I received this review of ‘The Bible Delusion’ from a friend shortly after publication:
THE BIBLICAL DELUSION. Finally Jim Whitefield has finished his book on the greatest lie ever perpetrated on the human race. More copies of The Bible have been sold than any other book. Jim discusses over one hundred pertinent issues relevant to what we have thought of as truth. He is a scholar who has a schoolteacher’s knack for making murky subjects clear and easy to follow. Your most relevant questions now have answers. Go to your bookshelf, clear a spot, and order THE BIBLE DELUSION.
Michael Oborn ~ Author of The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott: HERITAGE OF SECRETS.
‘The Bible Delusion’ Books and eBooks remain exclusive to Lulu (where there are discounts on hard copy versions) until released to Amazon et al in late July or August.
Meanwhile, here’s a sample ‘Hang on a Minute’ (HOAM) moment from ‘The Bible Delusion’.
Hell – an Unknown Concept in Old Testament Times.
Psalm 139:8. “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Whilst this idea, encapsulated in poetic adoration of God, clearly depicts a state of mind, many other references have been manufactured by later Christianity to determine an actual off-world place to fear. Hell combines with the CE invention of the Devil or Satan, to instil unquestioning obedience in the Church – out of utter fear. (See: Appendix B ‘The Invention of Satan, Lucifer or the Devil’).
Deuteronomy 32:22. “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.” Quite a statement from the KJV.
However, the word, and concept, of ‘hell’ was yet to be invented, so we will turn to ‘Young’s Literal Translation’ which renders a more understandable meaning than the one that will jump to the mind of a believing Christian.
YLT. Deuteronomy 32:22. “For a fire hath been kindled in Mine anger, And it burneth unto Sheol — the lowest, And consumeth earth and its increase, And setteth on fire foundations of mountains.” ‘Sheol’, one of several words that have subsequently been replaced by the (newer) word (and later concept), hell, means ‘the underworld’ or ‘Hades’.
Hades is ‘god of the dead’ in Greek mythology and is also the name of his realm; the abode of all dead spirits. The mythical world of dead spirits is a far cry from the Christian concept of hell, to which only the wicked (and those who don’t believe as they do) – may go.
The word ‘Hell’ appears some thirty-two times in the KJV Old Testament and is always a translation of the Hebrew word ‘Sheol’. Sheol actually appears about sixty-four times in total and is translated as “grave” twenty-nine times and “pit” three times. The connotation is somewhat guesswork on occasion.
However, the word, and modern-day concept ‘hell’, was entirely unknown until several centuries into the Common Era. We know Jews did not (and still do not) believe in the concept of hell (or heaven for that matter), as Christians understand it. What Sheol could never possibly have meant is ‘hell’, as in the later concept invented by Christianity.
In the KJV New Testament, ‘hell’ appears twenty-three times; translated from three different words; Hades and Tartarus which are Greek and Gehenna, which is the Greek form of the Hebrew words Gee and Hinnom, meaning ‘the valley of Hinnom’.
Hades, which occurs eleven times, is translated as hell all but once, where it is rendered as ‘grave’. Hades is used for the grave or state of the dead in general – not the Christian concept of eternal torment. ‘Tartarus’ occurs only once, in 2 Peter 2:4 in a ‘just suppose’ context regarding angels. “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 is the place of torment in the mythical place Hades.
Remember, Hades was the Greek god of the dead and Hades his place of residence. Tartarus is derived from the heathen, and the chains of darkness from Jewish mythology; very dramatic, but not literally true. “Gehenna” occurs twelve times and is always translated as ‘hell’. The gospels repeat the same (claimed) discourses, so Jesus did not use it more than six or seven times – if he ever said anything like it at all.
As the ‘Online Etymology Dictionary’ explains: “Gehenna “hell,” 1620s (earlier “a place of torture,” 1590s), from Church Latin gehenna (Tertullian), from Greek geenna, from post-biblical Hebrew gehinnom “Hell, place of fiery torment for the dead,” figurative use of the place name Ge Hinnom “the Valley of Hinnom,” southwest of Jerusalem, where, according to Jer. xix:5, children were sacrificed to Moloch. Middle English had gehenne (late 15c.) from Middle French gehenne.”
Also: “Hell, Old English hel, helle, “nether world, abode of the dead, infernal regions, place of torment for the wicked after death,” from Proto-Germanic haljo “the underworld” (cognates: Old Frisian helle, Old Saxon hellia, Dutch hel, Old Norse hel, German Hölle, Gothic halja “hell”). Literally “concealed place” (compare Old Norse hellir “cave, cavern”), from PIE kel- (2) “to cover, conceal” (see cell). The English word may be in part from Old Norse mythological Hel (from Proto-Germanic halija “one who covers up or hides something”), in Norse mythology the name of Loki’s daughter who rules over the evil dead in Niflheim, the lowest of all worlds (nifl “mist”). A pagan concept and word fitted to a Christian idiom. In Middle English, also of the Limbus Patrum, place where the Patriarchs, Prophets, etc. awaited the Atonement. Used in the KJV for Old Testament Hebrew Sheol and New Testament Greek Hades, Gehenna. Used figuratively for “state of misery, any bad experience” since at least late 14c. As an expression of disgust, etc., first recorded 1670s.” (Bold added).
So, “A pagan concept and word fitted to a Christian idiom.” The very perception of ‘hell’, as understood today, was never a concept expressed in the Bible. Such an idea did not appear; the word did not even exist; until several centuries into the Common Era. The concept of an ‘eternal punishment in hell’ is unbiblical; it is a pagan doctrine embraced by the Roman Catholic Church in the early centuries of Christianity; made official when Jerome translated the Bible into Latin in the Latin Vulgate (circa 400 AD). The doctrine of ‘everlasting punishment in hell’ is based on mistranslations and misinterpretations – and convenience of control.