• I was brought up in a fundamentalist family with a literal interpretation of the Bible. As such, I believed that both Heaven and Hell were literal places. Around age 24 I began seeing them in more of a metaphorical sense, and later left Abrahamic religions altogether.
  • I definetly believe the concept of heaven and hell as a metaphor. It's no different than the classic fairytales being used to scare little children into not running off. i.e. Hanzel and Gretel.
  • I don't belive it is a metaphor. However I don't belive that viewing it as a metaphor is a heresy.
  • Nevets: Do you? I think Hell is but I think heaven is a real place. based on the God is love theology i have a very difficult time believing that there is an eternal punishment for temporal mistakes.
  • I've been thinking about it, at first I was going to say no, more like a control tactic, but yeah I can see a hidden metaphor. Much like a puppetmaster, religious figures pull the strings of the unwitting people by promising the euphoria of their drug while threatening them with the reminder of the torment they'll experience if they deny it. It really was a genius plot and apparently extremely effective. Afterall, who wants to be on fire forever? Maybe we better obey...just in case it's true. I wonder how many people choose religion out of nothing but sheer terror of the graphic portrayals of hell. Sort of cheapens the concept of heaven though, the horrors of hell kind of hinders the pleasing thoughts of the pearly gates. And I gotta tell ya, if my dad threatened to dowse me in gasoline and burn me alive if I disobeyed....somehow that thought overshadows the trip to Disneyland he promised if I do what I'm told, and I might begin to question his logic and morals.
  • An extended metaphor!
  • Metaphor? In the most general of ways yes heaven and hell are Metaphor. This isn't to say that there are not places that can be called heaven or hell. (There are in life and we can assume if something lives on after death then in the hereafter as well). Spirit/Spirituality is a difficult concept to convey. God as spirit is an impossible concept to convey. Let me explain God: God is a multi-dimensional being existing in ways that we in a 3 physical dimensional world with linear time can not see or understand fully. Omni-present (He is nowhere yet everywhere at the same time) Omni-potent (knows all sees all) and Exists outside of physical reality (He is Eternal). Let's face it we can not wrap our minds around "eternal". We can not (even with science) see the Universe BEFORE the big bang. We can not imagine the Universe after the Big Crunch or when it spreads so thin it is out of existence (the big spread). God is supposed to exist not only before the Universe but Eternally, which mean even after the Universe. Heaven (the place where God lives) is a difficult concept to wrap our minds around. Yes in many belief systems heaven is a "paradise" version of Earth but that is only because we earthly beings can not really grasp its nature. Whereas Heaven as a concept hasn't change much from the earlier books to the more recent, Hell has evolved - earliest books don't have that concept, later versions have hell as being a trash heap or a lake of fire. The other words used (Hades, Gehenna, etc) describe the "underworld" the "grave" places where dead bodies go to rot and molder. I see these concepts as an attempt to describe conditions/points/"realities" of spirit in a manner not only understandable by 3 dimensional beings but also defined in terms understood at the time of their writing/speaking - which for most of the Bible is around 2000 years old, well before higher maths and concepts such as Space Time, String Theory and Multi-universes. I think in the very least we should accept these are broad strokes of the brush attempting to describe a condition of the soul/spirit/essence of man after death.
  • Yes, I firmly believe it is a metaphor. But I believe the whole Bible has this much deeper meaning - same goes for the Flood, the virgin birth, names, numbers, colours etc etc etc.
  • sadly no. If you say go away to God, you will get your wish. Hell is where God is not, and therefore there is nothing but loneliness and regret ("gnashing of teeth") and self-recimination ("flames"). On the other hand, heaven is a place of joy and activity, where you interact with God and others who love HIm. see REv 21.
  • Very real. Even peoples not exposed to Judeo-Christian beliefs have concepts of heaven and hell. I think they are part of our a priori knowledge of God.
  • Abraham “as good as offered up Isaac,” for “he reckoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead.” Only at the last moment did God intervene and provide a ram as a substitute for Isaac on the sacrificial altar. It was, therefore, this implicit faith backed up by complete obedience that moved Jehovah to reinforce his covenant with Abraham with a sworn oath, a special legal guarantee.—Ge 22:1-18; Heb 6:13-18; 11:17-19. Abraham believed that he would leave with his son if he had killed him or not, because he belived in the ressurection. Their is no evidence to say that he beleived in heaven and hell after death.
  • Heaven and Hell definitely exist but they are subtle regions that cannot be seen with our sense organs, mind and intellect. Earth is the only gross region of existence, please visit for more info.
  • As a Christian who believes the Holy Bible as God's perfect Word, no, I do not believe that heaven and hell are metaphorical. I believe that Heaven and Hell are both real, literal places and that one is for the saved(heaven) and the other is for the lost(hell). -In the Master's service. Thank you and God bless you!
    • pugwashjw65
      Can you support your belief with scripture? Jesus said he was ' journeying' to Hades [ hell] to recover Lazarus...what Jesus was doing was bringing lazarus back to life...[ even for a short while, because LAZARUS HAD DIED a second time...he is no longer in existence... [ Ecclesiastes 9: 5,6,10 ]
  • heaven and hell are not just metaphors. people rely on god to lead them to heaven after death.
  • Heaven is the home of Jehovah and now his son, Jesus...the idea of hell has been misunderstood...mostly because the Bible itself says that disobedience will be punished by being cast into the flames...this simply means destruction/ elimination...there is NO ongoing further punishment after death...because our death is the PAYMENT for whatever we did wrong...(Romans 6:23) For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord. Wages are ALWAYS FULL PAYMENT.
  • Life is a metaphor- not heaven and hell.
  • Heaven is real.. the spiritual home of Jehovah God, Jesus[ in heaven he is Michael ] and angels... Hell is a metaphor for our grave. Hell/hades /sheol...

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