This is in response to William LaRochelle’s claim (March 4) that Jesus Christ made up the doctrine of hell. Rather than lamely citing agnostics such as Charles Darwin and Mark Twain, LaRochelle should study the Bible with an open heart and mind before determining to libel Jesus as a lying fool.

LaRochelle claims the teaching of hell “finds its origin in the New Testament, not the Old; and its originator was Christ himself, according to Gospel reports.” But hell is progressively revealed throughout the Bible, outlined in the Old Testament and explicated in the New, where Jesus clearly defined it.

Here’s just one Old Testament reference: “Hell from beneath is excited about you, to meet you at your coming; it stirs up the dead for you, all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. They all shall speak and say to you: ‘Have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us?” (Isaiah 14:9, 10)

“Hell” is “sheol; Hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates: — grave, hell, pit” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible). This “grave” isn’t where bodies turn into worm food, it is where “inmates” “shall speak” and ask “Have you become like us?” They are fully conscious souls, but “dead” in the sense of being eternally separated from God.

David Theriault, Rumford

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