Hell - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G1067, geenna ]
represents the Hebrew Ge-Hinnom (the valley of Tophet) and a corresponding Aramaic word; it is found twelve times in the NT, eleven of which are in the Synoptists, in every instance as uttered by the Lord Himself. He who says to his brother, Thou fool (See under FOOL), will be in danger of the hell of fire," Matthew 5:22; it is better to pluck out (a metaphorical description of irrevocable law) an eye that causes its possessor to stumble, than that his "whole body be cast into hell," Matthew 5:29; similarly with the hand, Matthew 5:30; in Matthew 18:8-Matthew 18:9, the admonitions are repeated, with an additional mention of the foot; here, too, the warning concerns the person himself (for which obviously the "body" stands in chapt. 5); in Matthew 18:8, "the eternal fire" is mentioned as the doom, the character of the region standing for the region itself, the two being combined in the phrase "the hell of fire," Matthew 18:9. To the passage in Matt. 18, that in Mark 9:43-Mark 9:47, is parallel; here to the word "hell" are applied the extended descriptions "the unquenchable fire" and "where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched."

That God, "after He hath killed, hath power to cast into hell," is assigned as a reason why He should be feared with the fear that keeps from evil doing, Luke 12:5; the parallel passage to this in Matthew 10:28 declares, not the casting in, but the doom which follows, namely, the destruction (not the loss of being, but of well-being) of "both soul and body."

In Matt. 23 the Lord denounces the scribes and Pharisees, who in proselytizing a person "make him two-fold more a son of hell" than themselves (Matthew 23:15), the phrase here being expressive of moral characteristics, and declares the impossibility of their escaping "the judgment of hell," Matthew 23:33. In James 3:6 "hell" is described as the source of the evil done by misuse of the tongue; here the word stands for the powers of darkness, whose characteristics and destiny are those of "hell."

For terms descriptive of "hell," See e.g., Matthew 13:42; Matthew 25:46; Philippians 3:19; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 10:39; 2 Peter 2:17; Jude 1:13; Revelation 2:11; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:6, Revelation 20:10, Revelation 20:14; Revelation 21:8.


(1) For the rendering "hell" as a translation of hades, corresponding to Sheol, wrongly rendered "the grave" and "hell," See HADES.

(2) The verb tartaroo, translated "cast down to hell" in 2 Peter 2:4, signifies to consign to Tartarus, which is neither Sheol nor hades nor hell, but the place where those angels whose special sin is referred to in that passage are confined "to be reserved unto judgment;" the region is described as "pits of darkness," RV.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words