Dumping on Gehenna

Last week I linked to a post about the myths that we in Christianity seem to perpetuate that are just wrong. Today let’s take on the trash heap of hell.

We have all heard it before. The pastor or professor tells us that the Gehenna Jesus was talking about was a garbage dump kept aflame to burn the trash. It turns out this myths has zero Biblical basis and even less archeological evidence to back it up and instead has its origin in the words of a second century rabbi.

Todd at Bibleplaces.com clears up the mess and finds the right context of the word and it’s meaning.

“Thus already in Old Testament times, the Valley of Hinnom was associated with the destiny of the wicked.  That the valley was just outside the city of Jerusalem made it an appropriate symbol for those excluded from divine blessing…

…It is not difficult to see, from these and other texts (e.g., 2 Kgs 23:102 Chr 28:333:6Jer 32:35), why Jesus and his contemporaries used the word Gehenna (“valley of Hinnom”) as synonymous with the place of everlasting fiery torment.  Indeed, there is no reason to search further for ancient burning piles of discarded newspapers, product packaging, and junk mail.”

I guess we can throw this myth on the heap!

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