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The Geography of Hell in the Teaching of Jesus

ISBN: 9781620325810


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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.

Resource Experts
  • Explores not only the idea of hell, but the biblical realities of it through the words of Jesus
  • Utilizes a myriad of resources including Jewish literature, Christian history, as well as Old Testament and New Testament culture
  • Includes exegesis in a way that can be understood by all
  • Part I: Gehena
    • Background
    • Gehenna in Mark 9:43–50
    • Gehenna in Matthew 5:29–30 and 18:8–9
    • Gehenna in Matthew 10:28
    • Gehenna in Matthew 5:21–22; 23:15; 23:33
    • Gehenna in Luke 12:4–5
  • Part II: Hades
    • Background
    • Matthew 11:20–24 and Luke 10:12–15
    • Matthew 16:13–20
    • Luke 16:19–31
  • Part III: Abyss and Tartarus
    • Background
    • Luke 8:31
  • Part IV: The Outer Darkness Where There Is Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth
    • Background
    • Luke 13:28
    • Matthew 8:12
    • Matthew 13:24–30 and 36–43
    • Matthew 13:47–50
    • Matthew 22:1–14
    • Matthew 24:45–51
    • Matthew 25:14–30
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

  • Title: The Geography of Hell in the Teaching of Jesus: Gehenna, Hades, the Abyss, the Outer Darkness Where There Is Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth
  • Author: Kim Papaioannou
  • Publisher: Pickwick Publications
  • Print Publication Date: 2013
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Pages: 306
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Hell › Biblical teaching; Future punishment › Biblical teaching; Judgment Day
  • ISBN: 9781620325810
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-02-12T03:27:39Z

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.


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  1. William Tanksley, Jr
    Kim interacts deeply with the cultural background at a level I'd not seen before (although now I've read a few similar books), tracing even such obscurities as how the intertestamental Jews used the words derived from Tartarus (for example, interestingly, in addition to meaning the Greek concept of a jail below hades, they also used it to mean the "waters" of uncreation that underlie the earth -- an interesting way to translate the Hebrew concept to the Greek worldview). Nor is this merely a loose collection of scholarly facts (although I admit that one is, since /tartaroo/ is not used with that meaning in the New Testament); Kim keeps the text readable and informative in matters of real Biblical interpretation, so we can see that there's a reason to be performing this level of study. The claim below that this book is bad because the author holds a wrong opinion is one that should be considered in light of what the author is attempting to do. In my opinion, Kim manages to present extremely useful and well organized information, and only in a secondary sense rallys it into an argument for his opinion. In no sense do I think the data collected is ad-hoc support for his position, and the argument made is not mere propaganda (although I will not judge its success, since at the time I read it I was convinced by Edward Fudge's exegetical arguments that the wicked will be killed and denied life in punishment and natural consequence of their unrepentant unholiness, and gehenna serves as a place to shame and then destroy their bodies and souls, not as a place anywhere synonymous with torture).

  2. Andrew Harshman
    Awesome book. Very helpful.

  3. M. David Johnson
  4. no such person

  5. Chris Sipes

    Chris Sipes


    Review this later.


Digital list price: $26.99
Save $6.00 (22%)