Has the matter of when the Hades and the lake of fire were created ever been considered in Christianity? Were they, for example, created before the fall of man or afterwards? Are there any well-known works devoted to this topic? Any major common thoughts?

  • When asking questions of this nature, it should always be taken into consideration that there are a variety of words in the Scriptures (sheol, hades, gehenna, tartarus, lake of fire, etc.) which are translated as or conceptually conflated with "hell". This, in the opinion of many, has created a considerable chasm between the modern mainstream Christian notion of "hell" and a biblical understanding of punishment. Since Hades and death are thrown into the lake of fire in Rev. 20:14, it's careless to speak casually as though they are the same.
    – Andrew
    Aug 1 '15 at 15:55

The Bible gives us no information as to when Hell and the lake of fire were or possibly when the lake of fire will be created.

Hell is first mentioned in:

Deuteronomy 32:22 KJV

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.

and the lake of fire is first mentioned in:

Revelation 19:20 KJV

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

From what I can determine from my study is that Hell existed prior to Deuteronomy 32:22, but as for the Lake of fire there is a possibility that it does not yet exist and may be created just prior to the great white throne judgment since:

Rev 20:10 and 11 KJV

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

The lake of fire most probably does not now exist and will most likely be created as a permanent place for punishment of Satan and the fallen Angels:

Matthew 25:41 KJV

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

  • Only the first sentence of this answer is relevant, and some of the rest is unfortunately incorrect. Genesis 37:35 uses the same word sheol that is translated to "hell" in your English translation of Deuteronomy 32:22. It actually appears six times before that verse. In my opinion your comments are not supported by the verses you cite.
    – Andrew
    Aug 1 '15 at 16:08
  • @Andrew Perhaps it might be beneficial if you were to research the Hebrew, along with a little bit of the history and word usage at the time of writing. Some modern translations are quite contradictory, prior to calling people liars. That's my OPINION.
    – BYE
    Aug 2 '15 at 11:52
  • Who said liar? Not me. I said you're wrong. I do research the Hebrew- that is exactly my point ... and why I am confused by your response. The Hebrew word your English Bible reads as "Hell" appears six times before the place where you say "Hell is first mentioned," Deuteronomy 32:22. That's not merely my opinion. You don't account for ignoring those first six occurrences in your answer and so your assertion is questionable. Please forgive my frankness but as a member of the community I considered it my obligation to inform your readers of that oversight when I noticed it.
    – Andrew
    Aug 4 '15 at 2:59
  • As such, it's not immediately apparent that Deuteronomy 32:22 refers to the infernal place, since Jeremiah says this verbatim (in Hebrew...) as he pronounces God's wrath on Israel here on Earth via attacking nations and earthly punishments for disobedience like famine, plagues, war, and exile. Since the context for Deuteronomy 32:22 is identical there is no reason to conclude that the verse is a description of hellfire but indeed the contrary, that it describes the wrath of a jealous God who is himself a consuming fire.
    – Andrew
    Aug 4 '15 at 3:27

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