It is ironic that the doctrine of Hell, adamantly held to by many Christians as a truth being taught by the one and only God, is actually not new to the Bible at all….it is in fact a myth that originated with the ancient Greeks. Tartarus, and Hades are both Greek gods that pre-date the New Testament by at least 700 years.

Tartarus is used only one time in the Bible as the place where the Angels who sinned are chained until judgment. The Greek philosopher, Plato wrote that souls were judged after death and those who received punishments were sent to Tartarus.

2Pet.2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (Tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Tartarus in Greek mythology, is both a deity and a place in the underworld even lower than Hades. In ancient Orphic sources, Tartarus is also the unbounded first-existing entity from which the Light and the cosmos are born.

In Hesiod’s Theogony c. 700 BC, the deity Tartarus was the third force to manifest in the yawning void of Chaos. In The Iliad (c. 700), Zeus asserts that Tartarus is “as far beneath Hades as heaven is high above the earth.” It is one of the primordial objects that sprung from Chaos, along with Gaia (Earth) and Eros (Desire).

Now doesn’t it seem a bit odd that the Bible states that God is sending the angels who sinned to a mythological place called Tartarus?

The word Hades refers both to the ancient Greek underworld, the abode of Hades, and to the god of the underworld. The term hades in Christian theology (and in New Testament Greek) is parallel to Hebrew sheol (שאול, grave or dirt-pit), and refers to the abode of the dead.

In older Greek myths, the realm of Hades is the misty and gloomy abode of the dead where all mortals go. Later Greek philosophy introduced the idea that all mortals are judged after death and are either rewarded or cursed. Very few mortals could leave this realm once they entered. Five rivers are part of the realm of Hades, and their symbolic meanings, are Acheron (the river of sorrow, or woe), Cocytus (lamentation), Phlegethon (fire), Lethe (oblivion), and Styx (hate).

Also, what I find extremely interesting is that one of the five rivers of Hades is “Fire” which is a direct parallel to Revelation where it is written that Hades is cast into the lake of fire. So, my question is why is the mythological realm of Hades, being spoken of by Jesus as a real place of judgment?

Rev.1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore Amen; and have the keys of hell (Hades) and of death.

Rev.6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell (Hades) followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Rev.20:13-14 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell (Hades) delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell (Hades – the Grave) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Kind of makes one question where the whole doctrine of eternal damnation came from?

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