to a place of conscious existence called Sheol. The wicked were there (Psalm 9:17; 31:17; 49:14; Isaiah 5:14), and so were the righteous (Genesis 37:35; Job 14:13; Psalm 6:5; 16:10; 88:3; Isaiah 38:10).

    The New Testament equivalent of Sheol is Hades. Prior to Christ’s resurrection, Luke 16:19-31 shows Hades to be divided into two realms: a place of comfort where Lazarus was, and a place of torment where the rich man was. The word hell in verse 23 is not “Gehenna” (place of eternal torment) but “Hades” (place of the dead). Lazarus’s place of comfort is elsewhere called Paradise (Luke 23:43). Between these two districts of Hades is “a great gulf fixed” (Luke 16:26).

    Jesus is described as having descended into Hades after His death (Acts 2:27, 31; cf. Ephesians 4:9). At the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it seems that the believers in Hades (i.e., the occupants of Paradise) were moved to another location. Now, Paradise is above rather than below (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).

    Today, when a believer dies, he is “present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-9). When an unbeliever dies, he follows the Old Testament unbelievers to Hades. At the final judgment, Hades will be emptied before the Great White Throne, where its occupants will be judged prior to entering the lake of fire (Revelation 20:13-15).

  9. I’m fairly certain that all those American tourists would be describing everywhere as ‘quaint’ as well 🙂

  10. what is it that makes american tourists so awful? not being defensive, just interested in knowing so i can be a mindful traveller.

  11. Good grief you people have been busy, I wouldn’t have thought commenting in Chris’s blog would require research. I am not sure I can contribute the level of conversation here, can we dumb it down a bit for those of us who’s heads are hurting after just handing in their (rather shoddy) dissertations.

    By the way Research is a dirty word.

  12. To be fair, I have met some absolutely lovely American backpackers in the last year and a half and not had a problem with any of them. The awfulness happens when they assume that just because places aren’t American that they aren’t in any way civilised (one once asked a friend of mine if we had fridges in Wales and was very surprised at the answer). And I also once heard one particular American tourist describe Llandybie (a village near where I grew up) as quaint. This it most decidedly is not as anyone who even glimpses it would be able to tell.

  13. ‘Quaint?!’ hahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaargh! That is terrible! For quaint you want Ystalyfera 😉

  14. I’ve heard that people from GCG consider themselves “classy”, rather than quaint.
    Actually, that is not true but it would be so funny if it were!

  15. Sarcasm and quick wit? You talking about the same person? 😉

    Well, he is DEFINITELY not off having an affair, that is all I can say! (although this will probably get me INTO more trouble rather than OUT of it…)

  16. Yeah come on you, hurry up and blog we are getting bored now and you may lose us as readers all together if you don’t get your finger out and get on with it!!

  17. Look at him though – STILL getting all the comments even though he’s not saying anything! C’mon, Chris! DO something for the adoring fans!

    Ooh, word verification wwecch – almost wench, don’t you think?!

  18. That’s because the comments are so much more interesting than the blog itself!

    Chris, if you don’t post something soon, I’m dropping you from my top 5 must-read blogs in favour of a cat!

  19. A cat where can I find this must read blog it sounds hot stuff!

    P.S Chris “sort it out soft lad!” I’m sure the apparently more pressing matters such as your life, bills, work etc. can wait while you give us something to procrastinate over.

    (Mind you I take that all back if there is something really important that you have to deal with.)

    How contradictory am I?

  20. By the way, hello and welcome{Minion}!

    That was a bit bleak. Why not go and have some chocolate?

Comments are closed.