Translating "hell"

As I translated The Better Life Bible, I noticed that more than half (seven) of the occurrences of the term hell in the New Testament are in the Gospel of Matthew. So I decided to research where and how the term is used throughout the Bible. I discovered that the common definition of hell as a place of future punishment for the wicked dead has very weak support in the Bible. A more accurate definition would be the miserable life/condition that people experience when/because they reject God. I’ve written a seven-page paper that presents my findings. If you would like a copy, I’d be happy to send you one.

As a follow-up to the previous post, this is how I translated 1 John 3:11-24 in The Better Life Bible:

As I’ve said before, this is the same advice God gave our ancestors long ago. It’s obvious that Cain didn’t care about his brother Abel, because he killed him out of jealousy. So don’t be surprised when self-centered people make life miserable for you, too.

The more you care about others, the more you’ll realize that God is helping you improve your attitude and behavior. Eventually, you’ll even be willing to risk your life for others, as Jesus did.

Jesus demonstrated that the essence of God’s advice is caring about others. So you’re following God’s advice when you help others in need, and not just talk about it. Since self-centered people don’t help others in need, they obscure the fact that God cares about everyone.

God’s advice is more reliable than your conscience, so don’t hesitate to ask God to help you follow it.

25 thoughts on “Translating "hell"

  1. Daniel Goepfrich says:

    Dan, I’d like to see your findings. Please send me a copy to pastor AT oaktreecc dot org. Thanks


  2. martyrologist says:

    Dan, I too would be interested in reading your paper on this. I also have a good friend who has been reading and writing about hell and universalism who would be interested as well. I can pass a copy to him if that’s OK with you.

    My email is at martyrologist AT gmail DOT com. Thank you kindly. I look forward to reading it.

  3. Dan Sindlinger says:

    Martyrologist, I’ve emailed a copy of my paper. Let me know if you don’t receive it. You’re welcome to pass it on to your friend.

  4. Rich Holton says:

    Dan, thanks so much for the generous offer. I’d love a copy of your paper. rich_holton at gmail dot com

  5. Dan Sindlinger says:

    Rich, Daniel, Alabill, Codepoke, & Chad,

    I’m emailing a copy of my paper to each of you. Let me know if you don’t receive it. I welcome your thoughts.

  6. Dan Sindlinger says:

    Rich, Daniel, Alabill, Codepoke, & Chad,

    I just received a message that one or more of you did not receive my email. So please send me an email: DanSindlinger AT

  7. Light says:

    Dan, could you please send me a copy, too, please? Email is lightofchrist89 -at- hotmail -dot- com. Thank you!

  8. Peter says:

    We were just discussing this subject at our work Christian Fellowship last week. Could I have a copy of your paper please?

    PeterParslow at Onetel dot Com

  9. Honzo says:


    I would love to get my hands on that paper. Could you please send a copy to me at henry dot imler at gmail dot com?



  10. Ginro says:

    Please could you email me a copy of the paper?
    My email address is:
    sperestillan AT gmail DOT com


  11. Dan Sindlinger says:

    Honzo & Ginro, I’ve emailed a copy of my paper. Let me know if you don’t receive it.

  12. Rick says:

    Hi, this has become a curiosity of mine as well. Greeks had a particular idea of Hades, and Israelites had something in mind when they heard Gehenna, but neither these match up with what is commonly taught. Would you mind sending me that paper as well if you still have it around? My email address is rick.gibson at gmail DOT com

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