Abyss & Bottomless Pit
Abyss – Bottomless Pit – Lk 8:31; Ro 10:7; Re 9:11; Re 11:7; Re 17:8; Re 20:1,3. Each of these New Testament references, Bottomless pit-Abyss, is the Greek (Scofield G12) ἄβυσσος ábyssos, ab’-us-sos; depthless, i.e. (specially) (infernal)“abyss.” The KJV translates G12 as “the deep” or “bottomless pit” while the NASB and others use “pit” or “abyss.”
In the story of the demonic in Luke 12, the King James translators evidently assumed that the demons did not want to be cast into the depths of the sea, “And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep” (Luke 8:31 KJV). But that idea is incorrect. They were pleading to not be tormented before their time and cast into the abyss. “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with you, Jesus, you Son of God? have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29). Young’s Literal Translation (and other) render this passage more accurately, “and he was calling on him, that he may not command them to go away to the abyss.” (Luke 8:31 YLT).
Another verse the KJV makes difficult to understand is, “Or, Who shall descend into the deep (G12)? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead” (Romans 10:7 KJV). More accurately, the NASB (and others) render this verse, “. . . “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS (G12)?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” (Of course, what Paul is saying is that Jesus is already resurrected. You can’t crucify Him again and resurrect Him again – but our focus is on abyss or bottomless pit as compared to the word the deep). In our minds they have vastly different connotations. One is a hole or pit, and the other is like the depths of the sea.
Hell – Hades Or Gehenna:
Unfortunately, the word “Hell” is a poor translation for the Hebrew word “sheol” and the Greek words “Hades” and “Gehinnom.” Sheol and Hades are, the realm of the underworld, the residence of departed, unrepentant (human) souls. It is bottomless in that it can never be filled. The Pit always has room in in it for another departed soul. When a person dies, their body goes to the grave; their soul goes to hades, or sheol; their spirit returns to God – kind of a flash-drive download of all you are, thought, and done in your entire life. Sheol, Strong’s H7885, or Hades, Strong’s G86 is:the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates). It is where lost souls are held, awaiting their day in court, before the Throne of God. It is where they wait for their final judgment and transfer to (the other, much more unpleasant term) Gehenna.
Hades and the bottomless pit are one and the same: “And cast him (Satan) into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Revelation 20:3 KJV).
In contrast, Gehenna is a metaphorical reference to Strong’s G1067 (valley of (the son of) Hinnom; ge-henna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment). It was a valley where trash, debris, and even bodies were tossed. The fire in the valley burned continuously.
Jesus warned of Gehenna fire in Matthew 10:28 when he said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna)” (Matthew 10:28 KJV).
John (the Baptizer) warned of the final judgment of the unrepentant when he said of Jesus, “ . . . Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17 KJV).
Jesus, at His second advent, will separate the sheep from the goats (the repentant from the unrepentant), and “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41 KJV). Another reference to Gehenna is,“So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49-50 KJV).
The clock is ticking. Jesus is “standing at the door.” His return is imminent, and many people have not heard the Gospel. This is why it is urgent for the Church to heed Paul’s admonition to Timothy and “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV).
Exploring Scripture~Because it matters-it really does!
Hell – Tartaroo 2Peter 2:4; Jude 6
Before the Age of Grace, the Church age, the Scriptures indicate that hell had two divisions. One side was Abraham’s bosom, or Paradise, separated from the other side by a great chasm (Luke 16:21-26). In support of this, Jesus says to the repentant thief next to him on the cross, “. . . Verily I say unto you, Today shall you be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43 KJ2000). Today, repentant souls (Christians) at the death of their bodies go to be with Christ, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV).