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ter; for, instead of proving that the Jews understood the terms fire and worms to mean endless punishment, it would prove that the primitive christians, who had their information direct from Christ and his apostles, understood fire and worms to signify endless misery, and therefore be a positive proof that I am right in my exposition of the term Gehenna.
I shall now lay before you some additional testimonies, from some of the most learned men in church or state, in favour of my interpretation of Gehenna.
Dr. Campbell, in his preliminary dessertations, says, "That Gehenna is employed in the New Testament to denote the place of future punishment, prepared for the devil and his angels, is indisputable. We do not find this place mentioned in this manner in the Old Testament. The word does not occur in the Septeuagint. It is not a Greek word, consequently not to be found in the Greek classics. It occurs in the Greek Testament twelve times. In ten of these there can be no doubt: in the other two the expression is figurative; but scarcely will admit a question, that the figure is taken from the state of misery which awaits the impenitent. Whios gehennes, a child of hell, is equivalent in signification, with the expressions whios diabolou, son of the devil, whios apolias, son of perdition. In the other passage, "set on fire of hell" the meaning is evident. These two cannot be considered as exceptions, it being the manifest intention of the writers in both to draw an illustration of the subject from that state of perfect wretchedness."
Mr. Joseph Mede says, "Hence this place
(the Valley of Hinnom) so execrable, came to signify the place of the damned.”
Dr. Scott, in his commentary, says, "The word (Gehenna) is frequently used in the New Testament, and always for hell, or the place of final punishment and misery."
Grove, in his Greek and English Dictionary, says, "Gehenna (the valley of Hinnom) hell, hell-fire, torments of hell.
Schrevelius says "Gehenna-locus suppliciorum æternorim," the place of eternal la
Bass explains Gehenna by "the valley of Hinnom," hell.
Donnegan defines it as follows:-Gehenna, a Hebrew word, New Testament, torture, punishment, hell.
Webster says, "This word (Gehenna) has been used by the Jews as equivalent to hell, place of fire or torment and punishment, and the Greek word is rendered by our translators by hell, and hell-fire."
Mr. Williams, editor of the Cottage Bible, says, "The valley south of Jerusalem, infamous for its idolatrous services, was called Gehenna, and made a type of hell.”
To these I may add the testimony of Dr. Clarke, Dr. Whitby and Dr. Doddridge.
I have produced these twelve witnesses to let the reader see the weight of testimony in favour of my exposition of Gehenna. And, furthermore, I will say that, if you will produce one half the number of commentators and lexicographers who have said, in plain terms, that Gehenna, in the New Testament, does not signify future punishment, I will give up the argument so far as this word is con
nected with it. But this you cannot do; for I suppose there is not one writer of character or reputation ever said any such thing.
I said in my fourth letter that the sense of the scriptures, where the word occurs, requires it to be understood of future misery; and this will be manifest to attentive reader who will consider the connexion of the places where the word is used. When our Lord threatened the wicked with the punishment of Gehenna, he added as an equivalent expression to deepen the impression on the mind, "into the fire that never shall be quenched,' ," "where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched," Mark Ix. 43-45. You wish to convince me that the never dying worm will die, and the unquenchable fire shall be quenched, by referring me to certain texts in the Old Testament, where the "unquenchable fire" was used in reference to the things of this world. Now, in reply, I would say, 1. The phrase "unquenchable fire," in those instances, signified that the fire would continue to burn so long as the fuel or subjects of burning continued to exist. It is true the fires became extinct, but not till all the fuel was entirely exhausted, so that it never afterwards, in any instance, returned to its original state. 2. The phrase when applied to a future state of existence as it unquestionably is, in the above cited places, must mean endless, because fuel never can be entirely exhausted or consumed.
As I consider your exposition of the phrase "kill the body" absurd in the extreme, I shall place in justaposition, the parallel texts where
the phrase occurs, that I may give it a thorough investigation, and thereby present it in its true signification.
Matth. x. 28.
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.)
Luke XII. 4, 5. Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that, have no more that they can do.
But I forewarn you whom you shall fear; fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. (Gehenna.)
Respecting these texts it may be observed, 1. That they contain a most solemn warning, given by our Saviour, concerning the true object of fear. 2. Two objects of fear are mentioned-God and man. 3. God is to be feared as much above man, as the soul is superior to the body, and as the power of God is above that of man. 4. Man's power is limited; he can only kill the body, he cannot injure the soul. But God's power is unlimited, therefore he can not only kill the body, but cast both soul and body into hell at the day of judgment. Now I think nothing in all the world can be clearer, or prove more fully that Gehenna signifies future misery, than these texts. What man, or what temporal fire could affect, or injure an immortal soul? Certainly no man, no temporal fire. But the Almighty God, at the last day, can cast both soul and body into hell, which he has declar
ed he will do, to all the finally impenitent.You leap over this text by saying that apokteino, "to kill," should be rendered to torture, to afflict. Who ever heard of such a translation of this word before! Parkhurst says the word is derived from apo, intensitive, and kteino, to kill, and signifies, to kill, murder, butcher.— Bass says it signifies, to kill, destroy, murder, butcher, consequently the present translation of the word is perfectly correct. The word psuche, rendered soul, you say means animal life. Parkhurst shows that it has nine significations in the scriptures, and refers to Matth. x. 28, one of the texts in question, where it signifies the human soul or spirit, as distinguished from the body." Now, as I have cleared this text, by the authority of so great a man as Parkhurst, from the gloss you put upon it, to turn aside its force which is levelled directly against your system, I shall consider another error into which you have fallen, concerning the power of the Jews to take away life. You say the Jews had no power to take away life. This is true in a certain sense. They had no power to take away life for secular offences, or offences against the state; neither could they crucify, which was a Roman method of punishment. This political or kingly power was taken from them when Judea became a Roman province. But they retained the power to take away life by burning and stoning for ecclesiastical offences, or offences committed against the church. To this ecclesiastical power Pilate referred, when he said to the Jews, take him and judge him according to your law. The Jews replied, it is not lawful for us to put any man to death,