The topic of hell has held a strange fascination for believers through the centuries, becoming the subject of paintings, sermons, books, articles, and much more. For many it has been a source of terror, for most a wellspring of questions. Is there such a thing as hell? How long will it last? Who will go there? Is hell fair?
In this study, Kim Papaioannou tackles the topic at its most foundational level, in the words and teaching of Jesus. Rather than attempt overarching and all-encompassing answers, he begins instead with a detailed study of the relevant texts and builds upwards from there. The result is a picture that is based on Papaioannou’s exegesis. This study is written in such a way that lay readers and anyone interested in the various perspectives on hell can understand it.
In recent years, many Christians, among them a goodly number of evangelicals, have concluded that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ will not make the wicked suffer unending, conscious torment in hell. This book adds to the body of evidence supporting this necessary doctrinal change.
—Clark Pinnock, professor emeritus of systematic theology, McMaster Divinity College
From the fiery picture of Gehenna to scenes of fireless darkness, Papaioannou leads us through the variety of metaphors, figures, symbols, and pictures employed by Jesus. Far from arid, the scholarship demonstrated here is fruitful in practical benefits for all thoughtful children of God. It gives me great pleasure to commend this book.
—From the foreword by Edward William Fudge, author, The Fire That Consumes
Kim Papaioannou has written a provocatively comprehensive, historical, and biblical interpretation of hell in the teachings of Jesus. . . . This takes the reader into the depths of Jewish literature, Old and New Testament culture, Hebrew and Greek exegesis, and a breadth of Christian history. Extremely interesting and thought provoking, this book should remain useful to critical scholarship on the topic of hell and eternal punishment for decades to come.
—Sharon L. Baker, associate professor of theology and religion, Messiah College
Papaioannou has the keen ability to offer the reader a high level of scholarship in the simplest of terms. While his book is the product of superb exegesis and deep thought it can be read and understood by non-theologians. The title may suggest the book deals mainly with the geography of hell, but it is much more. It is an indictment of the popular but apparently unbiblical belief that God has a place where he physically tortures sinners endlessly.
—Ioannis Giantzaklidis, ThD candidate at the University of Helsinki
In the Logos edition, this digital volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English Bible translations, and important terms link to a wealth of other resources in your digital library, including tools for original languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Kim Papaioannou has earned degrees in history and religion and a PhD in theology from the University of Durham, with an emphasis on the New Testament. He has served as pastor and professor of theology.